The Nightstar Zoo

One of my first custom jobs
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Author:  Animal [ Wed May 18, 2005 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  One of my first custom jobs

Thing have been a little slow around here lately.

I thought I'd put up a pic of one of my very first custom rifles.


It's an 1891 Argentine Mauser, the old pre-claw-extractor 88-89-91 pattern action. It's rebarreled in 7x57mm, and has a nice if a bit plain classic style stock in American black walnut, with a Schnabel foreend. I never got around to cutting any checkering into it.

The sights are a Redfield peep and (IIRC) a Marble ramp front. Bolt handle is a Mannlicher-style butterknife. I had the bolt jeweled - pretty. I was shooting for a European-style stalking rifle with this one, and I think I got pretty close. What's funny about the 91's is that people aren't used to associating the big, protruding single-stack mags witha Mauser - this rifle gets mistaken for a Mannlicher by a lot of people who should know better.

My hunting buddies and I call this gun "The Pig Rifle," due to a javelina hunting trip we took in 1996. My two buddies both brought brand-new guns - both of them broke. We took all three of our stink-pigs with a 100+ year old Mauser.

Here's mine:


The rifle wasn't finished yet at that point, but the javvies didn't seem to notice.

Author:  Ogredude [ Sun May 22, 2005 3:14 am ]
Post subject: 

That's nice. The Mauser is one damned solid action. I wouldn't mind having one myself.

My first custom job is my Ruger 10/22. It came stock, and is still pretty much stock as I don't have the funds to do what I want with it. Current mods include an extended magazine release and a modified bolt release plate. The factory bolt release requires you to pull back the bolt and push the stud to lock the bolt back, and then pull back the bolt and push the stud to release it again. My modified release plate allows you to simply feather the bolt handle to release the bolt, much simpler.

I'm planning on a shock absorbing bolt stop pin, to quiet the action down, a match grade bull barrel, and glasbedding the stock for full contact the full length of the stock. I'm also planning on taking the trigger group down to the local gunsmith and having him do his thing on it. He's got a trigger job he does on 10/22's, he's done over 800 of them, and it reduces the trigger pull to about 2 pounds, while giving it a nice crisp break. I've shot one of his guns that had this done, and it was absolutely a pleasure to fire. He only charges $35 for the service, too, and you can mail him your trigger group and he'll mail it back to you all fixed up. Let me know if you're interested in this.

One of the custom jobs I'm going to work on as soon as I have the funds for it is a 12 gauge for tactical/home defense.

I'm planning a Remington 870 Express Magnum action. No magazine extender, I don't need one, and I feel they can negatively impact the reliability of the weapon. I want a composite stock, 18.5" barrel (cylinder choke), a 5 or 7 round shell holder bolted to the right face of the stock, a 5 or 7 round shell holder bolted to the left face of the receiver, a SureFire tactical flash with switch near the trigger group, and ghost ring sights, haven't decided what kind yet. I also want a tactical sling on it.

I've been incredibly impressed with my current 870, a stock job with a mod choke tube, it's always been reliable for me if I keep it clean. When it gets dirty, the action gets kinda sticky, but that's no big deal if I clean it every hundred rounds or so. I generally shoot 20 - 23 on trap (singles, from the 16 yard line), and that's with very little practice (can't afford to play often).

I love the versatility a pump gun gives you in a tactical situation. With your shell holders loaded half and half 00 buck and rifled slug, you have ammunition for any situation. You can switch ammunition types easily; just pop a round into the magazine and rack the action, and you can keep the magazine topped up as you're using it. With the ghost ring sights, you can acquire a target extremely quickly, and the rifled slug can reach out to 150+ yards without much of a problem. The tactical flashlight by SureFire is incredibly, mind-numbingly bright, and will blind an enemy while you're filling him full of lead. The short barrel makes the thing easy to maneuver in tight quarters, and the tactical sling allows you to hold it comfortably in a number of ready-to-deploy positions.

So, I'm on the lookout for a good deal on an 870 action. I'd be happy enough to get just the receiver, since I'm planning on putting my own stock and barrel on it anyway.

Author:  Animal [ Sun May 22, 2005 4:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ogredude wrote:
That's nice. The Mauser is one damned solid action. I wouldn't mind having one myself.

Be careful, though, as there's a qualifier there; the 98 Mauser actions are as solid as bank vaults. Pre-98's, including the really popular 96 Swedes, are strictly low-pressure items.

Mausers made during and before WW2 are made of low-carbon, case-hardened steel, for one thing; that means, basically, that you have fairly soft steel with a hard case or "shell." Modern guns, by contrast, are made of a homogenous, hard, high-carbon steel.

98 Mausers are strong enough for most modern cartridge by their design. They have a bigger receiver ring, thicker steel above the feed ramp, and a reinforcing ring behind the barrel. They also have a safety lug on the bolt, and a big flange in the bolt shroud that deflects any gas from a ruptered case away from your eyes.

The 88-91 Belgian/Argentine pattern, like the 93-95 Spanish guns, the 94 and 96 Swedes, and the really rare 97's are small ring guns. They have no reinforcing web and the receiver walls are thinner. Strictly 30k psi guns and lower.

In case anyone isn't sure how to tell the difference, there's one really easy way. Work the action. If the gun cocks on opening, it's a 98. If it cocks on closing - that is, if you have to push the bolt closed against the mainspring - it's a pre-98.

Pre-98's are still fine, well-made guns. I own several. You just have to mind their limitations, and load accordingly. I keep my loads for my 91 very mild, and it's very accurate, reliable and a pleasure to shoot.

Author:  Bookworm [ Sun May 29, 2005 11:19 am ]
Post subject: 

On home defense - what's wrong with a handgun? I don't think I'd want to use a shotgun anywhere near the inside of my home, if for no other reason, because of the absolute mess.

If I shoot someone, in addition to cleaning the carpet (or replacing) and doing some cleaning and repainting, I don't want to have to re-sheetrock half the wall, as well as have any furniture, books, and knick-knacks that are anywhere close to the action professionally cleaned/restored.


Author:  Ogredude [ Tue May 31, 2005 12:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Partially it's the fact that shotguns don't tend to penetrate all the way through the walls, and the pistol ammo that allows you to do the same is bloody expensive.

Partially it's the nice WHCHAK sound you get from loading the thing, which seems to be quite a deterrent...

Partially it's just that the shotgun is damn cool. My 870 is probably my favorite gun in my whole collection.

Author:  Animal [ Tue May 31, 2005 7:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yeah, the intimidation factor of that sound (of a shotgun slide being racked) is pretty high.

When I was about 20, I lived in a tiny house next to a police supply store. I worked third shift then.

One night I came out to climb on my scoot to go to work, and on the roof of the police supply shop, I see some kid crouching, trying to get the skylight open.

I quietly went back into the house, got my old 12-bore, came out, yelled, "Hey!" and racked the slide once.

The kid disappeared from view; I heard a loud crash in the alley behind the store, and the sound of running footsteps. Back in the house I went, called the cops. They showed up - I knew a lot of the local cops, because, well, I had various dealings with a lot of them, usually involving somethign stupid I'd done. The cop who showed up thought it was pretty damn funny. "He probably shit his pants when you racked that slide," he said. "He won't be back."

Nobody tried to break into the place again, at least not while I lived there.

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