Look Ma! No Ejector! (Or, “What is this, anyway?”)

By Clint Hawkins
Owner Hawkins Arms LLC,
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Member

A client brought in an interesting project the other day. He had purchased a rifle of unknown heritage that was beauti­fully blued and kind of looked like a Mauser. More on that later. It had been re-barreled, but whoever did it didn’t both­er to stamp the caliber on the barrel. The man from whom he bought it told him that the caliber was “8mm-06 or .300 something or other, probably a magnum.” He also brought a stock in which he wanted to mount the barreled action. He wanted it inletted, the barrel free floated and glass bedded, but he wanted to do the exterior himself. Continue reading


Nitre Blue Colt 1902

by Clint Hawkins
Hawkins LLC, Pro Course Graduate & GCA Charter Member

The Tragedies and Triumphs of a Gunsmith

“Best foot forward,” they always say, but you have to know the story! This is not a story about how great I am in doing Nitre Blue for you will quickly see that’s not true, or even how great the results can be if you use it on your projects. It is really about the things you need to watch out for to successfully complete the project. Gene Shuey shows all the right things to do and how to do them in his Rust and Nitre Bluing course. AGI courses do warn about what can happen “if” … but their time is too valuable to show anything except what is the right result. Continue reading


Getting Started And Is A Newsletter For You?

By Clint Hawkins
Owner Hawkins Arms LLC,
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Member

Four years ago, while taking a SBA (Small Business Administration) course conducted by our local community college called the SBDC (Small Business Development Course), one of the key things promoted by the mentor working with me on my business plan was this:

Publish a newsletter for your potential and existing clientele. Continue reading


Odd Ramblings of a Gunsmith

HawkinsBy Clint Hawkins
Owner Hawkins Arms LLC,
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Member

I used to take a perverse pleasure in answering the question, “Do you specialize in any particular gun?” My answer for many years was, “If anything, I specialize in not working on Ruger pistols.” Words cannot begin to convey the hidden smiles, the grins, the suppressed laughter, the chortles, the outright glee when I watched Bob Dunlap struggle, success­fully to be sure, with the mainspring housing of one of those #*&@% wonderful creations by Bill Ruger. But, since then, I have learned a trick or two and struggle less, but sometimes still. I cope, successfully, eventually. Continue reading


No Sights for the American?

HawkinsBy Clint Hawkins
Owner Hawkins Arms LLC,
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Member

The Ding Dong Ya Say! ( I like the sound of Ding Dong, don’t you?)

In comes this nice new Ruger® American Rifle in .308 equipped with scope mounts.  Well, actually it came in with a client. My client says he wants peep sights on it.  “OK,” says I.  “This will cost, seeing that there is no provision for iron sights.  I will probably have to do some modifying to parts and possibly, but not likely, to the rifle.  Why do you want peep sights instead of the scope it is ready for?”  He allowed that since it is such a short rifle, it would make a good brush gun, and he wants peep sights.

Ruger® American Rifle in .308 Winchester, sans iron sights

Ruger® American Rifle in .308 Winchester, sans iron sights

Continue reading


Filling out the AK’s Case or …

“It Took How Long?”

HawkinsBy Clint Hawkins
Owner Hawkins Arms LLC,
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Member

Part 3 of 3

Projected Accuracy:  According to Wikipedia, the AK-47’s accuracy has always been considered to be “good enough.” The milled AK-47s are capable of shooting 3-5 inch groups at 100 yards, whereas the stamped AKM’s are capable of shooting 4-6 inch groups at 100 yards.  The AKM, with the 7.62 x 39mm cartridge, has a battle range of around 1,150 ft. The best shooters are able to hit a man-sized target at about 2600 ft. with 5 shots (firing from prone position or a trench) or 10 shots (standing).  That is not sniper accuracy, as “hitting a man” could be qualified as hitting only his left pinky.  So, that is why you see outrageous ranges on the rear sight and why the goal is to do much better than that. How does it shoot? Continue reading


Filling out the AK’s Case or …

“It Took How Long?”

HawkinsBy Clint Hawkins
Owner Hawkins Arms LLC,
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Member

Part 2 of 3

(click here for Part 1 if you missed it)

Some time before that last mount came out, and long before I started making my rifle, I had already selected and purchased the most expensive and reliable solution to the problem.  That was the Israeli MAKO Five Rail guard system which does mount a scope way aft compared to the others. Brownells carries MAKO products, but I didn’t see the Five Rail system online.  Upon inquiry, I was told they could special order it for me. Sold!  By the way, this unit allows keeping the original cleaning rod if for some reason you want to. That was two and a half years ago.   Continue reading