January
S M T W T F S
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online Now
8 members (Joe Wood, Cameron, FlyChamps, Carl46, 2 invisible), 125 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums10
Topics36,551
Posts513,271
Members14,124
Most Online462
Aug 5th, 2016
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
btbell Offline OP
Boxlock
OP Offline
Boxlock

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
I recently acquired a John Dubiel stocked & barreled Winchester Model 52.
See: https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=384169

In the course of researching it, I saw that another Dubiel Win 52 was used by R.C. Pope (1901-1988, no relation to barrel-maker Harry Pope) to help the US win the 1939 Pershing Trophy in the UK.

See: PERSHING CUP THREAD
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=601454

Mr. Pope lived in Dallas, TX, only ~2 hrs from the Dubiel Arms Co. shop in Ardmore, OK. Using a bit of Google-fu, I was able to find Pope's grandson. He still has the rifle, lives fairly close to me, and let me stop by and take some photos, comparing Pope's SN 18072 gun (top) with my SN 19011 gun (bottom):

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Last edited by btbell; 08/31/21 12:41 PM.
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
btbell Offline OP
Boxlock
OP Offline
Boxlock

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
The Pope rifle has the same DUBIEL ARMS CO. stamp on top of the barrel as my SN 19011 gun.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

The rifle is SN 18072 (per Houze, SN applied ~Feb 7, 1929); there is a Winchester proof mark by the SN, but it's very faint.

The left side of the barrel is marked "ERIC JOHNSON".
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Eric Johnson (1886-1972), a Swedish immigrant, and John Dubiel (1892-1937), a Polish immigrant, were friends, having worked together at Colt in Connecticut, and then beginning 1923 at Hoffman Arms, initially in Cleveland, OH, and later in Ardmore OK. Johnson was known as a top barrel maker, while Dubiel was known as a top stock maker. When Hoffman went insolvent in 1930, Dubiel set up his own shop on the Ardmore premises. Johnson joined Dubiel Arms as a partner for a year, April 1932 to April 1933, before returning to Connecticut.

Regarding the barrels, in a March 1925 American Rifleman (AR) ad, Hoffman Arms claims "Our barrels are made of Swedish nickel-steel, which is practically rustless, and is twice as strong as the best gun barrel steel used by other makers. Barrels are bored and rifled by expert gun builders, who are also shooters" (presumably referring to their Swedish barrel maker - Eric Johnson!).

In a July 1926 AR ad, Hoffman Arms says "We make barrels of our special Swedish Nickel Steel for all target and sporting arms, in any weight and dimensions up to 32 inches ..... Heavy Match barrels, including any standard front sight, and scope blocks when desired, $40.00." Then they list 27 different calibers, starting with 22 L. R.

April 1932 AR ad: "MATCH BARRELS 22 and 30 caliber made and fitted to any suitable action. Any length from 24 to 30 inches. Last word in accuracy. After April 15 address Eric Johnson, Ardmore, Okla." There is also an ad for "Johnson-made stocks", detailed further below.

May 1932 AR ad: "MATCH BARRELS in 22 and 30 caliber fitted to any suitable action. Barrels also made and fitted in any caliber. Stocks made to order. Rifles in any caliber made up to customers specifications. Eric Johnson, Ardmore, Okla."

June 1932 AR ad: "MATCH BARRELS in 22 and 30 caliber, guaranteed to be super-accurate. Also Sporting barrels in any caliber, made and fitted to customers actions. Stocks made to order, and rifles remodelled and refinished. Shotguns rebored. Eric Johnson, Ardmore, Okla."

July 1932 AR banner ad: "DUBIEL ARMS CO. Sporting rifles in any caliber, including the Dubiel .276 and .280 Magnum. Target rifles in .22 and .30/06 Cal., also super-accurate match barrels in these calibers. Imported walnut stocks, and best nickel steel used. First-class workmanship and accuracy guaranteed. JOHN DUBIEL and ERIC JOHNSON, Proprietors."

October 1933 AR ad: "52 WINCHESTER Heavy barrel only, perfect condition, $15. R. C. Pope, Box 1062, Dallas, Texas." Presumably Pope was happy with his Dubiel/Johnson barrel by this point, and no longer needed the Win 52 barrel.

There is a July 1934 AR ad where someone is selling an "Extra Fine Hornet" with a "barrel by Dubiel Arms Co., imported Swedish Nickel Steel, half octagon, 32 inch", so it seems likely that Dubiel used leftover Hoffman barrel stock and/or the same supplier.

QUESTION: Where did EJ get his barrel blanks, and was it in fact Swedish Nickel Steel?

Eric Johnson was already well-known when he joined Dubiel, using his own barrels to win the National Gallery Championship in 1926 and the Camp Perry National Small bore Championship in 1929. He also won titles in indoor gallery slow fire pistol, 200 yds offhand rifle, and 600 yd rifle. In 1930, EJ barely lost a 2nd national small bore championship on tiebreaker to Vere Hamer, with with Pope's friend Thurman Randle coming in third.

The muzzle on the Pope rifle is recessed and in the white, like SN 19011, but the recessed diameter is a bit smaller. The Pope rifle has a small barrel band above the hand stop. Length & diameter of the two barrels appears to be identical.

The rifle currently has a Lyman 524J rear sight and Griffin & Howe front sight, although for the Pershing Cup it was listed with a Marble-Goss rear and a Vaver front. There are also earlier photos showing a left-side mounted Lyman 48 sight, and there was a Vaver front sight in Mr. Pope's range box.

Compared to SN 19011, the fore end is wider and the cheek piece is thicker, as the stock was customized to the shooter. The checkering pattern is a bit different between the two, including the checkering pattern at the butt. The Pope gun has the holes at the top of the buttstock for the riser, but the riser is missing.

The wooden hand stop / front sling swivel is the same, as is the absence of a rear sling swivel.

The Pope gun was originally configured to use a magazine, but was changed to single-shot, with a wooden insert covering the breech guide opening, as with SN 19011. The stock also shows inletting for a wing safety, which has been removed. The action was not taken out of the stock, so no info on markings under the barrel or on the trigger.

The trigger guard has a window cut in the bottom for an aftermarket trigger. This window appears in the September 1938 US Dewar team photo (below), but, while difficult to see, the trigger looks different (original?) in the May 1937 photo with Thurman Randle (below).

Pope was known well enough by 1935 to merit a full page Peters Ammunition ad featuring his win of the Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) Small Bore Grand Aggregate in the Sept. 1935 AR (see below; he also won in 1938).
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Pope displayed his Texas pride with a Texas medallion inset to the side, which may be related to his winning the 1935 and 1938 TSRA championships with this rifle.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

QUESTION: Does anyone recognize the Texas medallion?

His rifle was named "Dinny", with the name engraved on top of the receiver.

In his shooting career, Pope had the advantage of having fellow Dallas resident Thurman Randle (1890-1957) as his mentor, shooting buddy, teammate, and competitor. Randle owned a Dallas sporting goods store, catering to the shooting community.

Randle was a smallbore legend, referred to as "the Maestro", or "the wily Texan", or "the ramblin' Texan", as he traveled extensively to competitions. He used a 1927 (SN 13713) Win 52 with a factory stainless steel barrel he named "Ole Bacon Gitter", after having won a pig with it in a shooting competition. Among his many feats, at Camp Perry in 1933 he scored three perfect (400x400) iron sight Dewar scores, and in a July 1934 sudden death "Swiss Match" (miss the bull and you're out) he put 196 consecutive shots from prone position into a 7.2" diameter bull at 200 yards, smashing Ralph McGarity's (see Pershing thread) previous world record of 125 shots. See story, starting p.8:
https://digital.hagley.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A1988653/datastream/PDF

See photo below of Thurman Randle (left) and R. C. Pope (right) with their respective rifles, at the 1937 National Mid-Winter Smallbore Rifle Championship, along with a writeup from the May 1937 AR.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

An August 1938 AR article notes that Randle had installed a trigger by "gunsmith Wright of Fort Worth", on Ole Bacon Gitter; likely this is also where Pope got the custom trigger for Dinny.

QUESTION: Does anyone recognize this trigger?

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Ole Bacon Gitter, which Randle bought new in 1927, now resides in the NRA National Firearms Museum: https://www.nramuseum.org/guns/the-...ster-model-52-bolt-action-rifle-(1).aspx

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

The cheek riser on OBG looks a lot like Dubiel's work. It doesn't seem to fit OBG quite right, and looks suspiciously like the missing riser from Pope's rifle....

A March 1941 newspaper article claims Randle won 900 medals with Ole Bacon Gitter. With that success and notoriety, it seems surprising there wasn't wider adoption of stainless steel barrels.

There is an interesting April 1932 AR ad: "JOHNSON-MADE Stocks fit and make prone shooting a pleasure. Ask Randle or Wilkens of last year's Bisley Team. They know. After April 15 address Eric Johnson, Ardmore, Okla." This appears to be referring to OBG.

Also, there is this August 1934 AR ad: "52 Heavy Stainless Speedlock, Eric Johnson stock, 48J and 17A sights, very good $60.00."

Clearly, Eric Johnson also made stocks, in addition to barrels.

QUESTION: Does there exist a good photo of Larry Wilkens' rifle in the 1931 time frame (Pershing Cup), or just after? If the stock looks like OBG, then that would support OBG being stocked by Eric Johnson. Note that Wilkens' rifle would not necessarily have a cheek riser.
QUESTION: Is there a photo of Randle with his rifle after 1927, but before 1931, with a factory Winchester stock? This would also support OBG being restocked.
QUESTION: Forum member GRH (Bob) discussed a Dubiel Win 52 in this thread: https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256995
The rifle, also discussed in the RFC Dubiel Win 52 thread (see top of first post), has a Dubiel barrel, but it doesn't look like a Dubiel stock. Is it possible that the rifle might have an Eric Johnson stock?

Note that OBG, like Dinny, was engraved with its name on the receiver (see below).
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Randle was active in the NRA, first as an NRA director starting 1930, then as TSRA president 1933-1936, and eventually as NRA president in 1944 for a term. He was commissioned as a Navy officer in WW2, and organized the small arms training of some 2 million Navy sailors.

NRA - All About Thurman Randle: https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2020/8/30/all-about-thurman-randle
QUESTION/COMMENT: This is a terrible article. First, the caption on the photo of the rifle says Randle painted the barrel. This is unlikely; Winchester stainless steel barrels came from the factory with a black lacquer finish. Second, factory SS barrels were available roughly 1926-1931; what evidence is there that OBG was rebarreled? Also, the dates on Randle are just wrong. Can someone please tell the NRA to replace this article with the much better obit in the March 1957 AR?
See: https://archive.org/details/sim_american-rifleman_1957-03_105_3/page/4/mode/2up

Finally, Randle makes this list of top 50 rifle shooters of 20th century: https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2018/4/8/50-great-competitive-shooters-of-the-20th-century-part-1

Last edited by btbell; 09/27/21 10:40 AM.
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
btbell Offline OP
Boxlock
OP Offline
Boxlock

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
Randle was part of 8 US Dewar teams, while Pope was part of 3 teams - 1932, 1938, and 1940. In 1939 Pope went to the UK with the US Pershing Cup team. See photos below.

US Dewar Team, 1932
Pope on 3rd row, 4th from left. Randle on 2nd row, 2nd from left.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

US Dewar Team, 1938
Pope on front row, 5th from left. Randle on back row, 1st on left.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

US Dewar Team, 1940
Pope on 3rd row, 2nd from right. If you look close, you can see they're getting rained on!
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Randle was given a pre-production Remington Model 37 in September 1936, and used it to win (beating Pope) the October 10-11, 1936 Oklahoma State Small Bore Championship. Randle, however, was not happy with the 37's stock, and provided feedback to Remington that by 1940 resulted in the "Randle stock". By at least 1938, Pope was also shooting a Rem 37, in addition to "Dinny", but with a custom (Dubiel?) stock.
See Pope Rem 37 thread:
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=601436

Finally, for those interested in Dubiel, Pope also had a Dubiel stocked and barreled Winchester 1885 22LR.
See Pope Win 1885 thread:
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=601424

In the Dec. 1930 AR, an ad selling Hoffman rifles as part of the bankruptcy made of point of saying that "All stocks were made by John Dubiel, the best stocker in America."

In the Aug. 1934 AR, NRA members were warned against doing business with Dubiel because he wasn't a "responsible businessperson."

This was followed by a Sept. 1936 AR note saying that Dubiel's deliveries were again acceptable, and that "He is without doubt one of the finest workmen in the business. We still wish to make it clear to our readers, however, that Mr. Dubiel, because of the quality of his work, is always busy, so that any material increase in the amount of business he is now doing will of necessity again result in delay in deliveries. .... We repeat, Mr. Dubiel is a master craftsman, and there is naturally a limit to the amount of work he can turn out, and neither he nor any other gunsmith wishes guns sent to him unless preliminary arrangements have been made by correspondence to have the work done."

It sounds like Dubiel was in high demand, and not charging enough!

According to Michael Petrov, author of Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century (©2013), "I have seen a lot of stocks made by John Dubiel from the early Hoffmans to his last ones at Ardmore and all are first class. His inletting is just outstanding and it's not very often that this much attention to detail is seen. .... There may have been other custom makers who could make a stock as well as John Dubiel but there were none better."

~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~

And now for the rest of the story: It turns out that Pope's grandson, Robert Paxton, isn't so much into rimfire shooting, but does seem to be a pretty good grin skeet shooter:
In Conversation: Robert Paxton

Last edited by btbell; 09/11/21 04:12 PM.
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
btbell Offline OP
Boxlock
OP Offline
Boxlock

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 14
UPDATE:

The Texas medal on Pope's Win 52:

The medal was made by V.H. Blackinton & Co., Attleboro MA. The die for the medal was made in 1938, so this medal, likely awarded to Pope for winning the 1938 Texas State Rifle Association Small Bore Grand Aggregate (state championship), was among the first made. The medal is gold plated brass, and the die continued to be used for TSRA medals until at least roughly 1980.

Here's another example from 1962:
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Note that Dubiel had already passed away, so another person inset the medal into the rifle stock.

Eric Johnson stocks:

A poster in another forum talked with Eric Johnson's son Carl about EJ's stocks:
The stocks he made, as I'm told, were not particularly pretty. Workmanship was good, but they weren't pretty. In fact, when I told Carl I had a rifle that I thought his dad made everything on he chuckled and said, "you know, the stock is just a handle for the gun", he made it clear that his dad didn't really like stock work as much as metal work.
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1136017

Last edited by btbell; 10/19/21 11:17 AM.

Link Copied to Clipboard

doublegunshop.com home | Welcome | Sponsors & Advertisers | DoubleGun Rack | Doublegun Book Rack

Order or request info | Other Useful Information

Updated every minute of everyday!


Copyright (c) 1993 - 2021 doublegunshop.com. All rights reserved. doublegunshop.com - Bloomfield, NY 14469. USA These materials are provided by doublegunshop.com as a service to its customers and may be used for informational purposes only. doublegunshop.com assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. THESE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. doublegunshop.com further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. doublegunshop.com shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. doublegunshop.com may make changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. doublegunshop.com makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. This is a public un-moderated forum participate at your own risk.

Note: The posting of Copyrighted material on this forum is prohibited without prior written consent of the Copyright holder. For specifics on Copyright Law and restrictions refer to: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/ - doublegunshop.com will not monitor nor will they be held liable for copyright violations presented on the BBS which is an open and un-moderated public forum.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5
(Release build 20201027)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.0.33-0+deb9u11+hw1 Page Time: 0.038s Queries: 22 (0.012s) Memory: 0.8491 MB (Peak: 1.8992 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2022-01-20 01:13:33 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS