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Old 04-25-2010, 10:55 PM
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Default What is a Bishop rifle stock and why is it special?

So it looks like I've finally worked out the trade to get that Marlin I wanted. Coming with it is a scoped "older" Remington 700 in .222 that has a Bishop stock. Not knowing what a Bishop stock is/was, a bit of google fu turns up they were a well known stock maker ala Fajen in the past. The Fajen stock on my Carcano sporter is sort of neat, even being beat up. The current owner said the stock was worth as much as the gun. Is this true? What makes Bishop stocks special/unique? Were older Remington 700s better fit than the somewhat lackluster examples of todaycome to think of it?
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:32 AM
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Bishop, like Fajen made semi-finished and custom gunstocks. I don't think either is still in business.

They had a wide range of quality available from standard to highly figured fancy wood.

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Old 04-26-2010, 06:24 AM
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Gator,

What kind of Marlin are you getting?
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:14 AM
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Bishop was located in Warsaw Mo. and sold semi-finished wood from the 40's 50's and 60's and 70's and finished up in the 80's they sold fine blanks in about any grade you would want and as best as I remember Reinhart Fajen worked for Bishop before he started his own company, a stock from either company if finish inleted by the owner could be the equal of any factory stock if the finisher has some skill. Jeff
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canoeguy View Post
Gator,

What kind of Marlin are you getting?
I honestly don't know the model number. It's the 20" rifle that they made for a while in the 70s in .375 Winchester. Something like 16,000 were made, so it isn't horribly rare, but isn't common either I'm told. I know brass and ammo isn't common, but it's coming with ten boxes of factory ammo. I think that they're the same basic size as a 336.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:19 AM
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Yes, just about any older Remington is by far better in fit and finish than what they are currently producing.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the information. Sounds like it'll be a decent rifle then, I'll pick it up tomorrow. I'm guessing it must be one of the better grade Bishop's from the description I've gotten of it. The Fajen fit to my Carcano sporter was/is oddly impressive considering that it was probably "workman like" in its time in terms of grade and intended use.

I didn't really like the Remington 700 in 7mm mag that I picked up three years or so ago. It was functional and all, but just didn't seem as well turned out as the ones that I remembered from my youth, back when a 700 was considered a fine/staple gun. I think this one is from the 70s, not sure, I was just told that it is "old". That's fine with me, I like old rifles with character.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:43 PM
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Gator,

Be careful with those lever rifles! Soon you'll be trading off all your "Black Rifles" for a stable full of lever guns.

I now have enough Marlins and Winchester lever rifles to arm a large posse, in .22, 30/30, .35 Remington, .357, 45/70 and now 30/06 calibers (a new Browning 1895 in 30/06):




There's nothing like experimenting with cast lead bullets, finding one your lever rifle likes, then shooting the dickens out of the rifle with little expense...

Last edited by canoeguy; 04-26-2010 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:06 PM
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Bishops/Fajens can be lame or fairly nice. Their value depends on who did the work. But as a rule, a rifle with the factory stock is worth more than one with a replacement stock, so I'd be careful.

Saying that a Bishop stock is worth more than the rifle that sits in it is not necessarily a compliment for the rifle.


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Old 03-27-2011, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrm53 View Post
Bishop was located in Warsaw Mo. and sold semi-finished wood from the 40's 50's and 60's and 70's and finished up in the 80's they sold fine blanks in about any grade you would want and as best as I remember Reinhart Fajen worked for Bishop before he started his own company, a stock from either company if finish inleted by the owner could be the equal of any factory stock if the finisher has some skill. Jeff
Jeff, you are right in your comments, I visited both Bishop and Fajen facitities, which was just down the road from each other some years ago. Fajen was a little modern than Bishop, but Bishop just seemed more friendly and was amazing to see the wood they had stored. Some wood stored was back when they first began. It was unfortunate that a few year after my visit Bishop Gun Stocks burned to the ground and, I think. Fajen was sold to MidwayUSA.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:43 PM
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An older Remington in .222 with a Bishop stock is a nice piece. .222 is renowned for accuracy and at one time was considered one of the best bench-rest match cartridge's. Bishop stocks, properly installed will usually enhance the "handle-ability" of the gun. I have a Sako .222 in a Bishop stock and it is just fun. I consider it a 250 yard gun for Prairie Dogs, and even nearly 50 years old it will group under a 1/2".
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:08 PM
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In the early 70's I had an FN action in 25-06 Ackley Improved that I purchased a stock blank for from Fajen. It was well inletted and I just had to glass it in. I was sick when I received it, as the outside looked like a steel brush. After many hours of sanding and finishing, I realized those whiskers and things were where the beautiful wood was. Turned out really nice. Fajen went in for the big rollover cheekpieces and a modern (for the time) shape.
A short time later I bought a Sako action in 270, had it barreled, and sent it to Bishop for a stock. The wood was beautiful, the inletting was excellent, and the oiled finish was great. Bishop generally had more traditional stocks.
At that time, either a Fajen or Bishop stock certainly enhanced the looks and value of a rifle. I am sure over the years as Fajen and Bishop withdrew from the business the quality varied.
As someone mentioned, Fajen was acquired by Midway and you can still buy a Fajen blank.
You will probably really appreciate your Bishop.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:32 PM
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I just bought an FN Mauser actioned 243 in what I believe is a Fajen Mannlicher stock. How great it used to be to be able to buy reasonably priced barreled actions and send them to Bishop or Fajen to have them fitted to a stock of your desires. A bunch on nice Missouri walnut went through those shops.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:47 PM
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The centerfire bolt rifles Marlin sold in the 50's were stocked in Bishop stocks. Stockes were supplied finished to Marlin and only any slight final inletting was done at the factory.
Sako and Mauser actions, Marlin Models 322,422 and 455(?) IIRC.
Barrels were Marlin and Wilson products.

Some of the other mfg'rs that offered up Mauser, Sako, etc rifles with their own name on them in the 50s, & 60's probably used Bishops stocks as well.
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