Testing the BR99

BR99As mentioned in an earlier post this month a BR99 came in recently with occasional light strike problems, unusual but not completely unheard of. Anyway as this Journal is not always picture heavy so here is yours truly testing at NCB, disappointingly there are only two cases in the air, I will try harder next time.

I guess a box fed semi-auto shotgun is about as close as we will ever get to anything interesting that cycles the next round and has some recoil. I am happy to work on the BR99 and would like to think I know them rather well and do enjoy shooting with them however I am yet to own one myself and probably never well as Practical Shotgun is not a discipline I shoot.

On the subject of semi-autos the Viking is skipping around as we have a Voere .22LR semi-auto rifle coming in shortly and I know she is eager to get her hands on it when we get to the testing stage. Odd how she has started taking a very close interest in anything Rimfire despite being a long distant shooter at heart. We have been doing a fair amount of Sound Moderator development of recent and she is always happy to pull the trigger and shoot the centres out of targets. We also test them at 100m and I have been left standing on the sideline on more than one occasion…

I have noticed that any pictures of me these days have me wearing my Ridgeline Smock, that must tell you something, it is a good couple of years or so old and giving superb service. I have yet to get wet in it and it keeps the wind off, plus has some good pockets. Hopefully it will give many more years of service. Interesting also that since removing my beard start of the year any images of me have my face obscured, well I assure you I am nearly clean shaven these days 🙂

Food time.


A Pair of BR99’s

I recently finished this pair of BR99’s destined for different parts of the country. The top one has a Cerakoted Titanium finish forend with coupled 5 shot magazines, tactical bolt knob, oversize magazine release and so on plus a healthy weight of Chromite in the butt to bring the balance back

BR99 Pair

The bottom one is finished in Flat Dark Earth Cerakote, has the breaching choke and Magpul AFG and both have relieved magazine wells and some polishing hear and there. One thing I have noticed is not all BR99 magazines are equal, in fact no two BR99’s seem to be the same with very subtle manufacturing differences from build to build. I learnt a while ago not to assume that a part destined to fit a BR99 will actually fit without some slight/medium/drastic modifications along the way. Another point is they do tend to shake around a bit so screws have a tendency to come loose unless loctited in place.

BR99 with T&N Forend and SHED Anti Rotation Pin

A few of us have been experiencing problems with the after market Tooth & Nail Level 10 Forend rotating slightly in relation to the BR99 upper. The forend can rotate a few degrees left and right of centre when viewed along the longitudinal axis. In simpler terms if you have iron sights fitted they may cant to left or right destroying any chance of a decent and accurate sight picture. Tooth & Nail as ever were super quick to come to my assistance however this is not an issue they see in the USofA and their suspicion is the European BR99s have a slightly different barrel, receiver configuration so it is difficult for them to help without a Euro spec BR99 to work with. Apparently people slide HT O Rings over the barrel to act as a buffer and align the forend however this is not a perfect solution. Equally people fit Picatinny rail bridging pieces which looks hideous and effectively blot out the front sight when shot with irons. My solution is to add a pin between the the two Picattiny rails. The process is simple, drill and tap a DSC_1792hole central to the end of the rail, I opted for M5. Then took a stainless M5 x 20 screw and machine 14,0mm of the thread to a diameter of 3,9mm. Drill an opposing 4,0mm hole in the other rail, screw and glue the pin in place and slide the two together. DSC_1790You get a nice firm fit with zero rotation and the forend can be removed as normal without having to resort to any hand tools.As ever the pictures are awful however this should give an idea of the fix, this was the first one I modified to prove the concept and the pin was replaced with something a bit shinier to finish the job off. Camera glare allowing you should get an idea of how the job is done. The shiny bit on the rail is not obvious to the eye and I took half a dozen pictures to try and loose it before giving up and just posting this…

Thank you as ever to Matt & Joshua at Tooth & Nail Armoury for their assistance.

EDIT ) have been asked how I align the front and rear rail sections for drilling. I used an old woodworking technique. Make a shorter pin and machine or file it to a point and screw it in so it just stands proud of the front end of the receiver, now slide the forend into place and align it carefully with a steel rule on the side of the rail, if in doubt sight down the rail to ensure both sections are correctly aligned. Place a block of wood or similar at the front of the forend and give it a tap with a hammer and you should get a witness mark where the hole has to be drilled.

Job done!



BR99 Billet Lowers

The BR99 Billet lower project is gathering pace as I work on the final details. One thing that has niggled me is the standard BR99 safety. The standard AR15 type safety selector is held in place by a spring and plunger accessed by removing the hand grip. Once the grip is removed the spring can be pulled out and with a bit of wiggling of the selector the plunger drops out and the selector can be removed.

The BR99 standard lower has a fixed hand grip, the actual method of holding the selector in place is very similar, it has a plunger held under tension with a spring however it also has a small screw at the top to hold the plunger and spring in place. To remove the selector you need so separate the upper and lower, then remove the retaining screw, lift the spring out and then wiggle the selector with the lower inverted. Then wiggle it some more, then tap it on the side, then get a torch and peer inside the hole, then tap it some more, followed by trying to ease it out with a small screwdriver and some sideways force… It does come out eventually however it is not the easiest task in the world.

This has set me thinking, do I use the original safety selector and method of fitting or do I move to the more conventional AR15 bottom spring type. The slight downside to this is additional parts are required, namely a new selector, spring and plunger and if  am going down this route should I look at fitting an ambidextrous selector for left hookers are weak shoulder stages.

I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this.

My back is back, BR99 and musings.

I was ‘back’ to the Osteopath today, my back gave in on me a week before my appointment so some 5 weeks since my last appointment. Apparently it is nowhere near as bad as before and should be sorted with a couple of visits which is, or hopefully will be a relief. It is quite an odd feeling to be lying face down on a couch discussing the Coriolis drift at 1000m whilst someone manipulates your back. My Osteopath is a top chap and does not appear phased by such discussions, in fact he instigated the discussion point and the session seemed to fly past.

I spent part of the morning with an Akdal MKA 1919 owner, the Akdal is basically an early version of the BR99 and it was fascinating to discuss the work he has had to put into the gun to get it to a competition standard, it was also interesting to discuss the differences. The Akdal trigger is certainly not on par with that of the BR99 and the whole gun was just subtly different. He has put 1000+ rounds through it now and it was in superb condition considering the use.

I worked on a couple of BR99 related projects in the afternoon, these are still at design level however I will try and get some prototypes built very shortly. The BR99 is a superb gun however with all things some minor tweaks can be made to aid longevity and improve operation in the form of after market options. I am enjoying working on these things and seem to be receiving a lot of questions on them from various owners, both our customers and others. We have a policy of trying to help all shooters, after all we are a minority here in the UK.

Now on the subject of helping people I have heard of two instances over the last few days where RFD’s here in the UK are charging significant fees for firearms transfers both in and out. I do not mean shipping either, these are fees above and beyond the shipping side of things. Our business is firearms, we do everything from machine tiny little after market parts to build rifles and we also receive and ship out firearms. By law we are required to keep a register of all such transactions and I have a spreadsheet for just this purpose. To add a transactions takes a couple of minutes.

I take a copy of the person’s FAC for our records, check the firearm and enter the details into the register (If they are an existing customer this is a simple click and the details are there) and then the item is boxed up and the courier contacted. If this is a firearm going out to an unknown RFD they are emailed with a request for a copy of their RFD ticket. The firearm is then locked away until the courier arrives. Simplicity itself and a service we offer free of charge other than the shipping to all of our customers. We even offer them a cup of coffee whilst things are sorted out, and the same goes for collections, so I am mystified as to why some people look on this service as a significant money making process.

Yes it does take a few minutes however it certainly does not warrant charges of GBP50.00 and more in my eyes. Am I missing something here? No doubt I would take a slightly different view if someone unknown to us showed up tomorrow and asked us to ship out 10 rifles free of charge, however for existing customers this service will always be at no transfer cost.

Right, it is time for bed, I have an early start machining parts and getting them to the Viking ready for inspection and packaging up, let’s hope my back holds up or I will be living on Coffee and Paracetamol again. 🙁