Cleaning up a New Service for a friend

Front looks like a Redfield "Sourdough". The rear is windage adjustable. Someone was serious about their shooting.

I used to see odd modifications on some of the old guns when I lived in Alaska. Gunsmiths were not so common in the rural areas and people did a lot of stuff that made sense to them, but in today's world we look at the same thing and just shake our heads. ;)

A Second Model S&W I bought for $150 (back about 1995) had been "improved" by a previous owner. A 1/8" thick piece of steel flat stock had been bent and welded to the bottom of the grip frame to make it longer by about a half inch. Clear Plexiglas grips had been fitted to it with a piece of what appeared to be wallpaper behind them to hide the frame and internals. The grips reminded me of the WWII "Sweetheart" grips in style.

The grip extension was welded to the frame front and rear and left an open space between it and the bottom of the grip frame. The swivel hole was still there and the serial number was not affected by the modification.

Some careful hacksaw work and smoothing out with a file, some Oxpho Blue, and the grip frame was ready for standard grips. Magnas fit and worked just fine. It was a very accurate shooter - if a bit homely - and I still regret letting it go.


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I had about 18 years experience working with people who were "living on the edge, off the grid, in meth-land, etc." Interestingly, they came up with very unique solutions to what they saw as problems. An old meth maggot from Alaska that I knew didn't like the traditional way of splinting salmon to dry in smoke. So he made a tool that cut the ribs along the spine so the spine lay on top the stick, and both insides were exposed to the smoke. The fish was inside out so he said it got better smoke. Another cut the stock of a 22 so he could put it over his nose, between his eyes. He would put the rifle up, look at his target with both eyes and pulled the trigger.


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That salmon smoking style in interesting. I visited my Native cousins in Aniak AK in 1997, half the reason I went to visit them, was to fish for salmon. My older cousin who I stayed with (who was a Yupik elder in the 70s) had a lot of stories and random info about their about 'off grid' the tribe was nomadic til the late 1960s.
anyway, one thing that stood out was when they dry salmon (he didn't call it smoked), they use young alder wood for fire and a shabby looking 10' by 10' shed, but their technique was to NOT expose the fish to the smoke...I guess they didn't like the flavor of smoke on their salmon? The dried salmon (King and Red) they shared with me was fantastic.

FYI, I am not native, I am about as white as it gets (Scandinavian heritage). My great uncle went west (to MT) in 1915 (when he was 17 yrs old) looking for cattle range work, he ended up in AK in 1917 looking for Gold, Never found any great amount, then married into the Yupik tribe in 1934.


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alder and aspen will leave a residue on stuff like a black tar.
it's bitter, and covers everything like powder coat.
that's why they didn't expose the fish directly to it's smoke.

I won't even cook over aspen with my 5 dollar boy scout mess kit.


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Well, this book can be closed. After the following range visit, I returned the guns to the owner.
I took this New Service to the range this morning, while it felt good in the hand and had a sweet trigger, I didn't get much of a group on the target.
5 shots scattered around on a paper plate at 50' (off-hand). The owner didn't give me much ammo, so I only shot 5. He just wanted to know if it was safe to shoot. The ammo was some 20 year old handloads from the owner with a .429 jacketed bullet (the throats were around .433 to .434 which I suspect is the main issue). Anyway, I'm pretty sure it wasn't me, as I also brought my mod 586 (that I just installed some new wood grips I wanted to test out) and some 357m "standard load" ammo that I made with NOE 128gr SWC lubed with SL68B. I shot a box (50) and most were in the 1.5" bull...made me feel good as I seem to have more days where I can't do that, than can. I gave my friend both targets and tried to explain why I didn't get a good group with his gun. He didn't care, he though it was great that all five were on the paper plate.
Well, Jon, you did a nice favor for a friend, got to tinker with a "new" gun, increased your knowledge a little bit, and shared the adventure with us.

Looks to me like a "Win - Win" situation ;)