Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hedgehog Renewed

Right, so no more grinding at home -- I'll do that at TechShop. And no more welding with the flux-core wire welder; I'll take the SBU on the MIG at TechShop and use that instead. A good choice anyhow, as it is more convenient, and MIG allows me to weld on aluminium.

But on impulse I took the grinder to the new piece anyhow, just to see how bad it was. And I'm glad I did. Because I've got enough done now for a trial fit-up.

And that's a real confidence booster:

Feels pretty solid already, even though the receiver is still in two pieces, held together only by the fake bolt. And surprisingly heavy -- this is no Rambo one-handed wield (and I say this as a former M60 gunner, too!)

(And, no, this is not and will never be a functional firearm. For one thing, I lack the gunsmithing skills to achieve the tolerances and the quality of welds, much less little details like heat treating. Even less do I have skills necessary to make a fully legal semi-automatic weapon -- as cool as that might be. In short, I could just barely -- if I chose -- make something dangerous to shoot and illegal to own, and I have no intention of going in that direction.)

(933(r) et al gets rather complicated. The gist is that since 1986 no "new" machine gun can be created or imported into the US, and it is the receiver that makes it a machine gun. What I have right now is still, legally, "steel scrap" and non-regulated. But the instant I complete the last weld, I have by law created a machine gun -- unless I take steps first to make sure that it can not be, in the language of the BATF, "easily converted into" a functional weapon. Which language appears to be defined in practice as " about eight hours by someone with a fully-equipped machine shop.")

(Since I'm switching to MIG now, I will be able to weld the fake bolt in place. That should satisfy; someone would have to cut it up at least as much as the original demill in order to salvage it -- and at that point it would legally become scrap again.)

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