When I started working on the Western Field shotgun, I already had two other “projects” laying around the house. This particular firearm was entirely covered in fuzzy rust and the bolt was fused shut from corrosion. The stock was moldy and needed some care too. The plastic trigger guard on this old guy was warped straight from screw to screw! There was a good inch of space between the top of the trigger guard and the bottom of the stock and the screws were torqued tightly in the wood.
Okay back to the Western Field trigger guard! So, I guess in my impatient little brain I was figuring that if I just wind this surgical tubing as tight as I would when gluing, maybe the guard will bend back in place as fast as glue dries?! Can’t say, but when I was hogging on the tubing and pushing the trigger guard down into shape (mistake coming up), the trigger guard snapped in half and that plastic promptly bit a nice little chunk out of my thumb, right next to the previous thumb injury. That made me yelp a bit too!
Anyway, I worked on the shotgun until I felt anymore constituted overkill on what many would say is a cheap gun. That being said, I like economy stuff with simple designs, they are utilitarian and easy to fix. Now that the trigger guard was snapped in two, I got out a torch and heated/melted the plastic piece back into a shape that would fit into the stock. I then used marine putty epoxy to join the two pieces and reshape the trigger guard back into a smoother texture. I used non-stick foil and Brownells Acra-Release to make sure the epoxy didn’t stick to the stock. Then I screwed the trigger guard back into place while the epoxy hardened.
After sanding and shaping with a small file, I hand painted the part with Black acrylic paint, which gave it a plastic sheen again.
After bleeding all over the stock, I sanded it, then stained it a Golden Oak color and tried a spray urethane for the final finish. I used a Birchwood Casey Cold Blue kit on the barrel. The stock was refinished and the barrel was blued before the epoxy even hardened!
After test firing the gun, my friend Chris showed me a great spot up the Creek to snap a couple photos! So, that is my latest saga from the Dunn Armory and Clinic of Last Resort for Terminally Ill Guns!
© 2017 GunsAndGunsmiths.com. Reproduction of this article by any means without approval is not permitted.