Portable Air Regulator/Dryer

I wanted to make a portable air dryer/regulator for use with my paint booth, air brush or any other system that could and would move around my shop. Here is what I came up with:

Made a tee with scrap pine 1×6, glued and screwed.

Then added Harbor Freight Dryer/Regulator and coil line. Quick and easy, gets the job done.

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Finishing an AR-15 80% Lower Receiver

The jig is a router jig that makes machining your 80% lower easier, faster, and safer by utilizing a router instead of a drill press. The jig allows you to complete an 80% lower quickly, easily and pretty fool proof. This jig is easy enough for anyone to use. You also save money on tools. You do not need to own a drill press, mill, or any measuring tools to use the Jig. You might be able to borrow the tools from a friend or relative. The jig can be reused for dozens of lowers.

The lower receiver is legally the firearm, and as such it is the controlled part. Generally, the law requires licensed manufacturers and importers to mark the designated receiver with a serial number, the manufacturer or importer, the model and caliber.

“Unfinished receivers”, also called “80 percent receivers” or “blanks”, are partially completed receivers with no serial numbers. Purchasers must perform their own finishing work in order to make the receiver usable. The finishing of receivers for sale or distribution by unlicensed persons is against US law. Because an unfinished 80% receiver is not a firearm, purchasers do not need to pass a background check and it can be shipped directly to them.

Putting together your lower receiver is pretty easy if you follow these steps:

1. MAGAZINE CATCH ASSEMBLY

• Install magazine catch into recess on left of receiver.
• Install spring onto threaded portion of magazine catch from the right side of receiver.
• Screw button onto threaded portion of magazine catch 3 or 4 turns.
• Use a punch (larger than the hole in magazine button) or wooden dowel to push in the magazine button so you can turn the magazine catch clockwise until the end of the catch is flush with the magazine button head. You can hold the receiver and press the punch against the table to do this, but put something between the punch and the magazine catch button to prevent marking it. Do this step first, as it will prevent the bolt catch from getting in the way as you turn the magazine catch into place.

2. TRIGGER GUARD ASSEMBLY

• Attach front of trigger guard assembly to the receiver using the detent.
• Lay receiver on you bench block or a block of wood, and drive roll pin into receiver and rear of trigger guard using drive pin punch.

3. BOLT CATCH ASSEMBLY

• When installing the bolt catch, first drive the roll pin about halfway into the rear hump from the rear of the receiver using roll pin holder. It can be very difficult to get this pin started. If you don’t have a roll pin holder, then try holding it in place with a pair of needle nose pliers while you drive using a 5/32″ punch.
• Install spring in hole on left side of receiver.
• Install bolt catch plunger on top of spring with round portion on top and small end into receiver. Make sure it moves freely in its hole.
• Install bolt catch in receiver.
• Use a 3/32″ punch to hold the assembly by placing it through the front hump.
• The pin can be driven the rest of the way from the rear as the punch will be pushed out and while holding the bolt catch in correct alignment.

4. PIVOT PIN ASSEMBLY

• Insert spring and detent into receiver.
• Compress detent in recess using 3/32″ punch and rotate tool.
• Push out tool with pivot pin and rotate until detent is in groove of pivot pin.

5. TRIGGER ASSEMBLY

• Shoulder trigger spring onto trigger with ends of spring forward and under.
• Install disconnector spring with the wider portion of spring down towards trigger and push until it locks in there.
• Position disconnector on top of trigger, where trigger pin will hold both in place.
• Insert trigger assembly into receiver.
• Insert trigger retaining pin through receiver, trigger, and disconnector. The trigger pin has 2 grooves in it; one in the middle of the pin and one off to one side. It does not matter which way it is inserted, though common practice is to insert from left to right, with the groove to the left.
• Insert hammer pin from opposite side to help align things as you push the trigger pin in and the hammer pin out. You will have to push down on trigger assembly to align the holes and get the pin in all the way.

6. HAMMER ASSEMBLY

• Install spring onto hammer, ends of spring to rear and shoulder on back of hammer.
• Install hammer in receiver with feet pointing rearward away from hammer
• Use 5/32″ punch to retain hammer in place as you insert hammer retaining pin.
• Like the trigger pin, you may have to push down and align the holes perfectly in order to push the pin in all the way.
• Ends of the hammer spring will rest on top of the trigger pin, with one end in the groove on the trigger pin.

7. PISTOL GRIP ASSEMBLY

• Install detent, pointed end towards the selector, and the spring into the receiver from the bottom.
• Carefully compress the spring with the grip and make sure spring fits into hole in grip.
• Check the function of the selector with the grip held in place; if too tight (unable to rotate) you may need to either cut the spring, or clean out the hole in the grip.
• Once feel is acceptable, secure the grip in place with the screw and lock washer.

8. STOCK

• Insert retainer spring and retainer into recess in lower.
• Install buffer tube, backplate, and locking ring onto receiver and depress retainer when necessary to get it to rest under the extension tube. Turn tube until it is about 1/4 turn past the correct location.
• Install takedown pin with groove to the rear and install detent and spring from the rear of the receiver.
• Backplate will now hold spring in place when you turn the extension tube back 1/4 turn.
• Tighten locking ring using telestock wrench for a snug fit.
• With the hammer down, insert buffer spring and buffer into buffer tube until retainer snaps up to lock it in place.
• Function check takedown pin, stock, and buffer retainer.

REFS:
https://www.80percentarms.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receiver_(firearms)

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AR-15 Upper Quick Fixes: Match Bolt Carriers

If you want an accurate rifle, don’t leave a lot of front/back bolt play (keep it .003″ but no more than .005″). Factory rifles run .012″ to .015″ play, which is OK if you need to leave room for dirt and grime in a military or field application. However, that amount of play is not ideal for a high-accuracy AR build. A lot of front/back bolt play allows rounds to be hammered into the chamber and actually re-formed in a non-consistent way, as they are loaded into the chamber.

The bolt affects accuracy in an AR-15 more than the carrier group. To get the most accuracy, the bolt and barrel have to be machined so that the headspacing is optimal when the round is chambered and the bolt locked. That is why if one orders a match-grade barrel for an AR-15 either the barrel comes with a bolt, the barrel manufacturer requires you to send in your bolt (prior to machining the barrel you’ve ordered), or the manufacturer requires you to send dimensions from your bolt.

The best accuracy usually comes from the bearing surface of the bullet nearly touching the rifling. Having the bullet jump any significant distance to the rifling tends to negatively affect accuracy. This is true in any rifle, not just the AR-15.

In addition to the above, you will want to keep the chamber, barrel extension, and carrier assembly clean to help insure consistent bolt lock ups critical to accuracy. You will also want to occasionally apply lube directly to bolt rings during shooting sessions.

Carrier key staking is also mentioned in the article. Young Manufacturing does not stake their carrier keys. “There has been a lot of talk about the pros and cons of staking the gas key on the carrier. Here is our opinion and why Young Manufacturing will not stake keys. We have been making carriers since 1991. The US Mil Spec. assembly drawing requires the carrier key to be staked. Contrary to some popular opinions staking does not SEAL the gas key. Staking keeps the screws from backing out Period. If you do not properly torque the screws to 56 inch pounds you will be staking a screw that is loose or one that is over torqued and prone to breakage.” Not sure how I fell about that, for me, a staked key is the only way to go. Something just does not feel right about it not being staked.

REFS:
http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2015/05/what-makes-an-ar-accurate-whitley-offers-answers/

Staking the gas key on the AR-15 and M-16 carrier.

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What is Tacticool? Duracoat and more

Tacticool

Derived from the word “Tactical”.

1.) Descriptive word for equipment or clothing that does not have any tactical purpose; but looks cool.
2.) A person who is a city dweller; but wishes to look like a warrior or as if they are/were in the armed forces.
3.) Appearance that mimics military or martial arts.”

4.) Descriptive word for equipment or clothing that does have a tactical purpose; but has more than needed or required installed on the firearm.

I added in number 4. Most of us have seen that guy, they have every known attachment both tactical and non-tactical, weighing in at over 50 pounds. They hump it around for a bit and then realize how heavy and impractical it is and start removing stuff they don’t need for that mission.

Now that we have the bolt on accessories figured out, let’s talk about coating them and / or your weapon.  There are two processes we will discuss application about; hydrographics and DuraCoat. These are very basic steps.

First to apply hydrographics a.k.a Water transfer printing:

  1. The part must be free of all dirt, oils, wax, grease, loose paint or other contaminants that could affect the finished product.
  2. Mask off areas not to be printed on etc. Use the universal primer to prime the part.
  3. Spray the part with the appropriate base coat.
  4. Item is submerged into dipping container with the film floating on top of the water.
  5. Rinse the part to remove any residue from the dipping procedure.
  6. Finish the item with the spray clear coat.

And now for Duracoat:

  1. Cover the surface where you will be working with newspaper.
  2. Dis-assemble the entire firearm and clean all pieces thoroughly, making sure there is no trace of oil on any piece you want to coat.
  3. Use denatured alcohol or TruStrip for a final wipe down of the parts you want to Duracoat to remove all oils.
  4. Use painter’s tape to mask off any parts that will not be painted.
  5. Make jigs or snip pieces of the wire to make hooks to hang the parts to spray and dry.
  6. Have some lacquer thinner ready for any potential mistakes and to clean up.
  7. Set up the air sprayer and set the compressor to 30 psi.
  8. Mix the Duracoat paints to get the color you desire. Test spray on a scrap piece of metal to check color.
  9. Combine 1 part Duracoat Hardener to 14 parts Duracoat paint. Shake thoroughly for at least 3 minutes, and pour into the paint receptacle on the air-sprayer.
  10. Hold spray tip 4 to 8 inches from the parts and spray Duracoat with sweeping passes from left to right. You can make multiple passes to get to the ideal final thickness of 1 mil, applied in 1 to 3 passes.
  11. Set parts aside to dry and cure. They will be dry enough for light use in 24 hours, but ideally they should be allowed to dry for 2-4 weeks.

As with everything AR related, there are a crazy amount of accessories and at least twice as many opinions. Everything from Backup metal sights to chainsaw attachments. It always breaks down to what you need, what you want, and how much money you have. It is hard to know what you need if you don’t know it exists. Learn, go on line, join a shooting club, take a class, show the next generation.

 

REF: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tacticool

http://www.dip123.com/

https://www.wikihow.com/Apply-Duracoat

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KeyMod, M-LOK, or Picatinny? Surveying the Future of Rail Accessories

There are three major rail types Picatinny, KeyMod and MLOK.

Picatinny are MIL spec MIL-STD-1913 and on are on many military firearms, so I dont think they will be going any place for a very long time. There are also a very large number of accessories using this standard that also will not change any time soon. There are a couple downsides to the Picatinny rail; first is they can get heavy add unnecessary weight to your rifle and bulk it up in a bad way, especially when placed on the fore end of your rifle. They also have sharp edges that can get snagged on or damage other gear as well as un-gloved hands.

The KeyMod system gets its name from the shape of the slots, which look like old-fashioned keyholes. You put the lug through the big circular opening and then slide the attachment forward, tightening the Allan wrench in the narrow part of the slot until your attachment is securely fastened. It also has an auto aligning feature when you tighten things down. The design is completely open source, so anyone who’s interested in manufacturing products using the KeyMod system can do so without having to pay royalties.  On the down side KeyMod did not do too good in the USSOCOM testing referenced below. Specifically the stress testing, this might sway me and others to look closer at our next rail, M-LOK. Especially if you are not heavily invested in one or the other.

The M-LOK system by Magpul uses slots in place of the keyholes. The attachment lugs on M-Lok accessories are t-shaped and bi-directional so they can be placed at the front or rear of the slots. While M-LOK is free licensed, it is not open source, and thus manufacturers must acquire a license from Magpul before making products using the M-LOK standard. Magpul claims this gives them more control in assuring that all M-LOK products are made to specifications ensuring compatibility. Program participation is open to any interested manufacturer. This might not matter with Magpul’s dominance in the accessories market.

I dont think Picatinny will go anyplace soon, especially for mounting scopes. It has already adapted to smaller sections that can be mounted on either KeyMod or M-LOK. M-LOK vs. KeyMod is where the real fight will be, and with the Magpul monster leading the charge for M-LOK we soon might see the end of KeyMod.

REF: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/keymod-vs-m-lok/

http://soldiersystems.net/2017/05/05/details-on-the-ussocom-sponsored-keymod-vs-m-lok-test-conducted-at-nswc-crane/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-LOK#Licensing

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‘Ed’s Red’ Bore Cleaner

Just in case the they make it hard to find, I’ll put it here:

CONTENTS: Ed’s Red Bore Cleaner

1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.

1 part Kerosene – deodorized, K1

1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS
#64741-49-9, or may substitute “Stoddard Solvent”, CAS #8052-41-3, or
equivalent, (aka “Varsol”)

1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.

(Optional up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to
substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)

                  MIXING INSTRUCTIONS FOR “ER” BORE CLEANER:

Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal,
chemical-resistant, heavy gage PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA
approved plastic gasoline storage containers are also OK. Do NOT use
HDPE, which is permeable, because the acetone will eventually evaporate.
The acetone in ER will also attack HDPE, causing the container to
collapse, making a heck of a mess!

Add the ATF first. Use the empty container to measure the other
components, so that it is thoroughly rinsed. If you incorporate the
lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking
precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger
container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and
stirring until it is all dissolved.

I recommend diverting a small quantity, up to 4 ozs. per quart of the
50-50 ATF/kerosene mix for optional use as an “ER-compatible” gun oil.
This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining
mix.

This is a direct copy for this great source: http://handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=9

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AR-15 Direct Impingement and Piston-Driven

The original, Eugene Stoner AR 15 firearms are what is called direct impingement. When the bullet is fired it goes screaming down the barrel, as it passed the gas block it directs some of the gas down the gas tube into the gas key on the bolt carrier pushing it back and cycling the weapon. Excess gas is vented to the upper and lower receivers. For the sake of this paper that is the simple description

Now piston operation works pretty much the same up to the gas block. When it gets to the gas block most of the gas is vented into a piston and pushes a rod back that pushes the bolt carrier back cycling the weapon. The excess gas escapes at the piston by the gas block. Again, very simple terms.

1. Piston-driven guns run much cleaner. The gas is vented at the gas block versus venting into the upper and lower receivers.
2. On average, piston-driven guns cost more. There are some very expensive gas impingement ARs and some inexpensive piston-driven AR rifles. However, if you want to purchase the least expensive AR possible, it will be a gas impingement gun.
3. Gas impingement guns are more suppressor-friendly, especially those with an adjustable gas block that allows you to control the amount of gas directed back through the gas tube. It should be noted that with both systems, your rifle will fire dirtier with a suppressor.
4. Piston-driven guns run cooler. The gas that enters the upper and lower receivers is hot, making what is touches hot. On a piston-driven rifle the hot gas evacuates at the gas block, further away from your hands.
The one item that has a lot of controversy is the accuracy, many say that the direct impingement is more accurate. I am going to leave that one alone until I can check myself. Both piston-driven and gas impingement guns are very reliable. If I had to pick between a gas impingement and a piston-driven AR, I think I would try the piston driven, simply because I have not tried it yet and the research sounds like it might be a great option except for three things: parts for gas impingement ARs are easier to find, much more plentiful and less expensive. Still think I’ll do it.
If you own a gas impingement AR and want to try a piston-driven AR, just purchase a piston-driven upper receiver. Since the gas impingement and piston systems work independently of the lower receiver, you can alternate between both on the same lower receiver.

REF:

6 Facts About AR-15 Gas Impingement Vs. Piston

Build an AR-15: Direct Impingement or Piston Operation?

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A Word About Ammo

Choosing the right round for your AR build is one of the first things you should consider in your build process. With so many options ranging from .22 long to .50 BMG it is not an easy task. Several factors need to be taken into consideration, what will the rifle be used for? Plinking, home defense, large game? Does the cost per round and availability meet my needs? $3.78 a round for .50 BMG is a little expense compared to $0.48 for 22LR for frequent range trips and general plinking. Other considerations are barrel length and twist. Heavier bullets require more twists, 1:12 and longer barrels while lighter bullets can use shorter barrels with less twists, 1:7.

There are four major bullet types:

Full metal jacket (FMJ): a harder metal like copper, steel alloy, or gilding metal wrapped around a soft core usually lead. Sometime referred to as ball ammo. Inexpensive and good penetration are characteristics of this type.

Jacketed soft point (JSP): a harder metal like copper, steel alloy, or gilding metal wrapped around a soft core usually lead but with the lead tip exposed. This allows the round to expand on impact creating a larger wound.

Jacketed Hollow point (JHP): a hard metal like copper, steel alloy, or gilding metal bullet with a hollowed tip. It is designed to create a mushroom shape on impact decreasing penetration allowing for less collateral damage.

Boattail (BT): a hard metal like copper, steel alloy, or gilding metal bullet with a shape of a boat. This allows for a more stable and accurate round. Usually used in competitions.

A way to save money on the ammo mentioned above is to purchase surplus. Surplus ammo comes with other, non-monetary cost. It usually uses corrosive primers and/or has been sitting in storage for a bit collecting dust and dirt. One way to mitigate the corrosion is with ammonia, the amount in window cleaner is enough to get the job done. Just flush your upper with some cheap window cleaner when you are done shooting. Then when you are home clean and lube everything up, just like you do after every range trip. Not so much with 5.56 surplus ammo anymore but something to keep in mind with surplus ammo is that it is not marked well. You might not know what is in the projectile. It might be steel or other material that is not indoor range friendly.

The caliber and twist of your AR 15 is normally stamped on the barrel, if not, check the literature that came with your barrel or rifle. The 5.56 and .223 rounds are close, but not identical. The .223 is a civilian round and has Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) specs while the 5.56 is a military round that has their own specifications that might require higher pressure for higher velocity. As a rule of thumb, 5.56 chamber is OK to fire both 5.56 and .223 but .223 chamber is not OK to fire only .223.

Surplus ammo plays a role in the cost effectiveness of reloading. With the cheap price of surplus ammo it is not cost effective to reload those calibers. I think you start seeing a return on your investment when you start reloading “off” or custom calibers. Your presses and other equipment’s can cost a couple hundred dollars to your total cost of investment. If you are not reloading to save money but rather to get better accuracy with a better round or as a great way t relax and get more involved with your complete shooting experience, then reloading is for you.

REF:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_metal_jacket_bullet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft-point_bullet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow-point_bullet
https://ammo.com/bullet-type/full-metal-jacket-boat-tail-fmj-bt

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