"Gunsmith Kittens," or "Tactical Intern, Day One"


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Kaylee
June 21, 2003, 01:33 AM
John Moses Browning on a pogo stick! What a day!

As those of you who've met me can attest, I am thoroughly UnTactical. My carry gun is a bloomin' .45 Colt Vaquero, for gosh's sake. (Because every girl's purse should make a worthy impact weapon in its own right.) :)

So it makes perfect sense that I'd start an internship at the local UberTactical Gunsmith shop, right? I thought so. And my first "real" day on the job was great fun.

The day begins when I see a beat to heck odd-shaped piece of plastic sitting on the trash bin.

"um... what's that?" I ask, pointing at The Thing.

"That," smiles BossMan, "is your project for the day. It's an abortion of a cast fiberglass sniper stock. Please sand it smooth and get it ready for finishing."

I take it off the trash can and give it a dubious look.

Sure enough... cast fiberglass, and now that I look at it again it DOES look kinda like a gunstock. Well... more like one of those "make your own phaser" kits you find at Star Trek conventions, right down to the little pinholes full of Bondo. It's vaguely gunshaped, anyways.

"You say this cost the customer twice what a FINISHED McMillan stock would?" says I.

"Yup" says he.

"And knowing that, he wanted it anyway?" says I.

"Yup, says he.

"Yikes....."

So once that project is done, I grab a quick bite to eat off the Company Meal Plan...
this means I pick an MRE out of a plastic bucket, slit it open, and go to town.

While I'm munching chicken ala king out of a mylar baggie, we discuss my first real learning project -- a hybrid AR. I'm to take a CavArms polymer AR lower, mate it to a side-charging flatop AR reciever, install the barrel and barrel extension, mount a free-floated forearm tube (scratch built, I presume), and then scratch-build this AK-style gas system for the AR Bossman has dreamed up.

Whoa.

but we start simple, and order me a lower and trigger group to start on.

Once back in the workshop, Bossman approves my work on the Phaser Stock, and I run around back playing stormtrooper blasting Luke Skywalker. :D

After recess, I try to un-bugger the revolver I buggered up (mixed luck so far), and get a lesson in how the AR bolt carrier assembly works, and Why Homebrew Auto Conversions Are A Bad Idea.

Let's see... then field stripping a G36, "this is how we assemble sound suppressors," and a couple other lessons I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Whew! What a day!
I think now I have to take a long bath and read some romance novels to get all this gunny stuff out of my head. :p


-K

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Schuey2002
June 21, 2003, 02:05 AM
... then field stripping a G36,
Glock or H&K?? :confused:

Don Gwinn
June 21, 2003, 03:00 AM
Yeah, that sounds like a pretty tough gig. :rolleyes:

"Oh no, Boss Man, pllleeeeaase don' makes me tinker on dis' heah gun stock!"

Combat-wombat
June 21, 2003, 03:06 AM
Kaylee, PM me about assembling sound supressors.:D

Kaylee
June 21, 2003, 12:17 PM
tough? naaah... kinda neat actually. :)

HK G36.. kinda neat how you can stick all the pullpins in little receptor holes in the stock.. clever those Germans. :) The integral optic wasn't so hot inside though..

-K

Tamara
June 21, 2003, 12:37 PM
I wish I had a hobby. :)

Good luck at the new vocation! :cool:

4v50 Gary
June 21, 2003, 01:22 PM
Kaylee - you got a job most of us would consider as playtime.

Chris Rhines
June 21, 2003, 08:55 PM
Some people have all the luck. This UberTactical gunsmithing shop wouldn't have any more openings in the future, would it? :D

...a side-charging flatop AR reciever... Um, this I'm interested in. A lot. Who makes it?

- Chris

Kaylee
June 22, 2003, 12:36 AM
sidecharging receiver -- American Spirit Arms, I think... and there may be another manufacturer as well. I'm busy enough at this point thinking how I'm gonna handle the lower to even think about the upper... prolly gonna do some plastic recontouring on the lower.

If the G36 was any indication of what a smooth integral pistol grip feels like, it's gonna need it.. that thing was mechanically exsquisite from what I saw.. but was about as comfortable to hold as a steel ladder ... typical German. ;)

I was thinking of adding some gentle finger ridges and stippling the pistol grip, a la the Glock frame recountering whasshisname does. I'll also prolly be shortening the stock a little to if it's the lengthened version... which might mean changing over to a shorty buffer tube inside, can't tell yet.

As to the upper, Steve Smith has mentioned in Rifle Country that the side chargers have had some reliability problems on the highpower line... which I guess means more tinkering work for me... which is prolly the idea. :)

If nothing else, it'll be an education.

As far as "job/vocation" it works like this... it starts as an unpaid internship, a day or so a week. Once BossMan has looked over my shoulder enough to figure I prolly won't break a customer's $7K registered machinegun trying to fix something, then it'll be paid parttime... nice arrangement.

I suspect such an arrangement could be worked out with shops closer to you, eh? The employers that turn down free labor are pretty few and far between I think. :)

-K

Soap
June 22, 2003, 12:51 AM
I learned quickly that:

sanding + fiberglass - protective gear = pain

:uhoh:


Good luck with this career move!

blue86buick
June 22, 2003, 01:50 AM
So once that project is done, I grab a quick bite to eat off the Company Meal Plan...
this means I pick an MRE out of a plastic bucket, slit it open, and go to town.
heh...nice. this seems like an expensive (to the employer) meal plan though. Aren't MRE's kinda expensive? Or are they just really marked up?

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