Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, from Moms Demand Berettas!

Happy New Years, if anyone actually reads this blog.  I guess this would have been more appropriate for Christmas six days ago.  Or maybe she's celebrating Kwanza, making this only five days late.

Fun with stock footage paid for by two anti-gun rights organizations: Paypal and Moms Demand Action, the original footage being here.

In completely unrelated news I'm still waiting for Busta Rhyme's highly anticipated album sequel to his 1998 hit album Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front, which I consider to be one of the most important albums in all of human history.  So far a quick google search reveals no new information regarding this album, despite Busta pimping it out for the past five years and stating he was wrapping up production for a December 2014 release date.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What happened to the Side-fed Sub-Tek .45 Carbine?

A neat concept that has been visited rarely:  A custom upper assembly that feeds magazines from the side and ejects brass to the ground through the lower assembly's magazine well.  The built-in mag-well adapter of the upper eliminates the need for a magazine adapter so you can switch between .223 and .45 quickly.

I actually owned a similar product - The Prexis Sidefed Upper.  It was sold as a kit which the user had to simply press and pin the barrel and affix the magazine well to the side.  I can't get into why I never made a followup post and subsequent live fire video, but just know that I never did and ponder that for a moment.  Hopefully one day I will get to unfuck the mistakes that were inherent to that particular specimen.

Anyways, a gentleman named Daryl Johnson announced this sidefed .45 ACP upper back in 2012.  His website and associated websites are both down, his Facebook and YouTube hasn't been updated since, and the blog from which I originally learned about this from, The Firearms Blog, seems to have deleted their post about this.  Obviously it's dead in the water now with no trace of any possibility of it surfacing anytime soon.  YouTube video and images from his Facebook page posted below.


 





Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Idea: Self-contained, drop-in FCG for AKM

TAC-CON trigger group for the AK looks interesting.  It's a fancy bumpfire trigger.  I know it's not really a bumpfire trigger and they'll tell you it's not, but that's the impression I get from watching their TAC-CON AR15 video last year.  It's a trigger and hammer set in it's own housing and the first one-piece drop-in FCG for the AK platform, as far as I can tell.  This interests me as a builder, in that it eliminates one step from the building process - that is heat treating the axis pin holes to harden them and preventing them from egging.


Or at least I think it would eliminate the need to harden the axis pin holes.  The TAC-CON FCG housing would have to be touching the floor of the receiver so that it could distribute the stress across more surface area of the receiver.  I'm not really willing to spend that much on my projects to find out, but the idea is still something I want to further investigate.  When you think about it, the AK receiver has 1.25" of space inside, so there is more than enough room inside to build a drop-in trigger housing.  Centerfire Systems is still selling a partial 5-pack FCG for 10 bucks so it only costs $2 to experiment.

Something simple like this, but for the AK platform.
I guess in the end you'd still need to fit and harden the ejector and if you're gonna do that you might as well harden the axis pin holes too.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Elusive Star Model A Pistola

Been busy with Navy stuff these past few months, so haven't had time for updates until now.  I haven't even fired a gun since visiting 29 Palms, CA back in October 2013 and it's driving me crazy.

Ever since I bought my first Mauser Broomhandle back in 2009, I've had a weird obsession with all things 7.63 Mauser.  Specifically, it was the Star Model A that caught my eye.  Maybe it's the neat cartridge it comes chambered in, or maybe it's the Colt 1911-like ergonomics, but I just always wanted one.  Plus I always had a thing for a pistol with a shoulder stock.  Since 2009 I've been using GunAuction's "Auction Recon" feature to alert me in the event that a Model A should show up for sale, but I haven't found a single one yet.  I wasn't really serious about buying one at that point anyways.

YOINK'd!
Last year I happened across a mysterious combination shoulder-stock/wood holster for a mere $75.  I bought it on a whim and discovered it was actually a rare Star Model A shoulder stock - it was fate!  I knew at that point I needed a Star Model A to help complete my collection of NFA-exempt stocked pistols.

I've been searching for a Star Model A Pistola or Carbine more rigorously since.  Either one, any one, chambered in 9mm, 9mm Largo, or 7.63 Mauser, with or without tangent sights.  I see these selling on GunBroker for $1300 for a well-used specimen, and up to $3000-$4000 for a pistol in 95% condition, with or without the shoulder stock, but I'm not willing to pay that much.  Since GunBroker doesn't keep records of old sales, I did a price comparison on GunAuction and it seems that these guns sold for well under $400 ten years ago.  I wonder what changed?

More recently I came across a seller on eBay who was selling a slide and some small pieces of a Star Model A.  I inquired about the frame and managed to talk him into selling the frame and slide to me.  The whole lot was soon transferred home to Texas where it belongs.
 
Disregard that pin thingy on the right.

I'm not sure how I'm going to go about fixing it.  I already knew that parts would be impossible to find for this.  I've been told that cheap surplus Star Model B parts are compatible with the Model A.  I already have most of the major components, so all I would really need is the recoil spring assembly, the safety and slide release, magazine, hammer spring, and barrel.  I think sacrificing a Model B to save a Model A is a fair trade.

The grip panels I believe are the same as a model B.  It's just flat-shaped wood that's slapped on there and held in place with two screws, right?  As for the barrel, a Model B barrel (if it actually fits) can be bored through, relined to.308, and rechambered for 7.63 Mauser.  Pretty sure I'm never going to run across a rear ladder sight by itself, like, ever, so my only hope for that is to just find a complete slide assembly on ebay and part that out.

Yoink'd again!
Bonus:  I recently tracked down a much nicer shoulder stock which I estimate to be in 95% condition (in my non-expert opinion).  It looks pretty new.  As far as I know, the Chinese (nor anyone else, for that matter) didn't manufacture copies of these like they do with Broomhandle, Luger and HiPower stocks, so I'm pretty certain this is original.  The seller is from Spain and doesn't even English, so I dunno if I just spent $100 on a screw or an actual complete stock, but to the left is a picture of what I believe I just purchased, so I'll just have to wait and see if it actually arrives!

  It's also interesting to note how very little information, pictures or video there are out there on these weapons.  Sure, there are a few pictures of a Star MMS and Star Machine Pistol, but below is the only example of a complete Star Model A with shoulder stock and rear tangent sight I could find.
This is what it should look like when it's all said and done.

Additional reading:
www.9mmLargo.com - Everything you need to know about the 9mm Largo round, which includes the Star pistols.
Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A. - Information on all weapons manufactured by Star.
Wikipedia Entry - History of Star Bonifacio Echeverria S.A.
ATF's Curio and Relics list - A list of C&R weapons, including pistols with accompanying shoulder stocks, which are exempt from the 1934 National Firearms Act.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Bizarre Case of LCPL Nasty


Note: I was pissed off about the whole ordeal when I wrote this.  In retrospect, I probably should not have used actual names, and thus I have amended the post to better reflect that.
The first rule of Fat Club is: You do not talk about Fat Club.
I’ve never been so disgusted by a human being as much as my roommate.  I take personal offense to this man’s existence.  He is an insult to the uniform and all hard-working people everywhere.  I’ve known some fat and disgusting people in my life, but none have come close to matching this subhuman filth.

He's actually a Private as of this writing.  I don't know what events led to his demotion, but I had predicted earlier this year that he would fail his 3 mile run.  My prediction – my prayers - came true.  This manchild was supposed to go back to whatever farm in Mississippi he came from in late April. Unfortunately for me, the admin department always screws up one way or another and things get delayed when it comes to getting rid of useless Marines and thus I’m forced to endure his miserable existence for a week more.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Me and the NCIS weapons investigation



This happened a while ago, but I figure it's safe to post this now.

So back in 2013, on a Friday right after work ended, a few weeks before Thanksgiving, I got a call from the Battalion Aid Station where I work at.  It was from the admin department.  They told me I needed to come back to work because a civilian was there to see me.  I knew that meant something bad so I went on my way back to work.  I had a pretty good idea what it was about.

When I got upstairs there was a man who showed me a badge and said he was with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).  I admit, I was scared shitless even though I knew I had done nothing wrong.  They didn’t cuff me or ambush me with flashbangs or throw me to the ground like I thought they would.  They calmly told me the situation – that the Imperial Grand Wizard of USPS-Hawaii saw some suspicious-looking items through their X-Ray machine addressed to me and was concerned.  I assume it was the base post office that was X-raying packages.

On the way downstairs I explained exactly what I was doing with my free time – buying gun parts on eBay and either shipping them home to Texas where they belong or sometimes reselling them.  Like this FN P90 barrel I bought for $15 from a clueless seller and resold for $400.  I couldn’t have them sent directly home from eBay because my family was getting tired of picking up individual packages from the post office, so what I did was have the goods shipped to me on base and once I was ready to go on leave I’d have them packed into a flat rate box and shipped home.  Additionally, I’d  have the added benefit of being able to inspect the item.

As we drove to the station, he explained we live in an age of constant fear of active shooter scenarios and they, the NCIS, were just being cautious that I wasn’t building any bombs or weapons or anything crazy in my room.  Fair enough, I guess.  On a side note, statistics show that mass shootings have not increased in recent years.  I told them they could search my room and would show them where my box of things were.  I got a call from my chief and he sounded pissed.  I explained everything again and gave the phone to the agent so he could explain some more and that seemed to help with the situation.

Totally not contraband.
I admit, I guess I did get a little carried away ordering random shit on eBay.  Lots of shit, mostly gun parts - but certainly nothing illegal.  Specifically, what awaited me for pickup at the station was a 9mm AR15 bolt which I got a bargain on, and a rare Marlin Camp 9mm carbine trigger assembly.  I guess to some, the Marlin triggerguard assembly does look like an AR15 lower and they both serve the same function – they both accept magazines, they both contain the fire control mechanism and both accept a barreled receiver.  But the Marlin Camp 9 trigger assembly is not considered the serialized firearm receiver while the AR15 lower is.  It doesn’t make sense but neither do the majority of other firearms regulations and laws.

The agent was nice and understood what a serialized receiver was.  I'm guessing he too thought this whole thing was a waste of time.  He gave me my stuff and I agreed to sign a bunch of consent forms.  After that me, him, and another agent went to my barracks room and they made me and my roommate (not the fat and smelly one I live with now) leave while they sifted through some drawers, took pictures, and left.  They didn’t smash windows or cut up pillows or anything.  They looked through some of the boxes, but not others, and they did seem to check every drawer of my desk.  I assume they also came across the box with the My Little Pony Pinkie Pie ornaments.  So totally awk.  Don't judge me, I they were supposed to be rare at the time and that I’d resell them on eBay for ridiculous sums of moneys, but I guess they got mass produced after the demand for them went up.

The whole ordeal lasted about an hour and a half.  I had a bit of explaining to do with a few higher-ups, a few Marines gave me the “told you so” spiel, but other than that no big deal was further made of it.

So did I learn my lesson?  Hell no.  While I used to search through eBay religiously, looking through pages and pages of gunparts for the weird, rare, and whacky, but I quit mostly.  I still get email alerts for specific things that I’m always on the lookout for, like magwell adapters, barrels of favorite calibers, rare bolts, and antique reloading tools.  I don't believe there are any rules, state laws, or base regulations being broken by possessing gunparts and non-receivers.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Ghost of SGT Rodriguez



I suppose this would have been more appropriate as an April Fools story, but here it is, twenty days late.  In Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), Hawaii, the area consists of Quonset huts that appear to date back to World War 2.  No one can say for sure when the buildings were constructed and, quite frankly, no one cares.  The Battalian Aid Station (BAS), or Troop Medical Clinic, there is definitely old though.  Medics and Corpsmen who stay there claim to hear strange noises in the hall at night.
 

There are reports of sounds of heavy objects, like desks, lifted into the air and dropped, or slow pacing in the hallway, or telephone conversions in the middle of the night.  Some claim they see dark figures walking around corners and disappearing.  One Corpsman even claimed to catch a glimpse of a figure in a 1980’s olive drab uniform walking down the hall and disappearing into a room.  Some believe this to be the ghost of SGT. Rodriguez.  Some say he was an army sergeant who was killed or murdered at the BAS.
Of course it’s all bullshit however.  I say he was just some bored guy who carved his name in the wet cement.  Ghosts aren’t real.  At least not at the BAS.  People became on edge when our resident toughguy started telling stories about the hauntings and about how men died violently in the X-Ray room, or the “Rape Room,” as it had been so affectionately named.

It’s also the room where we traditionally setup the projector, hook up the Xbox360, play Call of Duty and watch movies.  It’s dark and perfect for watching movies off the harddrives everyone brings to field ops.  I found that whenever Marines go on long training operations they bring harddrives full of movies, TV shows, games and porn.

On the 1 TerraByte drive thoughtfully provided by one of the Marines, it contained the first three seasons of the HBO program, “Game of Thrones,” which is a pretty cool show.  We watched one or two episodes every night.  I missed the ending of season one since I had to go to the field, and I was kind of upset that I would be missing it. When I returned from the field for a 24 hour break, I didn't appreciate having Sean Bean's death ruined for me by blabbermouths.

When I returned to the field for a second time, I received a report that one of the videos had become possessed by the ghost of SGT Rodriguez!  I’m not even making this up - here, watch it for yourself:

Actually, what really happened was before I left I thought it would be funny to pull a little prank and replace one of the movie files with a video consisting of disturbing text and sound.  I really wish someone recorded the reactions of this, because people said they freaked the hell out.  One of the other corpsmen coming back from a field op started Season 2 alone, at midnight, in the dark inside the haunted X-Ray room.  He bolted out of the room when this video showed up.

The music is by experimental grindcore band “Two Dead Sluts, One Good Fuck,” and the video was compiled using Windows Movie Maker.  Bonus points if you can tell which 90’s TGIF sitcom that "Chicago" scene is from.  It’s in the tags if you can’t figure it out.
 Towards the end of the operation, more people started leaving the BAS to return to Kaneohe so I ended up moving from the open bay barracks to sleeping in the BAS as rooms became available.  I spent one night in the creepy isolated room behind the X-Ray room and did not experience any paranormal activity, leaving me to believe that the ghost stories are all lies.  Although I must admit I slept with the lights on and with Die Hard 2 continuously looping on my laptop, so maybe that scared away the ghosts.  Either that or the lead and asbestos did it.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The fat, disgusting slob that is my roommate


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have Gabe Newell as a roommate?  I haven’t, but now I have a pretty good idea.  My fat Marine roommate is the most disgusting slob I’ve ever metHe’s a cook and I suspect he eats a lot of the food from the chow hall.  This motherfucker leaves half-filled bottles of dip everywhere.  He stays in his room all the time, watching dvds, usually Southpark reruns, but sometimes movies from Redbox.  And he’ll rewatch it about two or three times in a row.

He never leaves the barracks room.  He goes into the bathroom every hour or so and spends about thirty minutes to an hour in there with his cellphone blaring out loud music, usually movie trailer music or some kind of pop music.  I know what he does in there; the music is just a cover.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but this motherfucker spends at least five hours a day there that his ass stench is baked into the bathroom.

The first night I came back from Christmas leave, this guy was passed out on his bed with some really loud porn blasting out of his cellphone.  Dirty laundry and empty bags of cheesepuffs were strewn about the floor.  I dropped my bags to the ground and made loud noises as I unpacked so that maybe this sloth would wakeup and cleanup or at least have the decency to turn down his phone, but to no avail.  I left to go to Subway with the luggage left in plain view so maybe he would notice.  When I came back the lights were out so he must have got up and realized I had returned, but otherwise the room was still disgusting.

All my food was gone from the fridge.  I didn’t notice this until he brought it up, but he reimbursed me so I cant complain if he wants to pay me to eat old food.  It was a box of corndogs that I never ate, some icecream which I use as cream for my coffee (it lasts longer than milk which is why I use it), and some Hot Pockets.  Truth be told, the corndogs were my old roommate’s who left and I took the box with me when I moved to the new barracks.  But seriously, how do you eat a whole 20-pack of corndogs and large box of icecream in less than two weeks?

This fat fuck is always eating too.  I woke up on the second night to the sound of munching Cheetos and the sound of the microwave whirring.  The nauseous smell of deep-fried microwave food filled the room.  It must have been the last of the corndogs or more hotpockets.

Worst of all this motherfucker stinks.  He literally smells like the entire gym locker room.  Everytime he comes back from PT (which is rare, but 95 percent chance that it’s mandatory unit PT because I never see Slim voluntarily PT on his own free will or on a weekend) this guy smells like rancid asshole.  And he leaves his clothes and shit on the floor.

Right now he is in the bathroom rewatching a three-minute trailer for some kind of action movie.  It sounds like the theme song from Requiem for a Dream.  So far it has looped about 20 times.  This fatass has been fappin’ on the toilet for an hour.  I usually don’t wish any kind of negativity on anyone, but I seriously hope this jackass fails his physical readiness test and gets booted from the Corps.

...But with honors, because he’s actually a really nice guy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Started work on 80% lower receivers



Finally got around to working on some 80% lower receivers.  In total, there were eight lower receivers waiting for me when I got home.  Four EP Armory lowers (pink, tan, black, and olive drab - all blemished discounts priced at $35), two Polymer80's which I did end up receiving after all (with one disposable jig, planned on doing the other by hand), one mystery reinforced polygonal lower bought off eBay, one HLF standard lower, and one old-style KT Ordnance lower, which was one of first 80% lowers on the market.  Not pictured are the two Jack Squat's AR15 flats.  They are a lot less than 80% so those don't really count, but I still think it's a neat idea.

Just as I suspected, all 80% lowers except the Polymer80s fit the CNC jig.  It's because of the reinforced siding above the axis pin holes that prevent the Polymer80 from fitting (I knew there was a conspiracy to force you to buy their specific jigs).  The only ones I had time to work on were one EP Lower and the mystery lower.  They both fit the jig perfectly.
 
The aluminum lower was a pain in the ass.  I used the CNC Machinery jig on my cheap $40 Harbor Freight drill press.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I used 1/8 drill bits to drill out the smaller holes, using machine oil to help keep things moving.  Then I used the larger drill bits, that was also easy.  The part where I started slowing down was milling out the extra crap between the drill bit holes.  After using a combination of dremel carbide bits and the provided milling bit I was finally able to mill out the FCG pocket.

Good enough for Century Arms
I did the whole thing by hand and it sucked.  A bunch of times the jig would shake violently and felt like it was gonna fly out.  Even if I carefully let the mill bit down into the jig it would start chattering heavily.  I've been told that use of a XY cross slide drill press vice would allow for more precision and stabilization.

Good enough for me!
That's probably the last aluminum one I'll do in a while, unless there's some new crazy Obama law that goes into effect and I need to create a bunch of ARs to help Governor Perry secede Texas from the Union.  The EPLower was a lot more easier to mill out.  I basically used the same method above and when you mill through the colored filler material you stop drilling.  At that point you can just use the milling bit with the jig and smooth out the inner walls.  After that you turn the jig on the side and drill out the axis pins with drill bits.

They both came out okay as long as you don't take it apart and peak inside.  Still not convinced the polymer will be able to handle .223.  I didn't assemble them or test fire them but I did drop in the FCG and an A1 upper and did a function check and it seemed like it should work.  The EP Lowers seemed to be a little too tight on certain magazines and do not drop free.  I didn't bother drilling the safety.  Colonel Samuel Colt didn't need safeties on His weapons and neither do I.  Plus I think by not milling out that area it gives a little bit of extra strength.

The KT Ordnance receiver is neat.  I think I read somewhere that back in the day the ATF said it was okay to have 80% with the pocket already milled out as long as the axis holes remain undrilled, but then they changed their mind sometime later (funny that they have a history of doing this, ie Len Savage, Akins Accelerator, etc).  The catch here is that the buffer tube trunnion is not threaded and the takedown pin holes aren’t drilled so there’s no way to align it to the jig.  I suppose you could align the bolt catch slot with the slot on the jig.  As for the buffer trunnion, I find it difficult to thread holes using just a T-handle, so this will be a project for buffer-less build.

The Polymer 80 was interesting.  It seemed to be made of higher quality material than the EP Lower and have really nicer magwells than the EP Lowers.  The jig came with all the drill bits and mill ends.  The jig is supposed to be used only once and then thrown away.  I clamped the plastic jig around the lower and proceeded to drive in the screws.  The metal screws met some resistance and two of the heads broke off.  I don't know if that was intentional - was that some kind of precaution so that the builder wouldn't try to re-use the jig?  I'm telling you those bastards want to nickel and dime you for their stupid jig!

Well I used the drill bits, drilled to the proper depth and then got to the point where you are supposed to chop off the top jig and use the end mill.  I really didn’t feel like taking a dremel cutoff wheel and trying to cut through plastic.  It seemed like if it weren't for those broken screws I could have taken apart the jig and re-used it to drill out the other Polymer 80.  I think I can still pull it off by having the plastic jig held together with C-clamps.  That's probably another reason why I quit working on it.  I have enough AR15 lowers anyways so I'll save these for later.