I started to re-build traditional gun case insides in the 1960s after I became a victim of the laws of diminishing returns it always seemed to be that my latest gun purchase, its case was not as good in some ways as the one I already owned infuriatingly the guns would not swap cases for one reason or another. I have done case re-build’s many times over the years, looking back now the money saving must run into four figures.
The case I intend to re-fit is a 1960/70s Pig skin leather case I purchased because the price was very reasonable due to the previous owner having removed the innards then developed cold feet over the work needed to put things right. My intention was to re-fit the case to take my Webley & Scott 700 having two sets of barrels, in my part of Brit land a gun like this is sometimes called a one and a half. After a more detailed survey of my purchase buyer’s remorse set in with a vengeance so much so the case was quickly buried in my workshop and intentionally forgotten about.
Initially I wanted to fit both barrels front and back of the case with lumps down putting the action in between them using the toe under configuration but after measuring the case carefully, its internal measurements turned out to be 31¼” X 7¾” X 3” deep so it was to think again! I will just say that a considerable number of years passed since then so it is now time for a more positive outlook at the whole matter. By changing each barrel orientation to a vertical position with lumps at the side this gave 3mm (1/8”) clearance to fit the action and stock in the case, though this is the most difficult orientation to cope with when fitting the Baize covering, because you need hands and fingers the size of a child.
Other problems with the case other than size then started become obvious it is not square in any direction plus case sides are made from flexible low quality plywood with all the rigidity of a trampoline also just butt jointed at the corners, the top and bottom are of a low grade hardboard just one step up from cardboard with a lot of rippling. The case does have some good points though, the Leather handle was serviceable the lock works and it has a key on a piece of string tied to the handle, best of all the general case leather and stitching is in good condition including the leather hinge line and it came with both external straps.
For my last project to be posted here, it will be one that I will always remember as the one that nearly caused me to throw in the towel before I started to do anything practical. With that said I did complete the project and was rather pleased with the end result though it did have its trials along the way.
The internal condition of the case as I purchased it.
The first thing I decided to do was to stabilise the case corners using brass Military corners, it was not possible to use the more traditional three screw fixing versions because the top and bottom hard board was so thin so nothing to screw in to.
This improved the situation making the case far more stable, also improved the cases chances of taking the 3 pounds 2 ounces of the extra barrel without falling apart at its joints. Next post firming up the gun layout and making the dividers, also further improving the case rigidity because the corners where not enough.