Tag Archives: Pistol

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.


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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).



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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


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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.


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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.

 


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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!


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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.

Izzy’s Wild C39 Micro SBR With Our Orca Handguard

This is Izzy’s wild SBR based on a C39 Micro with our Orca handguard:

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Here are the details from Izzy:

I put a 7 slot magpul one piece rail section, drilled and tapped on the actual [handguard and the] rail is very strong I may add. The micro was something in my head for awhile so when I saw this 6.5 in with a billet receiver I was sold. Not too much was added to make it what it is.
My own design charging handle.
VZ 58 side folding stock drilled and pinned then use para cord for the extension
NRM Defense did the cerakote in Tungsten with all the controls in black
SLR muzzle brake
Red star adjustable trigger assembly
Magpul grip and mags with a Bravo Company vertical fore grip

The web page for our C39 Micro Orca handguard is:  http://shop.roninsgrips.com/Custom-Century-C39-Handguard-Our-Orca-Model-C39MicroOrcaHandguard.htm


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.