Gunsmithing

Gunsmith:
I worked over 20 years in the firearms industry, as an inventor, product designer, R&D, diagnostics, repair, custom fabrication, restoration, refinishing, gunsmithing, modifications, mechanical-massaging/tweaking, custom gun building, machine gun repair/restoration, machining/welding/metal-working.
I loved the mechanics, I loved problem solving, I loved working with my hands, I loved to complete a ‘perfect’ project for a customer. Handing the completed project to the customer was always the pinnacle of the work.
I am an old school gunsmith/fabricator/inventor. I work with my hands, I am not a CNC button pusher.

Mid-90’s through 2003, I owned an innovative product/accessory company dedicated to the MAC machine-guns.  At that time there were very few accessories, and the ones that were available were not good.
HK MP5 sights:  I was the first person to utilize HK G3 sights (reconfigured to MP5 spec) on weapons other than HK. I installed them on MAC-10, M11/9, M11/380 smg’s, Tec-9’s, and occasionally an UZI.
People liked the idea so much, that even today they are still seen on custom FAL’s/Shotguns/AR’s/etc. To this day, it is still the best sight system ever mated to a MAC smg.
– Front Tactical Grip:  I then made the first solidly mounted front-grip for the Mac series of smgs, that would still allow the attachment of a suppressor. It clamped to the barrel-ring solidly/safely, was made of two pieces of aluminum.  I quickly found out the aluminum handle heated up very quickly when doing FA mag dumps, so I started making them with heat resistant polymer handles and also added a small hand deflector (for safety) w/ a sling mounting point. My grip has been copied by a couple companies, and is still in production by one of them.  The copies used the aluminum handle, and do/did not have a finger/hand safety-device or sling mount. Mine were the best 😀
Rate-of-Fire Reduction Device (RRD): I designed and built a ‘Drop-in’ Rate Reducer for the M11/9smg, called the RRD.  Then I quickly came out with a second-improved version (RRD-2).  It would easily drop-in to your smg lower receiver w/out any modifications.  It slowed the M11/9smg cyclic rate down from 1,100-1,200rpm to 750-850 rpm.
*My prototype RRD is in a collector’s possession, and a photo of the prototype was included in the historical book, The MAC Man.
72rd drum magazine for the M11/9smg: I built the very First (and 100% reliable) prototype M11/9smg drum magazine, and was first to manufacture them and offer it to the retail market. Other companies quickly followed suit, but I know for a fact mine were more reliable.
I then quickly designed one that would work 100% in a M11/380smg and keep up with the 1800-rpm cyclic rate, and put it into production/retail. I do not believe anyone to this day has re-accomplished this feat, due to the 380-caliber & the high cyclic rate.
I also made some by special order for the SWD MAC-10/9mm ‘single-feed, and also the Powder Springs & RPB M10/9 ‘double-feed guns. I do not believe anyone else copied these, at the time.
I made a small number of them for the STEn converted M11/9’s, as well.
The rarest version is the M10/9 double-feed ones I made.  I think I only made a dozen, or so, of them.  Rare!
*My prototype (cutaway version) SWD MAC-10/9 drum  is in a collector’s possession, and a photo of the prototype was included in the book, The MAC Man.
-Custom buttstock and mount: There weren’t many buttstock options available at that time, so I utilized a shortened FAL stock attached to a frame mounting bracket for the MAC smg series of guns.  I also made a block w/ screw hole, to solidly lock the stock to the gun w/out wiggle.  I called it the stock-lock.  The stock-lock is still being made by many other companies. My buttstock was by far, the best stock available at the time.
M11/9 to 380 conversion kit.  Made a conversion kit to allow reliable use of 380acp to be fired through the M11/9smg.  You could set it up two ways, one w/ the 1800 rpm, or one with a slower rpm. The high-cyclic ‘block I used was the predecessor to TI’s ‘Mac Jack’ and now the the ‘speed cube’.
PS/RPB MAC-10/9 ‘double-feed’ magazines: The PS MAC-10/9mm was originally designed to use a modified German Walther smg 32rd magazine. When RPB took over, they produced their own magazine and the quality was good.  When RPB folded, and SWD/Cobray took over the reigns, the magazine quality went in the toilet. As PS &  RPB mags dried up over time, the PS mags were fetching $120+ each.  I took NOS Soumi military 36rd stick mags (ultra reliable) and converted them for use in the PS/RPB MAC-10/9mm double feed guns.  They worked as well as the original German mags. If I remember right, my mags were like $35-40.
22 conversion kits: I would take the infamously unreliable Fleming 22-conversion kits (the only 22lr option at the time), cut them completely apart, make multiple modifications to every single oem part, and also make some of my own redesigned parts, and build them back up. 100% reliability. I eventually started doing a side-cocking version (pic bottom right).
They would run 100% with bulk/brick ammo for thousands of rounds, without cleaning.  They were highly reliable & desirable at the time.
-Paddle magazine release: First person/company to make a 1″ long beautiful paddle mag-release for the MAC’s.  The lever increased the leverage quite a bit, so I was able to use a stronger spring, for additional mag lock-up security.
You didn’t have to push a mag button w/ your thumb and pull the mag, instead, you just grabbed the mag near the magwell (which depressed the lever w/ your palm) and yanked the mag out.  It was fast, and it looked cool on the gun.
– Prototypes & one-offs: I was doing all kinds of crazy one-off stuff back then, lots of experimenting, lots of custom stuff for customers. Detachable UZI folders and Mini-UZI side-folder buttstocks for the MAC’s.
Built a prototype (right-side) side-cocking upper w/ a weighted tungsten charging handle (pic directly below on the right), that shaved approx 300 rpm off the cyclic rate.  Combined with the RRD-2, the cyclic rate was sloooow!
I went out of business before I could produce/manufacture them.
-The end: The loss of my long-time significant-other, a victim of a horrible crime (2003) ……..I couldn’t handle the collateral damage, physically collapsed for a year, and let the company deteriorate. Gone forever.






Fun stuff, back in the day. You can see the ‘squarish’ Tungsten side-cocking knob on the M11/9smg.

2004-2017, worked at a Class-3/NFA gunshop.
I began working there as a gunsmith/builder, and an addition to their ‘think tank’ on projects……if they couldn’t figure it out, I normally could.
I worked the phones, sales counter, and did most of the normal gunsmithing.
I worked on almost every kind of gun possible, while I was there.
I was also helping/building WW2 anti-aircraft weapons parts, for their other business.
I did all of the refinishing done in house, while I was there. Parkerizing, pre-dip black, Gunkote, etc, and Cerakote a couple times, I really liked using Norrell’s Moly Resin finish.
I also did many HK94 carbines, to MP5 “sear-host” conversions, that were beautiful.
Helped build and maintain a dozen 1919 post-sample machine guns.
I did pretty much everything there was to do. I remember some nights I was up there til 2 or 3-am, too tired to drive home and slept on the floor in the showroom.

Basically, I had to help out w/ sales/customers/normal-gunsmithing/etc….and in return, I was let loose to do whatever I wanted to do, to build/create, convert, customize, manufacture anything I dreamt of.
I did a lot of ‘one off’ custom stuff, trigger-jobs, and threaded countless bbls.
My favorite labor was catastrophic-damage repair of MAC machine-guns and M16’s, building AK’s from parts kits, building and/or tweaking or restoring 1911’s, and customizing guns, as well as doing reliability work on 22-cal machine-guns.
I also began producing one of the most sought after heavily modified Saiga shotguns on the market, I was the first person to get a 10″-12″ barreled S-12 to fire low-brass-bulk ammo 100%, without having to move the gas-block/handguard rearward. I did a lot of internal things no one else was doing, to enhance reliability/speed.

2018: Now I am at Taking Aim Sports 🙂
I never took a lot of pics of my previous work, but here are a few I have from over the years.

Pic: M16 w/ Rare Colt DOE handguard, custom fitted. Relocated front sight. Gas-tube has been custom modified.

Pic: Saiga 12 with Polychoke, and MDA prototype drum. NFA/SBS/Class-3.
I was a Beta-tester for the MDarms 20-rd drum (pre-production).
Mike’s (MDA) drum was the best Saiga accessory ever made! It was an honor he sent me the prototype to see/test/advise.

Pic: Saiga-12 in process of being built into a GALIL-12.
Hand-made/custom & functional ‘Galil’ left-thumb safety was installed.  That was an actual Galil top-cover that I blacksmith’d to fit on the S-12.
This was a ‘one-off’ custom job.  I love the challenges of doing ‘one-offs’

Pic: MAC-10/45 smg. Custom buttstock, internal tuning, Lage upper installed and f/r sights machined off.  Parkerized & Gunkote. $8,000+ value

Pic: Two Transferable M11/9 smg’s (valued at $7000+ each) with catastrophic rear-frame blow-outs/KABOOMS, after blacksmithing/welding/re-surfacing/refinishing. Better/Stronger than new! and ready to be re-assembled, test-fired and shipped back to customer.

Pic: Transferable SWD M11/380 smg. Customer had installed a 9mm barrel and fired lots of 9mm through the gun, bending/bowing the $7000 receiver like a banana, blowing out the rear frame, and elongating all of the rec/trigger/sear-holes.  Ruined. Transferable means your two options are repair, or destroy it.  You cannot legally ‘replace’ a transferable MG receiver, per ATF. It has to be repaired, or it is junked and your investment is gone.
Pic is after cutting receiver apart, heat/jigs/blacksmithing receiver back to spec, welding, locating & re-drilling/reaming holes, welding rear-frame & handle/T-guard back on, etc.  Assembled w/ a new/correct 380-bbl, for preliminary test-fire before detailed clean-up, refinishing and tune. This gun is now better/stronger and more reliable than when it shipped new from the factory in 1985.

Pic: HK-94 carbine, converted into MP5A3 “sear-host” Short Barreled Rifle (SBR/NFA).  Lower trigger-pack modified for registered-FA sear. Gun valued at $6000+/-, Transferable Sear valued at $35,000 +/-

I am well versed in:
*AR15/M16 variants
*AK47 variants (Semi & Full Auto)
*Sig MPX
*CZ Scorpion
*M1-carbine/M2-carbine
*STEn/Sterling smg’s/semi’s
*UZI smg’s/semi’s
*Soumi smg
*PPSH smg
*PPS-43 smg’s/semi’s
*S&W-76/MK-760 smg
*HK MP5, 51, 53, 93, 91, UMP, etc semi’s & full-autos
*MAC-10, M11/9, M11/380 smg’s/semi’s: I know more about MAC repair & tuning than anyone in the country.
*1911 (builds, repairs and military restorations)
*Saiga/Vepr rifles/shotguns: One of the Very top guys in the country.
*Standard rifles, shotguns and handguns: pumps, semis, revolvers, bolt-actions, etc
*Glock, Colts, S&W’s, Kahrs, Sigs, Remingtons, XD’s, Kriss, etc, etc, etc……..

 

Pic: Transferable Chinese AKS Full-Auto by SWD: Had fire damage, buttstock-button assembly was broken, and the full-auto-sear was not ‘timed’ correctly. I repaired,  tuned/timed, refinished, and modified aftermarket handguard to fit correctly with the butt-plate. Gun valued at $30,000+

Pic: Transferable TX MAC-10 smg, The TX MACs were infamous for being completely spot-welded together.  Not good!
This one has been completely rewelded w/ a  Miller TiG welder & resurfaced, refurbished, tuned, and refinished in black Cerakote over fresh parkerizing.
This TX gun is now stronger & more reliable than a factory Powder Springs gun!
Gun is valued at $7000+.

Pics: 1911A1 frames & slides being finished for limited number of US Military reproduction guns, of various configurations/eras.
The guns were all marked ‘repro’, but the markings were hidden unless the slide was locked-back, or guns were field stripped.
I built the guns to look like US Military beaters, but to be tack-drivers at the range: frames, slides, bbls, bushings, all fitted/lapped for accuracy/performance.








Pic: I built a ‘one-off’ custom QD optics/NV-mount for O’Fallon/St. Charles County Regional SWAT’s Steyr Sniper Rifle, many years ago, when I had long hair 🙂


Pic: Forward cocking-serrations added (before sig offered that option) to 1st-gen Sig-P229 slide, and refinished. New fronts are identical in angle/width/depth of-cut, to the factory rears


M11/9smg w/ custom buttstock, tuned for reliability and refinished. $7,000+ gun

Pic: Heavily beat-up ex-DOJ semi HK94 carbine, converted into HK MP5A2 ‘sear-host’ short-bbl-rifle, refurbished + refinished as new.
And yes, we clean guns 🙂  We have two sonic cleaners.

 

Thanks if you made it this far! 😀
Erik ‘Matt’