It’s unusual for us to offer for sale - and by doing so recommend – a specific gunsmithing text. There are many well-written books available to those who wish to take up “the art of the spiral tube” and each has something to recommend it. None, however, in our experience, offers such a wide range of information on basic and advanced riflesmithing techniques, toolmaking and materials as does John Hinnant’s book on the subject. He covers virtually every aspect of barrel fitting on bolt action rifles. From turning and threading the shank, chambering and crowning, his book is a wealth of information. A new section of his book describes several methods of “blueprinting” actions and the relative merits of each.
Gunsmiths need a number of special tools in their work. Mr. Hinnant describes in detail how to make many of these tools and fixtures and provides detailed material lists for the reader. Heat treating/hardening methods are described in practical ways that will allow the reader to achieve good results. All in all, it’s a text that could be used to teach any number of classes on the subject.
I’ve been fortunate to know John for many years and it’s no surprise that his book is so effective. He has, after all, just retired from a lifetime of riflesmithing, machining and teaching industrial arts. Growing up in Texas (west of the Pecos) in the ‘40s and ‘50s, John had an early interest in firearms and machining processes. These interests remained throughout his life as he taught both to students lucky enough to be enrolled in one of his classes.
Life in Texas during those times was not easy and one learned ways of doing things that got the job done efficiently and economically. The practical aspect of John’s teaching is readily apparent throughout his book – nothing is done without a reason. Take a look at what he’s written - I’m confident you’ll come to rely on it more and more in your riflesmithing work.
Dave Manson, Founder of Manson Precision Reamers