Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I have blogged about the trends of personalizing guns in the past. We looked at Zombie guns, Theme guns and even pink guns for women. Well now there is something new: Steampunk.

I'm not really sure when this "movement" began, or even what it meant so I checked Wikipedia. 

"Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, escpecially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or the American "Wild West".

So why am I blogging about a "subgenre" of science fiction???...They are making guns....

These creations remind me of the wild and innovative (if not deadly) Medical devices that were made during the last part of the 19th century and into the 1st part of the 20th.

At first the Steampunk movement made their fantasy props from squirt guns or Nerf guns like the one below:

 They have a tuitorial on how to paint one of these Nerf guns at the Steamingenious blog
There are several versions of this same gun, here is another:

Some of the followers went their own path and created some custom pieces, adding bits of copper pipe and parts from things like radiators, fuel filters, test tubes and of all things a baby bottle:

The celebrated Dr. Grordbort is selling his Infallible Aether Oscillators at his website here

 Some of the above pieces use parts or frames of replica guns as their base, some use a few parts from real guns.
As the movement as gained steam (pun intended) the use of real guns has started:

I'm not sure the one above is an actual firearm, but those cheap-ass West German Single Actions look like toys, so it is sometimes hard to tell
This guy used old modified 1911 parts to make some Steampunk pistols, see the YouTube video here

 This last one is quite unique and worth a second look:
 This is a home built gun that is supposed to resemble some sort of steam powered Gatling Gun. The heart of this beast is a 10-22 semi-auto .22LR rifle. Looking at the design you can tell the "rotating barrels" are really just a ruse, as it appears the real 10-22 barrel is in the middle of them acting as the hub. Besides, he would most assuredly have to have filled out the proper forms to make the 10-22 an SBR. Then there is the engineering to make them line up and make the gun fire at just the right time. Not that it could not be done, The mechanism is/would probably be similar to the Fokker device that timed the firing of the machine guns in WWI aircraft in order to prevent the gun from shooting the propeller off. 
Either way it is, at the very least, interesting

Here is a link to the video on YouTube
I sort of understand the nostalgia for a time when the future held so much promise, as if anything was possible with the help of science and ingenuity.

Anyway I am not sure what to make of the new trend in using real guns to make into toy props. On one hand it may bring new people into the hobby. Putting the safety issues aside, (don't get me wrong, having people carry and "play" with real guns is a big concern) we may have inexperienced people destroying perfectly good guns (and possibly collector pieces) in the name of "cosplay".

Normally I am all for new people getting into the hobby and becoming gun owners, but I'll let you be the judge on this one.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stock Options

Stock Options, not the ones traded on Wall Street (although shares in Firearms companies is a great idea for a Blog Post), we are talking about Gun Stocks today, specifically Ruger 10-22 Stocks.

The Ruger 10-22 is perhaps the most customized gun in history and the easiest part to add or modify is the stock. Thus it would stand to reason that their are hundreds of options when it comes to 10-22 stocks.

I wanted my 10-22 to have a tactical look, I do not own many tactical rifles and I thought it would be fun to "tacticool" my little Ruger, if for no other reason than to piss off the hoplophobes (see my post: Something for the Hoplophobes).

I originally chose the Butler Creek folding pistol grip stock, I really liked the look and feel of the Butler Creek stock, but they have a design flaw that I was not aware of:
 The area surrounding the trigger group does not fit snugly against the trigger group housing and under certain conditions, the trigger pin can "walk" out of its hole, causing the trigger to fail to reset. (the trigger pin is item #4 in the picture below)

So I went on a quest to find a new "tacticool" stock for my 10-22, here are just some of the options out there:
The Butler Creek:
Choate makes a similar stock, although not easy to find:

As does Black Warrior (I believe these are sold under the "John Masen" moniker now)

 Ramline, makers of cheap accessories for .22 rifles, made this abortion of a stock. It was flimsy and fragile. I owned own, not the best design or quality...

Tapco offers their Intrafuse Stock system in a 10-22 variant. They are affordable and plentiful, just not quite what I was looking for.
Here is one offered by a company called "Christies", I was not impressed with this one

ATI offers their StikeForce Stock for the 10-22, again these are affordable and easy to find:

Ruger actually used the ATI stock on a 10-22 model as well as their Mini-14 Rifle. 
Ruger recently produced a new version of the 10-22 called the SR-22 Rifle, it mimics the look and feel of the AR rifle with 10-22 innards
Another tactical stock with a unique feature is this one from Lyman & TacStar, it has the adjustable butt stock as well as storage for spare 10 round factory magazines.

The stock has an optional mono-pod in the grip, and it comes in camo as well

Here are a couple of Bullpup styles, these are obivously designed to resemble the FN PS90:
This one is from High Tower

 This one is from the clowns at Red Jacket - neva been dun before- Firearms. I have it on good authority these are over-priced and not of very good quality, plus there is a long lead time. They do look cool though and come in colors...

Another bullpup, this one, called the "Raptor" is from the guys at Center Balance Systems

How about  an underfolder, this one designed like an AK stock (from
There is also the "Krinker Plinker" designed to look like the Krinkov SBR

Rhineland Arms makes this stock, called the "Leopard", it has a Euro- German Sch├╝tzen look to it, I'm not sure what my opinion is of it. The price is reasonable at $140, see it here

On the higher end of quality/cost spectrum is the Troy T22, very good quality, but like most things, you have to pay good money for this kind of quality

Archangel has some really neat stocks for a variety of rifles, their most popular is this one for the 10-22, it looks very similar to the Ruger SR-22 shown above
Archangel also offers these stocks for our favorite rimfire rifle

Of course you could go with more of a sniper style stock
Perhaps something a little more traditional like the Hogue over-molded?
There are also dozens of wood stock designs available

Another option worth considering is the M-1 Carbine stock, some crafty stock makers have a kit to transform your 10-22 into a WWII battle carbine, you'll have people taking double takes at the range
Here is a side by side comparison with the real thing

  Following the same idea you can make your 10-22 look like a Thompson Sub-Machine gun, has the kits in "Chicago" & "Squad Leader" styles

In the end I chose to go with the ATI StrikeForce. The ATI had a few things going for it:
1. Ruger used these stocks as a factory offering, which is good as any review in my book
2. I didn't need to read them, but the reviews for this stock are very good
3. The stock has both LOP adjustments as well as a folding option for storage
4. Price was affordable, less than $100 shipped to my door.
5. Availability
6. Made in the USA!

Here is the stock and the parts that came with it

The stock came with multiple options on the pictatinny rails and two different butt stock mounts, one for open sights and one for scopes. It also came with an adjustable check rest along with some 3M covering. The covering offers a softer, smoother place to weld your check which is also warmer to the touch.

After removing the hand guard, this is what the inside of the barrel channel looks like. Pretty well designed.
I did run into one issue, since I was going to use the hand guard that came with the stock, I gave up my UTG quad rail. So I was going to install a Williams picatinney rail/scope mount. When I lined up the holes to screw it on, it wouldn't fit. The hand guard mounts so that it fits tight against the receiver. So rather than cut my nice Williams mount (that also featured a built in peep sight, I decided  to buy a cheap one at the gun show. 
I cut the new picatinney rail down so it would fit and all 4 screws could be used. I'll cover the bare aluminum with paint or a sharpie

Finished! Now I need to go out and shoot it!

I'll provide a range report as soon as I have time to shoot it.