Old gunsmith questions


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Mar 28, 2018
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Hi, y'all,
Recently bought 2 rifles and can' place the gunsmiths. The first is WW II mauser,action with PJ Geddy on the barrel, along with a shop # and the 22 Varminter caliber marking lined out and 220 swift below it. It wears a Unertl Junior 8X scope on top. I know he laid groundwork for the 22-250 cartridge, and that' about it. Very beautiful piece of work.
The second rifle has "Wm G Haas Riflemaker" on top of barrel, appears to be a post war Mauser or Zastava action. It has factory dual set triggers, is in 22-250. I have heard of the names of both gunsmiths, and that is,about all I know. I can' find anything on Google other than products of theirs for sale on auctions. If anyone knows more on the 'smiths, I'd love to hear about them. I don't intend to modify such beauties, but shoot them and appreciate that craftsmnship. Thank you in advance, Bubba

Velo Dog

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Mar 27, 2014
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Mornin' Bubba,

I've not heard of those particular Gunsmiths but, Gunsmiths come and go so, no surprise there.
Regarding the .22-250 cartridge (sometimes originally known as the ".22 Varminter"), chamber variations were common until the point in time when, Remington adopted it as a standard factory cartridge and named it the ".22-250 Remington".
If it were my call, I'd have them both chamber cast, to make sure they were not some non-standard variation of the .22-250, such as an Ackley Shoulder, etc.

On your re-marked .220 Swift, I do not figure that, if it was actually a .220 Rocket / Weatherby or some other chamber variation that, any self respecting Gunsmith would have only marked it ".220 Swift" (but "Murphy" says, you never know).
Incidentally, when I was a young man and shooting ground squirrels, my favorite cartridge for this was the .220 Swift, it is dandy for small vermin at long range.
And of course the .22-250 is a somewhat similar performance cartridge, perfect for that type of hunting as well.

Good luck with it all,
Velo Dog.
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Jan 20, 2015
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There was a J. Gebby who trademerked the name Varminter for a 22-250 wildcat with 28 degree shoulder (revised shoulder created purely for trademark purposes) that chamber/cartridge profile being adopted later by the Remington Arms Company. It may be that his first initial was P but everyone seems to refer to him as J. Gebby. Newton, Niedner and Shelhamer had apparently experimented earlier on with similar .250 Savage based cases BUT it was Gebby and J. Bushnell Smith who finally managed to create a successful cartridge. Niedner and Shelhamer apparently led the way with suitable bullets but it was the new propellant technology introduced in the 1930s that removed the last practical obstacle. Read The Book of the Twenty-Two: The All-American Caliber by Sam Fadala and Gunsmithing by Roy Dunlap for further info.

The J. Bushnell Smith referred to above, was probably the same J. Bushnell Smith who stored industrial size containers of smokeless propellant in his gunsmithing workshop and managed to set all of it on fire (killing himself in the process) by firing a round from a .30-06 with a dodgy trigger (that he was supposed to be repairing) into the base of one of those containers. Julian Hatcher was the forensics investigator who determined what had happened. It had not been known that such an effect was possible up to that time but, as Hatcher noted, none of those containers should have been in the workshop.

I believe that there is a national Varmint Hunters' Association in the USA. They could probably direct you to scholarly sources of information on this subject.

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