Screw cutting and Sound Moderators

Credit where credit is due. Wildcat moderators, lovely products, fully strippable, every single part available as a spare and always a super cheery service, even on a Monday and most importantly, made in Great Britain. Thank you Alison at Wildcat.

This one was destined for a beautiful Steyr Luxus and although I did the machining a while ago it is only now that I actually got around to taking the pictures (Complete with fluff) Plus blacking the thread. The crown is a 90 degree which I do for all barrels I thread for sound moderators unless otherwise instructed, the reason being the crown is easier to clean and an undercut or 11 degree crown is unnecessary as the moderators keeps the crown protected.

Feel free to argue 🙂

I just noticed the cutters in the picture. We are experimenting with different makes of cutter at the moment for both the manual and CNC lathes and these were one of the contenders, I am now on a box of German manufactured inserts which are  looking good so far.

We have an active policy of buying British first, then European, then further afield if necessary and I strongly believe it is false economy to buy unbranded inserts.

On the subject of machining, this thread was cut on the 1970’s Colchester Chipmaster we have here. The ‘Chippie’ is a manual lathe although we did upgrade it to DRO (Digital Read Out) a few years ago. This lathe is always a delight to use and cuts superb threads every single time.

The M54S-430 revisited.

The .22LR tube gun has gained a bipod and different ‘scope.

I have been practising shooting this off-hand for LSR and despite being used to heavy rifles I have struggled with this for a variety of reasons so it was time for a change. Accuracy at 50m was superb so why not put it to the test a bit further out? A stud for the bipod was added as I really cannot be doing with a machine rest and the scope was swapped out for a sidewinder. I raised the cheek piece by adding 10mm spacers, yes fully adjustable for height would be nice however it would have added far too much weight and lets face it, once a rifle is set-up correctly it is seldom adjusted.

Final job was test the new set-up and it was a disaster, the POI was way out from the previous outing and I was starting to doubt myself, was it a problem with the rifle or is transporting it in a soft case in the back of a Defender not going to work?

So the rifle was ripped apart and everything checked with the rifle in a vice and a laser pointer used for reference. Starting from the back the butt assembly was removed, followed by the bolt and still no change to the erroneous POI, so I took the opportunity to clean the bore and bolt thoroughly (No issues) Before cracking off the action screws and at this point everything changed, the error was gone and normality resumed. So the action screws are back in and torqued to 4,5 Nm/40 ft lbs and it is ready to be tested at 200m this coming week.

So why the issue? Well having shot it the time before I ran around all of the fixings with a Hex key and found the two M6(F) action screws were not as tight as I would have liked, so I nipped them up like I would on the rear axle of a truck and there lies the issue. So, a somewhat obvious lesson learned and noted. The chassis design is finished now and what better of developing/writing the manual for it than getting out and shooting it?

The Model 12 – Harassing fire.

Wednesday afternoon was dedicated to getting out with a couple of rifles and doing some testing. The Viking had a trigger job to check on the Marlin 7000T, I have made some changes to the M54S-430 (Counter productive it turned out!) Plus I was determined to get the BSA Model 12 on a proper 50m zero and shoot it at 100 yards come rain or shine, which as it turned out, was mostly rain…

The sights on the Model 12 are the original front and rear target and they are basic at best. The front Model 19 has a swing over post/ring that is changed via a small lever on the right hand side of the sight. First time out I noticed it was flipping back on recoil so out it came again, the tiny little wave washer just visible on the major shaft was bent slightly to add some tension and it was put back together. That is 5 very small parts and I resorted to forceps to hold things in place. It only took about a dozen attempts but at least it is holding position under recoil.

One thing I noticed was I have to break position to fumble for ammunition (Eley club) so I added a bullet holder to the right hand side of the receiver.

Another thing I needed to get my head around is the adjustment of the rear sight. Elevation is clockwise for up/further away and clockwise on the windage moves the rear sight right, so point of impact left.

Elevation is a pleasant clockwise for up. The graduations appear to be in a minutes however it lacks a detent and you need keen eyes to be able to read the vernier scale so I have added a piece of masking tape and some basic marks for my 25, 50 and 100 points.

Accuracy for this little rifle can only be described as harassing fire on the day, however I would like to hope I can get everything down to a couple of MOA as a minimum and this is the accuracy claimed by the factory back in the day.

Next challenge is ammunition testing, re-set the zero markers with whatever works best at 100 and get it out to 200.

There has been a lot of interest in this rifle, however I think it will stop with us, it is fun in a challenging way and I do wonder how many people shoot a Model 12 at 100 yards on rainy days in this age.

The BSA Model 12 – A bit more.

This came to us in a less than ideal condition, although it was absolutely complete other than the ‘After market’ butt pad. So the sling, swivels and sights were all correct and original for a 1920s period BSA Model 12 .22 target rifle.

It was also a sensible price due to the condition and a potential customer was found, as the rifle was from a shooter who was retiring we simply offered to find a new keeper and do not charge commission for such items as it is always nice to find them a new and deserving home.

With a new home found I was asked to tidy the gun up, so every last item was stripped, polished and blacked, then oiled and re-assembled. The top/first close up picture is what it looked like before the work.

I was going to do something about the stock however with some scrubbing with hot soapy water and a wipe over with methylated spirits followed by a waxing it looks good and still quite original which is what I wanted.

Sadly the potential new buyer has baled out and I now have a 100 year old target rifle, that still shoots like a new one, looks lovely and is zeroed at 50 ready to shoot and nobody to love or cherish it.

Sad really, maybe it has the makings of an open sighted LSR rifle..

The Marlin 7000 Target (AKA the ‘Boiled Sweet’)

Here is something you don’t see every day, a Marlin 7000T or 7000 Target, also immediately re-named the ‘Boiled sweet’ when the Viking spotted it for the first time.



These are quite scarce here in the UK, this one was built in 1999 according to the serial number and these things came with a heavy micro twist 18″ barrel and an ambidextrous laminated stock with three way adjustable butt stock. Combine this with a large hand swell and you get a stock that looks to be for a 9 year old that fits my 6’3″ frame as equally well as the Viking’s more petite 5’8″ without adjustment, looks truly can be deceptive. This particular rifle came in with 6 magazines and an 18x ‘scope so I can only assume it was used for plinking and Light Sport Rifle in a previous life.

First job was a complete strip and clean then get it out for zeroing and this is where the first issue showed. The barrel was very clean, the action however was grim, a typical un-cleaned semi automatic and adding insult to injury the bolt buffer crumbled away in 4 parts. That was going to be a problem if it was to be zeroed as the last thing I needed was a bolt rattling away inside the receiver. So I improvised with some super glue and duct tape, gave it a wipe over and put everything back together.  Interestingly, this rifle has a self colour aluminium trigger guard and the original guard was black. Also, the over-travel screw was not present so this guard is a replacement for whatever reason. I can soon add an over-travel screw once the rifle function was confirmed. Once everything was back together the trigger weight gauge was used and confirmed a reasonable 1.25kgs/2.75 lbs which is about half that of the Ruger 10/22 we have in the Armoury. Sooo, we have a rifle with a bull barrel, adjustable laminate stock, last round hold open, free fall magazines and an 18X ‘scope all for less than the price of an after-market trigger for a 10/22, I can see someone is going to be happy 🙂

Last job of the day was place an order for a replacement buffer.

Friday, the rifle zeroed and cycled virtually flawlessly on Eley Club (One fail to feed) On CCI HP Subs it was perfect, so a couple of hundred rounds through with both deliberate and rapid fire and a 50 metre zero set. Accuracy is around 1 MOA at 50m/55 yards and will probably improve with different ammunition.

Amazingly the buffer arrived Saturday morning so I stripped the trigger completely and cleaned it properly.  You can see the new buffer next to the original complete with duct tape, it had worked for a couple of hundred rounds and was still intact so I guess this is a reasonable short term fix if you ever end up with a shattered buffer.

The triggers come apart very easily as the two sides are held together with 2,3mm/3-32″  ‘E’ Clips. I had none in stock so ordered 50 for under £2.50 delivered to replace the originals at some point. ‘E’ Clips are sprung and do not fair well when replaced a few times so just replace them.

TIP – The pin the buffer sits on is handed so make sure you replace it the way it came off. If in doubt, the slightly longer end holds the magazine lever in place.

So that is the rifle tested, cleaned and zeroed and ready for whatever the future holds for it.