Hey guys! I'm still not sure how I didn't catch this site launching, but I've rectified the problem now.
A little bit of background on me, first, for some perspective. I'm a bit of a collector of historical oddities, but I also take a lot of interest in hard-line performance data. I'm not afraid of maintenance or modification, and at the same time, I understand the difference between "old" and "valuable". Predictably, I'm no fan of the AR15.
Frequently, I'm asked how I intend to fill the various roles a modern combat rifle could be expected to fill, in order to uphold the spirit of the second amendment.
So, I present for your approval, my response to that question.
THis is my ranch gun, basically what I strap on when I think to myself, "It'd be a good idea to have a weapon on me today, just in case." Obviously I don't go into Chicago much, though they might like the Soviet insignias on my sidearm!
This baby came from an old unmatched Izzy M44 rifle that was a real great shooter but had been all molesticated by CAI's import trades and had a real ugly chopped-up "sporter" stock on it when I got it in '06 for $100. I mean just beautiful groupings (a little under 6" when I bought it) out at 200 yards, even using real nasty surplus ammo, after the new trigger I made for her.
So with no collectible value left, but a huge amount of potential as a practical gun, I got to work.
Here's the short list so far:
-Homemade trigger, cut-down leaf spring material, keyed and tapped to screw a new sear in (welding spring steel, as I've been told, is a bad thing)
-Overtravel stop and return spring added from household junk
-BFH adjustment of receiver ears for more consistent sear engagement and release
-Polishing and re-bluing of the entire inside of the receiver, polished bolt surfaces (not shiny show-polish, but a little less. The surface still holds a film of siliconized Teflon). This and the last step resulted in a bolt that glides like any off-the-shelf gun but feels more rigid.
Now the fun stuff.
-Installed funny-lookin' Archangel stock so my AR15-owner buddies won't make any more jokes about having wood, kept it because it feels reeeeeally nice and probably even more solid than the sporter stock that it had on it
-Installation of Brass Stacker LER scope mount (very happy with this so far)
-Homebrew bedding job with steel epoxy putty
-COunterbored barrel 3/8" to improve crown
These have served to get the grouping down to about 3.5" at said distance, though it's hard to say how much of that isn't due to adding a 'scope to make it a little easier to see what the hell I'm shooting at.
I'm told that the biggest reason that M44's aren't accurate, beyond that they're usually beat-up pieces of turd that need to be taken behind the shed, is that when you get a good one, there's no commercial ammo that works right with it. So I'm playin' with some hand-loads for the shorter barrel to see if I can't maybe use a better slug and a better quality control on the powder to generate, maybe, a gun that will group half of that still at that range. As it stands, it's a little more accurate than my PSL-54C, and a lot more reliable and a whole hell of a lot more easy to clean. I can truthfully say that after playing with this little guy for so many years, I think I'd trust it if I had to take it into the woods and survive.