One of my preferred clients found out that my father has been teaching me how to operate his milling machine in our spare time. They decided to aid me in my efforts and donated a small pile of scrap aluminum to be mangled. Included in the pile was an AR-15 forging that had been destroyed when an end mill broke off and wallowed out a few pin holes. Their attempts to salvage the lower failed so they destroyed the fire control potion of the lower which was partially milled out and then allowed me to use the sacrifice the solid aluminum magazine well to the milling machine gods.
Not wanting to waste a totally cool looking piece of aluminum I decided to convert it into a business card holder for my office. Who wouldn’t want half a gun receiver for a card holder, right?
It’s not a particularly hard project and it was the perfect choice for learning about feed speeds and listening getting a better understanding of how the whole process of metal mangling works. In fact the exercise demystifies a lot of what goes on in in a proper CNC Mill. It’s a shame that most high schools don’t have full metal shops anymore. Even my local community colleges have fairly restricted manual machine shop courses. Everything is about learning to input G-code into a computer these days.
Being able to shred and mangle metal with your bare hands (ok not actually with your bare hands, but they are involved in the whole metal mangling party) will is really really really cool. Even if you’re horrible at it.
I was looking for an decent quality general purpose monocular to keep in my hiking bag. Originally I had considered using a set of binoculars but when I was shopping around a friend paraphrased an old maxim, “Good, Cheap, Compact. Pick two.” I found some truth in his pithiness. I just couldn’t seem to find a halfway decent pair of binoculars that would be small enough to keep at hand while being of good optical quality.
Then I stumbled across this relic of the Cold War. It’s a Hendsold-Wetzlar Z28 Panzerfaust sight. It’s only 2.5x magnification but it’s a bit smaller than a Surefire G2 flashlight. Plus it’s optically fantastic, and it’s (forgive the pun) built like a tank. The only problem I have with it, is the anti-tank reticule. It busies up the optic, but according to the internet removing the focal plane the reticule resides on is an extremely easy process. Perhaps I’ll build up the nerve and remove it one of these days.
Who would have thought that a piece 1960s of hardware intended for an anti-tank rocket would be the the perfect pocket magnifier?
If you’ve been thumbing around my blog you’re probably familiar with my camera stock project. The latest iteration of my camera stock system incorporates an AK-47 thumbhole stock with a quick release shoe system. This particular system lacks the trigger system of the first camera stock rig, but it’s also considerably more light weight (due to the lack of the auto-focus assist light, I’m sure) and is quite a bit easier to assemble.
I’ve received quite a bit of criticism about the utility of the first system, but I can happily report that I can squeeze around an extra stop out of my gear without camera shake effecting the sharpness of my photographs. I can also happily report that using this in public at large events has not resulted in my “death, or arrest.”
While I can’t say if other people would be able to pull off a camera stock and not end up with a felony record I will definitely continue to use and refine the system.
While tooling around in my extensive pile of “stuff” I found an old optic I picked up years ago from (somewhere? gunshow?). I vaugely remember the optic being described as an anti-aircraft optic which would seem more plausible if the reticule had some sort of lead adjustment, grid, or range finder. Instead the optic has a reticule that strongly (precisely) resembles that of the PU Sniper optic (That’s the same reticule Vasily Zaytsev, hero of the Soviet Union, used during the Great Patriotic War/World War Two).
Obviously, this isn’t a proper PU scope due to the hard chrome finish, and variations on in the scope’s profile. It exhibits several features that lead me to believe that it’s based on a military design; these features include a heavy steel construction, smooth, consistent adjusting windage (most cheap knockoff optics have horrible, inconsistent windage adjustments), and a yellow “high contrast” hue that many communist-bloc era optics exhibited (I have used Russian PSOP scope, Yugoslavian ZRAK M-76 scope, and East German Zeiss Artillary Binocluars that all exhibit the same yellow hue). Plus it’s seen a few bumps and bruises; there are dings in the body of the scope, and the front element has some mild pitting.
As I’m sure many (I have readers?) of you have realized that I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to old military stuff. I really enjoy reading about military practices and markings from times that have come and gone; particularly European militaries. The British Empire had one of the greatest militaries of the 19th and 20th centuries. They had adopted the broad arrow as the marking for all of the property belonging to the crown but over time the mark became used mostly to denote property of the various war departments and colonial defense ministries. As many of you anglophiles might know these property marks (broad arrows) were often specialized or accompanied with letters to signify the colony that issued, or manufactured a good so it would be known who originally owned it should some property book officer be bothered to find out. They also signified that whatever good that was stamped was ready for service at the time of it’s acceptance and that it was the property of the British commonwealth and not a private individual.
By the end of the Cold War the major assets of the British Commonwealth were granted their independence and like the British Empire the use of the Broad Arrow has waned. Unfortunately I do not know what (if anything) has come to replace it in the British military but I would hazard a guess that it, like the counterpart in the United States, the Flaming Ordnance Corps Bomb has become mostly abandoned from regular use.
This abandoning of their ordnance marking has made them a perfect candidates for etching onto my set of double shot glasses. I had Kitsch Stickers make up some custom vinyl masks so I could get perfectly symmetrical broad arrows and crisp, uniform text. Of course she held up her end of the bargain and you can see for yourself how well it came out.
For more useful information about broad arrows, check out Wikipedia, and if you see any discrepancies in my post please send me an e-mail or leave a comment.
Yet another repost from 230Grain.com
Some time ago I received 80 rounds of some very mean looking surplus 7.62×39 in light blue cardboard boxes. After some digging around on the internet and a brief discussion with some friends from The Firing Range we figured out that the ammunition was Czech in origin and potentially over or undercharged (factory proof or rifling test loads). Some more deliberation made me decide that it was my duty as a denizen of several Internet firearms communities to dissect and weigh a sample projectile and post the results on the Internet. The results have been been on 230Grain.com and on the Something Awful but I figured it was deserving of a slightly more permanent article here.
Yet another blatantly ripped off posted from 230Grain.com
While milling through my favorite sporting goods store’s shooting section I found a cute blue bottle from Birchwood and Casey. The contents of the bottle was called “Aluminum Black” and judging by the “Poison” and “Selenium Dioxide” warnings on the bottle; this was not some strange unrefrigerated energy supplement. According to the description on the bottle, “the room temperature chemical used by gunsmiths and industry to blacken aluminum parts,” and with some quick thinking on my part, would be perfect for fixing up the blemishes on my Sig P6/225′s aluminum frame.
Photos of the TALCS are popping up on the automotive forum, R3VLimited, in the “Official 2009 E30 Picnic Photo Thread!” It is nice to note that the TALCS has officially passed through Canadian customs (and was inspected by Canadian customs with no issue) and was well received in it’s first public appearance. There’s nothing quite like reviving an old idea and finding it it both surprisingly useful and stylistic. I hope to improve on the TALCS’ design before it’s next “major” shoot.
Last year I ended up receiving a beat up Marlin/Glenfield Model 60 semi-automatic 22LR for a job. During some down time last year I became a little desperate for a project so I decided to use up a few cans of spray paint I had left over from my Nerf Maverick paintjob and decided to make my marlin as “tacticool” as I could on my limited budget. My Model 60 went from a standard issue plinker to a “tactical bubba can snypa special” and was reliquished to the back of my closet where it spent most the past few months.
Then Clinotus of 230Grain.com mentioned that April would be “Tactipril” and I decided to break out the ‘ol Model 60 and submit it as fluff for the competition. I couldn’t just leave well enough alone and decided to get in touch with my friend James about using his metal lathe. After some idle catching up he agreed to teach me how to use his lathe and to help me with my quest for the “tacticool.” Unfortunately for me, the Model 60 isn’t as easy to butcher as it’s counterpart the Ruger 10/22 which is the firearms ricer’s dream rifle. Instead of having a barrel held in with an easy to remove screw the Model 60 has a pinned and pressed barrel which is a pain to remove, but who in their right mind takes the barrel off of a Model 60? They’re amazingly good rifles out of the box.
Unable to find much information on removing the barrel from this line of rifle I decided to make a nice and informative post on how to potentially ruin a $100 rifle. My results were positive but I can understand how this process could permanently ruin your firearm and that is why I am posting this article for entertainment purposes only.
WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE?
For the past several weeks I’ve been futzing around with an old Vz. 24 rifle stock that I had cut up (have pitty on me milsurp gods) to restore a bring-back Kar 98k stock that had been duffel cut. After a heated brain-storming session with some e-buddies I decided that the best route to take would be to build a “Tactical Assault Longrange Camera” (TALC) around my Nikon D200. Of course the project is still underway and needs to undergo field trials before it can be deployed in major tactical operations.
The TALC should be ready for the first field trial later this March May and will have its first review in April by the kind folks at 230Grain.com.