Mick Dawes Special No 18.

Discussion in 'General Airgun Chat' started by Mr H., May 21, 2018.

  1. Grey

    Grey New Member

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    There were two actions that came here to Scotland and were were fitted with custom woodwork by the owner.
    I believe both were sold quite a while back, l will ask next time I see them.
     
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  2. Diabolo

    Diabolo Member

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    Well I guess No 6 was offered to me by a collector called Richard (posts as Reddair on the AG BBS)-I am sure he knows where it went after I passed on his offer of purchasing it.
    Did Richard have more than one though, as I think the one offered to me was .22?
    How did (do) these rifles compare to say GC2 or NJR for build quality and shoot-ability?
     
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  3. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    Not sure about the .22 with Richard. I will check with Shaun - but the loading breach for the MDS's was a certain size - could it be reamed out to .22, not sure.

    How did they compare:- well they were made in a shed on basic machines - no CNC's - but Mick certainly knew what he was doing. I had mine in about 1987-8 and back then the scopes were ok but the Tasco 6-24x40TS gave way to the Tasco 6-24x44TS. The quality of the scopes were getting there as were the pellets. At that time pellets were not that good and barrel quality could be an issue.

    I remember Andy Taylor who shot an Air Arms NJR would phone up Air-arms if he thought a certain part was faulty or not quite right and as Andy was in the Air Arms team they would send parts out to his home address. I once joked he had enough parts to build 10 NJR's He didn't deny it as there were 12 barrels in his garage. But you have to remember that these were the early years of pneumatics in FT and development was on going.

    Things have moved on now and I am hoping to get No 18 up to spec to be able quite comfortably shoot in Competitions.

    Mark.

    I am doing some info on MDS guns on facebook under "Black country custom air rifles" including Mick's own very special "Muzzle loading air-rifle".
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  4. ellis d

    ellis d Active Member

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    Tony davenport still shoots his every now and again.. he shoots at castle ftc... gun last serviced by nick Murphy.
     
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  5. JamesO

    JamesO Active Member

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    I believe the actions ended up at Yorkshire Marksmen with Keith Surbutts (left handed) and Martin Farrent. Where they are now I'm not sure, this was a long long time ago!
    James
     
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  6. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    This photo from Air Gunner July 1989 shows the Original L/Hand Cherry stock being used on No 9. Fairly certain this photo was taken at The Stourvale Trophy Shoot on May 14th of that year.
     

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  7. DazF

    DazF Active Member

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    He also made a pistol. Wonder were that ended up?
     
  8. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    That Pistol was called "Woden" - a Wednesbury - where he lived connection.

    I have a rough idea where 1 of the pistols is and I am waiting, hopefully, for the phone number of the guy.

    Mark
     
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  9. Conor

    Conor Never been banned from sales Staff Member

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    Is that ‘special’ that is all rusted and pitted in any way salvageable? Or is it just to have to say that you have it?
    Can and will you be able to restore it?
     
  10. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    Shaun has checked it over and as long as it passes his pressure test it should be ok. He tests his own cylinders to 6000psi - even my Mk1 Airstream has been re-tested.

    Don't forget these only had low pressure cylinders and the regs dumped the air at about 85-90psi.

    Can and will I restore it - well definitely yes - why - because I can.

    There is an original piece of the same batch of tube on it's way which was originally used for sanding the inletting.

    As this air-rifle is a 2 piece tube the pressure cylinder part could be re-tubed if really needed.

    Various bits have already been promised from various MDS owners and should keep it fairly original.

    Cost? just doesn't come into it.

    I will be shooting it later this year. And I will be keeping the old bits as they are part of the guns history if I ever find out which one it is lol.



    Mark.
     
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  11. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    I owned this one for a while:

    [​IMG]

    It came with the letter of authenticity - I have redacted part of the address on this image of it.
     
  12. Darron

    Darron Trainee Dwarf Slayer

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    I had the pleasure of shooting the prototype many times.
     
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  13. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    Wow, that's the one that I first saw down at the Hilton FT shoot before Tony Wall took over from George at Willenhall Gun Supplies.

    It's amazing how certain things jog your memory.

    Brilliant photo and it just shows the thinking and visions that Mick had, along with the skills to turn the ideas into reality.

    Thanks,

    Mark.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  14. holly

    holly Well-Known Member

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    No the MDS is not of the same quality as the GC2s . old fordys boast was that nobody tuned his rifles and there was not one sharp edge on his guns . the only shame is that his lad was not of the same quality as his farther . not in any way interested in the rifles to the point of being rude . i just wished i had won the lottery and bought out the rights years ago . they do need an upgrade now yes but they can still shoot . ??? HOLLY

    PS Paul did not get any CNC machines in till after they had finished production .
     
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  15. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    Hats off to John for making the Gerald Cardew designed gun. It was an absolute gem.

    The price however was eye watering when it 1st came out.

    You are right there were not many people tuning the GC2 as you said but I know when I saw it I was amazed that an aircraft grade Aluminium cylinder was used.
    Then I was in absolute shock when I heard about Tom Walton's GC2 exploding while he was filling it by his car, shattering the, I think 3 or 5 star walnut stock.

    What I was trying to get across - perhaps not as well as I could have was that Mick worked with what he had - a 10'x6' shed and some worn second hand machines.

    The only thing I think Mick did slightly wrong on the MDS's was the narrow dovetails.
     
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  16. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    Ok, so Shaun had MDS No 18 off me Tuesday night with the view to de-pressurise the reg as it had jammed a seal and was only doing 5.5ft lbs

    Anyway on Wednesday he ended up stripping the action down and noting that the reg was an un-vented type Shaun removed it and installed a vented reg.

    The old Reg you can see in the one picture beneath the cylinder I will see if that can go into the Intended Restoration MDS with no Number - once the air has seeped out of course.

    Not content with fixing the action Shaun set his dad Ivan to work polishing the steel ready for blacking.

    Pressure testing and safety checks were all ok which goes to show the underlying pressure safety margin with the thicker wall tube allowing a re-polish 30 years later.

    So Thursday I went on to the face-book page - Black Country Custom Air rifles - only to see the MDS all shiny after the re-blacking.

    To say he has pulled out all the stops is an under statement.

    So MDS No 18, and Shaun will be at The British Air Rifle Championships at Maldon this Sunday as I had hoped.

    Just need to re-attach the mounts and stock and re-zero.

    regards,

    Mark.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  17. holly

    holly Well-Known Member

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    The story i was told about Tom was that the piece of tube used on his rifle , was an end piece that somehow escaped the X ray . his MK 4 also was wrecked , with a hole in the body . i was also told ? that it was sent back to Leupolds . where they put it on a rifle . shot it and it held zero . so they put it in there museum and he got another one to replace it . tom was given a stainless GC2 to replace it ( and a bloody great wedge of dosh , is my bet ) i think Dale has it now ? anyway that is what i was told ??? HOLLY
     
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  18. Dijon

    Dijon Member

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    I have MDS number 13 - lucky for some.
    Stock is RH semi Tyrolean and seems to be made from American Black Walnut.
    Far from perfect, but not in too bad condition. A delightful rifle to use (apologies to those who know how little use my rifles get).
    Only problem with it that I have - and now thanks to Mr H I know the scale of it - is those skinny dovetails; I don't have a set of mounts that fit. Should anyone have a 9mm set gathering dust, please let me know and hopefully we could come to an agreement
     

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  19. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    I now know whose gun that was originally.

    I thought I recognised it from the brass piece on the front.

    No 13 was Pete Snatchfold's old gun. I wondered where that had gone when his ex-wife sold it, ( when Pete passed away), with the Hertel & Reuss scope for £200 apparently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  20. Mr H.

    Mr H. I am not even a number.

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    I knew I had a photo of Snatcher somewhere with the MDS, I think he did the stock himself - well after Mick in-letted it for him.

    Ironically he also had a GC2 which he used to good effect but knew when to use the MDS and it always paid off.

    So a Hertel is required to put back to original.

    Regards,

    Mark.
     

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