The Hornet is Coming - American Custom Gunmakers Guild Introduces ACGG #24 'The Special Hornet' Reno, NV January 23-25

Share Article

All the buzz is about 'The Special Hornet' that will be raffled off at the Firearms Engravers & Gunmakers 25th Exhibition. (

Once a year a special project by a team of members of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (ACGG) is showcased at the Firearms Engravers & Gunmakers Exhibition. ACGG #24 is this year's spectacular collaboration. 'The Special Hornet' is a perfect small game and fun recreational shooting gun. Each year a lucky $20 ticket holder wins a special project created to show the public the artistry of custom guns. Perhaps someone who might not be able to commission a custom firearm will be the proud owner of 'The Special Hornet'. (

ACGG Firearm #24 - The 'Special Hornet' is a well-balanced firearm of stockwork, metalwork and engraving. It will make a great using gun and fine addition to anyone's collection. The lucky winner (who does not have to be present) will be drawn on Sunday, January 25th, at the Firearms Engravers & Gunmakers Exhibition in Reno, Nevada.

Designed to be unique but with a traditional American action and cartridge, this #24 project was created as a Winchester 1885 .22 Hornet. It was styled similar to an original Winchester 'Special Single Shot'. As made by Winchester, the 'Special Single-Shot' was a deluxe target rifle. Standard features included a fancy checkered pistol grip stock with cheekpiece, Swiss buttplate, and target sights. While original Model 1885s were not chambered for .22 Hornet, they were chambered for the .22WCF, the Hornet's black powder-era parent case. The Hornet is a perfect match for the smaller #3 action size (low-wall) and has the advantages of readily available, economical ammunition and negligible recoil.

Model 1885 #106382A was built in 1913 as a Plain Sporting Rifle with a takedown frame and barrel. The "A" serial number suffix was applied to all coil spring Winchester single shots. Extensive metalwork by Roger Ferrell restored the 100 year-old action to factory new condition. Action work included annealing, draw filing, polishing and re-shaping of major components, including bending the lower tang. Originally made as a .25RF, the action was also converted to centerfire. Ferrell made the barrel from an unturned Douglas Premium .224 caliber, 14" twist blank, turning and milling a finished one-half octagon 28" barrel. The barrel was fitted with a dedicated Unertl 8x1-1/4" Varmint scope.

Metalfinishing is a combination of traditional color case hardening, slow rust bluing, nitre bluing, and French graying. After stocking and engraving, all previously annealed parts were final polished and color case hardened. The colors were removed completely from the receiver and selectively from the lever and buttplate to highlight engraving.

The American Black Walnut stock was crafted by Al Lind in a modified special single shot style. The exhibition crotch grain stock is checkered in 24 lpi in a modified point pattern with mullered borders and a ribbon in the forearm. Length of pull is 14-1/4" to a steel Swiss buttplate.

Engraver Jerome Glimm complemented the project with subdued and tasteful scroll covering the receiver, finger lever, lower tang and accent areas. The style is similar to work being done in the late 1800's. The engraving was completed using a chaser's hammer and gravers only, just as it was done during that time period. The Germanic scroll was inspired by work of Rudolph Kornbrath on a Winchester Hi-Wall. The ACGG logo ( is engraved on the buttplate.

The team collaborated with A.B.S. Mastersmith Hank Knickmeyer to make the rifle unique and emphasize the .22 Hornet. Knickmeyer, by precisely forging different alloys, artistically crafted Damascus steel with a pattern of hornets within rectangular borders. This steel was used to make screwless stock and forend inserts.

The Special Hornet is cased in a Marvin Huey oak and leather case with traditional turn screws, brush and oil bottle and a Damascus knife by Knickmeyer of the same steel and wood as the rifle. Hornets are visible throughout the blade.

The Craftspeople: Roger Ferrell Fayetteville, GA, Al Lind, Tacoma, WA and Jerome Glimm, Conrad, MT.

To purchase a ticket send $20 each to: ACGG, 22 Vista View Ln, Cody, WY 82414 or visit the Guild's website All state and federal laws apply.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website