Archive for the ‘Shooting Stuff’ Category
I had planned to attend a wedding reception this afternoon in Portland, but a co-worker’s wife had a medical emergency Friday afternoon and all plans for weekend coverage were set aside. She’s out of the hospital now, but it would have been nice to make it to Portland. Hopefully I can make amends later in the year.
TGIK has been looking for an AR15, so we went to the local shops to look-see some. The plan was to find something carbine shaped he liked and buy it. The first store wouldn’t sell him a gun until they explored every option in depth. I’ve never seen someone work harder to befuddle a newbie and not sell a rifle. The second store started pushing that whatever-of-the day using great tactics like “a few months ago, this was a $2500 rifle!” Yeah buddy, every rifle was $2500 a few months ago. Credibility shot, no rifle was purchased.
I stayed in the back at both stores. I agreed with everything the first store had to say, but not quite how they said it. I did appreciate that they didn’t hard sell the store brand and try to get him into the most expensive 3 gun rifle they had, and I suggested once he figures out what he wants, he buy it there. The second store has a wider selection at the low end, and if I was looking for the 20th rifle to toss on the rack, I wouldn’t mind picking up a couple $600 rifles there. Just don’t start with the line about how much it was work a while ago. Ammo and mags were in evidence at both, but at prices that aren’t quite where I’m ready to jump in.
For the first time yesterday, I converted an 80% lower to a 100% lower completely on my own (picture). The owner of the mill had an emergency right after we completed his lower, so I had to figure it out.
I learned a couple things that might help you. I was converting a KE Arms 7075 anodized lower using the jig they sell.
- 7075 produces little razor shards, unlike the 6061 I did last time. Gloves are a must working with 7075.
- I put a vacuum on the buffer tube hole, and held a low-pressure air nozzle at the magwell. This cleared chips very quickly and resulted in a much easier time and nicer finish.
- The through-pins on the KE Arms jig are for drilling only. Don’t put them on when you’re milling from the top. I’m down one pin because I milled right through it; luckily I had a spare.
- The previous times we cut in 1/8″ increments. I milled in 1/4″ depth increments and it wasn’t any harder. The feed rate was a little slower. I went for a single 3/8″ pass but there was chatter, so I pulled out to 1/4″ and it was smooth.
- It’s much faster to work alone. It took about two and a half or three hours to complete the mill owner’s lower. Mine took a little over an hour, including a break.
- It’s easier to make mistakes alone, too. I realized the previous night I needed to take care of the pin I ended up milling through, and I was super careful on the first one to point it out, but when it was time to do mine I was in a hurry and now I’m down a pin.
- The liquid squirt bottle of BOE LUBE is absolutely worth the cost. If I’d had five hands or so, I would have dripped BOE LUBE into the work.
The quality of the KE Arms lowers is fine. I got them on sale. Previously, I completed a BRS lower which I like much better (the integrated trigger guard, threaded mag catch, threaded takedown pin hole). However, the BRS jig is not as nice, and I wanted to try another maker’s setup. I thought I would like the steel bosses for the drill work, but it turned out to be easier to flip the jig over and come in from the left side as the bosses are not perpendicular to the jig surface.
If I do this again, I will probably buy more BRS lowers and make a transfer of the template to the top of the lower instead of using metal templates.
Buying magazines at reasonable prices from people that are selling them. Not as fun as buying them in bulk prices and selling them for panic prices, but so far I’m plus 30 30 rounders. No plans to stop.
Well, maybe if I score one of those 2500 magazine skiffs from MagPul. Maybe.