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Lone Star Arms

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Everything posted by Lone Star Arms

  1. Lone Star Arms

    Ks 12 and dove shot

    Had a KS-12 in the shop with receiver/carrier alignment issues, and although the fit and finish is generally much better than the Russian export models, KS-12s clearly aren't immune to these issues. Lynx seems to attempt to address cycling issues with generally weaker springs, a blackjack type recoil buffer at the rear of the receiver, and a couple of extra gas settings. Once again it looks like yet another manufacturer is applying band-aids and Appalachian engineering to address problems inherent in the engineering and assembly issues copied from the originals. Receiver alignment is definitely something we always look at when a gun comes in for work. One of the the other issues we commonly see is fitment geometry. The guns we see often have a combination of issues when they come in the door, and have often been previously 'worked on ', so along with the inherent issues present in many factory guns, we also often have to address issues created by previous aftermarket work. I'm sure you get your fair share of these guns as well When I started doing this a decade ago, and I' know the same is true of you, I came to gunsmithing with a background as a master craftsman. Custom pool builder, or custom jeweler - that's not a bad place to start.
  2. Lone Star Arms

    Ks 12 and dove shot

    "ive had -2-3 russian shotguns over the years that would run birdshot without futziing around. i shoulda kept 2 of them. they were just so buttery smooth! and light recoiling. not sure what made those guns so perfect. i guess they were just perfectly in sync". So true! The biggest issue with Russian shotguns and their many recent clones has always been that the way the parts fit and work together in the real world is often very different than the workings the engineers envisioned when they designed these guns. What is baffling is that with nearly every clone produced, regardless of origin, the defects which cause common malfunctions are precisely copied from whatever sample the copier happens to have in hand, and that on the corporate side no apparent effort goes in to analyzing and engineering a better product. Generally speaking, one comes away with the impression that If they're actually paying engineers, they're paying them way too much, and they'd be much better off hiring guys who actually understand how to make these systems perform in the real world. Pretty much across the board, regardless of the source, out of the box, most AK shotguns will run high brass reasonably well, fewer guns will run low brass reasonably well, and some guns won't run anything well. Once in a while, when the stars are in divine alignment, an AK shotgun right out of the box will run absolutely everything beautifully. As Salty has opined, when one is lucky enough to get one these. its a "keeper". .
  3. Lone Star Arms

    Ks 12 and dove shot

    All of the parts on the KS-12s I've worked on have been top notch US Made parts. In many cases machined from bar stock, where Russian parts are cast/forged. Have swapped in Russian Bolts and Carriers to test compatibility with KS-12s and vice versa, and its always 100%.
  4. Lone Star Arms

    Ks 12 and dove shot

    "I was running 2.75 dram loads reliably in stick mags and 3 dram bulk pack loads in MD-20 drums. These things are winners right out of the box." Have rebuilt a number of these guns, and so far I've seen one KS-12 that ran this way out of the box. My advice to the owner was to leave it just as it is mechanically, and enjoy it. Right out of the gate, Kalashnikov USA guns have been head and shoulders above their Russian siblings in terms of build quality and performance, and K-USA appears to be continuously striving to improve the quality performance of the guns.. Still love the Russian guns, but at this point I'm loving the K-USA guns even more! Spring resistance can definitely have an effect on performance, but with the caveat that weaker springs usually means limiting the range of ammo you're shooting to lower powered loads. Running more powerful loads with weaker springs can result in damage to your bolt carrier and rear trunnion. If you want to try weaker springs to improve low end performance, proceed with extreme caution, and keep your heavier springs handy to swap in if you see any wear or deformation to the rear of your bolt carrier, or to the rear trunnion.
  5. Congratulations, brother! He's beautiful!!! Mike
  6. Lone Star Arms

    Kalashnikov USA finally shipping Saiga 12

    "Do any of yall run recoil buffers on your rigs/do you recommend them?" We don't usually install them unless a customer specifically requests it, and this is exceedingly rare. Black Jack buffers are primarily sold as a recoil reducer, and for that purpose they aren't effective at all. What they are effective for is preventing your bolt carrier from hammering and deforming your rear trunnion. If your gun is tuned properly for the ammo you're shooting, you probably don't need one.
  7. Lone Star Arms

    Kalashnikov USA finally shipping Saiga 12

    Taking a couple of coils off the recoil spring lowers resistance, theoretically increasing low end performance. The caveat is if you like to shoot high powered stuff, without something like a blackjack buffer, you're more likely to damage the rear trunnion. What you are referring to as the 'piston' is the 'op rod'. On this platform, the puck is actually the gas piston, and a slightly off center impression where it contacts the op rod is more common than uncommon, so unless it's way off, or you start to see cracking where the op rod inserts into the bolt carrier, I wouldn't worry about it.
  8. Without mods I doubt it can be coaxed to reliably run the stuff you're shooting. CSS sells reduced power springs that might lower resistance enough to get the 1325 - 1350 FPS shells to run without having to get into modifying the action and gas system. If it runs 1450 - 1600 FPS ammo as is, it will definitely run the lower powered ammo with correct modification, but as it's a "new" clone, no one really knows yet how well it will hold up over time.
  9. Lone Star Arms

    They're Here.... Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    Note: Posts advertising non-LSA vendor products which are not currently available have been removed from this thread. Brothers, if you have a truly useful or great innovative KS-12, Saiga 12, or Vepr 12 product you want to mention in relationship to Lone Star Arms high performance work , I welcome your input here, but if you advertise it to MY customers, It better goddamn well be available, and work "as advertised". Lone Star Arms does not endorse "vaporware," or allow advertisement for products which are not "as advertised" or available when referenced. One warning only. Mike
  10. Well the UPS guy showed up today with a box, and said "New toy?". "Yep", I replied. I told him what it was, and we talked guns for a bit before he had to rush off to his next stop. So, upon getting the box inside, I opened it up and out slid a red hard case with the Kalashnikov USA logo emblazoned on the front. "Nice touch", I thought. I opened up the case, pulled out the shotgun, and turned it over in my hands. Everything about it was instantly familiar - aside from the fire control group being situated where it should be, and Kalashnikov USA furniture, which looks pretty good, this is about as close to a dead on clone of a Saiga 12 IZ-109 as I've ever seen. From the rear trunnion to the end of the threaded barrel, everything about this gun looks feels and operates like a IZ-109, except - its a little crisper, a little smoother, and somehow just feels a little bit cleaner than a typical IZ-109. Grabbing the charging handle and cycling the action, this impression carries forward. The bolt carrier moves back and forth nicely, and the bolt rotates cleanly in and out of battery. Sweet! I check to make sure the chamber is clear, and slowly pull the trigger to dry fire. I don't even have to look inside - Tapco G2 trigger. Stock trigger pull is about what I'd expect from a stock Saiga fire control group. Once I pull off the dust cover field strip the gun the and look at the internals, my intial impression is confirmed. Bolt, bolt carrier are clones of the stock Saiga parts. Trigger and disconnector appear to be stock Tapco G2 hardware, the left side of the mainspring has walked off the trigger platform just a little to the right, and the hammer appears to be either a copy of the Russian original, or an actual Russian part. The bolt, while shaped like the original Russian part clearly isnt. There are no origin markings or partial serial numbers on the bolt or carrier, which otherwise look like slightly cleaned up versions of the Russian originals. The bolt looks like it might be cast from Russian original, which is fine - as long as the steel is of good quality, and has been hardened and tempered properly. Looking straight down into the receiver, it is immediately apparent that K-USA has completely ditched the Saiga manual bolt hold open, opting instead for a notched safety. Rear of the receiver is nice and square with a standard AK rear trunnion. The composite stock is mounted with two countersunk torx screws. Rear notch sight, gas tube, gas block, and front sight bead are exactly the same arrangement as with the IZ-109, but once again, it is striking how good the external fit and finish are on the American gun. Externally the gas block is extremely clean with none of the characteristic orange peel surface typical of the Russian gas blocks.The K-USA gas block may also have been cast, but the finish and tooling leave the impression that it could just as well been machined from solid billet. Retaining pins are exactly the same as the Russian gun, as are the two setting gas plug, detente pin, and gas piston. Have not yet removed the gas block. Three ports were clearly visible, and I'm betting there is a 4th (.072"). The barrel is threaded ( M22X.75 RH) with a nice steel thread protector, is honed to an extremely fine finish, and black chrome lined (very nice). Barrel length for my gun measured 18 3/8" from the end of the barrel to the closed bolt face. That's it for tonight. Will take the gun out this weekend along with a couple of fresh Vepr 12 builds just off the bench.
  11. Lone Star Arms

    27654962_2016409791719159_5571534444666655970_n.jpg

    Beautiful work.
  12. Lone Star Arms

    27654962_2016409791719159_5571534444666655970_n.jpg

    Damn Evl, thought you posted that one before!
  13. Present... and still building extreme high performance Kalashnikov platform shotguns, and loving every minute of what I do..... What are you up to these days, brother?
  14. Lone Star Arms

    Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    Lone Star Arms Kalashnikov USA KS-12 Custom Builds
  15. Lone Star Arms

    KS-12_Quad_Custom_RH_FLD.jpg

    From the album: Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    © Copyright (c) 2018 Lone Star Arms LLC All Rights Exclusively Reserved

  16. Lone Star Arms

    KS-12_Quad_Custom_RH_3-4.jpg

    From the album: Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    © Copyright (c) 2018 Lone Star Arms LLC All Rights Exclusively Reserved

  17. Lone Star Arms

    KS-12_Quad_Custom_RH.jpg

    From the album: Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    © Copyright (c) 2018 Lone Star Arms LLC All Rights Exclusively Reserved

  18. Lone Star Arms

    KS-12_Quad_Custom_LH_FLD.jpg

    From the album: Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    © Copyright (c) 2018 Lone Star Arms LLC All Rights Exclusively Reserved

  19. Lone Star Arms

    KS-12_Quad_Custom_LH_3-4.jpg

    From the album: Kalashnikov USA KS-12

    © Copyright (c) 2018 Lone Star Arms LLC All Rights Exclusively Reserved

  20. Lone Star Arms

    Why I do it? Doing custom work on the Saiga 12

    "I'm fortunate enough to not lay on my death bed wishing I would have. It makes all of the things about the business that I hate worth it (paperwork, sales tax reports, the occasional customer who refuses to read and follow instructions and it leads to some sort of shipping debacle, etc.). I'm definitely not doing it for the money, lol. " Well...that's at least mostly true! There are likely (especially in the Trump economy) many other things we could be doing to make a buck, and at the end of the day, along with taking care of our customers, we do need to eat, and to feed our families. But, and this is a big "But" (pun intended), there is nothing more satisfying than delivering the absolute ultimate in whatever it is one does, and knowing that at the end of that build, you have absolutely "delivered the goods" for your client. As the economy continues to expand, there will no doubt be a great number of self styled "gurus" "instant experts", and snake oil salesmen showing up on the forum. The typical pattern is to: A). Write extensive posts building oneself up an absolute and unassailable "Expert", devoting particular attention to one's unique "Genius" and "Extraordinary Abilities". B). Disparage, and tear down established forum vendors and regular forum contributors in a way that completely demeans and discredits them and their contributions to the community. C). While actively discrediting others, copy whatever it is they (the originators) are doing and (with emphasis) pass if off as their own. D). To promote/hawk/sell whatever it is they are attempting to sell/pass off at the expense of others. At this point the forum, its membership, and its management have separated the wheat from the chaff. The members, vendors, and forum staff who remain are those who are A). All of those who are truly dedicated to the platform, and B). Those vendors who deliver good value for money. The forum, and the platform around which it is organized have undergone a true "trial by fire", withstanding, a long period of political adversity, various con men, hucksters, and snake oil specialist (you all know who), assaults on the 2nd Amendment, political turmoil, and outright bans. Through all of this, we have remained a tight knit community united in patriotism, a respect for the 2nd Amendment, and true passion for AK platform firearms. My take is that things continue to get better from here. Anecdotally, we are are seeing a tremendous uptick in interest in interest in AK platform shotguns nationwide, and customers (throughout the US) are enthusiastically voting for the platform with their guns and with their wallets. My customers today are bright, educated, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, motivated, dedicated to 2nd Amendment rights, and affluent enough to commission exactly the work they want without compromises. This is a very, very good thing. I continue to do what I do because I LOVE what I do. I love the platform, and ultimately I need to pay my bills. Artist stuff.... Yep. For 30 years before I started building guns for a living (and ever since), I have worked as a designer, Silver and Goldsmith and have at it. My Jewelry work has been sold in the Smithsonian, Museum of Man, Museum of the American West, Autry Museum, Verkamps at the Grand Canyon, The Heard Museum, and numerous art galleries throughout the US, and in Europe and Japan. Yep. I'm a real, honest to God artist who chooses to build guns. No brag. No bullshit. No self aggrandizement. Why do I do it? Because I absolutely love it, because I'm extremely good at it, and because my customers are willing to pay me what my time is worth for what I do. Honestly, I am absolutely blessed to do exactly what I love to do.
  21. Lone Star Arms

    Saiga 12 Bolt Head Damage

    If that works for you, stay with it!
  22. Lone Star Arms

    Saiga 12 Bolt Head Damage

    From the photos, the receiver actually looks pretty straight, unremarkable. Would have to have the gun in hand to confirm, but from the photos It does look like there is (at least) bilateral constriction of the carrier path directly at the front trunnion. Saiga 12 cycling issues are seldom attributable to just one factor. The guns are made from a combination cast, forged, machined, and milled parts, and are assembled by hand at the factory, so cycling issues are not uncommon and can be fairly complex. As Anthony (Evl) has pointed out, receivers are often torqued in one direction or another from the factory, and this is a primary suspect (when all things being equal) a gun simply isn't cycling properly. IF mechanical constriction at the front trunnion is the issue, going after receiver geometry with a file is strictly "Appalachian Engineering". Don't do it. There's alot of DIY advice on this forum, and frankly among the gems, is a vast minefield of absolute turds. The best advice I can give you is to proceed carefully and cautiously, and if after doing your best, you find yourself in the minefield, don't hesitate to contact a forum vendor for professional work.
  23. Lone Star Arms

    Saiga 12 Bolt Head Damage

    What you need to look for is any corresponding deformation on the barrel extensions, areas surrounding lug channels, around the outer edges of the chamber, and on the forward leading edge of the hammer. Pay particular attention to the "shoulder" on the right hand inner portion of the front trunnion just ahead of the forward most edge of the RH carrier rail. For what its worth, it looks like the slightly deformed edge is rolled back from continuous contact over a long period of time. As Tony pointed out, poor factory fitment is most likely the cause. At this point, I doubt the wear on the bolt has anything to do with the cycling issues you're experiencing.
  24. Lone Star Arms

    Kalashnikov USA finally shipping Saiga 12

    Edited: Meant to reply to a different topic.
  25. Lone Star Arms

    Today I am retired

    Good to hear you're well and happy, Jerry. Ditto on Dave's "enjoy what you've earned" wishes!
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