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The Island of Unloved Battle Rifles

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by KodiakBeer, May 1, 2014.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    This is the final collection of parts for the steampunk build. I'm waiting for the paints and airbrushing equipment which should arrive early this week. When I'm done there will be about $1200 in the build, but the airbrushing equipment and special paints are about $300 of that and I can use them for other guns. So, about $900 for the actual rifle.

    I never could find a wood stock (or stock maker that would cut down and create something that could give me that Lewis Gun look for the rear), so I settled for this Sten Gun looking thing. The other roadblock was the drum magazine. Drums will just not fit on this skull lower, so I'll paint up a couple of my old military surplus M16 mags for it. It has a 1911 grip, which I think makes it look cool, and gives it some wood for that old look. The other stumbling block was that cone shaped flash hider. They just don't make a flash hider like that for the AR15 - the various Commie guns with cones like that have the wrong thread pitch. Amazingly, the M1 (or maybe M2) Carbine has that thread pitch and the exact barrel width, and for a time they used that cone shaped flash hider. I'm not sure when those were used, but a company called Inland is making repro M1 Carbines and this beauty is offered in their parts department. On this build, it will be antiqued brass.

    The paint equipment is on the way - bake-on Cerakote and Duracoat colors to mimic brass, copper, olive drab, gray Parkerizing, etc. I've got some stencils to put on different places, but they won't be too flashy, since they'll go on in olive drab over "aged" brass and gray Parkerizing. Everything will be painted and these bake-on gun paints are as tough or tougher than any bluing or Parkerizing. The only black parts on the rifle will be the sights. I'll actually paint on the wear and tear for the antique look - greenish showing through the brass parts and stuff like that.

    Notice that the front handguard goes right over the gas block where the sight normally mounts. I found a low mount gas block that will hide under that long handguard. The front sight is more of a traditional looking thing that will fit on the end of the barrel, tightened on with screws. I neglected to slip that on for the photo. Just finding a sight like that had me pulling out my hair, but I finally found one. Without that detail, it would just look like a gussied up AR15. I'd have to go with a short handguard, and a standard front sight mounted on the gas block, etc, - that front sight solved a bunch of problems in getting a look I could live with. Oh, and with that front sight I get an extra seven inches of sight radius. Those who are iron sight rifle shooters will appreciate it isn't really the length of the barrel that counts for accuracy, it's the distance between the sights, which makes for a finer sight picture. The barrel is free-floated with a fast 1 in 7 twist (for heavy slugs), so it may be a very accurate rifle when finished.

    It will still be a few weeks before the final product. I need to take the painting slow, work with different color combinations, mix paints and see what each one looks like - for example, I order a light "Parkerizing" gray, so I may add various amounts of olive drab to darken it and choose the tint I want. All of the brass needs olive drab under it, baked on, then a coating with the brass, scrub off bits here and there with acetone so the green shows through then bake on everything for the antique look. It would just be a shame to spend all this money and then rush the paint job. I'll probably do one color a day, clean out the airbrush, then do another color the next day.


    Steam.jpg
     
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  2. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Shambhala http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv9DwzU3K
    Looking good, Lucy...Wish i had a cool hobby.
    It looks very light.
    Have you test fired it yet?
    Looking forward to the bacon test.
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The rifle isn't assembled yet; that's just the parts laid together to give an idea of what it will look like. So, no, it hasn't been test fired. It will be much easier to paint the individual parts, then assemble, then test fire. It should work just fine. Sometimes you get a few boggles when first fired, as the metal "marries up" and it fits itself, but the AR is so modular and the specs so widely matching that you almost never have a problem.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    My Kitty Kat. Various cats and other critters are out at the pond in my front yard every evening, night, morning.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Otto

    Otto No More Half Measures Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice looking bobcat, it looks well fed. I wouldn't want to be a Javelina around your homestead when it's hungry.
     
  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Keith, I really like the look of your project. it looks functional, purposeful+honest. So many try too hard and end up looking like three SWAT teams put every idea they ever had on one. "Tactical" is now applied to screw driver sets !! :) You are doing a nice job with it. thanks for sharing your project.

    As for the bobcat, I agree with Otto, either he has a fine thick coat or he is getting his share of pork !!! Nice looking feline.

    Gaines
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The javelina are safe from bobcats, unless maybe a young one gets picked off when Mom is looking the other way. Bobcats specialize in rabbits and we have no shortage of both jackrabbits and cottontails.
     
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  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Thanks, Professor! Other than the skull, it should just look like something vaguely 1910(ish). That picatinny rail will be hidden under a cover to hide the last modern looking feature. I bought a Timney match trigger, and with that long sight radius and free-floated barrel, it might just be a tack driver. Accuracy is always a crap shoot when building a rifle. You just do what you can and hope the barrel is true.
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    You forgot the bayonet lug.
     
  10. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I don't know what the point of double-barreled AR is, but it looks fun.

    The cheap airbrush I bought for this project went to hell an hour after I started painting, so now I'm waiting for a new one, a better one. My old man told me never to buy cheap tools, but I sometimes forget that lesson. I did get the upper and barrel painted before it stopped working so I can get the barrel torqued in this weekend with my neighbor's barrel vice and wrench. The color (of those parts) is a nice flat gray that looks enough like old-school Parkerizing to pass inspection.
     
  12. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Could you use a stock from a Thompson? or an SLR?
    Ive seen feral cats that size...bastards.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Aged brass. I'm done with the painting and waiting on two jobs that I farmed out. One thing was the stock/cheek rest. It's metal stock something like a Sten stock, but the cheek rest is some sort of rubber thing that looks too modern. So, I took that to an old Mexican saddle maker on the border, who will sew a leather cover over that for a correct "period" look.
    The other thing I farmed out was the actual barrel mounting. That should be done by somebody with the correct tools (which I'm to cheap to buy). The barrel has to be mounted into the upper receiver with the correct amount of torque and alignment. I could probably get that right on an AR, but then I'd always worry about it since it's critical to function and safety.

    Aged Brass.jpg Aged Brass2.jpg
     
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  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Oh, and CAC, no. I can't use a Thompson stock because the buffer tube assembly goes inside the stock. It would have to be a straight stock like an STG44 or FG42, or one of the wooden AR15 stocks out on the market. A normal rifle stock has a drop (curves downward) and wouldn't accommodate that buffer tube inside. I couldn't find anyone willing to "Steampunk" a wooden AR15 stock, and other straight stocks are just as much work and generally unavailable.
     
  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The Messican saddle maker called and said the leather cheek-rest for the stock was ready. I think he's closed on the weekend, so prolly Monday before I can drive down there and pick it up. I tried to explain Steampunk to him when I brought him the hollow upper stock part, but he just looked at me funny. Even so, he understood what I wanted, though I don't think he got that I wanted distressed, old "viejo" leather. It's no big deal if it's new shiny leather, I'll just beat it up myself. Once I get that back, I can actually build the lower receiver.

    The upper is still in the hands of the guy mounting the barrel. He's just doing this as a favor, so I can't rush him. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week...

    I was thinking of creating a fake history for this rifle, just to mess with people. Like; "It's a Hoyt-Clagwell Avenger, circa 1908, when they branched out from steam tractors and made rifles to export to Bulgaria for the rebels."
     
  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    BEHOLD! The Hoyt-Clagwell Avenger, Automatic Rifle, Mark II.

    These rare American rifles were produced by the Hoyt-Clagwell Steam Tractor Company, of Hooterville, South Dakota.
    The Hoyt-Clagwell People's Tractor is well known to anyone who has studied early 20th century American technology. This low cost tractor with its revolutionary pot-metal drive train was a big hit with cash strapped farmers when it was released in 1914, but when the lawsuits hit and the subsequent burning down of the factory by enraged farmers, they didn't go under as you'd expect. Instead, they branched out into the rifle business. Hoyt and Clagwell, always optimistic, decided to re-purpose the remaining tractor parts into an automatic rifle. Well, Clagwell decided to do that, since Hoyt was pretty deep into the whiskey by that point. Anyway, working out of the remaining outbuilding that survived the fire, Clagwell built over 200 automatic rifles, which were then sold to the Mexican army, badly in need of rifles to fight Pancho Villa.
    Through lucky happenstance, I was able to lay hands on one of these rare rifles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Test firing with the vintage Hoyt-Clagwell is promising. The stockpile of specialty ammo seems very effective at Haid Assploding (an industry term),so it seems a very practical rifle for a country gentleman like myself.

     
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  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I thought the Hoyt Clagwells fired the hard to find .229 x 36.

    Did you work the purchase through Eustace C. Haney?
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Oddly enough, Mr. Haney did stop by with a load of ammo that he assured me was close enough for the loose tolerances of the Hoyt-Clagwell rifle. I was able to get my hired man, Zeb, to test the rifle and he's no worse for wear except for a brief coma, some hair loss and an incessant ringing in his ears. After a hearty breakfast of hotcakes he was as good as new, other than the tremors and night terrors. .
     

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