June 11th, 2014

Zebra Spotted in the Pacific Northwest

Forum Member John V.S. (aka BPD459) has a special story to tell — about rifle craftsmanship and a life-long friend. What you see below is John’s new .243 Win prone rifle. It sports a beautiful Zebrawood stock crafted by Mr. James Cloward. Here’s the story of Jim Cloward and John’s new gun:

James Cloward of Lake Stevens, Washington did the stock in just a month. The stock is African Zebrawood, with an Ebony grip cap and a WTC rail. Jim had the Zebrawood in stock. I wanted a lighter-colored stock and this blank called my name and did not eat my wallet either! Photos do not do it justice! The rifle features a Barnard action, and 30″, 1:7.5″-twist Krieger chambered in .243 Win by Randy Gregory. Sights are Warner rear and RightSight front.

CLICK Photo to See Full-Screen Version
James Cloward Zebrawood Stock gunstock wood prone rifle

Jim Cloward surveys the original blank.
James Cloward Zebrawood Stock gunstock wood prone rifle

Jim’s stock work is above reproach. His hand-cut checkering is better than a couple custom 1911s I had done by “big name” builders! When Jim refined the original Roy Dunlap stock, he created history. There is no better feeling / handling stock on the world than a Cloward Dunlap stock. I wanted him to do a Dunlap for my Barnards and we could not get it to work due to the size and trigger placement on the Barnard action. So, I just had to make due with his prone stocks — life is rough sometimes.

Respect for a Master Craftsman
I am honored to have known Jim since I was 12, and even more honored to call him a friend. Growing up, it was always “Sir” or “Mr. Cloward” when I would ask him something. When I was 35, Mr. Cloward told me “You can call me Jim now”. I felt like I was a grown-up adult that day!

James Cloward Zebrawood Stock gunstock wood prone rifle

I have several Cloward-built XC rifles and two other prone rifles that Jim stocked. It still amazes me how Jim can take a big piece of rough-sawn firewood and turn into artwork that’s functional and better looking than anyone else’s stocks!

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