Guild Targets Remington 1894 ‘Pigeon Gun’ as its Fund-Raising Project for 2012

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Each year the American Custom Gunmakers Guild ( selects from among its members a team to create a firearm to showcase the art of custom gunmaking. This year’s project, the 27th in the non-profit organization’s history, is a double shotgun based on a Remington Model 1894 FE Trap Grade.

In his book “Remington Double Shotguns,” author Charles G. Semmer called the E Grade, Model 1894, “one of the finest engraved and appointed shotguns ever made in America.” A catalog advertisement from the time period notes that the Remington’s “Shooting Qualities Are Unexcelled.”

Little wonder, then, that this historic firearm became the inspiration for Project # 27, dubbed “The Pigeon Gun,” a handcrafted shotgun to be raffled off by the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (

“The team agreed that it was to be a period piece, a gun that you could have special ordered from Remington at that time,” said the project’s chairman, Pete Mazur, of Grass Valley, CA. “It was also to be a ‘Shooter.’ We wanted tasteful embellishment that the owner would be proud of, but functional so he would not be afraid to shoot it. I believe we have achieved our goal.”

Ticket sales for the “Pigeon Gun” are limited to 4,000; each ticket costs $20. There is no limit to the number of tickets an individual may purchase. Organizers said the winning ticket will be drawn in June 2012 at a location to be announced and that the winner would be notified by phone and mail.

Team members for Project 27 were metalsmith E. Larry Peters of Odessa, WA; stockmaker Douglas Mann, St. Anne, IL; and, Kenny Majors of Lake Arrowhead, CA, a Master Engraver member of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America ( The gun’s barrels were honed by Dennis Potter of Muskego, WI. The frame, trigger plate and forend iron were color case hardened by Doug Turnbull of Bloomfield, NY.

The starting point for Project 27 was a Remington Model 1894 FE Trap Grade “parts gun,” manufactured in 1910, that was tucked away in a safe in project manager Mazur’s shop.

“When I first heard at the Guild show in Reno 2008 that Pete Mazur was looking for a metalsmith for the ACGG #27 and that it was to be a shotgun, I wasted no time in offering to take on the job,” said Peters, who used hand tools to file and sculpt the action surfaces and remove the original F Grade engraving.

Meanwhile, stockmaker Mann selected a well-seasoned walnut stockblank that had been cut in 1975 to use for the project. Since the team’s goal was to re-create a high-end live bird gun, Mann chose a fancy stockblank that was nearly perfectly quarter sawn and had excellent layout through the grip as well as density and small pores.

But perhaps the most striking aspect of the handcrafted double shotgun is its intricate, yet tasteful, engravings by Majors, who spent nearly three months detailing the project. Among the subtle touches: a turn-of-the-century scene of a live pigeon shoot on the belly of the gun depicting a shooter at ready, a puller, and a pigeon flying from an open trap in flush inlaid gold and Bulino detailed.

“My only hope is that the future owner of our gun will spend many happy hours enjoying and shooting a gun that meant so much to me,” the Master Engraver said.

For a chance to win ACGG Firearm Project # 27, order tickets online at or send $20 per ticket to the American Custom Gunmakers Guild, 22 Vista View Lane, Cody, WY, 82414. All state and federal laws apply, and federal tax will be collected before the firearm is delivered, organizers said. The Pigeon Gun will come with a leather hard case with a canvas protective case. For more information about the project, call (307) 587-4297.

About ACGG: The American Custom Gunmakers Guild is a non-profit organization based in Cody, WY, that advances the art of custom gunmaking by increasing public awareness and appreciation for quality custom firearms and promoting custom gunmaking as an accepted art form.

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