Thursday, April 26, 2012

One of those days.......

You ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right and you break everything you touch?
This is one of those days.
So far, I've
1. Snapped a very expensive carbide endmill. As in ~100 dollar endmill.
2. Ruined a 17mm drill bit and in order to replace it cheaply I've got to order one from china.
3. Broken my reamer that I use to bore the holes on AR 15 receivers for the hammer and trigger.
4. Broke a carbide bit in my dremel and broke the dremel in the process.
5. Buggered up the forearm I was machining out of a solid piece of aluminum hex stock for the AR45.
6. Ran out of sandpaper while trying to remove a blemish in a Suomi 80% receiver.
7. Ruined several custom cut pieces of 4130 sheet metal while trying to make a fire control box for the RPD.
8. Broke a screw extractor in the bolt head of my .50 while trying to remove the screws that sheared the other day.

The list goes on but I'll leave it at that. I give up. I'm gonna lay on the couch and drink some sweet tea and Honey Jack, and maybe I'll get rid of this awful neck spasm I've been having as a result of the stress that's come about from the school semester wrapping up. Final exams are in a couple weeks and I'm not looking forward to them.

One good thing I got done today, I machined a 80% Suomi receiver half for someone. I managed to make that this morning without too much incident. Now all I need is a 17mm drill bit so I can finish the other half of the receiver. =\

So far today I've wrecked a couple hundred bucks of equipment and machined 25 bucks worth of 4130 tubing. I'm just not liking how that balances out.....

If you don't see me post within a couple weeks it's because I've set fire to my workshop and had myself committed to wearing a tight jacket and bouncing my head off of walls in a rubber room.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dallas Blog shoot

Dallas blog shoot, a recap:

I left my house at about 0740 on Saturday morning to go pick up Scribbler at his apartment in the north Dallas area. He had left a request on Borepatch's blog asking if anyone could pick him up for the get-together, and got in contact with him to get it set up. Never met the guy before, now I'm glad I got to meet him, among several others. Anyways, we hit the highway headed to southern Dallas county to meet up with the other bloggers at the intersection of I-45 and Belt Line road at the Texaco (aka Gunny Hot Spot). We got there early, and as it turns out, SoutherBelle and her husband kx59 were already there waiting. We weren't there long before Bob S. of 3 Boxes of B.S. showed up. Handshakes and greets all around, we waited on everyone else to arrive before heading off to the s00per sekrit shootin' spot. Shortly after Bob's arrival, several others arrived, including U.S. Citizen (who had the coolest stuff with him) and Kevin in the same car. How they got all that gunny goodness in that little hatchback, I'll never know. Pat, Nick the Blogless, and a few others arrived, and we headed to the range.

After arrival at the range, U.S. Citizen outlined the rules for shooting, everyone got their weapons out on display on a variety of different tables, and everyone started meandering around looking at different guns that everyone brought.
I hadn't shot the .50 in a bit, so I wanted to make sure it was 100% before letting anyone else shoot it. I loaded up a round, called for a hot range, and made sure everyone had their ears on. To my surprise, many people were already shooting, so I shrugged and touched one off.


  I stepped back and noticed a lot of people had been watching me, or they stopped shooting after the big gun went off. There were gales of laughter as I caught my breath and remembered that shooting a .50 is, well, loud. The pressure wave is awe inspiring.
I immediately was asked by others if they could shoot whatever the hell that was that made that noise. I attempted to pull the bolt to the rear, and found that I had hardened the bolt handle separately from everything else (it was machined from O-1 drill rod, whereas the rest of the gun was made from 4140 and 4130) and had made it a bit too hard. It snapped off at the threads.
Insert one (1) redneck with one (1) Leatherman multitool, and then procure one (1) 6" long bolt from bed of redneck's truck, use spare bolt as needed to reciprocate bolt carrier to taste.
A few other bloggers shot it (Borepatch had one of the best reactions of all! Welcome to Texas, buddy!) before the allen head bolts securing the bolt head to the carrier decided to shear off. I let the gun sit for a bit, while I went around and looked at what everyone else was shooting. All I can say is DAMN, there was a LOT of cool stuff there. I shot a SBR Thompson, a SBR Vector Kriss, a M1a, and some of my own stuff.
I finally decided to try and rescue my .50 from boredom, and disassembled the rifle. The sheared allen head screws were difficult to remove, but I got it done, nonetheless. I pulled a allen head screw from the stock assembly, and reassembled the bolt. Back to business, as Southern Belle finally got her wish and got to touch one off. I neglected to get video of her as well as Bob trying it out, but suffice to say that the smiles on everyone's faces (even people who didn't shoot it) were as big as Texas. I built that rifle for two reasons: To piss off the anti's, and make the gunny's happy. It seems to do okay on that front. After a couple more rounds, I shot it one last time before the same allen head screw sheared. I figured the .50 was best off taking a break after that, and put it in the truck. There was tons of other cool guns there, and I didn't want to miss out!
There was a awesome crank-fired 1919 Browning A4 there in .308, a bunch of AR's (including Pat's lefty AR that gave me a nice brass rainbow shower from time to time), several shotguns, the two nicest FAL's I've seen, belonging to Rabbit and Nick the Blogless (who I'm to understand built his from a parts kit. Way to go, gunny!), a sweet little suppressed Buckmark belonging to Pat, a slew of revolvers and semiauto handguns, even a unfired-in-the-case-transferrable-full-auto-M1-Thompson-that-I-still-have-dreams-about belonging to U.S. Citizen. (Seriously, U.S. Citizen is one great guy, and has the nicest toys, and even let us coonfinger and shoot most of them, not to mention he brought 4473's in case anyone wanted to buy some of what he brought. Did I mention he even had a special 10% off coupon for the occasion? Yeah, great guy!)
I donated some AR mags to the Northeastern Gun Blogger Relief Fund, took some pics, shot an insanely cool Tokarev rifle owned by the very gracious Southern Belle, and just relaxed. I'm glad I did, by the end of the day my arm was tired from banging around the .50 and I was sunburned as heck.

There's a ton of other stuff I'm leaving out, I'm sure. For those of you who I haven't mentioned here, please feel free to leave me a comment with links to your blog so I can blogroll you.

It was an absolute success, and I can't wait to do it again.
BTW, Borepatch? You rock!

Here's a video I threw together that covers most of the day that I saw. I'm sure others will have more to add.
This post will be edited eventually to include any more footage that gets sent my way.

Links to other blogger's roundups soon to follow.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dallas blog shoot, quick post

I thought this appropriate for the blog shoot. More later.

Dallas blogshoot

I am back from the blogshoot/meet up, and I'm beat. We had more guns and ammo there than I could've imagined.
I brought this, and it put a smile on a lot of faces.

Of course, it wouldn't be a complete day unless it gave me a headache or two.
Right off the bat, the bolt handle broke. I rightly earned my blog title by fishing around in the bed of my truck and procuring an actual, well, bolt, that then served as the bolt handle for the rest of the day. Impromptu, but functional. From there, the little allen head bolts that hold the bolt head to the bolt body actually sheared due to recoil. I had to disassemble the rifle and get the bolt head out, then use my Leatherman to remove the broken screw threads. I took a screw from the stock assembly to put the bolt head back together and got back in business.

I don't have much time to post more today, but I'll leave this parting note:
There are some awesome people out there in the blogging community, and holy crap, do we have a LOT of guns. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dallas blog meet/shoot

Well, I'm packed and ready for the shoot tomorrow. I figured I'd take along a couple guns, just in case. Hope I'll see some of my readers there!

Some small parts machining.

I won't say as of yet what these go to, but I've been working on a project that needed some flair. I wanted some fasteners that looked better than simple bolts and nuts, so I decided to turn some simple spikes and thread them to act as nuts.
I set them up in the lathe and turned a taper on the end, then reversed them in the chuck and bored and threaded them. After a light polishing, they were good to go.
For some reason I forgot to take pics of the finished product, except with them in place on the gun.
I'll add pics of the project after tomorrow. The people attending the blog shoot tomorrow will get to see it before I post it up here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We're trying out some different templates on the blog, so things may look a little odd until I get it where I want it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

AR 45

Here's some more machine work on the AR45 I am building. Nothing special, just some threading on the upper and the barrel. I'm currently machining a barrel retaining nut to hold the works together. Ignore the drops of blood on the receiver, freshly cut threads are sharp!
This is really just a chance for me to test the mobile blogger app and clean out some pics on my phone.

Mobile test

Testing the mobile blogger app.
Night shooting with the Mosin Nagant M44.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Suomi M31, M-31, Kp31 parts kit building.

This is a post intended for everyone of my readers who have been lead here by a search engine while you look for information on building a semi-auto Suomi out of a parts kit.

If you want drawings, I still have them, and offer them to anyone who wants them.
Best of luck to everyone who has acquired one  of these kits while they are still cheap.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hi Point drum conversion work.

I don't have any pictures for this post, but I hope to have some up soon.

I have been working on a couple other projects over the last couple weeks in an attempt to get my mind off the Hi Point drum conversion and avoid burnout.
I'm glad I did. I had a new idea on how to get the drum conversion not only working, but make it even better than before.

My original work on this project included modifying a factory mag and welding it on top of a Suomi drum. My results weren't bad, but they weren't 100%, either. I had some jams and some simple issues. Shortly thereafter, I had some personal issues enter the picture that kept me from getting much further on it. I picked up where I left off after a few months, and have tried making new mags to weld on top of the drum, I've smoothed out the inside of the drum to reduce friction, and generally just tried a number of things to get it to work. In my last installment, I had smooth feeding from the drum, but couldn't get the rounds to point up enough to get them to enter the chamber efficiently. I did some work in my CAD program that showed me the problems I was facing. This is a simple fix, but I was still pretty tired of messing with it, especially with all the other projects sitting here.

Anyway, I thought about the whole project, and decided that one of the things I didn't like was how the end product would be just one drum, and it would be prohibitively expensive for anyone to have more than one functional drum assembly. What if I could design a system that allowed me to swap out drums? IF this was possible, it would mean that I wouldn't have to modify the drums. It would require one simple modification that could be done by the owner of the drums. It would cut the overall cost by at least 25%. It would mean that the owner could have as many drums as they wanted, and they wouldn't have to ship them to me for heavy modification.
The more I thought about it, the more I decided that simply welding a mag tower to a drum was just not good enough. I sat down and got back in the CAD program and came up with a steel base that the drum would attach to, similar to a Suomi magazine well, but has a sheetmetal mag tower. There are other drums on the market that have detachable mag towers, so this shouldn't be impossible. Since there won't be as much welding, this should prevent metal shrinkage and burn-through.
The best part? It's cheaper in the long run. Even if the mag tower costs close to the same as the original projected modified drum assembly, it allows the end user to swap out $30 dollar drums as they see fit.

I have some metal pieces cut out and ready to finish machine for the project. The overall design is nothing special, the only specialty part is a sliding cover that fits inside the drum attachment point and keeps rounds inside the magazine from sliding out when the drum is removed. The mag well will look just like it would have on the previous design, but will have a drum mount welded or bolted on.
I am also looking in to the possibility of machining the assembly out of aluminum to save weight, but this remains to be seen.
I will be updating on this idea soon, it should prove to be interesting as to the results. Of course, for anyone following along, final part dimensions will be available to those who desire to build their own and save a buck. If I can make this work, I would of course like to make money off of it; I AM an unabashed capitalist. =)
However, I am also not against helping fellow gunnys out as much as I can. It's not like any of my ideas are THAT original.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dallas, Texas blog meet

It appears there is going to be a gunny get together in my neck of the woods shortly.

I'm planning on attending, anyone who cares to meet me is encouraged to attend. I'll have a few of my own guns there and it looks like I may be picking up another blogger, Scribbler, who can be found at

Sounds like its going to be a heck of a good time!