Tag Archives: .308

Looking for a hell Of a .308 AR Platform Sniper Rifle? Brownells Has The HK MR762A1 LR Package For $1,000 Off List

Folks, the HK MR762A1 LR is a heck of a rifle. I’ve been tracking them for a while and am always wishing I could afford one for myself. They are consistent sub-MOA rifles and reliable as well. Check out this great MAC review:

What is in the LRP package?

  • Leupold 3-9VX-R Patrol 3-9x40mm Scope and Mount
  • HG G28 Adjustable Cheekpiece Buttstock
  • LaRue Tactical BRM-S Bipod
  • ERGO Pistol Grip
  • Blue Force Gear Sling
  • OTIS cleaning kit
  • One 20 round and one 10 round magazine
  • 1720 Pelican 42″ case

Brownells Has A Deal That Can Save You $1,000

Brownells has the MR762LRPA1 Packages in stock.

Brownells has a good deal going for the MR762LRPA1 package. These LRP packages are not cheap by any means. List is $7,499.99 and Brownells is selling them for $6,499 and they have them in stock. Click here to go there now. Again, they have them in stock as well!

These MR762A1 LR rifles are really something and I sure hope to own one some day.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Building a Pork Sword – Part 5: Changing the FARend, Installing a Quick Release On The Magpul Bipod and The Savior Case

Ok folks, this is the last post. In the previous posts we covered the parts and where to order them, installing the barrel, the trigger and chassis, brake and optic. Now we are going to change to an 8″ FARend, add a quick release adapter to the Magpul Bipod, show you the Savior case I picked for the Pork Sword and then the final photos.

The FARend

I bought the 12″ FARend, the strut that projects forward from the chassis, thinking that a longer unit would be better. For my purposes and taste, it’s just too long so I bought an 8″ model from Black Collar to replace it. I stored the 12″ just in case but an 8″ unit fits the Magpul AFG and a 5 slot Picatinny rail perfectly.

The FARend units are designed to mount MLOK units. I attached the Magpul AFG directly and then installed a 5 slot rail section just forward of that to then mount an American Defense quick release rail section. You can see the length difference between the 8″ and 12″ segments relative to the Pork Sword.

Adding a Quick Release to the Bipod

In hindsight, I should have known that I would not like the screw on clamp attachment that Magpul offers in one model. I should have bought the model that was ARMS compatible and just needed that lever system added to it. Well, I had the bipod and wanted to make do with what I already owned.

This is the Magpul model with a 1913 rail clamp. The core bipod is really nice and the clamp is just fine if you plan to screw it on and leave it. I have found that I need to mount and remove bipods quickly depending on what I am doing.

To be clear, Magpul offers different bipod models with different attachment methods – Sling Stud, M-LOK, 1913 Picatinny Rail and one ready to be mounted on the ARMS 17S quick release adapter. It’s this last model that I should have bought in hindsight. Here are the Magpul bipods with the different attachment methods and colors:

American Defense Manufacturing (ADM) makes a quick release mount with a 5 slot rail section on top that fit the bill perfectly. This unit is available from Brownells under a different part number than what is on the ADM website directly – AD-170-VPG (4102).
So, I clamped the Magpul bipod to the ADM adapter. Again, had I known, I would have bought the Magpul ARMS ready model.

Savior Case

To store the Pork Sword, I bought a 28″ Savior tactical case. This is my fourth Savior back and think they are well made. There is ample padding, good stitching, and plenty of pockets to store accessores, mags and ammo. The Savior cases are on Amazon and that is where I bought mine.

This is the 28″ Savior case in olive drab. I added the Crusader cross morale patch.
It holds the folded Pork Sword very nicely as you can see.

The Final Result

Note, you’ll see a wrap on the aluminum strut that I am prototyping and hope to offer in the near future.

Conclusion

I really like how it turned out. The weight and feel are great – it’s the first time I’ve liked having an AFG on a weapon. Now, I just need to get to the range some day after all this COVID madness fades.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Building a Pork Sword – Part 4: Installing The Muzzle Brake and Optic

Okay, we’re coming into the last post. In the first post I covered all the parts that were used. The second covered installation of the barrel. The third post provided an overview of the trigger and chassis and now we’re almost done with the installation of the brake, optic, bipod and angled foregrip. Let’s dive in.

The Brake

The American Precision Arms Little Bastard brake is very interesting. It’s built for precision rifles and comes with a series of holes drilled in pairs on the top to allow you to dial in how you want it to vent the gasses. To start, I simply left the top exhaust holes empty.

The main side exhaust vents are pretty good size and angled backward significantly. This out to seriously arrest the recoil and I suspect I’ll feel air movement when I shoot it. The circular exhaust holes that enable the tuning are located only on the top of the brake so to be clear, you are looking at the top. The rear of the brake is actually a nut. You back it off its thread to lock it in place – think unscrewing the nut to jam it against the front lip of the barre or a jam nut. My MTU profile’d barrel has an ample shoulder to back the nut into.
Here we are looking at the tunable ports from the top.

You simply thread the brake onto the end of the barrel and then unscrew the nut from the end of the brake and jam it into the shoulder of the barrel to lock it in place. For folks new to this work, use a fixed wrench and not an adjustable wrench for stuff like this. Adjustable wrenches will slip and do nasty stuff to your parts. I only use fixed wrenches on firearms now after a number of mishaps. An adjustable wrench can change a quick job into a long job real quick.

Correctly Installing 1913 Rail Base On The Action

Okay, so this is when I found out the Picatinny rail base was a separate piece. Nothing went wrong but I sure said a prayer for nothing getting botched due to my stupidity. Big Horn installs one screw so you need to install the other three and with blue loctite applied and then remove the original screw and do the same. Short screws up front and long screws in the back. I lightly snugged all four down and then torqued them to 20 inch pounds.

I applied blue loctite to each screw, snugged them all down and then torqued them all to 20 inch-pounds. Note, short screws go to the front and long screws go to the back. The Remington 700 action is thicker at the back and if you reverse this and put a long screw in the front, it will likely hit the bolt.

The American Defense AD-RECON-SL Mount

This is a great scope mount and the one key tip I can give you is to remember that the rings are asymmetrical – the bottom of the rings is thinner than the tops so don’t flip them around or you will be wondering what is going on with the alignment of the screws.

Here’s the view from the side.
Here’s the base with the rings removed. One ring has a locator pin to help you get started and then just match the thickness of the top and bottom of the other half to line it up right. I installed the rings at 17 inch-pounds with blue loctite once I have the scope positioned the way I want it front to back and rotationally.
Here. the 4-16×44 Vortex HST scope is located the way I want and the rings have been torqued down.
For just over a year, I’ve been using this Wheeler green dot bore sight to zero the optics. It uses a rare earth magnet to attach to the end of your muzzle and will at least get you on the paper at 100 yards. I like the green dot because I can see it better during the day, the battery lasts longer and is easier to change and I don’t have to deal with the little arbors when I am changing calibers. They make a red laser version also if you really don’t feel you need the green laser.

The Magpul Angled Foregrip (AFG) and Bipod

The last three things I did was to add a small 7-section aluminum rail via MLOK out to the front and clamped the Magpul bipod to it. By the way, I really wasn’t sure if I would like the bipod because I’m a bit of an Atlas snob now but I really was impressed and will probably use them again but next time I will get one that is ready to go for an ARMS quick detach mount vs. the screw clamp model I bought. I also added the Magpul AFG because I wasn’t sure if I would like holding a bolt rifle with the relatively narrow FARend.

The Results Thus Far

Conclusion

I loved everything but that mile long FARend and the screw attachments for the Magpul bipod. I ordered the 8″ FARend and an American Defense adapter to remedy those issues and that will be the last post.

As a reminder, the first post has the links to all of the products used.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Building a Pork Sword – Part 3: Installing The Trigger and Chassis

In the first post, I provided a list and links to the various sources where I bought the parts for the Pork Sword. In the second post, I covered installing the barrel and in this post will review the installation of the trigger and the actual Pork Sword chassis.

The TriggerTech Primary Trigger

I went with the Triggertech Primary Trigger because of recommendations from Black Collar Arms and in reading reviews. Now that I have it, I am very impressed. It’s a breeze to install and is incredibly crisp. One thing that is interesting is that the trigger pull adjustment has a detent and each adjustment has a “click” feel to it vs. just being a continual adjustment set screw.

Here’s the trigger. You can see I went with the straight black trigger. The safety lever that will stick out of the top of the chassis is visible and the interesting trigger pull adjustment set screw is on the bottom just forward of the trigger. The two pins in the photo are what hold the trigger in place and are supplied with the Big Horn Origin action.
This is the other side of the trigger with the bolt release bar/arm (the silver diagonal). Since the Big Horn does not have this type of release, it will not be used. Notice the slight bevel on the trigger pin to aid in starting it.
I keep pieces of hardwood shims and plywood near my bench so that I can properly support work pieces to avoid bending a part or marring the finish. You need to drive the two pins in to secure the trigger. I did the front one first and installed the pin with the beveled edge entering the hole first – it will help parts align as it passes through.
Here’s a view of the bottom of the assembly. You can now see the trigger adjustment screw just forward of the trigger plus you can clearly see the two threaded screw holes that will be used to mount the action to the chassis. There is one on the back tang of receiver just behind the trigger assembly and the second hole is just forward of the magazine hole before the recoil lug.
Next, I function tested the pistol. Note it really bugs me that I left the live ammo on the bench. Normally I do not like to have any live ammo where I am working but followed the Black Collar recommendation to ensure the bolt would close after headspacing.

It’s really important that you function test the pistol to make sure it is working right at this point. MAKE SURE IT IS UNLOADED. If any numbered step fails, you have a problem and need to investigate.

  1. Cock the firing pin by raising and lowering the bolt knob. On the Origin – the pin will stick out the back of the bolt. This by itself is the first step – it should cock and stay cocked. If so, go to step 2.
  2. Pull the trigger and the firing pin should be released. You will hear and feel the pin slamming home plus it will no longer be protruding out of the back of the bolt.
  3. With the trigger pulled, work the bolt up and down and the firing pin should not cock/arm.
  4. Take your finger off the trigger and work the bolt to cock the firing pin. Turn the safety lever to “On” or “Safe”. Try pulling the trigger – you should not be able to.
  5. Turn the safety lever or “Off” or “Fire”. Try pulling the trigger and you should hear, feel and see that the firing pin is released and slams home.

If all of the five steps above worked, then it passes the function test.

The long silver oval is the bolt release and you can see the firing pin protruding out the back of the bolt. This indicates it is cocked/armed and I really like the immediate visual indicator plus you could feel it in the dark if you needed to.

Installing the Grip, Chassis and Brace

Next up, is the installation of the Ergo Grip onto thePork Sword chassis, and then attaching the FS1913A brace. This is all real easy compared to the preceding steps. Let’s step through it,

At this point I had the barreled action, the grip and the chassis. It seemed like it would be easiest to install the Ergo Zero Angle grip (the TDX-0) so that’s what I did and discovered a surprise.
The surprise was that you need to access the screw with a head-head/allen-head wrench through a small hole they cut in the rear of the grip. They needed to do this allow for the proper angle to engage the grip screw because coming in from the bottom of the grip simply would not work for an AR-style grip. Note, I did install the big washer you see in the bottom. Call me paranoid but I was worried about whether the screw would have enough material around the screw hole to securely hold the grip so I added the 1/4″ washer just to be sure.
Next, the barreled action beautifully fits right into the chassis – zero fitting was needed. The 1″ long 1/4-28 screws you see secure the action into the chassis. I added blue loctite to each, threaded them in all the way and then torqued them down to Black Collar’s recommended 55-65 inch/pounds each. They recommend being consistent in the front and the back so I went to 60 inch-pounds for both. Note, I had to use my 1/4″ torque wrench to do this as my Vortex torquing screw driver only goes up to 50 inch-pounds.
This is the 12″ FARend unit that you see being installed. You remove the screw where you see the driver, slide it into place, put blue loc-tite on the end of the screw, reinstall it and then torque the screw down to 60 inch-pounds. I debated whether that would be too long or not and really wished I had bought their 8″ unit. Later on, I did buy the 8″ unit and swapped it out. I’ll show you photos of both later.
The SB Tactical FS1913A brace marries up to the chassis via the rear 1913 Picatinny rail and is held in place by a rail clamp. I added blue loctite to the screw and tightened it down. They did not provide a torque spec so I torqued it to 20 inch-pounds and will see how it holds up.

Conclusion

The next post will cover installing the muzzle brake and optic. I hope you found this post useful.

As a reminder, the first post contains all of the links to the products at various vendors along with links to order.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Building a Pork Sword – Part 2: Installing The Barrel

In the last post, I outlined the major parts of the Pork Sword pistol I planned to build. As it turns out, building a Pork Sword is very straight forward and I had fun doing it.

Research

As always, I did some research before I did the actual build. First off, Black Collar Arms has a nice “how-to” page and the following video tells you about 80% of what you need to know:

The only other thing I needed to look up was what to do for the trigger – as I mentioned in the last post, it has been quite a few years since I owned and installed a trigger in a Remington 700 XCR LR so I did some reading. This Brownells video really helped me visualize what was needed:

Armed with the above knowledge and a well done one page instruction sheet from Black Collar that comes with the Pork Sword chassis, I tackled the build. Let me again emphasize, this is very straight forward.

The Action, The Wrench & A Confession

You know, sometimes I’m not too smart. A cognitive bias is something where your brain plays tricks on you and there are a number of different ones. Today’s confession involves one known as a “confirmation bias” which is where you think one thing and then everything that confirms your belief you accept and stuff contrary to that belief is discarded. Yeah, that caught me here and let me tell you why.

When I bought the Big Horn Origin, I thought the scope rail was a machined part of the receiver. I assumed that – yeah, the old “you make an ass out of u and me when you assume” saying is alive and well. When the action arrived, I looked at it and thought “Oh, that looks nice” and in a little parts bag with the two trigger pins were three scope mount screws – “Oh, I wonder why those are there?” I literally wondered that.

Seriously though, the Big Horn Origin is a work of art. No sloppiness in the action and very smooth. The fitment of the parts is exceptional. Nothing was jumping out at my tired brain saying “hey idiot, the scope mount and receiver are separate parts!”

View of the ejection port side of the receiver.
View of the bottom
Note the streamlined bolt release and how nice the scope mount is sitting on the receiver.
Here’s the recoil lug that screws in with the barrel. Note the indexing pin.

Half-asleep the morning of the build, I got out the action wrench, put it in the vise and added two layers of gorilla duct tape to protect the action. I installed the action upside down so I could juggle the headspace gages easier and then I cranked the action wrench screws down to 10 foot pounds each. Now I got lucky because I put the tape there to protect the scope mount.

Only after I installed the barrel and was more awake did I notice how very lucky I got. The scope mount was removable and only one screw had been installed so the big dummy (me) would see the missing screws in the mount, that they were in the baggy and know to remove the rail before installing the barrel. Yeah, I missed that one but got real, real lucky because of the tape and that not a ton of torque is needed for a new receiver and installing a new “Remage” style barrel.

Remage means you thread the barrel in like normal (the “Rem” part of the name), set the headspace and then torque down the barrel not like a Savage (the “age” part of the name).

Bottom line, my mind played a nasty little trick – because I thought the action and mount were one piece I discarded all information that was pointing out they were two pieces. Don’t be me – take them apart before putting them in the wrench.

This is the Wheeler Action Wrecnh #2 for the Remington 700 – part number 414521. It is basically a clamshell vise/clamp with a solid steel handle. It’s very beefy and I hear it is because the Remington barrels can be a real bear to take off. In our case, we just need the clamp portion and will install the lower part in a vise.
Boy am I glad I put in the two layers of tape to protect the scope mount. For everyone else, remove the scope mount first!! The tape definitely protected the finish though and that is what I was after.
This photo was taken before I installed the tape but is the best one I have showing the action wrench in the vise. The small center bolt is centering the action and is actually screwed into the action. The two big beefy bolts are what hold the receiver. They will be at 10 foot/pounds each. Again dear reader, don’t do what I did – remove the scope mount before putting it in the wrench.
Here, you can see the tape. I was careful to snug the wrench’s bolts down evenly and that the receiver was sitting properly to not get damaged. I installed it this way to make it easier for me to get the headspace gages in and out.

Installing The Barrel

The barrel is simply badass. Sorry, I love a huge solid chunk of steel that is beautifully machined and finished. I’m just weird that way 🙂 The guys at X-Caliber did a great job for me. The make a barrel that is made for the Big Horn Origin, they have tons of barrel profiles and just a ton of options – click here for the Big Horn page. Seriously, the next time I do another full on custom build, I’m going back to X-Caliber for the barrel. They make just a ton of different barrels is what it boils down to.

So you can see the muzzle nut over the 5/8-24 threads, the Savage-style barrel nut and the Remington-style threads peeking out from under the green rubber thread protector. By the way, see the small black scope mount screws in the silver tray above? Yeah, their purpose hadn’t dawned on me yet 🙂

In case you are wondering about the exact specs of the barrel, here they are:

  • Model: Big Horn Pre-fit
  • Barrel Steel: 416R Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Length: 12″
  • Caliber: .308
  • Twist: 1:10
  • 6 groove
  • Contour: #11 Marksmanship Training Unit (MTU)
  • Threads: 5/8″ x 24 TPI
  • Finish: Cerakote Graphite Black
  • Barrel Nut: 1-1/16″ x 20 TPI for Big Horn actions
  • The total was just under $500
Per the instructions in the Black Collar Arms video, I coated the threads that would go into the receiver with Anti-Seize and the thread where the barrel nut would go with Blue Loctite.
Here’s the Clymer GO gage already in the bolt. I installed the barrel down tight and backed it off just a bit. Note how the recoil lug is in position as well. I carefully slid the barrel in through it. The pin seen at the 12 o’clock position helps keep it properly centered as you torque down the barrel.
I confirmed both GO and NOGO before torguing down the barrel nut. You can see the recoil lug is now firmly in position as well.
Building a precision rifle is not the time to go “Bubba tight”. The barrel nut needs to be torqued down to 55 foot-pounds and the barrel nut needs a 1-1/4″ crowsfoot wrench head to be tightened properly.
Here are the two Clymer gages.
Okay, so you do the headspace before the nut and after torquing it down. My first try at tightening the barrel nut didn’t work out because I didn’t have a good enough grip to keep the barrel from turning. The second try worked – I hit the torque spec and the headspace passed with GO (meaning the bolt fully closed) and NO-GO (meaning the bolt would not fully close). Black Collar recommended testing the bolt to make sure it would close on ammo. I normally do not keep live ammo on my bench just to be safe but I went and grabbed some S&B SPCE soft point hunting ammo and Federal T762TNB1 130 grain open tip match. The bolt closed firmly on both.

By the way, the Picatinny Rail held up just fine. I’m convinced it was a combination of the tape, setting it up carefully, relatively light torque load and a ton of luck that kept me from screwing it up. If you are planning one of these builds, just confirm whether the mount is integral or not and simplify your life 🙂

Conclusion

That’s it for now. As a reminder, the first post has the links to all of the parts and tools you’ve seen thus far. The next post will be about installing the trigger and chassis. I hope you found this helpful.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Building a Pork Sword – Part 1: Thinking About The Build

I was surfing around on the web one day looking at interesting builds and ran across something I had never seen before – a Pork Sword pistol. It looked like a short barreled bolt gun on a chassis with a pistol brace, scope and can. What in the heck? So it sure made me curious and I searched on “Pork Sword”. It is totally a thing and I’m surprised it hasn’t caught on yet.

Turns out there is a company called Black Collar Arms that is making the parts and also producing rifles and pistols. What I had seen was a braced pistol based on a Remington 700-foot print receiver on their minimalist Pork Sword chassis with a short barrel. At this point, I was hooked. I like bolt guns and really like building unique stuff. They’ve posted quite a few photos of firearms they have built as well as customer guns – click here.

The concept behind the Pork Sword is simple – create a compact weapon in a caliber that packs a punch without needing to go the registered shot barreled receiver (SBR) rifle route by building a pistol with brace. A Pork Sword would be ideal for hog hunting, hunting in heavy brush, survival situations or even urban engagements. Because it uses a short action Remington 700 receiver, you have tons of caliber choices plus you can decide the barrel length – you can make a firearm that is tailored to your needs.

It had been years since I last owned a Remington 700 XCR LR and all I had done was swap the trigger and stock on it so I remembered very little about how they were made. Sure most bolt guns are similar but the Devil is in the details.

I called Black Collar Arms a couple of time and they were really cool and talked me through a lot of considerations. They offered to either build one for me or sell me the parts and I told them building was really my thing and so we had a great talk. I called them two times, talked to two different guys and they were really helpful — I definitely got good vibes from them.

The logo is awesome!! They charge extra to have it on the chassis and while I really like it, I opted to not have it engraved on my unit.

This build was going to be an investment so I didn’t want to screw up. On top of talking with them, I also did a lot of digging based on what the guys at Black Collar told me and what they had for sale. I then assembled a parts list and slowly started accumulating stuff for close to four agonizing months. I’m not a very patient guy so slowly getting the stuff was a new experience vs. jumping right in with both feet.

I probably researched this project more than most with lots of calls direct to vendors to better understand what they had to offer. My goal is a 1/4″ group at 100 yards and 1″ at 400. That would be about 1/4″ minute of angle (MOA) and is a mean feat. It requires that all the parts come together the right way – caliber selection, chassis, action, barrel, trigger, brake, etc.

If you plan to build a pistol start with a new receiver and not a rifle

From a NFA legality perspective, you are building a pistol so that means you must start with a receiver or pistol but absolutely not a rifle. Once a serial number is classified as a rifle it can’t be a pistol and would have to go the SBR (short barreled rifle) registration route. Again, if you plan on building a pistol and using a brace, start with an action/receiver or a barreled action but never with a rifle. If you do not understand what I am talking about then do not proceed until you understand the difference between a pistol build and what would require registration as a SBR prior to building.

Action/Receiver Comment

By the way, the chassis can use Remington 700 receivers as well as others that fit. That sounds odd but not all third party receivers that say they are “Remington 700 compatible” necessarily have the exact same footprint plus you are going to need a recoil lug. I went with a Big Horn Origin that has a Remmage type of barrel mount meaning you thread the barrel into the receiver and set the headspace and you then tighten down the barrel nut to lock it in place. It’s a slick method. Here are other potential action vendors to consider: Defiance, Alamo Precision Rifles, Surgeon, Impact Precision, Accuracy International, Gunwerks, Bighorn Arms, Pacific Tool and Gauge, Thompson Leh, BAT Machine, Impact Precision, GA Precision, Stiller, Kelbly’s, American Rifle Company, Badger Ordnance, Viper Actions, and Bergara. Again, confirm it will fit before you buy anything.

The Parts List

  • Pork Sword Chassis and 12″ Tri-LOK FARend – the chassis is very nicely machined and finished and will use a short-action Remington 700 footprint action with a recoil lug. I bought the chassis and FARend from Black Collar arms directly.
  • Big Horn Origin Short Action – This includes the scope rail and I bought this from Northland Shooter Supply (NSUS). Note, Big Horn’s name is changing to Zermatt Arms. I talked to Big Horn directly but bought it from NSUS in the hopes of getting it sooner. NSUS often has them in stock but I had about a 4-6 week wait until mine came in because they had run out of inventory and the owner was very up front with me that I might need to wait a while before I ordered.
  • X-Caliber Pre Fit Big Horn 12.5″ .308 MTU-profile Barrel with 5/8-24 threads – I bought this direct from X-Caliber when they were having a sale. I needed to talk to them because they have a ton of options and most of them I had no idea what to get so they were a huge help. Their lead times vary but I think it took about 3-4 weeks for them to send me the barrel.
  • TriggerTech Primary Trigger – These things are so sweet!! They drop right in and are very easy to adjust from 1.5 to 4 pounds of pull and are very crisp. I went with a black straight blade trigger purely out of preference. They offer flat/straight and curved triggers as well as colored black or stainless.
  • SB Tactical FS1913A Brace – These are relatively new braces from SB Tactical with a long strut, a folding mechanism and fairly stout arm brace assembly at the end. Please note the “A” in the model number I bought. The first version of this brace (FS1913 without the “A”) has a polymer strut that can flex. The FS1913A has an aluminum strut and is stiffer. Given my plans to shoot a .308, I definitely wanted stiffer. You may need to shop a bit – I bought mine from Natchez. If the price is under $199, it’s probably the polymer unit. If you are going with a lighter recoiling round, the polymer ought to be fine.
  • Ergo Tactical Deluxe Zero Angle Grip – I’ve always liked target stocks with near vertical grips so I opted for this model.
  • APA Little Bastard brake – this is a tunable brake for precision rifles. I will get a suppressor down the road but for now, I’ll run this brake.
  • Magpul AFG – Normally I am not a huge fan of angled fore grips but think I may want something to hold on to. I’m really not sure if I will keep it on the rifle long-term but we’ll see.
  • Magpul bipod – I dismissed this bipod when I first heard about it but guys reported liking it so I figured I better check it out. I bought the Picatinny rail version so I could remove it readily. In hindsight I should have bought the one that was ARMS lever ready but that is a topic for another post. There are a ton of color and options combinations you can consider. As you can see in the photo at the top of the page, I went with black and I did use a small section of Magpul M-Lok aluminum rail to mount it.
  • AD Recon SL 30mm Scope mount – I like quality quick detach scope mounts. There are two big differences between a quality mount like an ADM and a cheap one. First, when you remove the optic and mount from the rifle and then re-attach them, the zero holds true for a good mount and not a cheap one. Second, the cheap ones tend to wear and bend on the throw lever cams and plates over time and then the accuracy gets worse.
  • Vortex 4-16×44 HST MRAD scope – I am a huge fan of Vortex scopes and thing you get a lot of quality glass at a reasonable price. I opted for a medium physical size scope. My first choice would have been a PST Gen 2 5-25×50 but I couldn’t quite swing it right now. I may well change to this scope down the road.
  • Magpul PMAG 7.62×51 AC Magazines – the Pork Sword chassis uses the AC short action series of PMAG 7.62×51 magazines. I bought a couple of 5-round magazines and a couple of 10-round magazines.

Tools Needed

  • Wheeler Remington 700 Action Wrench – this holds the bolt action while you do the barrel work. I didn’t have one and it was definitely a worthwhile purchase.
  • Clymer .308 GO and NO-GO Headspace Gages – normally I use Manson out of habit. Clymer has a good reputation and one tip I was told long ago is to go with the same brand of gage for a given caliber. So I went with Clymer for both the GO and NO-GO gages because they were in stock.
  • Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter – I’ve been using a green laser model for about a year now and really like it. The green is very visible further away but they also have a red laser model at a lower price if you aren’t interested in paying extra for the green laser.

The following tools aren’t firearm specific but will help with the build:

  • 1-1/4″ Crowfoot Wrench – you’ll need this to torque the barrel nut to spec. Confirm the size you need with the barrel maker. I didn’t have one this size and needed to buy it.
  • 1/2″ Torque Wrench – Get one that starts at 10 foot/lbs and goes at 100. That gives you a really versatile range. The action wrench bolts are 10 foot/pounds each and then we you bring the barrel nut down, it’s 50-55 foot/pounds.
  • 1/4″ Torquing Screwdriver – Get a good one. I highly recommend the Vortex Optics unit because it is a precision tool for the optics work but it does max out at 50 inch-pounds and the action screws need 55-65 inch/pounds (note that is inch/pounds and not foot/pounds).
  • 1/4″ Torque Wrench – I used a clicker-style torque wrench for the action screws that I installed at 60-in-pounds.
  • Vise – have a good enough one bolted to a surface that can hold the action wrench and your life will be way easier.
  • Blue Loctite – Firearms can shake just about any fastener loose so use Blue Loctite, or your favorite medium strength thread locker, to keep them from rattling loose.
  • SAE Allen Wrench Bits – If I recall right, all of the hex head screws were SAE and you’ll want the bits so you can torque them down to spec with the torquing screw driver.

Conclusion

That’s it for now. In the next post, I’ve go over installing the barrel. Thank you for reading and I hope you found this interesting.


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Customizing An IWI Galil Ace Pistol – Installing a RS Regulate Handguard, SBA4 Brace & Vortex Optics

In my previous posts, I covered a bit of the history of the Galil Ace, did two posts about the differences between the Ace and an AKM that I observed (click here for the first and here for the second) and now that leads up to me making a few tweaks of my own to my 7.62×51 Ace pistol.

Moved to a SB Tactical SBA4 Brace

My Ace came with a SB Tactical SOB brace mounted on a proprietary IWI tube with a very heavy hinge. While the SOB is rugged, it is not adjustable so I installed and SB Tactical SBA4 brace. Seriously, the SBA4 is the most rugged brace I have found yet.

The SOB4 brace is what comes with GAP51SB pistols. Palmetto had a great deal on this model and that’s why I bought it. If I could have found the pistol model without a brace cheaper, I would have done that.
The SBA4 brace is beefier and more rigid that previous braces. The bottom e dges do not flop around like they do on the SOB and SBA3 braces. The FSM-AR adapter is between the tube and the receiver.

Now some may wonder why I didn’t just file for a short barreled rifle (SBR) tax stamp and run a normal stock. I may very well do this in the future but I didn’t want to deal with it right now. Both PSA and Brownells have the brace available.

The Ace design allows for very easy changing of a rear block by simply driving out one roll pin. The block can the be lifted straight out and whatever you want installed in its place.

The Ace is resting on a green bench block and I used a roll pin punch to tap out that single pin. That’s all you need to do and then the rear plate of the receiver that holds the hinge, or anything else for that matter, will lift right out.
With the pin removed, it literally lifts out. Notice how the “plate” or “block” sits in a groove and that’s what provide the bulk of the strength. The roll pin is just stopping vertical travel and is more than enough.

Since the SBA4 is ATF approved, I opted for a modular adapter block from KNS Precision going to an Ace Limited (owned by Doublestar and not IWI) folding M4 adapter – the FSM-AR. Note, if you install a folder, buy one with the boss – the raised oval shape. It will fit into the groove in the KNS Precision adapter and make for a very solid connection.

This is the external face of the KNS Precision adapter. The groove is where the boss from the FSM-AR adapter will sit to limit movement. I’d recommend always getting adapters with the bosses unless you intentionally do not want them. The two screw holes allow for variations in mounting.
This is the back side of the KNS adapter. The one roll pin goes through one of the grooves to hold it in place. It is very nicely done – kudos to KNS Precision.
The KNS adapter just slides right in and is secured by the roll pin.
This is the Ace Limited (owned by Doublestar and not IWI) FSM-AR adapter. You can see the oval boss on the left part of the folder. This gets flipped over and screwed into the KNS adapter. Also, oil the hinge at some point before you close it. Sometimes they can be a bear to actuate when dry — personal experience talking there. Also, use blue Loctite on all screws or they will shoot loose.

Special note – the charging handle for my Ace pistol is on the left side. In my case, I was not worried about operating when folded. If you want to fire with the stock folded, you must go with a right side folding mechanism. If I had it to do over, I would have used a right-side folder but I simply used what I had in this case to cut cost plus I don’t plan on folding it much.

Here’s the Ace folder open to the left and the brace assembly does interfere with the charging handle. If you want a weapon that will operate with the brace folded, then go with a unit that folds to the right.

The SBA4 comes with a Mil-Spec receiver extension (buffer tube) and I used a generic castle nut that I had in my tool box along with an end plate that has hoops to connect a sling.

The SBA4 comes with a Mil-Spec receiver extension/buffer tube. You will need to supply your own castle nut .

I only use my Magpul wrench now for installing castle nuts as it enables a very positive/sure connection. I’ve done my fair share of scratching stuff with tools that used older methods and the MagPul is the way to go. I also used an automatic center punch to stake the nut.

For dealing with castle nuts, you simply can’t beat the Magpul wrench. I don’t use the combo wrench below it any more because I have scratched a ton of tubes accidentally with it.

The Magpul armorer’s wrench is available from both Brownells and PSA. Again, I highly recommend this wrench over others that I have used.

All in all, it was a very straight forward swap and allows for some adjustment now. In case you are wondering, the SBA4 is very beefy. I do not like the SBA3 as the end is soft and and ears that go around the shooter’s forearm just kind of bend and flop around. The SBA4 is very well done.

I definitely will SBR it at some point down the road but am happy with what I have for now.

Installed a RS Regulate GAR-9M-N Handguard

I was not fond of the original handguards and was pretty sure I would like the GAR-9M-N handguard from RS Regulate based on photos that Scot Hoskinson had posted. Let me tell you, it is a huge improvement. First off, it’s way longer and second it uses a M-LOK attachment method for accessories so you don’t have unnecessary rails bulking up the girth like you do with the originals.

This is the RS Regulate GAR-9M-N handguard for Ace pistols. It’s machining and finish are excellent. Installation was very easy.

Scot Hoskinson, the owner of RS Regulate, has put together a real nice installation guide with plenty of illustrations. The one thing I’ll tell you is that the two original handguard screws from IWI have threadlocker on them.

Just behind the mouth of the gas tube & front sight block is the mounting point that holds the two screws that retain the original Ace handguards. They do have threadlocker on them so warm them up to make removal easier.
I used a 1/4″ ratchet with a 4mm allen bit and the retaining screw on each side came right out. Note, you will see two rivets on each side – one rivet head is visible between the wrench handle and the bit. You don’t need to do anything to those. You just need to remove the two screws. You can see one of the above just forward of the bit.

You can heat them up and make them easier to loosen, use a 1/4″ ratchet with a 4mm allen/hex head to break the screws free or, what I did, was a bit of both. With the gas tube off and out of the way, you can see where the two screws mount on the barrel. I heated that up and backed them out with the ratchet pretty easily.

Once the screws are removed, slide the handguard forward slightly and pull the rear down. It will come right off.

From there, you basically pull the stock handguard down nose first and pull forward. Then, follow Scot’s instructions. You will need to pay attention and install a small spacer between the barrel mounting point and the handguard when you install the new screws. I applied blue Loc-tite and torqued them down to 25 in/lbs per Scot’s instructions. You also have to install one long screw at the rear that you’ll want to use the blue Loc-tite and torque to 25 in/lbs also.

The RS!Regulate comes with the three screws, two spacers and an allen wrench. I applied medium-strenght Blue Loctite and used my Vortex Optics torque driver to tighten the screws to 25 in/lbs.
The installation instructions where spot on and I did not encounter any surprises at all. The unit bolted right up with no fitting needed.
The fitment is really superb. Here the rail is sliding over the rear block and will be secured later with the long screw that squeezes the rail’s walls together further locking it in place.
I like the RS!Regulate unit far, far more than the original. It’s longer and it fits my hand way better in terms of girth.

This is a slick handguard – the fit and finish are superb. I’ve come to expect that from all RS!Regulate products. Scot’s created another great product in my honest opinion. His AK scope mounts are the best hands down in case you aren’t familiar with them.

Opted For a Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 Optic and 3x Magnifier

I figure this will be a close in weapon – certainly within 200 yards probably – and will figure that out when I get it to the range. With that in mind, putting a high power optic on it just does not make a lot of sense but I also wanted magnification just in case so I checked out what Vortex Optics had to offer.

I’ve now used a boat load of their red dots and scopes on all kinds of firearms including 12 gauges, .50 Beowulf and .338 Lapua. They’re solidly built, good glass and back by a no-nonsense warranty. So they are my go-to for optics and have been for several years. Yes, I do actually have to buy them and no, they do not pay me to say that.

At any rate, I’d been eyeing the Razor AMG UH-1 for a while. Now that is a mouthful and I notice a lot of guys just refer to it has the “Huey” due to the UH-1 helicopter. It’s a true holographic sight which means a laser image (a hologram) is projected into the viewing window. The benefit of this is that regardless of the angle you look through the lens at, if the dot is on the target, it’s going to hit there.

The Razor AMG UH-1 or “Huey” mounts easily with its quick release lever and is ruggedly built.
It has a large viewing window that makes sight acquisition very fast.
The controls are well laid out and easy to use.

Battery life is somewhere around 1,500 hours and there are a lot of variables that can influence that including the brightness of the reticle (there are 14 levels), whether you are using a CR123A battery or a rechargeable LFP123A. Note, Vortex found that recoil kills the basic rechargable RCR123 batteries in 2-300 rounds. They stopped testing the LFP123A at 10,000 rounds and it was still working. I’m using the supplied CR123A still at this point and will likely use Surefire CR123A batteries going forward as I keep them in stock for lights.

In short, the Huey is very slick and it’s getting great reviews. I’ve been a long-time red dot fan and the UH-1 is my favorite at this point.

To get a better view at 100-200 yards, what I did was to pair the Huey sight with the Vortex V3XM Micro 3x magnifier. What this does is give me the ability to install, remove or even swing the installed optic out of the way when I need or don’t need the target to be magnified 3x.

Some assembly was required and I applied medium-strength Blue Loctite to the screws.
Here’s the Vortex Micro 3x magnifier paired with the Huey.

The V3XM is small, light, has a quick release lever also, just like the Huey, and pairs very nicely with it.

Magpul PMags and Drums

The 7.62×51 Ace uses Magpul’s 7.62×51 PMags. You can get them in a number of sizes as well as a drum if you really want to rock and roll. I bought some 20s, 25s and one of the D50 drums. I’ve not tested the pistol yet but expect it will work great with all of them. Note, both PSA and Gun Mag Warehouse have a variety of mags and drums that will fit.

Here’s the end result with the SBA4 brace, RS!Regulate rail and Vortex Optics combo.

Summary

The pistol really turned out slick. It balances well and ought to be a blast. Now just to find some time to get to the range before it really gets cold 🙂 Here are some photos for you:


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


How A Modern IWI Galil Ace Differs From A Traditional AKM – With Lots Of Photos – Part 2

This is the second part of my review of the differences I saw between a 7.62×51 IWI Galil Ace pistol and a typical AKM-type rifle. [Click here if you would like to open the first post in a separate window.] The following round out my observations:

Railed handguard

AK handguards have evolved from wood to bakelite to elaborate affairs made of polymers or aluminum. In the case of the Ace, no rhyme intended, an aluminum handguard with Picatinny rail is covered by sculpted rail covers.

The handguard is U-shaped with rails at the the 3-, 6- and 9-O’clock positions. The top rail is integral with the gas tube. Note now they have a cut out read for a pressure switch and the rails are open on the middle for wiring. There is one socket screw on each slide to fasten the handguard to the weapon.
The two socket screws thread into a retainer and have thread locker on them. When you look at the top of the rail, you see a small circle indentation on each side and then just a bit further back a rectangular shaped indentation. The screws are on each side. Also, you also get a good view of the front sight .
These are the three rail covers for the handguard. They lock into place and can be released by pushing the visible button at the back. The panel in the middle is the bottom piece and it has a lip that serves to help you index your hand.

So, two differences to note – a unique railed handguard and it is held in position with screws vs. the traditional AK front handguard retainer.

As a personal comment, I stopped buying tri-railed handguards some time ago because they feel too fat for me once you add on rail covers. The Ace handguards aren’t too terrible but they are fat and shorter than I would like. The stock unit will be replaced by one of the excellent handguards from RS!Regulate – the GAR-9M-N model to be exact and that will be in a future post.

The Gas tube has tabs and a rail but no locking lever

This is a unique little item right here. The gas tube slides into place via tabs on the unit that mate with slots on the rear base. It does not have a locking lever like an AK does.

The top has a Picatinny rail and the whole unit is locked into place when the dust cover is installed, which pushes the gas tube forward into position. The fitment is so well done that the Picatinny rail is level all the way across the top.

The gas tube goes over the nipple on the front sight block. The relieved tube you see with the screws are where the handguard retainer screws thread in from each side.
This is the gas tube with the rail on top. Note the tabs at the bottom rear and the groove on the rail that mates with the rail from the dust cover.
Here’s another angle – you can see the heat shield on the handguard and the slots on the rear block. We can’t call it a Rear Sight Block (RSB) like we would on an AK because the sight is on the dust cover on the Ace. Here, all it is doing is securing the gas tube.
The fitment of the dust cover and the gas tube are so well done that despite being two separate parts, their two respective rail sections align very nicely.

Integral lower plastic assembly – grip, magazine guide

Part of the revisions from the IMI Galil to the IWI Ace was changing 12 parts from steel to plastic. To be honest, I did not hunt down all 12 and itemize each. What I did readily see was the plastic lower assembly that connects with the steel forged receiver. It has the following:

  • An integral grip that has a hollow storage area
  • Ambidextrous magazine releases
  • An enlarged integral trigger guard
  • A natural hand hold curve just forward of the magazine

Folding Brace Assembly

IWI makes two models of the 7.62×51 pistol – the GAP51 without a brace and the GAP51SB with the brace. I really just needed the GAP51 but went with the GAP51SB because the price was so good from Palmetto State Armory at the time.

What you get with the GAP51SB is an IWI designed integral folder with a 1.25″ diameter pistol tube and an SB Tactical SOB brace. The SOB part makes me smile every time I write it. So, it does give you a well designed fixed length brace and a rock solid folder.

The SB Tactical SOB Brace with the unit locked into position.
That hinge is soooooo cool.
A close up with the brace folded alongside the receiver.
The unit is very compact and functional with the brace closed. Note the IWI logo on the brace but it is definitely an SB unit and the butt end has their logow. SB Tactical OEMs for others as well – meaning they will sell units with the logos of other firms displayed.

Magpul Pmags

No AK ever used Magpul magazines so I think this counts as a difference 🙂 The 7.62×51 Ace uses Magpul’s 7.62×51 PMags. You can get them in a number of sizes as well as a drum if you really want to rock and roll. I bought some 20s, 25s and one of the D50 drums. I’ve not tested the pistol yet but expect it will work great with all of them. Note, both PSA and Gun Mag Warehouse have a variety of mags and drums that will fit.

The 7.62×51 Ace uses readily available Magpul Pmags.

The Manual

I can’t say that I’ve ever read a very good AK manual that has tons of illustrations and covers a lot of topics – operating, cleaning, trouble shooting, and a detailed parts breakdown. The IWI Ace manual really is exceptional. The PDF copy is 88 pages long!

IWI puts all of their operator manuals online – click here to visit their site.

Summary

That’s it for differences I’ve noted thus far. In the next post, I’ll share a number of reviews and videos that I watched before I purchased the unit. By the way, this pistol is amazingly well made. It’s the most impressive firearm in terms of design and execution that I’ve seen in a long time. If you get a deal on one, buy it.


References


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.