Need Some Project Help...


June 14, 2004, 05:33 PM
I've got an idea for a little project to put together a knock-around TD .22 for the pickup and general use. Need some feedback on the mods that I have in mind re: feasibility, cost/benefit, etc.

The short story is that I picked up an exceptionally well-made (for the brand, anyway) Norinco ATD Browning .22 Auto clone with a broken extractor for chump change. Otherwise almost pristine condition. The guy offered it for $25, and I took it.

As I'd hoped, a new Browning part from Brownell's dropped right in and works just dandy. Total beans in the jar so far < $40.

The course of function testing post-repair showed some unexpected potential accuracy with a couple of brands of ammo. With better sights it might turn out to be a nice little traveling companion.

The whole idea is to improve the sighting arrangements while retaining the classic lines and slick handling/carrying qualities inherent to the design. What I need is some more-informed feedback about my choices for the mods.

I'd like to use one of the Williams "Guide" receiver sights. I have both a Lyman 66A and a 5D that'd work, but I'd like to avoid that "tacked-on" look if I can. I use "Guides" on my Mini-30 and one of my 10/22s and like their integrated, unobtrusive look. Can anyone recommend a model that might fit the contour ? Queried Williams, but haven't received any reply so far.

I know that there's potential for problems with the feed system if the mounting screws aren't dressed-down flush with the receiver inside. I believe that this can be avoided with the exercise of due caution and care, but I've been known to err on occasion. Any leads for a knowledgable 'smith to consult for the work much appreciated.

No matter what kind of receiver sight I end up trying, I'm going to need a taller set-up for the front. Once I have some hard baseline numbers, I can calculate a ballpark figure to try. I want to make it as sturdy as possible while still looking like it actually belongs there. First approximation idea is a Wlliams "shorty" ramp screwed into their dovetail block to avoid the necessity of silver soldering. If one of the newer models with the cut-away hood for "Firesight" bead would fit, it'd be nice gravy. Comments and/or suggestions for alternatives solicited.

Not trying to make any "silk purse" here; basically just a much-nicer sow's ear. If I can keep the total investment under $250, I'm willing to give it a try. What do y'all think?

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Jim Watson
June 14, 2004, 09:19 PM
Is it grooved for a tipoff scope mount like late model Brownings?

My Brownell's says a WGRS-54 "can be fitted to most dovetailed receiver .22s. And Williams also makes a grooved receiver Foolproof that might stick out a little but would give click adjustments. No screw holes for either.

You might could come up with a front sight height by some sort of jig, but the easy way would be to just install the peep sight, shoot the gun, measure the error and do the trigonometry to figure how much taller front you needed to buy.

June 15, 2004, 12:44 AM
Hi, Jim.

No, the receiver is as it was on the older Brownings: no dovetail grooves and no factory-drilled holes for conventional mount. There are two holes drilled, tapped and fitted with plug screws on the barrel, one on each side forward and abaft of the rear sight, for a cantilever mount.

I have the formula for calculating just how much taller I'll need to make the front. I just need to get the correct figures to plug into it before I order parts. I'll need to get the rear mounted first so that I can take the measurements. It may take a little experimental shooting to come up with an optimum combo, but I should at least be able to start out in the right ballpark.

I could just chuck the crumby, non-folding stock open rear and fit a better outfit in its place I suppose. The fact of the matter is that my middle-aged eyes need all the extra sight radius that they can get, and I can shoot a lot better with a receiver sight than I can with even the best open irons.

Truth be told, it'd do the job as a light, handy TD semi-auto utility .22 just as it is. I'm looking at it as an opportunity to kick the performance up a notch or two and have something uniquely my own without having to sink an obscene amount of cash into doing it.

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