Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ AirStrike 18-Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer

Well folks, I recently needed to install some molding at my mother in law’s and realized I no longer have a small compressor to run my air nailers at a remote site.  So, I recalled an article I had read that spoke well of the Ryobi Airstrike 18ga brad nailer.

The interesting twist on this nailer is that it uses an 18 volt One+ battery to operate and you don’t need a compressor or air lines.  I have a ton of Ryobi tools and decided to pick up just the tool for $129.99.

I read the manual and the tool has both an air pressure adjustment and a depth adjustment.  In the next photo, the silver dial on the top adjusts the air pressure and depth is down towards the nose.   You’ll notice I have one of the slim low-profile lithium batteries on it.

It came with 200 1-1/4″ brads and they look just like the ones I use in my air brad nailer so I have plenty for the future.  They load in the magazine just like other nailers.

Now, I definitely would recommend practicing some with this.  The balance is fairly good but what is really different is the way it cycles when you pull the trigger.  There is a split second delay as it builds up pressure and then it fires the hammer driving the brad forward.  For me, the delay took some getting used to.  We’re not talking very long at all but I’m used to bang-bang-bang-bang with an air nailer as fast as you can pull the trigger.  Here there is just enough pause to throw you off.  I found myself pulling the trigger and lifting to fast so I needed to make my self slow down, pull the trigger, let it cycle and then pull.

What I was installing was some of that cheap paper/fiber molding so it was very easy for the nailer to drive the brads in.  I really should have dialed the pressure back a bit and/or reduced the depth.  That will take further experimenting for me to learn the right combo.

All in all after driving about 30 brads, I am happy and would recommend the unit to someone who is interested in going cordless.

Note, I would consider a bigger nailer if I needed it down the road but most of the time I am close enough to my shop that I can run an airline to my big compressor.  The reviews are mixed on the big nailer as it uses a relatively oddball sized nail and I’m hoping they change that.

If you are thinking of buying one of the brad nailers, they are on Amazon but you will pay a premium.  Either get them at your local Home Depot store or buy them online:

Just the tool – click here.

The tool, battery and charger – click here.


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Getting Unstuck With Traction Mats

Well, I parked our full size Ford Transit van at the end of the driveway on the grass to get it out of the way.  Of course, given the recent snow melt the ground turned out to be too muddy and soft to support the van’s weight – but I didn’t notice that because it took a while to slowly sink.  Yeah, I didn’t notice anything – my wife did we she went to use it!  Oh crud.  So she called my cell phone and was none too happy.  I didn’t really worry about it because my truck could pull it out – or so I thought.

I drove to the house, cockily pulled my trusty old 96 Landcruiser up in front of the van and got out one of my big tow straps and walked up to the van.   Should have been easy, right?  Wrong.  Nothing, nada to hook on to.  Ford, in their infinite wisdom does not put a tow hook, eye or anything up near the bumper!  Crap, crap, crap.  [Note, near the bottom of this blog post I added in what I found after researching how to recover a full size Transit.  I’m still irked at Ford.]

Did I mention my wife was standing their fuming?  Yeah, she was.  I should have known better than to park the heavy full size van on soft ground.  Point taken – I didn’t realize it was that soft.

At any rate, I went back and looked at the 5″ deep rut the driver’s side rear tire had dug for itself.  By the way, these photos are after removal.

I needed something long to fill the ruts and give traction.  Luckily, back in 2010 and then in 2014 I bought these things called “traction mats” from a company called OTW Enterprises who touted them as portable tow trucks.  In 2010 I bought the black ones after getting my truck stuck on ice with the plow blade buried in a snow mound.  In 2014. I bought an orange set to put in my wife’s car in case she got stuck.  Here they are after I hosed all the mud off.

Well, they bounced around in the trunks for a while and did bail me out a couple of times over the years but were actually leaning on the outside wall of my shop.  They don’t fold and while they fit in the trunk you have the little plastic spikes catching stuff so I tool them out at some point and leaned them against the wall of the shop.  At any rate,  I walked over and they were exactly what I needed.  Each mat measures 36″ long and 8″ wide.  Since I had four, I butted on up against the front of each tire and placed a second one in front of it to help the tire get up and out of the rut.  The sides are labeled by the way – the relative few long spikes go down and the side with many spikes goes up.

I got in and rolled the the van back a bit and then forward to get up on the mats.  I then slowly gave it more gas (not much) and the van up and forward onto the mat and got out of ditch and I kept moving forward onto the pavement.  I don’t have any action photos – things were stressful at the time and I really wasn’t thinking about a blog post 🙂

Well, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  Wreckers charge at least $65 to come out to our house so avoiding that charge is always a good thing.  My wife was relatively happy but gave me a hard time for causing the problem in the first place.

Are these mats perfect?  No.  They will fly out from under your car if you don’t go slow and make sure you have the correct side down.  Even then they sometimes do so I would never have someone stand behind the car.  My recommendation is to go slow – avoid your spinning tires and rock the vehicle onto the mat if need be – don’t spin your tires onto them.

My wife is so impressed she wants them back in the cars.  I just wish they had a carry case but I do recommend them as another tool to keep in your bag of tricks.

I hope this helps you out.


Comment about Ford and Their Oversight on Towing

By the way, I looked up the tow/winch location up for future reference  so if you are surfing the web trying to figure out how to tow a full size 2016 Ford Transit, here is the reference link at Ford – click here.

Look just behind the tires at the frame and you’ll see the eye rings that are part of the frame.  You can’t make this stuff up — Thanks Ford.  It drives me nuts when you look at decisions made in ivory engineering towers vs. real world needs.  Sure, let’s bury it under the van, make it hard to get to and pretty much ensure damage will occur if you actually use this to pull the van for whatever reason.

Now look how their factory winch attachment point lines right up with hitting the front radiator.  If you pull this at just about any angle where the recovery vehicle is higher than the van then the cable/strap is going to cut right into the aluminum radiator at the front.   In the next photo, you can see the silver aluminum radiator just above the lip of the bumper molding.

If you wanted to protect that radiator, you’d actually need a harness with something to push the attached cable lower to the ground – or fabricate another attachment method.   Maybe my 4″ drop hitch in my rear class IV receiver would be low enough to tie onto vs. my truck’s winch or front recovery hooks.  … Something for another day.  I didn’t buy a new van to have to worry about something people in rural areas need regularly in the winter.   They should have been in the front.


2/11/2018 Update:  The traction mats bailed me out again when I got the van stuck on ice in our yard while turning around.  I’ve come to realize the van does a fair job on the road but the tires are damn near useless on uneven icy surface,  With this van, it’s really handy to have four.  With only two handy, I could move the van forward and then get stuck, move the mats, move forward again, get stuck, etc.  I had to do the cycle about three times.  I think if I had all four handy it would have done the trick in one shot because I could have built up some forward momentum.  I now have all four stored together,  We’re nearing the end of Winter finally and I think I will keep all four in the van next year and need to find some kind of carrier bag to store them in.


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Additional Images:




Portable Tire Traction Mats – Two Emergency Tire Grip Aids Used To Get Your Car, Truck, Van or Fleet Vehicle Unstuck In Snow, Ice, Mud, And Sand – Orange, 2 Pack


Features: Provides emergency traction for your tires in snow, ice, mud and sand. Works on all vehicles with summer, winter, or all-season tires., Comes with 2 reusable polypropylene solid and virtually indestructible traction mats., No installation required, making it hassle free, easier and safer to use than tire chains and snow chains., Each only 2.5 pounds and 36 inches long, allowing easy storage in your trunk or under your seat., Avoid the stress of shoveling, slipping and sliding, being stranded, or calling for a tow truck in emergency situations.

“Portable Tow Truck’s emergency traction pad provides you with the way out of messy situations. Getting stuck in mud or snow on the side of the road is a common roadside emergency. You could could call for a tow truck to pull your vehicle out, which can be expensive, or install tire chains when you’re stuck, which is messy and dangerous.

There is an alternative. The Portable Tow Truck tire traction aid provides emergency traction to your drive wheels and allows you to get back on the road. The innovative cleat design bites into your tire and allows your drive wheels to climb the mat instead of spinning in snow. No more digging and pushing and rocking back and forth. Simply wedge the Portable Tow Truck under the pulling wheel and slowly drive the vehicle to a more suitable surface . At only 2.5 pounds and 36 inches long, the Portable Tow Truck is easy to handle and consumes very little trunk space. Buy this Portable Tow Truck and a future version of yourself, stuck in the snow or mud, will be thankful you did.”

List Price: $59.95 USD
New From: $49.95 USD In Stock

Has Shooting Messed Up Your Hearing? Cost Effective Hearing Aids Definitely Do Exist and You Have Choices!

Folks, I have shot firearms almost my whole life.  My dad would hold the .22 rifle up and let me pull the trigger when I was too little. Over the years I progressed to bigger and bigger firearms of course.  My buddies and I would give each other a hard time about ringing ears after shooting.  I didn’t even know about hearing protection until I got a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum and the dealer said I better get some good ear muffs.  After going shooting, I was sold.  Fast forward about 30 years and I always wear hearing protection and make anyone shooting with me do the same.  Now you may wonder why I feel so strongly about this plus my support of making suppressors as easy to purchase as any firearm.

Plain and simple, let me tell you that my hearing is shot.  I can’t hear my wife half the time – all joking aside.  I can watch people talk in a noisy room and not hear a thing they say.  I need to ask folks to repeat stuff – it’s very, very frustrating.

I have seen several hearing doctors over the years and they all point the finger to my years and years of shooting as the culprit.  It’s known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).  The sudden pressure of a firearm round going off can do a world of hurt to your ears.  I’m not going to go into details in this post but if you want to read more about the damage shooting can do to unprotected ears, click here, here, or here.

So now we are at the heart of this blog post -the current doctor identified my hearing loss in both ears, the right more than the left and in the upper frequencies.   I needed hearing aids —  he told me  that surgery would not help me.   Now please note I did have a professional exam by an ear-nose-throat specialist.  Hearing loss can happen for many reasons including impacted wax in the ear canal, viruses, etc.  It pays to know what you are dealing with and what your options are.

After the exam, I had a follow up appointment and talked to a lady in the doctor’s office about the hearing aid models they carried and they started around $1,500.  She was recommending a pair to me for $5,000.  Holy crap!!! The good news, she said, was that if I lost one, they would charge me $100 to replace the unit.  Wow…

All the models she showed me had pros and cons but what struck me was that the technology was totally unimpressive for the price.  Why can I get a quality Plantronics Voyager ear bud for my phone that supports Bluetooth for $59 from Amazon???  Their hearing aids required a giant clunky box to be worn around your neck just to do Bluetooth.  Seriously, my stinkometer started going off the more I thought about the pricing.  Needless to say, we didn’t buy anything and returned home after scheduling a follow up visit to decide on whether to buy the $3,300 or $5,000 models.  By the way, I needed a pair so I’d assume single units would be half what they quoted me.  It was a fortune regardless.

I was at home thinking about this problem and it dawned on me that a doctor’s office was likely to be higher than a kite and that the power of market demand must mean there are others offering lower cost solutions so I did a quick search on Amazon and jackpot.  There are tons and tons of hearing aid / hearing amplification products on Amazon and the prices start under $100.

I did my research and opted for the Britzgo BHA-1222 because it used rechargeable batteries and got good reviews plus the cost was very low.  It seemed like there wasn’t an exact match for what I wanted – more frequency modes to try which sounds best, digital noise cancelling, adjustable tube for behind the ear and rechargeable.  The last part – rechargeable – matters to me because I have a hard time with small parts due to my tremor.

The BHA-1222 is not perfect but it fit my criteria for good enough — Interestingly it is listed on Amazon.com in multiple places and the reviewer scores vary a great deal.  In the end, I had a very simple theory – my hearing was shot and just about anything would be an improvement so pick something good enough and learn.

Each hearing aid arrived in its own case with its own charger, ear pieces, etc.  The below only shows one white package but I really got two sets of everything.

The hearing aids are not ear specific out of the box.  In other words, there is only one model you order regardless of ear.  You can twist the flexible tubes around to fit your ear.

The top silver button switches from high-frequency boost to low-frequency boost.  The middle rocker is for volume and I have mine as low as it will go.  The bottom is a stiff on-off switch.

I paid $129.50 for a pair and it shipped direct from Britzgo.  It arrived maybe 2-3 days later – I was pleased with that.  The instructions say to charge them for 7 hours so I did that.

I then selected the ear cone that fit my ear best and had to fiddle with getting the thing on right.  I’m getting better at sliding the unit behind my ear and the little probe into my ear.

After a month of using them, I have some observations:

Pros:

  • Cost effective – I’ve learned quite a bit so far and feel like I’m getting pretty good value.
  • They do have good battery life – I haven’t run out yet and charge them each night.  What is cool is that the charging cable has a USB cable on one end so that gives you a lot of flexibility for charging in the field, on trips, etc.
  • Boosts the volume all I need – I am at the minimum setting right now.  I’d say my hearing loss is right on the border hence some sounds seeming loud to me.
  • I can hear sounds I haven’t heard in a long time at low and even normal volumes.  It’s pretty cool actually and hard to describe.

Cons:

  • Despite noise cancellation claims – it still boosts either some or all of the other sounds besides what you want.  It can be distracting but I can deal with it.
  • I wish I could lower the volume further.  Even at its lowest setting, some sounds are too loud.
  • I am using the smallest ear cone and it fits but the right hearing aid has a tendency to fall off.  I’m still working on the fit.
  • If someone drags a chair across tile or concrete the sound will make me jump!  My wife gets quite a kick out of that.
  • We went and saw the new Star Wars movie and while it did a remarkable job at some points early on, I had to take them out as the high-volume sounds like explosions were clipped and I am betting that was intentional to protect the wearer (me) from further hearing damage.  This is actually a pro come to think of it 🙂
  • I wish the tubes from the amplifier units to the ear cones were adjustable – I think that might be one reason why the right hearing aid falls out but I can mange for now.

So, it’s a bit mixed but all in all I am good for now.   At this price, I can afford to start and learn.  If I find something better, I can change.  If I lose something or ruin one, I am not going to panic!

For example, I may consider something from Otofonix or the Banglijian BLJ-109 at some point in the future.

I wanted to write this up and share about shopping for hearing aids on Amazon as I have had many people tell me that they can’t afford hearing aids even though they want them – well, at least you have options now.  I’d still recommend starting with a doctor first to make sure you know if you are a candidate for hearing aids and how much loss you need to compensate for.

In terms of the listings on Amazon – read the features and the reviews.  I always pay careful attention to what people write and not just the score.  There are a ton of vendors with a ton of models so be careful – I see some get lousy scores and I would flat out avoid anything less than four stars but it does depend on the price and how much you want to gamble.  My preference is to see at least 30 reviews but you will notice many of the hearing aids have fewer reviews so the more reviews the better in general.  No reviews at all would be too risky for me.

By the way, I did buy a small semi-rigid case to go in my pocket and hold both hearing aids.  I am very happy with it.

I hope this helps you or someone you care about who needs help finding an affordable hearing aid.

To help you start digging here are a number of affordable models on Amazon that have a four star rating currently and are backed up by Amazon’s excellent customer service:

The following are the same model as what I am currently using – the Britzgo BHA-1222:


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Additional Images:




Britzgo Digital Hearing Amplifier (Rechargeable) BHA-1222 (Pair) / Varta Battery/ 5th Generation Digital Chip – USA/ FDA Approved/ Personal Sound Device


Features: EXTRA LONG LIFE RECHARGEABLE VARTA BATTERY, CHARGE PROTECTION. SAFE. Save money with a rechargeable hearing aid made by the industry leader. Intentionally designed with an extra long battery charge, and charger protection to increase the battery life., AMERICAN MADE KNOWLES SPEAKER- SUPERIOR AMPLIFIER WITH 2 FREQUENCY MODES Hear through a top quality Knowels speaker and multiple settings. The BHA-1222 has 2 preset amplifier modes accessed by pushing the “M” button on the device. Program 1- High frequency range and, program 2- low frequency range for your comfort., 1 YEAR WARRANTY, FREE REPLACEMENTS, 90 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! If for any reason you’re not completely satisfied with your hearing aid, we will issue a refund or replace as requested., SIMPLE TO USE & EASY TO WEAR Easy, one finger button controls. Easy to wear and lightweight. Adjustable tubes for both right and left ears. Comfortable fit., DOUBLE LAYER DOMES & DIGITAL CHIP TO DECREASE WHISTLING SOUNDS Our 5th generation digital chip is equipped with Smart Noise Cancellation that significantly reduces ‘white noise’ and ambient distortions, paired with our double layer domes, this hearing amplifier allows the user to hear what’s most important.

Britzgo Digital Hearing Amplifier ( Rechargeable)

Personal Sound Amplification Device

The BHA-1222 is our most popular rechargeable hearing amplifier, and one of the best selling rechargeable aids on the market. Smaller lightweight size, makes for a comfortable fit and it’s simple to use.

Our unique design includes German made Varta internal batteries. They are known for outlasting the competition, and are safer to use. Simply recharge your battery when it runs low, and save money on replacing batteries.

This BHA-1222 comes with a 5th generation digital chip ,and is equipped with Smart Noise cancellation. This eliminates unwanted white noise, whistling and general auditory distortions, allowing the wearer to hear what is most important.

There are 2 excellent sound presets that enhance high and low frequencies with one simple touch-control button. These frequency settings are channeled through a top grade Knowles speaker, made in the USA.

The BHA-1222 is backed by a 1 year warranty. If for any reason you decide that our hearing amplifier isn’t right for you, within 90 days, we’ll issue a full refund. No questions asked.

List Price: $349.00 USD
New From: $129.50 USD In Stock

Not Happy With EBLCL LED Upgrade for My Ryobi Worklight Either

Okay, I ordered the EBLCL CE ROHS FCC PR P13.5S 18V 247 Lumen CREE XP-G2 S4LED upgrade for my 18 volt Ryobi worklight.  To make a long story short, like the Jomitop, it too throws an irregular crescent shaped light that I don’t like.  This unit is sold by a number of vendors on Amazon so buyer beware.

Here’s a photo of the EBLCL unit and the beam it projects:

I’m going to just leave this unit installed and look for a new worklight … I may even just put a replacement bulb in the unit.  I use these things quite a bit and I would rather have a decent wide area of light vs. these oddly shaped beams.

Bottom line, unless you like the shape of the beam shown above, I can’t recommend it.

 


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What do the Hebrew Characters on the IDF Uzi Grip Frame Mean?

When the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) adopted the Uzi, they had the selector markings written in Hebrew script.  For those of us that can’t read Hebrew, I did some digging as to the translation:

As you can see labelled in the above photo, we have each position marked with the Hebrew term in its romanized form as well as the English translation.

  • Left position:  Otomatit is fully automatic
  • Center position:  Bodedet is single fire / semi-automatic
  • Right position:  Natzur is safe

I hope this helps you out!


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The UZI Submachine Gun Examined


By (author): David Gaboury

Although universally recognized, the history of this iconic weapon has gone largely undocumented — until now. Originally designed for the Israeli military by Uziel Gal, the UZI submachine gun has a colorful history that has reached around the globe. Using approximately 1,000 photos, this book examines the history and technical details of all the UZI variations, both military and civilian, from its initial design to the current models. Also included are original factory documents, model-by-model features, part variations, accessories and manuals.
New From: $43.89 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Not Happy with Jomitop P13.5S LED Replacement Bulb for Ryobi 18 volt Work Light

Okay, some guys sneer at the Ryobi power tools but I have gotten my money’s worth from their 18 volt drills.  I bought one of their 18 volt sets years ago and have two drills, an impact driver and a hammer drill that I use all the time.  One drill has done 3-4 decks and the other at least two.  I burned out one hammer drill a year ago and replaced it and the others are going strong.

Along with the tools came an 18 volt work light that I have used a ton especially while working on cars.  I’ve replace the incandescent bulb probably at least three times over the years.  As luck would have it, I dropped the light the other day and busted the bulb.  Rather than buy another replacement bulb, I decided to move to an LED unit.

I did some digging and bought a Jomitop P13.5S from Amazon – two of them actually as I have two of the work lights.  Now I wish I could say the upgrade went great but the resulting light is a weird crescent shape – even when it is just the LED by itself with no lens or reflector.  Both LEDs did this.

I plan on returning these two units as defective and have ordered two more models from other sellers on Amazon.  So, for now, pass on the Jomitop P13.5S model.  I’ll post on what works later but wanted to get the honest review out.

I hope this helps you out!


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Husky H4230C 1/4″ Angle Grinder Does A Great Job

I use a lot of air tools for sanding and have been slowly upgrading them as stuff has worn out.  Some years back I bought a Harbor Freight (HF) model and the bearings wore out so I did some digging to buy a new one.  I tend to look at a combination of features, reviews and price.  In this case, I needed something local as I was in the middle of some work and couldn’t wait for mail order.

I decided to go with a new one from Home Depot – the Husky H4230C 1/4″ angle grinder.  The price was good and I could walk into my local Home Depot and pick it up.  30 reviews and 4.5 stars was good enough for me.  I really didn’t want another HF tool as they tend to use a lot of air in my opinion.

The Husky is light, compact and like every other angle grinder on the market.  The one thing I immediately noticed is that it didn’t take much air to operate.  Even at 60PSI the thing was clipping right along and at 90PSI it had plenty of speed and torque to turn the 3″ sanding flap and surface prep discs I use.

By the way, I need to do a lot of uneven surfaces and a trick I know is to use the 2″  R-type quick connect mandrel but actually use 3″ discs.  You can save a ton of money by purchasing the discs via Amazon – don’t buy them at a retail store or you will pay a fortune.

I bought unit in August 2017 and have used it a ton with no problems at all.  I need to keep my airlines clean and do not run an inline lubricator so I do add a few drops of air tool oil at the start of each sanding session – that is the only maintenance that I do.  All in all, I am happy with the purchase and thought I would pass along the recommendation.

Here are some photos of it including next to the seized HF unit that went in the trash after I tool the photos:

I hope this helps you out!


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A Chaos Rail on a FM-AK47-21 Vepr Rocks!

When the government announced they were going to ban the further import of Molot firearms, I jumped and bought one of the Fime FM-AK47-21 side folding AK-47 Veprs.

The rifle was absolutely awesome except for one regard – I really did not like the ribbed RPK handguard. Now this is the handguard on the Russian RPks and the ribs help with cooling and moving the hand away from the surface of the handguard — the design is genuinely thought out … but I do not like the feel. It’s as simple as that.

With that in mind, I started digging on options. On one hand I could make a new polymer set based on a mint RPK handguard set I picked up along the way. After a while, I changed my mind as the time and cost to create the molds didn’t make a lot of business sense as the Veprs weren’t going to be imported and demand would presumably be low and I would not recover the investment.

So, I researched other options and a firm I didn’t know much about kept popping up – Chaos, Inc. They made a well regarded handguard that looked great to me and reports on the feel and quality were very good. An important design point is that it connects like a handguard and doesn’t clamp anything on the barrel to transfer heat. That was a beef I had with the Midwest Industries rail design I tried years ago. It required the installation of a clamp on the barrel.

At any rate, I decided on the Chaos Apollo FM11L Keymod handguard. By the way, Chaos does not list on their website that this FM11L will fit the FM-AK47-21 side folder so I called them. The guy I talked to said they would take a return if it didn’t fit and I didn’t beat it up. I was pretty sure it would fit so I went ahead and ordered it.

The rail arrived about a week later and decided to install it when time permitted. The following is a quick overview of the steps required:

1] Make sure your rifle is unloaded! I can’t stress this enough.

2] Push in the dust cover retainer at the rear and remove the cover.

3] Remove the operating rod and the bolt carrier group.

4] You will need to rotate the gas tube retaining lever to remove the gas tube. Now this thing is on incredibly tight. I thought Zastava had very tight levers but they have nothing on Molot. You will either need non-marring pliers or a polymer or wood punch to swing the lever up clockwise until the gas tube assembly can lift out.

5] On the right side of the lower handguard retainer, you will see a small lever laying parallel with the barrel. It will need to be rotated 180 degrees towards the muzzle and this is another incredibly tight fit. I had to use stout needle nose pliers in order to rotate it. Once rotated, you can slide the handguard retainer forward. You may find you need to tap it a bit with a rubber mallet – I did.

6] Now, you need to remove the gas tube cover and this is one of the questions I get asked most frequently. The cover is a semi-circle and rotates out of the semi-circular shaped retainers. Clamp the forged steel end (not the tubular end or you will crush it) and firmly rotate the cover. You may find it turns easier clockwise or counter-clockwise and either way is fine. Rotate it 180 degrees either way and then you can pull it away from the tube.

7] Next up is to install the Apollo FM11 lower. This is where their engineering prowess really shows. Their rail is two parts so remove the three hex screws from each side and set the upper half to the side for the moment.

8] Now unscrew the bottom screws and slide the internal aluminum part backwards out of the way. This part will actually slide into the handguard retainer and lock the unit into place. This is why there is a slot for the retainer. Look at the fitment of the parts – they thought this out. Be sure to screw in the set screws also to lock things in place.

9] For the next part, you install the lower by putting the rear tab into the front of the receiver just the same as any AK-style handguard. Now the front requires you to get the retainer in the right place to nestle into the lower. Get the angle right and slide the internal aluminum retainer part into the handguard retainer and screw the internal part back together. The angle must be right so if you can’t get that internal insert to slide into place, move the handguard’s front up and down until it does. Then swing the handguard retainer lever back into position – it will be a tight fit so tap it into place with a rubber mallet. It would not take a ton of pressure – if it does, check fitment. Over the years I have read guys put a ton of pressure on the levers and snap them – the pressure required is firm and you should see movement as you tap the lever into place. They key is tapping and not trying to do one big “mongo smash” hit to rotate the lever. Once done, the lower should be absolutely rock solid – mine sure is.

10] I then installed the gas tube. Nothing attaches to the gas tube so you can remove or install it as needed. I then used my rubber mallet to tap the catch lever back into position.

11] I then installed the gas tube cover by lining up the holes and installing the screws.

At this point it is done. I installed a Vortex Sparc II nice and low on the rail. I like the cheekweld when I rotate the cheekpiece into position. It does NOT co-witness with the iron sights but I really didn’t care about that – I can remove the sight real fast if I ever need to.

I really, really like the fit and feel of this rail. My side folder can lock folded. I did not need to change anything to support the folder.

Here is the end result:

I hope this helps you out!


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How to Connect a Paasche H Air Brush to Your Shop’s Compressed Air System

I recently purchased a Paasche H-series kit from Amazon as I wanted to get a quality air brush.  I was surprised at all the confusion around how to hook up the H to a standard shop air system and want to clarify matters.

Now the set comes with the airbrush, tips, bottles and an airline.  The airline is the key – on the end that connects to the airbrush, it is 1/8″.  The other is 1/4″ female.  just take 1/4″ air fitting with male thread, apply several layers of PTFE tape to the thread and then screw on the hose and tighten – done.  That’s it.

The red assembly above the plug is a cheap generic inline disposable filter.  I simply have quick connects to make it easy to move my airbrush around to where I need to work in my shop.  I run a high-end filter system in my shop and still put a screw in filter just before the air brush’s air line just to play it safe.  If you run your air brush off your home compressor, you definitely need to do this and the more contaminated your air is, the faster the filter will foul out.  If you have any questions about the quality of your air, shoot a blast at a test mirror and see what all spatters on it – you’re liable to see a ton of goop if you are not filtering out water and/or have a lubricator in the line.

If you do have a ton of contaminants and plan to airbrush a lot, then invest in a good filtering system.  There are tons of them out there.  At a minimum, considering really good disposable filters such as a Motor Guard M30 for 1/4″ lines.  Worst case, just make sure you have the disposable filters installed and change them regularly.  If you are still getting water and other junk when you spray, then decide how to either filter your lines or buy a dedicated airbrush compressor.  For me, it was a no brainer given the air system I already have and the disposable filter is there “just in case”.

At any rate, this is a great airbrush.  Having trashed numerous Harbor Freight airbrushes over the years, this is a wonderful step up.  I hope this helps.


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Paasche H-SET Single Action Siphon Feed Airbrush Set


Features: The H airbrush is perfect for beginners or those requiring quick and easy spraying, Achieve patterns of 1/16-inch to 1-1/2-inch, Set includes all three head sizes, The H airbrush is made in the USA

The airbrush features a chrome plated body for durability. Included with the airbrush are all three available spray heads, which allow the H airbrush to be used in a wide range of application. The H single action allows the user to achieve fine lines down to 1/16-inch and wider patterns of up to 1-1/2-inch. The H is simple and easy to use and requires very little practice compared to double action models. The best uses are those requiring more basic spraying like solid coats, uniform lines or stencil work. Clean up is as simple as spraying your paint cleaner though the airbrush. The H is used for many applications including hobby, craft, chip and ding repair, taxidermy, ceramics, cake decorating, tanning, tattoos, etc. The H airbrush is made in the US and includes the following: H#3 airbrush, size 1 and 5 spray heads, 1/4-ounce metal cup, 1-ounce bottle assembly, 1-ounce storage bottle, hanger, wrench, 6-foot braided hose, lessons booklet and manual.
List Price: $56.66 USD
New From: $56.66 USD In Stock

Uzi Part 7 of 7: The Bolt and Final Assembly of the Semi-Auto Uzi Carbine

So the semi-auto 9mm Uzi carbine build has the Molyresin applied and is ready to go together.  The following is an overview of the final assembly steps:

1]  Install the grip frame assembly.  Insert the tip first and swing the back up into position.  Install the grip frame takedown pin.  If the assembly will not go into position you may need to remove the bolt safety.  The McKay receiver and bolt do not use that part.  If you have questions about the grip assembly and preparing it for semi-auto use, click here.

2] Install the stock bracket with its 1/4″ screw and then the stock itself with its three screws taking care to use the correct bit on the slotted screws.  Make sure the bolt doesn’t stick in too far.  If you have questions about converting the quick detach stock to be permanently attached, click here.

3] The handguards are installed with the two screws.  I did my initial build with the beat up originals but then purchased a new set from US Barrel Shroud that isn’t shown in these photos.

4] I installed the barrel nut catch and spring plus the front sight.  Slide the catch far enough back that it hooks the receiver and does not come back out.

5] I then installed the rear top cover catch and rear sight.  The trick here is to push down on the flip sight while pushing the screw through so the threads can engage on the other side.  The little tiny but just locks it in place – the receiver itself is threaded also. Note, I did have an issue with either the thread on the bolt or the receiver.  I could not get the rear sight screw to enter on the opposite threaded side.  After playing with it for a few minutes it dawned on me that either the screw or the threading in the “ear” of the receiver could be messed up so I installed the screw from the opposite direction just to chase the threads real quick and that solved whatever the problem was because when I then tried to insert it the correct way, the screw went right in.

6] Rather than mess with rivets, I tapped the front sling for a #10-28 screw.  I sanded down the head of the screw to avoid interference with the bolt and then applied medium Loctite to the thread when i installed it.  If you need to remove more of the screw head later it can be readily reached with a Dremel and a flap sander or whatever bit you wish.

7]  The 16″ semi-auto barrel slide right into the front trunnion and into the ring of the semi-auto feed ramp.  Rather than use the barrel nut, I opted for a very cool two piece barrel shroud from Title II Arms.  It is solid aluminum and exceptionally well made.  Note, I show a light on a rail adapter on the bayonet lug.  It looks cool but I actually removed it as my hand’s natural hold runs right into it.  It’s not a reflection of the CAA rail but it’s just not for me.  With it gone, my hand can go right out to the end of the handguard and is much more comfortable.

8]  Next it was time to sort out the striker fired bolt system.  This raises a critical legal point –the weapon must fire from a closed bolt.  This means you can’t use the original open bolt.  After some digging, I decided to use the McKay closed semi-auto bolt system for my build.  Now McKay components are popular and they were out of stock on the complete bolt assembly but Robert RTG had it in stock so I bought it and other parts from them.  As of my writing this, for example, McKay has their receivers in stock, bolt assembly but not the barrel so you can check between both firms plus McKay says they sell to Sarco and Apex.

9]  I had to do some reading to figure out how the bolt went together as I had never seen anything quite like it before.  The best write-up I could find that really helped me is right here.  In a nut shell, take your original bolt, push out the extractor retaining pin and then push the extractor straight out the front of the bolt.  From the rear, the extractor looks like a screw due to the slotted head but it is not.  The slot is there to make it easy for you to rotate the extractor into position.  Insert the extractor into the new semi-auto bolt.  You will notice that with your semi-auto bolt a small blocking latch and pin are included just like you would see in the Uzi Pro Pistol – indeed, the whole bolt assembly is very similar to the Uzi Pro Pistol if you look it up.  The little spring and the latch are inserted into the bolt and held in place by the extractor pin in the semi-auto bolt.

10]  If you look at the above photo, the striker system.  The lower L-shaped bracket is the “Firing Pin Guide”.  The firing pin spring base and the firing pin are held in place by a roll pin.  The return spring slides over the firing pin spring base as shown above.

11]  Take the guide rod and spring from the kit and snip the fiber square board off the end.  I used diagonal cutters and when I made my first cut the little board fell right off.

12]  You then insert the recoil spring into the bolt and rotate the firing pin base while inserting the assembly into the bolt.  The white is Tetra Firearm Grease.  If it slides, grease it.  If it rotates, oil it.  You want this system to be well lubed to help it wear in.

13]  Here is the whole bolt assembly with the recoil buffer at the end.  Now this assebly is slid into the Uzi buffer end first.  It takes some maneuvering to the recoil block into the rear and then the bolt nestles down.

14] The top cover is then installed.  I used a 120 grit flap sander bit to slightly bevel my top cover to the catch can close and the top is really tight.  The top black cover has the bevel in the photo below – it doesn’t take much.  If you have any questions about what needs to be done to prepare the top cover for semi-auto use, click here.

15] Now function test it to be safe.  Do this with the weapon unloaded!!

  • Try to move the selector switch to Full Auto, which is all the way forward.  It must not be able to move past semi-auto.  If it does slide to the forward full auto position, you must fix it.  If you haven’t done so, you need to install or fix your blocking tab that should be welded in the grip frame – click here for details.  If you welded in a blocking plate, it may be too thin or too short.  Regardless, you must figure out what is going on and fix it immediately.  The ATF says the selector must not move into the full auto position.
  • Move the selector to semi-auto (the middle position), hold the grip safety, cock the weapon and squeeze trigger – you should here it dry fire with a real solid clunk sound. Life is good.  If there is a soft click, the striker system did not cock – check your sear to make sure it is protruding into the receiver.
  • Move the selector to semi-auto (the middle position), DO NOT hold the grip safety, cock the weapon and squeeze trigger – the weapon should not fire.  The Uzi should only be able to fire if on semi-auto and the grip safety is held.  Check your pins and that the grip safety bar is sliding properly.
  • Move the selector to safe (all the way to the rear), hold the grip safety, cock the weapon and squeeze the trigger – the trigger should be blocked and nothing should happen.  Turn the safety off and the weapon should fire.  If it does not, check the pins and the selector bar can move into position properly and block the trigger.
  • Last, move the selector to semi-auto, hold the grip safety, squeeze the trigger (do not release it) and cock the weapon while holding the trigger in.  We want to ensure the disconnector grabs the striker assembly.  Now, release the trigger and squeeze it like normal.  You should here it dry fire with a loud clunk sound and that is what you want.  A light click is just the trigger and disconnector moving around and means the striker went back into battery vs. being retained.  Something is off with the geometry – something is bent, you forgot to secure the grip frame with the takedown pin, etc.

If your Uzi passes the function tests, then proceed to test firing.  I’d recommend securing the carbine in a stand and test firing with a string vs. holding the weapon.  Also, only load one round in the magazine at a time and inspecting the carbine, especially the barrel, to make sure the first round fires and the case is ejected.  Look for dings or tears in the case.  Make sure the bullet didn’t get stuck in the barrel.  If things are looking good, put two rounds in the magazine and test the overall cycling of the weapon.  Again, check the case for any big gouges, scrapes, etc.  When you are satisfied that the weapon is functioning correctly, then and only then try more and more rounds of ammo.  I would go from one, to two, to three to five and to 10 before I tried a full clip.  You do not want to have an uncontrolled full auto dump happen so carefully test the Uzi.

I had a lot of fun building mine.  I added a Vortex Venom red dot that I really like so far plus an original Uzi green sling.  Here are some photos and as mentioned the light and rail are off the weapon at this point.

I hope this helps and if you have any suggestions, please let me know.


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Weaver 849719 Deluxe Gunsmith Tool Kit


Features: Made of the highest quality materials, Hunting gun smiting equipment, Another quality Bushnell product, 88-piece kit features a comprehensive assortment of professional-grade components, Includes high-quality steel punch set with multiple sizes to fit a variety of pins, Hammer features brass and plastic faces for precision adjustments

Weaver 88-piece gunsmith 849719 screwdriver tool kit magnetic tip driver. Hunting gun smiting equipment. Made of the highest quality materials
List Price: $96.49 USD
New From: $78.79 USD In Stock

When Strength and Quality Matter Most