Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gun Pr0n

I managed to get a little farther on the Suomi M31 (KP31, whatever) last week, but only so far. The original bolt has a fixed firing pin for firing from an open bolt, but the firing pin is removable. In trying to remove the pin, I got a punch stuck in the bolt. It ain't coming out, either.
So, I took the extra bolt I had laying around and machined it to size.

I've also pressed out the fixed firing pin and machined off the bottom feed lips on the bolt as per ATF guidelines.

Here's a good shot of the roughly assembled rifle with the 72 round drum in place. Ignore all the junk, I've been too busy to clean the garage real good in over a month.

There's nothing holding the stock to the receiver, which is why there are objects propping up the rifle in each of those pics. I wanted to get that done this week, but I only had one day off in the last week and a half, so it will have to wait a few days.

I did manage to get the extractor pieces cut for my .50 bolt, but I haven't shaped them on the mill yet so they're still unfinished. Maybe this weekend I can finish those up.

Next up, I decided to look in my collection for a few different .30 caliber rifles that have been around for a while. Two of these have been sporterized by someone other than myself. I picked up the two sporterized rifles pretty cheaply and have had a lot of fun with them.

First up is a Mosin Nagant M44 in the usual 7.62x54R round. This rifle had been modified by someone else, between machining off the rear sight, taking the front sight off, silver soldering a bent bolt handle on, and putting (what I think is) a Boyd's stock on. There is also a scope mount that sits on the left side of the receiver, but I took that off not long ago to machine a new part for and haven't gotten around to it yet.

Here's an old Arisaka type 99 that started life out chambered in 7.7 Jap. When I bought it, it already had the cut down stock on it, and had been re-chambered in 30.06. Not a real pretty rifle, though a new stock would fix that. However, this thing is actually pretty accurate. My stepson and I were ringing 18" diameter steel gongs at 500 meters at our local range with it with little problem. I could barely even make out the target at that distance, one of us had to use a spotting scope to see where the bullets were hitting around the target before we finally got it sighted in.

Here is a recently acquired labor of love. I picked this Springer up for an insanely low price. The rifle came with the original stock and the stock on it now, and when I got the rifle in I found out why the price had been so low. Apparently the Gunbroker seller neglected to mention it had no bolt, enbloc clip mechanism, any of the internal parts for the op rod and follower, front or rear sights, the op rod was rusted stuck in the gas chamber, and a few other things. I got the rifle in expecting to go to the range with it that day, and instead got a week long project that had me scouring Gunbroker and AuctionArms for parts. However, it took me a few minutes of heating up the gas tube and gently tapping on the piston (did I mention it didn't have a gas screw or gas lock? It didn't. No wonder the piston was stuck) with some aluminum punches I made for jobs like this to get the op rod to move. With the op rod chucked up in the lathe, I cleaned up the rod with some emery cloth and scotchbrite and checked the rod to make sure it wasn't bent beyond factory specs the best I could, then mic'd out the piston and gas chamber to make sure they were still concentric and worth re-installing. I'm probably going to send the stock off to a friend of mine for final sanding and finishing, and I found a guy in Ackerly, Texas that can repark it for me. I still need sights for it, but suffice to say that by the time it's got those, I will still have way under what a similar Springfield is selling for in it.

Next up is a pair of M1 carbine's I have acquired. I must admit I like shooting them, but the ammo is tough to find locally at a reasonable price. The .30 carbine is not the most potent round, but it's enough to put a hole in a piece of paper at 100 yards.

A Universal brand Carbine. Pretty decent shape, straight shooter, easy on the shoulder. Has the factory bolt hold open to the right of the rear sight.

A Plainfield M1 I got for a super good deal. Hint to sellers on Gunbroker: Always check your spelling. If you mis-spell the name or type of rifle, it isn't my fault that no one else bid on it and I got it for your lowest bottom dollar. Just sayin', that's all.

I really like the Plainfield rifle, though some of the nickel plating needs to be redone. It's not a hunting rifle (Well, I wouldn't use either one of my M1's as hunting rifles. Not because they shoot a sucky round, but because I've got better rifles for that.), but it's a fun plinker and like most guns is a heck of a lot more accurate than I am.

That's my blog content for the moment.


  1. I knew I liked you. I love old military rifles. That Garand has a lot of character. It's going to be beautiful when you're done with it.
    My collection includes 2 SMLEs (1 is a Jungle Carbine) 2 91/59s, a Mauser, an M1A1, a Garand, an 03A3, an AK and 3 ARs.

  2. Six,
    Yup, gotta love the C&R stuff as well. I hope to make a decent rifle out of that Garand. Might go ahead and have the guy doing the parkerizing put a new barrel on while he's at it since I don't have a reamer.
    My first rifle was an original German K98 Mauser that had been rechambered in .308. Still had the Nazi stampings on it. Wish I had never gotten rid of it.
    Still don't have an '03. Working on it....
    Do have some AR's though. Wish I had an M16, but I don't have that kind of scratch.