Monday, January 19, 2015


If I ever do a reweld again, I am never going to weld the bolt into the receiver. The true cost of that became clear during final assembly. There are so many parts that require the bolt be moved out of battery in order to put them together.

Okay, sure, I could have simply omitted much of the unseen, internal hardware, and just fixed bits like the charging handle in place with epoxy. But I had come this far with real steel, it seemed a shame to do that.

Plus, if you are going that route, having a bolt-substitute that travels means you can cock and dry-fire.

The fake bolt got in my way not just in putting on the last parts, but even in drilling some of the last holes. It also stands just slightly proud where the magazine lips sit, and won't quite let the magazine go far enough in to engage the magazine catch. Which I could have fixed, but I really needed to finish this project and move on.

So here it is:

That out-of-period hex nut is my imperfect solution to securing the barrel shroud lever. In the original, the stem was pounded down to make a rivet. I milled the broken stub flat, drilled a hole, and tapped it for a metric stud, which is fixed in with Locktite.

For the top sight, I drilled for friction pins, but ended up seating them with Locktite too when the holes got a little chewed up. The fake bolt kept catching on the drill bit. So all in all, I spent about four hours on the mill, mostly using it as a stable platform to align everything for the last couple of mounting holes.

And here is a shot looking more-or-less from the good end (taken in poor light, sorry):

The repaired part more-or-less blends in; the rest of the metal is a pretty good mix, from the somewhat rust-colored barrel (with most of the factory bluing worn off) to the flat black paint on the magazine. And all of the other parts are original, and essentially un-touched by my process.

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