Nelson’s Custom Guns Solves International Hunters Problems Meeting Airport Security Traveling Requirements

Share Article

Today’s increased airport security creates problems for International hunters and the cost to travel with an expensive double rifle is prohibitive. Steve Nelson of Nelson’s Custom Guns introduces an approach to this problem and makes the barreled action removable from the stock. This system allowed for a case length of 34" which fit well within traveling requirements.

Past News Releases


With the increased airport security measures these days, more and more traveling hunters are looking for more easily transported firearms. Of course the classic double rifle is very portable; however, many hunters either can’t afford to travel with an expensive double or just prefer a bolt action rifle for their international hunting. “A client came to me looking for a strong, accurate bolt action rifle built on his favorite Winchester pre-64 Model 70 action, explained Steve Nelson of Nelson’s Custom Guns. “What the client needed was a rifle that would be easier to transport than the traditional full-length bolt rifle and did not trust his fine double rifle to the dangers of international airline travel.” Nelson opted to make the barreled action removable from the stock. For want of a better term, Steve calls this a “barreled action take-down.” This system allowed for a case length of 34" which fit well within his traveling requirements.

This technique was not chosen to save money; it was specified that the barrel be machined from an oversized blank to include an integral quarter rib. Although the client didn’t specify it, Nelson decided the quarter rib had to be very obviously integral with no chance anyone would suspect it was soldered to the barrel. To achieve that look Steve started with a PacNor 1.3" diameter blank and machined the quarter rib with a radius where it meets the round barrel. Nelson did opt to add the sling swivel base as a separate piece to save time and get the project done on schedule. Also a little differently, the client chose to have this rifle chambered for the .375 Ruger cartridge rather than the H&H version. After several field test it showed that outstanding velocities and wonderful accuracy out of this cartridge, significantly higher than normal .375 H & H performance.

Since this client likes a low-as-possible scope mounting, Nelson chose to use the tried and proven Griffin & Howe side mount. This also allowed the use of two different scopes, one the Leupold 1" diameter VX-3, 1.5-5X and the other the 30mm, VX-7 with illuminated reticle. Both scopes ride next to the rifle in the aluminum airline case.

In order to accomplish the take-down feature with a close return to battery after repeated disassembly/reassembly cycles, Nelson pillar bedded the action with a skin close but still easily removed fit into the stock. To further assure the stability of the rifle, a blank of Bastogne walnut which had been aging in Nelson’s wood closet for 10+ years. Actually the original owner of the blank had held it over 10 years planning some day to use it for a special project. “It took some serious persuading to get him to part with it!” Nelson said. Because the client lives near Nelson’s shop, they were able to make up a pattern stock to assure the rifle would fit the shooter perfectly. Nelson then machined that pattern into the final blank using his stock duplicator. After inletting the metal for a close-but-not-too-close fit, Nelson thoroughly sealed the interior and applied multiple coats of tung oil finish to the outside. Finished off with a good rub down, the wood grain and fiddle-back show through with a warm glow. The 24 line-per-inch point pattern checkering gives just the right gripping surface and the open grip design helps the rifle point like a fine shotgun.

The only metal decoration is the checkered and engraved bolt knob and the finely stippled surface on the top of the quarter rib. The whole of the metalwork was polished to a 320 grit level and slow rust blued to match the warmth of the stock finish. In order to maintain the classic “African Rifle” character of the project, Nelson did add two - recoil bolts in front and in back of the magazine well in keeping with the traditional “big game rifle” look.

Nelson’s system of having the barreled action removable from the stock allows for a case length of 34” which fits within the traveling requirements and solves future problems for International hunters.

Following his usual practice, Steve had this rifle included in the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (ACGG) Hallmark Program. The ACGG Historian keeps a record of all details of the guns in this program so future owners can verify the authenticity of their gun. For more information please visit or call 541-745-5332.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Steve Nelson
Visit website