Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We're The "Only One" Officer Safety Enough

Borrowing from David Codrea's meme on the "Only Ones" Files, I found this article from Casper, WY rather interesting.  What got me thinking was this post from "Days of Our Trailers" poster Kaveman.

See, it's OK to violate someones rights, as long as it's for 'officer safety'.  Threatening, or in this case, negotiating their way out of a bogus traffic stop by threatening the accused is wrong on a level that boggles the imagination.  "Sure, you're free to go, but we'll keep our guns pointed at you while you leave...just in case."


Friday, September 21, 2012

Not Quite A Kool-Aid Drinker...


So I finally broke down and bought an AR-pattern rifle.  But not just any old AR.

Not me.  I've resisted buying an AR in any caliber primarily for one reason: the gas system.  I don't like a gun that craps where it eats.  I used to deal with the AR in my day job and after 20+ yrs, I just fell out of lust with it. 

Give me a gun with an operating rod any day.

Sure, when I remember seeing the AR-15/M-16, I thought the gun was totally cool.  That was then.

Give me an AK, or FAL, or M1A, or anything with an operating rod/gas piston system.  As long as it's not a direct impingement system.

And then all these piston driven ARs started hitting the streets.  Primarily chambered in 5.56/.223, I wasn't too keen on those rifles because I'm not a big fan of the round, but not for the reasons you would think.  Yes, it's accurate.  Yes, it can do all kinds of things.  But my thing is, EVERYBODY is shooting it.  It's almost as bad as the .30-06 was back 20-30 yrs ago.  You know the type: If you ain't shooting '06, then you just ain't shooting.

Hogwash.  Turns me right off, right now.

And I don't want to stock a new caliber.  I've got enough to keep me busy as it is.  I don't need to be buying new dies and stuff for my RL550B.

Thus my foray into the AR platform had to be on my terms.  The rifle had to be piston driven, be in a caliber I stock (preferably .30 caliber), and it had to be affordable, under $2,000.

And then they started showing up.  POF-USA has a nice offering, but the price was all wrong.  The ones I saw last year were well north of $2500. LaRue Tactical also offers a .308 piston driven design, but again, price was wayyyyy out of my range.

Enter Sig Sauer and their 716.  .30 caliber?  Check.  Piston driven?  Check again.  Under two grand?  Double check.  So, after much saving and a really good fun show, (and a lot of arguing with the staff at the fun store about why they needed to sell the rifle to somebody else*) I finally have one.

My initial impressions?  This rifle is something to behold.  Weighing in at just a hair over 9 lbs, it's a little heavy, but not much.  Most of the controls are ambidextrous, with the safety/selector and bolt release being standard AR fare.  The four-rail forearm is not really my thing, but it came with the gun, so it stays for now.

Back up irons are nice, and fold down nicely out of the way.  The MagPul stock is comfortable and the six position collapsible stock locks up nicely.  My only complaint is the lock tab doesn't really lock when the lever is squeezed to move the stock on the tube.  Maybe it's not a bug, I don't know.  With all the stuff they've done to the AR in the last 8 yrs, it's hard to keep up with.

The rifle shipped with one 20 rd MagPul SR 25 PMag, I've since bought 4 more because hey, you can never have enough mags, right?  These drop free on release, no sticking or hanging up in the well.  Also shipped with the rifle is the factory 3-point sling.  What's nice is there are 3 (with a fourth stored in the butt stock) attach points for the push-button mounts on each side of the rifle; one on each end of the rail on each side of the gun, and the third near the buffer tube on the back end of each side.

The factory box also contained low-pro rail covers, extra panels for the adjustable pistol grip, and a GI-style cleaning kit.  I've heard and read that some of these came with a hard case, but not mine.

From the picture above, I've added the stubby fore grip you see, and a Sig red dot sight (not pictured).  I"ll know more on the accuracy front tomorrow when I take her out to break in the barrel and check to see how it shoots.

*The argument was basically that they needed to sell the I wouldn't have to buy it.  And THAT worked out well, didn't it? ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

M70 PAP Rebuild

Procrastination is the mother of invention, is she not?

Back in Feb, I bought an M70 PAP single stack with the intention of converting it to standard capacity and making it look a little more "Yugo-ish" than it started out.

So, I've been putting this little project off for the better part of 7 months, trying to get my head around what I needed to do, and then, well actually doing it.

After I bought it, I got caught up in some other projects, like finishing my Franken-Yugo, building an AK for my Dad for his birthday (never thought I'd see the day the Old Man would want one them commie guns), building another FAL (Imbel) to complement my G1, building an AK as a house warming gift for my brother, and working the MG Shoot at the Buffalo Chip Campground.  All this while maintaining a day job and chasing almost 2 YO Hazmat A and B around the countryside (almost a full time job in and of itself!).  Oh, and going under the knife in Apr to repair torn cartilage in my right shoulder that had me down for almost 2 months.

Rereading the paragraph above, man have I been busy!  I didn't realize just how many projects I've had going.  And I've got at least 2 more projects to go!

So, here's where I'm at.

I got the old single-stack trunion out.  Once I did that, boy did I run into a problem.  Seems the barrel is REALLY in the trunion.  I mean bowed-the-legs-on-my-12-ton-press-trying-to-get-it-out-and-no-budge in there.  Finally had to cut the thing to get it out.  That's how stuck it was.

Once I got that done, I had to hog out the mag well to fit a standard mag.  Not wanting to replicate what the monkeys at Century Arms do to their WASR rifles, I really sat and studied the problem; turning it over in my mind how to go about making this happen. (That's where the bulk of the time in this little endeavor went, BTW.)  Since this was my first attempt at this procedure, I wanted to make sure it was done right.  I experimented with making a template out of cardboard.  Yeah, that didn't work.  Tried tracing paper.  Same result as the cardboard.  No workee.  So I finally measured out a standard AK mag-well with a micrometer, laid it out my measurements on the PAP's receiver with a scratch awl and a straightedge, and very careful went to work removing the material necessary with my trusty Dremel.

I also had to remove two tabs that were part of the lower rail assembly.  These tabs actually covered the dimples in the receiver and helped guide the single stack magazines, so without removing them, there was no way to get a standard mag to fit.

I think I did a good job, but I may be a little biased here.

The next thing to do was install the replacement trunion. Since the original front trunion was machined for single stack feed, and I don't own a milling machine, it needed to be replaced.   I found an M70 front piece from a de-milled military rifle on GB late last year, and with the exception of opening up the holes in the receiver to accept the new rivets, it fit perfectly.

Since the front end of the barrel was virgin territory, I had to thread it.  C'mon, it was just begging for it, right?  You can't have an AKM-pattern rifle without having something on the end of the barrel, can you?

As an aside, this was also my first attempt at threading a barrel from scratch.  I've seen it done several times, so it was just a matter of taking my time and making sure I properly oiled everything throughout the process.

So what's left?  Lets see here:  I've got the re-stuff the barrel and check head space, install the plunger pin and spring to retain the newly installed compensator, and fabricate a plate to cover the rear end of the receiver where it angles in.  One of my complaints on this model is the angle cut on the receiver, ala the old angle cut MAK 90s from the '93/'94 time frame.  I've got some ideas on how to go about doing this, mostly related to an old receiver stub from a Romanian kit I built last year that involve JB Weld.  And I've got to do a test fire to make sure everything works.

I've also got to get with Ironwood Designs to get some decent wood to replace the plastic stuff that came with the gun.  I'm thinking Afromosia will get me where I want.

So, that's where I'm at.  It's going to be an interesting rest of the year.  What with finishing this, getting the paperwork back for the virgin M92 kit I'm looking to build, and doing the Egyptian kit I picked up from Classic Arms last week, I'm going to be busy still. Oh, and prepping for Elk Camp, with a new rifle (more on that later!) to dial in.