OK, it's not a shiny new Tavor rifle like someone just got, but I was blessed with a UPS delivery of a long rectangular box on Friday. It was a rifle box, and it contained a rifle. Sadly it was not a new one but merely one that I'd shipped off to Fulton Armory a while back for diagnosis and repair work.
I'd shot the rifle periodically for some time after that without issues, but eventually it wound up in the back of the safe while other, newer rifles were shot. Then one day I took it out to our first blogshoot and it humiliated me by completely missing the 200-yard gong every single shot. I could not understand this as this rifle had always been so accurate up until this time. I ignored it for a while again then began idly messing with it and discovered that it was consistently shooting way, WAY to the left...as in "rear sight fully to the right and still shoots off-target to the left at 50-yards".
That's unpossible, I thought. I got a decent laser boresighter and confirmed the sight/bore misalignment. WTF?
I broke it down, found nothing, and reassembled it. I took the front sight base off and reinstalled it with new roll pins. Still off. I ran it past a police department armorer that I know and he confirmed that it was messed up like a soup sandwich but could determine why.
Now I was pissed. I was going to figure this puzzle out if it killed me. I decided to send it off to the best, most qualified people I knew: Walt and Clint at Fulton Armory. I'd dealt with them for years at Camp Perry, and while they aren't exactly cheap, they know their stuff and they don't take shortcuts.
Sure enough, last week I received a phone call from them to discuss the rifle. And true to form, they impressed me anew by pretty much telling me the rifle's entire history just based on internal wear and the finish on certain parts, and they were dead-on with everything that I'd ever done to the rifle even though I'd told them nothing.
as it made a usable rifle again out of what could best have been described as a collection of spare parts traveling in tight formation.
So I took it out for a test-fire, and now it was rock-solid reliable and spang on target, shattering orange clays at 50 yards (standing off-hand) then breaking up any pieces of the clays that were still visible. I'm happy.
I also too the Uzi back out for a test after last week's mishap.
"WTF?" I exclaimed.
"Was that a slam-fire?" asked the RSO, who was standing next to me, spectating.
I slapped the bottom of the magazine again and once more the bolt shot forward and fired a round.
"That's not supposed to happen," I said.
I slapped it twice more, and two more rounds fired. Enough of that.
But I'd planned for this and brought an extra top-cover, and with the replacement in place, the gun functioned perfectly again, and more importantly, it refused to slam-fire no matter how hard I smacked it. The old top cover is spare parts now but the weapon is now operational and safe once more.
Funniest part of the day: A young husband and his wife were shooting a pair of "custom" ARs that he'd built. He passed one to me, telling me to see how light he'd made it. I hefted it a bit--it was kind of light--and then I handed him my stock A1. His response:
"Wow! How did you ever get it this light?"
Young fella actually had no idea that they all used to weigh just 6.3 lbs. back in the day. The M-16/AR-15 didn't start to get hefty until the heavier-barreled 8.2 lb. A2 version came out in 1982.
And now the old A1 amazes people due to it's light weight. Sheesh. I feel old now. You kids get off my lawn.