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Simon Says

As director of NCPE I thought it would be helpful to show why Simon Barron is very good as NCPE QA guru. I asked Simon about his past and present ventures and what makes him tick.....Over to you Simon.

I started my working life as an aeronautical engineer in the British Royal Airforce completing all formal training at Royal Airforce Halton number one school of technical excellence.

As you can imagine when dealing with aircraft, technical compliance and quality assurance is of the highest standard of any industry in the world, I have worked on many types and sizes of aircraft, the pinnacle of this career was converting a Lockheed L1011, into a mission station and launch platform for the Pegasus rocket to launch satellites into orbit, I saw active service during Gulf war one, I was in theatre for no less than 18 months for this I was awarded a number of medals including the Gulf war medal with clasp and rosette, in light of this I have an uncompromising dedication to meticulous attention to detail and commitment to deliver that at a minimum meets the client’s needs and expectations. I adopt this mind set and philosophy throughout all my day to day activities no more so than in my chosen hobby as a long range competition shooter and amateur Gun smith.

Due to the great breadth of subject matter to be mastered, many gunsmiths specialize in only a few of the skills required of the general gunsmith. Alternatively, some gunsmiths learn many of the skills of the trade, but only apply them to a few weapon types (e.g. only pistols, only shotguns, only specific brands or models).[1]

The primary technical responsibility of gunsmiths is to ensure that the guns they work on function safely.

They accomplish this firstly by always properly observing gun safety handling procedures: both in their own actions, and in the actions of their customers and the people around them.

They accomplish this secondly by inspecting guns to ensure safe mechanical operation. Gunsmiths use their in-depth knowledge of guns to guide these inspections: either repairing deficiencies; or notifying customers of unsafe conditions and taking steps to prevent catastrophic failures.

Some of the ways that even properly handled guns can fail and endanger their users and those around them are:

  • Improper Assembly

  • Missing Parts

  • Cracks: all cracked parts are cause for concern, but especially so in the chamber-area, bolt, bolt-lugs, or buttstock.

  • Bore Obstructions: being either dented or bent barrels, or foreign material in barrels.

  • Improper Headspace: dimensions concerning the relative locations of the chamber and the bolt are not within specified tolerances.

  • Improper Timing: (applies to fully automatic firearms and revolvers).

  • Safety-Mechanism Malfunctions: potentially allowing a gun with the safety mechanism supposedly engaged to unexpectedly fire.

  • Worn Sear Edges: potentially allowing a firearm to unexpectedly fire when the safety mechanism is disengaged.

  • Firing-Pin Tips Deformed: leading to the possibility of primer-rupture

  • Disassemble, clean, inspect, lubricate & reassemble.

  • Remove corrosion and touch-up finish.

  • Repair burred or damaged parts with files & stones.

  • Replace defective parts with factory-made replacements, hand-fitting as necessary.

  • Add after-market customizations:

  • sling-swivels

  • recoil-pads

  • iron-sights

  • scopes

  • grip caps

  • butt plates

  • Repair and re-finish wooden stock parts.

  • Checker or re-checker grip areas.

  • Deepen or clean up worn or damaged engravings & markings.

  • Re-crown damaged muzzles on a lathe.

  • Repair dented shotgun barrels.

  • Install (solder) or repair rib on shotgun barrels, or repair double-barrel assemblies.

  • Measure & correct head-space dimensions.

  • Check for excessive bore erosion.

  • Troubleshoot and repair feeding, ejecting & firing problems.

  • Test-fire guns with conventional loads to ensure proper operation.

  • Fabricate wooden stocks to customer specifications and body dimensions. Fit same to existing receiver and barrel.

  • Glass-bed actions to stocks to improve accuracy.

  • Remove existing metal finish, and re-blue metal parts.

  • Fabricate replacement parts from metal stock.

  • Modify trigger-pull weight through careful stoning of trigger mechanism parts.

  • Fire proof-loads through weapons to ensure sufficient strength of parts under over-load conditions.

  • Replace worn barrels, which have fired so many rounds that they are no longer of the specified calibre (which leads to loss of accuracy).

  • Change calibre or cartridge of existing rifle, by changing barrel, and modifying receiver.

  • Re-cut rifling and change calibre of existing barrel.

  • Design and build complete rifles by fitting stock barrels to stock receivers; fabricating or purchasing additional parts as needed, and fitting same to rifle. Fitting custom stock to same.

  • Design and build a complete rifle starting with several pieces of blank steel and a slab of walnut; using nothing more than a lathe, saws, files, chisels, & rasps.

So even I did not appreciate some of the stuff Simon has done and his achievements, but I now understand his work ethics are mearly an extension of his hobbies, passions and part of everyday life.

Thanks for taking the time to give a little insight Simon.

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