Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Came Early This Year

Fedex just delivered, to my front door, this mysterious package from Anniston, Alabama.

Inside was this Kimber M82 rifle, caliber .22LR. 

That's Kimber of Clackamas, Oregon, y'all.

They said it was "rusty" but I can't find a spot of rust on it anywhere.

There was also this plastic bag...

...containing the bolt and these extraordinary target sights.

The barrel was sealed up with a full-length paper tube.

The stock appears to be in perfect shape. There are a couple of scratches on the other side. There is also an aluminum channel built into the lower surface of the fore-end, perhaps for a bipod? And an original manual.

To say I am pleased would be an understatement!

Thank you, CMP!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Range Report

After a 2-hour wait I was assigned to lane 9 and set my target out at 25 yards. I had a box of Federal XM193F, 5.56mm M193 Ball, 55-gr. boat-tail cartridges. I aimed at the target center and my first two shots landed 2 inches down and 2 inches to the right. That's disappointing, because it would be 8 inches at 100 yards, but at least I have some real-world results to ponder.

So rather than adjust the turrets I decided to "shoot a box": I turned the windage turret 64 clicks to the right and fired two more shots, then turned the elevation turret 64 clicks up and fired two more, then 64 clicks left windage and two more, then 64 clicks left and two more shots, then finally 64 clicks down and two more shots. I was shooting from a bag rest each time. The shots seemed to track the turrets pretty well. These turrets are 1/8" per click.

The second target was at 50 yards:

This seemed to be more like 3.5 inches to the right, or 7 inches at 100 yards.

I'm not really so concerned about the elevation because I'm so close to the target that the bullet is still rising to meet the line of sight; the scope is mounted about 2" above the bore.

The three shots above the bull were just to finish off the cartridge box.

The wind was really vicious today, so my plans to visit Clark Bros. in Warrenton had to be postponed. They have a rifle range with 25, 50 and 100-yard targets.

My goal is to use the adjustable rings to get the rifle on target at all ranges, for windage anyway, without adjusting the turrets.

I also fired eight magazines from the Ruger 22/45 with the red dot sight, and half a box from the Nagant "7-shooter". The Nagant has a formidable double-action trigger pull; I used single action. Nice shooter! Very quiet and very little recoil. Only 98-gr bullets.

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm compact sent some lead downrange, too, to test four new magazines (CTD has 'em in stock if you act fast).

Check out the unfired Nagant cartridge (far right) and the spent case next to it.

And I just noticed this: look at the unusual dimple in the primer. What do you make of that? 

And it wasn't just the Blaser, either. This one is Winchester White Box. It shows a dimple (at the 10 o'clock position) and a firing-pin "comma" (at 5 o'clock).

Texas Man Pulls Gun On Line-Cutter

Black Friday news:

A shopper who brandished a handgun during a Black Friday scuffle at South Park Mall was within his rights, according to San Antonio police.

Sent from my iPhone

NYPD Siezes Billionaire's Guns

The police have confiscated two guns belonging to a New York billionaire and are weighing whether to revoke his handgun license after officers responded to an incident this month at Trump Tower, according to a police official and two people familiar with the matter.
Sent from my iPhone


Reading a humor article in the New Yorker. A reminiscence (I'll spell-check that later) of a 17-year old boy who had a torrid affair with 77-year old Ayn Rand:

Anyone who knew Ayn knew that she was not big on sniveling. But I was devastated. We'd often talked about "stopping the engine of the world." Well, now she had stopped the engine of my heart. So, yes, I sniveled a bit. Although, in keeping with my Objectivist principles, when I sniveled, I did it in my room, while keeping my face as impassive and noble as I could. Or sometimes I'd call Alan Greenspan, and he'd go, "Oh, you too, eh?"

Yeah, I know. Reading the New Yorker at the NRA Range. I'll pay dearly for this.

Sent from my iPhone

At The NRA Range

And it is JAMMED!

At least a 2-hour wait.

I'm stayin'.

"Repo man's got all night!"

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, November 23, 2012

Red Dot Sight

The Ruger 22/45 came with a Picatinny scope base, so today I torqued it down to 10 in-lbs (aluminum receiver).

And installed this red dot scope. Burris Signature Zee rings (30mm/Medium) torqued down to 20 in-lbs (because they're steel).

I have no idea how to "level" a sight that has no crosshairs, so I just eye-balled it.

It should make for some fun plinking.

Oh, NOW What?

I pulled out the AR-15 and hooked up the boresighter and got this. Pretty good.

But two weeks ago it looked like this. What the hell is going on?

I guess it's off to the range.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Remington 700 Action Trueing Videos

Don't try this at home, kids!

This 13-part video shows a gunsmith (I think his name is Suarez) trueing up a Remington 700 action. I found it absolutely fascinating.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ruger 22/45 Mod

This modification will remove the magazine safety from my Ruger 22/45, and make the magazines drop free of the mag well when the release button is pressed. In the first picture is the mainspring housing at top and then (L-R) are the hammer and strut, the stock bushing, and the aftermarket bushing.

The aftermarket bushing has two raised areas on it where the magazine safety follower and its spring used to ride on the factory bushing. Those parts aren't needed and they've been discarded.

Here is the new bushing in place. It is deliberately a tight fit in the hammer assembly, and it needs to be tapped into place with a plastic-faced hammer.

The hammer assembly has been put back in place in the gun and the hammer pin has been fully extended - without, I might add, disturbing the safety or the sear - I'm proud of that.
Add a couple of Hogue cocobolo grips and it looks just like the other "45s".

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet Irony

Hostess Brands closed up shop permanently today, forced into bankruptcy and liquidation by a nationwide strike by the Bakers' Union. This will result in the loss of 18,500 full-time jobs.

According to the BBC:

"The union's pension fund is [the firm's] biggest unsecured creditor, and is owed about $944.2m."

No doubt some obscure agency of the federal government will step forward to guarantee the payment of the pension in Bernanke Bucks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

English Gunsmith

This English gunsmith is preparing a Sako rifle to accept a silencer, or as they call it over there, a "moderator".

In part two, he uses a reamer from Pacific Tool and Gauge (at 4:00)

And at 9:50, look at the amazing results: the disappearing end cap.

Nice logo!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Main Event

The Nikon scope has arrived and so off comes the BSA scope and we need to de-grease the ring hardware for the permanent installation. There are lots of choices in anyone's kitchen or garage:

I chose isopropyl alcohol because it's easy to work with in confined spaces.

Here's the new scope sitting in the rings. It's a Nikon Buckmasters 6-18x40 with a mildot reticle that ranges at 12x.

I tried the bathroom mirror test on it and the reticle was perfectly centered.

After the usual procedure of leveling the gun, boresighting to level the scope, and torquing down the rings, here's the result:

Perfectly level, 3/4 division high and 3 3/4 divisions to the right. No scope adjustment yet. I was so surprised that the windage was so far off that I took the scope out of the rings, checked the bathroom mirror again (it was still centered) and torqued down the scope again. Same result.

Well, at least it seems to be repeatable. 

I read somewhere on the web that some scopes, even expensive ones, do not have their optical center and their mechanical center in the same place. It has to do with the design of the scope and how much the turrets protrude into the main tube. The designers want the reticle to be centered in the lens system because that's where the image is sharpest, but that may conflict with how many clicks there are in each direction. So sometimes the designers have to compromise. 
Well, that's what I've heard!

I'll try to get to the range soon and give it a try.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hand Made Screw

This Sauer 38H is just back from the gunsmith, who made a new grip screw for, uh...I forget which side.

Can you spot the new grip screw? The other one is over 70 years old.

These guys use metal detectors to find old war weapons, and at 5:50 they pull up a Sauer 38H:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect, I Hope

The Nikon scope that I ordered for this AR-15 project will not arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday, but I'm going to get in some more practice with this funky BSA scope that I found in a packing box.

This is a BSA Platinum 6-24x44 scope with a 1" tube and mildot reticle. And today's exercise is to get it mounted, levelled and boresighted on the AR-15. I'm going to use Burris Signature Zee rings - I'm sold on the things - with the concentric inserts. Those are the inserts that come with the package; the eccentric inserts are sold separately - for $16 per ring!

I adjusted the scope with the bathroom mirror method again so that it was optically centered.

The first step is to level the gun, so on go the Wheeler bubble levels. Looks level to me!

The AR-15 flat-top has a good-sized flat just behind the Picatinny rail. This accomodates the Starrett machinist's level nicely. But notice that the bubble here is all the way to the left.


When in doubt, always believe the more expensive piece of gear, so we level the gun to put the Starrett bubble in the center, and re-adjust the Wheeler to agree.

Here's the Starrett with the bubble in the center. It's hard to get it there and harder to keep it there.

The Burris ring is a tight fit on the rail - in fact it won't fit at all. Notice the little cut in the ring's base, next to my thumb? That's the "Zee" that you find in the Burris rings for the Weaver-style base.

So we just get out the old pry-bar (Stanley screwdriver) and gently open up the "Zee". The rings are steel and do not yield easily; it took me seven attempts to open it enough to slide it on the rail.

And then whaddaya think happened? Yup, these (medium) rings are too low for the 44mm bell of the scope. In this photo, the bell of the scope is resting on the handguard, and the tube of the scope hasn't touched the ring yet.

But I was once a Boy Scout, and I was prepared with a set of high rings, seen here. Of course, that meant opening up the "Zee" on yet another set of rings, yadda-yadda.

I set the rings exactly 4 inches apart and tightened them down to 20 in-lb, while pressing them forward against the rail. These are 1" rings and the bases use straight-slotted screws! Caramba! Interestingly, Burris 30mm rings use Torx screws at the base. Wonder why?

You can see the lower ring inserts in place here; they resemble big-end bearings on a crankshaft.

And here is our old nemesis, Mr. Boresighter. Everything still looks level, but we have been tugging and pulling and torquing on the gun a bit, and this is our last chance to check the levelling before we put the ring caps on. So we check one more time with the Starrett level and it's off half a bubble. So we level the gun again and tweak the Wheeler level to match.

Torquing down the rings. Moving in a criss-cross pattern, one quarter turn for each screw. Checking the scope to see that it's level in the collimator. Checking the bubble level. Then another round of quarter turns until the wrench clicks at 20 in-lb. Several times I felt a slight "give" as I turned a screw; I think this may have been the plastic insert being pushed into place by the pressure of the steel ring.

Here's the view. It was just fiendishly difficult to get a good snapshot with this scope. But what you see here, even though it looks off-axis, is what I saw with my eye: nicely level, one unit to the right and 3.5 units high.

And here's the final assembly. The feeler gauge says that the scope is 0.077" above the handguard. Is that too close?

All done and ready to be put away.