Category Archives: Weapons by Country

Learn About The Type 2 Soviet AK-47 – Forgotten Weapons Video

It’s interesting that we hold the AK-47 in near mythic regard when it comes to reliability.  It took almost 12 years from 1947 to the release of the AKM (Avtomát Kaláshnikova modernizírovanny or  “Modernized Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle”) in 1959.  The journey the design team made over the years is quite interesting.

I did a post on the Type 1 previously (click here to open it) and that first iteration had problems with the stamped sheet metal receiver that affected reliability.  In response, Valeriy Kharkov lead a design team who created a milled receiver from a forging to address the reliability problems and it was ready by 1949.

The Soviets had plenty of labor, that wasn’t a problem so in a manually intensive manner, they machined a six pound block of steel that required 120 steps into a finished 1.4 pound receiver.  That means they wasted almost 3.6 pounds of quality steel and used a ton of consumables and machine time.  To be honest, it boggles my mind but they accomplished their mission – the QC problems with the receiver were addressed.

In the following video, Ian McCollum does a great job showing a type 2  and describing the differences between it, the type 1 and the following type 3.   For example, he points out the rear receiver extension that is made from sheet metal that is an instant identifier of a Type 2 fixed stock rifle (sometimes referred to as the “2A”).  Note, they made the type 2 with an underfolder stock also (the “2B”).

Another tell is that the lightening cuts are parallel to the top of the receiver in the type 2 and in the type 3 they are parallel to the bottom.

There are quite a few other changes such as the grip now being a single piece, the selector lever having an additional clearance added above the pins, gas vent holes moved to 10 and 2 o-clock and more.

By the way, one thing Ian does is refer to it as the AK-49 and I have never read anything that supports that nomenclature.  If you Google AK-49, nothing turns up.  I would recommend you refer to it as an AK-47 Type 2.  Other than that, I think it is a great video and you can actually see the many details as Ian points them out:

If you want to read a book that does a great job detailing the Type 2 and its history, I would recommend The Grim Reaper by Frank Iannamico.  Poyer’s book has details but not as much history.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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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AK-47: The Grim Reaper


By (author): Frank Iannamico

It’s back…but this time with more pages, more information and more photographs. The most definitive study on Kalashnikov pattern rifles to date boasts over 1,100 printed pages covering the AK rifle, as well as its variants manufactured in over 19 countries.
List Price: $69.95
New From: $69.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $95.01 USD In Stock

Learn About The Original Type 1 Soviet AK-47 – Forgotten Weapons Video

Ian McCollum does a great job showing an actual Soviet Type 1 sheet metal AK-47.   I’ve read about the Type and seen a few photos but nothing as detailed as this.  We so often focus on the AKM but Mikhail Kalashnikov and his design team at Izhevsk had to go through a lot of learning and evolution of the design.

For me this was absolutely fascinating as Ian talks about the Type 1’s history and QC problems this early design had and then actually opens the rifle up to show the many differences.

  • Grip plates vs a true grip
  • No center support to keep the receiver from getting crushed
  • A selector lever that was only on the operating side that did not go all the way through
  • Longer trunnion
  • Ejector was part of the trunnion
  • Different rivet pattern
  • Fluted gas piston
  • and more

If you like AK’s, be sure to watch this video:

Also, consider donating to Ian.  He puts a ton of time into his videos and the research required.  Here’s a link to his Patreon page.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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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The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations


Features: This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author): Joe Poyer

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $16.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.79 USD In Stock

The Romanian PSL Rifle – Feeling Nostalgic for the 7.62x54R DMR

I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Ian McCollum’s Forgotten Weapons videos.  On May 28th, 2018, he released “Romania Doesn’t Make the Dragunov:  The PSL”.  Being a fan of the PSL, I had to watch it:

As usual, Ian did a great job.  The PSL, or in Romanian, the Puşcă Semiautomată cu Lunetă model 1974 was Romania’s designated marksman rifle (DMR) in 7.62x54R and came about after they had a disagreement with the USSR and would not longer get access to the Dragunov design.

In a classic example of pragmatism, the designers at Regia Autonoma pentru Productia de Tehnica Militara, also know as  the RATMIL Cugir arsenal, upscaled the Kalashnikov rifle design to handle the larger round.  The receiver design is based on the RPK light machine gun with reinforcing plates at the rear and a bulged front trunnion.   To make use of the relatively old 7.62x54R cartridge, it used a 24.4″ long barrel whereas a typical AKM has a barrel that is about 16.3″ long.

In short, while some people refer to it as a Dragunov, it really isn’t the same design at all.  The Dragunov’s design is unique and more complex.  The PSL is essentially an AK-47 on steroids and it does a pretty good job for what it was intended for – being a DMR and providing supporting fire at longer distance targets vs. a sniper rifle.  A DMR has good enough accuracy to – say about 2-3″ MOA or better whereas a sniper, or precision rifle, will tend to be sub-MOA.

Paired with the rifle is a LPS 4×6 TIP2 ((Lunetă Puṣcă Semiautomată Tip 2, or “Scope, Semi-Automatic Rifle, Type 2”) scope that attaches via the receiver side plate.

Really, the PSL design was a success for the Romanians.  It was relatively inexpensive, rugged and did the job.  They actually wound up exporting it to a number of countries for military use including:  Afghanistang, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, Iraq (after Hussein), Moldova, Nicaragua, North Korea, Pakistan, Somalia.

Here it is seen in the hands of an Afghan Army soldier:

In the following photo an Ethiopian solider is firing a PSL:

Of course, another market existed for these semi-auto rifles also – the United States.  It was imported under a variety of names including:  PSL-54C, Romak III, FPK and SSG-97.  They were all the same rifle more or less and might show modifications for importation such as removal of the bayonet lug or no third FCG pin provision in the receiver.  The PSLs in the US could have been assembled either at RATMIL or later after Romania joined NATO, the ARMS arsenal.  Note, there are also PSLs floating around built from kits on US receivers also with quality running the whole gamut from poor to excellent.

At any rate, part of the reason I wrote this is that I felt nostalgic.  I bought a Century Arms assembled PSL Sporter from Centerfire Systems in 2010.  Here it is next to a Yugo M70B1 for comparison and it has a Konus optic on a BP-02 SVD/PSL low center mount that is in line with the bore that I purchased from Kalinka Optics:

Contrary to rumor, the skeleton stock as the original design and not something they did for the US market.  The skeleton thumbhole profile was developed to reduce weight, withstand recoil and be relatively comfortable – hiding under the steel butt plate was a spring to dampen recoil.

I couldn’t leave the rifle along because I really wanted an SVD so I had to pick up a Rhineland Arms  unfinished walnut SVD conversion stock set – all it needed was the finish.  I used one of the Minwax cherry stains (I don’t recall which now I’m afraid) and the multiple coats of boiled linseed oil (BLO) on top.

One thing I did need to do was to carefully remove the gas tube cover retainers on both ends.  I carefull ground them off with my Dremel and then refinished the gas tube as you can see in the next photo.

I then drilled and tapped the receiver to hold a small piece of picatinny rail and took care not to harm the serial number and what not.   I figured the rail could be readily removed for inspection if ever needed.

So here was the end result including a Versapod bipod with claw feet:

 

I definitely am nostalgic about the rifle.  In one of those twists of fate, I had to sell it before I ever got to shoot it.  If I ever fell into a good deal on one, I would get it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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.


** Note, images that have a grey wood background, are of the Rhineland stock, the finished custom rifle or are in the shop are mine.  The other images are in the public domain and are from Wikipedia’s entry on the PSL.


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AK-47: The Grim Reaper


By (author): Frank Iannamico

It’s back…but this time with more pages, more information and more photographs. The most definitive study on Kalashnikov pattern rifles to date boasts over 1,100 printed pages covering the AK rifle, as well as its variants manufactured in over 19 countries.
List Price: $69.95
New From: $69.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $95.01 USD In Stock

Customizing and Shooting the Pakistani Ordnance Factory POF-5 Pistol

Having watched one too many TV shows and movies with H&K’s MP5 submachine gun over the years, the sub gun has been on my “I want to have one list” for years but way out of my price range.  While surfing, I read about how Pakistani Ordnance Factory (POF) licensed the design and tooling necessary from H&K Germany to make roller locked weapons including MP5 clones.  In reading about the various Mp5 clones,  it became apparent that the POF-5 units are actually well regarded.  What really tipped the scales was a great post by T. Mark Graham at Arizona Response Systems who really knows his way around MP5s saying they were good to go with details of his analysis provided.

This led me to calling up Chuck at Kelly Enterprises and talking about whether to buy a Zenith (my first choice) or a POF.  Chuck is a very straight forward guy and tells it the way it is.  The Zenith would be hard to get and he had POF-5 pistols in stock plus he gave me a great deal so I ordered one and had it sent to my friend and FFL, Scott Igert, at Modern Antique Firearms.  Chuck sent me all the tracking info and just a few days later, the POF-5 was with Scott waiting for me to pick it up.

On inspection you could tell the receiver paint was a bit glossier than the more satin finish of an HK but other than the action feeling dry and new (that gritty not worn in feeling), it looked good to go.

Now, I have two personality quirks.  First, I can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a pistol let alone one this big and heavy.  Second, I can’t help but customize any gun I buy and this wasn’t any different.

I did a ton of reading and decided to go with a cool S&B brace, a B&T scope mount, Dakota Tactical handguard, a B&T muzzle brake and ordered a bunch of POF MP5 magazines.  I bought my stuff from HKparts.net and everything showed up promptly.

Installing the brace was easy – like any HK, you push out the rear pin, pull off the cap and put on the brace.  I bought one all ready to go.

The handguard is a keymod unit from Dakota Tactical and they use a screw instead of a front pin to hold the unit in place.  It really locks up nice and I like the feel of it.  The rail section holding the Streamlight in the below photo is made by Monoki.

Now the scope mount is the standard B&T universal rai BT-21262-1.  I would caution against you buying a cheap optics mount for an HK-type weapon.  There are tons of stories of cheap ones falling off, not seating properly, etc.  The B&T unit is a mil-grade unit.  You slide it on and then work the little claws or feet into position and then secure them with the supplied screws.

Next up  was to install the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot optic.  These are the latest red dots from Vortex and come with both low and high mounting options.

Out of the box it has the high mount installed for the AR enthusiasts but includes the low plate as well.

As you can see, with the default high riser on it, the optic is way too high.  I prefer optics as low as possible where I can get a good cheek weld.

It’s real easy to change – there are just four screws that need to be removed on the bottom.  I used a bit from my Weaver driver set vs. the supplied key which would work but is slow compared to a driver.

I have the Weaver Deluxe Tool Kit and use the drivers all the time.  I use the block and hammer some but not a great deal.

Notice that Loc-Tite Blue (the medium strength formula) is used to secure the screws.

Here’s the end result.  Note, I will install a quick release mount at a later date.

One side comment – you may find it funny that the thing that puzzled me most was the B&T brake.  It installs on the tri-lobe fitting on the muzzle but there is a quick release lever that baffled me until I carefully inspected it and saw that one end is open and a cross pin is retaining it.  I then pushed the other way and lever lifted right up.  Duh!  It is solid and I like it.

The case you see is a 32″ Blackhawk Homeland Security Weapons Carry Case.

It comes with one internal mag carrier and I added a second pouch.  They are sized for 30 round AR mags and you can get two 30-round MP5 magazines in each pouch pocket.

Next up, I cleaned the bore and lubricated the weapon – especially the bolt head and trigger pack.  Past experience taught me to go through and make sure it was ready.

Two of my brother-in-laws and I took it to the range.  We used 124 grain S&B FMJ ammo and it functioned great and was accurate.  We had a blast at 15-25 yards shooting it despite it being a brisk day.  I really like how this combination worked out.  We didn’t use the light but the green laser was nice and bright when we tried it out.

We put probably about 200 rounds through it.  You can now feel the action has really smoothed out and I wouldn’t hesitate using this for home defense if I needed – which is why I put the light on it.

All in all, I’m very pleased and would recommend the POF-5 to anyone looking for a semi-auto MP5-type pistol.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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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Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight – 2 MOA Dot


Features: The super-light, ultracompact, insanely-fast-on-target Crossfire Red Dot was designed for close-range and general shooting., The daylight-bright, 2-MOA dot, is easy to acquire and promotes rapid engagement of targets, yet is fine enough to more precisely engage targets at distance. 11 intensity levels of brightness let shooters cater the dot intensity to the situation at hand., Skeletonized mount offers two height options (Low and Lower 1/3 Co-Witness) – lending its functionality to rifles, shotguns, and pistols., Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission during low light situations. Unlimited eye relief makes for quick target acquisition., A shockproof aluminum body displays extreme durability. Nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed, the Crossfire Red Dot delivers waterproof performance.

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight is arguably one of the best NEW and affordable dots on the market. Vortex spares no expense on their optics. The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight is no different. Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight provides a functionality and durability that is top-of-the-line. With its’ lightweight and ultra-compact design and unlimited eye-relief, the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight features an amazing 2-MOA easy acquisition dot and 11 levels of brightness. The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight will not disappoint with its’ rapid engagement of targets while out in the great outdoors. Should you be wanting to buy a top of the line red dot sight that won’t eradicate your bank account, choose the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight.
List Price: $149.00 USD
New From: $144.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Our New Polish Beryl Gen 2 Grip Model

The karabinek szturmowy wzór 1996 Beryl rifle is manufactured by the Łucznik Arms Factory in Radom, Poland and is the successor to the Tantal.  The first versions of the rifle had a rather typical AKM style grip.

With the kbs wz. 1996C Beryl variant, an ergonomic grip appeared that looked very similar to what the Israelis developed for their Galil Ultra.

So, after doing some digging, I tracked down a brand new copy of that ergonomic grip and made our version.  Note, I am simply calling it the second generation or gen 2.  That’s my naming and not the Pole’s.

You can see this is like our other grips – it is cast as a solid block and then a hole is drilled for a grip screw.  It is sized to fit a normal 100mm long screw like you find with most AKM grips.  “US” is cast into the back.  If you look at the throat, this ought to fit most rifles but some final fitting/fine tuning may be needed.  I have not tried putting this on a Yugo with their unique grip nut strap.

The original has grooves on the back but we will need to sand there so these ridges/lines on the backstrap will not be there.  We will sand and blast the grip so it evens out with the surrounding surfaces.

Here is the grip mounted on a Romy G AKM.  No fitting was needed – it went right on.

I wear size XL gloves and the top where the web of my hand from the index to the thumb would sit is just a tad small for me.  The grooves and thumb shelf are very comfortable and could be used with either hand.  For me, I prefer the Russian AK-12 grip or the Bulgarian ARM-9 grip.  I’d recommend this for folks who wear Medium to Large to sized gloves.  If you wear XL or bigger, you may find this a tad small at the top but it is very doable.  I hope to build a Beryl later this year and still plan to use this grip for myself.  I also left it on the Romy for further testing.  I think folks will like this grip regardless of whether they are building a Polish rifle or one from another country.

Click here to go to our online store if you are interested in learning more and/or buying one.

Please note the opening photos of the Beryl rifle are from Wikipedia.  They have a nice basic introduction to the Beryl if you’d like to learn more.  I always recommend the great firearm books also:


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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.


See larger image

Additional Images:

The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations


Features: This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author): Joe Poyer

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $16.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.79 USD In Stock

Our New Russian AK-12 Grip

Hi folks,

We have a new grip model based on the Russian AK-12.  Our grip has a very similar outward appearance and profile to the Russian grip but is cast solid and is made here in Michigan by us.  As a result, it counts as a 922r compliance part also.

The rifle is my personal FM-AK47-21 that has the cool Molot RPK side folder, a Chaos rail, the superb Vortex Sparc II red dot optic, and a Chaos rail and a JMAC RRD-4C brake.

I wear XL-size gloves and the grip feels very good in my hand and puts the rifle into a very natural position.  In looking at the top of the grip, I think it will fit any AKM rifle or a pistol with a typical grip nut and screw.  I think it would take some fitting to go on a Yugo with its unique riveted grip strap.

This grip is available for ordering now if you are interested – click here.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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.


Note, the Crossfire CR-RD1 red dot optic replaced the Sparc II shown in the photo.  I am using a Crossfire CF-RD1 on another rifle and really like it.


 


See larger image

Additional Images:



Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight – 2 MOA Dot


Features: The super-light, ultracompact, insanely-fast-on-target Crossfire Red Dot was designed for close-range and general shooting., The daylight-bright, 2-MOA dot, is easy to acquire and promotes rapid engagement of targets, yet is fine enough to more precisely engage targets at distance. 11 intensity levels of brightness let shooters cater the dot intensity to the situation at hand., Skeletonized mount offers two height options (Low and Lower 1/3 Co-Witness) – lending its functionality to rifles, shotguns, and pistols., Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission during low light situations. Unlimited eye relief makes for quick target acquisition., A shockproof aluminum body displays extreme durability. Nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed, the Crossfire Red Dot delivers waterproof performance.

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight is arguably one of the best NEW and affordable dots on the market. Vortex spares no expense on their optics. The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight is no different. Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight provides a functionality and durability that is top-of-the-line. With its’ lightweight and ultra-compact design and unlimited eye-relief, the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight features an amazing 2-MOA easy acquisition dot and 11 levels of brightness. The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight will not disappoint with its’ rapid engagement of targets while out in the great outdoors. Should you be wanting to buy a top of the line red dot sight that won’t eradicate your bank account, choose the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight.
List Price: $149.00 USD
New From: $144.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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!


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed. Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

 

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: $44.96 USD In Stock
Used from: $39.31 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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Uzi Part 6 of 7: Applying the Molyresin Finish

I’ve used John Norrell’s Molyresin finish for years and like it.  It’s easy to apply and quite durable.  My preferred approach is to abrasive blast a steel surface, parkerize it and then apply the Molyresin and bake it on.  There was one challenge this time though – it was below freezing and a snow storm was going on so I opted to just blast and apply the finish.  This ought to hold up fairly well.  With AKs, I am always fighting the selector lever scraping the receiver but don’t have that situation with an Uzi.

1]  Clean everything with brake cleaner or acetone.  I use a ton of brake cleaner.  Also, be sure to wear nitrile gloves to avoid getting oil from your hands onto the clean parts.

2] Here’s a time-saving trick – the Uzi’s original parts were parkerized.  Just clean anything with a good parkerized surface thoroughly but do not blast it off.  If the “park” is worn away, proceed with blasting the surface.  The reason is simple – parkerizing creates a surface that the Molyresin can really adhere to when baked on – even more so than blasting alone.  Molyresin will not last if you just spray it on a smooth surface and bake it so don’t even consider doing that.  In short, at least blast the part including all edges, corners, flat places, and so forth unless they are parked already.  If you have the capacity to park parts [click here for a tutorial], do that and then apply the finish.

3] I used to use the Harbor Freight air brushes but have had a ton of problems with them failing so this year I invested in a nice Paasche H-series airbrush after hearing good things about them over the years.  The quality is night and day better.  I read a bunch of confusing junk on the Web about guys questioning how to hook up their air line.  After buying the kit from Amazon, I simply applied quality PTFE tape to a male 1/4″ plug with a male 1/4″ NPT end and screwed to Paasche air line on to it.  Done.   Also, I am really obsessive about clean air – 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.

 

4] John has really good instructions online for applying Molyresin.   I bought a quart of semi-gloss black for the Uzi build plus I plan on using it for a few other projects I have planned thus I bought the big bottle.  They say an 8 oz bottle has enough Molyresin to coat 2.5 AR rifles.  I used a tad over one ounce on the Uzi but I’m inefficient with my application because I am spraying all the little parts also.   You have a ton of adjustments you can do when applying a finish via a paint brush so your actual coverage will vary.  I have a simple theory though – I’d rather have left over finish than be in the middle of something and run out!

5] You need to preheat your parts to 150F.  This allows the solvent to evaporate very quickly.  Since the Uzi parts are all relatively small, I used my portable roaster oven that I bought at WalMart on sale.  Oven thermostats are notoriously inaccurate so use a good thermometer to confirm the actual temperature.  I use a Fluke 62 Max Plus due to my work with plastics and steel.  My oven runs about 47 degrees cooler than what the dial heat setting claims for example.  At any rate, I start preheating my parts while I get m airbrush ready.  All the cleaning and surface prep is done at this point and I am wearing either nitrile gloves.

6] So, I used the size 1 tip that was installed in the Paasche brush and set the air pressure to 20 pounds and then dialed the tip in and out until I got the spray pattern that I wanted.  One of the nice things about the Paasche is that the company stands behind their products – you can ask questions, lots of people have written about them and you can also download the manuals.  I can tell you one thing, I am never going back t the Harbor Freight brushes now.

7]  Shake the heck out of the Molyresin to get the settled pigment into suspension.  Don’t just shake it once or twice – make sure the cap is on and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.  Molyresin has pigments that are carried along with the solvent that must be deposited onto the metal and then baked into place.  The liquid solvent is really just a carrier.

8] I apply the Molyresin in several coats until I have a uniform color everywhere.  One trick I learned years ago is to take a cardboard box and cut slots in it to push in screws to paint their heads.  Be sure to periodically shake your airbrush to keep the pigments in suspension.

9] For the barrel, I do install rubber plugs in the ends of the barrel to prevent finish from going inside.  You can buy these tapered silicone rubber plugs from a variety of sources and reuse them.  My current batch is from Amazon.

10] When you are done, clean the airbrush with MEK.  One thing I do is to clean the little supply bottle first, fill the bottle with MEK and then blow in through the brush to clean the internals.  Note, use MEK in a well ventilated area as you do not want to breath those fumes.

11] Place the parts in the oven at 300F for one hour to actually set the phenolic resin.  This temperature is critical as nothing will happen if you heat to a lower temperature and you may affect the sheen of the finish if you go hotter.  Again, use a good thermometer to make sure you are at or just over 300F – allow for the accuracy of your thermometer in other words.  If your thermometer’s rated accuracy is +/- 1% then shoot for 303-305F for example or even a tad hotter but not less.  The one hour is also a minimum.  Boosting the temperature and reduce the time is not recommended.

That’s it – the parts are ready to be assembled.

To reinforce one important point — I follow the Molyresin application instructions to the letter and get very good results and that is why I have used it for years and have no plans on changing.

 


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This is my Fluke – the -20 to +1202F range model:

Unless you will be working with metals and need the higher temp, you can save money by going with:

Since stuff gets beat up in my shop, I always put instruments in cases and use this one:

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Uzi Part 5 of 7: Converting the Top Cover for Semi-Auto Use

The Uzi’s top cover, what some call the dust cover, requires a slight modification for semi-auto use.  The original cover has a ratcheting mechanism with a little finger called a “pawl” that slides down the cover when you pull it back but if you let go prematurely, the pawl catches in a notch and forward travel stops.  Because a semi-auto bolt has a shorter distance to travel, there is not enough room for the ratchet mechanism to reset.  The solution is very simple – remove the pawl.

Here’s a photo of my semi-auto top cover with a welded on picatinny rail that I bought from US Barrel Shrouds and really like.  It’s already finished with a black Molyresin and in front of it is an original top cover.

1] The first step is to select a hollow ground screw driver bit that fills the slotted screw located in the middle of the cocking handle and remove it.  Note, my screw had what looked like white thread locker on it.  It did come off with firm pressure so it’s critical you use a properly sized bit.  I have a big Weaver screwdriver set for just this reason that I use all the time when I am working on firearms.  In the photo below, I show the cover partially ratcheted back.  Release the tension on the spring by pulling the handle all the way to the rear and allow it to travel all the way forward.

 

2] With the screw removed, the cocking handle lifts right off the top cover slot plate located under it.  The cocking handle lug will simply drop down out of the slot.  In the next photo you can see the top components but not the lug for that reason.  You can also see the thread locker remnants in the cocking handle screw.

3]  Turn the cover upside down over the table surface and the coking lug assembly will be dangling from the cocking handle return spring that is connected both to it and top cover.  You can simply life the pawl out of the lug.

4]  It is now just a matter of reassembly and it takes two hands so my photos are limited 🙂  Put the cocking lug back into the slot from the bottom side of the top cover.  Then turn it over while holding the lug in place and stack the top cover slot plate on it so the elevated tabs on the lug marry up with the slots in the top cover slot plate.  While wishing for a third hand, put the cocking lever and screw into position and screw them into place.  Note, I would recommend some form of medium Loc-tite/thread locker to keep the screw from coming loose.

5] On my dust cover, I did bevel the rear of the cover just a bit to encourage the top cover catch to engage.  My cover is nice and tight and I want it that way so I did not trim anything else.  In the next photo you can see my cover in black with the right angled top sanded down just a bit compared to the bottom original.

That’s all there is to it and 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 or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   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.


 

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: $76.79 USD
New From: $76.39 USD In Stock