Sunday, November 28, 2004

Weekend recap

Yes, I've been lax about posting for the past few days, so I may as well include updates for several things I've written about recently.

I now have a brass deflector on my AR-180B. Instead of the piece of PVC I mentioned in my last post on the topic, I wound up using a rubber stopper as the raw material. Aside from matching the receiver better, it was easier to work and the base shape was closer to what I needed. I'd wanted to get to the range today but the weather was crummy.

Thursday we went down to Aberdeen, MD for Turkey Day. I managed to not stuff myself to the point where I couldn't move. I used to do that on Thanksgiving but I've gotten away from that the past few years.

On Black Friday I made an impulse purchase of a Green Rifle. An Arsenal, Inc. SLR-101SG1, to be precise. (I made the mistake of going over to Surplus City and not leaving my Master Card home.) It's a Bulgarian-made semiauto Kalashnikov with US-made green synthetic furniture, and a milled receiver. Most AKs have receivers made from stamped sheet steel. However, the first mass-produced AKs had receivers milled from solid billets of steel. My new toy is of this type. The SLR-101s were originally imported with thumbhole stocks and could take only single-stack magazines, not regular AK mags. However, Arsenal, Inc. modifies them to a proper configuration by replacing enough of the imported parts with US parts to meet the requirements of 18 USC 922(r). As such, my rifle was also modified to accept standard AK magazines. It came with a single Bulgarian made 5 round plastic "waffle" mag, but I have a bunch of 20 and 30 rounders, plus a 75 round drum.

By all accounts, the Bulgarian rifles are top-notch. The fit and finish on mine is head and shoulders above any Chinese AK or the Century Arms Romanian hack jobs that are most common in the US. The Bulgarian rifles are also supposed to be among the most accurate AKs. Compared with the 4 MOA that you can expect from most Kalashnikov sporters, the Bulgarians can be expected to halve that. (I sure hope so.) A report will follow when I get it out to the range. I have some vacation days to be used by the end of the year so I may blow off a day or two in the near future with the intent of going shooting.

Aside from the SLR-101, I also picked up four OEM Ruger Mini-14 2o round magazines at Surplus City. Ever since the now-defunct Assault Weapons Ban was enacted, civlian-legal factory Mini-14 mags holding more than 5 rounds have been as scarce as hen's teeth. The cheapest I saw Ruger mags for since I got my Mini-14 last year was $75 for one mag. Even with the sunset of the AWB, Ruger is sticking to its policy of selling them only to government agencies. However, as departments sell off older rifles and mags, they make their way onto the market. And so, I was able to get four mags that while not new-in-wrap, look almost unused, for $25 each.

With my acquisitions I was presented with a problem, though. That is, how to pay for it all. I'd resigned myself to putting my Saiga AK up for sale on THR and TFL, but was able to get a better deal. Basically, I swapped it, along with four mags (I have plenty more) and 120 rounds of 7.62x39 for carpentry work at the house by a friend. Since I'd otherwise be paying him money, bartering the rifle for his work in effect paid for my new rifle, and I got some much-needed work done back at the house.

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