Frank Wesson #1 Long Range Action

Photos by Dale McGee

The Wesson #1 long-range rifles were originally made in the late 1870s, in very limited quantities. Although similar to the British Alex Henry rifles, there was apparently no business connection between them. The Wesson falling blocks rifles were all of very high quality and were highly priced for their time, which probably contributed to their low production volumes and consequent extreme scarcity. Now, these actions are being reproduced using the best of modern materials and CNC machining technology.

This action utilizes a pure-vertical motion falling block. The lever drops the breechblock to the load position, then further movement activates the extractor, which is extraordinarily strong. The back-action lock drives the hammer to hit a diagonal striker bar, which activates the in-line Mann-Neidner type firing pin.

The receiver and the separate lower tang are machined from solid 8620 steel. The breechblock opening and the trigger guide slot are EDM wirecut for precision. The upper tang is integral to the receiver, and is tied to the lower tang with three screws. The breechblock, trigger guard, hammer, lever, and lockplate are all machined from 8620 also.

The striker bar, firing pin, and bushing are made from S-7 shock-resistant tool steel. A-10 tool steel is used for both the tumbler and the sear, since it is capable of both high hardness and a level of self-lubrication due to the high graphite content. Other lock parts are either A-2 or O-1 tool steels. The various screws are machined from 1045 medium carbon steel, which can be heat-treated to reasonable strength without danger of brittleness.

Actions will be in the white only. External parts will be hand-polished to a 400-grit finish, but final polishing, and any heat-treating or bluing, will be the responsibility of the customer. Internal lock parts and a few miscellaneous pieces (trigger, extractor shim, etc.) will be properly heat-treated and fitted.

Note July 2021 - Although this action is regularly built into 45-70/90/110 and similar, there have been questions about its suitability for 22 long rifle.  So we are going to find out!  I will be making a small quantity of 22LR breechblocks, and we'll see if it can take it...ha ha...

Price: $1850.00  Call or email for current delivery times.

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