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Restoring Henry F. Tenney's Wife's VHE
Unread 02-15-2013, 06:50 AM   #1
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Default Restoring Henry F. Tenney's Wife's VHE

The double I received the other day and purchased from a friend of the family (who just wanted to unload it) turns out to be a VHE, not the VH he initially told me. Turns out this double belonged to the wife of Lawyer Tenney. The LOP measures out to about 13 inches. The stock was apparently cut and a Jostam or Hawkins recoil pad was installed for the Mrs. The pad is now gone and all that remains is the red spacer. I need at least 14 1/2 " of LOP to shoot this double comfortably. I'm sending it to Brad Bachelder next week to have Brad refinish stock and forearm, dissassemble, clean and lube, replace missing mid rib ivory bead and install a new recoil pad. Will be talking with Brad after he receives this double about merits of doing a total restocking, or adding some wood to butt end or go with a 1 1/2" suitable recoil pad to give me most of the LOP I need to shoot this double without recoil killing my index finger each time it fires - shorter stocks tend to do this to me. Apart from the stock having been cut short for the Mrs., the wood is like new except for a few dings here and there and a shade line on the butt end where it looks like someone had something like a limsaver slip on boot over the butt end which left the finish with a discoloration line. I'll include some pics. $$ is not the issue. Any thoughts from the gallery on what fix on the stock would you recommend. I really appreciate all the thought and experience PGCA members show in their replies on this forum. This double is tight as a safe. Barrels bright. and case colors are probablt around 50%. I intend for this to be a shooter and something to leave my grandson. Bite the bullet and go for total restocking or what?
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better pics of the stock
Unread 02-15-2013, 07:58 AM   #2
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Default better pics of the stock

stock pics. The second pic shows where I believe something like a Limbsaver slip on pad might have been on this butt. see discoloration.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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If the gun were mine, I would add a black spacer beneath a period pad to lengthen the pull. Those pads with simply "more rubber" look odd to my eye.

Adding wood will be VERY obvious unless it is grained into the existing stock... which is itself fairly plain.

Bachelder can do any of this.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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Yup, that gun is high original condition and shouldn't be restocked. 1/2" black spacer under a Griffin and Howe repro Silvers pad, properly installed. Personally, I would install the pad without the spacers and use a boot when shooting it. However, I do have a nice Parker with two spacers and a Silvers that I had installed in 1986 and I like it a lot.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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I recently put a recoil pad on a Lefever which had that same type of red spacer nailed onto it. Just like yours. Odd. I pulled all the nails and ditched the spacer for a new pad.

Anyway... By all means, the best solution to your issue is to put on a 1.5" silvers pad from galazan. It will look right on the gun and it will get you out to be lop that you need.

Adding a wood extension can be done, but it woul have to be worked over by someone like Larson to look right. And restocking is a lot of money for an easily fixable problem. Believe me, I know all about that... But it all depends on what you are looking for.

Very nice gun though! I think a silvers pad would be perfect on it.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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First off, thanks to all for their thoughts and recommendations. I took the VHE to the NE Show today and showed it to Edgar and George. They're opinions are consistent with yours. Don't mess with the VHE, install a period appropriate recoil pad and enjoy it. Edgar was kind enough to give me one of his Hawkins pads which can be fitted to the butt stock easily enough. We'll keep the wood and maybe just tweak the finish a bit to smooth out the discoloration that's on one side of the stock.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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This is an update on this 'restoration'. I sent the VHE last week to Brad Bachelder. I had heard so many good things on this forum about Brad's work that I thought I'd give his shop a shot at this double. After receiving the gun and per my letter of instruction, Brad called me to discuss his findings. He had taken the gun down and was ready to go over his findings. I was struck and very impressed with the level of detail as Brad reviewed the condition of the VHE from stem to sterm. Very thorough and professional. We talked about how thew restoration work would be done from refinishing the stock, de-oiling those part of the wood that showed oil etc, bedding, re-cutting the checkering, 'striking' certain parts of the external surfaces of the barrels that showed some minor pitting and the depth of the metal etc, fixing a small deformity in one choke, cleaning and lubrication of all internal parts, checking out the ejectors, springs. etc. etc. I was left with the feeling that this double is in very good hands and will be restored in the most professional and period appropriate manner. Some of my PGCA brothers have asked me in their pm's to let them know how this turns out. This is just an interim update. Will post pics when Brad finishes the work we've jointly agreed makes sense to do. But I am really feeling good about the choice I've made. one.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
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I would have put the Silvers pad on it, touched up the finish where the slip-on had compromised it and left everything else as is... but then, it's not my gun.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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I gave that a lot of thought Dean but I'm doing this as much for my own use and enjoyment as I am for my grandson who will one day inherit it. What Brad is going to do will preserve this double for several more generations of use. We are putting a Silvers pad on it and i'll give edgar back the Hawkins pad he graciously offered to me for the VHE. I just like the look of the solid pad more and I think that over the long term it will hold up fine.
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Unread 02-27-2013, 06:46 AM   #10
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Brad will do a nice job on the gun, and you'll like it when you get it back. Unfortunately, no one will know whether it was a 10% gun before refinishing, or, in your case, a good strong 75% gun. The original checkering was better than that, but it will now shout "Recheckered". Barrels were a good 75-85%, and now will just be another set of re-blued barrels. You got a great buy on that gun, if not out right stole it. It will be worth what you paid for it when your done. If you're keeping it in the family, no problem. Whatever makes you happy. It certainly wasn't going to deteriorate in the condition I saw it in. Restored, or refreshed guns are everywhere, but, sadly lots of them used to be good honest guns. A perfect example of this is when a well known gun dealer, who had one of the best gunsmithing shops, told my dad he would love to 'spruce up' the 16 ga. my dad bought, at Parker in Meriden, on his 16th birthday. The gun looks nice now, reblued, recut checkering. I'll never sell the gun, and hope my son won't either. Sadly, it is completely devoid of any of the signs of my dads many years of hunting, and love for his gun.
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