In a previous post I mentioned wanting (needing) to put a strap on the fore end of the new shortie. That choice was affirmed by several of you, including graphic photo evidence.
I made a stop at Tandy Leather (they've a shop within easy drive of home, no mail order wondering needed!) to pick up a roll of latigo strap and a few basic tools. Lowe's had the t-nuts and cap screws I needed.
I ordered a replacement fore end from Numrich to try my hand at - and when I test-fit it, it was an eighth of an inch too small. Derp. Instead of trying to source yet another replacement, I screwed up my courage and started working on the original.
I learned some time ago that using the right tool for a job makes it a lot easier. I pulled out my Forstner bits and chucked one into the drill press, and just kissed the wood enough to inset the t-nuts. A second pass with a twist bit opened the center up to get the t-nut in, and careful application of channel-lock pliers had the nuts well-seated.
I trimmed the edges and rounded the ends of the leather with a sharp knife, then used an edge beveler to clean up the cuts, and spent a few more minutes burnishing the result. With that done, I punched in holes for the cap screws and attached it to the fore-end.
A few dabs of grease in strategic places, and I reassembled the gun...
Final thoughts... the strap is a bit wider than I'd really like. I may take it off and cut it a bit narrower, then re-finish the edges. It's also a rather spacious loop - as in, I could fit my mitt in there with winter gloves on. With luck, it'll fit around MattG's paws next month... but I fully intend to handicap AD with this when we start flinging clays. :-)