13 March 2010

The things I do waste time on

Another of those rare postings on what I am doing to take away from my time seated in front of the computer glazing my eyes out looking at historical documents.

Or... how I make sure I can still feel my feet!

One of the things that I've been doing is getting a lovely Thompson rig together.  Really if one is to have a Tommy Gun the least you can do is get a few things for it so it doesn't feel so lonely.  Thus my dissatisfaction with the first digital camera came to the forefront as it took awful pictures close-up in what should be a macro-mode.  They didn't have that when I first bought a camera, so I did the best possible I could with what I had.  So when one of the first major acquisitions for the Thompson came through I was less than satisfied with the pictures, but they did serve the purpose.  Luckily the folks at storeplay.net took a few of the first shots:

Thompson Violin Case 1
Thompson Violin Case 2

You see to me a violin case is... well... a violin case.  Here it is to an era toy gun, at least I assume that, which was made, in that era, full-size.

How do I know it was made full size?

Well its obvious:

Thompson TA-5 with Violin Case

This and the rest of the pics courtesy your host.

A full size Thompson fits in it, plus if it was one with a stock there is more than enough room for that, too.  Plus a drum magazine and a few stick magazines.  Now mine is a M1927 not an M1921, but a good case is a good case, and if I need to go somewhere and not take the big, hulking modern padded plastic case, I can take this one and go in style.  Still, I'm not much for a Zoot Suit.

Now my ill time spent doing other things has included sewing, on a lovely White 565:


Its a real champ!  I have had problems with it going through rigger's webbing and coated cordura at the same time and will take it into the shop to have it looked at and, if necessary, worked on.  Still its gone through a few projects, chowing down MOLLE webbing and structural webbing, cordura, fleece and all sorts of material that would choke a lesser machine.  At this rate I will need something a bit sturdier at the industrial level, but the amount I've learned from the White 565 is worth the money I paid for it.  The equipment I've made certainly paid for the cost of it and the raw materials involved.

So on to more of the time wasting stuff I've done using that, and I'll put the major project up next.

That is the main case with the barrel portion, the top part is a separate MOLLE magazine carrier for the 30 round stick magazines.  All things done in digital tigerstripe cordura are prototypes and leave a lot to be desired on fit and finish, but are functional.  I could not find, anywhere, a Thompson MOLLE case and I've looked.  Now I could find MOLLE stick magazine carriers but for something like what I have it would cost what the sewing machine cost.  Plus I made an extra singleton you can see in each of the pics as it swaps out top to bottom.  I still have to make the drum magazine carriers, but have found the 2 qt. carriers for water bottles to fit them quite nicely.  When I get the 565 back up and going I need to make those into full MOLLE carriers to attach next to the barrel and square out the case, as I would much rather have them on the outside of the case than the inside.

Now for what I pack in that case:

What you have there is the Thompson plus two 50 round drum mags, three 30 round stick mags and five 20 round stick mags.  That last is in a WWII original magazine carrier.  Also included are two Thompson spare part bags from WWII, a WWII brass cleaning rod, plus oiler and pull-through.  Basically the only thing missing would be a 100 round magazine, but that isn't in the cards until the economy improves.  I have more 30 round stick mags... those I can find on the cheap still.

Loose ammo is Federal Blazer and Aguila.  I've had some issues with Aguila ammo both in 45 ACP and 22 lr in the FTF arena.  It seems that there is just something a little off on the specs... either that or the guns are damned finicky.

I'm pretty happy with the rig to-date!  I got the mag catch modified at a local gunsmith's so I can use the original USGI magazines and not have to go drilling into historical pieces to get them to meet the minor mag catch change done in the '70s to the design when Numrich had it.

My other great time eater has been scrounging parts for the Vz.61 Skorpion build which is now complete, but not test fired.

I've put snap-caps through it and am not impressed with the tiny indentation being made, but it could be that the snap-caps aren't behaving like actual rounds for recording the impact of the firing pin.  So a test-fire is in order.  No one seems to make a testing rig so this means yet another DIY project.  Something simple would be best, and its looking like the articulated arm with clamp and piece of string will be in order.  Even though its only 32 ACP, I will not be holding it for a test fire or even the first magazine's worth of firing.  Fire and inspect thoroughly is the order of the day with this.

Its been a great time-waster, getting the parts for it.  Its part kit and a large number of parts from Czech-Point USA, like the SA frame and trigger group.  Had to get rid of a few parts from the kit to make it compliant, and I couldn't pass up a deal on the full SA trigger from CPUSA.  Still some of the stuff, like decent priced 20 round mags and a carrier for them, just couldn't be found easily.  Getting the barrel in was a real PITA and finally took some dremel work to make sure it got a snug fit.  Its a fascinating piece, and the only screw parts on it are for the handle.  The rest is all springs, plates, ends on springs, indentations and the barrel pin.  I finally used a small screw for the trigger guard, but that is due to me not being able to figure out how to get the tiny rivet put in.

There you have just a couple of the things I've been putting time into.  I won't even start on the emergency supplies, but should have a post on backpacks up soon.  Really!  They can be a great time waster...

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