Thursday, January 17, 2019

9mm AR Project; The Space Blaster

Well this gun is over 2 years old now and been through many changes so let's just do a pic dump detailing its history so far.

PCC USPSA, Steel Challenge, competitive shooting
Parts were in place in the summer of 2016; a complete PSA 10.5" upper and a Runner Runner lower (NFA variant).
runner runner guns lower receiver
Assembled with an old Primary Arms red dot which has since been retired.
This set-up worked fine but PSA equipped it with a 12" hand guard and a muzzle device that was something like 3" long, lengthening my 10.5" gun by more than I was happy with. But, I ran it this way, with a standard 5.5oz 9mm buffer for a pretty long time.

This was the earliest issue that took me down the rabbit hole of "fixing" the shortcomings of a 5.5oz buffer - a prematurely worn disconnector which is bad news for anyone who knows.

A complete ALG QMS trigger group replaced the original. It came with a nice sharp disconnector and that issue was solved. It also lead to a 7oz buffer.
Before anyone asks this gun is over 26" so YES, the forward grip is legal. However, I wasn't happy with that either. I began to play with my own home brew spring setup which lead to a rifle buffer tube to provide much more space inside for customization. It also got the space blaster paint job. The comp, a cheap ebay unit, caused a loss of accuracy and quickly went back to where it came from - China. The 12" hand guard went into the parts box and a new 10" STNGR replaced it. It was now the length it was always meant to be.
The garbage comp gone and now replaced with a simple thread protector. A Tyrant handstop, while expensive, looked like the perfect match for the overall appearance of the space blaster. I'm not a fan of all the aluminum "interface" parts that the market is full of. They are sharp, cold and mostly uncomfortable. The Tyrant is no different but not terrible. Don't ask me why I got a gray one - it was probably all that was in stock and I thought I'd paint it or something that never happened.

The moment Odin Works released the mag release for this pattern lower I had one on order. The mag release that comes on these lowers is a hokey plastic unit that only kinda works from what I hear. Mine was pretty good functionally but too cheesy to look at. I like the Odin for a variety of reasons but I actually don't love the extended nature of it. It may seem picky but it changes the mag release process enough that it's not as natural as a typical AR. It's difficult to describe but in the process of a mag change on an AR I have to press the mag release hard enough that my pointer finger is actually doing some work to control the gun as my left hand does its chores. This one changes that slightly.
zev technologies, gearhead works tailhook brace, glock mags, PCC, 10.5" barrel
In its current configuration, now with a tailhook brace and Burris FastFire 3 with a 3MOA dot in a very simple and well designed UTG mount. This mount allows the sight to be directly attached to the mount, eliminating several adapters in the process. This is my second FF3 and they are excellent. It is a great match for the purposes of this gun. Anyone familiar with Borderlands will recognize the DAHL logo which wraps up the space blaster theme. It's got a Taccom buffer system in it right now which works just fine for me. A Zev base pad gets me through higher round count stages with 36 rounds on board, though it wouldn't likely be enough in the crazy high round count hoser stages at major matches. In my view this is just another example of how USPSA is broken (not that I can run this gun in a major match anyway).
This gun, with a standard milspec trigger, has taken me to 94.22% Master class in USPSA Steel Challenge. Its looks reflect my personality, always gets a lot of questions, and is a blast to shoot. For me it's far more important to shoot guns that I enjoy than guns specifically built for competitive shooting and for that reason, combined with good performances, this gun is without a doubt one of my favorites. When I say that I think USPSA is broken this is exactly what I mean. You will always have people looking to simply win, regardless if it's driving a car or driving a gun, the tool doesn't matter to them. But USPSA doesn't reflect the practicality that is found in the name, nor the trends within the gun community at large well at all. PCC being purely Open is just another one in a long list of misses in judgements made in the USPSA rule books.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Multicam Black AR15 Pt2

Last post gave the particulars and now we have the finished product. Couldn't be more happy with the way it looks. I wouldn't try to argue one way or the other about the effectiveness of Multicam patterns in general or Multicam Black in particular because that doesn't matter much to me. What I will argue is that Multicam patterns do make for some awesome looking firearms and that was the goal.

This rifle is a complete home brew unit with an Aero M4E1 lower receiver and BCG coupled with an Anderson branded slick upper receiver, sans forward assist and dust cover because I think both are largely pointless. It's got an American Defense rail with a Faxon 14.5" Gunner profile barrel from AIM Surplus where they pin the gas block - a feature I am a big fan of. Adco pinned and welded the Vltor flash hider for me to round things off. The primary reason I went for the 14.5" Gunner barrel was partially to get a slightly more compact carbine, but primarily to keep the weight down. This particular barrel is very close to the weight of Faxon's 16" pencil barrel but with a slightly thicker profile for most of the barrel's length. Nothing else on the rifle is "heavy" and the slick-sided upper receiver knocks off a few ounces as well making this gun, as pictured with an empty magazine 6 and a half pounds almost exactly.

multicam black rattle can Rustoleum paint rifle carbine ar15

rustoleum multicam black ar15 carbine faxon gunner barrel

magpul slimline multicam black, american defense handguard vortex red dot

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

MultiCam Black Rustoleum Paint Job

Well thanks to some forum enablers posting about the E1 lowers being on sale I snagged myself one and it is sweet. I also talked myself into taking a shot at some camo which felt like muddy waters as I was doing it but I am really happy with the results. I doubt it’s useful but I dunno, black multicam just looks awesome to me and this picture doesn’t really do it justice but I’ll get more once it’s had a couple days to dry and I get it put together.

I used stencils from and good ole Rustoleum. Camo black, “Chalked” Charcoal and Satin Oregano. The satin paints are … well they’re satin and I didn’t really want satin on this. However, the green color from the camo line to me is the wrong color of green. The oregano is much more drab and neutral. What I found is that if you put the satin over the ultra matte in a really thin coat, it flattens it out quite a bit. So I laid down black on the whole rifle then applied stencils, then dusted in the green, purposefully getting partial coverage in a lot of areas so the green would look faded. Then I put down more stencils and applied the charcoal, again, dusting some places, fully covering other places. Then I peeled all the stencils and dusted here and there with black from arms length away. I kinda like some of the green showing through so I left some of it showing with very little black dusting. The only thing I think I would have done different is I would have used more of the small shapes for the black. I used mostly the large shapes because I knew I wanted a lot of black showing through, but I think more little blotches of black would have been even better.

lightweight, ar-15 multicam black, ADM, Aero Precision M4E1

Monday, December 10, 2018

What Do We Have Today?

Digging through the ole flashdrive of pics and projects, how about some CZ P09 action?

Something I just realized about how I'm doing this is that this blog won't be a chronological history of what I've been up to. I'm terrible with life time lines already and using this to recount the past will make that even worse.

But who cares, we're carrying on regardless. I've had the P09 over a year now, put multiple thousands of rounds through it and blasted my way to a handful of match wins at the local multigun matches with it in hand. With more than a full season of action under its belt I have already gone back to iron sighted shooting with another gun in order to give the Czech workhorse a rest and pursue other skills and competitive disciplines. I bought the P09 specifically to have it milled for a red dot and nearly every round fired from it has been guided by the Burris FastFire 3 mounted to it. The only exceptions where a couple initial magazines worth to prove that it functioned and shot well out of the box. Upon return from mill work, I installed the full Cajun Gun Works package and did my own functional, though not perhaps all that visually awe inspiring, stipple work. Slippery guns don't fly in my world. It's not grippy enough until it hurts and calluses are a a useful recoil management tool in my view. Your hobbies aren't a part of you until they change you, until your body changes itself to accommodate your pursuits.

pistol, 9mm, competition, Primary Machine, slide milling, red dot

Primary Machine, 9mm, multigun, carry optics, uspsa

And some home brew kydex, bullets cast from wheel weights and coated with Hi-Tek.

Hi-Tek Black Cherry and Black mixed. Lee 125gr molds.

Big ole Dawson front sight aligns with a white mark on the rear of the Burris.

I achieved good success with the cast bullets, however inconsistencies all around are pushing me further and further away from using them. Not to mention the time involved in casting and coating the number of 9mm bullets I sling per year these days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Projects and Things Tuesday Evening the 4th Edition

I'm not even sure I'm going to go too far back and check on what I have or have not posted here over the last couple neglectful years. Just gonna post stuff.

Here's a recent axe project. Locust handle, carved by me obviously. It's a PLUMB marked Blish Mize. I have no idea the story there and I personally have a hate/hate relationship with PLUMBs because they crack every time I hang one.

helve, handles, vintage axe, plumb, blish mize

vintage axe, tools, bushcraft, outdoors, restoration, refurbish

Now THAT is an axe handle. Look at that swell. Damn!