Category Archives: Gunsmithing

Posts that touch on gunsmithing topics such as improving function, finishes, changing parts, and anything else that alters a weapon

Great video on Doing a Polymer 80 Pf940V2 Glock Build

In the previous post, I told you about my finding Gunstreamer for firearms videos. What brought me there was that I was searching on Google for Polymer80 build videos.

On Gunstreamer I found this great video of a guy, who is obviously experienced in building Glock pistols, showing a build on a Polymer 80 Pf940V2 80% frame. He steps you through what needs to be done in terms of sanding, filing and drilling with the supplied jig and then he goes on to actually assembling the pistol.

I learned a lot watching the video – he has a solid informative style and shows you what he is doing.

Here’s the Video


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Please note that all images were extracted from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s).


GLOCK OEM Extended Slide Stop Release 3 Pin 17 19 22 23 26 27 31 32 34 - SP07496

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End Date: Monday Apr-8-2019 19:33:19 PDT
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GLOCK OEM Factory Guide Rod Recoil Spring Assembly Gen 3 Glock 19 23 32 SP02457

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Glock Extended Magazine Release Mag Catch Gen 1, 2, 3 9mm / 40 / 357 SP01981 OEM

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Glock OEM Smooth Drop-in Trigger w/ Bar Assembly Gen 1 2 3 4 9mm,40,357 SP00357

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GLOCK Extractor 9mm w/ Loaded Chamber Indicator LCI for G17 G19 G26 G34 SP01895

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Check out Gunstreamer for Firearms Videos

Folks, if you are like me and are sick and tired of the assault by liberals on our second amendment freedoms, you are always looking for sources of firearms advice. Youtube used to be a great source for videos on firearms – everything from reviews, to gunsmithing to build-it-yourself (BIY) guidance. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case – Youtube has turned anti-gun also and I resent it.

So, where can you see videos about firearms? One promising source is Gunstreamer – http://www.gunstreamer.com. I’ve watched a few videos there now and find the site easy to navigate and there are definitely some quality videos showing up there. Definitely check them out and consider supporting them – I am.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



How to Defeat WiFi censorship around Firearms, Military and Law Enforcement with VPN Apps on Mobile Devices

I am sick and tired of businesses and other groups telling me that something that is perfectly legal is not acceptable. Have you ever tried to use your phone or mobile device in an establishment and got some kind of message like the following instead of the web page you wanted:

Or perhaps something like this when you know full well the website is working:

What is happening is some pain in the butt liberal is blocking your web access based on the website address you’re going to.

I’m really sick and tired of messages like these when I try to access websites from my phone or tablet that involve firearms, law enforcement, military, or anything else perfectly legitimate that the provider of the Wi-Fi services feels is inappropriate. Screw them.

What happens with Wi-Fi is that your phone is connecting to a wireless network which in turn passes through any number of devices that can subscribe to what is known as a “block list.”

The block list is provided either by the vendor of the network device or from a service provider and is updated regularly with a list of websites with different categories that the subscriber can then block. So if you try to go by name to my website like the above image shows, you will be blocked at many public venues.

Use Virtual Private Network Apps

The way to get around this is to run virtual private Network (VPN) software on your phone or tablet. It basically works by using an application that encrypts all of your phone’s WiFi data traffic to the VPN provider who then routes the data on their servers and network to your desired destination. The group trying monitor your traffic has no idea where it is going or what the contents are due to the encryption in the VPN

There are free providers that can be very slow and your security might be in question or, like me, you can use a commercial service.

I prefer a service called “IPvanish” and I’ve been using it for a year and a half. I have no affiliation with them and get absolutely zero money for this recommendation. It just so happens that I’m at a major theme park right now and I’m royally pissed off because they are blocking my access to sites I normally go to that are perfectly legal. This is censorship.

So I’m sitting here ticked and figured writing a blog post to help you guys out so you can get to these sites whenever you want would be my best revenge.

IPvanish

I have a Samsung Note 8 phone that runs Android and IPvanish makes an app that is very affordable. You can get it through the Play Store for Android plus other platforms are supported such as Apple and they are in the Apple store.

Getting going is pretty easy.  You simply sign up, pay, install the app, enter your user ID and password and you’re ready to go.  Yes, you do pay but this means you have fast connections because they can afford to have adequate capacity.

If you want to read more first go to their website at http://www.ipvanish.com

Some interesting options

There are a few interesting options to point out to you. You can have the software start automatically if you wanted to, you can tell it what country or maybe even what city you want to say it’s accessing from. For example if I wanted to make it look like I am in Canada, I can do that. If I am in another country and I want it to look like I’m in the United States, I can do that too. It gives you some interesting capabilities if you run into a situation involving digital rights such as situations where content you normally use in the United States is not licensed for people outside of it and so forth.

In summary

If you are sick and tired of being blocked, get yourself some VPN software. Ipvanish is my preference but you definitely have others to choose from. Don’t let other people dictate to you what you can and cannot do when it comes to perfectly legal topics such as Firearms, law enforcement and Military websites.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



Wheeler Tool Makes AR Trigger Guard Installation or Removal a Breeze

I was asked how I install AR trigger guards to minimize scratching up the receiver or even risking snapping an “ear” off.  On one hand, you can use a solid backing block to support the ear and then use a roll pin punch to drive in the pin.  That’s what I used to do but it’s a headache to be honest.  As some of you may know, I have a tremor that makes fine motor stuff a headache so finding methods that are simpler really helps me get work done.

This is a Brownells Billet 7075 aluminum trigger guard (078-101-164) and it has a bulge to accomodate gloves.  The set screw goes in the end with a blind hole.  The roll pin goes through the end that is drilled all the way through.

A few years ago I started using the Wheeler trigger guard tool and it works great.  Here’s my process:

  1.  Install the end of the triggerguard that uses the set screw.  That’s the end with the blind hole – the roll pin goes in the end where a hole goes all the way through.
  2. I lightly oil the pin to make things easy and tap it with a small hammer just to get it started.
  3. I then use the Wheeler tool with the shorter starter pin.  The starter pin has a nipple that centers it on the roll pin.
  4. Keep the parts aligned and turn the knob to drive the pin in.
  5. Stop when you have inserted the pin – it’s that easy.

Note, Scott Igert of Modern Antique Firearms recommends you put a business card or something between the frame and your receiver to protect it from scratching.

It has two tips – here you can see one installed and one stored in the frame of the tool.  The short one is for installing and the long one is for pushing a roll pin out.
Simply stop once the pin is flush.

Note, I actually have one from another maker also.    I’m holding it in my hand.  It does the same conceptually but is heavier made.  I’ve built probably 4-6 ARs with the Wheeler unit and it seems to be holding up fine.  The other is a Little Crow unit from Brownells for about $39.99 + S&H and its built like a tank but you do pay more for it.

Little Crow Trigger Guard Pin Pusher

I hope this helps you out.  


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



Fitting a Csspecs Steel Magazine To A SDS Lynx 12ga Shotgun

Csspecs makes wicked steel magazines for a variety of niche weapons. They make a well respected magazine for 12 gauge Saiga shotguns. That meant it would fit my SDS Lynx 12ga also.

I placed my order on their website and within a week receive to magazines that were built like a tank. I had a problem with some of the plastic SDS 10 round magazines in terms of the follower going all the way to the top. The Csspecs follower shot up in the top so fast I think you could take off a body part 🙂 just kidding but it is very well done.

You have to love a magazine that is so heavily made it can be used as a defensive weapon all by itself 🙂  Seriously, Csspecs makes some wicked mags and they tell you right up front that you may need to do a bit of fitting and I did.

Fitting The Magazines

The magazines come with a small instruction pamphlet for fitting that makes perfect sense to anybody who’s ever had to fit AK magazines. Step one is to make sure that the magazine fits correctly from front to back. If it does not you trim a little bit off the back tab of the magazine.

In my case it set right in. You can see how the mag stops are coming right against the bottom of the receiver.  This is good!  If I did need to trim it, I would have carefully filed a bit and tested over and over until the mag stops contacted the receiver, polished the surface and applied cold blue per the details in the next step.

In my case, the magazine locking lever would not engage the mag’s tab at all. That means that little tab was too thick and needed to be filed down. This is really a situation where you want to use a fine hand file and take off a little bit at a time and test – don’t rush this. Take care to maintain the slight angle. This helps with the lock up.  Do not make it flat and try to keep it as straight across as possible.

I can’t stress enough, take your time.  The above was done with a single-cut file where one edge was ground down so I can make cuts like this with out damaging the surface.  You can sometimes buy files like I show below with one or both edges left plain.  In my case, I used my belt sander to remove the teeth on that side.

This is not a situation where you want to rush. Take a little bit off at an angle and test over and over. It probably took me about 5 minutes per magazine. You want the magazine to lock into place firmly. If it is really loose I would recommend welding some material back on and fixing it.

After the filing, I did use a fine rubber abrasive polishing but in my Dremel to smooth the surface out so the lock up process would be smoother.

After I had the fitting correct, I use the little bit of Brownells Oxpho blue liquid on Long dobbers and blued the surface followed by some oil.

That is all there was to it. I hope this helps you out. Kudos to CS specs for making some very nice magazines. These things are rock solid and I may very well pick a couple more up at some point.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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Dremel Accessories kit 62 piece

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Dremel Micro 18-Piece Variable Speed Multipurpose Rotary Tool Kit 8050-N/18! New

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Dremel MM30 2.5-Amp Multi-Max Oscillating Tool Kit w/Accessories (Refurbished)

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Lot Of 4 Dremel Carving/Engraving High Speed Cutters (199-04)

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Dremel 225-01 36" Flexible Flex Shaft Rotary Tool Attachment

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DREMEL #400XPR VERIABLE SPEED ROTARY TOOL

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60 Pcs Diamond Burr Bits Drill Set Rotary Multi Tool Accessories Kit For Dremel

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Dremel 12V Li-Ion Rotary Tool Kit w/ 1.5 Ah Battery 8220-1-28 Recon

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WINCHESTER GUNSMITH PROFESSIONAL GRADE BRASS + STEEL PUNCH SET WITH HAMMER

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Brass 7 pc Precision Roll Drift Pin Gunsmithing Tool Punch set Made in USA

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Hollow End Roll Pin Tool Starter Punch set USA steel 3" gunsmithing kit

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Gunsmith Tools - Select from 5 (Armorers Wrench,Vise Blocks,Stock Wrench)

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VISM by NcSTAR VTARUVB Modular Upper Receiver Vise Block Gunsmithing Tool

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NcStar TGSARKT 13pc Rifle Gunsmithing Tool Kit w/Roll-up Cleaning Mat - TAN

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Lower Vise Block Gunsmithing Tool use with barrel nut armorers wrench

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.223 Upper and Lower Receiver Vise Block Combo Gunsmith Armorer's Tool Kit

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Universal Firearm Durable Bench Gun Block Gunsmith Wheeler Gunsmithing Tools

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New 8pc Pin Punch Set 4 Brass 4 Chrome Gunsmiths Drift Pin Punch Set

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Hollow End Roll Pin Holding Starter Punch Tool Set for Gunsmithing Made in USA

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Wheeler 89-Piece Deluxe Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set/Kit, Black/Yellow - 562194

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Barrel Wrench Tool Armorer's Steel Tool Gunsmith Rifle Removal Tactical 556 223

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BARREL VISE W/5 INSERTS GUNSMITH FACTORY SECOND

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Tuning SDS 10 Round Magazines for Saiga and Lynx Shotguns

Well, Scott, Brooks and I went shooting a few weeks back. I was really excited to take my new SDS Lynx out and I had bought four brand news SDS 10 round magazines that I took out of the wrapper and threw in my range bag. That turned out to be a mistake. The photo above is of Scott trying to clear yet another jam from the Lynx with one of the 10 round magazines inserted – they had feed failures constantly.

One of the things I was told years ago was to test everything before you rely on it. Now granted I was just going to the quarry to shoot with my friends but I really should have tested those magazines. Of the four, only one kind of worked. The followers were all hanging up about an inch from the top. The five round SDS magazine that came with the shotgun ran great but five founds at a time is not the most exciting thing. It was frustrating and disappointing at the same time.

The Lynx and the mags went back in the gun case and I felt pretty stupid for not checking the mags before going. On the other hand, they were brand new and should have worked. I was more than a bit miffed also – clearly there was a manufacturing issue, Followers should spring to the top of a magazine like a rocket – not get stuck part way down. A person should not need to buy magazines and then tune them inside – getting them to fit an AK-style weapon, sure that happens all the time, but not needing to redo the internals.

In the following photos notice how the followers are not all the way to the top compared to the small 5 round magazines.

At that point I made a decision – the SDS magazines really did look well made and rather than send them back, I decided to tune them and document what I did to share with others.

The Lynx shotgun uses Saiga magazines so this design is common and writing up what to do might very well help others out. So with my mind made up, it was just a matter of finding the time to do it.

A couple of weeks went buy before I could dig in but finally the time came. I’m going to try and show you what I found and explain what you need to do to correct it. You’re going to need a Dremel (or similar rotary tool), rubberized polishing bits, felt/wool polishing bits, and a plastic polish – I use Plastix a lot but even toothpaste would work. Yes, toothpaste is a very fine grit polish – you can even use it to polish plastic headlights.

Disassembling a SDS Magazines

The SDS magazine comes apart just like any AK magazine – you push the button on the bottom with a screw driver and slide the floor plate off of the magazine body. Now take a look at it. It can only push off one. All of the magazine Parts in the SDS can only go one way.

So push the button down and shove the floor plate in the direction of the opening. You may need to use a small Mallet or something hard to give it a little bit of a whack to get it started.

Now once you get that floor plate off the rest is going to want to spring out so use your thumb to keep it from flying across the room or in your face.

Fixing The Problem Area

The problem area in the magazines seem to be in the upper inch to inch and a half. You’ll see a mold seam that needs to be erased using the Dremel tool with the rubberized abrasive tips as well as it being tight in general all the way around.

So the first thing I did was to use a small rubberized abrasive tip to erase the mold seemed entirely that runs around the inner area of the magazine. In the next two photos you’ll see a shiny protruding lip inside the magazine that is just above the follower — that is the mold seam I am speaking of. It’s important to note that the follower is binding even before getting to that seam.

I used a small rubberized fine abrasive tip in my Dremel to literally erase the mold seam flush with the rest of the mold body.

At this point I blew out the magazine body with compressed air and the overall fit of the follower to the magazine body was just too tight. It and the body needed to be thinned a bit – not a bunch, just a bit.

In terms of the trimming, I would definitely recommend that you use the abrasive tip to remove just a little and test over and over. I can’t stress this enough – don’t try to do it all at once. As the saying goes, it’s easier to take more material off than to try and put it back on.

I wound up switching to a bigger rubber abrasive wheel when I did the follower and as far as I could reach in with the bit on the Dremel. The bit is still fine, I would not recommend using anything very aggressive. I used this bit on the follower and the inside of the magazine body. You just need to take a little bit of material off. I went all the way around the magazine body and the follower in that top area. You’ll see just below the scene there is a little elevated area inside the magazine that guides a follower up into position that is too tight.

Now I found I needed to do a second step to really smooth things out. The abrasive bit leaves a rough surface and the next thing I did was to use a felt bob/bit with felt on the end in my Dremel along with Plastix polish to finely polish all the surfaces. I tried skipping this step with a couple of the magazines and the end result was so much better that I went back and polished the surfaces I worked on in all of the magazines.

The polishing with the Plastix really made a big difference and I would recommend you do it as well. You could tell the parts were smoother. Definitely wipe everything down and do not leave the grit in the magazine.

Next, I sprayed the Dupont Teflon dry film lubricant in the magazine body and on the follower. I would not recommend using oil or anything that leaves a residue that dirt will stick to. Instead you want something that is going to leave a dry film behind. This really fixed everything once and for all.

I then reassembled the magazines. As mentioned the parts can only go one way. I never took the spring off the bottom plate so I didn’t have to worry about its orientation.

I went ahead and did one final spray of Teflon around the follower and let it run down in. While it is still a liquid, the lubrication will not be very good. You need to let it dry. In my case, it shot up like a rocket. Job done.

End Result

The magazines all seem to work fine now. I think the problem was a combination of the mold seam and that inside area being just a tad too tight. I hope this post helps you out. Small side note to SDS – you really ought to fix this.

10/15/18: First thing this morning SDS reached out to me and is sending replacement magazines. I will test them and report back. They have sold over 3,000 magazines with just a few problems so I might just literally have a bad batch.


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How to Convert an Aluminum AR-15 5.56/223 Magazine For .50 Beowulf Rounds

When Bill Alexander decided to make the .50 Beowulf round, he really got me excited 🙂  The idea of a heavy thumper round in an AR platform really appealed to me so I bought one and one issue that popped up was where to find magazines that were not really expensive.

Once in a while the answer is really straight forward and this is one of those times.  You do not need to change the feed lips or the follower on a standard 5.56/.223 magazine, you just need to bevel the front lip at about 45 degrees (the exact angle doesn’t seem to be a big deal) so the giant .50 Beowulf bullet goes up and, this is the key part, the leading lip of the brass case hits the little ramp and goes up it vs. hanging. In this next photo – see how the lip of the case will catch?  It may catch sometimes or all the time – for me it was practically all the time.

All I did was use a medium grit little sanding drum in my Dremel to bevel the magazine’s front lip – you are basically making an ad hoc feed ramp so the case doesn’t catch.  The round you see has the big 350 grain XTP bullet – they hit like a freight train.

This is a really quick operation and you don’t need to take a ton off.  I do it with the magazine empty of course, insert a round into the magazine and test then do a bit more.  I’d repeat the removal and testing until the round went right up into the chamber.  After the first few magazines, I had it down pat.

In this next photo, see the shiny little ramp?

That’s all there is to it.  I just used quality aluminum magazines and did the tweaking.  Polymer mags, such as MagPul take more work and I simply didn’t feel like bothering with them.  I did use quality magazines and avoided cheap stuff and I also used the anti-tilt followers – just regular 5.56 followers – nothing special.

In a standard 20 round aluminum 5.56/.223 magazine, you can fit up to seven Beowulf rounds.  In a 30 round magazines, you can fit up to 10.  I never tried any of the higher capacity magazines so I can’t speak to them at all.

This approach worked great for me and I hope it helps you as well.


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Improving the Feed Reliability of the Rock Island 52000 10mm 6″ High Cap Pro Match Pistol

As some of you may know from a previous post I did, my Big Rock would not feed Underwood 10mm ammo. Neither Armscor/Rock Island nor Underwood helped resolve my issue though Armscor did take the pistol back and tell me there was nothing wrong with it – probably with FMJ ball ammo.

At any rate, the solution came from a discussion with my friend and FFL, Scott Igert, of Modern Antique Firearms, about the mechanics of the 1911. A lot has to come together correctly for a 1911 pistol to work correctly. In watching the pistol jam, I could see that it always hung on the pronounced shoulder edge of the Underwood 10mm ammo right on the edge of the chamber.

Any 10mm ammo that did not have that pronounced shoulder fed just fine. In doing some digging, I elected to do two things.

First, I polished the feed ramp. To do this, I fieldstripped the Big Rock and removed the barrel for easy access.

I then used my cordless Dremel with with a felt bob and Flitz polish to give the feed ramp a mirror polish.

Second, I used one of the fine rubber POLISHING tips in my Dremel to polish the edge all the way around the chamber. To be clear, I am talking about light polishing and not removing a ton of material. Do not use a sanding wheel or you may take off too much material in the blink of an eye. Take your time and be patient. My goal was to enable the 10mm case’s shoulder to slide over and into the chamber vs. hanging. My recommendation is to always go light, test and repeat as needed.

After the polishing, I then used some of the big 10mm cleaning Q-Tips called “RamRodz” repeatedly along with visual inspection to make sure all the grit was gone and not mess up the testing. Yeah –the RamRodz look goofy because they are huge and caliber-specific but they sure make cleaning easy.

For me, it just took one try – even I was surprised. Whatever the case was catching on was either gone or rounded over. The feed problem was solved – round after round cycled perfectly with no more jamming.

A few months after this I decided to sell the Big Rock to move on to other projects. I can’t say that Armscor’s support impressed me given I had one of their top of the line pistols. I gave them a very elaborate explanation of what was happening and they did not resolve the problem whereas a good talk with someone with a lot of 1911 knowledge, Scott, did. It definitely shows there are benefits to having a smart friend.

In closing, I will go back to a recommendation I always make. Before you rely on a pistol, definitely practice with the ammo you plan to use to make sure everything works the way you want. The Big Rock liked S&B FMJ, SIG HPs and further crimped Underwoods from Scott but not the factory-direct Underwood 10mm ammo until I did the above tuning.


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Yes, 922r Does Apply to Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs)

Please note that I am not an attorney and this does not constitute legal advice.

The topic of 922r compliance and parts counts came up the other day as whether it applies to Short Barreled Rifles (SBR). In reading the conflicting ATF documentation, the last guidance given in technical branch letters from 2009 and 2010, the ATF does say it applies.  I put it this was as you should look at the trend over time which does seem to point towards 922r being applicable.

I am a very conservative guy and always try to stay on the safe side of legal issues so I would recommend ensuring your SBR is compliant with the 922r parts count requirements.  If you do this then you do not need to worry about it and I am sure there are folks who would disagree with me.

Here is the 2009 letter:

Here is the three page 2010 letter:

Again, please let me stress that I am not an attorney.  If you have any questions on this, I would recommend doing your own research and/or retaining legal counsel.

 


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Upgrading the Big Rock’s Sights With Help From Scott Igert of Modern Antique Firearms

The Rock Island Armory Model 52000 Pro Match Ultra 6″ – 10mm pistol is affectionately known as the “Big Rock” to folks who own one.  When I got mine, one of the few things I wanted to improve were the sights. The front fiber optic segment was a dim red and the back white dots were just paint.  When I’d sight down the pistol, the sights didn’t really “jump” out and catch my eye the way I would like.

 

Scott Igert, owns Modern Antique Firearms, in Benton Harbor, MI, and is a good friend of mine. I told him about the sights because I knew he could upgrade them to be more visible. So, one day I ook the pistol to his shop and and snapped some photos while he worked his magic.  Now Scott does this all the time so he has all the supplies on hand and knows exactly what to do, which was real obvious as I watched and he explained what he was doing.

First up was to replace the front fiber segment. He showed me how the fiber is held in place by flared ends that were created by heating the fiber.  He simply snipped the fiber in the middle being careful not to hurt the rest of the sight that held it in place and then just pulled it out.

Next, we talked about the color of fiber I wanted and it was bright orange. He had these big lengths of fiber in different colors and diameters that he picked through to get the one that would fit the Big Rock, cut it longer than needed and scraped it until the outside diameter was such that it could slide into the old sight base’s holders for the fiber.

Scott gave the fiber segment a quick spritz of weapons oil to get it to slide into the holder. He then trimmed the fiber so there was still enough protruding to melt into the bulged shape needed to secure the fiber in place. With that, the front was done.

For the rear, he selected a very eye catching yellow paint to fill the two round depressions that were painted white. He used a small rod to apply the paint and a business card to wipe away the excess and let it dry.

Wow – what a difference now. The combination is eye catching and a huge improvement.  I’ll need to get an after picture that does the new sight justice.  If you are disappointed with your pistol sights, definitely contact Scott.


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