I Wouldn’t Build that AR

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from other people’s experience with the gun police, it’s don’t wander into gray areas when the state is looking for reasons to put you in jail for being a gun owner:

Here’s what I’m wondering.  Using something like a braided steel fishing leader and some lead split shot, I could conceivably drill small holes in the channel near the base of the mag (where it won’t interfere with the spring and follower) and securing the thin steel cable there by creating a lead tag of a melted lead split shot.  Then, run the cable up the mag body inside the channel on the outside of the mag and hang them outside of the lower receiver.  Close the action and attach lead tags to the steel cables on the outside of the action.  Now, you have a magazine that can be attached without removing the standard mag release button, but can’t be detached without opening the action.  The cables and tags wouldn’t get in the way of the operation according to my Mk. I eyeball.  And there should be no problems with the receiver closing on the cable.

Good idea, bad idea?  Completely idiotic?  I mean the idea, not the laws that inspired it – I know they’re idiotic.

It depends on whether you want to sit in front a jury, explaining all this to them and hoping they understand it, while the prosecutor tries to explain you’re a dangerous extremist who was illegally manufacturing assault weapons in violation of state laws.

The state will surely argue that all it would take is a pair of wire cutters to convert the AR into an assault weapon, and thus it falls into the “readily modifiable” provision, since it doesn’t neatly fit into one of the exceptions.  It is readily modifiable without taking the action apart, because all you have to do is cut the cable.

Product Review: Gunzilla

I’ve usually shied away from reviewing products, because I hate the idea of spending my time doing other people’s marketing for them, but sometimes I run across a product that genuinely is really good, and I think would be of help to other shooters.

While at the NRA convention in St. Louis back in April, I bought a small bottle of a gun cleaner called Gunzilla. The guy at the Gunzilla booth said the product was developed for the military, was plant based, had very little odor, wasn’t harmful to the environment, but still “removes rust, lead, copper, plastic, carbon and even cleans corrosive ammo.” I was skeptical of these claims, but he was offering the 5oz bottles for six bucks, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Now, I’ve always been a Hoppes No. 9 guy when it came to cleaning the power residue out of firearms. I’ve tried other cleaners, and I always thought No. 9 did the best at cutting through thick residue. The chief problem with No. 9 is that it smells, though not necessarily badly in my opinion, it’s quite strong. After I clean my Glock, for the next few days, I’m waiting for someone to come up to me and say “My, that’s an odd fragrance you’re wearing, what do you call it?” I’m probably the only one who can detect the smell, but it’s definitely there. I usually put all the wet patches and q-tips in a zip lock to keep it from continually stinking up the house.

So tonight I decided to try the Gunzilla to clean the Glock. When they said it didn’t have much odor, they weren’t kidding. Vegetable oil has a stronger scent than this stuff. I did take a quick whiff before I bought it, but even with a few wet patches laying out, I still couldn’t smell anything. I was skeptical when I bought the bottle that it would be a truly effective cleaner, but my skepticism was unwarranted. This stuff cleans pretty well! Granted, I’m meticulous about keeping my carry piece clean, but it cut through the powder residue pretty ably. I think for my regular cleanings, I’m sold on Gunzilla.

The real test will be to use it to clean the Kalashnikov, which I clean maybe once a year, after a thousand or so rounds of filthy Russian ammo have been fed through it. If it can clean up that mess, I may never buy another bottle of No. 9 again. You can’t beat something that cleans well, and saves both the environment and your nose!

UPDATE: A few people have asked if I got paid to do an endorsement.  Who would pay a C-list blogger to endorse their product?  Nah, I just thought it was good stuff.   If someone offered to pay me to write an endorsement I’d tell them to get lost (well, unless there was a lot of money involved)

Safe Advice

It’s time to get a big safe.  I’m just buying too much I guess.  Any advice on safe buying?   It seems that most places I can get them don’t deliver them, but I don’t have the equipment to move a 750lb hunk of steel around.  Any of you have experience with safe movers?  Or buying safes?  Any advice would be appreciated.

Windex Is Better

I’ve always heard for shooting corrosive ammo, the best thing to use for cleaning is soap and water. Straightarrow suggested ammonia solutions. Others have suggested Windex. After shooting the AK-74 in Texas, I tried Windex, and had no rust spots on the firearm. A few days ago I tried soapy water, and found the results to be less than pleasing, with rust splotches on the flash hider and in the gas tube. Windex would seem to win hands down.

But I doubt Windex is effective because of the ammonia. I think it has more to do with the fact that Windex has much more effective surfactants in it than plain soapy water. The ammonia is immaterial, other than its power as a detergent, which can be explained by the chemistry in the primers.

Corrosive primers contain mercury fulminate, which is strike sensitive, and an amalgam of potassium chlorate as an oxidizing agent, and rosin as a binding agent and fuel. The mercury fulminate gets the reaction going when the primer is struck by the firing pin, and gets hammered against the “anvil”. The potassium chlorate and rosin begin reacting violently to create a jet of hot, burning gas which then ignites the main powder charge. The problem with this reaction is that one of the byproducts is potassium chloride, which ends up on metal surfaces and attracts moisture, which quickly starts the corrosion process. The purpose of using warm water is to dissolve the potassium chloride, and wash it off of the gun. I suspect Windex works well because it has surfactants that will dig into the powder residue, get to the surfaces, and help wash away more of the potassium salt.

Another by product of of the primer reaction is elemental mercury, which can form amalgams with brass. If you ever wondered why the Soviets use steel cased ammo, this is one of the reasons. Over time, mercuric primers can leech enough mercury into the casing to weaken the brass, increasing the risk of rupture when it’s fires. Using steel casings minimizes this risk, even with very old ammunition.

Modern non-corrosive primers use lead syphnate, which doesn’t leave moisture attracting salts. The lead syphnate is bound up with ground glass as a frictionator, tetracene as a sensitizer, along with an oxidizing compound, typically barium nitrate, and a fuel source, such as antimony sulfide.

Non-corrosive primers are more prone to degradation than corrosive primers, in large part because tetracene makes the primer a lot more heat sensitive. There have been a lot of advancements in primer technology lately, particularly with non-toxic primers, and I won’t pretend to be an expert on this.

But I will say that Windex is definitely your friend if you shoot corrosive primed surplus ammunition out of your firearms. It seems to get the job done better than soapy water.

Pretty Cool

It’s a slow day. Lots to do at work, and lots of preparation for Bitter and my’s Texas Fun Time Shootout trip. I figured I’d crack open the stuff I’ve meant to blog about, but have kept in reserve for just such an occasion. From Clayton Cramer, we have this totally cool animated diagram of the Glock pistol.

For those of you who think that Austrian Tupperware is an affront to God, Country, and John Moses Browning, you can see a 1911 version of the same thing on this page.

Removing Cosmoline

Bruce of mAss Backwards has a great post on how to remove cosmoline from a new rifle; a problem we’ve all had to face at one time or another. I think we all remember Easy Bake Ovens. Same principle, applied to guns.

UPDATE: I didn’t try Bruce’s easy bake oven for rifles, but the oven did the trick for me.  There are advantages to living alone :)  I have the Mosin-Nagant nearly ready to shoot, and will have to do a range report in a few days.