Rear Bag Riders for the Tikka T3 TacA1

We have just finished a run of these in standard and lightweight options.

As ever the plate is 6082 vapour honed black anodised aluminium and this one has the ‘competition’ carbon fibre tube so overall weight is under 150 grams, whereas the standard is closer to 200 grams.

 

Do bear in mind the carbon tube is not as robust as the standard aluminium tubed version, having said that they seem to stand up to a lot of abuse, I just would not jump up and down on one of them!

We also build the RBR for all Accuracy International models including the competition special at 99 grams. Also covered are the Sako TRG 21/22 & 41/42 models plus a variety of standard T3 models.

Also, due back from the anodisers very shortly are rear bag rider brackets for the GRS range of rifle stocks in both standard and light weight versions which look really good when fitted to a GRS stocked rifle.

A 75 MOA Rail for a .22LR

We were asked to make a one-off 75 minute rail for an Anschutz rim-fire rifle for long distance target shooting. (400 yards off the elbows with a ‘scope)

Jobs like this are interesting, albeit time consuming. I had to calculate the cut across the length of the base and make sure the dovetail fit was very precise.

The block itself is locked in place with M8 grub screws from above, with a second screw added to lock things in place.

Finish is rattle can black as I did not have time to get the parts vapour honed and anodised.

 

 

 

Here it is assembled and ready to head off to the customer.

Something slightly different and interesting.

 

 

I will add some more words on this project shortly however I thought it would be interesting to get an idea of the job.

The BSA Ralock

A .22LR BSA Ralock dating to 1949 arrived today.

The Ralock was produced by BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) from 1947 to 1949 in two guises, the S was for .22 Short and was produced from 1947 and the T was for .22LR and was produced from 1949 to mid 1951 with the long rifle versions production stopping in mid 1951 with only 5,696 S&T variant rifles having been made.

In case you wondered Ralock is an abbreviation for Radial Lock which is a reference to the breech locking mechanism. I will add some more pictures at a later date.

The Ralock is a semi-automatic rim-fire rifle with a blow back breech block design that was apparently based on machine gun development from the Second World War. The interesting part is the enclosed receiver that catches the spent cartridges as they are ejected, so no more hot cases down your shirt sleeve as with the Browning SA22, the downside is when you open the breech with the lever on the underside all of the hot cases go down your shirt sleeve instead of just the one. The lever is also used for cocking the action.

The 8 Shot tubular magazine is filled via the side loading port on the left hand side of the Butt stock a per the SA22.

Being of such a design means showing safe is all but impossible unless you remove the barrel, however you can open the bolt and pass a length of heavy nylon cord through the load port and out of the muzzle, add a small piece of tape as a flag and you are good to go. Alternatively just remove the barrel and pop it into a small rucksack or leg of mutton case.

The actual take down process is the easiest I have ever operated, lift a lever and pull the barrel out, job done. To fit the barrel reverse the procedure and it does not appear to be dependant on the bolt being back or forwards

Construction is incredibly robust with a receiver machined from what was probably a solid lump of steel. The safety is a slide type device as you would find on some pump action shotguns at the top rear of the receiver.

The barrel looks to be around 24″ long and the front sight is noticeable by its hight, this rifle is particularly nice as it has the majority of its original finish and has not been screw cut for a sound moderator or had the receiver drilled for a telescopic sight.

The trigger is reasonably light and crisp and the moving parts are removed by first dropping the barrel off, then pulling the front of the bottom trigger guard down and out it pops. You need to remove the magazine follower first and this is secured and removed form the rear of the butt.

I suspect it will take less than 15 seconds to remove the magazine follower, barrel and trigger set and about the same to replace it which is probably quicker than the Browning SA22 of the same era, plus the Ralock feels a lot more robust and lacks the potential fiddly barrel head spacing mechanism of the Browning.

It needs a good service and it can then head out to the range for a test firing, I will report back on that later.

Assembling the Handi Rifle Receiver

A while ago a small box arrived in the post, inside was the receiver of an AAC Handi Rifle in bits with a note telling me it had been light striking so the owner had pulled it apart, could I please assemble it and sort the problem out.

Now I have to admit I am not a fan of these things and have certainly never had need to break one down into its individual components so off I went to the internet to look for some ‘Handi’ hints and tips and a drawing or two and a wasted couple of hours later I came to the conclusion I was going to have to do this the hard way…

First job was to work out how these things actually operate and I opted to build the parts externally using the pins to hold everything in place, it immediately became apparent that my fingers were not going to assemble things inside the receiver without some help and one ‘Handi’ thing I had found was people talked about using a short pin to hold everything together.

So off to the lathe and two short brass pins were assembled, these ones are 15,0mm long by 4,70mm diameter with rounded ends. Next job was a couple of dummy pins, these are 8,0mm 316 stainless reduced to 4,70mm diameter for a length of 39,0mm again with a rounded nose. The 4,70mm is not super critical, just aim for a sliding fit.

Time to assemble the main parts and put everything together. This is probably the culmination of three hours work as it really was a trial and error thing and I tried building from bottom up, so trigger first and top down so hammer first and opted for the latter in the following stages.

Firstly, assemble the trigger, key part here is to correctly index the trigger extension to the trigger however there is a little pin that ensures the trigger and extension are correctly orientated.

 

You can hold everything together with one of your short brass pins and don’t forget the barrel catch spring, this one was coloured red which was handy when I dropped it on the floor…

 

Place the trigger asassembly to one side for fitting later on. I use small clear plastic trays from my local Chinese take-away for this task, they are convenient and I have a good excuse to order one from time to time.

Next job is the  striker and lifter assembly, this is easy enough once you have worked out which way the lifter spring goes in and once you have this sorted assemble the parts with your other short brass pin. This picture should show how the spring is correctly fitted.

 

Now you can fit the firing pin and spring, I did not put the release lever in at this stage however I did use one of my stainless dummy pins, to keep the notch on the back of the pin correctly aligned and everything secure.

 

Next job is pop the lifter into place from the underside of the receiver, push your dummy pin through, do remember the final assembly pins only push in from one left to right so whatever happens you need your dummy pin head on the right hand side at some point so you can push it out with the correct assembly pin. A quick word of warning here, the top firing pin retaining pin is slightly shorter so do not get it mixed up with the others.

With the lifter in place you can now fit the hammer, I pushed the dummy assembly pin in from left to right initially to enable me to locate the spring afterwards, the short leg fits behind the stand off pin on the hammer.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here you go. The forceps serve no purpose other than to add some weight to the long leg of the spring so you can see the short leg located correctly.

If you do not have any locking forceps get some, for me they rank alongside dummy pins, punches and good files and are every bit as important as decent turn screws and hammer spring compressors or bolt take down tools. They cost very little on that well known auction site. Now you can push the long leg down into place, it is located on the inside of the trigger guard well.

Next job is to fit the trigger guard assembly. This simply slots in from the bottom however I would suggest you confirm the fit, which is front first without the barrel catch spring to make sure you understand how it goes in. If you are happy so far fit the spring and lift the assembly into place with the receiver held vertically or the spring will fall onto the floor and hide in a dark corner. Guess how I know this…

OK, now fit the thin front trigger guard retaining pin, followed by the rear pin. As you slide the rear pin in the short brass spacer will be pushed out of the other side. I push the pins in until they meet the knurled section only and drift them into place when everything is together and operation checked.

Now you can fit the release lever and check it really is OK, all good, push the remaining pins in, I use a brass drift and small hammer for this operation and there you go, a fully assembled and functional Handi Rifle action.  You can probably read this and assemble the action in 45 minutes on a good day however please do spare a thought for me, wading through misinformation and poor videos before I got this far. No doubt some lovely young lady at the factory would put the receiver together in three minutes flat however she probably has thinner fingers than I have and the benefit of having assembled hundreds if not thousands of the things.

If you look at my pictures closely you will spot that I fitted the lifter before the firing pin and also added the barrel release lever earlier than I described however with hindsight I believe my written description is the best way to assemble one of these things.

One final thing, would I have one now? Actually I probably would in .300 Blackout  or something equally as quiet.

I do wonder what next will arrive in a box of bits in the post. right, it is time to get out and test a gun now so at least I get to make a noise for a few minutes 🙂

 

Reloading and wet dogs

This lunchtime I have been reloading 6,5-284 (Again!)

I say again as these were for zeroing and load development however the first batch was not good so I pulled the bullets with the trusty collet puller and re-loaded again with 48 grains of N160 which hopefully will get the job done.

The rifle is a Schultz & Larsen M97-DL Sporter and this particular rifle stock is a bit unusual over here in the UK and probably not much more common in Europe. The stock is a fairly typical 300m competition type however it works well for sporting uses as well and can be shot thumb up or thumb down and has a nicely formed palm swell and adjustable cheek riser, all features that seem to fit and suit me well. Unfortunately it has always been my wife’s rifle however she has agreed to relinquish ownership to myself so she can acquire a particular Savage 99 she has been after for a while.

The rifle has a Kahles K312 fitted on Apel bases and rings and currently sports a turner all weather sling which is mine. So with some paperwork I am hoping to be the new owner hence the load development for a bullet to suit my needs.

Our reloading bench is a modest affair, to this day I still use a Lee Cast Classic that I purchased when I first started reloading many years ago. I had wanted a Redding press and eventually acquired one but soon parted with it as the Lee had become a firm favourite. I also use an RCBS Summit press for minor work such as de-capping and mandrel work. Adjacent to the Lee is a Dillon 1000 for repetitive carbine ammunition manufacture as it can churn out rounds by the hundred with very little user input other than a watchful eye. It is fitted with a Dillon case feeder and I do have a bullet feeder for it however it currently off the machine for some tweaks. Next along is a MEC Junior for 12 bore slug and I need to add a method of loading .410 slug at some point as well. Not in shot are the dies and I use a huge range of makes from Redding through Forster to Hornady and Lee with some real oddities in-between for the  esoteric cartridges we load for.

Every round I load is filled with an RCBS Charge Master 1500 and it is interesting to note that I am using a Sinclair run out gauge to test every single round I make on the LEE. Interesting in that I have manufactured dozens of our own design of gauge yet I no longer own one, the same goes for neck wall thickness gauges, I have built so many yet no longer own one however I did spot some parts for one on a shelf the other day so I had better make an effort to produce one for myself and stop using the Sinclair version which I have never been a real fan of despite them performing well.

We are in the middle of a solid 3-4 week run on gun work and slowly getting through the jobs however that does not stop us from our customary visits to the Salt Marsh with the dogs and yesterday saw six of us Myself, the Viking, two adult dogs and the two pups) splashing around in the last of the Sea Lavender after a reasonably high tide. The pups are at the stage where we can let them run free and they, for the most stay near my side along with my Labrador, the Viking’s Lurcher is usually in sight doing whatever he does, probably looking for things.

Last week was the pups first time at the Marsh and they discovered water, this week they are happy to splash around and the black one was very close to swimming at one point however the water was not quite deep enough. His wiser brother tends to try and jump such obstacles if at all possible.

I note also that the black one watches the adult Labrador like a Hawk and emulates his actions which has to be a good thing unless he finds another dead seal and also rolls on it.

The yellow one is turning out well and seems to almost instinctively know what is expected of him, his black brother not so much so however he also shows a keen independence. They are truly poles apart when it comes to character and traits and it is always a joy and a privilege to be out with them.

Back to work 🙂