Thursday, March 31, 2016

I hate thieves and low life scum. Also, tales of parasites and the hi point drum.

This is the last post I plan to do on the Hi point drum.

I have figured out how to make them work. It isn't easy. It takes a lot of welding and fabrication.
No, I'm not going to sell them. The main reason for this is because I'm tired of being insulted by people attempting to rob me of my ideas, time, and hard work.
I've told I-don't-know-how-many-people that the drums would have to sell for almost 500 bucks for me to recoup my time, energy, materials, etc and I still get people trying to buy them for mere pennies.
Now, I have had contact from several different people wanting to "market" them, which means they want one that they can reverse engineer, copy, then sell, leaving me completely out of the picture.

Well, screw that.

I may produce a handful more of them one day, as I've got a few good friends that I'd like to give one to.
From this day forward, however........if you are the representative of a company, and you'd like to make money off my hard work, ideas, and innovations? Go fuck yourself. Don't email me, comment here, or attempt any contact with me. I will give my ideas away to the people you would be trying to sell drums to before I let you profit off my hard work.
This is not the Motor of the World, and I am not John Galt.
I am nothing more than a guy who likes to make stuff, and started a blog with the intentions of getting more people working with their hands again.

But I'll be damned if a bunch of parasites that refuse to get their hands dirty ever get so much as a scrap of paper of my ideas and work.

Oh, and Mr. Austin Edwards, of Independent Sport Supply?

The answer is no.
I won't give you a damn thing.
You, and the rest that would rob me of my mind, can go self-fornicate.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Suomi M31 receiver thread repair sections

I made a handful of these a while back and after I stopped selling parts to others, I put the remaining ones in storage. I found them the other day and put them up for sale on a gun forum, not thinking there was any real demand for them. I sold out in about five minutes.
I guess since they turned out to be popular, I will make another run of them. They are original ID and OD, and have a shoulder for welding to the receiver so you're not welding on the threads themselves. They're about an inch long overall.

Here's what they look like.

Here's one with the cap screwed on. Cap NOT included.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Free ammo. Yes, free.

I've bought a good bit of ammo in years past, and have had both good and bad experiences with different sources of munitions. Thankfully, there are some folks out there that are worth dealing with, and one of them is Ammunition To Go.

They've contacted me and asked me to post up concerning their offer of free ammo to my readers.

Here's the skinny from Brandon at ATG:

We're partnering with Magtech on an initiative starting tomorrow that we're hoping will put 100,000 rounds into the hands of new shooters for free. We're calling it "Ammo Ambassadors".

Basically, we want to make it as easy as possible for people already familiar with shooting and guns to bring somebody who has never shot before to the range and safely teach them about firearms. With an election just around the corner, the more people we can inspire to get familiar with what gun owners actually do with their firearms, the better.

So, here's how it works:

  • Find a new shooter who hasn't been to the range and experienced the joy of shooting before. 
  • Download a target off our site and take them to the range.
  • Snap a photo of the new shooter with their target and upload it to our site.
  • You'll get a coupon code that's good for two boxes of free 9mm ammo from Magtech - along with free shipping.
We have 100,000 rounds of Magtech 9mm ready to ship right now. We're hoping to find 1,000 Ammo Ambassadors to take 1,000 new shooters out to the range in the next few weeks.

The details and the target are available here: (this page will be up and runningTuesday morning around 8 a.m. Central Time).

Now, this is definitely something I can get behind. If you haven't already, take some new shooters out and put them on the path to safe and trained firearms ownership. With all the insanity in the news lately and the renewed calls for restrictions on firearms, we all need to pitch in and help convert new shooters.

If you can't do that? Give the boys at ATG a call and order some ammo to show your support for their drive.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Been a while......

So, life has been keeping me busy. Last fall I had surgery on my neck, which slowed down my ability to build stuff, then the spring was killer between work and school. Then there's the lack of interest in blogging most days......

Anyways, I've received a number of emails asking me to update and let everyone know I'm alive.

Well, here you go.

I'm alive.

Other than that.....I've got a bunch of projects in the works, mainly stuff that I had on the back burner. I'll put one of them up here for now.

That is a 80% Suomi M31 receiver I'm working on. The lug section is not satisfactory, but I'm going to fix the CNC code on it.
The tube takes a original diameter bolt and will make use of a blocking bar to prevent builders making an un-taxed machinegun.

Lower side plates are available from The Flat Spot.
The end product will have a template applied for cutting the mag port, the ejection port, the hammer/sear slot, and the rear sight slot. This is pretty much just a threaded tube that you will weld the front lug section, front and rear mag fillers, and side plates on.

It doesn't look like anyone is offering Suomi receivers at this point, so other than machining your own, this will probably be the only game in town.

Price point is sub-$100.00

Another thing I've been doing is playing with the CNC mill a lot more, including adding a 4th (rotary) axis. That makes for all kinds of neat stuff, including the ability to engrave tubes and barrels.

Here's a muzzle brake being machined on the 4th axis that I drew up in ViaCad and processed through BobCad V26.

The finished product.....

Anyway, I'll update some more later when I have another minute or two.

Friday, April 24, 2015

3 years ago.....

I just got this in my feed and thought it was worth posting.The first DAB in 2012. Damn, that was a lot of fun.

Monday, September 29, 2014

On a personal note............

I will be going in for some serious surgery.
Prayers, well-wishing, kind thoughts, or just a friendly "hi", are always welcome here, especially  right now.

Thanks to everyone who I've met through this media for their friendship and good times. Here's to a lot more of it, eh?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The 9mm AR15 conversion

As I covered in my last post, the 9mm carbine is a nice alternative to the 5.56x45mm standard rifle round. Cost of ammunition, recoil, and noise, are all lower when you switch to 9 mm. Some ranges only let you shoot pistol calibers and will not even allow a rifle caliber on the premises.Penetration, overshoot, and backstops all have to be taken into consideration as well. Whatever your reason, the 9mm carbine just makes sense in a lot of scenarios.
I've been looking into a pistol caliber AR15 for some time, but due to the excessive cost, I've never gotten too serious about them. Just from a glance online, the prices are insane:
1. Bolt, about 200 bucks
2. Barrel, another 150-200 bucks
3. Magazine block, 50-200 bucks
4. Heavy buffer and heavier buffer spring, 50-75 bucks.
And this doesn't cover mags, or even the dedicated upper receivers.

No matter how you look at it, the cost of converting a standard AR lower to 9mm is almost the same price as an entry-level AR15. While you will eventually save that much money by shooting the inexpensive 9mm ammo, it might take you a long time.

Longtime readers of this blog will probably remember that I am
1. A cheap bastard frugal man.
2. Resourceful
As such, I felt it was time to look into caliber conversions on a budget. My ideal weapon conversion would of course, have to be inexpensive, reliable, and perhaps even adaptable to different pistol calibers, such as .45 acp, 40 S&W, and 9mm luger.
I think I have managed to put something together that will accomplish all of the above.

The magazine is from a Sten, and these mags have been used to feed 9mm, 40, and 45, so it's capable of being swapped from one upper to another.

Starting with a normal Anderson lower, I added a few parts.

A standard stripped upper, no forward assist or ejection port door are attached. They're not needed, and I will probably either machine a "featureless" upper down the road, or I'll get an Anderson upper that has no provision for a forward assist or a port door.

The barrel is a given, I started out with a "gunsmith blank" from Green Mountain Rifle Barrel. I have used dozens, if not hundreds of these barrels in different calibers, and have never had a problem with the quality.
The barrel set me back about 30 dollars, then it needed to be chambered and profiled (turned to shape on the lathe)

The "mag block" is a piece of cold roll scrap I had laying around. It takes up the remainder of the room in the magazine well, and has a release lever for keeping the mag in place.

An ejector was attached later, but here's the basic spacer block attached to the lower.

The bolt was a heavily modified Suomi bolt with a floating firing pin installed. This bolt was almost too light in this configuration, so I came up with a quick, easy, and cheap solution that uses the original buffer and recoil spring. I found some 1" round bar stock and cut a section of it to put in front of the buffer. It acts as a weight to slow bolt movement, and also shortens the stroke of the bolt by that amount. We'll see how it runs.

After slapping the gun together, I liked the way it looked with the plastic forearm and carry handle, but figured a free-floating handguard and a cheap red dot sight would look even better.

I think I was right.

The final tally of expenses revealed that I had spent well under what a normal aftermarket kit would run, and I may have actually assembled a kit that can be configured in multiple calibers.

Range report coming soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Powder coating: It's an electrically charged awesome.

One of my biggest hurdles in gun building, believe it or not, has been coating the finished product. While there are a variety of different products on the market, each one has it's own issues for a garage builder like me. Bluing, parkerizing, duracoat, cerakote, spray paint, and a number of others, each with their own inherent benefits and detractions. Most of my guns have been coated with the Krylon touch, but that leaves a lot to be desired. My shop is almost too dirty to do spray coatings like Duracoat in, plus the fumes would get to be an annoyance.

Recently, I was in Harbor Freight, and saw that they had their powder coating set up on sale, and I had a 20% off coupon, so I walked out a happy man. I figured I could afford to lose that much money if it didn't work out, or I couldn't get the hang of it. I already have a sandblasting cabinet, so that part of the equation was covered. All I needed was an oven that could reach 450 degrees.
A quick stop by my local Chinese wholesale mart (also known as Wal Mart) netted me a toaster oven for about 50 bucks that is large enough to cook most of my powder coated parts in.

Powder coating is a pretty cool process, in that it sprays a positively charged cloud of colored powder at an object that has been grounded. The powder is attracted to the part like a magnet, and the powder is held in place via static electricity (more or less). The part is put in an oven and the powder is melted and fused to the part. It requires a very clean surface, and media blasting the part beforehand to get some "tooth" for the coating to adhere to.

I've been working on a 9mm conversion for the AR15 that is inexpensive and doesn't require any modification to the rifle. Most of the conversion kits out there are very expensive (200 bucks for a bolt, 100-200 for a barrel, 50-200 for a mag adapter, etc) and since I can build a complete AR rifle for less than 400 bucks these days, that just didn't set well with me.
So, I needed a conversion kit, and true to my typical nature, I don't want to spend much money. A starting point would be magazines. The Colt mags are great, but expensive, and are really just Uzi mags with a mag catch milled in, and require an adaptor. After digging around, I found a reasonable solution: Sten mags. They're cheap, hold plenty of ammo, and can even be used with other calibers. The best part? They fit in the magwell quite nicely, and only require a filler piece on the rear of the mag.
I took 3 mags out of the stack of Sten mags that feed my Sten, and dedicated them to this purpose. Since they were rusty, greasy, and altogether cruddy looking, I figured they would be good fodder for this project.

The mag block, fresh out of the mill.

A Sten mag in place with the block. The block is held in place by the AR mag release.

Mocked up right purty.

They are a good fit for the AR pattern rifle. A bit of a bitch to load, but there are plenty of mag loaders on the market that will work with the Sten mag.
Since the rifle was going to get refinished, why not the mags?

Now, these mags were all military surplus that had been dunked in cosmoline and stored for years in a vault in somewhereistan. The oil from the cosmoline had soaked in pretty good, and made life a living hell. I couldn't get all the oils out, no matter how hard I scrubbed. I finally media blasted the mags, then put them in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
Turns out, the oil seeped out of all the hidey-holes, and I was finally able to remove it all. I put the mags on a fan to cool, before dunking them in solvent.

After the mags had cooled, were degreased again, and blasted again, I put them in my hi-tech powder coating booth (the box the powder coating rig came in, with a metal hanger stuck through it) and sprayed some Harbor Freight matte black powder on them. That stuff is about 6 bucks for a pound, and it takes about a spoonful to do a mag or three.

Believe it or not, this is the coated mag.

While they're getting powder coated, I turn the oven on to 450 and let it warm up. I then hang the three mags from a rack that came with the oven, and set the timer to 20 minutes.

Within a minute, the powder melts, and gets a very glossy and orange-peel-ish look. After 10 minutes, it's very evenly coated, with a nice gloss. As it cools, it dulls slightly.

Giving the floor plates the same treatment.

The finished, unassembled product. Ignore the water droplets on the floor plates.

Assembled, with a light coat of gun oil spread on with a towel.

Finished, and installed in the blurry gun.

The finish is very tough. It does not scratch easily, and solvents won't touch it. The best part? Over 6000 different colors available, and it's cheap.
I don't know how it would hold up on a barrel or a similar object that gets hot, but so far the mags and receivers I have coated have held up well, and still look good despite a few trips to the range and a lot of shooting.

This weekend, we will find out how well my 9mm conversion works; more on that later.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Projects.......we got 'em. NOW WITH MOAR PKM PICS

For those of you who still come through here from time to time looking for.....well, whatever it is you look for, I thought it worthwhile to put up a picture of a recent project that has finally been (mostly) completed.

Say hello to my little friend.

That is a Soviet-era PKT that I built into a PKM copy. It fires the 7.62x54R cartridge. It was originally solenoid fired and pintle mounted, but is now a shoulder-fired rifle.

- I did a reweld on the receiver, and welded in several blocking features to keep it semiauto only.
- The FCG is all AR15 parts with a Wolf power hammer spring.
- The lower receiver that houses the FCG was machined on my CNC mill from 1" thick steel billet, and has a very nice maple grip from
- Buttstock is original surplus from
- The barrel originally was much longer, larger diameter, and had three holes drilled into it to demill the barrel. I threaded, plugged, and welded two of the holes, then cut about 8" off the barrel before turning it down on the lathe, then fluting it on the mill. It weighs about 60% what it once did, and looks much better, in my opinion.
- Sights are not installed yet, but will be salvaged from an AK rifle.
- Bipod is from an RPD and mounted in original PKM location. I will likely trim the legs down later.
- I am working on a custom-machined muzzle attachment based on the original flash hider.

I will try to put some more pics up later, including some pics taken during the build process.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another round guessed it.....guess that barrel!

In lieu of useful, informative content, I challenge my readers to a much easier game of "Guess That Barrel".

This one should be pretty easy, but it it's not, I'll give you a hint.

This one is on the bucket list of almost every gunny, and it's an iconic American piece of machinery.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guess that barrel?

Not dead yet, just too busy for blog.

How about a game of "Guess That Project", using a pic of a barrel I machined?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another Uzi how-to video.

Here's another DIY video, showing the average builder how to convert a SMG uzi bolt to a semiauto closed bolt.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Machineguns are awesome.

Well, my semester finals are officially over, thus giving me back some free time once again.

I've got some updating to do and some new projects to document, as well as some parts reviews to do, so hopefully I'll have the engines running here again soon.

What did you do over your Thanksgiving weekend?


I had an 07FFL SOT come by the house with a Suomi kit built into a post 86 MG.

There is no doubt in my mind that it was likely one of my favorite machineguns I've ever shot. Shooting my semiauto Suomis is just dull and depressing now.

Here is a collage of the different machineguns the FFL brought with him, a H&K 51k, a H&K 53k, an M16, and the Suomi he built.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Machine tools, going automated through the power of Computer Numeric Control

Been away from this for a while mainly due to school and work. I haven't had much spare time, and what time I've had has been spent on other things.

I've read a couple of posts from my good friend The Silicone Graybeard over the last few months that originally spawned this, but haven't had time to finish it.
I've had a lot of folks pick my brain along the way about what kind of tools they need to build their own firearms, and I've often said the same thing to a lot of them, "It's not what tools are in your toolbox, it's what you do with the ones you've got in conjunction with the most important tool of all, the one in your head. Anything beyond that just makes the job faster."
I bought a large lathe and a medium-sized mill instead of relying on lots of files and hard labor, but back when I started this blog, I didn't have a mill, I barely had a lathe, and I didn't have much experience. What I did have was the desire to build a .50 BMG rifle inexpensively, which I did do most of without the large mill and lathe.
Now that I've been doing this for a couple years (I think I started blogging about the .50 in late 2010), I've had the opportunity to pick up a number of different tools and improve some of the ones I already have. Here of late, I decided to upgrade my milling machine to CNC control. This will do the same thing that most any milling machine can do, but it will do it under computer direction and control. It also means that I can design something on my PC, then send it to the computer and let it make the part while I work on other things.
I looked at the cost of doing this, and figured it would be worth the trouble.

For those of you interested, the electronic hardware necessary to do this was about 150 dollars per axis, and the mill has three axis, X, Y, and Z. X is the longest traveling axis on my machine, and has about a foot and a half of travel, good enough to do large projects. Y is the back-and-forth axis, and has about eight inches of total travel. Z is the up-and-down axis that the cutting tool is attached to. This axis has about 5 inches of travel.
Both X and Y axis have acme thread screws that permit movement when the mill is new from the factory. Acme thread is very useful for high torque and high force applications, in part because the thread has a square appearance, rather than angled like the typical nut and bolt threads that you see.
Better than the Acme threads are what's known as "ball screws" and "ball nuts". Instead of having threads that mate to other threads, the "ball screw" has threads that are squared like Acme thread, but have a radius at the base of the thread leade. The "ball nuts" contain a number of small individual ball bearings, and the bearings will circulate inside the nut itself. These bearings fit in the radius of the screw leade, and allow for smooth travel, with very little backlash. I changed my mill over to ball screws for the CNC application. The upside of ball screws, as previously mentioned, is smooth travel and very little resistance to movement. The downside is that the screws offer little resistance to movement, so unless something is used to lock the screws in place, such as a engaged motor, you can literally push the mill table around by hand.

The Z axis is now an odd concoction that uses a rotating ball nut inside a timing pulley to lift the quill up and down. It works, though it is as ugly as a burlap sack of rusty nails.

I have a CAD program for designing my parts, and CAM program for taking the drawings from a simple image to a toolpath via a genre of computer language known as "G code". This code tells the computer what you want it to do, from cutting speeds, rapid movement speeds, cutter spindle speed, turning on coolant pumps, changing tools, etc.

ViaCad is what I draw and model my parts in, and MeshCam is what I use for converting those drawings to tool paths.

We have all at one time or another, seen a AR 15 lower receiver. On this blog, I have previously outlined how to manually machine a 0% lower forging into a finished receiver. Well, I now am able to clamp a forging into the mill and have the machine make all the critical measurements and cuts.

Cutting the top deck on the lower forging.

Cutting the magazine release slot.

Cutting the pistol grip area
Cutting out the magazine well

Cutting the bolt hold open slot on the top deck.

Cutting the FCG pocket

Cutting the front take down pin area.

It took a little while to get to this point. I've broken a few end mills and ruined a couple of forgings getting this far, but the end result is very nice to behold.

So, that's a sample of what a CNC milling machine can do. It has made life much easier when it comes to building simple things like AR15 lowers, and has also made it easier to do much more complex things as well.