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Author Topic: Gunsmithing (no politics)  (Read 63635 times)

pwhodges

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Gunsmithing (no politics)
« on: 05 May 2013, 02:15 »

It can be seen in the gun control discussion in Discuss that we have a couple of enthusiastic gunsmiths on this forum.  It seems to me that the discussions they have on the subject of gunsmithing itself do not really belong in that thread, and so it is suggested that they should continue that discussion of their interest in this forum, for which purpose I have created this thread.  Anyone who feels uncomfortable with details of guns is free to avoid reading this thread, of course.  The established forum rules about picturing guns remain in place outside this thread: pictures that show guns simply for their own sake are not allowed; but in this thread pictures can be included that help to explain a point being made or demonstrate the result of a technique being discussed.  The politics of guns must remain in Discuss, though factual statement or clarification of regulations affecting gunsmithing may be appropriate here.
« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2013, 14:23 by pwhodges »
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #1 on: 05 May 2013, 03:02 »

So I had to think about my first post in here, I'd like to thank the mod staff for letting us do this.

Suppressors (or silencers as they're commonly called) seem to be a confusing subject for a lot of people, thanks to Hollywood the average individual, even those who have had some experience with firearms have a lot of misconceptions about these simply safety devices. So I think I'm going to open up with a little mythbusting. The following video is an excellent mechanical explanation of what's going on with the firearm when you're using a suppressor.
So the mechanical properties are pretty simple, but the restrictions on these tools are a little ridiculous. Assuming your weapon is threaded to allow for a silencer there's an $200 dollar additional tax to be payed, as well as filling out the ATF paperwork required to purchase one. Despite the name in Hollywood a silencer doesn't really silence the weapon, even in small caliber .22s with sub sonic ammunition there's still noise. Some specialty built weapons like the De Lisle carbine from WW2 all but eliminated sound, but were purpose built to this regard, utilizing integral suppressors. There's a decent benefit to shooters who are interested in the system, hunting in particular can allow for a second follow up shot, as game usually has trouble locating the source of sound for a well suppressed shot, giving a hunter a second chance on a miss, it also allows for the hunter to risk shooting without ear plugs, opening up more of your senses and saving you motions to go "ears on" if you've been listening. The recoil reduction can also be desirable for some shooters, but the primary benefit lies in being able to shoot all you want without super sonic cracks going off in your ear all the time. I've been shooting my entire life and I haven't protected my ears the way I should have, it does make an impact.

Now some more general knowledge websites:
Guns In America (short over view of every state's firearms laws): http://www.homesecurity.org/blog/guns-in-america-how-to-buy-sell-shoot-in-every-state/
Opencarry.org: http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=101 Slightly more detailed maps breaking down laws by state, the rest of the website has a ton of law information and other useful materials.
Doc GKR: http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?f=91 Doc GKR is a Dentist, expert ballistician and active shooter, the threads herein concern duty rounds, carry, self defense and most importantly terminal ballistics, which is to say what the bullet does when you hit what you're aiming at. Now this information's fairly important to a shooter, and a defensive shooter in particular and this information's a gold mine (I picked the loads and rounds I wanted to test for my own CCW based on Doc's recommendations and eventually settled on Winchester Ranger JHPs) but... they can be kinda squicky. So if you have a weak stomach or aren't a fan of this whole gun thing in general, do yourself a favor and skip this link.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #2 on: 05 Jul 2013, 21:35 »

So I recently built an AR-15 from a parts kit. Why would you do that? It's fulfilling to put them together because it is absolutely yours. You need a couple basic tools and a castle nut wrench depending on how "from parts" you're going. You can technically purchase every portion of an AR-15 "a la carte" so to speak. In my case I purchased a complete upper receiver (barrel, gas system, etc are all pre installed, etc) and a stripped "lower receiver" the former you can have mailed to you, while the latter is actually what the ATF considered "the firearm" and requires you to go through an FFL. As stripped might imply you'll then need a lower parts kit, buffer tube (and attendant parts) and a stock to to make a complete lower receiver.

AR-15s are jokingly referred to by enthusiasts in the United States as "Barbie Dolls for men" because of the mind blowing number of options for pretty much every single part of the "base" rifle and the unlimited number of accessories you can add.


So in this picture we get a pretty decent look at the parts kit. At the top is the upper, with the charging handle and bolt carrier group laying next to it. Immediately below it is the stripped lower receiver, and to the left of that is my new flash hider, to replace the "standard" style flash hider/compensator presently on the rifle. To the left of that are the parts that make up the buffer, buffer tube stock and the pistol grip. To the right of the pistol grip is the dissembled trigger mechanism the various small parts bags and finally on the far right, the rear sights. If you want to see the full process on how a lower gets put together just give it a quick search on youtube, there's some great instructional videos on there. Otherwise here's my completed AR-15.



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Method of Madness

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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #3 on: 06 Jul 2013, 05:38 »

How long did it take to assemble?
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #4 on: 06 Jul 2013, 08:19 »

Roughly 30-45 minutes? I've spent longer on more complex lego kits.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #5 on: 06 Jul 2013, 22:58 »

Do report on the results of your first tests on a shooting track!
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #6 on: 06 Jul 2013, 23:00 »

I'm just curious, is it cheaper to buy the parts than it is to buy a fully assembled rifle?
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #7 on: 06 Jul 2013, 23:12 »

It can be if you shop around.  I sunk about $1,100 into my M4; one of comparable features and quality would probably be $1,300 from a manufacturer.  Really, a lot of the so-called "manufacturers" are nothing more than wholesale assemblers.  A big part of it though, like GM said, is that there's some personal satisfaction in assembling your own gun from the component level just the way you want it.  And no joke on the LEGO thing, either.

----------------------------

FWIW:  I was opposed to the creation of this thread from the beginning - the QC Forum is, in my view, Not The Place for this kind of thing - mostly on the basis that it looked like Garand and I would be the only people interested in participating.  Not to look Hodges' gift hoarse in the mouth, it was a nice gesture, but it feels like... tokenism.  Tokenism and showing off (on our part.)  If other people do actually decide to show up and participate though, then maybe I give it a fair chance.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #8 on: 06 Jul 2013, 23:18 »

mostly on the basis that it looked like Garand and I would be the only people interested in participating.
It appears Skewbrow and I have already proven this wrong, which I would hope is a good thing. (We're participating as outsiders learning, but isn't that the point? For people with experience to teach people without about the subject?)
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #9 on: 07 Jul 2013, 00:06 »

Works for me.  I'm just saying I really didn't expect it to happen.

ETA: Example of how much work is involved - about the first minute shows the barrel being assembled into the upper-half, a lot of builders (Garand and myself* included) skip that part by buying their uppers already fully assembled.  A lot of that part has been cut from the time lapse due to being off-screen, and his particular choice of parts makes it a bit faster than building a standard, pinned-block upper.

*That is, I did for my last build, but that's not really going to be an option when I eventually do my semiauto Colt 604 replica.

« Last Edit: 07 Jul 2013, 00:47 by Caspian Sea Monster »
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #10 on: 07 Jul 2013, 01:14 »

Do report on the results of your first tests on a shooting track!

Going out tuesday to make sure everything's functioning properly so I'll make sure to report.

I'm just curious, is it cheaper to buy the parts than it is to buy a fully assembled rifle?

Like CSM said, absolutely yes... in most cases. Depends on what you want really. A "sporter" quality AR-15 can be had for about $700-800, (especially now that the black rifle price bubble has burst and things are mostly back to normal) and while that will get you a functioning rifle that will be good for target practice and hunting, it's also as entry level as you can get. Not that they aren't good rifles... but there's quality in everything, and especially in mechanical things of all sorts, quality differences between parts can be extremely difficult to explain clearly to the un-initiated. There's also some elitism BS in there with AR-15 parts in particular, especially when it comes to scopes. Asking about quality scopes or red dots that don't cost half a month's pay (if not more) on places like AR15.com will absolutely get you flamed harder then suggesting that Diane Feinstein* is a nice lady.

All told I spent about $950 (with transfer fees) on just the rifle, I would guess that I'd probably pay around $1500 if I bought it as a complete rifle from Palmetto State Armory (the company I purchased my upper receiver from) based on their prices for similar rifles.

One of the major benefits of the AR-15 system is again back to LEGOs and Barbie Dolls for Men(and women/non-gender specific individuals who wanna play too) is JUST getting the lower receiver. With my single AR-15 lower I can run a ridiculous number of rifles in all sorts of calibers with just that lower and in some cases the same bolt carrier group.** This can be pretty cost effective for a lot of shooters as it saves you a not insignificant amount of money on rifles and parts as a barreled upper receiver can be had cheap in many cases, (compared to a full weapon) so it's a matter of more bang for your buck. Personal example, after I make a few upgrades to my current set up (for CSM: H2 Buffer, BAD lever, etc) I'll be purchasing a second AR upper receiver chambered in the  .300 Blackout round, which is a .30 caliber bullet designed to be 100% compatible will all AR-15 parts including magazines, as I recall you only need a barrel swap. As I intend to do wild boar hunting in the Southern U.S. this heavier round is giving me more punch on a fairly dangerous and heavy critter over the 5.56/.223 (the AR-15's native round(s)) but again, fraction of the cost.

CSM honestly given how many people expressed interest and asked us stuff in the Gun Laws thread, I have to say I think this thread's a good idea. It might be an alien concept for some of our fellow forumites, but how can we make ourselves better understood as enthusiasts, and as members of a uniquely American sub-culture to a global audience if we only talk about something we're passionate about behind closed doors? That's what breeds bias, misconceptions and ultimately prejudice.

*Diane Feinstein is the senior Senator from California, a democrat and the queen of the gun grabbers, thus she is the mortal enemy of gun owner types (the politically active ones at least) sponsored the last attempt at an assault weapons ban this year, and was key to the '94 AWB.

**Bolt Carrier Group: The BCG is the part of the rifle where all the interesting stuff happens. In semi-automatic weapons, the gases of the shot propelling the round down range also moves the BCG back, ejecting the spent casing and resetting the firing pin, as well as locking the next round into place for firing. This video provides a decent illustration of what's happening.
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Pilchard123

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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #11 on: 07 Jul 2013, 01:46 »

[...] I'll make sure to report. [...]

No, the gun does that. :P
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #12 on: 07 Jul 2013, 01:51 »

Not with a good suppressor installed... >.>
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #13 on: 07 Jul 2013, 01:55 »

[...] I'll make sure to report. [...]

No, the gun does that. :P

::slow clap::
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #14 on: 07 Jul 2013, 02:25 »

My only exposure to semi-automatic rifles (well, my only exposure to firearms) is from my conscript duty, when we used the local variant of a Kalashnikov (aka AK-47). As in your explanation, the force of gunpowder gases is partly redirected to eject the spent casing and reload a new round from the magazine. But in a Kalashnikov the pressure of the escaping gas is used to move back a piston inside a tube sitting on top of the barrel (IIRC there's a small hole on the ceiling of the barrel to let enough of the gas to go that way), and the motion of that piston does all the work. May be I missed it in your video, but I didn't see that happening there? Looked more like the pressure was directly causing the moving parts to go back and do their magic? May be slightly different way of achieving the same end result?

I'm a bit curious. If there are two (or more) different ways of doing it, what are their relative dis/advantages. The bits given to us (in the early 80s) were that Kalashnikovs have a reputation of being quite dependable, i.e. rarely malfunction. Having that extra tube was a concern for us conscripts in the sense that it was one more part we needed to take good care of (oil it and clean it after using the rifle). After all, that tube is also exposed to the corroding effects of gunpowder gases.
I would be a bit worried about having any of that corroding effect on the precision crafted parts: lock, action (?) ... Arrgh, I need to make a Wiki-dip to learn the correct English words for rifle parts - hoping to edit this late...

Edit: This wikipedia page  lists some alternative ways of automatically powering the cycle. Garand and Kalashnikov seem to both use what's called "long stroke gas piston", but I didn't find AR-15 in that page. The same as M16?
« Last Edit: 07 Jul 2013, 02:57 by Skewbrow »
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #15 on: 07 Jul 2013, 03:22 »

The short version is that the AR-15 is gas-operated like an AK, yes, but the piston is in the back of the gun, machined directly out of the bolt itself, and the gas is carried there by a skinny little tube that is often compared with an automobile exhaust pipe.  Some people consider this a serious weakness, and I think they are all sadly misguided and misinformed about one of the most clever rifle designs ever devised.

As to what makes one particular autoloading system superior or inferior to another, that's a very deep rabbit hole that both I and my laptop battery are too tired to dive into right now.  And yes there are plenty of types - pure blowback, mechanically-delayed blowback, gas-delayed blowback, blow-forward, short-stroke recoil operated, long-stroke recoil operated, short-stroke gas operated, long-stroke gas operated (like the Kalashnikov,) direct-gas operated... I could probably come up with a few more obscure ones if you pressed me to.

Edit: Yes, same as M16.  The M16 is the US Military's designation for a few different specific variants of the AR-15 family.  And yeah, you are correct; the Garand and AK are both long-stroke gas system guns.
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GarandMarine

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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #16 on: 07 Jul 2013, 11:42 »

Back to the AR-15 Barbie doll comparison you can convert an AR-15 to a piston driven style system with conversion kits that go for $300-400 roughly. Honestly if you're not good enough about cleaning your rifles that you like the idea of having to put less elbow grease in, the problem is the shooter, not the rifle.

CSM is absolutely correct on preferences between operating systems. I actively shoot all kinds of rifles and I honestly think that preferring one over another in a "all my rifles must be X" sense is bollocks. I like AKs and appreciate their design. I have practiced the profession of warfare with the M-16 and it's system and find it excellent, it's siblings in the AR family like I own now are similarly solid. I've fired some really weird operating systems and found they worked just fine too. If you're a responsible shooter who takes good care of their equipment your firearm will not fail you whether you're on the range, hunting or fighting for your life.

Meanwhile someone is selling this beautiful creation in my local.



Goddess DAMN I wish I had the 6.5k being asked for that beautiful classic. (Hollis 12 bore double rifle, it's got a closer relationship with field artillery then lesser rifles)

On a side note for the curious, the following's my current "shopping list" for various acquisitions in no particular order. This is the curse of the collector folks, I actively shoot, I hunt, occasionally I compete, and I carry for self defense but mostly I buy guns because I like'em.
Rifles:
.300 BL Upper
Mosin Nagant rifle
PSL rifle (aka the Dragunov knock off)
Ruger 10/22 (small semi automatic .22 caliber rifle, popular in the U.S.)
17XX Long Land pattern Brown Bess musket (Reproduction, I will never make the kind of money originals go for and if I did I would immediately donate such arms to a museum)
Sig 516 (modern variant that eats STANAGs*)
Mare's Leg in .45 LC (a pistolized lever action rifle, Zoey's gun in fire fly is an example of a mare's leg)**
FAL

Pistols:
Walther PPK (Yes. I'm a dork, got it)
Smith and Wesson Highway Patrolman revolver (classic American six gun)
Ruger Vaquero (reproduction of the Colt Single Action Army, /the/ six gun. in .45 Long Colt) **

Shotguns:
Double barrel 12 gauge**
Model 1897 Trench gun**

Expensive One Day Purchases: (every rifle on this list all told will run me /at least/ $2000, more when/if optics get involved)
IMI Tavor (the newly import legal civilian model of Israel's next gen assault rifle, and my one true love***)
M1A rifle (Not an M1 Garand, but in fact the civilian variant of the American M14 rifle)
Barret .50 Cal rifle. (Why do I want to be able to lob shots down range up to two miles? Because I can.)

*STANAG: STANdardization AGreement. Refers to a NATO document that standardized rifle magazines amongst NATO members. Such magazines are often just called "STANAGs". AR-15s/M-16s are the most prevalent rifle that uses STANAG magazines.
**These older arms are for competition in an American shooting league called "Cowboy Action Shooting" which is stupid amounts of fun. It combines cosplay, classic firearms and practical shooting skills in a glorious living history/renn faire atmosphere. It's directly comparable to modern three gun competitions which also focus on the interplay of "the big three" (shotgun, pistol and rifle) but of course uses modern arms. CAS is a bit easier to get into in many cases as three gun like most high end competition sports requires a lot of time, effort and money to even vaguely get good, CAS communities are a bit more greenhorn friendly and have more of a "fun" focus at the average event.

***The TAR-21 (aka Tavor)
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #17 on: 07 Jul 2013, 15:30 »

Cowboy Action Shooting: Because LARPing with guns is still LARPing.

Quote
I actively shoot all kinds of rifles and I honestly think that preferring one over another in a "all my rifles must be X" sense is bollocks.

Variety is the spice of life - I am an equal opportunity collector.  That said, most of my interest has become invested in the AR-15 - what you get when you ask a team of aerospace engineers to design an infantry rifle.  Vanilla direct gas - none of this short-stroke conversion nonsense - and Colt/FNH/BCM or GTFO.
« Last Edit: 07 Jul 2013, 16:36 by Caspian Sea Monster »
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #18 on: 07 Jul 2013, 18:25 »

You get a complete piece of garbage for it's first generation combat rifle? Yeah sounds about right. My uncle's a Vietnam vet and has some very choice words about the M16A1, most of them not fit for reprinting in polite company. It's been a couple tech generations and I loved my FN M16A4 more purely then any woman I've ever been with, (and with none of the fighting of her sister that I dated in bootcamp, an M-16A2 that really hated military drill) and would happily put my neck on the line with her. (Belladonna was her name for the curious, I loved the old "beautiful woman/deadly poison" thing.)

If CAS is LARP, what is Three Gun? LARP: Call of Duty edition? XD not that I wouldn't participate in WW2 reenacting which really is LARP... but it's all the fun bits of the Marine Corps, running around the woods with your buddies with a small arsenal fighting the bad guys, with none of the negative issues that come with the above. (Nazis don't use IEDs, and even if they did, no one is dead at the end of the day at a reenactment barring a serious accident.)

I still need to show up at a local three gun run with my Garand, 1911 and a 1897 trench gun once I get one. No silly plastic stocks here, or high end special metals, no sir/ma'am, just steel, wood and 'Murrica.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #19 on: 07 Jul 2013, 19:32 »

I have come to realize that almost no one actually fully understands what happened with the first M16s.  It isn't a short or simple story, and yet its retelling has turned into a lot of sweeping generalizations and serious misunderstandings - a really annoying game of telephone.  Here's the short version that isn't bullshit:  The AR-15's introduction to military service was a disaster because of bureaucratic interference by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to a treasonously idiotic level.  It was developed in the shadow of another weapon system and the prevailing mindset is "sure, we'll put it in service now, but the SPIW will just make it obsolete in four years anyway so it doesn't actually matter that much.  Don't bother spending any money at all on testing and further development, just push it into service as-is."  To which end the OSD (1) prevented known problems from being fixed (2) prevented suspected problems from being investigated (3) prevented further testing to uncover unknown problems and (4) introduced new problems that weren't there before McNamara's flunkies stuck their nose into the issue and started making uneducated engineering decisions from an administrative standpoint.  The rifle went into service in 1964 I think, and US Army spent four years fighting tooth-and-nail against the OSD to get all the bugs worked out.  The rifles that were rolling off the assembly lines by spring of 1968 were actually extremely reliable and dependable rifles (the one I intend to build is a semiauto copy of a 1972 USAF M16 and you best believe me, that is a nice rifle,) but few things survive a bad first reputation.  It also takes time to rotate out all the bad rifles for good ones, so the horror stories don't actually stop in 1968, but they start to stop there.

What you get when you ask a team of aerospace engineers to design something is a product where weight reduction (aluminium and plastic wherever you can substitute it in place of steel without getting too weak) and balance refinement (putting all the moving parts behind the breech and extending into the buttstock) are at the very top of the priority list, and concerns about cost/complexity of manufacture (machined aluminium alloy hot-forgings for most of the structural components?) are on the second page.

And yes, Three-Gun can be LARPing too.  :P
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #20 on: 07 Jul 2013, 19:39 »

I hear you, and was mostly teasing because I know you're the biggest AR family fan girl I have honestly ever met. Not that that's a bad thing, like I said I love the platform and have lived by it and been in situations to die by it too. I still honestly prefer battle rifles to assault rifle class weapons systems, but then again my favorite mathematical formula is the one for the difference between cover and concealment... I'm also a luddite who would use a horse as his primary mode of transportation if that was in ANY WAY feasible.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #21 on: 08 Jul 2013, 03:04 »

I'm also a luddite who would use a horse as his primary mode of transportation if that was in ANY WAY feasible.
trying not to hold the first part of that sentence against you (=P), but you know there are still a few places in the country where that IS actually a possibility, right?
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #22 on: 08 Jul 2013, 08:39 »


I still need to show up at a local three gun run with my Garand, 1911 and a 1897 trench gun once I get one. No silly plastic stocks here, or high end special metals, no sir/ma'am, just steel, wood and 'Murrica.

Let me know when, and I'll drive up and record/watch. That would be awesome


I just recently finished assembling my first AR-15 lower receiver. Picked up an Anderson stripped lower and CMMG parts kit before I left Georgia, and the buffer assembly while on leave in Wisconsin. Threw a tan stock and grip on that I got from a Canadian contractor while I was in Afghanistan. One of these days (translation: when I have money) I'll probably just spring for an assembled upper to finish the job.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #23 on: 08 Jul 2013, 09:00 »

I'm also a luddite who would use a horse as his primary mode of transportation if that was in ANY WAY feasible.
trying not to hold the first part of that sentence against you (=P), but you know there are still a few places in the country where that IS actually a possibility, right?

The rejecting all technology for the greater glory of god bit? Or the using a horse as my primary transport? because the latter's theoretically possible any where, just not practical. The former is just kinda stupid.


I still need to show up at a local three gun run with my Garand, 1911 and a 1897 trench gun once I get one. No silly plastic stocks here, or high end special metals, no sir/ma'am, just steel, wood and 'Murrica.

Let me know when, and I'll drive up and record/watch. That would be awesome


I just recently finished assembling my first AR-15 lower receiver. Picked up an Anderson stripped lower and CMMG parts kit before I left Georgia, and the buffer assembly while on leave in Wisconsin. Threw a tan stock and grip on that I got from a Canadian contractor while I was in Afghanistan. One of these days (translation: when I have money) I'll probably just spring for an assembled upper to finish the job.

Assembled uppers are the way to go, shop around a little and watch Palmetto State Armory's sales, they have pretty good deals, but you need to watch carefully, lot of places have been selling uppers without BCGs, and those are kinda important.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #24 on: 08 Jul 2013, 11:23 »

...Birth Control Glasses? :P
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #25 on: 09 Jul 2013, 19:34 »

Bolt Carrier Groups!

Any way I return smelling of gun powder, sweat and happiness not much worse for the wear. M1 is BZO'd, I was going to check it at 200, but the range we were on was a real pain in the ass about checking targets, she was a bit low and to the left, but that corrected easily enough. I had my buddy Coin do a couple rounds down range with the Garand while I watched with a spotting scope, straight and true through the target and another 200 yards to the berm no problem. Had one really weird misfire with the Garand, my buddy The Baron, had already cleared it by the time I got over there, but the Garand's action smashed the hell out of a live round , like bent it in two places, dislodged the bullet a little... it was a real mess and I have no idea how that happened, performance was excellent other wise.

Only put a mag of 5.56 down range with the AR to ensure everything was as it should be mechanically and it's working great. Magpul's sights are just about right on too. Good enough for back up sights, now I just need to hunt up some glass. UTG's "Bugsplatter" series "CQB" scope has gotten a feth ton of good reviews so despite it being a bit bargain barrel I might give it a chance before picking up a pricier optic. The rifle's light as hell too. I wish I could have been hauling that sweet little thing around in the Marines. The flash hider functioned well, and I do actually think the couple ounces extra weight on the end of the barrel helped out with muzzle rise on hammer pairs/controlled pairs as reported by some reviewers. It's also quite aesthetically pleasing and I got several comments and questions about it and the AR over all.

The big thing for me today was pistol. I honestly never feel quite as confident as I want to be with a pistol compared to a rifle, mostly because I self taught myself pistol shooting and the Weaver stance. My 1911 has classic military leaf sights (Classic as in, what it came with out of the box in 1911) so they can apparently be a bit harder to use, but once I corrected a small tendency to angle slightly down (barely noticeable) I was putting nice groups in the red from a good Weaver no problem. Coin (who is fellow military and an NRA pistol instructor) told me I was good to go, but was more impressed with my 1911A1, it's Rock Island Armory which for those who don't know is a Filipino country famous for making extremely cheap entry level 1911s, now I know my baby performs, which is why she's my CCW, I will absolutely trust that hand gun with my life, but her ability to eat that nasty Tula (steel cased Russian ammo famous for being useable, but kinda janky) come back for seconds and not skip a beat (I torture tested her with 300 rounds of that crap, when I got the pistol, not a single misfire of any kind... she made me pay for it on the clean up though, ugh that ammo's gross) always seems to impress, along with the general smooth and comfortable, low recoil, easy to control action that makes a 1911, well a 1911. Knowing what I do about my RIA now, I honestly feel like I ripped off the company getting my girlie for $400 out the door.

Pro Tip of the Day that's Contrary to Common Knowledge/Practice: NEVER EVER decock 1911 style pistols* it's bad for the mechanism. Dry fire the weapon.

*unless it's one of those messed up versions that has been modified with a decocker.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #26 on: 09 Jul 2013, 20:12 »

I've heard good things about UTG's optics, especially for the price they run. I've been debating picking one up for my Mossberg AR-22.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #28 on: 08 Oct 2013, 19:32 »

Someone stole one of my project ideas.



I can't be mad though. It's beautiful, and I want one. Yes friends, that is a 1911 in .357 Magnum. Maybe there is a god who wants our happiness after all.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #29 on: 08 Oct 2013, 19:49 »

You've never seen a Coonan before?  These things have been around (intermittently) for decades.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #30 on: 09 Oct 2013, 09:58 »

Nope. I've heard about .357 Mag 1911s but figured they were a joke.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #31 on: 12 Oct 2013, 18:22 »

I fired a Coonan several years ago.  It's nice and not as snappy a recoil as I'd expected.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #32 on: 22 Oct 2013, 10:17 »


« Last Edit: 26 Oct 2013, 06:47 by GarandMarine »
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #33 on: 22 Oct 2013, 11:55 »

The first one? Awesome. The second one? Amusing. The third one doesn't belong here, especially since the title of the thread is (no politics).
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #34 on: 22 Oct 2013, 12:35 »

the First definitely scares me. 
And I own some 20ga "artillery simulator" rounds. (Great for 4th of July celebrations, btw)

the Mosin Nagant is fucking hilarious.

the spoiler, while political, is a true illustration of the topic's history.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #35 on: 22 Oct 2013, 12:38 »

I'm not going to respond to that, because no politics. Come on, now.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #36 on: 23 Oct 2013, 05:02 »

I'm not sure why it is that I find guns unsettling and distressing, whereas I find swords interesting and often beautiful, even though both are used to kill. I guess maybe because swords are less often used for murders these days than guns are? Anyway, I know absolutely nothing at all about sword functionality but I am intrigued by the beautiful intricate detail on the swords and ... swordcase thingies. Presumably they have no functional purpose? Why waste time and effort prettifying your weapon?
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #37 on: 23 Oct 2013, 05:10 »

Sheaths, and most often times they don't, usually it was just a way to show status or rank... or whether or not one was a noble. In many cases functional details were made artistic, and that in itself was considered a mark of high quality craftsmanship, it would also cost a small fortune, as it does to this day. Personally May I see firearms and swords in a very similar light. There is a beauty to firearms from about the 1950s back and in modern well made arms that is no less then any other work of craftsmanship.

For example (Spoiler contains an AR-15 with classic style case hardening and wood furniture and a Hartman and Weiss bolt action rifle. Trigger warning: Guns)
(click to show/hide)

These particular examples, like high end officer swords and swords of nobility, are meant to be beautiful as well as functional. Though I see no less beauty in a well functioning M1 Garand myself.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #38 on: 23 Oct 2013, 05:14 »

I thought that was the word and then second-guessed myself. Thanks!

Those guns are beautiful.  They still unsettle me a bit though because I've got a deeply-ingrained association with those shapes and the idea of violence, death and fear (it is probably incredibly relevant that I have only seen guns in real life when they were being carried by armed police in anticipation of a riot). The artistry explanation makes a lot of sense though. Presumably that isn't the case any more and all armed servicepeople have the same style of weapons if they have the same... uh, brand?

[I might move these posts to the gun thread as they are not very pointless - any thoughts, anyone?]
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #39 on: 23 Oct 2013, 06:24 »

I thought that was the word and then second-guessed myself. Thanks!

Those guns are beautiful.  They still unsettle me a bit though because I've got a deeply-ingrained association with those shapes and the idea of violence, death and fear (it is probably incredibly relevant that I have only seen guns in real life when they were being carried by armed police in anticipation of a riot). The artistry explanation makes a lot of sense though. Presumably that isn't the case any more and all armed servicepeople have the same style of weapons if they have the same... uh, brand?

[I might move these posts to the gun thread as they are not very pointless - any thoughts, anyone?]

It might be worth moving them.

Type might be the more appropriate term for a lot of firearms. For example the M16A4 service rifle I carried in the Marines is made by a variety of manufacturers, just in my service I carried Colt and Fabrique National (FN), the M16 design itself and it's AR15 counterpart are made by thousands of manufacturers world wide, as is it's East Bloc counterpart, the venerable AK-47. (Poor Mikhail Kalashnikov hasn't seen a penny for the many hundreds of millions of copies made world wide). That's really what killed artistry in firearms, mass production. You can see the same type of thing in that lovely arming sword Snalin shared, while we see it as an almost pretty piece now because of the craftsmanship involved in it's day it was a mass produced bulk weapon, the backswords, arming swords, and etc of nobles other members of the leadership cast, would have been vastly improved on that and other basic, and primarily functional designs, and made to the man instead of produced at large for the common foot soldiery.

The reason I draw the line for "artful" weapons in the military around the M1 Garand is mostly personal taste, CSM's our resident Stoner... heheh... fangirl so she might even take umbrage at that, but I see the following weapons as having lost something to the process of modern mass manufacturing. Obviously an individual smith can still do quite a lot with the modern designs, some very beautiful like above... others... are less so.

Trigger warning: A very, very ugly gun.
(click to show/hide)
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #40 on: 23 Oct 2013, 06:34 »

Well hey look at that, I successfully moved and merged a thread! Awesome.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #41 on: 23 Oct 2013, 07:42 »

Mod firsts are fun!
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #42 on: 23 Oct 2013, 08:30 »

I kinda changed my mind about thinking moving this stuff might be a good idea, just on the grounds it was part of a natural progression of conversation in that other thread. Albeit we do have two (one political and the other not) gun threads and no sword thread (something that needs to be rectified asap any way) but the conversation only became not pointless after firearms were mentioned, (roughly three posts total) compared to what I recall as a page and some change worth of sword discussion.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #43 on: 23 Oct 2013, 08:46 »

I agree that we might well need a sword thread! I can split off the sword posts as well.

The reason I wanted to take it out of the pointless thread was because that is a very clearly-defined thread with a specific purpose that has lasted a very long time, and I didn't want to allow it to be derailed (especially since derailing threads is one of my particular talents).
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #44 on: 23 Oct 2013, 11:10 »

I luv me the artistic flow of form and function.  I'm not a fan of mass produced plastic guns, no matter how 'beautified'.
The American Longrifle is a beautiful weapon in all its variations.


you can search the millions of images of how the wood flows with the iron and is highlited/reinforced with brass... most are works of art in my eyes.

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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #45 on: 23 Oct 2013, 11:25 »

I don't necessarily take umbrage at that, because I think we are looking at - and appreciating - different things, maybe.

[It worries me a little bit how much the following post reveals about my personality.]

I am a natural-born and obsessive tinkerer.  If something has a large number of moving parts, I'm going to want to take it apart and put it back together again and figure out how every bit of it works.  I'm good at working on cars (two years of drivetrain maintenance school, hello) but have very little actual interest in them - they are everywhere and kind of struck me as passÚ as a kid.  I tend to be drawn more to working on isolated engines outside the context of cars.  Airplanes and helicopters are much more my style, I'm a huge aviation fanatic, but as a hobby it is prohibitively expensive.  Clocks and watches are fun, but the parts are very tiny and difficult to manipulate and are not particularly robust.  Guns have near the complexity of time pieces without the fragility and with the added benefit of dangerous amounts of heat, noise, and pressure (did I mention I also like jet engines?)  Yeah, they're weapons - I'm very conscious of this fact, I know all about using them as weapons and it's something I take into consideration with regards to owning them, but my actual interest in firearms as a hobby?  Unadulterated geekery.  When I look at guns, this is what I see:

(click to show/hide)

That Hartman and Weiss rifle Garand posted has a certain level of sex appeal, yeah, but honestly the engraving and gold leaf and fancy wood grain and case-hardening coloration just aren't my bag of tea.  I'm interested in the engineering and mechanical aspects of gun design.  In that vein, yeah, the AR-15 - what you get when you ask a team of Cold War aerospace engineers to design an infantry rifle, very innovative in terms of weight reduction and balance correction - is right up my alley.



I may or may not have also spent the last week obsessing over how much better Ruger double-action revolvers are than Smith & Wesson's product line.  Diehard S&W fanatics sneer at Ruger because they just don't have the same pedigree; S&W has been making almost the exact same hand-ejector design, with minor improvements, for 118 years.  Sturm, Ruger & Co. has been in business since 1949 and has only been making hand-ejectors since 1972 - only about a third of the time that S&W has.  Let the S&W snobs sneer all the want.  Ruger came to the drawing board with none of the stubborn prejudices of the old gunmakers and designed their revolvers from the ground up, ultimately coming up with what is just plainly speaking a better design.  The attitude about maintenance presented by S&W is more or less along the lines of, "Don't you dare try to perform your own internal maintenance you ham-fisted prole.  Be a good kid, just clean the cylinder while it is still installed in the gun and drip some oil down the hammer opening and pawl slot.  We're not going to tell you how to take the side plate off because honestly you'll just screw up the insides if you do, and if you try we will all laugh at how stupid you look with screwdriver pry marks on the side of your gun.  In the inconceivable event something actually needs replacement or modification, take it to a trained gunsmith."  Then Ruger comes along and designs a revolver that comes apart for cleaning and maintenance by the end-user not unlike a military rifle.  In 1979 they design the Ruger Redhawk's new cylinder locking mechanism, an order of magnitude stronger and more wear resistant than S&W's contemporary two-point design (S&W did come out with an improved locking system - the "Triple Lock" - in 1908 that is on par with the Redhawk design, but they only produced it for four years before going back to the original.)  Smith & Wesson, it's been fun, but I'm breaking up with you.

Unadulterated geekery.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #46 on: 23 Oct 2013, 12:28 »

I love it when you talk technical like that.

I find I strongly appreciate both aesthetics and the sheer mechanical sexiness of a firearm equally important. I appreciate the AR's mechanical design, I personally find is aesthetically appealing in general as well. Super purdyified guns, but I would rather have a rugged design, with a very fuctional system behind it. Pretty can then be added, like the gilt on a sword.

That's why the M1 is a beautiful weapon to me, the design is very well done, and the rifle itelf is very visually appealing especially if proper maintenance is taken care of on the stock.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #47 on: 23 Oct 2013, 12:31 »

Emoroffle made sure to tell me in not so few words how stupid she thinks the classic AR carry handle looks.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #48 on: 23 Oct 2013, 12:37 »

I love the classic AR carry handle, it's useless for carrying the weapon in any meaningful way, but it's match grade sights are perfectly integrated into a stable, secure platform that way, and it lines up nicely with eye level. Eventually I am going to put together an M16A2 pattern AR just because the 20" barrel, fixed stock, and sights on the classic carry handle just /work/ for me. That bad boy lets me smack head sized targets with a good group at 500m using military green tip rounds. That's pretty goddamn awesome. I actively dislike the M16A4 in comparison because I have to rely on the ACOG rifle scope. While Trijicon makes an excellent product I found I didn't group or shoot nearly as tighly and accurately when I was using irons.
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Re: Gunsmithing (no politics)
« Reply #49 on: 24 Oct 2013, 07:36 »

I love it when you talk technical like that.

 :-D Ditto  :-D  but then I'm a Sturm & Ruger fanboy.
 I actually prefer THIS: (Ruger Ranch Rifle in all its beauty)
(click to show/hide)


over THIS: (Standard M14 with gorgeous stock)
(click to show/hide)

but then, I'd prefer either over a M-16/AR-15 clone. 
In reality, it has less to do with the mechanics than the aesthetic of wood and steel.

*editted to conform with forum rules*
« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2013, 13:31 by Grognard »
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Old enough to know better: Still too young to care.  PONG was my 'gateway' game.
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