Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My newest toy.

You may remember, Denise and I went to Dallas this last weekend to pick up a new toy and get together with some friends. We went north at about noon and got to Market Hall by about 2:30PM. My gunsmith, a big gregarious dude named Randy Kline, had emailed me the week I was off fishin' in Canada to say the gun was finished. It had been a long wait, but it turned out to be well worth it.

I'd given him the parts set about a year ago, but in that time he'd decided to move his shop to a little town near Tyler, so the build was delayed. I'd actually lost contact with him and was beginning to sweat it, wondering how I'd get ahold of him again when his email came my way. HUGE sigh of relief there.

The parts set I gave him was Bulgarian. It was a demilled AKS-74 (a brand new Bulgarian service rifle sawed in half so the parts could be imported and sold). The furniture was a mix of Russian wood foregrips and a Romanian plastic pistol grip that looks very similar to Russian grip. I'd put the parts set, the furniture and sling and a new American made receiver in a box and handed it to him at a similar Market Hall show. Here's what it looked like when I got it home Sunday evening (that's a Polish plastic magazine, made for a Tantal).

That's a Russian sling and rifle bag there too (that it's laying on). We went in and I walked directly over to Randy's table (always in the same place) and shook his hand. He pulled this baby out from under the table and I was in love! BEAUTIFUL! It had been so long since I gave him the parts I'd forgotten which parts I gave him, so the look of it was a nice surprise.

Denise and I then walked around the place for a bit, looking for another friend of mine. Dave Waters, my shooting buddy, had called me as we were driving up. He said he was sitting up there with a friend of his, trying too sell a few things. As Denise and I walked around looking for Dave and his buddy at least five guys came up to me wanting to see my new toy, asking me what it was and would I sell it. It was hilarious fun. It's cool when other people appreciate your stuff like you do. We also ran into Holly and her hubby, who we'd later meet again at Phlemmy's party. Holly was walkin' around, waiting for her custom made ear protection to be finished.

After spending about 45 minutes at the show we drove over to the Hyatt to get into our room and freshen up for the party. Then we drove over, new toy in hand, to Phlemmy's newish loft apartment to finally meet her and a bunch of cool new folks. It was like a Blogger meet, with several folks ( like this guy, and this guy, and this guy, and Holly, and at least two or three more who I can't remember the blogs for - sorry folks) that are friends of Phlemmy's showing up to celebrate her new life and place and share stories about the gun show and blogging. It was a lot of fun. I particularly wanted to introduce Denise to some other bloggers, so she'd see the sort of folks I spend so much time with on the web (not as much time as I used to, but I have a life now, so there).

I brought the new toy out of the bag and very quickly a few of the guys were on it like flies to honey. Can you blame them? It turned out to be a great ice breaker. I should have started bringing guns to party's 30 years ago. Phlemmy set out wonderful food and drinks, and there was lots of fun conversation to be had by all. She's talking about making this a regular gun show thing, everyone getting together at her place after the show. I hope so. It was great fun, and I can't wait to get back there.

Denise and I left at about 10:15 and headed over to the West End and the Hoffbrou Steak House for dinner. I won't make you suffer through the pictures (the camera stayed in the car), but we started out with fried mushrooms and bread. Then she had a nice juicy steak and I had grilled shrimp over rice. After all that, and a few tall beers, I was stuffed to the gills. We walked down to Gators and tried to sit through a set with the band on the roof, but this time it turned out to be less than fun, so we didn't stick around. Once you've heard one garage band butcher a Beatles song, you've heard 'em all. We headed back to the hotel and popped a bottle of wine. I'd forgotten to pack a corkscrew so I'd taken it as an excuse to buy a new pocket knife at the gun show. The Swiss are so cool about all those gadgets.

Sunday we slept in till almost kick-out time. We grabbed some coffee for her and a diet Due for me and headed back to the gun show for a thorough walk through. Three or four hours later we were on the road back to Killeen. I'd plunked down a few more bucks for a half dozen cigars and I'd had a blast showing Denise all the cool stuff to be seen and fondled there. You should have seen her light up when I put a little snub nosed .357 magnum revolver in her hand and it fit. Hilarious! I'm gonna turn this little British girl into a gun nut before she knows it.

After we got home I started thinkin' about that new toy. I decided to change out the plastic pistol grip and replace it with Russian wood, to match the forgrips. Here's the procedure.

Easy peasy! One screw. That's all it takes. Pop the top, take out the spring and everything else, put your finger on the nut inside the receiver that the pistol grip screws into and start unscrewin' it. See that long screw there? Easy peasy!

Take off the plastic grip and replace it with the wood, screwing that long screw back into that nut. Tighten it up and shazam! There you have it. A fully authentic reproduction of what some folks call a "Khyber Pass"... The kind of Kalashnikov the Soviet Airborne troops used in Afghanistan in the 1980s. That's a Russian magazine there, red Bakelite, Izmash manufactured, replacing the black Polish one in the other shot. And there's a magazine bag (holds four mags and a cleaning kit), and a few stripper clips of ammo (those white tip rounds are East German blanks). There's a red Bakelite bayonet there on the right. Again, Izmash manufactured. And then, of course, there's the silencer (pregnant pause)...

Ok, before you call the ATF, the silencer is fake, milled to be an exact replica of the real thing but not to the tolerances of the real thing. If I tried to use it it would probably blow up on me, but it looks cool as hell. Screws on just like the real thing.

So, now I've made a vow to myself. No more toys till I get a nice safe to put them all in. The memory of coming home in December of 2005 and finding all the drawers out and the closet empty of guns still horrifies me. That will never happen again. I already have the safe scoped out. I just need to set some money aside for a few months and get it. It'll happen, I promise.

So, I hope all of you had a fun weekend and Monday flew by without a hitch.


goodnevilguy said...

I'm new here ... just wondering if that weapon issues forth the same great rhythmic sound as the AK-47 ... unless, of course, it is being fired directly at you.

old soldier said...

That is some nice piece. Reminds me of the old AK-47. I had one once upon a time in a land far away.

Mushy said...

Very nice piece, and the weapon ain't bad either!

I bet it feels nice.

Yeah, you're probably ruining her!

Hammer said...

Beautiful! I like the style of magazine it uses.

I need to get me one of those.

I converted an interior closet to a gunsafe with a heavy door and locking deadbolt because there was no way to get a safe up the stairs.

SpeakerTweaker said...

It was a pleasure to have met you, sir. And a helluva nice AK, too!

tweaker (the long-hair:)

Becky said...

Seems like your perfect weekend :)

GUYK said...

Looks like a winner! How does it shoot?

~Fathairybastard~ said...

First off, to several of you, it IS an AK-47, basically, just the updated version with a different round. Shoots 5.45x39 in stead of 7.62x39. Came out in the mid 1970s to replace the AKM, which had replaced the AK-47 in the early 1960s. everyone got their first real look at it when the Soviets went into Afghanistan in the late 70s. My gun is made to look like one of those.

Haven't shot it yet, and with the schedule looking like it does I probably won't get to for a while. It can wait.

Hammer - I'll bring it to the river in a few, so you can fondle it to you hearts desire.

Speaker - Yep, it was a hoot. Loved meeting all of you folks. Huge fun. We need to do that again.

Becky - Yep, almost perfect.

Mushy - Tryin' to.

Oh, and Goodnevilguy, thanks for comin' by. Appreciate it.

pat houseworth said...

Yep, gotta get me a new one or two.....just in case Barack Obama sics his henchman on US(of A)

DirtCrashr said...

Your Swiss Army knife is supposed to have a corkscrew! Actually I've heard that it's the Officer's knife that has one, the enlisted man's has a bottle opener (beer).
Seeing that wood makes me want to fire up the band-saw and cut some nice walnut furniture, it's a shame about plywood's aesthetics, even if it is authentic.

HollyB said...

It was great to see you and Denise somewhere besides Killeen! And have you meet my Dearly Beloved, one of my Stepsons [the man as tall as you] his wife and the grands. Maybe one of my trips to Killeen we could get Denise out to a pistol range, start her on a .22.I'll bring the Buckmark, you bring her. Deal?
my word verification? "bmuck" It's a sign!