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Got my air/water cooled Ruger 10/22 tripod mounted today.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bill Akins, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    I finished making the tripod mount bracket today. I mounted the gun onto the tripod for the first time today and it fits and operates perfectly. I am thinking about welding four small triangular braces on the outside of each bend on the mount bracket though, because I do notice just a slight bit of springiness flexibility in the mount. The welded triangular bend supports will fix that.

    Next I have to fabricate and install the sights, anodize it, and it is finished.

    My air/water cooled convertible 3rd prototype in air cooled configuration
    with mount bracket mounted to heavy duty camera tripod for first time. All below pics taken today.

    [​IMG]

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    Quickly changed while on the tripod to a truly water cooled version.

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    I like a heavy duty camera tripod because it is very cheap to pick up for anyone anywhere. A good one from a pawn shop for maybe $30. to $35 dollars. I like the heavy duty camera tripod though, not a thin spindly one.
    I couldn't build a tripod less expensive than that, that also has all the adjustments a camera tripod already has. With its legs fully extended it looks somewhat like an MG42 AA tripod, (only with all the neat camera tripod head adjustments the MG42 tripod doesn't have). It is also cheap and easy to paint the tripod to better match the eventual anodized finish/color of the dress up kit.

    1. My tripod has tilt from side to side and the ability to lock that tilt at any point. That means if I am on uneven ground, I can adjust the head of the tripod to be level instead of having to adjust all the legs as in a conventional machine gun tripod.

    2. Elevation and de-elevation and the ability to lock it at any point.

    3. 360% windage and the ability to lock the windage at any point.

    4. I can crank up the tripod pole way past the tripod head, enabling me to get instant height to shoot sitting on a stool or standing. This extra height and adjustment you don't even get on an MG42 AA tripod. Plus, I still have the tripod legs that I can let in or out for any height adjustment I need. But once I have the tripod legs set to an approx height I want, then I can just
    crank up the pole head for whatever exact sighting height I need.

    5. It has a bubble level for both tilt, elevation and for leveling the head to legs.

    6. It is much lighter than a full size MG tripod.

    7. It works using an extremely simple mount bracket that can taken off if desired and another mount bracket can be easily made (if one desires), to fit it too almost any real machine gun tripod. "Coffee Cup Stains" sells plans for a mini Browning tripod (you can build, they don't make them) and with slight adapting of my mount, I have no doubt it would fit on them too. But I prefer the camera tripod mount myself after I multiple test fired them on both types of tripods where I realized it was all I needed for a .22 and had a greater variety of adjustments not normally found on MG tripods.



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  2. desidog

    desidog Member

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    i like the look of the water-cooled one. How do you get to the trigger from the spade grips?
     
  3. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    In my first two prototypes, you manually crank a crankfire trigger activator with one hand such as the BMF activator, or one of several other crankfire trigger activators on the market. Being on a tripod it is very sturdy and secure while using one hand to aim the gun and one hand to turn the crank is something you get used to and good at pretty fast. But I would still rather have both hands on the spade grips.

    So two years ago with my first water cooled Ruger prototype, I started experimenting with a crank that is turned by both thumbs that goes to either a wheel and strut linkage (like a locomotive) to the BMF activator's spindle on both its sides, or using the same principle but with gears and a chain or belt. The strut hole in the wheels are positioned slightly off from the other wheel to help the other wheel over its "hump" when its strut is fully extended. That would only be an issue with the locomotive strut/train wheel type set up. With gears and a chain or belt, no strut full extension would occur. But either method will work. It will require a wheel/gear attached to each side of the BMF activator's spindle which is double sided already to allow the crank handle to be ambidextrous. Then another set of wheels/gears on each side that is setback just under the grips. Then from that last set just under the grips, the struts/chain/belt goes upward to the thumbcrank between the spade grips. Again, think locomotive wheels and struts or bicycle gears and chain.

    I designed the faux receiver's back cover plate to be removable, so I can attach the thumbcrank to another back plate and by attaching the strut linkage, or chain or belt to the wheels/gears attached to the spindle stems on both side of the BMF activator, to have an optional drop in thumbcrank accessory to the BMF activator that will allow you to keep all your fingers on the spade grips while manually cranking with your two thumbs.

    http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3025655810099763970ivXHkP

    So I've been experimenting with it. As you can see from the video, it's very do'able.

    It would be the only Ruger 10/22 convertible air or water cooled, mini MG dress up stock in existence that allowed you to manually crank fire with you thumbs while still keeping all your other fingers on the spade grips. And for California and Minnesota, (the only two states where it is illegal to install a crankfire trigger activator) I also have designed the faux receiver to allow enough room to accommodate a pistol grip immediately behind the factory trigger, and by removing the two dual spade grips and replacing them with one single spade grip (ala the Lewis gun), it would be fired normally without any crankfire trigger activator attachments.

    I also have a design I've drawn that belt feeds the magazine without any modifications to the firearm in any way. I've started on machining out the housings
    for two belt fed mags, but that got put on a back burner until I can finish this prototype. The belt fed mag design would also work for any box type magazine fed firearm. No questions on the belt fed mag design please, for obvious reasons I intend to patent that one.

    But first I have to finish the sights and get it anodized before working on the thumb crank and belt fed mag.


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  4. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Sights mockup and selection.

    Although nothing is anodized yet, the following pics give a good representation of how the convertible to air or water cooled, 3rd prototype, dress up stock will look when completed.

    On my first air cooled prototype dress up stock I started on about 4 years ago, I designed it from the start to just have a rear spider sight and tall front sight to resemble a Browning anti-aircraft gun. It had not occurred to me to build a water cooled one yet, not to mention an easily convertible to either air or water cooled one.


    On my first water cooled prototype I used a front sight on the water jacket of my own design that resembles a Browning 1917's hooded front post sight. On the rear I used a sight mount of my own design that holds and allows spring assisted raising of the WW1 Enfield rifle's ladder sight, that I have modified to enable to be used for windage in my sight mount. Works very well and looks historically representative of tripod machine gun's sights from that era my dress up stock resembles.

    After making an air cooled and a water cooled dress up stock. I had taught myself a lot. In looking at both my designs I realized there were improvements I could make. On my 3rd prototype, I redesigned the way the water jacket seals and thus made the water jacket easily removable and able to be replaced in just seconds with a perforated air cooling shroud which has the front sight for the air cooled version built in. Thus by changing out the front end of the stock from one version to the other, you still continue to use the same rear sight but the front sight is replaced.

    So with this 3rd prototype I could have one sighting system for each version that would only change the front sight when switched between versions.

    Or so I thought at first.........

    I agonized and agonized about the sights for a long time. I thought of every possible combination of sights, and how that would factor into ease of building. Something less complicated that can do a better job than something more complicated, all while keeping my requirement that they be aesthetically appealing.

    At first I thought about using the exact same design of of my first water cooled prototype's rear sight, for the rear sight on this 3rd prototype. And in some ways I have done that, but in other ways, I don't use that sight and replace it with a spider AA sight.

    (I also have been experimenting with an enlarged, extended bolt handle design that changes the bolt handle's look dramatically. It needs further testing and evaluation, I haven't had the opportunity to shoot with it yet, but I really like the looks of it and it makes charging the bolt a breeze. It isn't available anywhere not yet anyway. I checked, no one makes the bolt handle I wanted, so if I want it, I have to make it. I also attached a BMF crankfire trigger attachment to the trigger guard so it can be crank fired in the same way a crank is turned for a Gatling gun. These pics will be very close to the final configuration.)

    These mockups show the approximate positions of where the sight will be located. Naturally, I have to mill certain slots and ways to attach some of them, not to mention also construct some of the sights, their bases and brackets. But these mockups give a good general idea of how they will look.

    1. "Four bolt rear sight"
    I call it this because four bolts hold it to the top of the faux receiver.
    This first sight mock up I did was to take the rear sight off my first water cooled prototype and set it on top of the faux receiver of my third prototype as if it were attached. The mount of this sight has four holes in it that correspond to four threaded holes in the top of the faux receiver. Then I put the water jacket on the stock, and set an unattached yet, front sight hood on the front end of the water jacket just for mock up photos. I have not yet constructed the front post that goes under that hood. Here are those pics......

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2. "My easily detachable, triangular bracket, rear sight".

    In looking at my first mockup, I realized that there was a way to attach the rear sight block to the faux receiver without having to drill and thread any holes on top of the faux receiver. I took a piece of black paper and folded it over so it fit over the top of the faux receiver, yet was UNDER the rear sight block, then its folded down portion I cut into a rounded end triangle equidistant to the length of the sight block, and made it project downward where it has a hole on each downward projecting side that corresponds to the already existing attachment point knurled brass nuts and thus secures to the faux receiver. Now if I want to, I can completely remove this "triangular" rear sight bracket and with no holes in the faux receiver's top, you never knew it was there. By designing this rear sight block to be easily removable without leaving unsightly screw holes, This enables me to use other types of sights. Remember, the triangular part going down the side of the faux receiver, is just black paper for mock up evaluation, although it looks more solid in the picture. Here's the triangular bracket rear sight mockup.....

    [​IMG]

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    3. The air cooled 1919a4 style front sight

    Next is my mock up for a 1919a4 style front sight on the air cooled model while still using the triangular rear sight I used on the water cooled model. The front sight mock up sitting on the front sight base of the perforated cooling shroud, is just a piece of foam board cut and painted with black magic marker to look like a 1919a4 receiver front sight that is attached to the shroud rear at the front of the receiver. Which makes for a shorter sight radias, but is authentic to where this style sight was located on the 1919a4.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    4. The air cooled AA spider sight system.

    My 4th sight mockup removes the triangular rear sight & block from the faux receiver (leaving no unsightly threaded holes). Then the 1919a4 type front sight is removed from its slot on the perforated cooling shroud's sight base, and then replaced with a windage adjustable rear AA spider sight while a removable band tall front sight is attached to the muzzle end of the cooling shroud. Thus giving a totally different sighting system. The nice thing with the air cooled version's sights is that you can choose the triangular rear sight and 1919a4 type front sight, or convert it to an AA spider sight with tall front sight version. The tall front sight in the below pics does not have its band built onto it that will fit over the cooling shroud. But you can imagine it. Same as a scope band, but with a tall front sight on top of it. Right now that plastic tall front sight mockup, is just sitting on the end of the cooling shroud held in place by a small blob of grease to keep it temporary stuck to the shroud for mockup evaluation pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Continued next post due to 15 image per post limit......



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  5. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Continued from previous post.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    5. The water cooled AA spider sight system.

    This final 5th mockup, is strictly a possibility. It is my least favorite aesthetically compared to the others, but is possible to do without too much trouble other than removing the water jacket's front sight hood and replacing it with a tall front sight on the end of the water jacket to correspond to the height of the rear AA spider sight which I can make attach to the rear of the water jacket. I placed an empty cartridge case on the end of the water jacket to approximate the height of a tall front sight. I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble to make this one if it isn't as appealing as the others. Got to think about this one. What do you think about it?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well that's my sight combination mockups. My personal favorites and preference is to just nix the four screw bracket and go only with the triangular bracket for the ladder rear sight (whenever that rear sight is used), making it removable without any unsightly holes (when uncovered) having to be made. And using that triangular rear sight along with the 1919a4 style front sight when in air cooled configuration. And the AA spider and tall front sight for the air cooled model too. I like the triangular rear sight and the Browning looking hooded post best for the water cooled version.

    I've designed in some modular ability to switch around sights to whatever I want.

    Which ones do you like?



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  6. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Anyone have a helpful opinion on which sighting system, or systems, they prefer in my sight mockups?


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  7. JTH

    JTH Member

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    A cool looking weapon but looks as if someone has money to burn. How did much this weapon set you back? Not trying to be rude, just wondering. Sure would be a blast to shoot!
    JT
     
  8. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    I didn't buy it looking this way JTX. The host firearm is an unmodified Ruger 10/22 barreled receiver. Everything else you see is my convertible from air to water cooled stock I designed and built for it. So the host firearm itself I bought used for $100.00 The rest I designed and built myself, except for my used camera tripod I bought used at a pawn shop for about $35.00 and the BMF activator crank fire trigger activator which cost about $25.00

    So there really wasn't a large sum of actual money spent on the Ruger 10/22, the camera tripod and BMF crank fire trigger activator other than $160.00 But this third prototype convertible from air to water cooled, dress up stock, is the result of 4 years of designing and building, including designing and building my first two earlier prototypes. The value of that time and work is considerable, but I have no idea what it would be in dollars.

    I was asking for opinions/preferences for the different sighting systems I mocked up for it.

    Which sighting system or systems do you prefer?
    Which for the water cooled? The air cooled?




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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  9. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    I really like the air cooled spyder sight look. The gun looks great! Do you have any plans to sell complete guns, kits, or plans in the future? I think you have the coolest hobby ever!
     
  10. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Hi usmc1371. I'm an old leatherneck too. Semper fi.

    I do plan to market the dress up stock as a ready to install kit. But no eta on when or price yet. Still much to do to get to that point. I'm glad you like my hobby. Thanks!

    And thanks for letting me know which sighting system you like best.


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  11. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Hi Bill - awesome work! I wish I had the time & tools to practice your hobby, but, alas, not yet! :(

    I like all your sights, especially the changeable concept, but I'm really partial to the old air-cooled A4 configuration. I think it would be great for use with the BMF & similar toys where the sight radius isn't important and accuracy is on the order of machine gun anyway.

    Keep up the good work!
     
  12. Domino

    Domino Member

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    Great job Bill, glad to see you still hard at work after the ATF inexplicably banned your Akins Accelerator after they innitially approved it. I always thought they did you horribly wrong and its good to see you still at it regardless.

    I like the Air Cooled model with the 1919A4 sights the best although the water cooled with the spider sights looks pretty cool too. I think offering both would be your best bet if possible.

    Also, I find your thumbcrank idea to be a very good way to solve the problem of the trigger location. It looks like it could be quite effective as well, make one for an AK and I would buy it in a hearbeat.

    The next thing you need is some sort of belt fed mechanism to justify the water cooling. Too bad the Vindicator BF1 is like $3000, it would be perfect for this project...

    http://www.vindicatorbf1.com/

    It looks like soo much fun!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttRYcURXK5M&feature=related
     
  13. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Thanks Maj Dad. And thanks for letting me know which sighting combination you liked the best.


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  14. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Thanks Domino.

    Many people have said the same thing Domino. That they like both the ladder rear and 1919a4 front post, AND they also like the AA spider sights on the air cooled version. So I think I am going to do just like you said. Have them both.

    But the feedback for the water cooled version, has largely been just in favor of the rear ladder sight and the hooded front post.

    So it looks like after much feedback opinions from helpful posters online, I think I have a good consensus on which sights are the best combination. One style only for the water cooled, and two options for the air cooled.

    Thanks, glad to hear you like my thumbcrank idea. I'm not sure how well it would work on an AK though. Because my idea is to spread out the fatigue of cranking, between TWO thumbs. Also, it's a bit hard to explain, but one of the thumbs, that would be in one position opposite from the other thumb when cranking, will help the other thumb get over any "hump" in its rotation. To do that you need two thumbs and spade grips. It might be possible to do it with one thumb with an AK, much like you can now with the "Gat" trigger crankfire trigger activator or the brand new on the market just as of last week "Nanocrank" (Cadillac of crankfires). Which both use just one finger to crankfire the trigger. But...that would not be as smooth as using two thumbs in a tripod mounted set of spade grips. Know what I mean?

    Then you would love this. I've developed a design, that does not belt feed the firearm, but belt feeds the magazine. It is applicable to all magazine fed firearms. You could instantly make almost any magazine fed firearm belt fed by simply removing its standard magazine, and replacing it with my belt fed magazine device. No more expensive uppers to buy to modify and belt feed a gun. No modifications to the firearm in any way. Just change from a standard mag to a belt fed mag.

    I started on it a while back and even got some machining done on the housings, but it is on a back burner until I can finish up my present dress up stock kit project. Lots of friends have told me to put my dress up stock on the back burner and get back on the belt fed mag. But I am so far into this final dress up stock prototype, that I want to finish it first.

    Please no questions on the details of the belt fed mag, I'm keeping that design a secret and plan to patent that one since it could be used in the Ruger 10/22, the AR15, AK47, and just about any magazine fed firearm. Even pistols (though that would be cumbersome).

    I just wanted you to know it is do'able and I'm surprised no one has done it yet.
    It would make a great accessory to my dress up stock and although the water jacket does keep my barrel cool now (and the barrel can get quite hot after four or five 50rd mags), as you observed, THAT would really bring my water cooled stock into its full capability. That's why I came up with the belt fed mag idea in the first place, as an accessory to my water cooled stock. But no doubt, non water cooled users would like it too.



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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  15. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Member

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    That's beautiful.

    I have an idea for spade grip mounted triggers, it comes from paintball guns with electricaly activated triggers. Some of them use a rocker bar for a trigger so two fingers can be used doubling the firing rate. They get full-auto speed firing rates legally IE: one function with every trigger pull.

    I can see a rocker bar between your spade grips. Push the rocker bar either way and it activates a computer style pressure switch. The rocker bar gives the action time to funtion fully between electrical impulses. It could be done without the rocker bar but it would take practice getting the timing down. Now all it needs is a battery and an activator that clamps into the trigger guard. If you buy a paintball gun grip it would have the battery and all the electrics in it.

    It could also be done manually without the electrics. The rocker bar could pull back a bar that pulls the trigger through a linkage.
     
  16. Fish Miner

    Fish Miner Member

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    That is pretty sweet. All around.

    I would caution against posting so many pics of the gun with the "secret" magazine in. While I am sure there are parts you cant see- Patent Law would dictate that a "public disclosure may occur when a person reasonably skilled in the art may reproduce or reduce the invention to practice"

    I work in patents and Licensing and can tell you that it is much better to be safe then sorry. Esp when you are posting in a place where everyone is a gun nut. Not that most of us could reproduce that, but it only takes one person to see it and next thing you know...there is either a patent in place or you could be invalidated by a large company for a public disclosure*.

    * pending your 12 month filing period after disclosure.....

    Good luck hope it all works out for you- cause that is bad to the bone.
     
  17. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Thanks Bigfoot.
    I like your concept very much on that paintball type trigger Bigfoot. I had considered something similar, but not exactly like you described. I like your's better! The only downside is it needs a battery. But for range plinking, (NON life and death shooting), that shouldn't be a problem.

    It's still one shot per function even if it uses an electrical plunger type trigger activator in the trigger guard, just like you said. You're just separately, and singly, functioning the electrical switch once for each shot fired. And it will ONLY fire once for each separate function of the electrical switch. I see no legal problem with that compared to putting an electrical motor on a crankfire activator to spin it, which of course is classified as a machine gun.

    Another thing you have made me think about is.....suppose I put one of those paintball rocker bars onto EACH of my spade grips. Then both the left and the right middle and trigger fingers could rock them (just like the paintball guns) so that would even double the rate of fire of just using one. If only the middle and trigger finger of each hand was used to activate them, you would still have your ring finger, pinky and thumbs left to hang onto the spade grips with. I like that idea too.

    Again, I like how you think Bigfoot. I had also considered that concept, just in case crankfire trigger activators are ever outlawed. It's not as fast a rate of fire as a crankfire trigger activator, but not too shabby either, and much faster than just normal firing with one trigger finger. It's basically the same as a trigger transfer bar like is used in bullpup stocks. But in this case activated by several fingers or thumbs on a pivoting bell crank type of "butterfly" trigger extension.

    I've been thinking of these types of NON full auto, rapid fire design concepts for years and wondering why no one has ever manufactured them previously. I sure would like to.


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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  18. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    Hi Fish miner. I hope you aren't misunderstanding or confusing this below pictured MWG magazine, for the other "secret" belt fed magazine I spoke of that I have designed.

    MWG mag.
    [​IMG]

    Although I guess the MWG mag would technically qualify as a belt fed magazine, the MWG mag has an internal belt, notched to hold the rounds against the inner wall of the plastic magazine, and can only hold a maximum of 50 cartridges. The other belt fed mag I designed, is a totally different animal in that you can link together as many belts as you want and is not limited to an internal mag housing capacity like the MWG mag is. You are certainly correct. I would never show a photo of even just the design, much less the housing for exactly the patent reasons you stated.


    Thanks Fish Miner, glad you liked it. And thanks also for your kind, helpful thought to prevent me from disclosing my belt fed mag and possibly damaging a patent, even though I think you were confusing the MWG mag for my design. I thank you anyway!



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  19. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Bill, simply put, you did a fantastic job. Great work.
     
  20. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    I made my final decisions on which sights I am going to use for both the air cooled, and water cooled versions of my convertible dress up stock.

    Last night I made the rear ladder sight bracket. I realized that I could mill off the triangle on the right side, and just keep the triangle on the left side (like on a real Browning 1919) and still be able to secure the sight bracket without it having any kind of looseness or "rock" at all. All that is left to do with this sight bracket is to drill and tap the sight riser plate for the ladder sight's spring, and then to drill the sight protector "ears" and install a small diameter bolt through them and the ladder sight so I can effect windage. The 1917 Enfield rifle ladder sight I am using did not have the ability for windage. It was a flip up type only. So I tapped its pin hole where it flipped up, so it is threaded. The small diameter bolt I will put through it will enable me to turn the bolt to make the ladder sight travel left or right on the bolt, thus effecting windage. I left the sight protective "ears" a little higher than I needed until I mount the ladder sight's spring and the sight itself. Then I may be able to trim the “ears” down some maybe an 1/8th inch or so. So when you look at it now, the protective ears may look a little higher than they will eventually be. When I made them, I figured better to have them too high and be able to trim them after I finished mounting the sight and its spring, than to have made them too short. You can always trim metal, but it is hard to add when you have cut off.

    Here's a link to a short video.
    CLIP1314.ASF videos from good times videos on webshots

    ....and the pics....


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    I’ll post updates here at this thread on the ongoing progress.


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  21. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    I did a little redesign on the mount for the tripod. I think it looks better now than just the earlier bent piece of steel it was.
    Stronger too. What do you think?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  22. Mountainman38

    Mountainman38 Member

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    Looks like an interesting setup you have there. How solid is the gun, now that you've modified the mount?

    Having analyzed a lot of joints and the stresses that act on them, I was going to advise you to gusset both sides of that plate. Looks like you've gone with a slightly different design, which incorporates some horizontal stiffening.
     
  23. Bill Akins

    Bill Akins Member

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    It's solid as a rock now. Not even a slight springyness anymore with the gun mounted on it.

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