Long known to a small cadre of discriminating collectors and avid enthusiasts, Mike Rowe has been producing specialized tools and accessories for many years from his well equipped workshop in Northwest Arkansas. Combining a lifetime of experience operating machine tools, coupled with his extensive knowledge of metals, natural skill with a file and a simple philosophy that only Best Quality workmanship is good enough, his clients repeatedly look to him when they have projects requiring historically correct repairs or additions such as detachable telescopic sights or other sighting equipment.
In recent years he has combined his interest in collecting and documenting British gun case accessories to now include the manufacture of reproductions, predominantly for the recasing of black powder express rifles, which often left the maker with a full compliment of reloading tools. Every tool is handmade to order in house to Best Quality standards from raw stock, sometimes combined with castings made by two small foundries, one in Arkansas and the other in Oklahoma. Mike maintains a collection of original makers’ catalogs, original tools, and hundreds of blueprints obtained over the years, and he usually has an original tool on the bench while constructing a new one to ensure historical accuracy and correct finish.
The finished tools are indistinguishable from original ones, yet are fully functional, and Mike delights in a client assembling new ammunition with his accessories and seeing an old rifle perform as it was intended.
Also sometimes known as a creaser or pricker, this tool is a reproduction of a G. & J.W. Hawksley A87 from the late 1800s. It is made from bronze, and features two small prongs to indent the cartridge case into the bullet to securely hold it in position.
Bullet Moulds and Regulators
This bronze mould casts a 12 gauge bullet of Col. Fosbery’s design that weighs 725 grains. The bronze regulator has a three start threaded plunger and a steel sizing insert, to ensure the correct fit of the bullet in the barrel of a ball and shot gun.
This group of five capper/decappers are reproductions of the Hawksley A80, a Best Quality device made in the late 1800s. P. Webley and Sons’ No. 7031 is very similar.
They are constructed of polished brass, and feature three-start threads at each end to facilitate fast and smooth operation.
Original examples are known to exist from .360 calibre up to 12 gauge. The above picture shows four that are .450 X 3 1/4”, and one .500 X 3”.
For recapping, the empty case is inserted into the mouth of the tool, and the cover closed. The recapping thread is mounted to the cover.
These spring gate style sling swivels were supplied in cases containing British Best Quality rifles.