Saturday, November 23, 2013

Baikal MP-310 Range Report

Today I went with a friend to Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays and shot a round of 100. By halfway through the gun was opening up quite a bit more easily.

The gun had no misfires with  Federal and Winchester 12 gauge No.8 target loads. I did have some sticky extraction in the bottom barrel but only with the Winchesters. Both my friend and I have had problems with this ammo in the past, he in a Browning O/U, so as far as I'm concerned this is an ammo issue, not a gun issue.

I'm very happy with the Baikal MP-310. Only time will tell how durable it is, but for the occasional clays or trap shooter or hunter, it looks to be a good value. The one thing I plan to change now is get a set of extended IC choke tubes for it from Carlson's.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baikal MP310 Ejector Tuning

After playing some more today with the Baikal MP310 over/under shotgun that I bought yesterday, I decided to tune the ejectors. Specifically, the ejector springs that are installed by the factory are much stronger than required. Here’s a good video describing how to remove the ejectors and clip the springs to reduce their strength.

Rather than a Dremel with a cutoff wheel, I just used dykes to clip 6 coils off each ejector spring, then deburred the ends with my benchtop belt sander.

Aside from clipping the springs to reduce the effort needed to close the gun, I also polished the bearing points on the ejectors and the slots in which they ride, and deburr all edges. I also polished the part of the barrel monobloc that bears on the pivot pin. Be careful when disassembling and handling the parts. I cut one of my fingers on a really sharp burr.

To smooth things up I used 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper, and gunsmith’s Arkansas stones from a set that I purchased last year from Brownell’s.

With these bearing surfaces polished up and the springs reduced, the action opens and closes much more easily.

I’m hoping to try a round of sporting clays next weekend with the Baikal.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Baikal MP310 Shotgun

I took today off and went up to Cabela’s to do some gun trading. I got decent prices on a couple guns, but their offer of $200 for a 1944 Underwood M-1 Carbine was ridiculously low. I therefore traded in my Stoeger Uplander 20 gauge SxS shotgun and Springfield M1911 that I haven’t shot much in years, and came home with a Baikal MP310 over/under 12 gauge shotgun.

I’ve been looking at the Baikals for awhile, since unlike most of the sub-$1000 over/unders, the Baikal has a reputation for being reliable. My guess is that they are the most common sporting guns in Russia. For example, I watched Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (which I highly recommend, BTW) yesterday, and in one scene there is a group of Russians and most if not all have some kind of Baikal over/under.

Since my expected use is a few rounds of sporting clays each year, along with some bird and small game hunting, it should serve me well. If I was going to be running thousands of rounds through the gun like serious clays or trap shooters, I’d drop the coin on a Berretta or Browning.

The Baikal is imported by European American Armory/US Sporting Guns and is made by Izhmash in Russia. They were also imported for a few years by Remington in their Spartan lineup.

The right side of the butt on this specimen has some nice looking grain.

As you can see, it’s also fitted with sling swivels unlike most Western guns. They are for a 3/4” wide carry strap.

The MP310 has a single-selective, mechanically resetting trigger, selectable ejectors/extractors, automatic safety, and comes with three choke tubes for improved cylinder, modified, and full. Compared with most other modern made shotguns that I’ve handled the length of pull is a bit short, which for me is good. At 5’6”, most modern sporting guns have stocks that are a bit too long for me. The Russian guns with shorter stocks fit me better.

As with a lot of other Russian made firearms that I’ve seen, fit and finish is a bit crude. This shotgun is sold as a hunting gun at a moderate price, so it’ll be no big deal if it gets scratched.

The one thing that may need some work is loosening up the action. It’s very tight to open or close. I did remove the butt stock and hose out the action with PB Blaster, then relube with some FP-10, which helped a bit. I’m hoping that a round or two of sporting clays will loosen it up. If not, I found some info on tuning the action.

I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to shoot the Baikal, but I’ll post a report afterwards.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The First 3D Printed METAL Gun

The smart guys at Solid Concepts have created the first 3D printed metal gun, a 1911 in fact. Here’s a video of it being test fired.

World’s first 3D printed metal gun

Yes, it had a few functioning issues. However, as a proof of concept they’ve done a fantastic job. Now it just needs a bit of debugging.

The technology enabling this is not yet affordable for the masses. Remember when personal computers first came out? Your smartphone has vastly more power at a faction of the cost. Or remember when the first Apple LaserWriter came out and cost around $4,000? You can now get a better laser printer delivered to your door from Amazon for around a hundred bucks. Even if 3D printers capable of doing laser sintering for additive manufacturing don’t drop to similar levels, they’ll come down in price to the point where you can go in together on one with a few buddies without breaking your bank accounts.

Combine affordable 3D metal printers with easily downloadable CNC drawings or even the G-code needed to run the printers, and the statist dream of unilateral civilian disarmament fails utterly.

Hey Feinstein, Schumer, Obama, Bloomberg, Cuomo? You can’t stop the signal!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Small Lathe Built in a Japanese Prison Camp

I’ve been doing some preliminary research into silencer designs prior to filing my first Form 1, and ran across this article about a small lathe made by a British POW being held in a WW2 Japanese prison camp. Link to ~1.1 meg PDF.

This lathe was quite a bit smaller than the modern Chinese lathes made by Sieg and Real Bull, and which are commonly derided as toys. Yet, the author of the article made good use of it, fabricating parts for artificial limbs, among other things.

There’s something to be said for picking up and learning how to use a lathe as part of your preps. It could come in useful in the event of an economic depression when manufactured items become hard to get and it’s a tool with which to earn some extra cash.

Sources for the modern mini lathes include Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Little Machine Shop, and Big Dog Metal Works. Also check out for more info.