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Anybody Recognize this Custom and Whom the Maker Might Be?
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Attributed to Larry Brace but no markings on metal or wood.













 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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I'm afraid I'm no help to you, but what a handsome, clean-looking rifle - my compliments! Nice to see someone understood the beauty of restraint, and didn't go all crazy with the frou-frou gingerbread all over it. Love to have something like that myself.

One question: What does it have for a rear sight? That hooded front is no trivial afterthought, so I'm assuming it was intended to be paired with some sort of classic aperture?
 
Posts: 174 | Registered: 01 January 2019Reply With Quote
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There was no rear peep sight setup when I obtained it. Have not really looked for one but may have to as scope was mounted on it today and ammo to be loaded this week. Rear peep would be the final touch as my thought was as yours - surely there was a rear sight for it when built.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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There's not much of a top tang for the traditional vernier aperture, unless you just want to mount it to the wood. A nice no-drill option might be a low-profile ghost ring extended back from the rear scope mount.
 
Posts: 174 | Registered: 01 January 2019Reply With Quote
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I don't understand the double sling swivel.
 
Posts: 3555 | Location: The way life should be | Registered: 24 May 2012Reply With Quote
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If one wants to use a shooting sling, he wants the stock-mounted swivel. Many like to have a barrel-band s
wivel so the rifle carries lower when slung. This may be to offer both options. Very Nice. Regards, Bill
 
Posts: 2665 | Location: Elko, B.C. Canada | Registered: 19 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Barrel-mounted rings are traditional on hard-kicking express rifles because the recoil can drive a stock-mounted swivel back into the shooter's hand. That, and they really look the part, let's face it. They're not conducive to accuracy, I suspect, which is probably why they're not used on precision rifles. I was so mesmerized by the look of this rifle I completely missed the two swivel rings. I'd make a rotten detective.
 
Posts: 174 | Registered: 01 January 2019Reply With Quote
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Why don’t you call them and ask? Your second photo says Miller Arms St Onge, SD. Their number is listed as 605-642-5160

I have seen two or three falling block actioned rifles stamped with that name on the auction sites over the past few years. Looks like a very nicely finished rifle.
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Northern Minnesota | Registered: 09 February 2018Reply With Quote
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I wish it was that easy!

Miller Arms built the action but they did not build the rifle. At least I have never seen one of their builds looking like this one. Their builds were also signed on the barrel. Thanks for phone number but it was disconnected years ago.



quote:
Originally posted by RogerAlan:
Why don’t you call them and ask? Your second photo says Miller Arms St Onge, SD. Their number is listed as 605-642-5160

I have seen two or three falling block actioned rifles stamped with that name on the auction sites over the past few years. Looks like a very nicely finished rifle.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Frank De Has designed the action and had the Miller company build it. De Has specialized in single shot rifles and actions. He wrote several books on the subject, one of them has this action and the story of developing it. I have all of his books. They are very informative.

I don't know who built this rifle .


Craftsman
 
Posts: 1392 | Location: North Texas | Registered: 11 February 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Craftsman:
Frank De Has designed the action and had the Miller company build it.


You sure about that?


gunmaker
------------------
James Anderson Metalsmith & Stockmaker
WEB SITE
 
Posts: 1493 | Location: Western South Dakota | Registered: 05 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Miller Arms was at one time part of Dakota Arms a few years back.
 
Posts: 2061 | Location: NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO, USA | Registered: 05 March 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by impala#03:
Miller Arms was at one time part of Dakota Arms a few years back.


They dropped them from the catalogue in 2019, and email confirmed they are no longer making the Miller rifle.

De Haas wrote a number of books that are probably quite informative, but you have to be Elon Musk's wealthy brother to afford them, so.... I'll never find out. I've seen photos of what are supposedly his FM No. 1 and No. 2 vault locks; they look like they were designed by the same committee that styled the Trabant. I fully believe that function comes before form, but a little bit of form really wouldn't have hurt these.
 
Posts: 174 | Registered: 01 January 2019Reply With Quote
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I thought it was a joint venture of sorts. But sometimes the actual efforts get distorted, or really twisted, over time. Just like Pete Grisel's involvement/contribution with/to Dakota Arms.

If you have more information I certainly would like to hear it.



quote:
Originally posted by gunmaker:
quote:
Originally posted by Craftsman:
Frank De Has designed the action and had the Miller company build it.


You sure about that?
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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I worked for Miller Arms in StOnge, SD for about a year starting in 98. Dean and Cyle took chunks of metal and wood and made supremely accurate single shots. I learned a lot during my short time there. Dean built his personal elk rifle using a Sharps Borchardt action. This rifle, along with huge elk racks & pictures that hung around the shop predate the DM action by quite a bit. Dean went on and on about all the shortcomings of the Sharps and came up with a better mousetrap. The Millers showed me all the history behind the development. Boxes and boxes of fixtures and in process parts. How it all started by drilling 4 holes in a block of steel and welding a bandsaw blade through the hole, cutting out the plug and hand filing out the final hole.

While DeHass MAY have had some ideas for this action, I'm not sure how many ended up in the final version.

As with DakArms, building something from nothing deserves more credit in my book than promoting it. Then again history is only as accurate as the authors who write the books.


gunmaker
------------------
James Anderson Metalsmith & Stockmaker
WEB SITE
 
Posts: 1493 | Location: Western South Dakota | Registered: 05 January 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by gunmaker:
I worked for Miller Arms in StOnge, SD for about a year starting in 98. Dean and Cyle took chunks of metal and wood and made supremely accurate single shots. I learned a lot during my short time there. Dean built his personal elk rifle using a Sharps Borchardt action. This rifle, along with huge elk racks & pictures that hung around the shop predate the DM action by quite a bit. Dean went on and on about all the shortcomings of the Sharps and came up with a better mousetrap. The Millers showed me all the history behind the development. Boxes and boxes of fixtures and in process parts. How it all started by drilling 4 holes in a block of steel and welding a bandsaw blade through the hole, cutting out the plug and hand filing out the final hole.

While DeHass MAY have had some ideas for this action, I'm not sure how many ended up in the final version.

As with DakArms, building something from nothing deserves more credit in my book than promoting it. Then again history is only as accurate as the authors who write the books.


I always wondered about ol Frank DeHaas and his contribution! I just located an old flyer from Miller Arms dated January 1995 and it states that "...new breech block action designed, developed and patented jointly by Frank De Haas, author of the books; "Single Shot Rifles and Actions" and "Bolt Action Rifles", and by Dean Miller, well known custom gunsmith and stockmaker."

Seems pretty clear now as to who was building and who was promoting and I, like you, feel like the builder deserves more credit.

Sure would like to find another completed rifle by Dean Miller. I had one years ago and let it slip out of my hands.

Thanks for the info.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
You sure about that?


I was quoting De Hass from his book. So I certainly would not argue the point.

One thing puzzles me though, if De Hass had no part in creating this action why would his name be on the Logo ?


Craftsman
 
Posts: 1392 | Location: North Texas | Registered: 11 February 2001Reply With Quote
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Dean was a gunmaker.
Frank was a writer and historian and I have some of his books in my collection.
Promotion in the gun industry can be a good thing.
Sure there was plenty of spitballing.


gunmaker
------------------
James Anderson Metalsmith & Stockmaker
WEB SITE
 
Posts: 1493 | Location: Western South Dakota | Registered: 05 January 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Craftsman:
quote:
You sure about that?


I was quoting De Hass from his book. So I certainly would not argue the point.

One thing puzzles me though, if De Hass had no part in creating this action why would his name be on the Logo ?


It's right there in the company literature: jointly patented. Regardless of how much or how little he contributed to the design (I've honestly don't know for certain one way or the other), owning part of the patent gives him the clout to have his name on the finished product. (reference: Westinghouse vs Tesla)
 
Posts: 174 | Registered: 01 January 2019Reply With Quote
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Nice chamber for a nice rifle (7MM STW).
I like it!
 
Posts: 2176 | Location: Texas | Registered: 06 January 2009Reply With Quote
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It has a 30" barrel which should generate some good velocities. Getting componets ready for reloading and hope to shoot it soon.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Might check under the recoil pad. I’ve seen some guns with the makers initials there.
 
Posts: 1243 | Location: Texas | Registered: 29 August 2006Reply With Quote
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Can you show us how the forend is secured fore and aft. Is there a lip that holds the wood in place at the front of the action. Might find the builders name under there as well.
 
Posts: 577 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: 04 April 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by 470Evans:
Might check under the recoil pad. I’ve seen some guns with the makers initials there.


I have not checked there but will have to get gunsmith friend to take it off. Nice pad and I generally screw up nice stuff.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by kda55:
Can you show us how the forend is secured fore and aft. Is there a lip that holds the wood in place at the front of the action. Might find the builders name under there as well.


There is a screw at the front of the forend that screws into a rod which is attached to the front of the action, and which runs parallel to the barrel. Forend slides over the rod.

No name under the barrel or on the underside of the forend.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Beautiful rifle!

Sorry for the hijack, but, what is the pattern on the top of the rear of the front sight and on the tops of the scope bases? How is that achieved?

Thanks,
Scoty
 
Posts: 16 | Location: Ohio | Registered: 13 April 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Scoty:
Beautiful rifle!

Sorry for the hijack, but, what is the pattern on the top of the rear of the front sight and on the tops of the scope bases? How is that achieved?

Thanks,
Scoty


I have always referred to it as "stippling" but "matting" might be a better word. Need a gunsmith to tell us really.
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by marley7x57:
quote:
Originally posted by Scoty:
Beautiful rifle!

Sorry for the hijack, but, what is the pattern on the top of the rear of the front sight and on the tops of the scope bases? How is that achieved?

Thanks,
Scoty


I have always referred to it as "stippling" but "matting" might be a better word. Need a gunsmith to tell us really.


Stippling is the term I've always heard. I've seen it done by hand, using a punch. I don't know if there's a mechanized way of doing it nowadays.
 
Posts: 174 | Registered: 01 January 2019Reply With Quote
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...a friend of mine had a Larry Brace rifle built for him aprox 25 years ago. It was a bolt action, but the style of stock and particularly the checkering of your rifle is very similar, so it may be a Brace.
 
Posts: 100 | Location: kamiah idaho | Registered: 16 April 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by crf:
...a friend of mine had a Larry Brace rifle built for him aprox 25 years ago. It was a bolt action, but the style of stock and particularly the checkering of your rifle is very similar, so it may be a Brace.


Larry Brace did very high quality checkering, from what I can see here, it just isn't up to his high standards.
 
Posts: 1471 | Registered: 07 February 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by SDH:
quote:
Originally posted by crf:
...a friend of mine had a Larry Brace rifle built for him aprox 25 years ago. It was a bolt action, but the style of stock and particularly the checkering of your rifle is very similar, so it may be a Brace.


Larry Brace did very high quality checkering, from what I can see here, it just isn't up to his high standards.



Now now SDH, my photos do not do justice to the checkering!
 
Posts: 3059 | Location: NW Arkansas | Registered: 19 December 2006Reply With Quote
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The mullered borders are weak, lots of un-pointed diamonds in the last rows, some obviously crooked lines.
Not Larry's quality.

If it's unsigned it's unknown.
 
Posts: 1471 | Registered: 07 February 2005Reply With Quote
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One wonders if the DM in the circle is entended as Dean/Miller Dean the maker and Miller the action..?? but guess and by gosh seems to go too far on these posts, so just a thought..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36250 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by marley7x57:
quote:
Originally posted by Scoty:
Beautiful rifle!

Sorry for the hijack, but, what is the pattern on the top of the rear of the front sight and on the tops of the scope bases? How is that achieved?

Thanks,
Scoty


I have always referred to it as "stippling" but "matting" might be a better word. Need a gunsmith to tell us really.


Pneumatic engraving pencil, with the air turned down.

Really nice rifle.
 
Posts: 76 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 28 April 2020Reply With Quote
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IO woild have to agree with SDH. The border lines are not straight; washed out. Larry did much better checkering than that.


Professional Member, American Custom Gunmakers Guild,
 
Posts: 5071 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 10 July 2002Reply With Quote
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