• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • Guest,  We want to wish You and Your Family a Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving! Click the "X" at the top right corner to remove this notice)
  • PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

4

Mark Stratton Book

3
Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!
10

Cavallino

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
21
Likes
3
#1
I'm trying to track down a copy of a book written by gunsmith Mark Stratton called "Tricks of the Trade Precision Rifle Metalsmithing". If anyone has a copy or knows where to get one could they let me know please.
 

Brnoczech

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
40
Likes
24
#3
I have this book,, and the only contact info other than the apparently inactive website address mentioned above, is P.O. Box 813, Mukilteo, WA 98275.
 

Cavallino

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
21
Likes
3
#4
Thanks guys, it is a hard book to track down and I'm not sure if he is still in business, to make it more of a challenge I am in Australia so phone contact is tricky.
Brnoczech, can you give us some feedback on the book and its content, I am led to believe it has many jigs and fixtures and secrets of Mark's work over his career. Is the book worth the price tag if I can find it?
 

Brnoczech

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
40
Likes
24
#5
I haven't actually done any of the work that is set out in the book. It comes in a ring binder, 160 pages (80 pages printed front and back). My version is First Edition Summer of 2004. I don't know if it was subsequently revised or not. The preface states that he finished high school, and then finished the 2 year gunsmithing program at Trinidad State College in 1971. That would put him in his mid 60's now. I do recall over the years seeing pictures of many of his guns in the custom gun sections of various gun magazines, and these were very high end high quality guns that he produced. He says in the preface that he wrote 25 "how to" articles for the publication "gunmaker", a publication of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild. At mid 60's in age I assume that he is still doing this work, but don't know for sure.

The broad categories in the index to his book are (1) Quarter Ribs and Scope Bases, (2) Action Fixtures, (3) Lathe Tooling and Procedures, (4) Octagon Barrels, and (5) 1909 Argentine Mauser Fixtures. The book has a lot of detailed photos, showing the various machine set ups as well as the finished work/rifles, as well as many computer generated dimensioned pictures of bases, rings, fixtures, etc. All of the pages were apparently printed on an ink jet or laser printed, and everything is in black and white, including the pictures. On mine a few of the pages have stuck together over time, and the print transferred from one page to another (could be from the heat from where I have had the book kept), but something I also recall seeing years ago on other computer/printer generated documents. Again, it is all pretty high end stuff, and a lot of it is beyond anything that a home gunsmith doing only a few rifles would probably ever attempt to do. Nevertheless it is interesting to see the ends to which someone doing true custom high-end rifles full time has gone to produce such firearms. I don't recall what I paid for the book, but I believe that I bought it from him directly since he signed the title page. Just going back through the book I feel like it was worth whatever I paid for it.
 

AnthonyTVA

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
35
Likes
9
#6
I don't know if it was subsequently revised or not.
He was on his 7th revision back in 2011.

Mark_Stratton
02-05-2011, 1:28 PM
Well first talk to you about getting started let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Stratton and I'm a member of the American Gunmakers Guild. I have a degree from Trinidad State College in gunsmithing. I've taught at Trinidad during there NRA summer gunsmithing program for 10 years. I own my own custom rifle building business. I wrote a book on the subject called "Tricks of the Trade" Custome Rifle Metalsmithing, now in its 7th printing.

Now to your question about getting started.... There is nowhere in southern california that you can learn the trade. There is a school in northern california, at Susanville where you can get your feet wet. My advice is to take a NRA summer course and see if gunsmithing is really something you want to get into. There are several other colleges in the country where they teach gunsmithing. Colorado School of Trades, Trinidad State College have good programs. Gunsmithing is a big field with lots of different areas to get envolve in, and the area you choose has to do with the amount of money you might make.

Taking a NRA summer gunsmithing class might save you a lot of time. It will tell you whether gunsmithing is for you and point you in the right direction or you might find out that its not for you and you can get on with the rest of your life.
 

Brnoczech

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
40
Likes
24
#7
Just a point of clarification. In the note from Stratton that you quote above he states that the book is in its seventh "printing". I take that to mean not that it has been revised seven times, but only that 7 printing runs have been done. So if someone goes looking for the seventh revised edition as the latest, it may not exist. Not trying to be picky but the original poster might want to get clarification of that directly from Stratton if he is able to get in touch with him.
 

AnthonyTVA

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
35
Likes
9
#8
Yes, it says printing not revision. I did not catch that. That is one good reason to include source material.
 

gstprecision

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
0
#9
Any particular reason you are looking at getting this book? I like books to use as references.

I have The Complete Illustrated Guide to Precision Rifle Barrel Fitting by John l. hinnant and there is a lot of good useful information.

GST
 

Cavallino

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
21
Likes
3
#10
Hi GST, I like gathering resource info books as well and have the Hinnant book in my library. I have not read Mark's book, but as mentioned above it has very detailed descriptions of jigs and fixtures he made along with the process he used for his gunsmithing work. As yet I still can't find a copy of the book and haven't been able to get in touch with Mark via email. If anyone wants to sell a a copy or knows where one is please let me know.
 

gstprecision

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
0
#11
I am interrested in the book as well, sounds like a great addition to the collection.

Let us know if you find where to get it.

Cheers
GST
 

Al 1

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
53
Likes
13
#12
Another good one is (gunsmithing and tool making bible. In PDF-- 2000 By Harold Hoffman. You will find this on google. You can print it. I did 2 sided printing (it is 296 pages.)
Hope this is helpful. Al.
 

skelso

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
48
Likes
0
#13
Just an FYI for those of you looking for Mark Stratton ' s book...
I have been looking for a copy of his book as well. I left a voice mail at his house earlier this week and just heard back Lynn (I believe is his wife). She said they have no current plans to run another printing because they have to run a minimum of 1000 copies per their publisher. However, she also said in light of that fact, they have no problem granting permission to reproduce if you know someone who has a copy they are willing to let you reproduce.

Now I'm searching for someone who has a copy and is willing to lend it to me... I'm guessing this will prove more difficult than tracking down Mr. Stratton was....
 

Cavallino

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
21
Likes
3
#14
Skelso that is further than I managed to get with finding this book. I am still very keen to get a hold of this book so if you manage to get it copied, either hard copy or digital, would you please keep me in the loop.
 

Big Bore Builder

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
67
Likes
79
#15
Guess I was lucky.

ry%3D400

ry%3D400

ry%3D400
 

Attachments

skelso

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
48
Likes
0
#16
Any chance you would be willing to make me a copy if I send you a letter from Mr. Stratton giving his permission?

I would of course be willing to pay for the copies and send you something for your time.
 

Attachments

serevince

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
2
Likes
1
#18
Hard to believe that with all the DIY publishing options out there, that a small batch option isn't out there.

I'd love a copy as well!

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

skelso

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
48
Likes
0
#19
If I ever find someone with a copy, willing to let me duplicate it, I'll let y'all know.

His wife gave me verbal ok to reproduce as long as I'm not selling it. She offered to give me ok in writing but I haven't found one to copy yet so I haven't bothered her.
 

Kiwi_machinist

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2016
Messages
2
Likes
0
#20
I was lucky to get a first edition copy off Mark and also have all the articles he wrote for Gunmaker. It's a very intersting book and goes into a lot of detail on setup, making jigs, tooling and parts.
The CD that came with it has some photos of the setups and tooling as well.
Another excellent book is "Centrefire Rifle Accuracy - Creating And Maintaining It" by Mr W (Bill) Hambly-Clark Jnr, of Australia.
 

Cavallino

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
21
Likes
3
#21
Good news! I have just been in contact with Mark and he is alive and well and will be teaching gunsmithing classes at Trinidad State College this year. He will also be doing another reprint of his book in 6-8 weeks time. Cost is $80 plus shipping, and he is only taking checks. Feel free to contact him at octbarrel@gmail.com to register your interest.
 

Mark Stratton

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
14
Likes
7
#22
I'm glad some of you have enjoyed my book. I'm doing another printing. It should be out is 6 to 8 weeks. The cost is $80.00 US, plus shipping.

Now shipping in the US is $15.00. Over the years I've sent this book almost everywhere. So if you're in another part of the world, check with your local post office and see what the cost for a 2 pound box sent to the US, and enclose that amount. My address is:

Mark Stratton Gunmaker
8715 55th Ave NE
Marysville, Washington 98270-3135
USA

A little history about the book. I taught an NRA summer class at Trinidad State Collage for about 10 years. I had the students for a week, sometimes two. Along with me to Colorado, I bought all my jigs, fixtures and tools for special operations while building rifles. I'm a toolmaker by trade and over the years there was more than one. The students didn't have the time to make drawings, they had their own projects to work on. So over the years they talked me into writing the book. There was one lucky thing, as I used the jigs and fixtures I took photos, which are the CD which comes with the book.

I kept class lists with names and addresses and when the book was finished I sent out postcards, and got a 92% reply with orders. The other 8% must have moved. The first printing was just 100 copies, I figured that I would sell 25 with the other 75 copies sitting, rotting in my shop floor forever. Well I sold the first 100 copies in 3 weeks and knew that the 5 months it took to write it wouldn't have been a waist of time.

Now you might want to know what I'm doing now? Well after the recession of 2008 I went to work for Aerojet Rocketdyne building assembly fixture, inspection fixtures and test fixtures for very small rocket motors that reposition spacecraft. Very interesting work... But I'm retiring in April after 45 years in the trade. This summer I'm back at Trinidad State teaching rifle building.
 
Last edited:

Mark Stratton

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
14
Likes
7
#23
I never seen a copy of my book on the secondary market, so my customers seem to be keeping them as a reference. I do hear from people who have bought the book, who loaned them out, and then couldn't get them back. They want another copy. That has happened several times. A few customers bought several copies and had me send them to their friends for Christmas. The most far off place, at least to me, I've sent a copy was Iceland. The man in Iceland wanted me to ship it UPS, which wanted $125 for shipping charges, I checked with the US Postal Service and there cost was $22. I sent him an email giving him the choice.

I think there's another book in me, people want me to write one on stockmaking. Now that I'm going to retire I might find time to do that.
 

Mark Stratton

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
14
Likes
7
#24
This might not be the place for this thread, but this is a hobby machine website, the question is:

Have you ever thought about becoming a machinist? For the past several years good paying jobs have gone to other countries, and some might be coming back. There are some jobs, like mine at Aerojet, have been kept stateside for obvious reasons. My generation are retiring from the trade, and we need to be replaced. You can choose which direction your job goes, you might start drilling holes and end ups building rocket motors. It's interesting work and pays better than flipping burgers.
 

Brnoczech

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
40
Likes
24
#25
Mark, I have your earlier book and would certainly buy your stockmaking book if you chose to do one. I have a Brno/CZ model 21 commercial mauser sporter (small ring, set triggers, etc.) that my father bought new overseas immediately after WWII. I sent it to Griffin and Howe back in the late 1960's and had one of their double lever side mounts installed. The wood in the stock is fairly plain and a bit dinged up from use and I have always thought about restocking it. Hope you do one.
 

Mark Stratton

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
14
Likes
7
#26
I'm making the first thing I do after retiring. I've been doing outlines and starting taking photos for the project. I will approach it from making a stock from a blank and using a pattern and stock duplicator. The one nice thing about doing one from a blank, for little money compared to metalsmithing, you can buy files, rasps inletting tools from Brownells for little money. You can buy a stick for wood at a reasonable price to practice on. A Mauser is great to use as a first project. The book as to include a section on checkering. These are things a home shop gunsmith can do.
 

Big Bore Builder

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
67
Likes
79
#27
I'm making the first thing I do after retiring. I've been doing outlines and starting taking photos for the project. I will approach it from making a stock from a blank and using a pattern and stock duplicator. The one nice thing about doing one from a blank, for little money compared to metalsmithing, you can buy files, rasps inletting tools from Brownells for little money. You can buy a stick for wood at a reasonable price to practice on. A Mauser is great to use as a first project. The book as to include a section on checkering. These are things a home shop gunsmith can do.
Reserve a copy for me when they are printed.

I am always looking for more knowledge in stock making! Especially checkering.

My duplicator below, I am in Port Angeles.

2000-12-31%20045.jpg

2015-04-10%20003.jpg

I will send a PM with my address for you to put in your book list.
 

Attachments

Mark Stratton

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
14
Likes
7
#28
Aren't duplicators great! It's one thing when your fitting for yourself, but if your trying to fit a stock to a customer, it's hard to do when carving a stock from a blank.
 

Big Bore Builder

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
67
Likes
79
#29
Aren't duplicators great! It's one thing when your fitting for yourself, but if your trying to fit a stock to a customer, it's hard to do when carving a stock from a blank.

Yep. I made a few for clients some 5 years ago. The work is in making the pattern as you well know. Now I just do it for myself. That silly manufacturing license requirement by the state department put a stop to my part time stock making endeavor.

But, I am retired now and have a shop full of personal stock making projects to keep me busy!

Below, a pattern stock in work, to my specs: 14-1/4 pull, 5/8" drop at comb, 1-1/2" drop at heel, 3/8" cast off. This is an iron sighted rifle, 450 Ackley. Oversize butt to ease the felt recoil. Final stock will be Oregon Walnut from the Salem area.

2000-12-31%20107_1.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Mark Stratton

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
14
Likes
7
#30
When you're fitting a customer, they never know what feels right until you gone to far. You get beyond their comfort level and you need to add back more wood. From a blank, that's hard to do. With a pattern you simply add back some bondo. Plus when it comes to the artistry of the outside shape of the stock, a pattern lets you complete your thoughts and add details that you find fitting. Sometimes those details need to be a little deeper to allow the stylist of the duplicator gets a good contact point.
 
6
5 7