Author Archive

A 1911 you don’t see every day.

My friend Todd was kind enough to let me take some pictures of his Remington Rand. The gun has been in his family for quite some time, and unfortunately for me – he doesn’t want to part with it…

Remington Rand 2

Remington Rand

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Browning Hipower

Earlier this year, I stumbled across a Hipower for sale. The seller lived close to me, and a deal was made.
I took the following pictures, and put her in the safe.

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Not too long after, I acquired an M&P 9mm, which I shot suppressed, and started carrying. But every time I retrieved it from the safe, I’d hear a weeping sound coming from the back. Upon further investigating, I found the Hipower again.

Realizing a steel handgun is much more to my liking, I immediately dumped the M&P and picked up some grips for the Hipower. I went with VZ Simonich grips. Very aggressive, but also a very positive grip. Next up was the magazine safety and thumb safety.

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The magazine safety has a great effect on the trigger, and after removing mine, I noticed a vast improvement. The safety removal is a simple process, and can be done in under an hour easily.

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The thumb safety on these things are “vague” and not as positive as the 1911’s thumb safeties. It bothered me enough that I decided to order the Cylinder & Slide extended safety. A nice piece of work, and with some minor fitting it was just about a drop-in fit. Again, a huge improvement over stock. I now carry it “Condition One”, hammer back, safety on, round in the chamber.
On carrying, I found that the gun fits perfectly in my Milt Sparks VMII for a 4″ 1911.

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Next up on the to-do list is a set of Warner sights. Chuck is famous for his 1911 TRS True Radius Sear jigs, and offers a sight set and TRS Sear for the Hipower as well.
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(Image from Chuck Warner’s site WarnerPistols.com)

I intend to send him my gun in January for sight installation and barrel crowning.
Lastly, she’ll get his TRS sear and a C&S ring style hammer.


Hi-Standard update.

A while back, I posted about an OSS type Hi-Standard build. The project had somewhat changed, and I recently received one of my barrels back, threaded, fitted and blued. A true work of art, the blueing is very deep and the thread protector blends in very well.

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.22 Suppressor Upgrade.

A few years ago, I bought a used Coastal P22 suppressor. It wasn’t supposed to be user serviceable, but after time, it kind of jailbroke itself. The baffles were of a very simple washer-spacer washer-spacer design. Truthfully, the performance of the thing wasn’t even close to more modern stuff, like my Outback II-D.

Coastal P22

 

I decided to see what could be done about upgrading it and having a more modern baffle stack, or even a mono-core.
My friend Chuck from LRM Technologies told me “No problem” and the old girl was on its way.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when I received it back.

IMG_0882Chuck re-used the tube, and made some nifty wrenches for disassembly. One for the end cap, and one for the back/core assembly.

IMG_0883New core next to old tube. The 1/2×28″ threading is a stainless steel insert in the aluminum core.

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I haven’t had much time to shoot it yet, but so far the performance looks to be promising.

 


Would you know what to do?

Bushido Tactical Suppressor Class

Bushido Tactical Suppressor Class

The more and more I shoot and the fewer times I find myself on a public range with trained Range Officers, I decided it was time to learn something about first aid.

What did I know about gunshot wound care? Applying pressure. Perhaps spreading a mystery bag of granules into the wound while yelling for a medic, in the meantime UH-1s whop overhead dumping hot brass on to… You get the picture. I knew nothing other than movie stuff.

Fortunately for me, there’s Wade and Jen at Bushido Tactical. Wade, a real world guy with real world experience started his own business 6 years ago. Initially focused on firearms, training and gear for the Military and Law Enforcement community he shifted his focus on the ever-growing demand of “regular guys” like myself.
I’ve known Wade for a few years now, having met in the passing at a few SHOT shows we’ve somewhat stayed in touch. A few months ago, I attended his first suppressor class. When I got an email announcing his Basic Medical course, I didn’t hesitate and signed up.

The class started at 0930 sharp, in a private room at the exceptionally clean Orlando Gun Club. Wade started he class introducing himself and allowing the other 5 like-minded individuals and myself to introduce ourselves. After a brief run-down of the day’s curriculum, he handed the class over to Tracy and Troy Braley, both firefighters and EMTs, with Tracy being a retired Corpsman as well.

The class went into a lot of aspects of Gunshot Wound care, such as Scene size-up and safety, BSI (Body Substance Isolation), patient assessment, identification and control for capillary, venous and arterial bleeding, going into shock and of course properly administering dressings, bandages, quikclot, tourniquets and addressing sucking chest wounds.
The presentation was loaded with useful tips, tricks and “insider information” that could be helpful.
Detail was given to handing over the situation to EMS upon their arrival. All questions were addressed and answered until completely understood.

After that, we went into looking at the different medical supplies, Israeli bandages, H-bandages, tourniquets and clotting bandages. The class divided into groups of 2, we all got plenty of hands-on experience using the supplied items, and were even encouraged to properly apply quikclot gauze into a huge chunk of London Broil steak!

After the class was over, Wade and Jen stuck around, and had brought some of the kits they manufacture and sell under the Bushido Tactical label. I purchased a nice kit, that will be going with me wherever I go.

On the drive home, letting things learnt sink in, I came to the conclusion I no longer felt uneducated on the subject and I think I would even feel prepared and comfortable applying the skills and knowledge I picked up. Definitely money well spent!

Check out Wade and Jen at Bushido Tactical in Orlando Florida. Their classes are great, their gear is top-notch, and they are great people, whom I’m proud to consider friends.


HK21 – A work of art.

One of my holy grails in belt-fed guns is the HK21.
A good friend of mine has acquired one of these beauties recently, and while the sear pack is in the process of going from dealer to dealer, the rifle itself was transferred with a semi trigger pack as a Title I firearm.

Fortunately, it resides in my safe for a while until the owner comes around to claim it.
I took the opportunity to take a closer look at it. Whilst not 100% familiar with the differences in 21 models, I know that this is a non-E model, as it has the slide-out feed tray vs. the swing-down version of the 21E.

The rifle is clearly based on the G3 receiver, with hefty reinforcements in place to keep things together. Functionally the 21 is very similar to the G3, rounds come in below the bolt and strip forwards through the link into the chamber. Technically it’s possible to get a magazine adapter and have it run from a normal HK magazine.

Having shot one on a few occasions, I can truly say it’s an impressive piece of machinery, simple yet cleverly designed, usually to be expected from Germans…
The rifle is chambered in 7.62×51, which in full auto makes you appreciate the 18 Lbs of the gun, although it still makes you very aware of what you’re doing.

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Inverted belt allow the rounds to be stripped out from the bolt riding above in the forward cycle.

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Slide-out style feed tray.

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Quick change barrel control. Unlatch, rotate up, and the barrel is free.

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1200 Meter sight.

Stay posted for a future range report!


What’s in your silencer?

One of my employees purchased a nifty little Snap-On Borescope, with a tiny lighted head the other day. Of course I commandeered it immediately for scientific purposes…

Let’s take a look at my old Gemtech M4-02. Purchased little over 7 years ago, it’s seen thousands and thousands of rounds. Most on 11.5″ guns. Some FA, but not a lot. A good amount of .22 as well. Plated and lead. Overall, a good amount of abuse.
I’ve recently started noticing that it just wouldn’t suppress as well as other .223 cans, so I became suspicious.

Now – the pics below are taken off my TV screen, I plan to buy a proper adapter to get the images digitally into my computer. Until then, this will have to do.

Let’s start from the blast baffle:
Blast baffle

Nothing much to see, lots of carbon buildup.

 

Second baffle.

IMG_5895A bit jagged, rough edges, but still relatively round.

Moving on, the third baffle.

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Far from round, an unbelievable amount of material built up around the edges. Interestingly enough, it’s all facing the muzzle. That leads me to believe we’re looking at jackets, or lead, piled up on top of each other along with a healthy bit of erosion.

 

And finally, the end cap.

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The end cap has what I would describe as “the rolling hills of lead” built up around it. Seems very tick, some spots a bit blue in tint, and very smooth, compared to the jagged mess we saw earlier.

Dr. Dater from Gemtech has informed me that they may be able to rebuild my can, which I am eager to have done.

After talking with Stalking Rhino about rebuilding it or even converting it to a dedicated .22 can, I’ve decided to hold off, as the work, which will undoubtedly be top notch, is inherently cost prohibitive compared to the purchase price of the original can. But that’s part of the game.

 


Silent Loadout.

Getting ready for a class coming up using suppressed only carbines, I took a picture of my load out so far.

KISS Carbine

 

Rifle Specs:

  • Spike’s Tactical lower;
  • A1 upper;
  • Custom re-profiled 10″ barrel;
  • VLTOR stock
  • KAC RAS
  • Surefire 951 LED lamp
  • Gemtech M4-02 Piranha
  • Hogue Grip.

 


A guy walks into a pawn shop….

And walks out with what he believes to be a snub nose .38, for personal and home defense.

What he comes home with, however, isn’t quite what he thought it was.
Not only is it not .38 Special, but it’s in a much shorter, and hard to find caliber: .38 Smith & Wesson.
Perhaps not what he was looking for after all!

What we’ve got here, is a 1935 Enfield No.2 Mk.1, with a barrel cut down to 2″.

Snubby No1Mk2 2

Some history on the Enfield revolver.

The No.2 Mk.1 was adopted by the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth in 1931, with an external hammer, fired from both Single Action and Double Action. (SA/DA).

In 1938, supposedly by the request of tank crews who kept getting the hammer snagged onto things in their confined battle stations, the No.2Mk1* was introduced, with a Dual Action Only trigger, and a spurless hammer. In War time, most Mk.1 models were converted into Mk.1*, refitted with a different hammer and trigger mechanism.

At some point or another, a snub nose model was fabricated, based on the No.2 Mk.1*. The barrel was cut to 2″, and the top of the remaining barrel was machined down, and the sight base and blade from the original model were soldered on. The modification almost unnoticeable by the untrained eye, the revolver seemed as if it was made that way. Supposedly a handful of revolvers were modified, and the project was stopped. Few of these snub nose models remain in the UK.

The gun we have here, was a relatively common sight in the ’60s in the US, Enfield revolvers were imported by the bunch and sold by mail order companies by the dozen, and were cheap. To boost sales, few resellers cut down the fine No.2 Mk1* models and soldered a blade on the end for a sight.

The interesting thing seems that the modified ones offered at the time were all Mk.1* models, and not Mk.1 models like this one. Whoever did the modification butchered up a fine revolver, but at least spent some time fabricating and installing the sight. In the right light and clearly visible in the pictures, the difference in bluing is noticeable, and some traces of solder can be seen.
Nonetheless, a nice piece of work.

Is it rare? Not really. Is it valuable? Not really. One thing is for sure though; It’s a neat old thing!

Snubby No1 Mk2

 

Snubby No1 Mk2 3


A rare beauty.

At the last Hernando Machine-gun shoot I came across this beautiful Argentina model 1895 Maxim.

In 1895 the Argentinean government placed an order for 50 Maxim guns with Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company Limited in England. The guns carried serial numbers 1-50.
When the need for more guns arose, another order for 150 more guns was placed in 1898, but thsi time with the Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), licensed Maxim manufacturers at the time.

Numbered 51-200, all the guns were chambered in Belgium Mauser 7.65×53. With the exception of numbers 181-200, all the Maxims built for the Argentinian contract had brass water jackets.
In 1909, Argentina adopted the new 7.65x53mm Spitzer round with the pointed bullet and flatter trajectory.  All of Argentina’s Maxims were then re-barreled for the new cartridge and the long sight bar was shortened for the high-speed, flatter trajectory of the new cartridge.

In the 1950s, the guns had become obsolete, and 91 units were sold and exported to the US. The rest of the guns remained in Argentina, in museums, officers mess’ etc. Of the 91 sol to the US, 8 were re-exported, 18 were government owned and ended up in museums, storage and some were destroyed. The remaining 55 US guns ended up in private collections.

The gun I photographed carries number 143, and was part of the second DWM order in 1898.

Cooling down during a cease-fire.

Cooling down during a cease-fire.  The gun is set in its original Ackland tripod, made in England by VSM (Vickers, Sons & Maxim)

The gun's number, year and manufacturer can clearly be seen.

Note the wooden feed assist roller in the brass feed block.

The wooden feed roller in the brass feed housing.

Note the Spanish safety marking, and "143" in the trigger and back plate.

(Source: Small Arms Defense Journal for data.)