Home | Ezine | Forums | Links | Contact
NitroExpress.com: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures

View recent messages : 24 hours | 48 hours | 7 days | 14 days | 30 days | 60 days | More Smilies


*** Enjoy NitroExpress.com? Participate and join in. ***

Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Handguns

Pages: 1
buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 925
Loc: Whitetail Country
How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures
      #373465 - 25/01/23 04:46 AM

How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - a picture story

Hello All,

Here's a story about an interesting project.

HOW TO MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW'S EAR

Who says it can't be done?

Upon selling my collection of Colt Single Actions, I decided to kept just one for a shooter. It was an early 5-digit serial number gun from 1883. Unfortunately, some time long ago it had its barrel cut down to 3-3/4" and had its ejector boss ground away. It may have actually been carried by a Sheriff during its life because it was in remarkably great mechanical condition, showing little signs of having been shot much. It was the least valuable gun in my SAA collection, and would make a fun little shooter, so I kept it. But it was in fact a real "sow's ear" as Colts go. Here are some pictures of how it looked when I first bought it, many years ago.



Not long ago Kenn Paulson, one of my Gun Club members, brought a couple of fancy engraved guns to show to all the members. Much to our surprise, they were guns that he himself had engraved. He explained that over the last 25 to 30 years he had been teaching himself how to engrave. Along the years he also tutored under several Master Engravers, and the guns he brought in to show us were his practice pieces. He also brought one he intended to sell. It was his very first public offering. It was a real master piece. You can see pictures of it here. click the link ...> http://www.buckstix.com/buckpics/paulson-python-000.jpg

What a surprise to have a Master Engraver as a Club member. It was soon thereafter that I asked Kenn if he could engrave my little "sow's ear" Colt. I told him to dress-it-up any way he wanted. I asked him to send me photos as the work progressed to I could tell a picture story of the project. He agreed .... and here's the story.

He started with the cylinder - and then moved to the barrel with a "scratch" layout of this intended pattern.


Little by little he cut the barrel pattern, first one side, and then the other. After he completed the barrel, he moved to the the top of the frame.


With the top of the frame completed, he next started on the rest of the frame. Once again, he started with a "scratch" pattern on front of the frame and then the bottom. When satisfied with the layout, he starting cutting deeper and deeper.


Little by little, the engraving continued. (note: Due to the coarse pixilation definition of my camera, my pictures don't begin to do justice to show the detail and real quality of Kenn's work)


Last steps were the loading gate, and the opposite side of the frame to match. And finally adding a shield behind the hammer. In excess of 100 hours of work were spent in dressing-up the little Colt.


The last step in the engraving process was to go over every cut and touch-up every line and swirl to ensure a good looking finished product.
I'm going to leave the finish "as is" because I like the look with some of the original trace nickel showing. I like the sparkling lines against the original grey background. Thanks to Kenn, this did turn my ... "Sow's Ear" ... into a ... "Silk Purse".



--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DarylS
.700 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 25206
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: buckstix]
      #373466 - 25/01/23 05:05 AM

That is now a SPECIAL old Colt. I actually preferred the original as pictured at the top of this thread, buckstix.
For me personally, it is a little over the top. The important thing is you are happy with it and that is ALL that really matters.
Having an engraver at your club, is a wonderful thing. This "work" is beyond my brother's skill.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
FlatTop45
.300 member


Reged: 31/05/16
Posts: 119
Loc: South Texas, U.S.A.
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: DarylS]
      #373473 - 25/01/23 01:43 PM

Very nice first generation Model P! There's just something about those black powder frames. One of the things about old Colt sixguns I love the most is that engraved or not, they have a ton of character. You don't have to be a gun enthusiast to see there is a certain mystique about them.....

I like what you have done with this one. I think having this particular Colt engraved in the style you've chosen while choosing to leave the existing finish and patina, instead of having it refinished, is brilliant! It seems to me that as this gun continues to age, all that new engraving will darken and patina and she'll grow even more beautiful. They way I see it, what you have done only enhances what was already there and really makes her stand out now.

Glad to hear you intend to use her as a shooter and will not be locking her away in the back of the gun safe. Good choice keeping the Gutta Percha grips too. Are they original to the gun? Which caliber is it?




J


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 925
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: FlatTop45]
      #373475 - 25/01/23 09:24 PM

Hello DarylS
Thanks for the reply

The only issue I had with it before I chose to have it engraved was that the ejector boss had been ground off, and the barrel was shortened. It looked obvious "altered" in hand, although not so much in those first above photos. Now all those negative features are gone.

Hello FlatTop45
Thanks for the reply

Its 45 caliber with original hard rubber Eagle Grips. I kept it a shooter only because it was the least valuable in its altered state. All the other Colt SAAs that I sent to auction were totally original. And yes, as it continues to age and darken from black powder shooting, it will gain character and look more and more classic. As to the engraving itself, I didn't pick the engraving style, I left that up to the engraver and told him to do what ever he felt like doing. He actually mixed several vintage engraving styles of various period masters. I really like how it turned out.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
lancaster
.470 member


Reged: 06/05/08
Posts: 7852
Loc: There's a lighthouse in the mi...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: buckstix]
      #373477 - 26/01/23 01:36 AM

for being an amateur he is working like a profi, surprisingly good work!

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
93x64mm
.416 member


Reged: 07/12/11
Posts: 3496
Loc: Nth QLD Australia
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: buckstix]
      #373480 - 26/01/23 07:10 AM

Quote:

.....As to the engraving itself, I didn't pick the engraving style, I left that up to the engraver and told him to do what ever he felt like doing. He actually mixed several vintage engraving styles of various period masters. I really like how it turned out.



Considering that you let someone go carte blanche engraving shows enormous trust, yet when they referred to period engraving styles would make it a very special piece in your eyes indeed, especially when both of you have really still retained the aged patina as much as you could.
Marvellous work for your engraver mate, I do hope he get more work in the future.
The styles he picked really do suit your piece.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
lancaster
.470 member


Reged: 06/05/08
Posts: 7852
Loc: There's a lighthouse in the mi...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: 93x64mm]
      #373501 - 26/01/23 10:23 PM

to give a good craftsmen "carte blanche" will encourage him to do more than normal and make the best

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DarylS
.700 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 25206
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: lancaster]
      #373515 - 27/01/23 11:33 AM

Buckstix - do you use the cylinder hinge-pin to poke the empties out of the cylinder - or a dedicated "pin or rod" you carry for that purpose?

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 925
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: lancaster]
      #373544 - 28/01/23 05:57 AM

Hello all,
Thanks for the reply

Quote:

for being an amateur he is working like a profi, surprisingly good work!




Hello lancaster,
thanks for the reply.

Glen showed his work to one of the major gun manufactures and they hired him on the spot and gave him a gun to engrave. He just finished the engraving and they will be giving him more work. Here are a few pictures of this project.



--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DarylS
.700 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 25206
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: buckstix]
      #373545 - 28/01/23 06:26 AM

Very nice indeed.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 925
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: DarylS]
      #373546 - 28/01/23 07:36 AM

Quote:

Buckstix - do you use the cylinder hinge-pin to poke the empties out of the cylinder - or a dedicated "pin or rod" you carry for that purpose?



Hello DarylS
Thanks for the reply,

Most of the time the empties drop out or I just pick them out with my fingers.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DarylS
.700 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 25206
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: buckstix]
      #373547 - 28/01/23 08:30 AM

Gotcha!

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
lancaster
.470 member


Reged: 06/05/08
Posts: 7852
Loc: There's a lighthouse in the mi...
Re: How to turn a "Sow's Ear" into a "Silk Purse" - see pictures [Re: DarylS]
      #373569 - 28/01/23 04:56 PM

he has a god given talent

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1



Extra information
0 registered and 2 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  NitroX 

Print Topic

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled

Rating:
Topic views: 328

Rate this topic

Jump to

Contact Us NitroExpress.com

Powered by UBB.threads™ 6.5.5


Home | Ezine | Forums | Links | Contact


Copyright 2003 to 2011 - all rights reserved