Category Archives: DIY

Discussion of some popular (and less so) firearms and gear modifications. I am particularly a fan of refinishing projects and you will find some of those here.

Gun Safe Renovation: Door Storage Makeover

If you spend enough time shooting and collecting firearms and gear, you WILL eventually run out of space inside your gun safe. Sure, some folks possess incredible self-control and can successfully resist the urge to pick up new guns and others actually sell their firearms (gasp!), but most of us will reach a point where we simply cannot fit even… Read more »

Recoil Mitigation with HK91, PTR-91, and Similar Rifles

The Heckler & Koch G3 and its civilian twin, the HK91, are undoubtedly legendary rifles. They’ve served around the world and are among the most reliable .30 caliber autoloaders available. Here in the US, replicas of the venerable design from companies liked PTR Industries continue to fall in price and rise in popularity. Despite their success, HK91s and their cousins… Read more »

Why Hot Suppressors Stick to Cold Mounts

As more and more people buy into the growing suppressor market, I’ve noticed that many folks seem to be running into some common silencer problems with increasing frequency. Whether it’s confusion over suppressor maintenance, disappointment due to gassy backpressure, or cans that simply won’t come off supposedly “quick detach” (QD) mounts, silencer sadness seems to be common these days, even… Read more »

Field Expedient: Swapping Muzzle Devices at the Range with Magpul’s BEV Block

While range testing some of Silencer Shop’s suppressors a few weeks ago, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum: I had two rifles to shoot, but only one device to use with the cans. This meant that I needed to share a single brake between both guns. Since many new silencers use taper surfaces and friction to fasten… Read more »

Proof Marks, Date Codes, and German Firearms

Collectors who spend enough time around European firearms will often notice that the guns are littered with a variety of odd markings, letters, and other stamps that seem like some sort of secret code language from another world. Seemingly every European pistol or rifle has these markings, but rarely do product manuals or any other official literature cover what they… Read more »

More AK Wood Work: Soviet “Estonian” Green AKM Stock Set

I know some of you may not get as excited about these things as I do, but I just wrapped up another AK wood refinish. To me, this is an art form and I love trying to match the original Soviet wood finishes. This time, I stripped the awful greenish varnish (not shellac) from my arsenal replacement AKM stock set… Read more »

How To: Replicate True Soviet/Russian Shellac Finish

While cruising the DIY sections on popular forums, I often see members post elaborate refinishing recipes intended to replicate the shellac finishes used by the Soviets on their military small arms. Usually, these guides recommend using dyes, steel wool, and all sorts of other conveniences that we typically would not associate with relatively primitive communist arsenals. If there is one… Read more »

How To: Fix Suppressed Blowback with Cheap AR-15 Mod

There is no question, shooting a suppressed rifle is far more enjoyable than firing one with a bare muzzle. The sound reduction notwithstanding, suppressors can also increase a shooter’s proficiency by reducing felt recoil. Unfortunately, these advantages are often diminished by the unpleasant effects of increased gas blowback, especially in AR-15 style rifles. One reason ARs can be particularly troublesome… Read more »

How To: Refinish Your AK’s Metal Parts Using Appliance Epoxy

As a Kalashnikov enthusiast, I cannot think of any topic more aggressively researched or argued than how to appropriately replicate Soviet/Russian AK metal and wood finishes. Possibly a result of language and political barriers, gathering information on Kalashnikov manufacturing and finishing processes has been a challenging hobby to which many serious collectors have devoted countless hours. Because of this reality,… Read more »