Category Archives: Rimfire

Flathead Valley Community College offers AAS in Firearms.

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Heading into our fifth year, this program started out as a two-semester certificate program created to provide a solid foundation in theory, design and function of firearms. In 2017 the program grew to include a second two-semester certificate. The second certificate will interest folks who are more interested in traditional gunsmithing and custom gun work. The Big new for 2018 is that the Board of Regents authorized a two year degree that combines all the classes into an Associate of Applied Sience (AAS).

Course topics will include firearms safety, manual mill and lathe operation, bench metal techniques, firearms repair, machine tools for gunsmiths and precision rifle building. Stock making, checkering, bluing and other finish techniques are taught along with custom modifications of all kinds of firearms.  Many of the classes have little or no prerequisites, so they are open to anyone who would like to learn and expand their experience with guns, contact the school for more information.

Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared for entry-level positions in the firearms industry and will have a better understanding and knowledge base for owning a gunsmith business. The program contains both lecture and significant hands-on training designed to instill an understanding of the design and function of today’s firearms.

“FVCC has the only Firearms Technologies Certificate Program of its kind in the country,” said FVCC Firearms Technologies Coordinator Fred Zeglin. “Students are challenged to develop skills that are not part of any other program. We are very proud to now offer a two year AAS degree that will jump start a student’s career in firearms.  By partnering with manufacturers in our area we have assembled a program that addresses the needs of the employers.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and able to legally own and possess firearms. A background check is required for all students who are accepted into the program.

The program was developed to build upon a foundational machining background, which is provided through the college’s Tier I Machining Certificate Program. Tier 1 Machining . Firearms Technologies Program applicants with industry or previous learning experience may opt to bypass the Tier 1 Machining Certificate Program by requesting testing and/or instructor consent.

Prospective students must apply both to the Firearms Technologies Program and for admission to FVCC. Firearms Technologies Program applications are available online at www.fvcc.edu/firearms or in the Admissions Office in Blake Hall on the FVCC Kalispell campus. For more information, contact Will Richards at 756-4862 or wrichards@fvcc.edu.

Download the application to attend classes

NPR story about the program

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Audio Report: Firearms Technologies Certificate program.

Katrin Frye of Montana Public Radio reported on both the NRA Short Term Gunsmith program and the new full time college credit certificate available at FVCC in Kalispell, MT.   The link below will take you direct to the audio file.

http://cpa.ds.npr.org/kufm/audio/2014/07/FVCC_Firearms_1.mp3

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Winchester Rifles for SHOT Show 2014

Single shot fans will be happy to see that Winchester is offering the low wall Model 1885 in 22 LR, 22 Win. Mag., 17 HMR, and 17 WSM.  The low wall action has been popular with single shot fans ever since Winchester put it into production over 100 years ago.  While these new models are slightly different from the original design, they still provide good quality guns with out the collectors price tag.

Other offerings for this year include the 1873 with a color cased action.  A 20″ barrel, and full length magazine tube  bring back the “Load on Sunday and shoot all week” era in a fun and historic way.  Chamberings are 44-40 and 45 LC.  Stocks are straight grip walnut.

1892 lever guns are in the mix as well.  Large loop levers make you think of John Wayne and True Grit.  These rifles have full length magazines along with 20 inch barrels.  Calibers are 357 Magnum, 44 magnum, 44-40, and 45 Long Colt.  All finished with high polish blueing.

Cowboy action shooters will be glad to see this line up.

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17 Winchester Super Magnum (Rim Fire)

This may be the only new cartridge at the 2013 SHOT Show.  Winchester’s new 17 caliber rim fire is an attempt to capitalize on the success of the 17 HMR.  I will be challenged on that point, so lets try and answer that challenge right here.  The 17 HMR has had reasonable success because it was intended to put 17 caliber cartridges in the hands of shooters without the need to reload.

17 Winchester Super Magnum

17 WSM (RF) vs 17 HMR

Obviously there are some center-fire cartridges in the marketplace that address these shooters as well.  The 17 Remington Fireball and the 17 Remington are substantially bigger cartridges.  Being center-fire generally means more expensive firearms too.

The advantage of rimfire is lower cost ammunition and lower cost firearms as well.  The only two models chambered for the new Winchester Super Magnum at SHOT Show in 2013 was one rifle from Savage Arms, and the model 1885 low wall from Winchester.

Winchester lists three loads for the new rim-fire cartridge.

  • S17W20, Polymer Tip, 20 gr. bullet, 3000 fps
  • S17W25, Polymer Tip, 25 gr. bullet, 2600 fps
  • X17W20, JHP, 20 gr. bullet, 3000 fps

At about 600 fps faster than the HMR the 17 WSM  has a about half the drop with the same bullet weight.  For more information see: http://winchesterproductdemos.winchester.com/17WinchesterSuperMagnum.html#/Home

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Need Dimensions for Factory Cartridges?

For years you had to be a member of SAAMI (the Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturing Institute) to get a copy of the data the factories use to manufacture guns and ammunition.  The Internet has made is easy for SAAMI to share this data so it is now available for download at their site.

How does the gunsmith know proper specifications for the cartridge?The publications are broken up into books for various types of cartridges i.e. Rifle, shotgun, pistol, and rimfire.  So you only download the information you need.  This data answers an incredible number of questions for avid shooters.  All the tolerance specifications, and pressure data are included.  As a bonus the correct methods for testing are described in detail.

In Truth, there is more information provided than most shooters will need.  However, if you’re trying to compare cartridges or want to know the standard dimensions for a cartridge, this is must have information.

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Gene Kelley of AGI Talks About Their Gunsmithing Program.

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What’s going on at SHOT Show?

Feeds from the Shot Show, yes I am a POMA Member!

Click on the graphic if you would like to see what is going on at SHOT Show 2012. Since I am a powerful member of the media I am allowed to share this with you. (He laughs Maniacally!)

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CZ USA, sometimes what is NOT is news.

Not everything new will be a new addition to the market.  In the case of the CZ 452 Rifle, what is new is that they are no more.  Once the last of them sell off thru the supply change, you will not see any new 452’s come into the country.  Will see at the SHOT show if they plan to replace this rifle with a different offering.

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How To: Update an old 10-22, Part V

Down to the final stretch in our project, “Updating an old 10-22”. First, we disassemble the action completely for refinishing.  There is no short-cut here you have to take it all the way apart or the finished product will not be worth the effort. Our gun was in good shape mechanically but was rough in terms of the exterior finish.Tired old 10-22 Ruger needs to be refinished.

The trigger guard was not much better:  Trigger guard on our 10-22 Ruger was pretty rough too.

The parts were all thoroughly cleaned and bead blasted.  Then cleaned again to insure the removal of all oil contamination.  We used Teflon/Moly Coating from Brownells for this  project.  It is a strong baked on finish that provides a durable finish that has a degree of lubricity built in.  The How To for Teflon/Moly is beyond the scope of this article.  If you want to learn the full process Brownells offers a video on DVD for about $10 that teaches the entire process.

Below is the finish receiver.  We used a matte finish and it looks brand new again.

Action finished with Teflon/Moly from Brownells
Trigger guard with matte finish, like new too.

When we started to reassemble the gun we installed a Tactical Solutions shock buffer to increase the life of the gun.  The factory action has a steel pin in this upper rear position to spread the load of the bolt hitting the back of the action when it cycles.  Tactical Solutions shock buffer for the 10-22 Ruger.There are probably numerous other makers of such buffers, there is probably no big advantage to one over the other.  This one of selected on price and I liked the hard rubber material it is made of.  It should provide a long useful life.

Installing the Shock Buffer.

Then it was time for a trigger job.  When I reassembled the trigger housing I replaced the springs using a Wolff spring kit for the   10-22.  So I had a new extra power trigger return spring, light sear spring, and an extra power hammer spring.  The utilization of this spring kit makes it easier to do a good trigger job on the existing factory parts.

The basics of the trigger job are this:  I stoned the hammer where the sear engages to smooth the contact surfaces and to reduce the sear engagement a small amount.  The sear was stoned to make all the contact surfaces crisp and clean.  The engagement is slightly positive to insure safe/reliable operation.

Like the finish work mentioned earlier the “How To” of a full trigger job is beyond the scope of this piece.  But the above gives you some idea of what is involved.    We ended up with a 3.5 lb. trigger pull using NRA weights to test.

C-More sight installed on the Allchin Scope mount.

Allchin Gun Parts makes a really cool scope mount for the C-More sight system.  At left is the sight all mounted up on the Allchin Scope Mount.  Note that it gets the sight as close to the gun as possible. It’s a sleek and simple design that uses the factory scope mount holes and screws.   Makes for a very fast open eye sighting system.

Thats the whole package finished up and ready to hit the range.  We’ll post a target as soon as I can sneak away for a little shooting.  If you look back over all five parts of this “How To” you will see that this is a project that most gun lovers could do for themselves.  There are literally hundreds of aftermarket parts, stocks, sights, you name it; for the Ruger 10-22, a rifle you can truly make your own with a unique selection of parts to upgrade this reliable shooter.

Our finished custom Ruger 10-22 rifle.

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How To: Update an old 10-22, Part IV

This is what the finished forend tip looks like.

Our goal for this post.

I did not like the stubby looking forend as it was after I cut the stock off and made the filler insert shown in the last installment of this How-to.   I rounded up some scrap wood and compared them to the stock to see what I liked best.  I could have used black walnut, english walnut, myrtle, or maple none of them looked good next to the laminate of the stock.  I had a scrap of black and gray laminate left over from a stock I made for a client.  It had the best look of all the samples I held up, just my opinion.

Because of the shape of the stock I felt it best to keep the forend cap short and shaped to match the overall look of the stock.  Of course much of that can be a matter of personal taste.  There are style and form rules for classic rifle stocks, but thumbholes ignore all those rules.  Consequently I was not afraid to make a cap that was different than your used to seeing.

rough forend tip installed on stock.

Shaping of the new tip underway.

Started by sanding the beveled cut on the stock smooth so that there would not be any noticeable gaps in the joint between the cap and the stock.  I put the blank to be used for the cap on the belt sander and removed all the saw marks as well.  Then position the blank to make sure it will provide wood where you need it for the forend cap.

It’s not unusual for the joint surfaces to have a little rounding that would cause a large gap between the two pieces of stock material.  My solution to this is to use a chisel to undercut the stock face leaving just 1/8″ of material at the edges for a tight glue joint.

rouphing out the barrel channel

Scraping out the tip to match the barrel channel in the stock.

Once the epoxy is set it’s time to cut off any excess material and prepare to shape the new tip.  Be sure to leave enough material to get the shape your after, it’s easier to cut more off than to put it back, trust me.  You will note above that we taped off the stock, this is to minimize any chance of damage to the finished stock as I do not plan to refinish the whole stock if I can avoid it.

Shaped and inlet for the barrel.

First coat of finish on.

Chisels, rasps, files, and hand sanders are the standard tools for the shaping of the new forend tip.  Work the shape down to match the existing lines of the stock, since we don’t plan a total refinish we are careful to get close and then file down the last little bit with fine files.  Then switch to 180 grit sand paper to finish the shaping.  By taping the stock with painters masking tape you can sand very close if your careful.  When doing the final blending of the lines tape the stock about 1/2″ back from the joint and carefully sand with 320 paper.  I was cautious at this point not to cut all the way through the stock finish.  Then switch to 400 grit paper, remove the tape and gently blend the sanding lines.

Custom updated 10-22 carbine stock.

Here is the final profile of the forend tip from the side.

Revolution stock was donated by Brownells for this project.

Bottom view of the stock with the new tip on and finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will start refinishing the receiver and other parts in the next segment.   We will also install some aftermarket parts and let you know if there are any tricks you need to learn.  How about a trigger job on the existing 10-22 parts?

Read On: How to Update an Old 10-22

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