Saturday, September 30, 2017

A few horses added to the stable

Hello and welcome back to Rickfrom406. If you've read through my blog you'll know that I am a bit of a gun nut. With that being said i've tried to be better about buying every gun that I run across. Recently I had a relapse and bought not one but two guns in a short amount of time. Well, at least I tried I suppose. One was a gun that eventually I was going to own no matter what. The second gun I picked up ended up being a deal to good to pass on.

The gun I was going to end up with no matter what is a Ruger 10/22. It's just a run of the mill nothing special wood stock gun.... for now. I haven't decided if its going to get Tech-sights or if it will end up with an optic of some sort. Time will tell either way. The gun has a mildly interesting backstory. I bought it from a friend who built it with mostly used stock parts that he had laying around. Picked up the receiver at a yard sale for $10 and just had to buy a trigger group and a bolt. I did get a good deal on it and i'm happy to give it a good home.

The second gun was a pawn shop score and still can't believe that they had it for as long as they did without being scooped up by someone else. I first saw it and was tempted to buy it but just having bought the 10/22 a few weeks prior I knew I had to be a good boy. After talking it over with the boss and her giving me the soft pass I knew I had a green light. I took her down to look at it and she seemed not to hate it although the grip rubs her right in a knuckle and she didn't seem excited about shooting it. Normally i'd take that as a bad sign from her but given that she adopts some of my favorites as her own I wasn't to sad to have a toy that wouldn't be requisitioned. This gun fit right into what I had been thinking about buying for a while. I was thinking about picking up a CZ-75 or a clone and this gun just fell right into that category. The gun is a Sar Arms BP6 "Shark". It is a Steel frame CZ-75 copy made under license from CZ by Sar Arms in Turkey. Tanfoglio was the importer and i'm not certain how many made it into the country. It takes standard CZ-75 15rd mags which is nice although I cannot find them locally, but that's why we have the internet. The gun shoots super smooth and the added weight of the steel frame really cuts felt recoil. The fixed sights are right on the money out of the box. The double action is heavy but being designed as a gun that is meant to be carried "Cocked-and-Locked" I don't see this being an issue. The single action is smooth and if I ever buy a trigger gauge it'd be fun to know what its pull weight actually is. The only quark is that the safety is backwards of what you'd think it be. Up is fire and down is safe, which would take some time getting used to if I could use it. Being a lefty means the safety is on the wrong side for me to use and i'm unsure if I could get a CZ-85 ambi safety to work. If I were to carry the gun i'd just run it cocked and unlocked and take my chances. Knowing how to keep my bugger hook off the bang switch has always kept me safe and always will.

Someday i'll put up pictures but that will have to wait. I've ran a few hundred rounds through the BP6 and a few mags through the 10/22. I'll be doing some more testing then i'll give them a review.

Until next time, keep fighting for what is right.


Monday, August 7, 2017

The best worst handgun I own

Hello and welcome back to Rickfrom406. It's been a while since i've updated the blog. I really do mean to post more often but I just seem to always set it on the back burner. Lets not dwell to long on my deficiencies of posting and move onto the content I have come to share.

Today I wanted to talk about a gun I recently dug out of the safe and started playing around with again. The gun in question is my Star model Super B. The gun was made as best I can tell in 1975 which is a cool decade and a half or so prior to my birth. The gun has seen its share of abuse from prior owner(s). I wish it could talk so I could hear all of the things its seen and been through. The bluing on the gun is still pretty decent given the age and I can assume its treatment. I purchased the gun in Dec of 2013 and have probably only put 500 or so rounds through it. It has been a fair gun and given its a range toy/ last ditch/ handout gun I don't mind that it isn't 100% reliable. I probably would do a little more fine tuning to it if I were ever to consider carrying it for self defense.

I bought the gun after watching a M.A.C (Military Arms Channel) review on YouTube. He was reviewing a Star B and at that time they were cheap imports seemingly out of nowhere. I wanted one as they resembled a 1911 but were in a caliber I actually cared about (9mm). It was sort of a hybrid Hi-power/1911 design and seemed like a good idea. I looked around my local area and came across the Super B. I did a tiny bit of research prior to buying and only knew the B and Super B where different but semi-close iterations of each other. I'm glad I ended up with a Super B but still wouldn't mind a nice B later on down the road.

When I bought it it had a myriad of problems that the former owner tried his seemingly best to make worse. Lets dig into some of the issues I proudly purchased. First I need to disclaim that when I bought this gun I was pretty new to buying old/surplus guns and didn't pickup on any of the red flags they guy had talked about when I was buying it. Let me set the scene of a young man who was to eager to spend money. I drove over an hour one direction in a blizzard to look at this gun and should have remembered the advice of "never be afraid to walk away", or at least should of haggled this guy down on his asking price. Anyhow so i'm looking at a gun I really knew nothing about and this old timer is muttering on how it was jamming a bunch so he ground polished the feedramp so it would feed better. If i'd been about half an i.q smarter I probably would have caught onto this guy being a literal kitchen table gunsmith messing up guns one dremel at a time. Also if i'd been a wee bit smarter and researched the gun more I would have known the freed ramp is part of the barrel on this gun and this neanderthal just ground "polished" the frame only making the problem worse. I mostly corrected this mistake and will show later in photos how I manged to rectify the problem. Even after the guy talked about it having problems I still bought it and was smitten with my decisions because I had a new boom stick.

Love at first shot or disappointment at first shot? That could of easily been the title for this post. The gun when I bought it was a jam-o-matic*. It was having all the symptoms of a crap tier gun. Failure to extract, failure to eject, double feeds etc were the norm. I fought with it as it was and chalked most of it up to being an old Spanish made gun. After some more investigating and some general tinkering I have made the gun run pretty well. I'd say it runs well enough now that i'd probably use it in a defense pistol match to see how well it could really do. I'll get into a some of things i've done to make my gun run better than when purchased.

First I replaced the recoil spring with a new Wolff Spring which made a huge difference. The new spring was over an inch longer then the probably original worn out spring. With the original spring I could cycle the slide with my pinky while holding the trigger guard with thumb. Needless to say that should have been the guys first clue as to why the gun didn't cycle worth a darn. The second thing I did was build up the frame with JB weld as the guy had ground a good 1/8 to 1/4 inch of frame away. Building the frame up forced the rounds to stop nose diving and jamming the gun. I could probably add a little more material and see if that helps feeding a smidge more.The next thing I did was find a reproduction extractor. Looking at a new extractor vs the 40+ year old original it was a wonder the old worn out claw grabbed anything at all. The 4th thing I did to the gun wasn't needed but made the gun better in my opinion was to remove the magazine disconnect. I wouldn't say it improved anything but does remove the possibility of being unable to use the gun due to a accidental bump of the magazine release. In between improvements I did accidentally break the firing pin by dry firing the gun. It took over a year to have the pin machined and a new tip added as I couldn't find a new one for sale anywhere online.

Overall I still love the gun even though its been a pain in my butt. It has taught me about buying used and how to diagnose and repair guns. If I could do it all over I may pass but boy is it fun to shoot. Every time I shoot the gun it brings a smile to my face and is always a crowd pleaser when I bring it out. It has decent sights, a fair trigger and familiar use of arms to anyone familiar with a 1911 and to be honest it does look good. I'll post photos below and allow you to judge for yourself.

Frame post JB weld
*Jam-O-Matic is a registered trademark of Hi-Point Firearms

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Winter driving and homebrew repair

Welcome back to Rickfrom406. I know its been quite a while since i've updated this blog and I really do mean to, I just well frankly have been lazy. I figure since spring is here I might as well post about some of the winter events that have occurred. This post is about winter driving and what you shouldn't do. The photos below are the result of traveling to fast for conditions. I'll lay the ground work of the story and allow the photos to tell the rest of what happened.

I was heading up to visit family and help my brother do some renovations on our grandmothers house. I was traveling in the late morning in February and seeing how it had been nice I figured the road was just wet and I could drive at 70mph. The plan worked well until I came upon a shady corner who hadn't been hit by the morning sun. Well after a few puckering moments of trying to straighten my trajectory out it became apparent the ditch and I were going to meet, and meet in a hurry we did. Luckily the snow in the ditch was still several feet deep and relatively soft versus the weight and speed of the land missile I was "piloting". The rear passenger side went in first and the truck came a to a halt in an abrupt fashion. I figured the damage would have been worse given the speed but all in all the truck fared well. Below are some photos of the accident and the repair work being preformed.

At the accident site:

View from the truck and the slide pattern:

Damage to the truck first look:
Broken taillight. Missing driver side center glass to topper. Broken rear topper window. Broken passenger side rear plastic window. Bumper bent downward.

So naturally looking at the photos the most obvious damage is the taillight and bumper. Well I ordered a replacement taillight for less than $20 off of eBay. The box is bent and kind of mangled in this area so a new taillight wouldn't just drop in and be done. I needed to pull out some of the box and attempt to reshape the damaged area. Well I'm no body man and I have relitivly few tools that could possibly help in this situation so it came down to some brute force and "Hillbilly Engineering". I ended up using my car and a tow strap to help pull out the pushed in box. Below are some photos of the Hillbilly Engineering in practice. My neighbor mentioned recency how much of a kick he got out of my ingenuity.

 Shown in the above photo is how practical having a "sporty" car really is.
 With a few good tugs and adjustment of the strap I pulled the bed to pretty close to the original dimensions. It is by no means perfect but good enough for a nondescript truck whose whole purpose is to blend in.

After lots of test fitting, pulling with the car and "massaging" with hammers and a pry bar the light fit. Unfortunately only two of the original four mounting bolt locations were still viable. Needless to say, Zipties to the rescue. 

Overall the repair went better than expected and i'm okay with the results. The topper will undergo surgery and repair sometime later this spring and i'll document the process as well. In the future i'd also like to reexamine how I can better fix this corner of the box and maybe have a few friends with more experience help.

Until next time, drive safe and slow down during winter even if the roads are "just wet".

Monday, December 26, 2016

DIY Project M&P series trigger reset improvement

Hey Rickfrom406 readers I made a video that is aimed to help users of the older model gen 1 and gen 2 M&P series pistols improve the trigger reset. This simple video shows why you may want to and how to do it. I go in depth on how the gun works and how to make it better.

I'll make a TL:DR right now, use JB weld to build a raised area on the slide stop to mimic the Gen 3 slide stop. Well if that peaked your interest please watch the video for a more in-depth look on what I did and why. I will also include some photos of what the a gen 1 /2 looks like vs a gen 3 vs what I made.

Gen 3

Modified vs stock Gen 1 / 2

The reason I went with the DIY project is because you cannot buy a Gen 3 anywhere at this time. You have to send your gun into S&W which both times I talked to them I was quoted $125-$150 to get the gun brought up to current Gen 3 standards. I'll let you in on secret, i'm a cheap bastard. I figured I could do the same thing and not have to send my gun off. Sending it off would have also meant uninstalling my Apex trigger and sear block housing that I upgraded.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 years, a memory far away but a wound still fresh

Sorry for the long hiatus for anyone who reads and keeps up with my blog. I know its been a few months but i've been busy like the rest of you. A lot has changed and I do intend to update and hopefully fill you in on what i've been up to. However today isn't going to be a regular update. Today's post is going to be written while it hot on my mind. Today is Sept. 11, 2016. I hope i'm like most Americans and take a few moments out of my busy life to reflect on the events that transpired 15 years ago today, and the ramifications that they've led us to.  Below will be some of my ramblings to hopefully preserve historical accounts of what people experienced/felt and how that day made a strong pivot of change in all of our lives. I'd say enjoy but even on this day, its still to soon.

I was 12 when our world changed. I'm not really sure if I was getting ready for school when it happened. I really don't remember but I might have caught some of it on the news before we left the house. I remember walking the hallways and all the kids kept spreading the little snippets of information mixed with rumor. Later in the day teachers/staff must of told us what was going on. 12 isn't old enough to comprehend what happened, although i'm not certain any age really is old enough to fully grasp how we changed that day. Watching the endless loops of planes hitting the towers, then the towers falling over and over and over, those images are truly burned into our heads.

I can only wonder if this feeling is the same for all people who whiteness catastrophic events unfold before their eyes. When the radio first started to crackle with incoming news about Pearl Harbor, did farmers, school children, shopkeepers wonder in horror if they too may be next? Where their reactions based on fear or anger? Did they know their world was forever altered? I wonder if having a 24-7 news cycle helped or hurt the collective thought process. While i'm not a conspiracy theorist some events lead to more questions then answers. Today however, we shan't dive into that rabbit hole.

As long as I live I will forever remember those tragic moments that changed our reality, our futures, our hopes and dreams.  To the families of all the victims I truly am sorry for the loss you have had to endure. May time bring you peace and understanding.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Standardization and practicality

Welcome back to Rickfrom406. I have recently been thinking about the guns I own and what I want in the future. Over the summer I started the process of picking up and trading off guns so to better fit my overall goal. As a forward thinking person I tend to want firearms that are in common calibers and have as many overlapping as possible. With that said I am an avid shooter and enjoy everything from close range self defense with handguns all the way out to long range rifle shooting. Along with my own collection I try to take into consideration the calibers in which my friends shoot and collect. Having overlapping calibers means solving a logistical problem of being able to share if the need arises. I'm currently trying to get some ammo stacked in the back the new (again) addition of .223. Slowly the pile will grow with factory ammo as well as reloads.  Hopefully with some decent home loads i'll make it more economical and decent accuracy to help with training on a new platform.

Until next time, stay frosty.

Busy Summer recap

Welcome back to Rickfrom406.  It has been a long busy summer and the blog has taken a back seat to life. Hopefully it has been a fruitful summer for all my dedicated readers. My summer has been packed mostly with work as always but I have managed to sneak in a few days of shooting. One day of actual training from MSI Tactical which was full day carbine course.  I'll dive into that in another post to follow. Some of the other highlights involved hiking, camping, vehicle repairs, weapon builds, buying/selling/trading off some firearms to better fill out the collection which will all be posts in the near future.  A few new pieces of gear have shown up and they've been used and abused.

Until next time, stay frosty.