• Category Archives Side Projects
  • A little Cowboy Action project

    I grabbed a Winchester 1873 Rifle project a little bit ago in 38-40.  this one was made in 1888.

    Winchester 1873 missing lots of parts
    Winchester 1873 missing lots of parts

    Rusty, side plates didn’t fit, no links trigger or lever.  It has a an octagon barrel that has been shortened and a buttstock that is shorter too. Not much original.  I decided to make it a shooter and give it a simple refinish.  So I started searching for parts.

    Here it is apart after I found some toggle links.

    1973 Winchester in pieces
    1973 Winchester in pieces

    This Saturday I spent my time filing and sanding on my back patio sipping ice tea.  This was an extremely rewarding build so far.  I just have a smile ear to ear when I take two rough, crusty and rusted parts that are ~130 years old and make them fit together just right.  More pics to come.  Should have it done in a couple weeks.


  • Getting the Blast Cabinet up and running

    Its been a while…

    Part of that is a lot of me equipment has been down.  My cheap Harbor Freight Blast Cabinet was blowing dust and aluminum oxide everywhere.  I updated it this weekend and it now works very well.

    Here it is all torn down


    I proceeded to add parts from TP Tools including a foot pedal and a par 20 light.  http://www.tptools.com

    I also got a Oneida Dust Deputy cyclone with a Bucket Head wet/dry vac and a couple of five gallon buckets from home depot all hooked up to suck the dust.


    Did a quick test run and this thing is freaking awesome!  So much better that it was.  I want to blast everything!  Next up is organizing and then updating the welding setup.  Then make stuff!


  • Pair of Grendels at the Range: Good News and Bad News

    I took a 2 hour drive to go to my rifle range which really is just the closest BLM land you can shoot solid projectiles on.  Shot a few of my builds.  I really like to shoot my rifle builds and I do it pretty infrequently.   This time around I took a good number of rifles that I have never fired before.  I want to mention the tale of the two grendels I brought out.  I built the Grendel pistol just recently from a Liberty 7.5″ barrel from Satern Machine.  Before that I built a Model 1 Sales kit with an 18″ fluted barrel. To be honest from the quality of the parts I expected issues with the rifle build and hoped the pistol could just require some fine tuning of spring weights.

    By two Grendels
    My two Grendels

    I started with the pistol.  I brought 200 rd of Hornady SST ammo for this trip.  I usual put 2 rounds in a gun the first time just to see what it does and it was perfect.  Ejected nicely dropping the brass up to 10 feet to my 2 o’ clock  position. No signs of bulged cases.  All looked great.  It then devoured the first 10 round mag with no issues shooting offhand at as 100yd 8″ steel plate.  I wasn’t trying to be a marksman but I did hit the plate a few times.  I found the Magnifier I had on it to be a pain with the eye relief and very narrow “Sweet Spot” my eye had to be to see through it well.  Just went to the red dot only and the second mag waspure heaven.  At this point I was thinking to myself this is the greatest weapon I have ever built.  Short and Handy,  easy to aim, packs a punch and has light recoil.  Thanks the the krinkov flash hider the muzzle blast was very mild as well, far less then an AK pistol I had shot before.

    Mag 3 had a full battery lock, fail to extract.  After some serious tugging I got the bolt back and the shell popped out.  No obvious deformations on the case.   Got another right after that.  At that piont I field stripped the pistol and lubed it up nice and wet.  Tried a few more, but they all failed to extract.  🙁

    So I went to the Grendel Rifle.  Model 1 sales calls these “6.5 Sporter” and that is what it says on the barrel.  These have a mixed reputation on the forums, some pretty bad.  I expected this guy to have issues.  But it did exactly what it was supposed to do, go bang every time!  The Leupold scope was near dead on and I nailed the 8″ plate every time I tried.  It was fun in rapid fire, but had a bit more reciol than a 5.56 in quick shots.  The only thing I didn’t like about my setup was the cheesy plastic magwell grip was interfering with reloading my puny 10rd mags and the muzzle break loosened.  Still a thoroughly fun rifle that seems pretty darn accurate!

    Now I need to take a good look at the pistol and try to figure out what the issue is.  I was reading that on some Grendel barrels the throat may not be long enough causing the brass to hit the rifling.  Or is could be something as simple as the gas block moved.

    Last thing I wanted to mention was I was shooting at an Action Target ar550 steel plate.  In the past 5.56  is a small smudge and .308 have left nice fat marks on it, but the grendel actually made small craters.  In the future I will not use steel targets for these guys.  Besides, I really mangled my targets legs when trying to shoot quickly.  I should grab a pic of some of the damage.

    None the less, the 6.5 Grendel in the AR package seems like the coolest option out there.


  • Grendel AR Pistol slap together

    I like 6.5 Grendel.  It seems like a great replacement for the anemic 5.56 while still fitting in the standard AR.  I already have a 6.5 AR with an 18″ barrel but I was thinking another.  I never shoot long range so was thinking a short range toy with a harder hitting bullet than the old 5.55.

    I decided to make the craziest all out cool AR pistol based on a Liberty 7.5″ Grendel barrel I got from Satern.  I spent a few weeks collecting parts from all over to make my ultimate pistol.  Caveat: I went for cheap ultimate here, bought a lot of Chinese stuff like UTG rails and mounts and Primary Arms red dot and 3x Magnifier, but then added some high-end bits like a JP Silent Captured Spring and slipped in a 2 stage trigger form Rock River.  For the tail end I picked up the very controversial SB15 from SigArms known as an arm brace.  Sure it looks like a stock, but I assure you it is a pistol arm brace and therefore can be legally placed on a pistol.  Top it off I picked up a Krinkov style flashhider to kill the fire-breathing dragon effect that short barrels ARs get.  To make it easy I started off with an assembled Spikes tactical Pistol lower in 5.56.  I admit I hate trying to do the mag release pin in a bare lower so this time I didn’t have to.

    All the parts ready for assembly of my new 6.5 Grendel

    Dropped it all on my dining room table and began to slap it together.  The over-sized milled upper I got on gunbroker caused a few issues with parts not fitting well, but after a few scratches here got it all together before dinner.

    6.5 Grendel Pistol All together about an hour and a half later

    Oh and I like it!  May need to fine tune the buffer springs at the range, but I am blown away with how cool this completely legal pistol is.  Its a bit heavy but very handy and feels great to hold.   It is very short!  Hard to see here but I even got a 6.5 Grendel marked Ejection Port Cover off of Ebay.  I really like the MOE Plus grip.  The UTG Quad rail was a pain but seems to work.  I had to juggle the assembly a bit and the flashhider barrel fits somewhat poorly inside it.  I may grind a bit off it and add a few extra holes to allow getting to the gas block easier.  So other than the rail this thing was a super easy assembly.  Even with that minor headache the new pistol just makes me giddy like a schoolboy on his first date.

    Over all a very satisfying Saturday afternoon.


  • Parts Fitted on a couple of BeltFeds

    First off, I was wrong.  Old Moonbeam vetoed the AW Ban bill.  So my panicked change of builds was unwarranted.  Nonetheless, it has been a great month or so pushing me to build a few things.  The top of the cool list finding a reasonably priced set of HK21 parts.  I spent a couple of days folding a G3 flat and fitting it all together.  Snapped a pic next to my M60 project.

    Couple of Beltfeds just fitted together.  HK21 and M60 both in 7.62 NATO.
    Couple of Beltfeds just fitted together. HK21 and M60 both in 7.62 NATO.

    Looks like I will hold off welding it for a while now.  Honestly I need to practice welding on some cheaper kits.  Luckily I have a few lying around.  I think I will start folding some more HK flats next.

    And I cleaned my table 🙂


  • Summer 2013 Builds: Semi M60 and more

    With new anti Second Amendment legislation in California, I need to get some of my parts kits into rifles before SB 374 goes into affect.  Here are few kits that have been in the works this summer.

    Things that California SB 374 made me do
    Things that California SB 374 made me do

    The Semi Auto M60 machine gun is one Hell of a heavy Pig.  love it.  And a few AKs and an HK53 pistol.   I have lots more kits I need to give receivers to by January 1st 2014.    Looks like I need to clean an oil my patio table too!


    This pistol build started when I found a demilled police confiscated Uzi Pistol more than 2 years ago online.  This is a compleltly legal to own chunk of scrap metal, it is not a gun.  I left it in a box for a while and pretty much forgot about it.

    Cops Throw Away The Coolest Stuff!


    That is until last weekend!  I did a hackjob of welding it together and here it is in the rough.  Now it is a legal to own semi automatic pistol.  Still  needs some cleanup but what I have here is probably the only legal to own uzi pistol that is not a California designated “Assault Rifle.”  The reason is, This gun was not made by Isreal Military Industries, Instead its a Katzbalger Arms UZIP!  Hope to clean it up, engrave a new serial number, test fire it,  and paint it all pretty by the end of the month.  My welding skills are a little substandard, but this was good practice!  No jigs, just used a chunk of copper and vise gripped it together.  Used a cheap Everlast TIG for the welding.

    Rough Reweld Complete for a new legal “UZI type” Pistol



  • A couple of 2012 projects

    RPK and 1919
    RPK and 1919

    Some of my latest personal work just getting cleared out of the way for a new 2013!

    For the 1919a4

    1. I started with a Sarco 1919a4 parts set in .308
    2. Helbox Armory for the semi auto machining.
    3. Rivets from Burnt Capital
    4. Wells Custom Right Side Plate
    5. Semi Trigger and sear form Karma Metal Products


    Romy 1964 RPK:

    1. Apex Gun Parts Romanian RPK parts set and US barrel
    2. AK Builder Receiver Flat
    3. Tapco G2 Trigger