New Sydney Gunsmithing Talent

I have known Tom Smith forseveral years now as we rub shoulders at MRCA shoots where he is aserious Master Grade competitor with Aviation Industry Rifle Club. Hehas an abiding interest in most of the technical aspects of shootingall sorts of rifles for Service, Fullbore Target, F Class and HighPower disciplines as well as reloading for them all.

It’s Tom’s skills as aboat builder and detailed carpenter and joiner that have come to thefore. An assiduous craftsman, he has rescued many split SMLE and No4rifle stocks for his fellow service shooters with meticulouscraftsmanship that disguises his work from outside. He has also maderock-solid portable benches for the older disabled shooters atMalabar. This he has achieved in the busy life as a family man with awife and two very young children, while in the employ of a buildingbusiness.

The picture shows Tom inhis home workshop with some of the component parts of a project Ihave undertaken. I’d purchased an Eddystone M17 barreled receiver in.7.62 NATO chambering in order to one day compete in the newpractical rifle matches being run in the ACT now.

The M17 cost me $130, so Icouldn’t let it go; headspace was perfect and it’s fairly longthroated, so I look forward to eventually shooting it. I imported aBoyd’s fully inlet and unfinished laminated stock and have stained itand oiled it up with linseed and turps. Now time is not on my sidethese days, so I decided to give it to Tom, with my tub of DevconSteel Putty bedding compound and the assorted other bits it needs forassembly and asked him to complete inletting for the larger targetbarrel profile, float the barrel and pillar / glass bed the action. Iknow his work will be much nicer to look at and be more effectivethan any of my previous bedding jobs, which look like a rat gnawed onthem.

Now Tom is hoping to domore of this type of work from now and he will be a valued additionto the gunsmithing fraternity, so he deserves our support becausegood Smiths (pardon the pun) are pretty thin on the ground and thenumber of urban-based shooters is increasing, based on recentRegistry statisics.

So, if you have somebedding, stock repair or other metalwork needs for a loved rifle inyour safe, you’d be well-served talking to Tom. You can contact himby email on

Marcus O’Dean





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