Trigger Shoe Experiment

No Blue Swede Here
Well I’ve been doing some research on target shooters and long range shooters. I’ve been intrigued with the use of a “Trigger Shoes” by

This is the basic shoe before modding

some of the old school guys,  this seems to allow the shooter to have a better “feel” for the trigger. So after doing a little more research I decided to see for myself if it was true.

So just where does one find a trigger shoe these days?.  No not at the mall, but surprisingly there are a few companies out there that still produce them. They can be however somewhat pricy,  I did come across an unexpected source in Simi Valley called ANSGEAR.COM. They were selling a trigger shoe for a paintball gun that looked almost identical to one of the more expensive units on the internet.  The shoes are made from aluminum and they are plated in chrome or assorted colors and with a whopping price tag of $3.95!   With a price like that I couldn’t pass the opportunity up,  So I ordered 4, 2 chrome 1 gray and a really cool red.

Not Quite My Size but I’ll take em
Well the shoes arrived the next day and I knew they were going to require some modification when I ordered them. My Timney Trigger has a 3/16 inch wide trigger,  and the slot in the back of the trigger shoe was not quite 3/16’s so after about an hour of slowly grinding and buffing out the trigger channel I had a working prototype.  ( Modders NOTE: One thing to remember when modding the channel is to keep the sides at 90 degrees, if you don’t the shoe will not sit correctly on the trigger.)   While I was at it I removed a little material off each side, this was to make sure that it stayed inside the trigger guard. I really didn’t need to do this step, it was just a precaution.  One thing I learned as I was working on the ANS trigger shoe is that removing some of the the material from the slot caused the chrome plating to begin to flake off.  As a result I opted to simply remove all the chrome from the modded shoe and just buff and polish out the aluminum.

Timney’s Mosin Nagant Trigger fitted with Trigger Shoe what a pair!

Installation and First Impressions
Installation was quite easy after I had modded the back channel of the shoe, it simply slips over the Timney Trigger, you may need to adjust the shoe a bit for proper alignment and then simply tighten down the shoe using the  2 set screws.    The installed shoe feels quite sturdy but I won’t be able to get a real feel for it until I hit the range with it.  Oh and how does the trigger feel now you ask? All I can say is WOW! I loved the pull of the Timney Trigger before I installed this but now it’s just that much more comfortable, and it seems to place the trigger exactly where it needs to be on your finger it feels so effortless to get the trigger to brake now.   In fact it almost feels like your cheating. I had a buddy over tonight and he tried it and was totally blown away at this setup. Now he’s thinking of adding one to his non Mosin Nagant setup.
I have a red anodized unit that I ordered and I my swap it out for this one after I test it. I think the Red would be kinda cool to go with the Timney Trigger red color. But we’ll see. I’m currently prepping MosZilla for a day at the range, so firing test with the shoe will follow soon.
Stay on Target
Mark

SmartReloaders SR 787 Dream Tumbler Review

The Price Is Right!
Well in my previous post you’ll see that I’ve started the path of reloading my own ammo. I’ve been slowly purchasing quality components for up my setup. I realized that before I went any further I had empty brass waiting to be reloaded but it needed to polished and cleaned. So I decided that it was time to purchase a tumbler. Now being new to the reloading scene, you’ll hear all the typical names mentioned for purchase. And some of those names come with a hefty price tag, but while looking at used tumblers on ebay I came across the SmartReloader SR787 “Dream Tumbler”. The price was right and so I decided to take a chance.

I’ll Tumble For Ya

SmartReloaders SR787 Nice Unit Nice Price!

Overall dimensions for the the unit are : 11.5 inches x 11.375 inches x 10.375 inches, The bowl has a capacity of 3.7 Quarts and can fit 600 cases 9mm or 250 cases .223R.  In my case I think it should handle about 250 7.62X54R cases.  You can order a second bowl to change media quickly, the SR787 bowl design allows it to be used with either wet or dry media.  The heavy lid has an internal rubber seal that won’t allow the dust to escape while the unit is operating.  So I purchased the unit off ebay for 43.99 with free shipping.

Today when I arrived home the UPS man was just pulling up to the house. He handed me a box and I quickly signed for it and took it in the house. Upon opening the box I found that the SR787 does not come assembled, but hey I like building things anyway. The unit is really simple to put together.  The only issue I had was the hole on the lid was not opened up enough and was to tight on the threaded rod.  A simple flat blade screw driver opened the plastic up quite nicely.   So within a few minutes I had the unit finished and ready to rock.  OK now what,  Uh oh I’d forgotten to purchase any polishing media..  So a quick trip to the local PetSmart yielded a 10 quart bag of Zilla lizard litter,  Zilla is made from English Walnut Shells and is the exact same stuff as the tumbling media they sell at your local reloading center but a fraction of the cost.  So 14.00 dollars poorer I headed home with my polishing

Great Stuff and it really works well

media.  After pouring in the walnut shell into the bowl I turned the unit on with the lid off and observed the motion of the media.  The SR787 tumbler really moves things around.  According to SmartReloading the tumbling action for this unit is the same as their  SR100 unit which was designed in Italy by Carmelo Casano, who is that you ask?  I don’t know.  But that’s who designed it.   OK now I can’t wait to see this thing in action, I had about 60 rounds of PPU brass sitting around that needed to be cleaned so in it went.  I was really impressed to see just how the cases were being moved around the bowl and in the medium.

Wow this thing is Quiet
When I took my NRA class the tumbler we used was really quite noisy, I was worried that if I tried to run something like that at home I’d be sleeping in the garage. So I was pleasantly surprised at just how quite this unit is. No it’s not totally silent by any stretch of the imagination but I was able to run it in the next room and still not be bothered by it.

Final Conclusions
This is a very nice and affordable tumbler, it does the job quite nicely. The fact that you can order a spare bowl for around 15.00 dollars US is a big plus as well, I can see buying a second bowl for other type media. The SR787 It’s covered by a 2 year warranty and looks to be quite well built. With the fact that it is not terribly noisy I think this would be a great unit for someone reloading in a small area. If I could change anything on this unit it would be to add an on off switch to the front, but hey I can unplug the unit just as easy. We’ll see how this unit stacks up over time but for now I couldn’t be more pleased. If your looking for a nice tumbler that won’t break the bank look into the SmartReloader SR787.
Seeya
Mark

NRA Reloading Classes

Last weekend I took an NRA sponsored reloading class at Oaktree Gun Club, I must say if your considering getting into reloading it’s well worth the money. Safety is the emphasized during the entire class and rightfully so. The fact that your dealing with gun powders that if loaded improperly can not only destroy your firearm, but they have the potential to kill or injure you or others. I know there are a lot of websites that can show you how to reload, but to get instruction from someone who has been reloading properly was much more important to me. I knew this was going to be a long day starting at 8:00AM and ending at 5:00pm so I came prepared. The lessons included reloading pistol ammo which in this case was .45LC and later in the day learning how to reload 30-06 rifle ammo. This is really what I came for, but learning on the .45 LC first really preps you for the more complicated process for rifle rounds.

Best part of the day was we got to shoot what we reloaded. let me tell you there is something very gratifying about hearing the boom from a round you reloaded. And best of all I had no misfires. The instructor Brian was informative and entertaining. The class is quite fast paced and so you’ll need to make sure to take notes and ask questions. Also be prepared because there is a test at the end of the course. So after a long day I’m an NRA certified for reloading metallic cartridges! So now I’m much more comfortable with using the reloading gear that I’ve began to purchase, And while the cost of surplus ammo for the Mosin Nagant is relatively cheap, but loading custom rounds for my custom Mosin target rifles is something I can’t wait to get started on.
Seeya
Mark

MTM Case Gards Zombie Ammo Can

Ohh Look What I found

So much more than just a pretty face

OK if any of you are familiar with our SOCAMO Zombie shoots you’ll understand why I was so pleased recently at a very cool product I came across at the Crossroads Of The West Gun Show in Ventura.  While I was browsing around the fairgrounds looking for some PPU 182 grain ammo to feed my hungry Mosins, I stumbled across the MTM Case Gard “Zombie Ammo Can”.  I thought what the heck the price is right and it certainly looks cool.    The ammo can sports a custom lime green and dark grey color scheme and sports a large decal on the front of the can with a pair of menacing looking eyes, with the words “Limited Edition” imprinted on the label .    But cool stickers and colors are not what made me purchase the MTM Case Gard “Zombie Ammo Can”, here is what did.

First Impressions

I knew I should have bought more than one.

First off you’ll notice that this is not some cheap flimsy plastic box, No indeed this ammo can is made right here in the USA and is built to hold up to 30 lbs of all your Zombie blasting ammo and gear,  MTM’s ammo can features their  “tongue and groove O-Ring seal system” which really keeps moisture and critters out of the cans interior.  The  large double latches make sure you ammo and other goodies stay in the can no matter if your toting it to the range or running from a horde  of undead brain munchers.  Other features on this ammo can are  double padlock tabs along with molded-in stacking ridges.   For the Mosin Nagant owner this ammo can will easily allow for about 20 boxes of PPU boxed ammo and about 680 rounds or more of Russian surplus ammo in their paper wrappers.  I was easily able to place one entire spam can plus over half of another of into just one Zombie Ammo Can with room to spare!

Negatives

The only negatives I could find are these, first off I only bought 1 at the gun show, now I wish I would have bought about 10.  I still don’t know why I didn’t go back and get several more that day.  The Zombie Ammo can is just way to useful not to have more than one.  But that is not a negative on them just me.  The only other negative I could come up with on this unit is the decal, I know as it ages it is going to wear off at some point.  BUT that’s ok too since I have lots of other stickers to put in it’s place.

Parting Shots

This ammo can can hold lots of 7.62x54R ammo. Boxed ammo fits perfectly, but you can get a whole spam cans worth in there as well

I’ve been in the market for a while for a good ammo can, taking a duffel bag to the range that you cannot lock with ammo in it is just not practical.  While having a military style ammo can may look cool they do have there draw backs, first they are expensive to purchase for the large calibers, they can rust or corrode  and they are heavy.  MTM Case-Gard has come up with what I believe is a very practical and functional ammo can for a very reasonable price,  not only for the serious shooter but the casual one as well.  They’ve added a little levity into the product  and I think that is simply awesome.  I’m hoping someday to get my hands on one of their shooters vises to test my custom Mosin Nagants on at the range.  But from now on MTM’s ammo can will be my ammo transport of choice.  Thanks MTM Case-Gard for a great product.

Technical Information

Color: Zombie Green with Custom Colored Eerie Green Latches
Material: Rugged polypropylene
Outside Dimensions: 13.5″ Long x 7.4″ Wide x 8.5″ Tall
Inside Dimensions: 11″ Long x 5.8″ Wide x 7.2″ Tall

 Stay on Target

Mark

MosZilla Gets A Timney Trigger! Part 1

In  The Beginning
In the original MosZilla build I had attempted to use a modified stock trigger to see how much performance I could get out of that type of trigger system.  While the mods yielded some nice improvements and decent groups the overall performance was still not consistent enough to translate into what I would call a target trigger. So after looking at the other possibilities that are on the market, I put in a call to the good folks at Timney. After a very nice chat with them, and doing more research I came to the conclusion that for the price, benefits and performance, Timney was the only trigger out there for MosZilla’s newest setup.

What are the benefits you ask?
First off please be aware that to install this trigger system you’ll need to modify your stock to accommodate the trigger and safety.  This will involve removing wood from the trigger area.  I don’t have photos of that process but you can download the instructions from Timney.  Also be aware that if you have your stock pillared you’ll need to modify the rear pillar by notching it to allow for proper installation of the Timney unit.   Oh and another thing is if you happen to be a purist with a rare stock on your Mosin Nagant you might want to avert your eyes from here on out.

The original Russian designed safety on the Mosin Nagant rifles while functional are not all that user friendly, in some cases for younger shooters it’s almost impossible to use. The Timney Trigger offers a vast improvement to the shooter with it’s integrated safety. This consists of an internal locking system,  it’s easily activated by the use of a lever that is situated to the right side of the receiver.  A simple push forward with your thumb places the rifle in the armed and ready to fire position.  Pulling the lever to the rear returns the rifle into the safety mode.  This feature alone is worth investing in a Timney, but there are more impressive features. So let’s continue shall we, When I ordered my Timney Trigger the good folks at Timney asked what I wanted it set to. The trigger system offers a break that is adjustable from 2 to 8 lbs, so after a little more discussion I ordered MosZilla’s trigger set to 2.5 lbs from the factory.  If I find that to light I can easily adjust it with the provided hex wrench.   Installation on the action is quite simple, remove the bolt from the action, then simply remove the trigger pin (save the trigger pin you’ll need it) then remove the screw that holds the sear spring to the action. The trigger now drops away, you can now easily drop the new trigger in place,  replace the trigger pin and reinstall sear screw. (side note:I do hope someone someday will come out with a hex head replacement for the sear screw.) now tighten the hex screw to hold the trigger pin in place and your done.  As I stated earlier if you have pillars installed you’ll need to modify the rear pillar to accommodate the new Timney unit.  If your not inclined to do this install yourself Timney offers an install service for an additional fee.

First Impressions

With my new Timney trigger installed on MosZilla my first impressions of the Timney Trigger is it’s AWESOME! This is a vast improvement over any stock or modded trigger I’ve ever used bar none,  my modded stock trigger had an inconsistent  break from 8 to 10 lbs. and a long 2 stage pull, so the change is quite dramatic.  In fact you’ll need to be careful the first time out if your used to that long trigger pull. It simply is not there.

Here is the Timney installed on MosZilla notice  the difference in the trigger position.

The break is crisp and at 2.5 lbs make sure to keep that safety on and your finger away from the trigger until your ready to fire. I suggest practicing with some snap caps to get a feel for your new trigger before you go to the range.

Some people might say “why would you buy a 100.00 dollar trigger for a 100.00 dollar rifle?  well because it is simply worth it!   The safety and performance is the single most  bang for the buck additions you can add to your Mosin Nagant period.

Here is a photo of MosZilla sporting her original trigger, notice how much more forward the trigger sits than the Timney.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the trigger is much more to the rear in the trigger guard compared to the stock trigger which in my case sat dead center.  You no longer need all that pull so the new trigger system eliminates it.  While I was installing the trigger and subsequently writing this review I was trying to think of anything I would change if I could on the Timney Trigger.  After thinking long and hard the only things I came up with were as follows. I would have liked the edges on the trigger just a little more rounded.  And that is really just being picky.  I also wish there was an option to purchase a Mosin Nagant Trigger with Timney’s AR-15 Skeletonized style trigger.  For us bench shooters I think that would be an awesome option. and maybe have the option to order a polished or colored trigger. But that is all the criticism I can come up with.

Parting Shots
I have 3 more project rifles on the drawing board as we speak and IF I can afford it, Timney Triggers will be a part of every one of them.   This is a great product that is produced right here in the USA, Great Job Timney and thanks for creating such a outstanding product for us Mosin Owners.   Oh and I thought you might like to see a photo of the rifle from the top with the Timney system installed.  Notice that Aaron added a safety indicator on top of the stock to show the fire position.  (note) I have a couple minor mods I need to perform on MosZilla’s bolt before I can take her to the rifle range, so stay tuned for the range report.
Stay on Target
Mark

MosZilla Resurection

Hi all:
Well Moszilla my M91/30 project rifle has seem some serious work done on her stock to remove a damaged portion that was caused because of the tang striking the stock every time the rifle was fired. Aaron Henderson who built the stock suggested I send it to him so he could see the problem. So after a short vacation in Ohio MosZilla is once again winging it way back to CA. so I can install the new Hawke Optics and get her back into shooting form.

Aaron did some major work at the rear of the stock, this included reshaping the stock slightly to remove any remaining damage. He also reshaped the butt area so that the Limbsaver kick pad fits the stock perfectly, as well as opened up the barrel channel a bit more and fixed the problem with the barrel rubbing at the front of the stock so the barrel free floats now, while he was at it Aaron also leveled the action in the stock. The action has now been fully pillared with Rock Solid Industries Pillars and screws and fully bedded using the Arcaglas.

The stock was also inlet to accommodate the new Timney Trigger and Aaron added a abalone fire position indicator on the stock The Timney is now installed and will be a huge improvement over the modded stock trigger. The Timney was set for 2 pounds of pull. I’m going to have to get used to a much light trigger that’s for sure.

There are more mods in store for the rifle when it gets back, one is the scope rail system needs some adjustment or redesign (I’ll work on that when I get it back) another item is I’ll be modding the cocking knob and once everything is done I’ll be using this rifle as a test bed for several Hawke Optic scopes I’m going to be doing reviews on.

Here is MosZilla posing for photos in Ohio after Aaron’s rework

Well I’ll keep you posted
Stay On Target
Mark

Back to the drawing board

Well one rifle project continues while another one is going back for some redesign. Aaron Henderson of Lowel Designs is constructing a MosZilla II stock for me as we speak. That stock when complete will be shipped directly to Teludyne Tech to be matched up with it’s action.

The Mosimuous rifle project which was a bit more radical in it’s stock design is in serious need of some changes. When I did a test and bolted up MosZilla’s action to the stock the balance of the rifle was seriously off. So back to the drawing board. The new designs will include a shortened barrel and I’ll be adding a recoil reduction system in the rear of the stock to help offset some of the weight issues. I may also include an adjustable LOP but that is still on the table at the moment. Barrel length is still under consideration and will be determined by proper ballance vs weight.

I’ll post more soon with photos.
Stay on Target
Mark

Teludyne Tech to install StraightJacket on new project.

I’ve been keeping this project quite until I had all the players lined up for the my newest project rifle.  The guys at Teludyne Tech Industries are currently installing their StraightJacket Barrel system on my 1938 hex action.  The bore on this rifle is near perfect.   I really pleased that the guys at Teludyne have come along side with their support on this build.  I was hoping for some photos but there are not at this time.

Aaron Henderson of Lowel Designs has been working on a new version of the first stock that he built for me, this one however this one  has a few more modifications that should make this rifle even a better shooter.

I’ve purchased some hardware form Stock Positioning Systems out of New York to give the new project both a LOP adjustment as well as their adjustable comb hardware.  That is on it’s way to Aaron to build into the new design.

RSI is supplying the pillars and I’m hoping to get the scope mount as well.

I’ll be posting updates as I can.  There is also another project rifle under development that I’ll be posting on later this month.

Stay On Target
Mark

Finnish M27 Restoration Project

I recently acquired a very rare specimen of a Mosin Nagant variant, the Finnish M27. This version of the M27 was only produced for a 2 month window of time during 1942. This rifle is stamped with the

“PUOLUSTUSLAITOS” marking and was later stamped with the typical [SA] marks. The receiver is a 1895 Tula as it is stamped on the tang, the barrel is a Tikka stamped with the date of 1928. It’s also been D stamped to allow for the Finnish ammo.

While one might say just leave it alone that’s really cool, this rifle needed more than a little TLC. All the barrel bands and half the magazine are missing the bluing, the stock was also covered in a thick coat of polyurethane, and I mean thick. Whoever had refinished the rifle didn’t bother to take the rifle apart, so the bands where covered with poly and basically glued in place so you could not get the rifle apart to do an inspection.

Condition of the M27 when I bought it was good but the finish was aweful

I wanted to inspect under the barrel so this whole light restoration started from the simple need to safety check the firearm. After working on the rifle for about an hour both bands were finally removed from the rifle. There were drips of poly on the front band and the rear the stuff had gotten underneath and coated the inside of the bands as well. Finally I was able to remove the action from the stock. The barrel and action were in great shape, Sharp lands and shiny, but this was an old warhorse. The rear swivel sling mount was frozen in position, the bolt had some signs of light surface rust from handling, the back side of the butt plate showed major surface rusting and the barrel lug had a small area of deep pitting, nothing that could affect the rifle however.

Surface rust and light pitting this warhorse needed help

Some of this would be consistent with being exposed to moisture such as snow. So first things first I needed to get that rust under control. For this I started with some WD40 on the swivel and butt plate allowing them to soak. The bolt was polished and both the barrel and bolt received a treatment with Militec 1. I really like the Militec 1 products, IF you follow the directions for the treatment as per the instructions you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy your firearm is to clean and maintain. I have shown the Militec 1 products to many of my friends who are now Militec 1 converts.

So with the action and metal parts now stable I turned my attention to the stock. There are a lot of strippers on the market but I went with Citristrip because I have children and pets in the area so some thing less harmful was just the thing to get that wood free of it’s plastic encasement. It took 2 treatments to get everything off to my satisfaction. So after a good wipe down with Mineral Spirits and Denatured Alcohol and 2 days of dry time the stock was ready for a it’s new finish.

Re blued front barrel band for the M27 looks much better now

Re blued barrel band

I also decided to re blue the bluing in the barrel bands and butt plate, first off let me say that different metals take bluing differently so this may not apply to what you have. The front barrel band was different material from the rear band so some experimentation was required. First I buffed all the parts with a brass brush in my drill press until I had removed all the old bluing and surface rust, I continued until I had given the the metal even surface appearance.

(TIP) Also wear gloves to keep the oils from your body from getting into that freshly exposed metal. I used those blue gloves nitrile gloves they work great.

Use gloves during bluing process too, Then after they were buffed I wiped the entire part in acetone to make sure there was no oils left in the metal at all and let dry, but not to long. Surface rust can begin to form on humid days pretty quickly. Make sure your using clean rags and not used shop rags for wipe down and I used cotton balls to control the application of the bluing.

Be patient the butt plate started to turn black almost immediately but the other parts took much longer, don’t rush and continue to apply the product slowly and evenly. I gave each part several applications with about 5 minutes between coats.  Don’t worry it just stops when the metal can’t blue any more.

I also re blued the magazine and buffed the bolt

As for what I used there are a couple options IF you want a black finish there is a product from Brownells called Oxpho Blue, I recommend the cream, it stays put longer. I wanted an original blue look so I used Birchwood Casey’s product. I used the thin stuff because that is all I could find. BUT they make a paste as well. You must also remember there is a critical step that this requires and that is developing. You need to hit the part with oil to stop the bluing process. Bluing is a controlled rusting process so you need to halt it when your happy with the results. IF you don’t it will start getting a nasty brown color in the bluing. I used WD40 to develop the finish.

So the Finnished product? Sorry I could not resist the pun, I think this old girl looks great.  Yes I know that the finish on the stock is not original but there were some issues with the stock that simply did not allow for a pine tar finish.

Completed Project

If perhaps some day I find an original M27 stock in great shape I’ll change it out. But for now I’m just going to enjoy this piece of history.  Since the rifle is now completed I treated the bolt and all metal surfaces with my secret weapon, Milited 1 oil and grease products.  That bolt cycles like butter and the bore is like a mirror.  Looking forward to some serious range time in the next couple weeks as my schedule permits.  I’ll post results soon.
Stay on Target
Mark

Repairs, Reviews and Updates

Updates
Well it’s been a while since I last posted and I know some of you were asking about several reviews. First let me say when the server went down some of those reviews were lost in the crash and I have not posted them online back yet. The reason is I’m going to be updating them.

Repairs
Well I’ve had MosZilla at the range this winter and spring working on some tests of ammo and hardware. The last time I took the rifle to the range, the rifle just didn’t feel right, and was not shooting up to it’s normal level of performance. I know that sounds weird but I can really tell on this rifle when something isn’t right. When I got MosZilla back home I noticed a small U shaped crack at the tang. Upon further investigation I could see that this was due the the tang striking the stock. The action had been moving in the stock horizontally and the tang was acting like a chisel. So repairs and a modification to the tang area are now underway on the stock as we speak. I’ve repaired and reinforced the damaged area, but since the repair required me sand and level out some of the damage as well as open up the tang area it will require refinishing the stock.

Part of the new mods are installing a set of Rock Solid pillars and action screws, this will double the thickness of the current system and lock the action into the stock much better. This also gives me a metal to metal contact between the magazine and the action not just 2 .256 metal rods to hold it.

I’ve also noticed some issues with the action not setting in the stock perfectly level so the pillars and and a little sanding in the barrel channel will fix that. The rifle will also be completely bedded instead of just bedded at the tang and lug as it was before.

Reviews Are Coming Soon
I have some reviews in the pipe, I’ll be reviewing several Hawke Optics Scopes and more. They are temperately on hold while these repairs are being completed. Also waiting for more ammo and my reloading gear to arrive!

Well I’ll keep you posted.
Stay On Target
Mark