The Packable AR-15 9MM Rifle

There’s a new company out called Quarter Circle that is building AR receivers in 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP from the ground up. They take Glock Magazines and it sounded good so I took a gamble and ordered both a receiver and the bolt which was cut for the Glock mags.

I’m glad that I took that gamble. Once I assembled everything in the typical AR fashion, I really expected it to be problematic. AR’s in 9mm don’t exactly have a stellar history of working without lots of tinkering and I expected this one to be no different.

I had to fabricate a 9mm barrel out of a barrel blank because I could not find an AR barrel in the 9MM caliber in the short length that I was looking for. I decided on a 5″ length and made it a bit heavier profile than most because my intention was to hang a suppressor on it. I threaded it for 5/8-24 on the front just for that.

While I was building it, I thought that putting a Huntertown DOLOS unit on it might make it more interesting. It can be broken down in just a couple of seconds and it could be packed virtually anywhere. A patrol bag, a bug out bag, in a survival kit, its short and its light and most of all…its accurate.

So I loaded up a few magazines using 3.5 grains of Red Dot and 147 grain plated bullets. Since I did plan on shooting it suppressed, I wanted hard hitting bullets that were fairly quiet.

Imagine my surprise when I shot the magazine dry. No malfunctions, no mis-feeds, no failures to extract…nothing. It ran 100% and it did it both slow fire and as fast as I could shoot it. The recoil was pretty much non existent, in fact I shot it one handed just to see how it would handle. This thing would be great for women and children. Its was past hearing safe with the can on it and its as fun to shoot as any rifle out there.

So, we now have a rifle that can be made ready to fire in less than 5 seconds. Think about that. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, you could pull it out of a pack, assemble it, charge it and be cocked, locked and ready to rock.

Quarter Circle Ten has a winner here. The lower does exactly what it is supposed to with none of the known issues that other conversion kits have. It wont be my last one. Up next is the .45 lower.


AR 9mm 2c

Here it is in my patrol bag. How cool is it to have a rifle that you could pack, assemble really quick and be able to use the magazines that you had on your belt?

Packable AR 9mm

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The Mighty .460 Smith and Wesson Rifle

The Mighty .460 Smith and Wesson Bolt action rifle

I’m always looking for new ideas and this seemed like a great one. We were talking about subsonic calibers with suppressors that were being used to specifically hunt feral hogs. Several examples were brought up about the fact that the .300 Blackout was failing on the big pigs. While it seemed to have stellar performance on most of them, it seems like it was lacking a bit for the really big hogs (+300lbs.) which would often run off and be lost, sometimes without even a blood trail.

Our discussion went to what might be the ultimate pig rifle. The problem is, there really isn’t much to choose from in anything over .30 caliber. We wanted something that was reloadable using standard brass in an established caliber that was easy to get just about anywhere, could possibly use cast lead bullets and could be suppressed enough to get off a least a couple of shots on a herd moving towards you.
There are some wildcats that fit the bill, the .50 Hushpuppy being one of them, but that requires a lot of effort to make usable brass.
We wanted something that was easy.

One of my friends suggested that the .460, if it could be made to work, might be a good candidate for a pig rifle. When I asked why, what he said made perfect sense. The .460 can also shoot the .454 Casull, or even the .45 Colt.
While the .454 Casull is a smoking round, the .45 Colt runs a sedate 800 and something feet per second speed right out of the box. Meaning that, for people like him that didn’t reload, having the ability to run to the local Walmart or Sports Shop to buy a box of heavy projectiles that were already subsonic was a definite plus.
Now, we already know that any subsonic bullet isn’t exactly going to be very flat shooting…in fact, the trajectory of most resemble the arc of a rainbow. On the subsonic .460 it is no different. One thing that the .460 could handle though is a standard off the shelf box of supersonics traveling at over 2000 FPS that could be used for longer shots where suppressed shots weren’t an issue. An example would be walking up on a heard of hogs in a field, say around 150 yards or so. One could simple take the can off, pop some full house loads in the magazine and start shooting.
This was an idea that sounded great. With supersonic rounds you had the range with plenty of energy for the big pigs. If you are slipping through the woods or sitting in a stand using a suppressor in hopes to ambush several hogs, the .45 Colt ammo had the quiet energy to do it.

So, after thinking about it for awhile, I thought that I’d try it out.
I started with an Encore. I got a barrel and some brass from a friend of mine, and to test the concept out, I immediately threaded the barrel 5/8-24. I had just got a silencer in from X-Caliber. It is a .45 caliber can, is user serviceable and it is as quiet as any out there for less cost than the rest of them.
That can sounds good with everything. Its rated for subsonic .300 Blackout and it is quieter on my bolt rifles than some of the .308 cans are. Since we were running subsonic .460 through it, I figured that it wouldn’t be an issue.
So the barrel was threaded, with the can on it and we were good to go. I started out using some hand loads that I had loaded for my .45 Colt Ruger Vaquero. They were loaded with Accurate Arms No. 5 and had a cast 255 grain bullet stuffed in it. They were great in the Vaquero, so I tried them out.
I first thought that the shorter case might be an issue with the accuracy due to the amount of bullet ”jump” , the distance it had to go before engaging the rifling. This is a known issue on some calibers and I thought that it might be the same here…sort of like shooting a .36 case in a .357 magnum. Yes it works and its done a bunch but its not exactly the most accurate load for a .357.

As it turns out my fears were unfounded. Sighting in the scope at 25 yards and shooting several through the same hole proved that maybe is wasn’t the issue that I thought it could be. It was accurate and wonderfully so.
It worked out great. So we knew then that store bought .45 Colt ammo could be used effectively in the .460.
The only limitation that the Colt has is that due to case capacity, 300 grain bullets are about as long as you can go. Not really a handicap, but since it’s a .460 we figured we could do better.
A friend of mine that was working in parallel with me brought over some loads in the .460 cases. These were loaded with 405 grain cast lead bullets. These were originally designed for the .45-70’s and bigger, being .458 in diameter. They had to be sized in several steps to get to the .454 diameter used by the .460.
We tried two different powders. Trailboss and Red Dot, both of which have been used for various suppressed loads because they are quieter than other powders.
So, bracing for shock, I touched the first one off.

I couldn’t believe it. It was as quiet as any Blackout out there. There was a bit of a kick, not bad but noticeable but shooting a 405 grain bullet that was too be expected. Still, for a suppressed load one could shoot all day without any discomfort at all.
We were putting those big lead bullets through one hole at 25 yards. I had concerns about the twist being too fast to stabilize the long bullets but checking a couple of bullet twist calculators showed it to be good and it was.

I might add that we were using a Nikon BDC reticle, and once you figure out where to hold at what range, its easy to use.

I was impressed. It sounded good, it shot good and you didn’t have to walk up to the target to see the big holes in the paper. So far…so good.
So, expanding on the success of the Encore, I figured that a bolt action rifle could be modified to do the same thing.
I took a Savage that I had which had a .45 ACP barrel on it and took the barrel off. The .45 ACP worked great but it was a single shot gun due to the fact that the bullet case was too short to be held properly in the magazine. Figuring that the .45 Colt or the .460 would have no issues because it was longer, I re-chambered the ACP by simply running a .460 reamer right into it. That was quick and easy.

I did have to disassemble the bolt and remove the bolt head so that I could re-bore it. The case head on the 460 runs around .540 diameter. The bolt head that I had was originally for a .308 which is smaller so I counter bored the bolt face. That didn’t take long and inserting the .460 case into the head showed a perfect fit.
Stuffing 3 rounds into the magazine can be tricky. I didn’t modify the magazine feed lips, it seems to work OK without it. You have to place them in there a certain way, or they will just strip out the top. When I figured that out it wasn’t an issue. I suppose that I could grind the feel lips just a bit but as long as it’ll work, I’d rather leave it alone in case I want to swap calibers later on down the road.
The Savage rifle in .460 does well. I can see this becoming popular in this area. Its simple to build, requiring just a .45 caliber barrel, a counter bored bolt head, and some threads on the end of the barrel for a suppressor. It’s quiet and that bullet slapping the berm the predominate sound. It looks good too.

460 Smith and Wesson Rifle C

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The 1/7 Twist .22 Hornet

You have probably read of the Hornet Project here on this blog. We achieved what we set out to do which was duplicate .22 Long Rifle specs for suppressed rifles in a cartridge that could be reloaded. That project was a huge success and we were very pleased with the results.

The only issues with that project that we had is that a typical Hornet is either a 1/14 or 1/16 twist depending on the manufacturer. While that works great for the lighter bullets at high speeds, its less than ideal for subsonic bullets of more than 50 grains. Anything heavier than that just would not stabilize. Using 55 grain bullets would see the bullets hitting an 8″x 10″ sheet of paper sideways…if it hit the paper at all.

So…we got to thinking about that. My friend Trent, the one that really brainstormed this project and I thought that we might try a faster twist to stabilize heavier bullets, sort of mimicking the .300 Blackout concept, but with a .22 caliber.

Looking around on the net, I found some Green Mountain .223 barrels that were on sale for 99 bucks. They were stainless 1.06 barrel blanks, just the thing for re-barreling the Hornet. I ordered the Hornet reamer and the headspace gage and when it came in, I fabricated the barrels. I chose to leave them at 1″ diameter and eventually cut mine back to 18″ and threaded it for a .22 suppressor. Trent wanted a longer barrel so his was cut to 22″.

Testing with various bullet weights, these rifles are accurate. I started out with 55 grain bullets that I had a bunch of for loading the .223’s and they did well with Red Dot. These loads were quiet and accurate.

Next, I tried some 62 grain bullets, running approximately 1000 FPS. No issues there either, they were quiet and accurate.

Finally, we settled on 69 grain Sierra Boat Tail Match Hollow points. These are as accurate as I can shoot them and using 2.6 grains of Red Dot, they are as quiet as anything out there. I took it out to the range and started popping 4″ steel gongs with it. They hit the gong so much harder that the subsonic .22 Long Rifles that it was evident to anyone that was there to hear it. Where as the .22 Long Rifles would hit the gong with a “ping”, the 69 grainers were hitting it with a rather loud “WHACK” and tried to rip the gong off of the chains holding it.

Comparing the 69 grain bullets to the standard 35 grain bullets used by most .22 Long Rifles and using the JBM Ballistic Calculator available on the Internet, we more than doubled the kinetic energy and range by using the heavier bullets. The penetration capabilities of the heavier bullet aren’t even in the same league as the .22 LF, due to the spitzer shape of the streamlined bullets with a much better ballistic coefficient than the round nose design of the .22 LF.

We already know that the subsonic .22 LR bullet when fired through a suppressor is a great small game killer. Squirrels, rabbits, crows, possums and other small critters are no match for it.

By doubling the energy using the .22 Hornet with 69 grain bullets, we are moving from a small game getter to a medium game getter. Large coons, foxes and even coyotes are fair game with a suppressed rifle. For the pelt hunters out there, this could be the ideal round that is quiet, accurate and wont tear a pelt up.

Here’s a picture of the Hornet rifle…
Ruger 22 Hornet 1in 7 Twist

Here’s a picture of the 69 grain bullet…seated to look just like a “normal” Hornet round.
Hornet 69 Grain

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The Stevens 200 turned .300 Blackout

I walked into a pawn shop the other day and talked to the owner. “What have you got that I cant live without”? I asked. He knows that I’m always looking for a good deal on a rifle to make into something else.

He showed me a relatively new Stevens Model 200. I’ll admit, I’ve never messed with a Stevens, knowing it to be made by Savage as one of their bottom line guns. It looked brand new and he told me that it had issues and that he just didn’t want to mess with it. The original owner had fired less than a box of .223 through it and had extraction problems. That was all that he could tell me about the gun. So, I took a gamble on it and gave him 200 bucks for it. It did look new after all and I had hoped that the issues with extraction were fixable.

As it turned out, when I got it home all it lacked was the small ball and the extractor. I went to Midway USA on the net and soon ordered a couple of each. Total fix for the gun was around 12 bucks. I shot it, every thing worked perfectly as designed, and I had another bolt action rifle that I really didn’t need but Hey…it was cheap.

I had just had a run of Green Mountain 1 in 8 twist .30 caliber barrels done for me by a local tool and die shop. He built them on a CNC lathe using the Green Mountain blanks that I gave him and he built them to my specs. I’d had a hard time finding a 1/8 twist barrel in a 16″ or 16.5″ length that was threaded for a suppressor so I had a half dozen made up. I didn’t chamber them, thinking that a 1/8 twist for subsonic projectiles in a .308 rifle would be better for the heavier bullets. Having several .308 rifles. I knew that they refused to stabilize any bullet over 180 grains as subsonic speeds. They were just too long to be pushed slow and they would hit the target sideways at 25 yards, leaving a perfect profile of the bullet on the paper…if it even hit the papers.

So, I grabbed one of those barrels and swapped it out with the thin .223e barrel that came on the gun.

One thing that I have learned over the years is that thin barreled guns do not like heavy suppressors on them. The barrel whip is just too much. Knowing that, I had the barrels produced with a varmint profile. When shooting suppressors on rifles, the heavier the barrel is the more accuracy you will see.

I swapped out the barrel, head spaced it and shot it with some off the shelf Remington Subsonic, 220 grain OTM. I’m not really a fan of this ammo, as it is louder than most of my reloads but since I had a case of it laying around, I shot a box of it through the gun with a suppressor on it just to see how it did. I might add that I had to set the stock up in the milling machine and take a bit out of the barrel channel as the varmint weight barrel was to big to fit properly.

I put a Nikon BDC scope on it and off I went.

Once it was sighted in, I was pleasantly surprised. The gun is accurate and worked flawlessly. Here a picture of the rather simple looking rifle and then a picture of one of the groups. There are 8 shots in that group. That’s about all I can expect with the setup I used, I think a rear sandbag would have tightened it up some but unfortunately for me my dog decided that that nice leather bag that I left laying on my bench would be just the thing to chew on and he shredded it. Completely.

It’s proof that even a cheap gun can be made to shoot.Stevens 1 c

Stevens 2 C

Here it is dressed up wearing a Boyds stock. It looks much better and feels much better.

DSC_0034 C

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The Kimber .22

A friend of mine asked if I could do something for his Kimber Custom .22. in the way of mounting a suppressor to it. He had looked everywhere on the Internet and there just isn’t anyone making any threaded barrels for the Kimber. After a call to Kimber to see if they did in fact have one, they let me know that they did not have any and they didn’t plan on making any. So, I did some research on the subject and saw that there were a couple of ways to deal with that, that several people have done.

After a bit of thought, I figured out how to do it. It’s not hard, but I did want the fit-up to be flawless in execution and that was somewhat problematic according to some of the accounts that I read, so I knew I had to be careful in how I went about it. I made a barrel extension, machined it to the same outer diameter as the barrel and gave it a bit of length to accommodate different suppressors. As it turns out, it was flawless in operation, no failures to feed, extract and it appears to be pretty accurate.

Here are a few pictures.
This one shows the extension threaded to the barrel.
The threaded barrel

Here’s a closeup of the extension in the slide.

Barrel inserted into slide.

Barrel inserted into slide.

Here’s a picture of the gun.

Showing how it fits.

Showing how it fits.

Last but not least…the suppressed Kimber .22. I think it came out better than I expected. What do you think?

The Suppressed Kimber

That Kimber .22 is a fine shooter. Its light, accurate and the predominate sound when using CCI Standard is the slide clack and the thump of the bullet.

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Another Suppressed .22

Here’s one that I built that was just too good to not show.
Its a bit different than most, having a scope on it. I actually built it for someone else that saw mine, and naturally I had to test fire it to make sure that it was 100 percent. You would think that that short 2″ barrel would have a hard time cycling but in actually does great with CCI standard or subsonic ammo and its surprisingly accurate with that scope and a good rest.

Best thing is…its fun to shoot. This has to be the greatest “neighborhood gun” there is…you know, for those quiet shots for critters in the trash can when you don’t want to wake everyone up.

Stacys Gun C

Its a Ruger 22/45 with a Huntertown Arms can on it. Its as quiet as an integral and its not any longer, but it has the added advantage of being able to screw off and attached to another gun. Its the best of both worlds really.

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Modifiying .300 RUM dies to work with the .50 Razorback

I got the dies in for the .50 Razorback rifle. I couldn’t find any .50 Alaskan dies or even .50-110 dies so instead of looking on the Internet for the next two years, I figured that I could modify a set of the .300 Remington Ultra Mag dies to work since it is the parent case of the .50 Razorback.

The factory decapping die works fine, so I left it as is. Here is a picture of it.
Depriming die c

I needed a way to bell the case mouth and size it so I fabricated a die to do just that. This one will uniformly size the cases to .508 and has enough adjustment on it to be able to flare the case mouths enough so that they don’t shave the bullets. It seems to work pretty well and is based of off what is known as a “M” die.

Here is a picture of it assembled and then taken apart so that you can see the sizing button.

Belling die c

Belling die stem c

I had to modify the crimp die. I don’t know that I’ll actually use it but it wasn’t hard to do, I just drilled it out on the lathe.

Modified Crimper c

Here is the bullet seater. It was pretty close to working but the bullet seating stem was just too short. I made one long enough to give me plenty of adjustment so that I can use both long or short bullets. Its about twice as long as the one that was supplied. You’ll notice that it has a shoulder on it. Without that shoulder it would fall through the die.

Modified bullet seating die c
I’m one step closer to shooting.

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The .22 Hornet Project

This is about the .22 Hornet. Too be honest, I never was a fan of it for the simple reason that it was a little bullet that didn’t do anything that other rounds couldn’t do better.  It took some convincing from a friend of mine to show me that it did fill a niche that no other cartridge could do.

He approached me about threading the barrel on his T/C Encore so that he could mount a suppressor on it. I told him that although I could do that I didn’t think he would be happy with it because the Hornet round was just too fast and that the supersonic crack of it would be loud enough that he might as well not even have a suppressor on it.

“No Bob”…he said. “I’m downloading it to subsonic .22 LR speeds. Since .22 ammo is hard to find now, I thought it would be a good idea to have a cartridge that could be made quiet enough to suppress or by just switching out the round it could be pushed to almost .223 speeds”.

I must admit, that got my attention and the wheels began turning fast enough in my brain that smoke started rolling out of my ears. “ Ya know”?  I said, as I was contemplating it. “That idea might actually have some merit”.

So he brought me his Encore barrel and I threaded it. He brought over some of the loads that he developed for it and asked me if we could shoot it with one of my suppressors on it. With a smile on my face, I graciously consented. We screwed it on there and began to shoot.

The sound of it was simply amazing. Or rather…the lack of it. This thing was quieter or as quiet as the several integrally suppressed .22 rifles that I own. Even I was amazed. Pretty much the loudest sound was the hammer whack and the bullet slapping a hole in the target. I was impressed. He was impressed. Had anyone else been standing there they would have been impressed. So cool was it that I immediately went on the hunt for a .22 Hornet rifle. As it turns out Remington and Ruger quit making them years ago and they weren’t so easy to find.

I wanted a bolt action because the striker fired action of the bolt would be quieter than a hammer slap on the Encore and the box magazine would allow some quick follow up shots if need be.  I got on Gun Broker and saw that the average Hornet bolt action rifle was selling for around 700 bucks…not cheap for a pipsqueak round at all. After some checking my local sources I found one in a drug store, that one of my friends that owns and sells guns from it since he has a Firearms License, who everyone calls the “Drug Dealing Gun Runner”  had for 500 bucks. The rifle was a Ruger M 77, and it came with the scope rings and it was in great shape. I bought it. He also had some unloaded bullets and even a set of dies which I needed anyway so I got them too.

As soon as I got it in the shop, I took the barrel off and threaded it. I loaded some 40 grain bullets with 1.3 grains of Red Dot and commenced to shooting it. Not only was it very,very quiet, but it was as accurate as any rifle that I own.

My friend Trent, the guy that started me on this kick, gave me some cast lead bullets that he had molded and powder coated. Powder coated bullets don’t need lube, you just load them up as they are. Since this was my first experience with them, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. They shot great and after shooting a few hundred of them there was absolutely no leading in the barrel.

For those that might wonder about the penetration characteristics of a 40 gain bullet moving approximately 1050 FPS, Trent tested some on some landscaping timbers. The subsonic bullet shot right through one and well into the one behind it. Even the full powered .22 LR won’t do that, it buries up in the first timber and stays in it.

The penetration of that lead bullet was impressive. There is no doubt in my mind that this would be a squirrel killing machine, or any other small game for that matter.

So, thinking that it would be cheaper to use lead bullets and it would also be an advantage to be able to make bullets for it when the next runs on guns and ammo hit due to the ramblings of the Socialists in Congress and the present Administration, I made a bullet mold. Here’s a picture of two of them, one of them is a hollow-point mold and the other is solid.

HP Mold 122 Hornet Bullet mold 2 C22 Hornet bullets C22 Hornet bullets and mold

Here is a picture of the gun with a Huntertown Arms .22 can attached. This thing is an exceptionally quiet cartridge. In spite of the long cartridge with a small charge of powder in it, it does very well in this area.

B Silencer on M77 Hornet c

The real utility of the gun lies in the fact that you can go from quiet to deer killing power if need be just by jacking the right bullet into the chamber. Nothing else is required. Its quiet, its accurate, its easy to load, it’s a light rifle and its good looking. Really…it doesn’t get any better than that.

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The .50 Razorback

Here’s an interesting round. Its called the 50 Razorback. It uses a .300 RUM case that is basically cut off at 2.375 and then has a .50 caliber bullet stuffed into it. It’ll take anything from 350 grains up to the .50 BMG super whiz bang bullets an push them out fast enough that it has enough foot pounds of energy to kill any thing on Earth that breaths.

I built this rifle using a Remington 700 that was chambered for the .300 Remington Ultra Mag (RUM). Since that is the parent case of the Razorback, I didn’t have to do anything other than swap the barrel out. The barrel started out life as a blank. It was rifled, so I cut it and profiled it and then fluted it with the hopes of making it light enough to carry and be able to shoot from the shoulder. While its not a light rifle, shooting it from the shoulder isn’t that big of deal.

I used an HS Precision stock, and the Mark X trigger adjusted to 3. pounds. It’s wearing a tactical Leupold MK3 4×14 scope. The scope mounts were drilled out to 8-40 just to be safe. It balances right behind the bi-pod and it looks heavier than it is. The barrel is 26″ long and its got a muzzle brake on it that I built to tame it somewhat.

The real beauty of this rifle is the cartridge can be loaded with cast bullets and can be shot of as little as 50 cents a round depending on the bullets. Since most .50 rifles shoot bullets that cost several dollars a piece, the economy of this thing is what makes it stand out. Although I haven’t killed a wild hog with it yet, reports from others that have say that it kills them right there…there is no running off into the brush.

I’ve been told that either 50 Alaskan dies or 50-110 dies will work, after a few days of searching the net there were none to be found. So, I ordered a set of .300 Ultra Mag dies, and I’ll have to either modify them or build a bullet expander and crimper from scratch.

As of this writing I don’t have them yet, but when I get them I’ll elaborate a bit more.

I had a local shop Duracoat it and they did an excellent job. The finish is uniform and it looks good. Here’s a picture of it. What do you think?

. Image

March 9, 2014
An update on the dies. I received a set of Lee .300 RUM dies. After talking to a couple of friends that own the .50 Razorback, they were using those dies to make them work. While the situation was less than ideal, they did manage to load up some bullets to shoot.

So, after checking them out, it doesn’t look like it will be as big a deal to make them work as I thought it might be. The decapping die will work as it is. Although it has a .308 size button on it to resize the cases after they are deprimed, for the moment I am going to leave it as it is. I may consider making a sizing stem that matches the .50 RZBK case, if its needed. Basically it’ll look the same as the .308 sizing stem with about a .507 or .508 button on it to give a couple of thousanths of tension when seating the bullet.

I will have to modify the bullet seater. It almost worked as it was, but the bullet seating stem is about a quarter on an inch too short. I think I’ll make another about a 1/2″ longer. It’ll need a step on it to keep it from falling through the dies but a piece of .375 rod turned down to the hole size in the die (.313) will work nicely I think.

That’s it. Not too much work to do. Since I cant find the other .50 dies that will work as is, this seems to be a simple solution.

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The Mighty Saiga Shotgun

A while back I was introduced to the Saiga shotgun by a friend. I thought it was ugly as sin but I learned that the real beauty of the Saiga’s is realized when they are customized. One of the reasons that I thought it was ugly was because to be legally imported into the U.S. they had to be modified. They were originally designed to mimic the well known AK and the originals looked a lot like the AK, the firing control group was almost identical and the bolt arrangement was pretty much the same except that every thing was upsized to take the 12 guage shells.

When that socialistic Brady Bill that basically banned cool things to shoot expired, it became legal to modify the shotguns back to way they where originally . This meant moving the whole fire control group forward and moving the pistol grip up to where you could actually pull the trigger and changing the stock. This meant that you had to buy another trigger group since all of the old parts were discarded.

Now here’s another fact of dealing with Saiga shotguns. The gas ports that are used to cycle the shotgun were inconsistent, meaning that some had two gas ports, some had 3 and others had 4. Why the Russians would make them like that is the source of speculation. One theory is that they were supposed to have 4 ports and that guns that were built on Monday and Tuesday were built with 4 ports. Guns built on Wednesday and Thursday had 3 ports because the builders got tired of messing with them and by Friday, they only had 2 ports. Those ports were a pain to drill in the shotgun because the gas holes are actually at a 45 degree angle to the bore and they could be very tricky to place correctly. I’ve heard other stories that involved Vodka, the favorite drink of the Russians but I cant really confirm that. After working on many Saiga Shotgun conversions, I have often wondered if that was in fact the case.

So, I decided to convert one for myself. This one is a SBS, a short barreled shotgun with an 11.5″ barrel and as such it is registered with the ATF as an SBS. Every bearing surface in the gun is polished. The Saiga’s were known to be pretty persnickety when it came to feeding so I tried to remove as much friction in the system as I could.

Using a Tapco Fire Control group along with polishing the rails and the bearing sections of the bolt made the gun much smooter to operate. I enlarged the gas ports and installed an adjustable gas plug that could be tuned for low, medium or high brass as well as buckshot or slugs. So that I could actually get a pattern from it, I installed a Poly Choke “Breacher” which allows the choke to be regulated for the size of shot being used and the pattern you desire. In actual practice, this choke performed much better than I had hoped, it works very well for its intended function.

I installed a MagPul stock for two reasons. The first reason is that like the AK rifles, the stock was just too short. Since the original stoke no longer worked after the conversion, The MagPul was used because it is adjustable. Since most of my AR’s already have them, this just seemed like a natural thing to do. Since I had the MagPul stock in place, the Magpul pistol grip makes it look better and it feels much better than the standard AK grip.

I had to use an adapter to get the grip to fit. Back then, there was no such thing as a MagPul grip on an AK Shotgun so someone designed an adapter. Now MagPul has decided to do it right, and they just started producing grips that affix right to the receiver without adapters or modification. It looks so much better that when I saw one I ordered it and when I get it I will change it out.

Now there are a variety of forearms, but when I built this shotgun there were none. To modify the look, I decided to mill some slots in the forearm. Not only does it look better than stock, it also serves to lets some air in there for cooling. This thing gets really hot when you empty several magazines through it in rapid succession, it needed all the air it could get.

Now for the fun part. This thing shoots ridiculously fast. I have my son on video dumping a factory 5 round magazine in less than one second. That is semi auto, just pulling the trigger as fast as you can. I have done 6 rounds per second. With a firing rate like that, who needs one full auto? Six round per second is a firing rate of 360 rounds per minute. Considering that double ought buck has 9 round per shell in it, that’s 48 .31 caliber slugs per second. It’s absolute hell on targets.

Another plus is that you can get extra magazines that come in 6, 8, 10, and 12 round magazines. Shoot one, dump it an reload another mag. In this category it has ever other shotgun made beat. If that’s not enough for you, you can buy 12, 20 and 30 round drums. Imagine shooting 30 rounds of buckshot as fast as you can pull the trigger.

The 11.5 inch barrel makes it easy to wield and it points naturally. With the Poly Choke on it, it does a wickedly efficient job of placing shot on target at whatever pattern you desire. When screwed down to extra full, it throws such a good pattern at 40 yards that I have actually taken it turkey hunting with me. Fortunately for the turkeys, none of them showed up for me to test the shotgun on.

After shooting a bunch of crows with it, it has become my favorite shotgun. Its quick, handy and lethal. It would make an excellent home defense gun. It is probably the best “assault” shotgun made when its been converted.

Another reason that I like it is because anti-gun weenies see it and either want to run or have to give conscious thought to not peeing all over themselves. Also, I get a sense of satisfaction when someone looks at it and says “On my God! Is that even legal” ? Of course it is you twit…you think I’d be posting it on a Blog if it weren’t?

Here is a picture with the 8 round magazine.
Saiga SBS

Here’s one with the 12 round drum.
Saiga with the 12 round drum

Least but not least…this one is on the Crow “no fly zone” watch.
Saiga 12 1

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