A few months ago I was introduced to Tom Walton, one of the early FT shooters in the UK who among a small group of others had a major input in the development of FT as we know it now. Tom was the first FT shooter to use a side focus scope, a 20x Leupold Ultra (Mk4) and developed the first large diameter side wheel.
As I am collecting classic FT rifles Tom offered me his GC2FTX200S rifle, one of only two Airmasters FTX200S rifles that were ever built.
Although two FTX200S rifle were built, the other was made for an Air Arms Shamal and there were subtle differences in the design of the stock which means that they are unique.
The Shamal version unfortunately has been dramatically altered so no longer looks how it was originally built. Incidentally the Shamal was purchased by the late Mike Jose, founder member of my club Cornwall FTC, he sold the rifle to another friend of mine David Owen who cut off the 'foot' section. For a while the stock was in my possession, but I sold it, but I might try and get it back.
Back to the GC2 version, this was originally fitted to GC2 Mk1 serial no. 44, although some people from that time (1988) though having a stock like this was cheating so Tom took it off the rifle and fitted a Custom Stocks CS1000 to No.44. This original GC2 action exploded during a refill, destroying it and the stock the Leupold Mk4 scope was damaged, but it was repaired FOC by Leupold and used successfully afterwards. The stainless steel GC2 action numbered 304, was built by John Ford of SportsMatch to replace Tom's lost action.
While visiting Tom on Saturday to collect the GC2, he also offered me his one-off Ripley action that was specially built for him by Steve Wilkins of Ripley rifles with a stainless steel cylinder with a 60000psi burst pressure, the material for which was 'sourced' from Roll Royce :-)
This Ripley is highly unusual in that the barrel and bolt housing are offset to the left to promote a more upright head position and is the only Ripley that has ever been built like this.
The stock on this rifle has been drastically altered and needs major works.
I will post more photos of the unique features of these rifle over the next few days.