Deadline Looms for a Chance to Own Handcrafted Custom Rifle - Limited Number of Tickets Remain

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The winner of a handcrafted custom rifle patterned after a turn-of-the-century British Rook Rifle will be named June 26, 2010. Tickets are available for $20 each until June 15. Details about the raffle can be found at

"One lucky person each year becomes the owner of an outstanding example of custom gunmaking," American Custom Gunmakers Guild organizers said. "Someone who could only dream about owning such a firearm has the opportunity to own one for a $20 raffle ticket."

The Cody Firearms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming, is graciously hosting the drawing of the winning ticket for ACGG #25, to be held on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. The American Custom Gunmakers Guild plans to post a video of the event. Tickets must be purchased by June 15.

It is the 25th time a team representing America's foremost craftsmen have come together to create a firearm to showcase the art of custom gunmaking. The 2010 version is known as "The Tip-Down Smallbore," a .22 side-hammer patterned after turn-of-the-century British Rook Rifles, which were built between 1870 and 1930 for small game such as rabbits, foxes, crows and rooks, a bird common in the English countryside.

The project began in 2006 when a team was formed to create the firearm. They included metalsmith Jimmy Johnson of Missouri, stockmaker Craig Libhart of Pennsylvania, engraver Tim George of Virginia and casemaker Jim Wear of Wyoming. Final bluing was done by Chuck Grace of Colorado.

Johnson manufactured the American-styled "tip-down" from bar stock. The receiver and components were inspired by 19th-century masters Frank Wesson and Alexander Henry while the lock plate, hammer and components were based on the work of lockmaker Joseph Brazier.

The stock was crafted by Libhart, of Susquehanna Stockworks in Bainbridge, PA, who invested more than 200 hours transforming a premium piece of Turkish Walnut into a turn-of-the-century rifle.

Engraving was accomplished by Tim George of Lynchburg, VA, who used the "hammer and chisel" technique to create what he deemed a hybrid scroll that combined his style with that of Louis Daniel Nimschke, generally regarded as America's first world-class engraver. As a finishing touch, George embellished the engraving with 24k gold borders.

The task of creating an appropriate case for the project went to Jim Wear, whose leatherworking experience includes hand-crafting Harley-Davidson saddlebags. Wear cased the gun in oak and covered it with bark-tanned, checkered pigskin. In addition, he made the ebony beehive-handled turn-screws, cleaning rod, brush and Damascus Bowie knife and sheath.

For a chance to own ACGG Firearm Project #25, send $20 per ticket to American Custom Gunmakers Guild, 22 Vista View Lane, Cody, WY, 82414.

There is no limit to the number of tickets each person can purchase, though all state and federal laws apply. For more information please visit or call (307) 587-4297.

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