In Part I, I roughed in the stock - adding some hardware to compensate for the notorious .357 Mag recoil and allow for a couple inches of length adjustment.
I then turned my attention to the front of this tactical lever gat, 3-gun edition.
Several manufacturers make foregrips for Marlin and Henry lever actions (you can read all about them here). None of them, however are good enough for this build. Why, you ask? Two main reasons:
1. They're too heavy. I'm shooting for as light weight of a rifle as possible
2. They work too well out of the box. Aka, I want to tinker, waste time & money, and make an inferior product.... The Uncle Fudd way!
My foregrip is going to be cut from a single piece of 2" x 1" carbon fiber rectangle tube. I'm going to secure the rear end of the foregrip via the scope mount holes in the top of the receiver. This means I need to make some large cuts to make space for the receiver. I grabbed my mini hacksaw and started hacking.
Above you can see the rough layout of how the back of the foregrip will interface with the receiver. Below is the same after some more carbon fiber removed so that the foregrip is aligned with the heart of the Big Boy X.
And finally, the shot below shows the foregrip held in place via the Henry Scope Mount, which bolts into the top of the receiver. I've also included in the shot my digital calibers, which are crucial to measure and mark when making the intricate cuts needed for this kind of fitting. If you're doing detail work and don't have a set, you're missing out.
The back end of the front end (rear of the foregrip) was set. Now I needed to make a mount for the front end of the the front end.
I then measured the barrel of the Big Boy X and how high I wanted the top of the foregrip above the barrel at the muzzle and drilled a hole (5/8" I think) for the barrel to fit into.
I didn't drill that hole all the way through the block, though. I stopped about 1/8" short of the other side and stepped down to a 1/8" smaller forstner bit to finish the hole (1/2" I think). The image below shows the lip I created in the far side of the hole.
The point of this lip is to prevent this acetal block from moving up a down the barrel. The smaller diameter hole is large enough for the threaded tip of the barrel to pass through but not the main body of the barrel itself.
Below you can see what I mean with the barrel's thread covering screwed back on. The acetal mounting block slides over the threaded portion of the muzzle and then stops when the lip hits the front of the main barrel body. Replacing the thread covering then pinches that lip against the barrel body, locking it in place.
The mounting block fit over the barrel, but not yet inside the carbon fiber foregrip tube. Some measuring, marking, & sanding later, and it slid inside the carbon fiber with just the right amount of friction.
Putting it all together, the front end of the rifle looked like this...
There was one final element missing from this front mounting block: a hole for the extended tubular magazine. I whipped out my calipers and started measuring, marking, and drilling.
Before I knew it, I had a mount block that locked in place at the muzzle, slide neatly inside the carbon fiber tube, and held the titanium tube that was going to serve as my extended magazine. I'm pretty pleased with this little piece.