Friday, October 27, 2017

Demilled SKS Project: A Ghetto Restoration (part 1)

Went to the “Crossroads of the West” gun show here a few weeks ago.  It was about less than an hour drive from Camp Pendleton.  I spent a few hours combing through the of aisles of typically over-priced gunshow weaponry, beef jerky, military surplus, and nazi memorabilia, but it was all kind of like a bizzaro universe where everything was dumbed down because of California gun laws.  Didn’t find anything interesting, except this scrapped SKS that was chopped in half at the receiver, leaving the area where the bolt engages the locking lug perfectly intact.  Is this demilled to ATF specifications?  Who can say anymore, really.  Over the years the ATF changed the rules several times with regard to how to properly demill a rifle to scrap (most of which only actually applies to imports of military weapons).
Crossroads of the West
There’s no telling that this is 100% demilled properly.  If I knew for sure, I would scrub that serial off and turn this into a pistol.  But for all I know, this is probably still technically and legally a firearm.  In that case I should have gotten a background check on it, however, as a native Texan I felt that I am exempt from such Californian non-sense (in my opinion).
The demilled SKS barreled action.
But now more questions are raised - Why was this chopped in half in the first place?  Is it a police confiscation?  Perhaps it was demilled for safety reasons?  The metal seems good and it has import stamps.  The only reasonable way to find out if it will blow up in my face is to restore it and shoot it!
So in order to err on the side of caution (NFA-wise), I’m just going to keep this in rifle configuration. I didn’t bring welding equipment with me, so my plan is to rig this back together using metal plate stock and good ol’ Chinese 10-32 tpi screws.  Also for additional strength and rigidity, it will use a steel Choate siderail mount attached via more screws.

Choate mount on an SKS action (not my photo).
A crude mock-up composite of the first two SKS photos.  The
 red represents my steel plate and the green dots are the
location of the screws.

...TO BE CONTINUED!  Probably after Christmas when ship exercises have slowed down for a brief time.  Also there is now a site index listing my projects in progress (such as this one) and projects to come.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Swing-out action, single barrel shotgun

Saw this auction for an odd .410" shotgun barrel on ebay.  It didn't have a hinge point like usual single-shot, break-open weapons, so I was tempted to buy it because of how unusual it is, but I don't really have the time for another project.

The barrel is from a Firearms International model Garcia Bronco, .410".  Sometimes these skeletonized weapons were known as "bicycle guns," because they could be folded up and stored underneath a bicycle's frame.  The barrel rotates like a modern swing-out revolver.  The barrel appears to be held in place to the rotating sleeve assembly by two pins, but there must be more to it than that?  Perhaps it's pressed in or threaded in?  One flaw I could possibly see in this rotating action is that everything seems to be hanging on a relatively thin solid rod which is also used as the axis of rotation - what would happen if that bent?
It's not really as rare as I had thought because people are finding this thing in pawn shops for less than $100.  The simplicity of the action makes this seem like it would be easy to replicate with simple tools.  Gun Parts Corp is also selling parts for the combo gun.  Chiefly, the barrel sleeve and breach block are relevant to my interests.