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Old Trooper Gunsmiths LLC

SPECIALIZING IN MILITARY FIREARMS.

My Blog

Blog

I usually do not leave bad reviews, but.....

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 1:26 PM Comments comments (177)
It
happened, it finally happened..
This is my third time writing this post. Lets just say there is extra venom now... 
      I very seldom ever say anything bad about a product unless they have earned it. And my info on a subject/ product must be either first hand or come from a trusted source. Most online reviews are posted up by the company selling or making the product and of course come across as shining examples or just come across as sour grapes and written out of spite. Most of these are taken with a grain of salt and the  shot of Tequila that should come with it..
     So, the company today is Apex gun parts. Not Armory Parts EXchange that I go through for a lot of surplus parts and kits, but the maker of aftermarket pistol accessories. So, if you want to make your Smith & Wesson M&P into some sort of race gun or "Rod it up" they
are pretty much the only game in town.
        We here at old troopers are a cynical lot by nature. And aftermarket "performance parts" to us are sort of like a spoiler on a honda civic :WHY??  But we give the customer what they want. I had first heard of the aftermarket parts manufacturer in a gunsmithing trade publication. Some positive reviews, that oddly were all worded identically or incredibly similar. Sort of sent up a red flag there. But then there were some bad. One of the smiths was complaining that an aftermarket sear had worn down after 30 rounds and was causing the pistol to "go Irish auto". Another was complaining of a "match fit" barrel that was bored off center. And some other abnormalities. But we chalked it up to a company having a bad day, or not hearing the "rest of the story" of someone taking a dremnel tool to something that required a stone...
      But the damming one was from a former (read former) competitive shooter. She was running the rehalfted Walther ( The M&P) and had before the match installed an aftermarket sear kit. Had another competitor polish the sear. Pistol preformed fine at first, than the trigger pull began DROPPING about 20 rounds in. Upon re holster the firearm discharged. Her fingers no where near the trigger guard. The bullet smashed through her thigh and calf causing extensive bone and nerve damage. Severely damaging or ending her competitive carrier. Not good... But what did that guy do to her sear to get it to do that??
        Than I had one come in.. It was a high round count pistol (In the thousands) that the customer wanted "Rodded up". Had a new trigger, sear, and match fit barrel. It seamed to be a rather straightforward job. Just like the many G-lock "speed kits" we have begrudgingly put in. So the impatient client left.
      The trigger was rather straightforward. It came with two springs. The sear went in well enough.. That is when the first problems began cropping up. The function check and trigger pull put it at 2.7 lbs and DROPPING. Yeah, I am not giving this guy a full auto... So had to put in the "5 lb spring" That puts it up to 3.8lbs and holding.. Ok, not great, but ok... Said he wanted a lighter trigger pull on a gun with a 5lb pull already.. but, ok..
      Than comes the barrel. I would rather do a dozen 1911 match barrels and bushings or three dozen P99 barrels than one of these again..  Apparently "gunsmith fit" means "Send this to Apex because no mere mortal smith could possibly do this to our specifications" fit. It too the better portion of a shop day to fit this dam thing. It was close, so no powertools with the exception of a cloth buffer. All emery cloth an diamond files... And in the process of fitting this barrel and dry firing it about 30 times, the sear began to not engage.. Causing the pistol to have to be completely disassembled (trigger has to be depressed and gun "fired" to release the slide)  to get apart. The trigger group was dissembled and reassembled no fewer than 26 times...  The "new sear had worn a visible notch in its bearing surface.. Attempted to polish, it did nothing except frustrate me greatly. Had to that fit the old sear to the new parts, that  took longer than ever expected.. We tried combinations of parts, old and new, new barrel, old barrel, the thing was a royal pain that seamed to only work when it wanted to..   After burning an entire shop day on this cursed thing it finally passes a function check. Good.. No mag, can not test fire.. Great.. Call the client the next mourning. He had already called about every day the thing was with us...  And I am not well known for my tolerance with inpatient people. Sure enough, it did not pass, sear follower forward. I offered if he left me a mag I can get it running, but, being impatient he took it anyways. I charge what would have been a 6 hour job the $60 originally quoted (yes the accountant still has not forgiven me for it) and all of his parts, new and old in a baggie.
         A few days later I get a call from the customer again. He had taken the gun to Apex or one of there authorized service centers, really did not matter. But they said I had take off to much metal off the bottom of the barrel and that caused all the problems. And of course there was nothing wrong with any of their parts. It was entirely the fault of the gunsmith that attempted the fitting..  Sure....
       So I have to buy Mr. impatient another barrel. And of course the "Can not be fitted by mortal man" barrel is not cheap. Hell two of these bastards you could have bought a new M&P at pre rebate prices! Again another thing that has not sit well with the accountant..
    But I got the "defective barrel" back. Wouldn't you know it, bored off center. Hell is not even in the middle of the recess for the "target crown". But I took off to much metal... sure...  maybe I did, Maybe it was defective parts, or maybe the pistol was so worn out of spec.....
But somehow I doubt it.


Take my cautionary tale as you will. It is, after all, just MY experience.



 So if Ye wish to "rod up" yonder Smith, be warned: There be monsters out there.




stay safe.

old troopers actual,


Out.

The tactical employment of early CQB weapons: The blunderbuss

Posted on April 27, 2017 at 3:41 AM Comments comments (263)
                                   In the age of sail, the age of  iron men and wooden ships, there arose a need for a weapon to clear the tight confines of the lower decks of the fighting ships.  That is where the blunderbuss begins to shine. In retrospect however  the myth and lore surrounding this weapon is quite..... incredible in its own right. 
          Most of you probably  think of the blunderbuss from how they are portrayed in most Disney movies. Slow to load, can throw anything down the barrel . And they were everywhere.  

  Not exactly. 

       The blunderbuss was intended to be a naval close quarters room clearing gun. Much like how shotguns are employed on a modern entry team.  They are part of the larger unit and had their place. 
      Think if you will back to the days of the tall ships. Warefare of the time was not necessarily to kill your enemy, but to gain his territory or his stuff.  And to do that, well,  you have to get close. After the cannon fire had slowed and crippled the enemy vessel the victorious, well almost victorious ship comes alongside. Boarding parties are sent across. As many as possible to capture their "prize" before it can be skuttled  or intentionally sank by its own crew to prevent capture. The first ones across are your "red shirts" so to speak.  Able seamen, gunners, etc were usually the first ones across. They would be armed with pistols, pikes and cutlasses and the occasional musket. Their job is to clear the deck. Take out the sailors remaining on their posts after the cannon fire exchange between the ships. Most of these men had a short life expectancy.
      Second: send in the Marines! Just as they are in this country they had marines on navy ships in the age of sail as well. These sea borne soldiers were skilled in the use of the bayonet.  They mop up what the sailors left and prepared to go below decks. By this time the ship is.... relitively secured. Can not sail a frigate from below decks. But you do not own the ship until you have secured the powder and shot.  And the rudder and other running gear dose not hurt either! So the marines get ready to do what they seem to love: use the bayonet. 
        Cue the "thunder trumpet". Yes, the blunderbuss! Now that the top decks are secured, you need to secure the rest of the ship. The marines kick the door open or throw open a hatch cover, in come two "specialists" (usually sailors) with blunderbusses loaded with shot. One steps right, the other left. Blunderbuss on hip at the ready. BLAM BLAM.... If there is anyone in there, they are not happy. The blunderbuss men step to the rear to reload and the marines and sailors move in to finish or take care of the enemy wounded. Hand cannons reloaded, repeat. Repeat till ship captured. 

        The painfull details and busting a few myths. 

       Most blunderbusses were rather short. Contrary to the Disney portrayal most barreled under two feet. The purpose of the long barrel of a musket is just like a longer barrel on modern firearms. To burn as much powder  or propellant to give more velocity to the projectile to make it fly faster and farther. These weapons were not intended to be used beyond 30 feet. About as big as a ships hold. So a long barrel sort of is unneeded and given its application, would prove to be very unnecessary and quite clumsy. Not exactly what you would want for turkey hunting. Little monster birds are smart and would seldom let you get into blunderbuss range. 
         Why the "trumpet" muzzle?  Well just like a musical instrument the flailed muzzle  not only unintentionally acts as a "loudner" (the opposite of a silencer/suppressor) will throw shot in a wider disposition much like a trumpet dose sound. Almost like the "anti-choke". It also (possibly the original intention) makes it very easy to load. Just simply dump your bag of shot down the barrel. Less need to ram and seat the bullet or shot. Quite a few of them were never made with ramrods  even! 
         "Well you can load it with rocks, glass or anything".... well..... sort of.  You CAN load it with anything. But, as most long range shooters will tell you: consistency is key. Irregular shaped objects fly irregularly. We have actually proven this concept. The first time we took the "shop project" blunderbuss out, we did not bring shot or prepaired ctg.'s loaded our little blunderbuss with handfuls of spent .22 brass at first. Than it became handfuls of steel case 9mm cases. Did I hit anything? Well...... through the smoke, I did see a few of them ripping through the backstop. Also imbedded a few into some nearby trees.... So, yes you can load anything into one.  But will you hit your target? That may be another issue. 

   The decline.  

    Sadly we see very few blunderbusses in percussion cap. I was asked "why"? The answer is not so simple. But it is all part of the infamous "bigger picture". The age of "fighting sail" reached its zenith with the Napoleonic wars. Afterward there were fewer and fewer massed fleet actions. Less ship boarding. More armored ships, better naval guns, longer ranges. By the 1830's the steamship was even taking hold.  But with the type of warfare the blunderbuss was intended for spinning into decline, as did its tools. So, with the more reliable percussion cap ignition replacing the flintlocks in a he 1830's-1850 the "thunder trumpet" was already on its way out. A tool of a method of warfare now past. By the time of the American civil war the revolver had long surpassed the blunderbuss as a more usefull tool for the boarding parties on the rare occasion they bordered a ship instead of sinking it!  
      Now do not get me wrong, my blunderbuss came as a caplock. As a eyebrow less smith who started off in flintlocks with a minor in history, I just could not have that. So, into flintlock it goes! But if I were to build another just to have fun with, would go with the cap ignition. It is a great deal less frustrating! 

Who knows,  may even make a bedside gun if you REALLY HATE whomever may disturb your sleep. 



Old troopers actual, 

Out








The frangable myth

Posted on March 31, 2017 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (312)
            I have been told by a few clients who are trickling in for gunsmithing services or transfers that they were told the had to carry frangible ammunition for their daily carry. 
      Now I am not one to debate/decry  another instructor. But this is not only bad advice, it is downright dangerous! 
      See, as a member of the Obommer era military, I apologize to the American tax payer. We, as a matter of being "environmentally friendly" have to qualify with frangible rounds. The theory behind this farce is that they will not contaminate the ground water due to them being made from compressed powder and a flimsy jacket. Unfortunately as we can tell you: they leave much to be desired. 
         Let me elaborate. Frangible ammunition was first made in .50bmg for use in ww2 for training purposes. Most of the time it was for Air gunnery practice. The thought was that the jacket would do much less damage to the "tow" aircraft if accidentally sprayed by a careless or inexperienced gunner trainee. Most of the time it was a heavily armored p-39 or p64 "areocolbra" aircraft. An aircraft that was intended for a ground attack role, even if more went to the USSR than our own air forces. So, it could take a hit or two. And in this role the frangible ammunition did quite well. Well enough until something better came along. 
      Now when they started scaling down to rifle and pistol sized bullets they had some issues. They began to find out that these became quite expensive. And they did not..... well let's just say they do not handle well. 
     So they had a choice. Make the jacket thicker and risk the chance of unwanted levels of penetration. Or issue them out only before use and restrict the frequent carry of said ammo. 
     Honestly they really have not worked any bugs out. I have personally thrown hundreds of rounds of this crap downrange. And let me tell you: it has some issues! 
       First: they damage rather easily. Drop it, have issues loading it, it will deform the bullet. Got a "flyer" during qual? Yep, may actually be able to blame the ammo! 
      Second: the compressed powder filling. It goes everywhere. We noticed right away, particularly with handgun ammunition. That there were what looked like brass flakes decorating the internals of the firearm. Almost to the level where it looked like a small handful of brass powder was released in the chamber. It was even worse downrange. With 4 shooters qualifying on both rifle and pistol on an indoor range, we swept up what had to have been, I shat thine not: at least six lbs of brass powder from the shooting points to the 25m target. That is a lot of debris! 
   
     Operational use: ok, the theory behind the use of Frangables as carry ammo is simple. The fear of collateral damage. The thought is that it will not overpenitrate. Just hit your target and not do much damage if missed. I can understand the thought. The Air Marshals are issued frangible ammo for just this reason. The bullet will not penetrate the pressurized aircraft fuselage. Which would really sort of ruin your day there. 
      The problem: the air marshals are issued new rounds every month. I want you to think about this:why? Because the rounds, being bounced around in a holstered firearm and ammo pouch, start to disintegrate. Thus leaving all that lovely brass powder looking material inside the magazine and firearm. Not exactly good for optimal performance of Defensive firearm!  They are also quite pricey! The prices of frangible munitions on the civilian market is about that of most high quality premium defensive ammunition. 

    And you would have to buy new rounds every month.........

     Than there is their ballistic effectiveness. How much damage do you think they can do? It is a compressed powder in a jacket after All! Rather shallow wounds. Sort of like firing a sandblaster an inch away from skin for 1/2 a second. Throw in some of the jacket, now you have an idea. Me? Well I want whomever has made his grievously horridly, poor lifestyle decision to only take a few of my bullets with him into the afterlife. If your aggressor (read:bullet sponge) is a larger person, wearing a thick coat or frankly not in their own mind it will take more frangible bullets to cause them to reconsider their course of action. 

       Ok, I am not a complete jerk here. Frangible ammo dose have its place. But not as a daily carry ammo. If the firearm remains stationary for most of its usage, it is ideal. Ideal if you are worried about collateral damage in ones home. In an apartment? Thin interior walls, kids room in the cone of fire. So, if this is your situation and you have a dedicated "house gun" that seldom leaves the drawer. This may be a good choice. 

    But would I carry it with me on my daily duties? Not if I have a choice. I will stick with my 210gr "Z-max" ammo for my carry pistol.

     Would I keep some in my home? Yes. 


   Some food for thought on carry ammo.


Old troopers actual, 


Out.





Owed to the mighty Auto 5

Posted on February 1, 2017 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (101)
As I wright this me left thumb is a fresh bandage due to the finely crafted, still very sharp inner receiver from my personal auto 5. So spell check is working overtime today.  So those old line gunsmiths (if any of them actually read this thing) you can massage your "auto 5 scar" and reminisce with me..    Or at least stop laughing long enough....

     The auto 5 for me was a gun that I never realized I wanted until I had a few come in for maintenance. well to be more exact, I had a browning auto5, a Stevens, Remington and a savage come in. One had suffered from an overcharged round, another for cleaning and the other for a few "tweeeks". And it became a very much "love hate" relationship with the browning design. First thing you will notice from a maintenance standpoint is the proliferation of screws. Tiny capture screws, large carrier screws. And when I say tiny capture screws, these make the ones on a K98 look massive in comparison. And EVERY MAJOR SCREW and even a capture pin HAS AT LEAST ONE!! So, yeah, there are a lot of screws. Are they really necessary? Honestly, not sure.
     Second thing you will notice is everything is very well fitted. The blue, yes, never seen one in any other original  finish that was not blue. is the old line deep blue, and all the woodwork is fitted very tightly with fine checkering. Even the copy's for the most part are similarly fitted.
     The gun is gorgeous in its own ugly, humpback sort of way. Any well heeled sportsman of the 20's-1950's had this on his list of "prestigious guns" to buy.  So, there are a few of them out there. some still minty and in the box, some beaten, broken but still serviceable. 
    Why so many? Despite having a high price tag, they were a very well constructed gun. that will give many, many years of service. It was designed by no other than John Moses Browning around the turn of the last century. And most of you historical gun junkies know that there are quite a few of his designs still in service that are relatively unchanged.  More on the Browning connection later.  But, this being the proverbial "tank" of the semi auto shotgun world, they just simply do not break. But if they do... Well, that is why old gunsmiths have scars. Lots of them.

        Operation: This is a blow back (recoil) operated arm. So, unlike the vast majority of semi auto shotguns out there it will run most of anything. With little need to watch MOST loads.  And those of you that run a semi auto know the pain of fiddling with a gas system, finding the shells that your gun "likes", and the nightmare that is cleaning on some..  This, none of that.  The drawback, well.. the phrase "jackhammer" is used to describe the recoil. That is probably why all the major screws have a capture screw to keep them from backing out during operation!  This may also be why they have a lot of cracked butt stocks. A recoil pad is almost a REQUIREMENT on an auto5!
      The truly interesting thing (for me at least) is the Auto5's method of operation. Barrel and bolt recoil as one. Initially. Once pressure drops, the bolt than continues rearward taking the fired case with it. Than is pushed forward by the stout operating spring where it picks up another shell and chambers it.  Sound Familiar to any of you Machine gunners?  YES!! This is the missing link (well sort of) in machine gun evolution between the colt "potato digger" and the 1917 Machine gun.  I will not go into the operation of the colt MG, but think of a reversed,belt fed, lever action with the level being actuated by the blast of  gas from the firing. Good concept, but a sort of evolutionary dead end. Well Browning always strove for improvement. Wanted a new MG (machine gun) to compete with the Maxim/Vickers guns. Using the delayed, recoil operation concept he learned and perfected with the auto 5, he modified it with the belt feed and top cover of his previous design of the potato digger.  And , well there you have it. The 1917, water cooled MG stayed in service till after Korea, and the 1919 air cooled stayed in service with the us till the 1960's And its Big football player of a son the legendary M2 .50 cal Heavy Machine gun is still with us today. Another odd thing, the smaller (30.06) 1917 and 1919 guns used the  "gas assist" recoil operation. This basically had a "cup" fitted over the muzzle with about an inch or so of space before the actual muzzle. So, much like the "Gas trap" M1 rifle. On the Browning light Machine guns, the blast of gas filled the space, assisting the barrel (that moved independently of the "muzzle cup" ) to the rear. But the mighty M2 uses the pure form of the recoil operation, without the muzzle device. 
     Almost 100 years and still going strong.

   So, being a fan of "how dose this work, how did it get here, what came after" the Auto 5 fills a unique spot in my collection. 

 Now to fire the darn thing...

Old trooper Actual ,

OUT



The "sideways gun"

Posted on October 1, 2016 at 5:33 AM Comments comments (124)
              There comes a time in all of our lives where some things just plain go , well sideways. Everything that could go wrong did. We have all been there at one hopefully minor level or another. Heck just had to junk a car from what started as a tire issue... So, yeah.. Things went well.... Sideways...  


     And in today's world of mass idiotic protesters under what most of the times sounds like purely false or BS reasons. And these are filled with people who just want to cause trouble it looks like. I really hope this is not a sigh of things to come! But there are a lot of young, impressionable people that seem very passionate about their causes. Well, it is good to have passion, but not to the point your burning police cars. 
   
    So this is the world we have found ourselves into. Mass groups of humanity that block traffic as a form of "protest". Mass groups that seem to be a breath away from "call in the national guard" riot levels.  
   
       So, when the world seems close to skidding sideways, what is the rational person to do? 

       Be prepared! 

       There are a lot of people who are investing in smaller rifle caliber pistols, or sub gun sized pistols. Any high capacity large sized, easily storable firearm that will get you home when things go "sideways". 
 
         The requirements: something that fits into a non gun looking case. The old stand by of a instrument case is good. Racket cases, book bags and pool cue cases are becoming Increacindgly popular.  Nothing that screams "I have a gun"!  Yes, avoid covering it with "bravo company" stickers or morale patches...
     Second: it has to be reliable! I know you all love those AR pistols, but how well dose it run? You are betting your life on it after all. And it will take some abuse. So, you may not want to put that ACOG on it. Or with those flip up sights.... Test your firearm. Tune it, make it reliable! 
      Third: should be basic. Gizmos break. Batteries die accessories add weight with little benefit (mostly). Plain is better, you can tacticool it when you get home. But until then, it stays in the bag....
       Fourth: it should look impressive. Think of this as the one up from your everyday carry pistol. This is something that WILL GET YOU HOME regardless of what happens. Yet not be a full sized battle rifle. So, to make up for its lack of size you need it to look deadly. Yes, even the hi-point carbine can be made to look "mission capable" however refer to rule 3. 
       Five: do not forget about it. Clean it, keep it oiled. Check the ammo. 

Examples: cost should not be a reason to not be prepared. Sideways guns can cost as little as $100 or less to several thousand dollars (why???) . They can be as cheap and basic as a 18.5 barreled single barreled shotgun. Simple, reliable, basic and cheap! Throw one of these and a box of game loads into your trunk, and you are good to go.  Moving up from the break barrel are the pistol caliber carbines or the "mutant pistols" class. Our personal one is the 9mm semi auto only pistol version of the ww2 PPSH43 sub machine gun. That oversized pistol and 4 mags fits into a old spare barrel bag.  But there are others like the previously mentioned hi-point carbine, Baretta Storm, Mastrerpeice arms or mac style pistols. Not as much substance as a rifle, but more robust than a pistol.  Then there are the "pistol rifles". Most of these are stock less and short barreled versions of the full size rifles. These can be quite effective in most situations. However a lot of them are less than reliable. The AK pistols seem to be the cheapest and are running with almost am reliability. There are many, many ar-15 style pistols out there. There would be no shortage of ammo and mags if you choose one of these. Just make sure they run before you bet your life on them. They do have a history of less than Rely ability . There are also lever action pistols in pistol calibers that are quite nice and may relieve your inner "zombie hunter" (zombie land reference) And if you have deep pockets here are G3 and Fal pistols in the massive 7.62 NATO cal. 

      Ammo: we recommend a choice in a common caliber. Just in case you are out much longer than you intended or wanted to be. Yes .300 blackout may be nice, but where are you going to find more ammo? 12ga is everywhere. As is 9mm. .40 used to be common as with .45.  But find a good stash of ammo, about 100 rounds should do you. Keep it cool and dry. Maybe seal in plastic bags if needed. 

        Portability: I know, you are already putting it together in your head: G3, 500 rounds of ammo, all on mags...... As portable as a footlocker and weighs as much! Remember, something portable that can be grabbed quickly from a disabled or stuck vehicle. And NOT OBVIOUS!! Just enough to get you home in your Individual situation.  

LEGAL consumes: your state may have off laws regarding the cartage of pistols in a motor vehicle and what constitutes "loaded". If ammo is kept Sepretaly it may avoid some legality, but would be less portable. Where is it going to be in your vehicle? Is it subject to your states ccw laws? Do you have a permit? Do you need a permit? These are all local considerations when selecting a "sideways gun". 

   We hope this quick primer helps. 


     Old troopers actual,



 Out 



Money pit: the rifle version

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 12:21 PM Comments comments (545)
    
There are some guns that you never realized you wanted until you sold one..... For me that was the metric FN/FAl. We have built a few of them. Had one on our sale rack for a month that went to a good home. It was one of those "if I find one for a good price I will get it" sort of deals. Kicked around the thought for a few years. Only cash out of wallet a few times, but never bought. Well three shows ago there was a man set up behind me that had bought many kits when they were cheap and was selling off his stock. Nice guy, talked to him most of the show. Well, ended up buying at a good discount a Imbel lower receiver and an IDF heavy barrel. 
     The lower was pretty standard. Unlike an ar15, the upper on a fal is the "registered"(serial numbered) part. It had black synthetic hard wear and a paint over parkerization finish on the metal. The seller had already installed the semi auto only fire control group. So, ready to build on. 
     That barrel however........

     Do not get me wrong, it is an expensive barrel I got at a discount. Turns out the IDF (Israel defense force) had two versions of the FAL in operation. The standard infantry version and the "squad automatic" heavy barrel. Well lucky me, found a very heavy barrel! New and chrome lined! Yeah... Happy until I found out it takes rather special parts to get it to full rifle status. And of course, those cost almost twice as much as standard parts.

. Great, so much for a cheap build.....

       Than there is the receiver. Found a "assault weapons of Ohio" new unfinished lower. Dam, those are expensive. Almost $400! For a stripped lower! 

         Took some time and a whole lot of fitting to get this monster together. And way over budget. But heck, is NOT FOR SALE anyways. Finished it off in dark gray parkerization. And than did something I would never have thought I would ever do: put a bipod on it! The rifle is a very nose heavy 11.7 lbs empty. And it even comes with a convenient carry handle. 

     Than there is this curious part that has to be pounded in with a punch and a hammer. The "breach block support pin". I have been gunsmith ing a long time now, but the full use of this part leaves me a little perplexed. And the fact they come in apparently 25 different sizes throws me a bit. But I think I have the correct one. 

        Now we get to the fun part: getting the thing to run! 

      Turns out there is is almost a darn art form to get the gas system tuned. Read the manual. Turned out there is a lot of room for "tweaking" on one of these! Tuned it in the back shop. With a cosmolined BFA from APEX. Tuned it with Austrian brass case blanks. Than just for giggles, tried the German green plastic blanks. Had to crank the system even further down for those...  

With that much room for crud and fouling adjustment, it is a small wonder why if you turn over any 3rd world crap hole a few FAL's will come tumbling out. Heck, we found one in Iraq that had been ran over by a tank! Iranian markings to boot! 

      So, am going to hopefully be able to throw my face behind this thing soon. 

    Always wondered how test pilots felt.. Sure it passes a bench test, but dose it work? Yeah, not sure... Go fly/ shoot the thing..,,

     Stay frosty Patriots, it is not looking good out there.


Old troopers Actual,



Out





Assault pistols

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 12:56 AM Comments comments (434)
 Allright kids, buckle up, the old trooper is going to take you into the "way back machine" to a magical time called the 1980's! 



    A time that started before you were forbidden to register any "new" machine guns, a time when you could get new sks rifles right from China along with their clones of m14's and 1911's. A time back when fn/false and hk91's were everywhere and if you wanted an AR15' it had triangular hand guards or only had a 2 position stock. Where "Tacti-cooling" involved a mini mag light and duct tape.  
     Ahh...... For some of us old farts (or so, I have been told I am now classed into)these were the glory days. Back when the now ubiquitous glock. Was something novel and was studied with a certain degree of curiosity. Back when us gi 1911's were being surplused out by the pile and could be had for under $100. You know, back when Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson still carried Bereta "S" models..
    
So, we will today shed light on the seldome known market known as "assault pistols" 
   I know, some of you follow old timers are groaning at this term. It is right up there with "assault weapons" and other "deamonizing" terms. Sort of a bunk media buzz word.  
   But these paticular guns were lumped into this unwanted classification. An "assault pistol" was a pistol that was to big for a holster and could not be accurately fired with one hand. These guns were named in the infamous "evil looking features" ban of 1994. But back in the 1980's these were all the rage! And brother there were a lot of them! 
   One could say it even started with the famous (infamous?) "enforcer pistol. This little gem was introduced in the late 1970's. It was essentially a M1 carbine action placed into a stock less paratrooper style stock and mated to a 9 inch barrel. They were still in .30 carbine and took all the m1 carbine mags. Handy little guns, but had no real purpose. There were a few versions out there, from what I understand, most had some rather bad function issues... 

    But it was a start! 

    The door opened to all sort of cut down rifle pistols, sub machine gun pistols (semi-auto of course) and some curious open bolt pistols (yeah, try making one of those now). Out came a dizzying array of UZI, STeN, ingram, tc9 and mac 10 pistols. There were even some "tommy gun" Thompson pistols made. It was a fascinating little sub section of the gun collecting culture. 
    Were they practical? No...

     Do they all feel like they need a foregrip or a stock? Yes...

    But were they fun? Oh yes!  

     Just for sheer range plinking enjoyment they could not be beat! They were big and heavy for the most part. And easy (ish) to keep pointed down range. And most of them took large capacity mags. Many taking surplus SMG mags that were plentiful on the pre AWB (assault weapons ban) days.  Jus look at many of the movies of the era. Kirt Russell in "big trouble in little China" carried a pair of full auto dc9 pistols. Heck Chuck Norris alowed himself to be seen with a few in his 80's action movies!  And yes, I will admit, yes have fired many. Even owned a few. And yes, these beat any .22 for sheer enjoyment on the range. One can spend an entire afternoon of enjoyment with a few boxes of (at the time) cheap Chinese ammo or the bulk box from k-mart. Heck even an undetermined quality Baggie of soft lead ammo. They were just plain fun! 

     Alas...... Al, good things come to an end.. With the crackdown of Chinese imports and the crippling blow of the 1994 "evil looking features" ban. Banned the further import or manufacture of many of these big, fun pistols. Many of the company's folded up, were sold or changed production to more "conventional" pattern arms.  The plentiful, surplus SMG mags all but dried up.  And it was just not profitable for many of the makers to make "compliant" models with a 10 round mag. 

  They almost killed the class....

  Almost....

       A few hung on, the tec series is still made to this day. The DC9 series went on into infamy with the columbine shootings. Many are centerpiece a of the so called "thug culture". Sort of gave them a bad name till recently. 
   
      But now, there is a rebirth in the class. Many Ar-15 style pistols. Even kalishnicopy types. Some are even made from ww2 pattern sub machine guns. Then there are even new "tec-type" pistols out there made by Mastrerpeice arms in a dizzying array of calibers and configurations all made to take an off the shelf pistol mag. And there, if you look hard enough pistol versions of the Thompson, M3, UZI and Mp5 sub machine guns. Make us collectors that can not afford he real NFA items happy. 

  So, if you have never given them a second glance, you may want to give them a look. They are certainly a ball to shoot! 


Old troopers actual.



Out.

A tuned Hi-Point?!?!?!?

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 10:58 AM Comments comments (544)
 I know what your thinking. 

You polished a turd. Why would you bother with one of those?

     For many this was their first handgun. For a few it is all they can afford. The oft melighined Hi point has its flaws, yes they are ammo picky. Yes the mags are sort of crappy..  But they have proven to be rugged reliable pistols. Would I trade my 1911 in for one? Hell no, but would I take the hi-point over a knife? Yes! If I wanted something to abuse and shoot my jacked up handloads out of? YES!
    So I Thought, What if I actually took one of these blocky things seriously?

  So, step one. Found one off gunbroker for an acceptable price. Was a little worn. But fire-able. 

Two: Disassemble, yeah getting the roll pin out is a big #[email protected]#$. This is probably why many of these are never cleaned well. Remove the firing pin and rear block. This area will need a lot of scrubbing.. Lots of crud settles there. 

Step three: CLEAN, clean, clean. These are a pain, but they respond well to being cleaned. 


Step four: Remove the pain in the ass mag safety. Honestly this thing is a pos, responsible for many malfunctions: your better off without it.  Comes out , heck almost falls out easily enough. 

 Step five: This is where the fun begins. the polishing and stoneing. Polish the barrel. Not to much, but enough to make it slide nicely. Polish/ stone the areas where the slide contacts the frame, nice and smooth and clean. Oil that recoil spring wile your at it! 

Step six: This is probably the most important step: The polishing of the feed ramp. This process is what will make many "ok" pistols rock! I will admit, the feed ramp on the pistol as is was pretty crappy. We Stripped it down, polished with emery cloth. Then finished with a fine stone. The sharp edges around the chamber were tapered to ensure positive feed. Good thing about these hi-points is that they have fixed barrels. They never move, unlike most large frame conventional autos. So, the beauty of it, once tuned these become PHENOMENAL!! And, even though it pains me to admit it, yes, they are rather accurate...  Heck, it looks almost like you can put glock sights on these.. Maybe later. 

Step Seven: Reassemble and oil. Clean, function check and enjoy. Hate to admit, they are an enjoyable plinker.

Now if I was a total dushe, would put this up on arms list as a custom tuned hi-point race gun/match/zombie killer/ home gun/ glock/ 9mm/ appocolopse/ gunsmith tuned gun... And want some insane amount for it. Because it is "custom" and "tested" or as we call it in the industry: "repaired" and "used".. Will even throw in a crappy $5 nylon universal holster...

    Yeah,.... no. We traded this one For much less than a new one would go for. I mainly got it to prove that these are not bad guns for the price. Just need a little basic tune. 

 So, all I am saying: give Hi-point a chance!

What is the worse that can happen? can resell it for as cheap as you got it for.

  
   In other news. We got cleaned out pretty well. Some of my base co workers. Overlord and the Maddi are going out on the payment plan. Not something we do often anymore due to having a "had to have" ar sitting 1/2 paid for for 9 months..  The less than a week old "IDF" Car-15  rifle sold . Did not even make it to the web sight! Sold the .45. Doing good.. Now to get more pistols..  Still have some more target ar's to add to the sales page.