Sunday, September 3, 2017

bolts & bayonets 2 of 2


Ten years ago it was quite easy to pick a combat proven battle rifle with bayonet, cheaply.  The only problem was with picking the best one.  You all know my feelings on the subject-the Lee-Enfield British bolt was far superior, if you had the no4 WWII model.  Easily scoped if that was your thing, ergonomic and largely immune to dirt, with superior sites, the only draw back was it chewed up brass and wasn’t as accurate.  The Mauser was accurate but jammed easily.  The Mosin-Nagant was a befouled hairy assclown of a rifle, not even having a gas bleed safety, but cheaper than dirt with affordable ammo-it was a good gun to use to go get a real gun ( if you then had the ammo for it-odds were you’d just be stick with the thing for the duration of the apocalypse.  But at least you had a gun if you were poor ).  But then the supply of surplus weapons dried up.  One imagines it was the apocalypse obvious as the economy crashed and burned more so than from all the panic that Obama was elected, but regardless the supply had to expire sooner or later.  Then, to pour salt on the wound, Obammy saw to it that you couldn’t even get the affordable crap rifle from Russia anymore.


After the embargo, the supply of the Mosin-Nagants dried up and the rifles went from $100 to $350.  Why buy it then, especially since the crap steel cased ammo went from 22 cents to 62 cents?  There were no more Po Boy rifles left.  In a short period of time we went from twenty years of affordable firearms to…dingus.  Suddenly there wasn’t crap to pick from, if you were poor.  You can still buy a $250 break open single shot, but while hardy and cheap they aren’t as accurate as a bolt action.  You could buy a $350 hunting rifle, but the quality has gone down as manufactures in the US cut quality.  First they played politics getting foreign guns banned under Clinton and now they cut quality.  I say, piss on you, you whore monger bastard scumbags.  I’ll buy from an American gun manufacture to remain patriotic about as quick as I’d buy Ford over Toyota.  In other words, NOT.  You don’t deserve my patronage if your product is crap.  Didn’t someone say something about patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel?  That probably doesn’t translate over well in this case, but it sounds cool.  So, while you can, ALMOST, buy a weapon for the same purchasing power price, the quality has shrank.  It might be better to skip the cheapest.


I understand we don’t all have the option of not being poor.  If $250 is all you can afford, well, so be it.  At least you are armed.  But if you have a choice, and prefer a bayoneted bolt over a mere civilian hunting rifle, here is the list from cheapest to most expensive.  You’ll spend a bit more but your weapon will be better quality, better suited for combat ( in fact, specifically designed for such, rather than just any old firearm ), and for our purposes here, have a bayonet able to attach to it.  Once again, the cheapest is the Russian Mosin-Nagant.  Why you would want one at $300, with ammo at a minimum of fifty cents is beyond my comprehension, unless you are simply just that poor.  I would recommend you looked into chamber adaptors, however.  If you can get the thing to shoot the 7.62x39, you can stock 22 cent ammo.  As I recommend a minimum of 5,000 rounds for a bolt action, that is $1,100, which is far better than the $2,800 it would cost for the 54R rounds.  Not as powerful, obviously, but you should consider it if your terrain is suitable.  The heavier rifle firing the carbine round would make for very little recoil and help your marksmenship enough that you aren’t sacrificing much.  Just beware that gas bleed safety issue.


As in all Russian guns with folding bayonets, you are getting close to a real piece of crap bayonet, but at least it HAS a bayonet.  Next up for fifty bucks more is the low end Mausers.  Beware the Turkish Mausers, watching that you don’t get the ones infamous for poor construction.  Sorry, that was twenty or thirty years ago and I don’t recall details.  You’ll have to do your own research.  If you go from $350 up to $400, you are treated with a far better selection.  You can now buy a Lee-Enfield.  I’m not saying there are any good ones left, those might be picked over already, but there could be.  Just make sure you know what you are buying.  And for goodness sakes, get the no.4, not the Indian 308 conversion or the no.5 jungle version.  They don’t compare.  The Indian ones have crap sites and require older bayonets which are pricey in the extreme.  The jungle’s were never a good design.  You can buy a select best of the bunch Mauser ( still being advertised is the company Michaels Mausers ), which still has all the design flaws but is in much better shape than any Enfield, so a better bargain.  You’ll have to watch firepower and jamming but at least you have accuracy.  And with the standard cool bayonet ( unlike the Enfield which came with a real crap pike bayonet.  Look for and spend extra for the no.9 bayonet for the Enfield which is a knife bayonet ).


Best of all, for $400 ( as with all guns I ever mention, list price is jobber price, not counting mark-up or government tax or delivery.  Since they all equal out about the same it isn’t necessary ), you now have the option of the SKS.  The Yugo SKS is now, and probably not for too much longer so act now or prepare to rue the day, probably the best bargain of all the bolt action ( you turn it into a bolt ) bayoneted rifles.  It isn’t so rare you can’t get spare parts, it is still a relatively good price and it uses the cheapest ammo.  The accuracy is less than great, but far better than the AK and better than a lot of other semi battle guns as it is an older more robustly manufactured weapons, prior to sheet metal and plastic.  And the bayonet is only a Better Than Nothing.  Plus the range is less than all other previously mentioned guns.  As with ANY gun, even the Lee-Enfield, and ESPECIALLY the AR, there are always trade-offs.  Cheap ammo, but also cheap bayonets and less range.  I think it has the best overall trade-offs in this category, although you may disagree.  With the old war bolts, you are going to have a hell of time being able to afford or even find spare parts.  And ammo is right up there on the high end 70 cents a round.  By trading down on range you get affordable ammo again ( although this leads us to the disadvantage of steel cases, which is supply could be interrupted at any time.  You decide on this gun, you better be able to afford ALL its ammo shortly thereafter, or bet on losing it cheapness attribute ).


After that price, things get far less affordable.  The AK-47 is, again, ONLY an assault carbine.  The SKS is built better and shoots better, even if you can’t do much past 200 yards with it.  You are, by buying an AK, really only buying cheap ammo and a reliable firehose of a weapon.  It really holds no appeal as a bolt, unless your ranges are naturally short.  I’m going to assume you are just nuts over the design and don’t care about its shortcomings.  Or already have one but can’t afford ammo to make it a submachinegun.  It does have a pretty good bayonet, though.  Okay, to convert an SKS to bolt ( I only have experience using an SKS, but assume the AK is similar enough for illustration purposes here ), just look up the YouTube video for Replacing The SKS Gas Tube.  Or, Replacing The Gas Tube Cover.  Or similar.  It is really easy.  There is a swinging lever at the rear of the doohickey on top of the barrel, the tube laid horizontal to the barrel.  Get the cover off and you can then remove the gas rod.  Make sure to then replace the tube the rod came in and the cover, for safety.  Boom, done, SKS bolt action.

note: here is the original instructions from Vlad, my old reader who first suggested this.  The ( part 1 ) ( part 2 ) refer to a diagram of the disassembled weapon which is no longer available, so ignore:

   To make SKS a pullbolt
See disassembled SKS
Remove gas piston (part 1) from inside gas
tube (part 2).
Replace gas tube.
(If you do not replace gas tube, gas from gas
port can blow your eyes out.)
Make every shot count.
Ammo is limited.
One shot kills them dead.
Save ammo.
Kill the wounded enemy with a hammer or ax.
If knuckles up and you get a slamfire
the bolt handle will relocate your thumb
3 inches closer to your elbow.

Now, on to the Gun That Lost The West, the AR-15.  All of your mostest favoritist gun.  Why, I’m not sure, but I’ll NOT engage in debate number infinity with you on it.  Let’s just say that if you have an AR, and you wish to turn it into a bolt gun, you then have a near perfect firearm, not factoring in its ammunition.  Although the ammo and its mags will be everywhere, along with its parts, so there is that, I can’t deny.  The reason it is near perfect is that the gas system and the ammunition are the weak points in the M16.  Baring those two, the gun is actually the best medium distance rifle in existence today, weighing in all the variables.  I’m writing this after I wrote the last article on turning the AR into a bolt, but prior to anyone reading it.  There might be a lot more in the comments I have yet to consider, but it seems to me that if you can ensure that a plug will NOT break loose, it is simplicity itself to turn off the gas system in an AR.  Remove the tube and plug the gas block.  It is usually just two Allen screws holding it all in place.


Yes, the charging handle will suck.  But this is a bolt action and it is assumed you are far enough away to remain safe without rapid fire.  And you’ll need a heavy barrel and a full stock, not all that light weight Ninja Carbine crap.  You can use twenty round mags, bipods and glass is easy to mount, and ammo is cheap.  Bayonets are surprisingly pricey but nothing like the WWII bolts.  By eliminating the fouling gases, you revert to a very accurate mid range marksmen that won’t jam.  And the bayonet is a bonus.  Perhaps it won’t be the most robustly constructed, so try to use it as a sniper, not a sticker and butt stroker, but it is there if you need it.  Well, there you go, more and better, if not cheaper, options for a bolt action with bayonet.

END ( today's related link )

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  1. I think Blogger just ate my reply, because of its brilliance and thus the threat it poses to Google.

    OK, so I'll write it down yet another time.

    The important part of the rifle is its barrel. The rest is there to aim it, and get a cartridge into it and the case out.

    Cheap surplus rifles have crappy barrels because the good barreled ones are much more expensive. Collector value etc.

    For 300 USD you can get a new rifle like the Savage Axis. It has no iron SIGHTS(not "sites", grr) and no bayonet lug, but it is new and shoots well it seems.

    Now, bayonets are themselves getting rare and expensive. If you want to stick to civilian firearms, you may want to check out if it's not better to make your own integrated folding spike bayonet, like Mosin M44 or Carcano Cavalry rifles. It's not *that* complicated, but it will cost you time.

    Another option would be to take a really cheap bolt-action military rifle that has a disastrous barrel (less than 200 USD), buy a new barrel for it (about 100 USD : )and screw it on.

    For 300 USD you then have a new rifle (because the barrel is new) with a rugged action and a stock you will be ready to abuse (BIC approach). And chances are it will still have its bayonet lug too...

  2. You need to do your research on the .308 Enfield.
    The British were in a hurry to have a rifle to use, at the time, the new standard Nato round the .308. So they did hurriedly convert a few Enfields to .308. The ones manufactured in India under British guidance were designed from the ground up to handle the .308.
    They were manufactured using modern metallurgy and up to the date modern steel to handle the .308.
    They might have crappie sites but the rifle itself is far and away the best Enfield manufactured.

    1. Well, if you mostly reload perhaps it isn't that important to have the 308. The sites were so bad I'd be using it in sunlight, not under any low light conditions. And that was twenty years ago when my eyes were better. Now, if you just used a scope...but then the bayonet probably can't be used. And you'd want a better rifle for accuracy anyway. Kind of limits you.

  3. Get a pair of industrial grade screw type hose clamps at the hdwr store and make your own bayonet with a 2' piece of #11 rebar also from the hdwr store, and some quality time with the stationary and hand grinder. After you have a nicely fashioned loooooong conical grind on 3/4 of that rebar, screw clamp it to the barrel with most of it sticking out past the end of the barrel. Then, take it out in the yard and hold it with one hand over your shoulder and throw it like a spear at a stout oak tree. If it sticks, your work is done but if it hits the ground you need to rethink everything you have done up to that point.

    Rebar diameter is done in number of 1/8 inches, thus, a #11 rebar is (11 x 1/8") 1-3/8" in diameter. If 6" is screw clamped to the gun there will be 18" left for sticking all the way through someone that gets too close.

    If, after you've sharpened that bayo, you take a case hardened hatchet and strike the shaft of it frontwards you can deeply etch some barbs into it for extracting guts when you pull it back out of the hapless victim. Long sections of guts come in handy for impromptu rappelling purposes, just ask "Machette".

    1. Hmmmm...not a bad project for any gun you have. But, won't it rust pretty easy? Perhaps it doesn't matter if you have spares?

    2. What, you're concerned the hapless victim(s) would get blood poison from the rust? When doing routine gun maintenance spray some CLP on that bayo and a quick wipe with a rag. Yes, the first one will take a few hours to build but the next 10 should be considerably faster. Rebar is your friend. Just remembered, spray the bayo with some cool multi-camo colored Rustoleum paint.

    3. I like to see that sarcasm coming along nicely! No, I'm worried that the bayonet would break off from rust if it hit something hard. A near surface bone, a rock or tree if parried, even say a leather jacket.

    4. A 1-3/8" steel rod would have to get pretty rusty to break. Besides, they're so inexpensive there would be no read to not have a whole box full. If you're so inclined, grind just the tips to razor sharp then stick em in the ground around the compound - 21st century punji sticks.

    5. Okay, it's a damn fine idea. Now everyone can have a bayonet. I commend you and confer upon you the Bison Double Top Secret Seal Of Approval. A bit embarrassing I never thought of this myself.

  4. Some keep a shotgun for home/stationary defense. I recommend the Remington 870. (You can easily upgrade some of the parts they cheapened, like the MIM extractor, polishing the chamber, and installing an oversized safety). You can get a magazine extension with bayonet mount that accepts any version of the M16 bayonets. Expensive, but flawless.

    Peace out

    1. Kind of sounds cool. Don't they sell a remake of the shotgun they used in WWI? Winchester? Came with a bayonet mount, had that perforated shroud over the barrel. Although I image the bayonet isn't cheap.

    2. Should have added..."if it would be a cheaper alternative"

    3. Ditto on the 870. I have a really old one (circa 1960’s) but the later models have a quick change barrel system. This is important for a few reasons. You can switch from the standard bird shot barrel, to a rifled slug barrel. You can also go with a much shorter home defense barrel and outfit the gun with a pistol grip at the rear, and at the front pump handle. The pump gun with the plug removed would have far more firepower than Mad Max’s double barrel shotgun pistol. However, Max’s double gun has the advantage of one hand use. All of these accessories are sold for the 870. If you can, try and get the model that’s chambered for the 3.5” shells for versatility purposes.

      Basically, the 870 with the above options could very well be a serious contender for your post apocalypse gun, as long as you don’t need to shoot slugs much beyond a 150 yards. Tons of parts out there for these guns too, since it’s probably one of the most sold shotguns out there.

    4. No, you guys are right. You have the spare parts problem solved, whereas my suggestion is problematic on that. Thanks!

    5. The problem I see with any shotgun is ammo weight. I know we aren't carrying around much weight because of food shortages and we aren't firing much ammo because of "bolt" guns, but 12ga gets heavy FAST.

      I'll have to think on this for a while, but to me 5.56/.223 is the most cost effective round right now.
      So perhaps a commercial bolt-action in .223 wylde with a jerry-rigged bayonet is the answer...

  5. I have a 2006 vintage 870 Marine Magnum that came with the mag extension. Paid just under $400 new and they have went up considerably since, though deals can be found. I'm in the process currently of making mine tactical. Installed a TacStar top rail with sidesaddle, nmim extractor, aluminum mag follower, larger safety, magpul stock and forend, 2 point sling w/ QD swivels. Shopping for a flashlight attachment.

    The thing to practice with this gun is, keeping the gun trained on the bad guy while using your left hand to extract rounds from the sidesaddle or elsewhere and feeding them into the mag. Now, say you're empty but the bad guy doesn't know it. You keep the gun trained on him and yank a round from the side saddle and install it directly into the breach from over the top of the receiver with your left hand. A little awkward the first few times but you'll get the hang of it.

    Tip 2: Do not use the old skool idea of standing at and agle to let the recoil roll off your right shoulder. That automatically swings the barrel way off target and will get you killed.

    Instead, feet about 24" apart, facing the target straight on, hunched over the gun, take the recoil straight on but use the momemtum to jack the next round into the chamber. Having done the old way for so long, this method didn't come naturally to me. I had to do it alot. Now, some 400 rds later it feels pretty normal.

    One last tip.
    When moving backward drag your feets, do not lift them off the floor/ground. This will prevent you from tripping over things. Your dragging feet will push things like bottles, debris, chairs, body parts, out of the way.

    You're welcome.
    Now git yer a$$ off the couch and go git it done!
    Less readin and more doin.....