May 15, 2007


A Pearl Jam tune that for some reason I've always had a fondness for. It's a fairly simple tune but catchy as hell in parts. Same ol' subject; a lament from a broken hearted man who misses his lover. I forget the exact circumstances (something about the band leader wanted to reach out to the kids in our crowds) but this R&B band I was playing with in the mid 90's decided to cover this tune. We were a hot little 4 piece (drums, bass guitar & keyboards) & the other guys could sing their asses off, so it turned out surprisingly well, even if a bit more soulful than Pearl Jam may have intended. Here are the lyrics. Here's a live vid & here's a live acoustic vid.

Speaking of things looking black, I've finished the Ak's. Literally at least. :) There are a few very minor touches left but nothing that should impede functionality.

To start off here's a shot of ye olde buddy's work bench & the tools used to turn a bunch of parts into a firearm. Mainly these are the hand tools but there is that grinder that's powered by an air compressor. Can't say it didn't come in handy (especially in removing the old receiver from the parts).

Here's another shot of the more substantial pieces of equipment. The vice & the drill press should never be lightly discounted in this kind of project, nor the smokes or the really big cup of tea.

The details are simple; take the old parts kit & separate it from the old receiver (mainly the trigger guard & trunnions), drill out the rivets in the trunnions & trigger guard, file down the trunnions to fit into the receiver, tap the holes in the trunnions, drill the holes in the receiver & assemble. I should note that the receivers used were 1.6mm instead of the normal 1mm receivers found on most AK's. This necessitated filing the trunnions to fit, as well as the furniture.

The parts kit I used was a bit rusty so I stripped it down to the bare metal. I also stripped the furniture & applied a few coats of polyurethane as a finish.

Locating the holes in the receiver was a bit tricky - at least for me. I ended up egging the holes in the receiver out a bit but some washers cover up the gaps just fine. To keep the trigger guard in place I cut up some small sections of the old receiver to use as nuts. I drilled & tapped them then ran the bolts from the trigger guard into them.

I did have to grind the bolts down to fit as the shortest grade 8 bolts I could find were 1/2" long & the front trunnions weren't deep enough for that length of screw. After grinding them down to the right length I took a bastard file & at an angle cleaned up the end of the bolt & the threads.

All that's really left now is to JB Weld the washers onto the receiver, but I've test fired them both as is & they seem to work fine.

I also finished the metal. I used Gun Kote from Brownells. It's a spray on/bake on teflon/molybdenum disulfide finish that's supposed to be self lubricating. I bought a few cans of the stuff & re-finished almost all of my firearms with it (I have one that's loaned out). Basically you clean the metal (you're supposed to abrasive blast the part but I skipped that stage), degrease the metal, pre-heat the metal (to 100 degrees F) & spary the metal with Gun Kote. It dries for 30 minutes or so then goes into an oven at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. At least that's what the can says. If I had to do it over I'd have left the parts in for closer to an hour (plus I'd have had the parts abrasive blasted). There are videos on the Gun Kote link above that explain the process more in depth 9which I thought was way cool - I wish I'd have noticed them before I started finishing the metal). In any case mine didn't turn out too bad but it's not quite as pretty as it could have been (& I believe I'm going to have to re-finish a few of the handguns).

Here are the AK's:

Here's my Garand:

Here's my Garand an an AK:

Here's my 10/22:

That's a 22" barrel capped off with a John Masen flash hider/muzzle brake. Now I know what you're thinking, why on earth would anyone need a flash hider or a muzzle brake on a 22" barreled .22LR???" Well you'd be right - odds are there's not going to be muxh flash & there's almost no muzzle climb to begin with, but A: it looks cool B: it scares the white folk Denver City Council & C: it looks cool.

Here's my '17 Enfield:

I took the scope off (but the mounts are still there in case I change my mind) & had a Lyman 57 Target sight installed. I also threw on a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad (though I haven't quite finished fitting it). That rifle is fairly light & even though I can shoot my Garand all day long without a problem I need some protection on the back of that bolt gun.

I had some help along the way. My buddy let me set up shop in his garage & in addition to that he loaned me his dog.

Aside from eating sparks (which was very helpful somehow) he was always there to give me that "you can't be that much of a dumb-ass, can you? Now pet me while you think it over" look when I needed it most.

So that's all the gun porn I have for you at the moment. The next projects I have lined up are to install a Williams Fool Proof receiver sight on the 10/22 (I'd prefer a Lyman but they don't make a model to fit the 10/22 anymore) & find a post front sight for the '17 Enfield (it has a gold bead at the moment which I've never been fond of). After that I can look into re-barreling the Garand & the '17 Enfield.

I'd like to throw a Krieger Heavy Pattern SS barrel in .30-06 with a 1:11 twist on the Garand & maybe a Lilja SS 26" 1:11 twist on the '17 Enfield. But the Krieger would run close to $600 installed & the Lilja around the same (if not a little more). So those may have to wait for a spell.

Posted by Publicola at May 15, 2007 04:15 PM | TrackBack