Category Archives: China

New SDS 10 Round Magazines At The Range – They Worked Great

As you may have read, my first range session with my new SDS Lynx shotgun didn’t go very well when I used new untested 10 round SDS brand magazines.  I posted my findings and David Fillers of SDS immediately reached out to me to address the issue.

David told me they did have a few quality control problems early on and that he wanted to replace my four magazines.  Note, David said they have sold over 3,000 magazines with just a few problems  and given that I haven’t heard or read about others having problems, it must have just been bad luck for me.  At any rate, I was impressed that he reached out so quick and a few days later the replacement magazines arrived.

To make sure I didn’t have further problems, they had opened each package and tested the followers, which I appreciated.   Let me tell you, the difference was night and day.  The replacement magazine followers were much looser as they approached the top of the mag and felt great from the start.  Exactly what I would normally expect.  Of course, this then begged the question of how would they perform?

About a week after that, I finally got a chance to take the Lynx and the new magazines to the range.  I could tell the Lynx was still wearing in.  Whenever you have a weapon with parkerizing, it is to be expected.  We put about 25 rounds of 2-3/4″ Remington 00 buckshot through it the first time and then I put about 70 more through on this trip.  I’d say somewhere between cumulative round 40-50 (meaning from the fist session and this one), the SDS really started to smoothen out.

How could I tell?  It was cycling faster and it was kicking rounds out very aggressively so I turned the gas port down from wide open to the third widest setting.  I bet I can turn that down again for these higher-power rounds in the near future.

Those 12 gauge rounds are stout.  It’s been years since I shot more than 25 in one session so I was feeling it.  You’ll also notice that my JMAC brake loosened up.  I had hand tightened the jam nut and forgot to secure it with a wrench.  I fixed that problem as soon as I got home.

At any rate, the new SDS 10 round magazines worked great especially once the action started smoothing out.  I tried them all the way full with 10 rounds as well as starting with only five rounds.  I also fired both buck shot and some Brenke slugs.  Thus, I’m happy to report that the SDS magazines appear to be good to go.

There is a good lesson here for all of us – including me – definitely test your gear before you need to rely on it.  Thankfully this was just me getting embarrassed by my buddies at the range razzing me vs. a critical situation.

Now, I next need to point out that I took the CSSpecs magazines with me also and all they did was jam so I need to contact those folks and work on them next.


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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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THE LYNX 12 – POST 3 OF 3: Adding the Customizations

This is the third post in a three part series about customizing a Lynx 12 Shotgun.  In the first post, I wrote about my “out of the box” observations and in the second post, I disassembled the Lynx and also recorded observations.  In this final post, I’ll add in my planned customizations and explain my rationale for each.

Installing the Rifle Dynamics AK to M4 Adapter

I like M4 stocks and did some digging around.  In the past, I have used Ace/Double Star and other modular adapters.  The problem with them is that unless you cut the tang off the rear trunnion, you have a rather long receiver block sticking out of your rifle and I wanted to avoid that.

I do a lot of surfing and a new style of adapter had caught my eye made by Rifle Dynamics.  They have an AK to M4 stock adapter that rides over the tang vs. behind it.  This design gets rid of the receiver block sticking out or the need to alter the rifle.  The adapter got good reviews so I added one to my growing order of stuff from Carolina Shooters.

The unit comes with clear instructions but do read the little yellow supplement they include.  After getting feedback about the angle the unit positions the buffer tube at, they added two small Delrin washers that need to be installed also.

Installation took about 10 minutes – in large part because I was snapping photos but also because I didn’t want to rush and make a mistake.

So the big L-Bracket just goes under the tang and is screwed into place.  I put Blue Loc-Tite on both screws to prevent them from loosening up.  Based on past experiences with stocks that loosened up using modular mounts, be sure to use some form of thread locker.  I did not tighten the screws down yet because I wasn’t sure if I would need to wiggle the tube adapter into place or not.

So with the L-Bracket in place, I then attached the Tube Adapter.  The Delrin washers go between the Tube Adapter and the L-Bracket.  I applied Blue Loc-Tite to these screws also.

I then tightened down all the screws and that was it.

Adding a C&H Mercury Buffer to the M4 Buffer Tube

Based on past experience with other similar firearms, I knew the Lynx would be front heavy plus I knew 12 gauge shotguns in general have a fair amount of recoil.  Both of these could be addressed by installing a C&H Mercury Recoil Suppressor.  I use the model 100785 as I know it will slide down the buffer tube of an M4 given the suppressor measures 7/8″ x 5″.  You wouldn’t use this in a normal AR because the buffer tube would have the buffer and spring inside.  However, in our case, an AK does not use the buffer tube so that means we can do whatever we want.  I ordered by unit from MPC Sports, where I have bought them in the past.

I’ve used these a number of times over the years in shotguns and rifles to add weight to the rear and to reduce the recoil.  This last part is interesting.  Basically you have a 7/8″ diameter heavy tube that is 5″ long that is hollow.  Inside it is partially filled with liquid mercury and then very tightly sealed — there is no way it is coming out.

What happens is that when the firearm is fired and the rearward motion starts, the mercury liquid sloshes in the tube.   The tube goes back and the mercury partially stays in place until it is hit by the front of the tube.  This helps to split the recoil impulse into two parts – the initial impulse and then when the mercury hits.

If you can’t afford a mercury buffer you could always fill the rear 5-6″ with bird shot and then cap it with a thick layer of epoxy.

The Mil-Spec six position buffer tube is a straight forward unit made by Expo Arms and I bought it from Primary Arms.  You will still need to get the castle nut and end plate of your choice.  Primary Arms, Brownells and Palmetto are all good places to check.  I really do not recall where I got the castle nut and end plate I used on this project – they were in a parts bin.

Installation is very simple because all you need to do is epoxy it into the buffer tube.  I would recommend scuffing the tube with a bit of sand paper so the epoxy can stick well and then spray down the supressor and the inside of the buffer tube with brake cleaner.

Not all epoxies are up to the task.  I’d recommend Brownell’s Acra-Glas liquid epoxy for this (not their gel version).  I use 10cc syringes to meter out 4 parts resin to 1 part hardener.  I mixed up and used 4 batches so 16 cc of resin and 4 cc of hardener.  Make sure you stir it completely.  The stuff has a long pot like so really mix it well.

I secured the buffer tube in my vise and made sure it was vertical.  Next, I poured a bit down in the tube first – just enough to put a thin layer at the bottom and inserted the suppressor into the tube and poured in the remaining epoxy.  It will need to sit and cure for 2-4 hours before you can handle it.  I keep an eye on the remnants in the mixing cup to see when it is hard enough to handle as the temperature will affect how long it takes.  Note – it needs to cure 24 hours to reach full strength and you’d want that before firing the weapon and subjecting the epoxy to stress.

At any rate, after pouring, wipe off any epoxy you may get on the tube.  Brake cleaner on a rag will help until it cures.  After that, it would likely require sanding to remove so be sure it is clean before you walk away.

So with that done and curing I moved on to the grip.

Installing the Ronin’s Grips AK-12 Grip

The Lynx comes with a basic pistol grip but I wanted to use one of my AK-12 grips.  These are very ergonomic and feel really good to me.  I wear an XL-size glove and both the size and angle work for me.

I replaced the small 5mm bolt with one of our 6mm alloy bolts and also used a 6mm grip nut that I had in my parts bin to secure the grip in place.

In the same manner as other AKs, the grip nut sits in the square hole behind the trigger guard and then the grip sits on the other side and the bolt pulls them together with the receiver sandwiched in the middle.

Adding a Chaos Saiga 12 Apollo 12 Extended Rail

The Lynx can use Saiga handguards so you have a lot of options.  I like the look and feel of Chaos rails.  I had one on my Vepr and decided to go with the Apollo 12 Extended M-LOK Rail for the Lynx.

Installation is pretty easy.  You will need to remove the original sights though.  A small punch can be used to drift out the rear sight and either a small wrench or pliers can be used to unscrew and remove the front sight.  I’d recommend having a Zip Loc bag or something to store these parts in just in case.

Unscrew the four screws on the sides to split the rail system into its two halves.  The bottom slides into position.  Use their screw to secure the front.  Use Blue Loc-Tite on it too.   In the rear by the receiver is a set screw.  Back it out, apply Blue Loc-tite and then screw it down.  It will push on the barrel lock the handguard into position so it will not wobble.

With the base secure you can install the top half when ready.  Notice how I said that.  What I found is that the bolt carrier must be installed and the dust cover installed before you install the top half.  So, I went ahead lubricated the shotgun and closed it up before I installed the top rail.  This also brings to light that the screws will need to be removed to gain access to inside the shotgun for cleaning.  Time will tell how well that works out.  If it drives me nuts, I’ll cut the rail off flush with the gas tube seat.  Right now though, I sure like how it positions my red dot.

Lubricating the Lynx

As mentioned above, I had to install the bolt carrier assembly and dust cover to then finalize the rail.  I am doing something different with the Lynx.  A month back I started using Super Lube synthetic grease on my Uzi and it worked great.  With the Lynx having the heavy parkerization on everything, I used Superlube to grease the rails and all sliding surfaces.  I used a precision oiler with Mobil 1 5w-30 full synthetic on all of the rotating parts.  Boy did this combination make things operate smoothly!

Installing the M4 Mil-Spec Buffer Tube

By now, the buffer tube with the mercury suppressor was cured enough to be safely installed.   Basically, it is installed the same as on an AR but it is much heavier.  Thread the castle nut all the way to the end of threads, install the end plate and then screw the tube into the Rifle Dynamics stock adapter.  Note need to buy the end plate and the castle nut – they typically do not come with a buffer tube.

When you are almost out of space to screw the buffer tube because of the end plate riding in the groove, stop, push the end plate into the adapter and tighten the castle nut down using your favorite tool.

In the next photo you can see that I am using a end plate with sling loops plus you can see that I staked the castle nut.  Because of the recoil of the 12 gauge, I created a small divot with a center punch – this is known as “staking”.  It will mechanically lock the castle nut in place.   I could have put Blue Loc-tite on the castle nut but I went old school.

I then used a cotton swab and some Brownells Oxpho-Blue to cold blue the bare metal to a black color and then wiped it down with WD-40.

Installing the Magpul ACS Stock with Limbsaver Pad

I like the Midway ACS stocks.  They are comfortable, have a locking lever to keep them from wobbling and have storage compartments you can either really use for storage or fill with epoxy and bird shot to further adjust the weight and balance of a rifle.

As luck would have it, I don’t have a photo of the stock before installation but will tell you that the one challenge is to lift the locking pin.  Magpul gives you a dummy cartridge to help with this but I made a tool to hook the pin and lift easy as can be.

Now one thing that is nice with hard recoiling firearms is a decent recoil pad.  I’ve long been a fan of Limbsaver pads and they make a model specific for the Magpul ACS, ACS-L, CTR, MOE, STR and UBR.  It’s nice and thick and provides a lot of cushion especially compared to the original pad it replaces.

I purchased the Magpul ACS for Mil-Spec buffer tubes from Primary Arms and the recoil pad off Amazon.

Installing the JMac RRD-4C 12 Brake

If you want to tame recoil, a good brake is essential.  Justin McMillion and his company JMAC Customs make some great brakes so reaching out to him for a brake made perfect sense.  He recommended their RRD-4C “12” brake.

The first thing I noticed was it’s size – it’s huge and badassed looking.  Installation is a breeze.  Unscrew the thread protector from the Lynx to expose its threads.  Screw on the jam nut as far as you can and then thread on the brake as far as you can.  Back it off enough that the brake is flat and the chambers are venting up as shown below.  Then tighten the jam nut up against the back of the brake to lock it in place.

Installing the Crossfire Red Dot and American Defense Quick Release Lever

My go to red dot these days is the excellent Vortex Crossfire unit.  It’s small and only has a 2 MOA dot.  It comes configured for an AR but you can remove the tall base and use the supplied shorter one for a lower mount.  Recently, I started using American Defense bases  because they have a solid quick release lever so you can remove the red dot quickly.  The base required is the AD-T1-L STD.

You just unscrew the four little screws on the bottom  of the optic, apply Blue Loctite on the screws and attach it to the new base.  Not hard at all!  The results are totally worth it.

Caution about eBay:  Watch out for cheap counterfeit products on eBay.  I would recommend buying the optic and mount from a reputable dealer to make sure you are getting the real deal.  The cheap knock offs just do not hold up.

Streamlight TLR-2 HL G

I installed a small 5 slot Magpul M-Lok aluminum rail section on the bottom front of the handguard to hold a Streamlight TLR-2 HL G 800 lumen light and green laser.  I have found they hold up remarkably well.  In this age of cheap Chinese products, I would recommend buying a light that will work when you need it most.

To mount it, follow the directions with the light to install the key for the Picatinny rail.  It comes with several and then it just screws onto the mount with the thumbscrew,

Caution about eBay:  Watch out for cheap counterfeit products on eBay.  I would recommend buying the Streamlight from a reputable dealer to make sure you are getting the real deal.  The cheap knock offs just do not hold up.

The End Result

I am very happy with how it turned out.  The balance is great and the red dot is located just right – when I bring the shotgun up – the dot is right where I need it.  I definitely need to take it to the range and like how it turned out.  By the way, the magazine you see is the new SDS 10 round unit.

I hope you enjoyed these blog posts.  There will be more to come 🙂

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon to buy something.   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 (Sports)

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.

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The Lynx 12 – Post 2 of 3: Disassembly and Observations

In the first post, I documented my favorable first impressions of the SDS Lynx 12 shotgun.  After posting, at least 10 gentlemen have come forward stating how much they like their Lynx 12 shotguns and nobody reported any problems.  In this post, I’ll write about taking the shotgun apart in order to install my planned customizations, which will be in the next post.

Call me old school, but the first thing I did was to read the manual 🙂  The next thing was to hose down the hole shotgun and wipe it down to remove all the odd smelling rust preservative.  I really didn’t care for the tacky feel to be there while working on it.  Once removed, I sprayed on Rem Oil to prevent rust while I was working on it.  Rem Oil is nice and thin and doesn’t have too much of a smell.  It’s my go to for situations like this.  If you do remove the preservative, just be sure to apply whatever oil or rust inhibitor you prefer.

Removing the Dust Cover and Recoil Spring

The dust cover comes off by pushing the release latch (the little button that sticks up) on the recoil spring and pushing the whole assembly forward while lifting the dust cover up and off the receiver.

You’ll notice I have the Lynx sitting in my Tipton vise.  I’ve had it for years and it really makes working on long arms way easier.

With the dust cover off, you can get a good look at the recoil spring  assembly.  Some guys will call this the operating spring or the return spring but basically it absorbs the energy of the bolt carrier assembly coming back after firing and then when the spring has enough energy, it pushes the bolt carrier assembly forward to then cock the trigger and strip a round off the magazine and go back into battery.

Compared to a regular AKM, you will notice the release latch and the rubber buffer assembly at the rear.  I find the use of a buffer interesting.  Normally the spring should absorb the energy and my bet is that the designers put it there in case the user either adjusts the gas regulator such that the system is over-gassed and the carrier comes back with more force than the spring alone can handle or they put it there just in case of a round that generates more pressure than what the spring can handle but the gas regulator doesn’t exactly have the right setting — imagine needing a gas setting of “3.5”. At the third position there is too much gas but at 4 there is too little.  I have little doubt it is a good idea.  I’d recommend to keep a spare buffer on hand and inspect the one in the shotgun regularly.  It ought to last a long time under most conditions but the buffers are dirt cheap.

To remove it, push forward on the rear part that normally protrudes from the dust cover.  It should slide forward in the slot that holds it on the trunnion until it is free and you can then lift up and pull back to remove the assembly from the bolt carrier and shotgun overall.

You will also note that the designers made the recoil spring assembly two parts – the rear is a tube like an RPK or older milled AKs with one spring.  There is then an additional cover that rides on that rear tube and normally closes the otherwise enlarged ejection port in the dust cover.  In front of that is then a floating spring.

Removing the Bolt Carrier Assembly and Looking Inside the Receiver

First, remove the bolt carrier assembly.  It slides to the rear of the receiver and can then be lifted up out of the receiver.  Note – it must be fully to the rear or the receiver’s guide rails will retain it.

It’s interesting how the bolt carrier is short.  In the gas tube, which is pinned in place, is a disc, that some call the “gas puck” or just “puck” which is the gas piston.  Unlike an AKM, the gas tube is held in place by the gas tube seat (it reminds me of a rear sight block in a way) that would need it’s retaining pin to be punched out to be removed.  When you tilt the shotgun forward and back, you can hear the puck moving back and forth in the gas tube.  I didn’t take the gas tube assembly apart but it looks straight forward enough.

The carrier is holding a really massive bolt.  It operates very much like any AK – the bolt head has a cam that travels through a slot in the carrier that in turn rotates it into or out of battery.

By moving the bolt head to the rear, the cam can be rotates out of the slot and the bolt head then removed from the carrier.

Look at the size of the extractor!

Interestingly, the firing pin has a spring pushing it backward compared to the floating firing pins you normally find in an AK rifle.  In this photo you can see the tail of the firing pin pushed out the back of the bolt body by the spring.

Looking down in the receiver was a very typical looking fire control group.  Note, it has been tweaked slightly to work in a Saiga or Lynx so if you want to replace the fire control group you will need to either buy one made for the the Saiga or Lynx or you will need to make some modifications.

Normally I replace the fire control group (FCG) with a US made set but the Lynx’s trigger is surprisingly decent.  Not great, but decent.  It was gritty from the parkerizing and lack of use but I figured grease and time could cure that.  I may well swap it out in the future but time will tell.

The Pistol Grip

Now I did run into one surprise that I did not expect – see the grip nut below?  I figured it would be a regular AKM nut meaning threaded for a 6mm diameter x 1.0mm pitch screw.  It’s not.  I did not expect this but the grip screw is actually smaller than an AK’s.  The screw is actually 5mm diameter x 106mm long.  I did not bother finding out the pitch by the way because it would not be staying!  Instead, I focused on the hole in the receiver – it was the same size as a normal AKM grip nut.  Whew – Problem solved.  I would replace it with a beefier AKM nut and one of our high-strength alloy grip screws (I’ll detail that in the next post).

To remove the grip, there is a blade screw head on the base.  Simply unscrew it and remove the grip and the grip nut.

Removing the Buttstock

The plastic buttstock is held in place by two machine screws on the top of the rear trunnion.  The rear trunnion is an AK-74 forked style with the front portion open.  The stock with its lightning cuts on the side harks to the 74 also other than having a recoil pad thicker than what you would find on a 74.

Given how front heavy the shotgun felt, I was not surprised to find out that the buttstock was actually hollow.  The Chinese installed threaded inserts for strength.  I think that is commendable actually.  The fit of the buttstock to the receiver is both well done and very tight.  This is what will bear the recoil – the screws are just there to hold it together.

Because of the tight fit, I secured the rifle in my vise after removing the selector lever.  I then used a wood dowel and hammer to tap on the lip of the stock to push it backwards out of the receiver.  It really didn’t take much force to get it out.  For those of you who have tried to get an old varnished AK-47 stock out of a receiver, you know exactly what I mean and the Lynx requires just a small fraction of that.

The Forearm

The sporting looking forearm is held in place by a 5mm diameter x 11mm long screw.  Unscrew it and push the handguard forward past the gas tube and then pull it off the barrel.  Mine was a tight fit so I did need to pull it off the barrel and not just lift.  I did use a small piece of wood and a hammer to get it started out of the receiver.

Done

At this point, I had the shotgun all the way apart other than the muzzle cap.  I left that on to protect the threads while I worked.  The next blog post will detail the customizations and a few surprises that happened along the way.


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Tipton Best Gun Vise for Cleaning, Gunsmithing and Gun Maintenance (Sports)

Tipton’s Best Gun Vise is the best tool you can own for working on your guns. The vise was designed to accommodate the widest possible array of firearms for cleaning, maintenance or gunsmithing, and works on several varieties of guns. A central aluminum channel lets the user move individual components to the ideal position and each individual component adjusts for secure support. The rear base features two adjustable offset clamps to fit a wide range of buttstocks.

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The Lynx 12 – Post 1 of 3: Unboxing and First Impressions

For some reason, I never really got into the Saigas when they were the hot conversion ticket. I guess it was because I was mainly working on rifles and had a Vepr 12. At any rate, when I heard from Paul Popov that SDS was importing a Saiga-12 clone known as the Lynx 12 from China where it was made in the same factory that made the Type 56 AKs.  Even better, it did not need the conversion and the street price was about $499, I contacted Scott Igert, my friend who owns Modern Antique Firearms in Benton Harbor, MI, to order me one.

In short order the shotgun arrived and then promptly sat idle as I was busy with a ton of other projects. Scott nudged me along to take a look as he was curious about the Lynx 12 also as were clients of his. That prompted me to get my act in gear and take a close look at the shotgun by taking it apart to install a bunch of modifications I had planned.

The first step was to give it a careful external exam. The Lynx had a nice heavy uniform dark parkerized finish – probably a manganese “park” given the color.  There was some type of preservative on it that had the most interesting smell.  I have no way to describe it other that to say it did not smell like the typical cosmoline-ish anti-corrosion coatings I was used to.  Note, parkerization does not prevent rust but what it does do is create a textured surface that oil, preservatives or even weapons finishes can “grab” hold of an stay in place.  For example, when I build an AK, I have found that abrasive blasting, followed by manganese parkerization and then Norrell’s Molyresin is a remarkably durable finishing process.  By the way, I have a post on how to do make and apply your own manganese parkerization.

The rivets were pretty good – in a few cases the domes were flatter than others, which is me nit picking, but they all were sitting nice and snug against the sheet metal.  Rivets are pretty amazing and result in strong attachments of the forged trunnions to the sheet metal as long as they are formed properly and the Lynx’s rivets are solid.

I found it interesting that the front trunnion sits on top of the sheet metal receiver.  The fitment was pretty good.

There were reports of early models having sharp edges but I did not see any.  All edges and the parkerized finish were well done.

I did notice that the rear stock screw as a bit chewed up by whomever installed the rear stock.  Normally you see this when someone uses a screw driver blade that is too small.  Not too bad and since I planned on replacing the rear stock, I really wasn’t worried about it.

The selector lever was noticeably loose.  On most AK rifles, it takes a bit of effort to move the lever between the safe and fire positions.  The lever on the Lynx moves very easily.  I’ll bend the lever slightly or use a center punch to increase the depth of the detent.  Again, not a big worry.

Because the shotgun is brand new and the fire control group and the inside of the receiver are all parkerized, the action was pretty rough.  This was to be expected – the parts need to wear in.  I knew from experience that cleaning and better lubrication would help.

The muzzle cover was easy to remove and threaded nicely.  It is threaded to use Saiga chokes and brakes.

The dust cover has an additional retainer spring and pin that you do not see on most AKMs to hold the dust cover in place.  Notice the attention to detail that the retaining button is shaped to allow the dust cover to clear it better.

A nicely done optics side rail is already installed and begging to be used.

It’s a good thing that is there because I really think you will want to run a red dot either via a scope mount or on a front rail.  The Lynx’s sights are to the front and rear of the gas tube.  The rear has a dovetail and can be drifted with a pin punch to the left or right.  The front sight is threaded and can be adjusted up or down.  They definitely are functional but I don’t care for them at all to be perfectly honest.

The gas regulator is pretty slick and how has four settings for you to choose from.  The SDS website describes the settings thusly:

…smallest dot = basically no gas, no rounds will usually cycle when the regulator is on this position. Next smallest dot = “00” buckshot, high velocity rounds and slugs. Next to largest dot = all things in between your results and field testing will be required to see what your individual shotgun will run in this setting. Largest dot = birdshot and other lower powered ammunition.

You’ll notice it has an AK-74 looking buttstock but it is actually hollow and very light.  It’s nicely formed and installed but the net result is that the shotgun is light overall but very front-heavy.  I planned to replace the buttstock, grip and forearm from the start and I will describe what was one and why in future posts in this series.

It uses Saiga magazines also.  One five round mag comes with the shotgun and SDS now sells 10 round magazines also that you can readily find.  It’s actually harder to find spare five round SDS-brand magazines right now than the 10 round units.

By the way, if you are interested about how it shoots, I haven’t had a chance to take it out yet.  In researching the shotgun and how durable it was, I talked to Paul Popov and he has 350 rounds through his with no signs of trouble.  I also talked to Justin McMillion at JMAC Customs and they have put through about 500 rounds also with no problems showing up.  Here is a great overview video from Justin and his wife Ashley:

To sum it all up, I was pretty impressed with my initial just out of the box assessment.  I’m certainly not done though as I bought the Lynx specifically to customize and blog about.  The custom Lynx 12 blog series will have two more posts – one about disassembly and then one with the customizations I made.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon to buy something.   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.


Russian Graphic Cotton Blend Gray T-Shirt AK-47 Kalashnikov Gun Shirt

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BORE CLEANING KITS by Sage and Braker for Your .40 cal and .41 cal Firearms Are the Highest Quality Bore Snakes on the Market. (Misc.)

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Finding Parts and Accessories for Norinco Firearms

Because I make and sell a variety of AK furniture, I often get asked about where to find parts and accessories for a given type of firearm.   One brand that comes up quite a bit is Norinco.

Norinco, or China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (中国北方工业集团有限公司), is a huge defense conglomerate and makes everything from small arms to big weapons systems such as tanks and missle systems (click here if you want to visit their site).  They were established in 1980 and began selling small arms to the US domestic market not long after that.

Unfortunately, they ran into a number of legal problems.  In 1993, importation of most of their firearms and ammunition was blocked other than sporting shotguns and shotgun ammo.  In 1994 US Customrs conducted a sting on the importer and in August 2003, sanctions were imposted that effectively blocked their remaining lines of firearms and ammunition not already banned.  In short, Norinco is very much still in business in China and exporting to clients elsewhere – just not in the US.

This unfortunate series of events leaves US owners of Norinco firearms such as their Type 56 SKS carbine, Type 56 assault rifle (and specifically the civilian MAK-90 and NHM-90 rifles), the NDM-86 Dragunov clone DMR, their various other rifles, pistols and shotguns wondering where to find parts.  As for myself, I wish I could afford an NDM-86!

There are two reputable businesses I have dealt with who carry Chinese firearm parts – one is Numrich and the other is PolyTechParts.  Of course, there is Gunbroker and the many sellers who use it as well.

There is another surprising source – eBay.  Below is a live feed of Norinco parts for you to peruse plus they have much more:

Chinese Hand Guard Ferrule Norinco Polytech

$24.00
End Date: Wednesday Jan-2-2019 16:23:26 PST
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Norinco 213 magazine 9 mm -8 Round --- NEW

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Chinese Norinco polytech Yellow Ammo Box Collectors Item 7.62x39 RARE

$20.00
End Date: Friday Dec-14-2018 17:10:08 PST
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Chinese Norinco vintage silver ammo box collector's 7.62x39 RARE collectible

$25.00
End Date: Tuesday Jan-1-2019 17:22:42 PST
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Norinco Sks-rifle standard length Piston

$25.99
End Date: Tuesday Jan-1-2019 19:05:05 PST
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Chinese Norinco 213, 54-1 magazine 9 mm -8 Rd -- w/ Pinky Finger Rest

$45.95
End Date: Monday Dec-31-2018 17:00:38 PST
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Factory Chinese Norinco Tokarev 54-1 213 8 round 9mm Magazine Mag Clip

$39.99
End Date: Sunday Jan-6-2019 13:15:57 PST
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Chinese SKS Stock refinished wood only

$20.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Dec-10-2018 9:35:09 PST
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Original Chinese SKS 15 inch Spike Bayonet with mounting hardware Y42

$24.75
End Date: Monday Jan-7-2019 11:07:22 PST
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8 Chinese Norinco 5 Round 7.62x39 Magazines, 2 Chinese Bi Pods

$120.00
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Vintage Factory SKS Wood STOCK Chinese Norinco w/ cleaning kit -Sling and Spring

$125.00
End Date: Saturday Dec-29-2018 15:23:14 PST
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Good Condition 5 Round 7.62x39 Pattern Sporting Rifle Magazine Norinco

$19.99
End Date: Friday Dec-14-2018 22:56:32 PST
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SKS Romainian sling lot of 2 

$5.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Dec-16-2018 7:11:38 PST
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FACTORY NORINCO TOKAREV 54-1, 213 NAVY ARMS TU-90; 8-RD MAGAZINE 9MM CHINESE

$43.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-20-2018 15:44:27 PST
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Norinco Bayonet Polytech Clayco- Black With BONUS HANGER

$79.99
End Date: Thursday Dec-27-2018 6:24:54 PST
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SKS EXTRACTOR. GENUINE CHINESE POLY TECH. NEW UNISSUED. FACTORY OEM 7.62X39

$34.99
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 18:24:06 PST
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SKS wooden upper  handguard off Chinese Norinco SKS

$7.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Friday Dec-14-2018 7:19:32 PST
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Tokarev 9mm magazine narrow 213 Chinese Norinco 8 round 9x19 factory original

$49.99
End Date: Thursday Dec-27-2018 19:13:40 PST
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Norinco Polytech Chinese Black Bayonet

$44.99
End Date: Tuesday Dec-11-2018 9:33:17 PST
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Chinese Norinco Handgaurds

$35.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-5-2019 3:34:01 PST
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Again, the above is just a sample and you can find much, much more by clicking here.  The following are some specific searches:

Maybe the one thing I get asked the most about is where to find ferrules for the lower handguard.  There is currently a seller on eBay with those for sale who has great feedback – click here for his listing.

Just to be clear, I am not a Chinese firearms expert.  I get asked questions and have done some searching to try and help clients but that’s it.  I created this blog post to have a quick link to email people when they have questions about where to find parts 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.  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.


Photo of the Type 56 is by Dhalikar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25006497

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$125.00
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$25.00 (0 Bids)
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Russian bayonet with wire cutting metal scabbard

$39.99
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Soviet, Russian bayonet scabbard with carrying strap Tula Logo

$19.00
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Polish Bayonet

$47.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Dec-11-2018 8:02:15 PST
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Soviet, Russian bayonet. 6х4. Matching. Unissued.

$100.00
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Bulgarian Bayonet

$84.95
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Soviet, Russian bayonet. 6х5. Late dark plum to black.

$100.00
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Bayonet Rare type 81 Chinese knife Bakelite handle-leather frog

$100.00
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Bulgarian Arsenal Bayonet Knife circle 10 6H4 mod.74 Leather New

$86.00
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Bulgarian Army Bayonet Knife 6H4 mod.74 Leather without Serial Numbers New

$86.00
End Date: Wednesday Dec-12-2018 0:16:39 PST
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Chinese  bayonet, spike cruciform type, NEW

$15.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Dec-15-2018 18:13:43 PST
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Soviet AK-74 bayonet scabbard Tula USSR Russia RARE With Star Mint

$199.99
End Date: Friday Dec-14-2018 14:55:33 PST
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Bulgarian Bayonet w Scabbard 6x4 M Type II Circle 10 Arsenal Well Used 7.62x39

$58.89
End Date: Saturday Jan-5-2019 15:33:11 PST
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Vintage Polish Bayonet Matched Numbers W/sheath

$59.97
End Date: Friday Dec-21-2018 19:18:09 PST
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Germany Russian Bayonet & Wire Cutter Scabbard

$69.99
End Date: Sunday Jan-6-2019 12:59:56 PST
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Vintage Bulgarian Bayonet With Stamped Serial Number 2122

$58.95
End Date: Tuesday Dec-11-2018 7:03:07 PST
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Russian Bayonet IA 0481

$26.00
End Date: Wednesday Dec-19-2018 9:29:40 PST
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AK-47: The Grim Reaper (Hardcover)

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.

By (author):  Frank Iannamico

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Video: Chinese Type 56 AK-57 (Shooting and History) by Forgotten Weapons

 

 

This is a cool review of an actual North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Chinese Type 56 AK.  It was a captured rifle and brought back to the US.  Ian of Forgotten Weapons does one of his usual exemplary reviews of the rifle and discusses its history.

 

If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well — we don’t get anything unless you buy something.


VIETNAM WAR CHINESE TYPE 56 CHEST RIG AMMO BANDOLIER VIETCONG CHICOM PAVN NVA VC

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VIETNAM WAR CHINESE TYPE 81 56 AK CHEST RIG AMMO BANDOLIER VIETCONG PAVN NVA VC

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ORIGINAL VIETNAM WAR CHINESE TYPE 56 * CHEST RIG AMMO BANDOLIER POUCH

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VIETNAM WAR SURPLUS CHINESE PLA TYPE 56 CANVAS SKS SLING RIFLE SLING

$7.19
End Date: Monday Dec-10-2018 1:30:34 PST
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ORIGINAL CHINESE MILITARY SKS TYPE 56 SEMI AMMO CHEST-RIG BANDOLIER POUCH

$10.99
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VIETNAM WAR CHINESE TYPE 81 56 AK CHEST RIG AMMO BANDOLIER VIETCONG PAVN NVA VC

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The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations (Perfect Paperback)

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.


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

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $22.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $16.71 USD In Stock
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