JAMES TUCKER, STOCKMAKER
LIGHTWEIGHT MAUSER by Steven Dodd Hughes
Much research goes into the creation of any top drawer sporting rifle. Gunmakers study books, magazine articles and original rifles to emulate earlier work yet create a unique example in a contemporary sense.
This splendid lightweight Mauser sporting rifle is from the workshop of James Tucker. Featuring a 24” featherweight barrel contour, double-set triggers and a lever release floorplate, the rifle mimics the best German pre-war styling. The action is one of the coveted G33-40’s that the German military developed for Alpine rifles. It is chambered for the 6.5x55, a cartridge currently finding much popularity in America.
Tucker stocked the rifle with a decided Germanic flair. The cheekpiece, schnable forend tip and overall lines of the stock exhibit a refinement of Continental mystique. Point pattern checkering, 24 lines per inch (Tucker does some of the very best) wraps over the top of the grip and around the bottom of the forend. Single-line borders, also in the German style, surround the diamonds. The English walnut stock shows a rich, dark color.
Other features include screwless swivel base and grip cap, spoon bolt handle, a Lyman cocking piece peep sight and a checkered trap buttplate drilled for three cartridges.
After rough machining the inletting, Tucker spent about 15 hours hand inletting the metal then shaped the stock entirely with hand tools. The forend is pressure bedded for reliable accuracy. The stock is sealed throughout with well filled pores and semi-gloss top coating for weather resistance.
In my opinion, Tucker is one of America’s premier gunmakers and this example exhibits clean crisp detailing inside and out. The flats and straight lines are true, the curves correct, the proportions balanced and the intent purely functional. The workmanship is top notch and the historic styling give the rifle a unique character.
James Tucker can be contacted at: P.O. Box 366, Medford, OR 97501 541-664-9160
James Tucker (beardless!) With an Eastern Oregon Mule Deer buck. Unfortunately he didn’t include the custom rifle he shot him with in the photo October 2011.