In the Field With A Metal Work Design
I think most air gun shooters that surf the net and visit the forums are aware of Metal Work Designs, an
outfit that has been turning out some really interesting guns built on the modified Crosman 2240 platform.
Recently Matt Parker, owner and airgun craftsman, has started building custom rifles. I'll have a full write up
on his work published elsewhere in the not too distant future, but on this web page I'll give a quick review of
my first hunt.
This picture shows the gun
wearing a very nice custom
stock. This particular gun is a
.20 caliber. It is a powerful and
accurate gun, and takes
advantage of the 6-24x scope
mounted on it.
This is a rifle of substantial
dimensions, but not enough to
diminish it as a great hunting
Matt is working with a custom stock
maker to dress his rifles in a fashion
befitting the excellent mechanics
designed and built into his guns.
I'd like to get a thumbhole stock to try
out on this gun, as I find I shoot better,
and this gun deserves a shooter that is
on his game.
MWD guns can be fabricated using a
wide variety of materials. This one
uses stainless steel for the barrel
shroud, air resevoir, and receiver, and
the endcap and barrel band are brass.
The gun uses a male Foster adaptor
fitting that works with the same
charging equipment I use for my
Daystate and XS-B50. Matt has made a
simple cover using a female foster
I found that the gun was very shootable and I
really enjoyed hunting with it. There was not a
sling, as you'd have to be crazy to drill into the
nice exotic hardwood stock to install the
harware! Still, I did a fair bit of hiking and the
gun was easy to carry.
In this picture (left) I take aim at a large fox
squirrel at approximately 30 yards, using a
nearby tree to brace myself. My first shot
anchored my quarry.
This gun is very quiet; the sound of the pellet
hitting and the squirrel meeting the ground
was louder than
the actual report on firing..
This was a great hunt! The gun worked flawlessly - I was
three for three on the day. The combination of accuracy and
power, the flat trajectory, the overall ergonomics were all
My longest shot of the day was approximately sixty five yards,
and the squirrel dropped like a sack of very dead potatos. I
was hitting squirrels way up in the trees, which sometimes
is a problem for me ... but not on this day and not with this
I've always like the .20 caliber for small game, you get the
benifits of both the .177 with respect to its flat shooting
characteristics but delivers almost the same terminal
performance of a .22.
So at the end of my first hunt with a MWD custom rifle what
can I say? It was a pleasure to shoot with very nice
ergonomics, it delivered the performance one would expect
out of a gun built by a true craftsman, and it almost looks too
nice to drag out into the woods ..... but I'm glad I did! This gun
cost a bit more than a production gun, but you get a great rifle
and the satisfaction of knowing it was built for you.