Tag Archives: Pistol

Michigan Gun Exchange’s CPL Class Was Excellent!!

This past Sunday, my wife and I attended Michigan Gun Exchange’s 10 hour Concealed Carry Firearms Training class. It was so well done that I felt I needed to write it up and pass along the info so let me give you a bit of background.

I grew up with rifles and shotguns but not really pistols. When my dad was a boy, he borrowed my grandfather’s tiny derringer to hunt squirrels. As he told me, he got excited and accidentally got the web of this thumb in front of the little barrel and shot/nicked himself. Well, that turned him off to pistols and then in WWII they were issued shot out 1911’s that couldn’t hit the side of a barn. My dad had a Marksmans Badge and was the finest shot I ever met with a rifle but he just did not care for pistols. As a result, I did not have a firearms pistol until college around 1989. What little I knew about how to shoot one, I learned from friends and none of them had formal training either. In other words, I knew my pistol knowledge was lacking big time.

So, for years now, my friend, Scott Igert, and others, have told me I need to get a Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). This isn’t just an application where you simply fill out a form – I would have to take a class. Whoa.

What held me back was three fold – 1) I sucked at pistols and didn’t want to be embarrassed — I have a tremor and have always joked that I might do better at throwing the pistol at the target. 2) Finding the time to actually take the class. 3) Finding an instructor who could actually teach.

Getting Started

What got my wife and I to finally act was the desire to better protect ourselves. It seems like there is so much violence these days that we really owed it to ourselves and our family to proceed with the CPL. This also included the need to better understand defensive pistol shooting for both of us.

To be clear, we paid for this class and while Scott and I have been friends for years, he had no idea I was going to write this post until I sent it to him to review.

Prior to the class, I’d met Andrew Zachary only a few a times as he manages Modern Antique Firearms while Scott is at Benton Township serving as a police officer – his full time day job which he then leaves and goes to his second full time job as the owner of Modern Antique Firearms and Michigan Gun Exchange. That means Andrew gets to wear a lot of hats but he is the chief instructor for a reason — he’s really good at teaching.

That’s Andrew in the front. Brooks Bouwkamp, a range safety officer, is the fellow with his back to us fixing a target. All pistols were cleared and sitting on the tables when this photo was taken.

I was in the shop one day when Scott was working at the township in his police officer role and watched Andrew work with a young lady who wanted to buy a pistol. He was very patient and explained everything. He wasn’t talking down to her or anything negative and that made me realize that he probably was a good teacher. It was a hunch but I’ve learned a lot over the years about what makes a good teacher.

In addition to seeing his interaction, I had also heard good things about Andrew from folks who took his class. You see, on top of Andrew being a good guy, he is a certified instructor from both the NRA and USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association) plus years and years of experience.

The Day of the Class

Seven us, including my wife and I, showed up at the Stevensville Grand Mere Pistol Club on Sunday, June 9th at 7:45am, and Andrew kicked things off promptly by 8am. It was raining outside so we all felt better about being indoors!

I could immediately tell that Andrew really cared about the topic and was an effective presenter – he wove in facts, stories, humor and practical tips together. He encouraged note taking, told us where to find more information in the accompanying course book and also had a projected presentation with videos.

The class was well thought out and took a big picture approach to self-defense. It’s not about how to kill or something crazy like that – it’s about how to defend yourself and it builds from the ground up. I used to take Tae Kwon Do years ago so there were a lot of parallel concepts that I could relate to. The best way to defend is to not be in the situation to begin with and only use the force necessary to stop the attack. Personally, I hope I am never in such a serious situation that I have to defend myself with a firearm.

Back to the topic – the class had two portions – most of it was us gathered at a table in a classroom setting and the other involved actual shooting at the range.

Classroom portion

Andrew started with a lot of very straight forward recommendations about avoiding incidents to begin with – be aware of your surroundings, don’t go down dark alleys, have your house light on, set the alarm, etc. The point, and it is a very valid one, is that the pistol is a last resort and a CPL license actually puts more liability on you in many cases because now a firearm is involved. A lot of legal considerations were covered both in general and for the state of Michigan specially.

In terms of a formal agenda, the classroom portion covered:

  • Developing a personal & home protection plan
  • Self-defense firearms basics
  • Shooting fundamentals
  • The legal use of force
  • Violent encounters and their aftermath

In the classroom, Andrew also had training pistols that looked like Glock 17s but were colored bright red and shot a laser. These let us safely practice our grip and trigger pull before we even got out to the range.

Range Portion

We then headed out to the very nice indoor range at the Grand Mere Pistol club. It was clean, well lit and equipped. By this time, Scott Igert and Brooks Bouwkamp had showed up to assist Andrew. This enabled them to ensure safety and give tips from multiple perspectives. For example, one time Brooks saw from across the room that one lady was canting her pistol up as she pulled the trigger.

Safety was stressed first and foremost. Ammunition was set out in five round groups and you could only load the mag when instructed. They would ensure everyone was ready and then we’d load the pistols with them always facing downrange and we’d then do the drills. After set of five rounds, we would clear the weapon and place it back on the table.

I should point out that only four folks shot at time so our class went through in two batches. My wife was in the first batch and I was in the second. Guys, there is a huge benefit to letting a true instructor explain things to your wives objectively. She learned a ton.

My fear of being embarrassed was unfounded. The other students were all starting out also and the instructor team offered tips and encouragement the whole time.

Scott is watching the student on the left. My wife, on the right, did a great job – I am very proud of her!!

Remember how I told you that I sucked at pistols? Folks, I have always had to use a bench rest to get any degree of accuracy. The following photo is from a 50 round box of 9mm 115gr Fiocchi FMJ ammo with my legally registered Polymer 80 Glock 34 clone. That middle group was done with the sights shooting for accuracy at 10 feet. The rest is from defensive point firing. This is easily half the size of what I would have done before the class. Most of the shooting world is probably better than me but I am very happy with the improvement.

Most of the rounds in the circle were shot during aimed fire. Do you see the few groups that are touching? I have never done that before in my life with a pistol without a rest. This was all from the Isosceles stance with the grip Andrew taught me that combines an isometric principle of pushing slightly with my right hand and pulling slightly with the left. I will be practicing that a ton.

Result

We wrapped up between 6 and 7pm and, to be honest, the time flew by. We did take a 30 minute break for lunch and I feel like we learned a ton. My wife and I compared notes and really liked how the class was handled and what all we learned.

Andrew on the left and Scott on the right wrapping the day up answering questions one-on-one.

If you are worried about having an instructor who is a jerk or is there to stroke their own ego, that is not Andrew. He’s there to teach and that’s the highest compliment I can give any instructor. If you are looking for class to get your CPL or even just a solid class for self-defense with pistols, I highly recommend what Michigan Gun Exchange has put together. Their phone number is 269-944-5788.


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PTR PDWR In The Leaves

The lighting was right, the leaves were on the ground and it was a great chance to get some new photos of my PTR 105 PDWR pistol.  This big pistol is the interesting brain child of PTR.  It’s essentially a cut down HK 91.

The PTR 105 configuration has a PTR metal handguard installed.  After messing with it some, I decided to install an MP5 handguard as I like the angle on the MP5 handguard more.  This also means I should have just bought the PTR 110 that comes with that handguard.

Now, the only problem is that the MP5 handguard is not as rigid as I would like.  I’ll experiment some with different handguards in the future.

The PTR 195 and 110 are big pistols at 23.5″ overall, 8.5″ barrels and weigh about 8 pounds.  I wanted to install a brace but needed to be mindful of Michigan’s odd 26″ maximum pistol length law.  This isn’t legal advice, but my understanding is that the Michigan State Police say that a pistol with a brace is measured from one end to the other in the minimum operable condition.  So, by installing a side folder, I could have a brace for when I wanted to use it but also had the minimum operable length at 23″.  What you see in the photo is an SB Tactical BTFA folding mechanism, buffer tube and SOB stock.  When open, the weapon measures 32.5″. 

Thanks to the BTFA folding mechanism, I can swing the SOB brace to the left and it locks open.  This keeps the brace out of the way of the ejection port.  You can configure the BTFA to go either left or right.
It definitely has clean lines.
The PDWR definitely likes the PPU battle packs of .308 FMJBT 145 grain ammo.  It works great and is plenty accurate within 100 yards.  I’ll need to try and shoot the PDWR for accuracy some day and see what it can do.

As you can see, the brace is folded open and operating side of the PDWR is nice and clear of any obstructions.

Given the PDWR is chambered in .308 and uses 20 round HK G3 magazines, that is a lot of firepower in a small package.  Overkill?  Sure.  Fun at the range?  Absolutely.


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


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Shooting the PTR PDWR – So Cool!

Folks, the PTR PDWR is a fun gun!  Yeah, I said the “gun” word because it just fits.  After taking the time to lubricate and clean the pistol as I wrote in the last post, my two brother-in-laws and I took it out to the range.

Plain and simple, it ran like a top.  We did not have one single problem of any kind.  We were running surplus aluminum mags from Robert RTG.  The ammo was Prvi Partizan (PPU)  .308 M80 145gr FMJ.  I’ve had great luck with PPU ammo over the years and have run a variety of their calibers and loads.  This .308 ammo comes in a heavy plastic sealed “battle pack” that SGAmmo sells.  If you don’t know SG Ammo, they are a great ammo supplier that is a family run business.  I buy most of my ammo from them and have nothing but good things to say about them.

We sighted the Vortex 1-6×24 Strike Eagle scope in at at about 25 yards and then just had fun.  We weren’t shooting for accuracy but were having fun shooting “zombies” as we called them with the big Splatterburst 18×24 silhouette targets that I really like.

This time out, I was using my new Howard Leight electronic ear muffs.  These are cool because they have directional sound amplification for normal sounds – like talking with your friends.  When you shoot, they immediately cut the sound off and protect your ears.  This is a real nice feature for me as I can’t hear a thing when I wear ear muffs due to my hearing loss and have to take them off to talk to someone.  At any rate, these Howard Leights have a great reputation and I must say that I am very happy with them.

One of my brother-in-laws was wearing my new MPOW headphones and thought they did a really good job on cutting down the sound.  These are a bargain price at Amazon and work way better than my old cheap Silencios in terms of hearing protection.

Now we did have a funny lesson learned – see how short the barrel is relative to the Caldwell front bag?  Yeah, if you get the muzzle brake over that bag and fire, it will rain some kind of brown pebbles (corncob media maybe?) down on you as the muzzle blast shreds the top of the bag 🙂  I have to confess, I am the one who did it and had to use duct tape to seal the top up so we could use it the rest of the day.

The whole point of the range visit was for me any my two brother-in-laws to have fun and function test the PDWR.  It performed admirably – neither of them are shooters and, for Jamie, this was his first time shooting anything – I think he did great.

Not one single problem – no feed issues, no ejection issues – it just performed great through about 200 rounds.

At any rate, I did learn a few things:

  1. It upheld the good opinion I have of PTR firearms.
  2. The SOB brace can handle .308 recoil just fine and lines the eye up for the scope great.
  3. As expected, the Vortex scope was great.
  4. The weight of the PDWR absorbs quite a bit of recoil making it a pleasant shooter but there is still recoil that moves you off target with any kind of rapid fire.
  5. The muzzle brake does an okay job but I am going to check into alternatives to cut the recoil down further.  The bird cage design is okay but there are definitely better designs out there.  The PDWR has a 5/8″-24 TPI threading so there are definitely options.
  6. The PDWR handguard moves forward and backward more than I care for.  I am going to experiment on tightening it up or either moving to a DTAC handguard or back to the original PTR handguard.  Note – the PDWR uses a MP5-style handguard.

Bottom line, I am very happy with the PDWR and plan to work with it some more on the above plus see how it does as I work my way back to 100 yards.  Everything in this sessions was at 25 yards or less and I am curious how it performs as the distance grows.  I would recommend the PDWR to anyone looking for a short HK91/G3-type roller lock for short distance use.


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



 


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Lubricating the PTR PDWR and Cleaning the Barrel

The last step in preparation for my first trip to the range was to clean and lubricate the PTR PDWR.   One thing I learned with my for PTR was that proper lubrication makes a world of difference and I could tell in working the PDWR that it definitely need lubricating so here’s what I did.

If you have any questions about field stripping, watch this video:

Also, if you need any parts diagrams or more detailed questions, be sure to read the HK G3 Armorer’s Manual.

In general, you know you need to lubricate all moving parts of the firearm such as the trigger and bolt.  So let’s start with the trigger.

Lubricating the Trigger Pack:

I employ a very old rule of thumb – If it slides, grease it.  If it rotates, oil it.  That simple rule has helped me take care of a ton of rifles and pistols over the years and can help you too.  [Click here for more on lubricating a firearm in general]

I used a small squeeze bottle filled with Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 5W-30 to reach in and lubricate all places where a part rotated on a pin.  I then worked the various parts of the trigger pack to make sure the oil go to where it needed to go.I used Tetra Gun Grease to liberally coat the top of the hammer.

Lubricating the Bolt Assembly:

Now the HK bolt assembly is involved and the following is a diagram from the HK G3 Armorer’s Manual:

 

In short, I oiled all of the internals but did not fully disassemble the bolt.  I put the assembly into a non-marring vise, twisted the bolt head off and then reached in with the squeeze bottle to lubricate the rollers, locking piece, firing pin, etc.

After that I applied a thin coat of Tetra Grease to the bolt carrier body and put more on the bottom and sides of the bolt where it would be making contact with the receiver and riding over the hammer.

Cleaned the Barrel:

One thing I always do before heading to the range is to clean the barrel.  If you look down in most, you will see varying levels of crud ranging from oil to dust to stuff left over from machining.  In the case of the PDWR, the barrel looked pretty good but I still wanted to clean it.

Over the years I have tried all kinds of different approaches to cleaning barrels.  The fast and easy one I use now on non-precision firearms that just need a touch up is a bore snake.   These things are caliber specific and give you everything you need in an “all in one approach”.  I spray CLP on the snake and down the barrel then I drop the weighted cord down the barrel and pull the snake on through.  I repeat this until the bore is shiny bright.

Note, there are a ton of brands including cheap generic imports.  I’ve used Hoppes and Sage & Braker brands with no problems at all.

At this point the PDWR was ready for the range.  The action felt and sounded good.


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



 

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Fixing a Bent Sight and Cocking Lever Tube Bur On The PTR PDWR

Okay, when I received the PTR PDWR I did a quick inspection and noticed two small problems that needed fixing.  I’m a bit disappointed that PTR quality control did not catch these two items but they are small issues.

First, the front sight blade was bent sideways – to canted, bent.  I’m not sure how this happened but thankfully the HK-style hooded sight uses a sheet metal insert for the front post.  The following illustration is from the HK G3 Armorer’s Manual:

I figured the easiest thing to try was to simply reach in with pliers with padded jaws and see if I could simply bend it to the right to straighten it.  Out came my purple art pliers 🙂  I literally bought these things back in 2013 for some kind of work that required padded jaws.  I don’t recall what and as odd as they look, they have held up to light use.  My only complaint is that the nylon jaw covers can slide off under very much stress but that was not an issue here at all.

They actually fit perfectly and I was able to bend the sight post straight.  Plan B would be to take a pair of needle nose pliers and slide rubber fuel line hose over the jaws.  My one concern would be whether the relatively thin jaws could adequately support the post during bending.  The art pliers below fit and did the job perfectly.

Fixing a Bur on the Cocking Lever Tube

The second problem I needed to fix was a steel bur on the tip of the cocking handle catch.  It bugged me every time my hand hit it and should not have been there.  Here it is in the next photo – sharp and pointing out.

From years of experience, I knew the pistol needed to be field stripped first otherwise the resulting debris would be messing with the action.    The following is a good video on what to do:

In terms of the repair itself, first, I reached in with a Dremel using a small medium grit sanding drum and the tool on slow speed to knock down the sharp irregular edge from the inside.  Take your time – remove a little and look.  Your goal is always to remove as little material as possible.  As the old saying goes, it is easier to take more off than try and put it back on 🙂

In the next photo, you can see the “point” has been sanded down but there is still material on the surface:

Next, I used a 120 grit small flap sander in my bench mounted rotary tool to sand down that lip.  I could have used my Dremel but I use the little flap sander attachment so much that I routinely leave it in my bench tool.

Again, the trick is to go slow and take your time.  After that, I used compressed air to blow out the tube and receiver and then used carb cleaner spray to “wash out” anything that might have stuck and blew it out one last time.  The bur was gone and now it was on to lubricating the weapon.

(Note, that last photo above has the bolt back in when I was testing it later).


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


 


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Adding a Vortex 1-6×24 Strike Eagle Scope to the PTR PDWR

I really prefer an optic on my firearms at this point.  The PTR PDWR is a relative short range pistol so I figure post of my shots will be within 100 yards.  It could certainly shoot further but, based on what I have read so far, the accuracy goes down hill fast.

While some might consider a red dot, I opted for a true 1-6×24 Vortex Strike Eagle scope that has a 30mm tube.  Now, I have to admit that I have become a bit of a scope snob over the years.  I’ve destroyed cheap scopes, suffered with dark images, short eye relief and what not.  About four to five years ago I happened upon Vortex and they have been my go to brand ever since – not only is the quality there but they back it up with a no-nonsense warranty.

Folks, I’ve owned probably at least a dozen Vortex scopes and red dots.  I still have six that are on firearms that I plan to keep.  I have had zero problems – not one.  Not out of the box and not over time.   I probably will some day – stuff happens.  I’ve talked to other guys who broke their scopes (literally) or had problems and sent them in with Vortex taking care of them no questions asked.  That says a lot.

So, that brings us to the scope.  The Strike Eagle is a decent entry-level AR scope with an illuminated reticle.  I bought this scope about a year ago for a project that didn’t happen and it has been sitting on the shelf.  The good news is that Vortex now also has a 1-8×24 model.

Mounting the Scope

I used to use cheap import cantilever scope mounts but have since stopped due to screws stripping out and easily scratched finishes.  I now use Vortex mounts pretty much exclusively now as well.  I know I sound like a salesman but I really like their stuff.

You’ll notice the quality of the finish and that the parts are beefy.  You can go 18 inch/pounds on the rings and 65 inch/pounds on the rail attachment nuts.  You’ll notice that cheap scope mounts don’t publish torque specs usually because they can’t handle much consistently.

The ring caps are secured by screws that have heads for #8 Torx bits.  They go into steel threaded inserts for added strength – you will not find steel inserts in cheap mounts by the way.  At any rate, lets begin.

Safety First:  Make sure your weapon is unloaded!

As you can see in the above photo, I located the mount on the PDWR’s Picatinny optics rail a few grooves forward of the rear sight.  It was a bit of an arbitrary point.  I know I usually am near the rear plus on my past HK-style weapons I knew I might have to work around the rear sight.

I removed the ring caps using a #8 Torx bit from my Weaver screw driver set and put them in a magnetic parts tray.  I have lost little parts in the past so I am a bit paranoid now.  I use my DeWalt cordless screwdriver to do the removal work as the twisting motion of a screw driver really messes with my carpal tunnel.

Next, I place the scope on the rings and the very first thing I check is the clearance over the rear sight.  In this case you can see the scope clears it.  Years ago with my first rifle, a GSG-522, I scratched a scope by not checking that before I started screwing down the rings.

Next, I install the ring caps back on.  A time saver I do is to use the Dremel to run the screws in but there’s a trick.  Hold the screw driver lightly so it can run the screws in but the screw driver turns in your hand the second it bottoms out.  You don’t want to apply torque – just run the screws in.  I then back them off just a bit so I adjust the scope in the mount.  I also adjust them in or out slightly so I can get any gap between the ring cap and the base equal all the way around.

I then shoulder the rifle and move the scope forward and backward until I get the proper eye relief.  You want to be able to pull the weapon up quickly and see through the whole scope vs. having to move your head around to get a good sight picture.

Also, I true the scope left to right.  If I were doing a precision rifle, I would do it differently but with the PDWR, I eyeballed the reticle relative to the position of the rifle to level the scope and then tightened down the ring caps.  I like to carefully take them down snug all the way around and then set the torque at 18 inch pounds with a Wheeler Fat Wrench – note that Fat Wrench does not have a clear 18 in/lbs setting so I try to get it close.

Once you are set, you also need to torque down the mount’s rail attachment screws to 65 inch pounds.

I was taught to never store a torque wrench under load so once I was done, I then adjusted the Fat Wrench back to zero.

At that point you are done.  While setting up the optic and installing the brace, I noticed some tuning was needed and that will be the next blog post.

Click here for the post about installing the SOB arm brace

Click here for the post about selecting and purchasing the PDWR


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.


 

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24 BDC2 MOA Illum Riflescope SFP SE-1824-1 FAST SHIP!

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Scope Throw Lever for Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24

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Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24 BDC Riflescope SE-1824-1 With CM-202 Offset Mount

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Vortex strike eagle 1-8x24 rifle scope

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Adding a Brace and Changing the Forearm on the PTR PDWR

In the last blog post, I talked about the specifications and ordering the PTR PDWR.   Even before it arrived, I knew I wanted to add a brace.  My plan was to use PTR railed handguard and I had a “wait and see” attitude towards the brake.

So, the first step was to remove the existing end cap.   In HK-type weapons is is held in place by two push pins that are simply pushed back out.  You’ll notice that one side is relatively flat:

The other side will be protruding and this is the side that you push on and will remove the pins from the other side:

You then wiggle the end cap and push it off the end of the stamped receiver.  It will look like this:

I then secure the end cap assembly in a vise to make working on it easier.

In the next photo you can see how the tube and sling really are like a small stub of an AR/M4 buffer tube complete with an indexed end plate to keep it from rotating and a castle nut.  The swivel is separate from the tube and is threaded into place so unscrew and remove it first.

In the next photo, you can see the lighter grey castle nut on the black tube.  The light grey surface you can see in the otherwise black cap is the plate you will need to fish out after you back off the castle nut.

To remove the tube itself, you do the exact something you would on an AR.  Use a castle nut wrench to loosen the castle nut and then thread it back out of the way.  Then pull the end plate out of the receiver so it can rotate and then turn the tube to remove the assembly.

In the next photo you see the castle nut wrench on the tube with the sling.  I realized shortly after this was taken that I probably needed to get the sling off before I could back out the tube – that is why I said remove the sling first.

As written above, you will need to pull the end plate out of receiver to be able to turn the tube.  With the plate pulled out from the receiver, the tube simple unscrews.  If it does not want to unscrew, make sure your plate is out of the way.  Also in the next photo, you can see the very secure mount that the sling screw threaded into.  That was well thought out.

Next, I wanted a folding mechanism to be inline between the receiver cap and the buffer tube.  SBTactical makes a very sturdy 6061 aluminum unit known as the “BTFA”.  To install it meant the tower that the sling swivel screwed into needed to be removed.  It adds about 1.1″ to the length when installed.

The tower is held in place by two screws inside the cap.  Mine were beat half to death – the assembler at PTR must have figured nobody would ever notice.  He/she was wrong and I was disappointed that they had installed the screws with an undersized blade screw driver and tore up the slots.

Once I removed the tower, I just inserted three #10 washers between each of the screws so the aluminum end cap and the sheet metal assembly would all come back together nice and snug.  If I wanted to take the time, which I didn’t have, I should have found some of the correct size button head socket screws and replaced the beat up countersunk originals.  So, what I had looked like this and the screws were a bear to get in (Yes, I did use the correct size screw driver to put them back in.)

Putting it Together

The BTFA install is very simply.  Use the supplied allen wrench to loosen the disc assembly that is the threaded plug that goes into the receiver.  Do not remove them all the way – you just want to loosen it up so you can screw in all the thread and adjust the folder to the direction you want.  I wanted the stock to swing to the left to lock out of the way of the ejection port.  You then tighten down the allen screws back down.

I installed an SB PDW tube and an SB SOB (love that acronym) brace.  Now, to install the tube, I reused the PDWR’s end plate to and a new castle nut that came with the tube.

To install the buffer brace on the tube, I spray silicone on the tube so it can slide on way easier plus it makes it easier to true up the brace if it needs to move a little bit one way or the other.

One comment about the end result, it is a solid folder but the combination of tube and folder is long.  I will investigate other options and post the results in the future.

The Handguard

Now, in terms of the handguard, I thought I was going to use the original PTR model you see in the photos above.  It’s a little small left-to right in my hands so I actually wound up changing to a US made wide tropical forearm.  It’s a tad looser than I would care for and will post updates about that later.  I may stick with the existing wide tropical unit or move to a DTAC like I have on my POF-5.

12/17/18 Update:  I’ve now tried three or four models of MP5 handguard and they all wiggle.  I’m either going back to the PTR unit or a DTAC.  The DTAC handguard on my POF-5 has been solid as a rock.

Next up is the optic.


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

 


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ATF letter stating you can build an AR pistol from a receiver transferred as such and never assembled as a rifle

Okay, I posted a couple of ATF letters and a guy sent me a message asking if I had the letter specifying that an AR pistol can be built from an AR receiver that was transferred as a receiver and never assembled as a rifle.  It just so happens I did save that one back when I built a couple of AR pistols a few years back.  I like to have the letters of anything someone may ask about and keep them in my case with the weapon when I take it shooting.  At any rate, here is the ATF letter in case anyone else needs it:

Please note that I am not a lawyer and this should not be construed as legal advice.


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


How to remove the Zastava M92 PAP Pistol’s Factory Thread Cover

A few folks have asked how to remove the factory installed thread protector from their M92 PAP pistols.  Zastava does actually thread the pistols and it’s a 26mm diameter x 1.5mm pitch left hand thread (M27x1.5LH is the short cut way to write it) under that cover. These things were installed for importation, ruin the look of the pistol and, fortunately, are very easy to remove if you take your time.

Now I used a Dremel with a cut off wheel.  You could just as easily use a hand file.  For me, I used the thread cover to protect the threads and did not worry if it got scratched.  Cut a little and try to turn the thread cover.  It will turn clockwise to be removed once the weld is broken.  Note, if you decide to use a Dremel and are new to them, practice with your cut off wheel on some scrap metal before doing your pistol.  They can hop around unless you know how to hold and maneuver them.

   

Next, I put the thread protector back on and used a stone wheel in the Dremel to clean up the remains of the weld on the gas block.  Again, if you are new, practice first.  The stone wheel may look simple but they can make a mess real fast if you lose control.  I’ve been using Dremels since 1985 – trust me when I say you should practice first.  Also, I like Dremels and have used them for years.  They have tons of corded and cordless models plus there are other rotary tools on the market if you expect to have very limited use and want to save money.

 

While the steel is clean and shiny, dab the bare metal with cold bluing.  I prefer and recommend Brownell’s Oxpho-Blue liquid.

Burnish it with steel wool, repeat and apply oil.

 

Here you go  – done.  You can screw on a brake or install a detente pin from CNC Warrior.

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.


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ATF Opinion Letter on AR Pistols – Some Key Considerations

In this ATF letter, the author asked the ATF’s opinion on a number of great AR pistol related questions.  I am paraphrasing a few points I found important to help folks doing full text searches for opinions:

1) An AR lower receiver is neither pistol nor rifle until it is built the first time.  If you want to make a pistol, a lower receiver must *never* have been built in a rifle configuration.

2) AR pistols do not have a barrel length restriction.

3) AR handguards can be used on an AR pistol

4) An AR rifle and pistol can be in the same household — note, and this is a personal comment, what got a guy in trouble years ago was that he had only an AR rifle and a pistol upper with no lower to mount it on.  I don’t remember all of the details but the main thing here is that you never want it to look like the only reason you have a pistol/SBR upper is to put in on your AR that is legally classified as a rifle.

5)  Magpul angled fore grips (AFGs) are permissible on the bottom accessory/picatinny rail.

AR_Pistol_1AR_Pistol_2AR_Pistol_3

 

I recommend people print and keep copies of letters just in case they need to show someone that some aspect of a weapon was “approved” by the ATF at some point.  Just bear in mind that ATF letters are not absolutes but it helps to have them handy if asked.  A state or local government may have their own more restrictive regulations as well so this may not mean AFGs are legal for everyone everywhere.

Legal Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice.  I am just passing this information along and it is up to you to determine what you can/can’t do.