Chronicles of the Shade Tree Gunsmith

Around my 40th birthday I realized that life was flying past me at supersonic speed, and came to realize that it was far past time to start collecting some family heirlooms. Having long regretted my previous gun purchases and sales, and with the newness of the Obama administration wearing off along with the fear of impending gun control legislation waning in a sluggish economy, I decided to purchase a handgun based on the M1911 design. My love affair with the firearm herein began. This page will serve as a placeholder for all projects thus relevant. Love the smell of cordite!

This paragraph is a placeholder for my work on the Smith & Wesson SW1911ES. Since I failed to document my work you’ll have to come back later to read the details on how I fitted a replacement Ed Brown trigger block in my 1911ES and could not be more thrilled with the results.

My second major firearm project came to me as a fluke. A friend came to me with some baloney story wanting to get rid of a “California legal” AK-47 that he’d purchased and then decided he / his S.O. didnt like / want / whatever, and so he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Let’s face it, the only justification I “need” to purchase a firearm is an empty slot in my gun safe. I later came to realize that he had discovered the magic of the black rifle, and wished to offload this Russian stink pickle on the nearest fool. Having a decent knowledge of the AK, I knew there was no reason for apprehension, and dove in head first. He let me make payments on what I was initially informed was a WASR-10, but ended up being the far sturdier Zastava PAP. After a summer’s worth of customizations, I ended up with a one of a kind AK-47 that’s a lot of fun and a great conversation piece at the gun range. Read more.

My third major project isn’t technially a firearm, but is no less entertaining. I introduce to you Squirrel-B-Gone – a modified, accurized Crosman 1377 pellet pistol that I purchased solely to reduce the squirrel population near my deer stands without scaring off the deer. Read more.

My latest project, based on a charity Stag AR-15 stripped lower. Squirrel, white-tail deer and zombies beware! Having fiddled with a good number of firearms by this point in life, I must say I was nothing short of astonished with the design of the Stoner rifle. Though I will admit I nearly soiled my pants the first time I dumped out an AR lower parts kit onto my kitchen counter, it only took about 45 minutes to figure out this jigsaw puzzle and the process was not lost on me. This weapon is the pinnacle of form following function. Incredibly simple, yet unbelievably elegant. Read more.

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