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?
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.
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.
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.