A GUN WRITERS PROJECT: CUSTOM DOUBLE RIFLE BY GARYSTILES MADE FOR JIM FENDER IN .450 ASSEGAI ON A MODEL 21 ACTION WITH ORIGINAL BARRELS, AMMO, CASES, BULLETS, SPARE PARTS, BOOKS, CASE AND DRAFT OF STORY OF THE BUILDING OF THIS RIFLE AND A BRIEF HISTORY OF GARY STILES.
Cal. .450 Assegai 12 Ga., 2-3/4″.
Interesting magazine articles do not come easily, they often take years of development and considerable work, many never come to fruition, as is the case with the story of this rifle. Jim Fender is a fine gun writer noted for his contributions to the Double Gun Journal and other publications over the years. He is also the author of a historical Naval fiction series featuring the character Geoffrey Frost during the Revolutionary war. He is known for his in depth research and precise attention to detail. This rifle originated as a collaboration between Jim, Gary Stiles and Arthur Alphin of A-Square. Gary made a pair of double rifle barrels to be fitted to Jim’s Model 21 Winchester, while preserving the original 12 Ga. barrels. The caliber was selected for use on dangerous game. As described in “ANY SHOT YOU WANT” the A-Square loading manual; the .450 Assegai was made to deliver a 500 grain 45 caliber bullet at the “magic” velocity of 2400 feet per second in a rimmed cartridge suitable for double rifles. The case was made by A-Square and designed for low pressures and easy extraction. A-Square used their .416 rimmed cartridge as a base. Gary used another set of Model 21 barrels as a mono bloc to assemble these barrels with quarter rib holding single standing leaf three green dot rear sight. Muzzle is fitted with Stiles design regulating block and gold bead in ramp base. These barrels measure 25″ and are stamped with caliber and S# 13709.1 on flats. Barrel lump is reattached and splinter is reinforced. A sling eye is screwed to a spacing block. Barrels are not fitted with a bottom rib. Blued standard Model 21 Winchester action marked “SKEET” on floorplate has firing pins bushed to handle the increased pressures of the rifle cartridge. Gary also made new buttstock and beavertail forends using a very fine piece of smokey marbled European (probably French) walnut. Buttstock measures 15″ over black leather covered pad. Well cut point pattern checkering is at grip. A steel grip cap is fitted. Matching beavertail forends have Model 21 style checkering. Original 12 Ga. barrels marked for skeet and skeet are fitted with unbraced beavertail forend. MEASUREMENTS: RIFLE BBLS: STOCK : DAH: approx. 2 3/4″. DAC: approx. 1 7/8″ CAST: neutral. LOP: 15″. WEIGHT: 11 lb. 10 oz. SHOTGUN BBLS: STOCK: DAH: 2″. DAC: 1 7/16″. CAST: neutral. LOP: 15″. WEIGHT: 7 lb. 13 oz. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: #1 Orange plastic ammo box contains: 10 boxes of A-Square Assegai brass/2 boxes of 10 loaded rounds/1 box w/10 once fired brass/1 box w/3 fired & 5 loaded rds./4 boxes of .468 bullets (mostly monolithic solids). #2 Orange plastic ammo box contains: 12 boxes A-Square .458 Dead-Tough soft points/4 boxes .458 lion load/4 boxes .458 monolithic solids. (All boxes contain 25 bullets & all are 500 grain)/plastic box w/approx. 12 fired .450 Assegai brass/extra Model 21 mono bloc breech section/2 13/16-20 taps/.450 Assegai chamber reamer & other various jigs and parts for the building of this rifle. #3 Green plastic ammo box contains: 2 boxes .450 BPE by Kynoch/4 boxes Kynoch .470/some 8mm Lebel by Kynoch. Shotgun and rifle barrels come in a light duty aluminum case. 2 copies of the book “ANY SHOT YOU WANT” (1 new & 1 with notations by Jim Fender). Also included is a rough draft of an article “Gary L. Stiles The Most Talented Gunsmith I Have Ever Known” by James E. Fender outlining Gary’s early life, his career and his affiliation with Jim. Article also relates that Jim used this rifle in South Africa in 2019 for cropping Cape buffalo and giraffe made necessary by prolonged drought. The rifle performed as expected.