Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's follies

So this morning, I'm on the way out to the range for (yet another) test-firing of a problem AR-15 that has been vexing me, and as I'm walking out of my coffee shop, I see a guy with his wife walking in and I notice that we're both wearing basically the same shirt. Mine is a red sweatshirt while his was gray, and both had the same nifty logo on them, this Uzi does it" logo, as shown here. I got mine as a gift from Aaron over at The Shekel, and I like to wear it out to the range.

Now had we been chicks, this would have been a pretty awkward fashion faux pas. But us being guys, we congratulated each other on our respective sweatshirts and started talking guns. His name of Paul, and while Paul doesn't have an Uzi, he likes them. Me having one, I did what any decent American gun guy would do--I gave him my number and invited him to call me when he's free and we'll go out and shoot mine. We're gun guys, and that's how we roll.

Eventually, his wife pried him away (some chicks get awfully jealous when guys talk guns and tune them out) and I resumed my trip to the range. I wasn't holding out too much hope for today since I'd already had this rifle out here four times, each time with different parts swapped out in unsuccessful attempts to get it to work right, but this time it fired flawlessly and put 120 rounds downrange without a single hiccup. The apparent culprit: a recoil spring installed in the buffer tube by Rock River Arms which was a trifle longer than any other CAR-style spring in my parts bin. I'd been having no end of troubles with the bolt hanging up on the magazine, and I'd been attributing it to insufficient gas flow back to the carrier but when I replaced the spring with one of the others, the rifle fired fine. Apparently the over-length spring had been retarding the carrier and preventing the action from cycling properly. Thanks, Rock River!This AR has been a project rifle of mine for a while. I'd purchased the lower receiver assembly a couple of years ago, and it had just been sitting in my safe unfinished until the election and the rise of Barack O'Gun Grabber. When that happened, I bought an upper receiver and mated it to a spare 14.5" heavy barrel with an AK-74-stle brake that I had lying around and mounted the Pentagon light to the fore-end. Eventually it'll have an Aimpoint ML2 holographic sight, but that's going to have to wait until I get a bit more money. Right now, it's fine with the ARMS back-up iron sight. And now that it's working, it can go back in the safe and I can concentrate on other projects, like the Model 1888 Mauser that I wrote about a few weeks back.

It's been cleaned up, and the new bolt arrived today. The BEFORE pictures show what I started with. Well in took many hours of cleaning with oil and steel wool to get the crud off of it, and considerable gentle finessing to get most of the screws and fittings loose--and I'm nowhere near done yet--but it's at least presentable and functional now. The new bolt has a bunch of Turkish crescent stamps all over it but it's otherwise fantastic.It slid right into place and the action seems to work. Next range trip, this one's coming out. But in the meantime, here are the latest pics.

As far as I can tell, the action functions and it'll chamber an 8mm cartridge. I guess we'll see if it still shoots the next time out. It's times like this that I wish I could find an illegal alien day laborer to take the first shot with it, just in case it does blow up. But absent any of them, maybe I can find a bench-rest shooter at the range and offer him the first shot. At least then if it blows up, we're only out a bench-rest shooter and that's not such a bad thing either.


  1. That AR looks familiar! Sexy!

  2. Anonymous4:21 PM

    I dont have an AR yet. But it is on the list.

  3. Sweet! And I want a shirt!

  4. Nice clean up job on the rifle.

    Glad you like the sweatshirt, keep wearing it in good health and good shooting.

  5. that is very cool! Hubby has an old rifle not particularily informed as to what. I also keep asking to be taken to the range. Like fishing.. I didnt know I liked it until I tried it.

    Give your gorgeous dog a cuddle for me
    The Bird.

    if you want to meet a nice woman, take him to the park more often, throw his freesbee.. girls love cute dogs as well as nice guys. Im not saying you will find a centerfold, but you may find the next best thing.. *grins.

  6. 1oldgun9:44 PM

    Nice score on the 88. Just got one myself and am working at hopefully turning it into a shooter. My first Milsurp rifle. Will be checking on your progress!