Category Archives: Consumer Alert!

The Colt Combat Unit

That’s a bit of a hard-core name for a relatively ordinary (but new to Colt) carbine that was just announced. Here’s the official press release, and we’ve got the released pictures. It turns out that the term applies not just to a midlength carbine, but to a group of shooters and trainers that helped develop it; Colt is calling them, the Colt Combat Unit, too.

Presumably available at reasonable rates for group instruction, county fairs, or African regime changes? We actually don’t know what Colt is going to do with the CCU, as in, group of Colt-promoting pros.

The CCU, as in, midlength carbine, is a TALO Distributors exclusive.


The Colt Combat Unit™ carbine offers many of the features you love about the Colt M4 platform, but now Colt is introducing its first production mid-length gas system. “Producing a mid-length gas system was the logical next-step for us, and it’s long overdue,” said Justin Baldini, Director of Product Marketing for Colt. “Shooters will find that by moving the gas block closer to the muzzle as this mid-length gas system does, the felt recoil is more constant with what is fielded by our troops carrying a 14.5” barrel M4.”


The Colt Combat Unit™ carbine was developed with the help of legendary trainers Mike Pannone, Ken Hackathorn, and Daryl Holland. It features a Magpul® SL® buttstock and pistol grip as well as a MOE® trigger guard. The carbine is the first to feature Colt’s new mid-length gas system. It has a low profile gas block which allows for the use of its M-LOK® capable Centurion CMR free floated forend. The Colt Combat Unit™ carbine (SKU – LE6960-CCU) has an MSRP of $1,299 and is available exclusively from TALO Distributors.

Everywhere, the Carnabetian Army marches on, each one a Dedicated Follower of Fashion. But hey, this is exactly what some people want in a carbine: mid-length gas, free-float, M-LOK and Magpul gear. Its weight isn’t mentioned, but it should be pretty light.


We also note that Colt has been pricing their firearms aggressively, especially when you consider that:

  1. Being a union shop (UAW) means higher costs in wages, benefits, and quality control than an open shop.
  2. They are located in the highest-tax state in the union, which adds to their costs; and,
  3. After their latest bankruptcy, they still have a crushing burden of debt, a vastly overmarket (in a high-priced market) plant lease, and senior management more interested in making money by playing Wall Street grifter than in making money by making guns.

And despite all that, Colt continues to make new, interesting and well-made guns, and sell them at competitive prices. Sometimes 150-plus years of tradition does create momentum, enough that some parasitic drag isn’t overwhelming.

A Reproduction of a Vanishingly Rare SEAL Weapon

Up for sale on GunBroker (by a friend of the blog, actually) is an extremely rare Destructive Device. How rare it is, is a bit hard to pin down; there were 6, or 12, or 20, or maybe as many as 50 made, and then all or nearly all of them went to Vietnam for combat testing, and not many came back. This is what an original looks like:


We know of one at the SEAL/UDT Museum at Ft Pierce, FL, and one in an in-house display at NSWC Crane (not open to the public). Our friend examined one in the War Remnants Museum (formerly the “War Crimes Museum”) in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and one at the Washington Navy Yard, which was the basis for this accurate reproduction. The weapon in question is a SEAL-specific pump-action 40mm Grenade Launcher. Here’s the repro, sans barrel.



From the dawn of the M79, the troops wanted a multiple-shot version. The Army, though, was deep in the rabbit hole of the ill-conceived Special Purpose Infantry Weapon program and was so determined to schedule the small arms revolution, they were not interested in something so mundane as the next logical improvement of the 40mm low-pressure grenade launcher. So it was left to the SEALs to find Navy resources to make them a short run of launchers, and they did. (Some sources, like the Firearms Information File, Nazarian, and World Guns, call this, mistakenly, the EX-41, which was a different and later development. This launcher had no known name. Here’s a close-up of the action:


The launcher was built with design elements lifted from pump-action shotguns, and parts, where possible, lifted from existing weapons like the M79. The ladder sight will be familiar to anyone who’s shot the 79, china-lake-launcher-13…and it looks like there’s provision for a peep sight as well, with a guarded front sight.

china-lake-launcher-2Loading is through a trap in the bottom;

china-lake-launcher-8…the tubular magazine (which holds 3 rounds, on top of the one chambered) rides below the barrel (file photo of real China Lake launcher); china-lake-02…the stock, trigger and trigger guard all look inherited or modified from the 79, and the safety is the same tang safety (with too-sharp edges!) as the 79. china-lake-launcher-6The serials on the originals were located on the tang adjacent to the safety (original below).

china-lake-sn-002Its singular biggest weakness was that it could not feed long or odd-shaped rounds that had been developed for single-shot launchers, but it worked fine with ordinary HE and HEDP rounds. (and on the plus side, it also can’t feed high-pressure 40mm aircraft and Mk19 rounds, which is a good thing. Think kB!). From the listing:

“China Lake Pump” 40mm Grenade Launcher as used by the US Navy SEAL’s in Vietnam. A very small number of these were handmade in the machine shop at China Lake Naval Weapons Station and sent to Vietnam. Only 4 originals are KNOWN to exist, I have personally examined serial number 013 in the War Remnants Museum in Saigon. (HCMC) This is an exact replica of the originals, made from blueprints generated at great effort from the example in the Washington Navy Yard Museum, and brand new/never fired. There are only a handful of these hand built replica’s as well, one of them being owned by Kevin Dockery, the author of “Weapons of the US Navy SEAL’s”. It can be viewed in operation on Youtube by searching “China Lake Pump”. This is a rare bird by any standard.

This one has been built as a Title 1 firearm, so that one could finish it with a 37mm launcher barrel and keep it that way if so inclined. Most buyers will probably want the full-house 40mm version, and so it will transfer as Title 1, and, if if the buyer completes Form 1 with the ATF, a 40mm barrel will then be delivered to you to complete the launcher. (As it’s not presently registered as a Destructive Device, that’s how you have to do it).

This example is currently a Title 1 firearm, same as any rifle/pistol/shotgun, and will transfer as such to your FFL dealer in the same way. After receiving it you would then file a Form 1 with ATF to manufacture it as a Destructive Device. Upon receiving your approved Form 1 from ATF and providing a copy to me, the barrel and rear sight (see pic) which is in the custody of an affiliated FFL dealer, out of my possession and control, will be shipped to you free of charge. This may be your last chance to own one of these, if HRC wins the election, it is completely possible that she could issue an Executive Order to ATF not to accept further applications to make/register DD’s. If your Form 1 is in the system before that though…

It is missing one essential ingredient, a bayonet lug. But that’s the original design. (And where would you put it?)


It’s expensive. Starting bid of $9,500 with a B-I-N of $14,500. But hey, Hollywood, you know Matt Damon needs to wield this in his next action movie, in between appearances talking about how icky guns are. And you Hollywood guys can afford it: you have more money than the God you don’t believe in.


There’s a guy out there who reverse-engineered this to make an updated version. No idea if his work is involved in this particular weapon for sale, but it’s interesting either way.

Ghost Gunner Tips and Tricks #1

We have found a few tips to pass on to you. Mostly by a griefsome cycle of trial and error:

  1. As far as we can tell, the Windows and Mac apps work identically, with the exception noted immediately below in #2.ddcut00 As die-hard FOSS fans, they’d like to have a *n*x version and open-source it, but as you’ve probably noted, they’re up to their alligators in lawsuits, and the State Department’s gun control squad is trying to ban the dissemination of technical information. But right now, you can name your poison, so long as it’s Apple or Microsoft.
  2. We have had an inexplicable hang with the Mac version. It just reached one line of code and sat there stupidly spinning the spindle, not connected to anything. We waited ten minutes, it kept on spinning. We took the dog for a half hour walk, which wound up being a 20 minute walk because he wanted to run the leg back, and stooged around on Gun Broker not buying stuff for a few minutes, and the thing had been spinning for 45 minutes at least. We wound up having to nuke both the GG and the Mac (hard reset).

    Most of the time, it just made chips, happily.

    Most of the time, it just made chips, happily.

  3. Keep the work area clear at all times. In addition to the Lord-knows-why system hang described above, at one point, a book fell upon our keyboard, causing DDcut to hang in mid-operation. We waited for ten minutes while it sat there, spindle spinning. Then, we found that the Emergency Stop button did not work. (Pulling the USB cable produced an emergency stop).. In this case, we didn’t have to reset the Mac.
  4. If it does shut down, the workpiece can usually be saved, at some cost in time. One hopes you will never need the rest of Instruction #4, but just in case, here’s what you have to do:
    1. Depower the unit. There’s no switch; just pull the plug.
    2. Remove the workpiece. (This is a good chance to deal with the collected aluminum chips. A tiny cube of 7075 forging becomes a spectacular volume of chips). You may have to ease the workpiece carefully off the tool.
    3. Loosen the collet cap and remove the tool. You have to do this or you will crash the tool into the base when the machine goes to find zero early in the .dd, before the tool is supposed to be installed. You do not have to remove the collet, because you’ll be returning to the same tool that the system hung on last time. (Two collets are provided because the drill and end mill have different shaft diameters).
    4. Restart the whole operation on DDCut from the beginning. Let DDCut walk you through the reinstallation of the part and tool. Don’t worry about the workpiece going back to the exact same place — the mill will automagically touch off again to locate it. Although you have to start from the beginning, and although DDCut will process every line of code again, it will not take as long to get to where things went sideways last time, because on the parts that are already cut, nothing will slow down the tool. On each cut, DDCut waits for the machine to tell it it has completed the movement before it sends the next line of code (you can see these OKs pass in the code window).
  5. Before you get to any possible shut down, of course, you have to run DDCut for the first time. At first, it’s not very obvious what to do when the application window opens. You have to have the GG plugged in to power and to your computer via USB. It will announce itself cryptically, based on the Arduino board inside it. ddcut01It’s probably a good idea to have a minimum amount of weird stuff plugged into your computer at this point.
  6. Next, you have to pick a file. When you’ve selected the GG and the file, the screen looks like the image above, and you can click, “next.” The files include a GG2 version of the AR lower, an original GG version, and a version that drills the holes. Two setups are needed: one for the milling, and one for the holes.
  7. As far as we can tell, it doesn’t matter whether you mill first or drill first, as each operation’s file and process is self-contained. However, you must follow the process through to the end and remove the last process’s tool and collet.
  8. While the provided open-end wrenches work, tool changing would be faster if we had a ratcheting box wrench that fits the 17mm collet cap. Our set of ratcheting box wrenches skips from 15mm to 18mm, but maybe you have the right one.
  9. A narrow- or small-diameter magnetic wand is a great thing to have when (not if) you drop a small fastener inside the rig. Since the bottom is open, it’s always easy to get the dropped washer or screw out, but it’s easier if you have magnetism on your side. Same goes for tools and collets.
  10. The furnished molded plastic jig really doesn’t want to go on a mil spec-forged lower. A healthy thwack with a rubber mallet resolves this.ghost03
  11. Note the takedown pin well has been pre-milled on that lower above. That’s the only kind of lower that works. Nothing like the lowers shown below will work with the factory jig and setup (raw forging, early-AR retro w/o takedown pin well, HK416 w/o well). The documentation warns of this.ghost05
  12. It was difficult to tie down the jig with the provided M4-45 bolts in all positions, especially after we buggered the very tip of one of the threads.We wound up running out to Fastenal for extra M4-45s and some M4-50s, and a whacking great bag of M4 washers. (If you look closely at the top photo with chips flying, you might be able to see that the lower left tie-down bolt is an M4-50 with a 4mm stack of washers!) Also, a generic  AR-15/M16 grip screw is required, but not provided. Most AR builders have them kicking around, but if you don’t, the part you want at Fastenal is: 1/4-28×1″. These are available with various heads. Original Stoner design used a flathead screw. We recommend a socket head cap screw, just because a socket head is always easier to remove and replace (and less likely to screw up) than a flathead. The factory AR screw needs a really big flathead blade, the very biggest blade in a Wheeler gunsmithing kit fits. The benefit of the flathead is that it’s always easier to find any size flathead screwdriver than a hex driver, and you can, albeit at the expense of the screw, use a somewhat undersized flathead driver in it, if you haven’t got the right one.
  13. Lining up the t-slot nuts can be a challenge. Another small wand, this one with a mirror, helped, but we also found the a long 3mm Allen key worked OK as an alignment pin.
  14. You’ll want more tie-down hardware, even before you start designing your own operations and jigs.
  15. Never skip a step in setup. Be sure! Some steps, you can back out of with a Previous button, and some steps you can’t.
  16. Take the directions as literally as an Aspie. When they say tighten something as much as you can, do that. When they say don’t over-tighten, do that. When they say put the screw in finger-tight, don’t decide that you can go ahead and tighten it the rest of the way — at one time, they tell you to finger right the jig screws down, and after that is done, clicking “next” tells you to slide the whole jig-and-lower assembly in the tracks, which you can’t do if it’s tightened down. Like most of these tips, don’t ask how we learned this.
  17. It wants you to adjust the jig and lower, on installation, so that the end mill (which is inside the mag well) is 1-3mm from contact with the after surface of the maxwell. This is a good time to remember that the Allen key you used to tighten the M4-45 (or -50, with extra washers) bolts is 3mm across the flats. It makes a serviceable feeler gage. (Precision doesn’t count that much here. The mill will touch off against the receiver automagically to locate the part in all three axes).
  18. It’s pretty loud when roughing (60-80 dB by uncalibrated measurement). Not hearing-threatening, and you can converse over it without shouting, but not pleasant. So you might want to think about where you put it, and step out while it’s graunching away. If you’ve got to have it in an office or a quiet shop, you’ll need a silencing enclosure as are sometimes used for server farms.
  19. It keeps its chips pretty contained and is easily tidied up. A Dustbuster lets you collect all the little shavings (fireworks, thermite, anyone?)ghost07
  20. If you multitask while you work, don’t come back into the application and click the Emergency Stop button. On the other hand, the Emergency Stop button works when the system’s not hanging.
  21. If you Emergency Stop, or head crash, the tool might be left in a place where it can’t be removed by the two-wrenches technique that you used to install it, because the collet is behind the face plate. Don’t despair. Unplug the unit for safety, flip it on its left side, and go in through the bottom.
  22. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, have a few extra 80% lowers, any time you’re experimenting with the unit. Don’t decide to learn it on the one you already had engraved….

ghost01And finally, don’t take the above the wrong way: the thing is a blast to use and learn.

So, You Want a Remington-UMC 1911?

They were rare. Very rare. 21,677 of them were made in 1918 and 1919, numbered from 1 to 21,677. And that was near-as-dammit a century ago, during most of which time they were a USGI pistol through four major and a bunch of minor wars. So survivors from that small old batch are rare today, and they change hands rarely these days.


Here’s the back story, from the NRA Museum, which holds this one, Nº 2900:

In late 1917 and early 1918, the government approached both Remington-U.M.C. and Winchester Repeating Arms Co. about manufacturing the M1911. Remington-U.M.C.’s Bridgeport, Connecticut plant was the largest in the United States at that time, and production lines at the 1.6 million square-foot complex were turning out a variety of arms, including M1917 bolt-action rifles and Browning .50 caliber machine guns, as well as M1891 Mosin-Nagant rifles for the Russian government. In nearby New Haven, Winchester also produced M1917 rifles, in addition to Browning Automatic Rifles and M1897 trench shotguns. Both companies received contracts for 500,000 M1911s. Under terms of their agreements, pistols manufactured by these two firms were to be completely interchangeable with those produced by Colt and Springfield Armory.

Colt provided technical assistance in the form of sample pistols and production drawings, but problems quickly arose. In addition to numerous discrepancies, these drawings contained only nominal dimensions and no tolerances. Finding it easier to make their own blueprints based on measurements obtained from the Colt-produced sample pistols rather than reconcile more than 400 known discrepancies, Remington-U.M.C. created a set of “salvage drawings” that were later used by other contractors as well. The Army suspended its contract with Remington-U.M.C. on December 12, 1918, but allowed the company to manufacture additional examples to reduce parts inventories on hand. All told, nearly 22,000 M1911s were delivered to the government before Remington-U.M.C. shut down its production line.

In the summer of 1919, the company turned over its pistol manufacturing equipment to Springfield Armory, where it was placed in storage until the Second World War.

Winchester’s 500,000 pistols? None were delivered: just parts. Indeed, the US took delivery of just over 500,000 1911 pistols in total from all manufacturers, mostly from Colt, including about 100,000 made before the US entered World War I. So, while Winchesters and some other abortive contract 1911s are functionally nonexistent, the survivors of the 21,677 Remington-UMC pistols are about the rarest 1911s that a regular guy can acquire — but the prices of the pistols have been climbing.

Until Remington and Turnbull cut a deal… which put new Remington-UMC pistols on the market. Turnbull made a run of 1,000, but they’re identically marked to their 1918-19 forbears — except for the serial numbers, which start at UMC 21,678 and go up from there.


It’s a close match in processes, finish, and detail to the original. It even has the inspecting officer’s initials, reproduced, behind the trigger on the left side of the frame.


Each pistol comes with a nice collection of accessories — holster, lanyard, mag pouch, and a display case that holds the pistol and the accessories.


The accessories include original-style “2-tone” magazines.


These photos came from one that’s up for auction for $2,000 opening bid, or a buy-it-now of $2,100, which is close to the recommended retail. Sure, you can get four generic imported 1911s for that, but that’s not what you’re buying here. While an original Remington-UMC 1911 in good condition is worth more than double the cost of this rig, the reproduction will never be worth as much as the original. On the other hand, Turnbull guns could certainly emerge as collector’s items in their own right.

If you shop around, you can find one or another for around $1,300.

Of course, this GI Turnbull is kind of entry-level for Turnbull’s 1911 line. You can spend many thousands on one, with, say, engraving and color case-hardening. And you can buy them in sets. 

Sure, it’s a modern reproduction, but it’s made in the USA, and isn’t a bad centerpiece for a US martial arms collection.

Tracking Point: Precision has a Lower Price

We’ve been big boosters of Tracking Point throughout all its business and technical drama, and why not? The company leverages technology to make a rifleman (or -woman, or gelding, even) more effective at that first, cold-bore shot, night or day.

That’s a big thing.

There’s a big real-world gap between potential and performance, and it’s very apparent on that cold-bore shot.

The thing that’s limited (to put it mildly) take-up of the technology has been the sting of early-adopter prices: $20-30k for a Tracking Point Precision Guided Firearm.


Now the company has an offer that brings Tracking Point ballistic potential closer to the average AR-toting schlub’s financial potential. For a limited time, their M300FE 5.56 mm Precision Guided Firearm is for sale with the most popular options, night vision, included for under $6k.


We didn’t get around to blogging this the first time they sent it to us this week, so they enlisted a new spokesman: St. Nicholas.



They point out:

Santa is a conservative. He wears red and never wishes anyone “Happy Holidays!” He’s bringing you Christmas early because he is concerned about what will happen after November 8th. It’s time to get ready – for Christmas and whatever else might be coming our way.


The lower price is temporary, officially, and the best deal is only available to the first hundred buyers. That includes a grab bag of extras and further deals:


First 100 Orders 

  • FREE Gen-2 Night Vision $2495 value!
  • Immediate Delivery –  Order Today, Ships Today!
  • $200 off ShotGlassTM!
  • Special Financing 90 days same as cash!*
    *Extended Financing available with payments as low as $137 per month

As they put it in their email, “Don’t becwait for the tree to go up! Santa will be backlogged.”

The capabilities of the M300FE are a combination of the full-house Tracking Point technology and some simplification to reduce costs. For example, special low-trajectory high-velocity ammunition is required (which is sold by Tracking Point, naturally). Because of the ammo’s point-blank to 300 m capability, they can dispense with integrating a laser ranger into the 22 calculations used in setting up every shot.

Some of the capabilities are software-limited, like target speed and lock range. You can track a target at a target velocity of up to 10 MPH — sufficient for foot-borne humans, certainly, but likely to fall short when taking shots on running hogs.

Utilizing TrackingPoint’s new high-velocity UltraFlatTM ammunition the M300-FE shoots point-blank range out to 300 yards so there is no need for an internal laser range finder.

The operation of the system sounds like it’s a little simplified from the earlier tag, track, exact system:


As a shooter pulls the trigger the target is acquired, tracked, and measured for velocity.  By the time the shooter completes his squeeze the target is inescapably captured and instantly eliminated.

It does, however, include the four modes of all current TP firearms: Suppressive Fire, Precision Fire, Auto-Acquire and Night.

Suppressive Fire mode video:

Precision Fire video:

Auto-Acquire Mode (useful for multiple shots on single targets):

Night Mode with Gen2 NV (as included with the first 100 M300FEs, free of charge):


This mode does not seem to be included in the M300FE: Precision Movers.

The ShotGlass system is an unusual extension of the rifle’s capability. Essentially, there’s no need to be behind the rifle to shoot it (although you do have to have access to the controls, especially the trigger). There’s no need for the shooter to expose himself, just the rifle. He sees in the ShotGlass glasses exactly what he’d see looking through the rifle’s digital “scope.” It’s an extra-cost option (

For more information:

And no, this doesn’t make snipers obsolete. Actually, technology like this should increase the advantage of the trained sniper, both in his shooting and scouting

GemTech GSBC Suppressor Bolt Carrier under Evaluation

Interesting goings on going on, and one of them is constant tinkering with the Mk 18 carbine in the SOF world. One of the things people are doing is running them suppressed sometimes, and not suppressed other times. The word is that this bolt carrier helps make that change in a regular, direct impingement AR like the Mk 18.


The Mk 18 (or the CQBR upper for the M4A1, which produces the same functional weapon) is widely issued within SOCOM and somewhat beyond it. For example, Marines who need such a carbine have them, but Uncle Sam’s Military Club runs them with some different accessories than the SOPMOD gear commonly used in the other branches’ SOF.

Running suppressed is more and more widespread (in conventional forces as well as in SOF). But there are several downsides to a suppressed DI AR. Taken together, these add up to one of the key impetuses to the development of the piston HK 416. But experience has shown arms developers that it’s possible to make a DI AR run well, while suppressed; what has been a challenge is to make the same AR run equally well with the QD suppressor on or off.

To recap the problems:

  1. More pressure than designed into the gas system, yields…
  2. More blowback out of the ejection port, plus…
  3. Much higher carrier velocities, producing
  4. Higher perceived recoil
  5. Higher cyclic rate on AUTO
  6. Reduced reliability, and
  7. Reduced durability.

Gemtech’s solution is so simple that the instructions for using it are pretty much contained in these two box cover illustrations:


The valve flange is on the left side of the bolt carrier. To change it, then, you must remove the BC from the firearm. You can then turn the valve flange to (S) for Suppressed or (U) for, you guessed it, Unsuppressed.

When you’ve made such a change, or, for that matter, at anytime the GemTech Suppressed Bolt Carrier is installed, an indicator visible through the ejection port shows whether you’re configured to run Suppressed (S) or Unsuppressed (U). gemtech03That’s pretty much it. The setting indicator arrow points aft to S, or forward away from S, and makes the whole system fairly Ranger-proof.

The GemTech bolt carrier is adjusted with a flathead screwdriver, but other tools will work in a pinch. The valve can get a little gummy.

gemtech02The GSBC comes with the carrier key screwed and staked in place, but otherwise it is a bare carrier. It is conventionally notched for use with a forward assist. It lists for $249 and can be bought direct from Gemtech or from Gemtech dealers.


Here’s a close-up of the flange where the valve can be adjusted. gemtech06

Gemtech’s claims of reduced carrier velocity and reduced cyclic rate are supported by an analysis by Philip Dater, available on the Gemtech website (.pdf). The reduction was significant on several different weapons, but much larger (25%) on an M4A1 than on a Mk 18 (16%). Still, that’s not trivial.

Coming: a 10/22 Chassis Prototyped by 3D Printing

Rifle chassis are an “in” technology right now. They allow you to trade off the lighter weight and greater comfort of a polymer or wooden stock for the flexibility, rigidity, and accessory-compatibility of the typical chassis.

In the military the chassis is a good idea because the same rifle must often be reconfigured for different shooters and missions. Civilians might not need to do that, but it’s nice to have, say, adjustable pull length and cheekpiece position for a day at the range with the whole family.


It was inevitable that someone would combine this popular accessory with the world’s second-most-popular accessory host, the Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle. In this case, Canadian outfit Spectre Ballistics has designed, and is preparing for production, an economical and fairly light 10/22 stock. It’s not on their website yet, but they’ve shown the prototype — which was 3D Printed.

The actual stocks will be CNC billet aluminum.

There’s a pretty good discussion of the stock and its design and the manufacturing schedule on Reddit. In time, the stock will be available for pre-order on the Spectre Ballistics website (not yet!) in KeyMod and M-lok versions. Target price is $200 CAD, and, unlike American firms, Canadian accessory firms are not under ITAR pressure from their counterpart to our State Department.

dudley_doright(They only have to bowdlerize their 10/22 magazines because Dudley Dimwit of the Mounties can’t tell rifles from pistols).

This is the 3rd version of a 10/22 chassis I’ve been working on. Now I just need to do this one up in aluminium.

It has a KeyMod forend and fully free-floats the barrel. It also locks the action into the chassis using a clamp system better than any factory stock. I’ll also do an M-lok forend too.

Here’s the earlier prototype stock, for comparison’s sake. The main part of this one is CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum (a strong alloy often used for things like automotive engine blocks and cylinder heads, and aircraft structural parts like landing gear struts and trunnions).


The final stock will be CNC machined and anodized black. His explanation for making the stock from 6061-T6 aluminum rather than polymer makes perfect sense:

The idea here is to reinforce the action and stiffen the whole thing up. A quality polymer would be nearly the same weight since areas would need to be thicker. Also going synthetic would probably cost $100,000 in tooling for the molds.

Parts are CNC’d out of house, assembled in-house. Yes I have my own printer.

While the Canadian regulatory regime is superior from an exporter’s point of view, there’s things he can’t do. Such as? Make a bullpup stock. One of the bizarre disconnects in Great White North gun law is that, a factory bullpup design (Tavor) or a short-barreled rifle by US standards, is perfectly legal. A bullpup conversion stock? Prohibited. (“Prohibited” is a Canadian regulatory class that is not quite plain-English-meaning “prohibited,” but extremely difficult to own for an ordinary Canadian citizen).

Meanwhile, Canadians, Americans, and probably anybody else who can own a 10/22 can pre-order the sock sometime around the beginning of November, if all goes as planned.


Deals from Surplus City

A Pennsylvania friend texted us today about two deals he found at Surplus City in Feasterville Trevose, PA. We’ve mentioned their seemingly bottomless wellspring of cop trade-ins before. He stopped in to check on one — a beater cop shotgun — and wound up going home with another, a beautiful Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver. Specifically, this one:


Yes, that is pretty. The action matches, as well: niiiice. It was the only one like this, in amongst the marked department trade-ins. It doesn’t have a PD marking on it. (The Model 10s remaining in stock come with a variety of grips and are marked CDOC for the California Department of Corrections).

The gold-colored marking in the S&W crest appears to be original The walnut grips, on the other hand, may be aftermarket; and underneath them — it’s a round butt!


Very high condition revolver for $250. It may be that old Smith and Colt revolvers in unloved calibers like .38 Special and .32 are the best bargain in used guns today. Being out of fashion means you can buy an excellent revolver for a price even the Chinese couldn’t build it for today, if the Chinese could build revolvers (they probably can, but they don’t bother; they’re as driven by fashion as any other).

This particular example a later Model 10, because it’s +P marked. This could not be earlier than the late 1960s, but probably dates from the 1970s or 80s. (For a fee, Smith & Wesson will document the revolver by serial number).


The original .38 S&W Special was introduced in 1899, loaded with 18 grains of black powder! It led to more powerful smokeless loads, then via Elmer Keith and the .38-44 to the .357 magnum. (.38-44 was basically an overloaded .38 Special meant to be shot only in stronger revolvers built on a .44 frame). Current target max pressure for .38 Special is 16,000 cup and .38 Special +P is 25% stronger at 20,000.

Meanwhile, our friend describes the shotties like this:

Remington 870 Police Magnum previous Wells Fargo weapons. $200.00. Beat up cosmetic condition.

Surplus City found one nicer than that for their Facebook page:


They say some are priced at $200 and some at $250, there. The nicer ones might have been gone by the time our friend bopped in to Surplus City.

He’s thinking of getting one and giving it a cosmetic touch-up before presenting it to his chick. She’s the sort of woman that would be delighted with that kind of gift.

Editor’s note: hey, we’re now up to only 12 hours behind. But we did finally get the lawn mangler towed out of the hole we got it stuck down in, and only broke one towing cable and bent one clevis pin in the process, so there is that. Hoping Tractor Supply or Ace has a bin-o-clevis-pins when we drop by tomorrow. Or we can make one out of the crummy Spanish parts/junk Mausers that Century is grading “good” and flogging to unsuspecting dealers. -Ed.

3D 3Deal on Autodesk Fusion 360

Just got done buying this, and it dawns on us that you, too, might benefit from this one-day deal offered by Autodesk on the Fusion 360 design software.

How good is the deal? One year for $50, and two for $80. That second deal comes up to 87% off.

Autodesk sent us:

Don’t miss our incredible offer today, where you can get Fusion 360 at just $80 for a 2 year subscription or $50 for 1 year — giving you a savings of up to 87%!

Fusion 360 is 3D CAD reinvented. Get industrial and mechanical design, simulation, collaboration, and machining in a single package. Fusion 360 connects your entire product development process and works on both Mac and PC.

This amazing offer allows you to get the first tool of its kind — an integrated, complete product development platform available on PC, Mac or mobile — at 87% off.

This is only available for one day only, Today, September 28th HERE.

And we immediately bought. We missed an even sweeter offer back during Amazon’s Prime Day, and have been kicking ourselves ever since. We have some other, excellent, 3D Design software but it only runs on Windows, and we’d just rather not when it can be avoided.

We still have to boot up the Windows box or emulator to generate tool paths. That’s the nature of life.

It’s also available FREE to students or teachers at this link, but we’re not in any school at present.

If you join us in buying this thing, there’s a learning curve. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials available (and Autodesk webinars, plus 3rd-party stuff, on Yoot Oob also; we like NYC CNC’s videos, and he’s not even in NYC any more, good for him):


Clever, Minimalist Bipod

Now this is a clever thing, and a brilliant use of 3D Printing in combination with over-the-counter materials (in this case, carbon fiber tubes). Result: an ultralight carbon fiber and printed plastic bipod.

It’s from our dude, Guy in a Garage, and unlike some of his designs, you can build it yourself, or he’ll build one for you; you can email him at The files are here:

And come with these words of caution:

Be warned, this is a tricky print.

And the carbon tube is here, in 1-foot or 3-foot lengths (you’ll need carbide tooling and patience to cut it):

The ridiculously light weight (1.5 ounce) comes by sacrificing some of the adjustability of the common Harris bipod, requiring the legs to be individually removed from the bipod position and placed in the storage/traveling position, and using ultralight carbon fiber for the legs. By contrast this example of a Harris “ultra-light” bipod gives you much more flexibility in how to deploy it, and is more convenient to use, but adds 13 ounces to your firearm — 867% of the weight of the carbon-and-print rig.

The ultralight weight of this bipod allows it to be positioned much closer to the muzzle with much less effect on balance. Lots of Harrises are set fairly far back, just to keep the weapon closer its design balance point.

You know, a bayonet catch would make this a perfect thing. Otherwise, we’d fear the legs would, in time, wear away at the printed plastic of the adapter.