Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to the Old Grind and a Range Report

Back to the old grind.  Yesterday was my first day of work since December 23rd, and it was hard getting up at 0610.  I'm not complaining, since I'm grateful to have a job in this economy.

Since my last post about the LRGC Kalashnikov Match (at which I did lousy because my rifle's sights were off), I spent time with the family, made it to the range a couple of times, and picked up a new toy.

The new toy is a Century Arms VZ-2008 Sporter, a semiauto clone of the Czechoslovakian assault VZ-58 rifle.  It bears a superficial resemblance to the AK, but there are no interchangeable parts.  Aside from having some technical difficulties with it when I brought it to the range Sunday, I'm going to hold off on posting about it, since I've pitched an article on it to a gun magazine.

My goal on the first range trip was to break in a new-to-me SAR-1 which I got from my dad.  The last time he'd shot it he experienced several malfunctions due to the fire control group (hammer, trigger, and disconnector).  He ordered a Tapco G2 FCG to replace the factory parts, but had never gotten around to installing it.  He also ordered an "L" shaped trigger and hammer pin retaining spring, which I used in lieu of the factory Shepherd's Hook.  The "L" spring is a lot easier to remove and install.

Tapco makes some good stuff and some bad.  The G2 FCG is one of their good products, this was third one I've installed in an AK.  It provides a light trigger pull with minimal creep, and little to no trigger slap.  (Trigger slap is when the action resets, pushing the trigger back forward, slapping your finger in the process.  This can be painful, especially in cold weather.  It's common on AKs.)

I ran a couple hundred rounds through the SAR-1 without any problems.  I needed to do some minor sight adjustments to zero the iron sights.  With the Wolf Military Classic FMJ ammo I was shooting, I was able to keep most shots within the black of an SR-1 target at 100 yards when shooting from a solid rest.  This is about as good as I can do with an AK and open sights.

After getting the SAR-1, I ordered a set of K-Var plastic handguards with a heat shield, and a Polish Tantal folding stock.  The wood furniture which came with the rifle looks good but the handguard heats up quickly in rapid fire.  I want a folding stock for storage and transport.  Unfortunately, I received the handguards but not the folding stock, because the merchant's online inventory wasn't updated before I put in my order, and by the time I did so it was out of stock.  so for now I have mismatched furniture on the gun.  So yesterday I ordered an East German folder from WhatACountry.com.  Once I get that squared away the next thing I want to do is get the muzzle threaded and install either a muzzle brake or flash hider.

Something else I acquired over vacation was a three pack of Finnish Valmet M62 magazines, which fit other AKs in 7.62x39.  They all fit fine in my SAR-1 but a couple are snug in my MAK-90.  I ran about 300 rounds through them with no problems, and posted a report on a couple of boards.  One reply from a Finn indicated that the OD mags, such as those I received, were for trials and can bulge when left loaded.  Graphite colored M62 mags are good to go, however.  In any event they seem to be good range mags and a neat collectible.

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