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Old 01-10-2018, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default SLR104 Factory SBR vs. Cut / Re-thread 16"

Hey all, new to the forum, lots of great info and I’m slowly making my way through. I recently got a Vepr AK-74 and it’s already one of my favorite all time rifles to shoot. I want to add a second rifle in 5.45x39, and I’m looking at an Arsenal SLR104. Considering getting a factory SBR vs. a 16” version with short gas system and getting it cut down later.

Pro’s / con’s? Obviously the factory SBR is more expensive out of the block, but when you add in the cost to cut / rethread, engrave, etc. would it be close enough so that it makes more sense to avoid the hassle of getting the rifle cut down? NFA wait time is not an issue if I go the factory SBR route.

For people who had the 16” barrel cut down, did you have any issues with the rifle after that? Who did you use to do the work? I did do a quick search on this subject and didn’t see anything obvious pop up, I apologize if this has been covered before.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:56 PM   #2
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Save yourself $800 and chop it yourself. I did and it's been issue free for well over 10,000 rounds.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:58 PM   #3
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$75 at the local gunsmith to cut/crown.
$20 at the local tombstone engraver for laser etching Form 1 requirements on receiver.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chknfkr View Post
Save yourself $800 and chop it yourself. I did and it's been issue free for well over 10,000 rounds.
I don't have the tools / skills to do it myself. The one gunsmith I know locally who could have done it, hurt his back and is no longer in business. So I'd probably have to send it off
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:00 PM   #5
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$75 at the local gunsmith to cut/crown.
$20 at the local tombstone engraver for laser etching Form 1 requirements on receiver.
I guess I'll look for someone else local who could do it
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:02 PM   #6
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The only tools you need are a hacksaw, a drill, a brass screw, and some valve grind compound.

My local jeweler engraved mine for a whopping $10. I had everything but the brass screw and valve grind compound, i think that set me back another $10.

It's way easier than you're making it out to be.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:50 PM   #7
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Rent 90 degree cutter to even out surface, rest can be accomplished with what chknfkr mentioned.
If you get 90 degree tool, might as well get 11 degree crown tool, but tbh brass screw does job just as well.
All together about 30 min of your time.

Before someone links V8Merc124, he no longer rents tools.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AustinGR78 View Post
$75 at the local gunsmith to cut/crown.
$20 at the local tombstone engraver for laser etching Form 1 requirements on receiver.
.25 cent screw from Ace Hardware.
$4.00 valve grinding paste
$5.00 hacksaw from Lowes

= SBR your own rifle for under $10.00

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Old 01-10-2018, 06:51 PM   #9
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Default Buy the Arsenal SBR not the 104UR

I purchased an SLR-104UR and if I had to do it over again, I would have just purchased the factory SBR.

What some of the people commenting earlier failed to mention is that with the new 104URs, Arsenal placed a gas restrictor "donut" inside the FSB/Gas Block assembly. You can no longer just do an at home cut and crown, that information is outdated.

What this means is that the whole front sight assembly has to get:
1) Unpinned
2) Pressed off with a hydraulic press
3) Gas port 'donut' drilled out
4) Front sight assembly pressed back on w/hydraulic press
5) Sight realignment
5) Repinned

All this is in addition to the barrel cut and crown plus engraving. Most gunsmiths do not work on AKs and do not have the tooling required to do so. Unless you're willing to buy all the tools yourself, you're going to have to send it out.

So realistically, not including the Tax Stamp and Trust Cost, this is what you're looking at:

SLR 104UR Rifle: $1300
Gunsmithing Fees: $175
Shipping Fees: $60
Muzzle Device: $120
Engraving: $45
TOTAL: $1,700

Now compare that with the price K-VAR is charging for the Arsenal SLR-104 SBR and it's a no-brainer: $1,939

So realistically, you're only saving about $240 by getting the non-SBR version and converting it yourself. However, since factory SBR's hold their values better than conversions, it's a wash.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NeptuneTriton View Post
I purchased an SLR-104UR and if I had to do it over again, I would have just purchased the factory SBR.

What some of the people commenting earlier failed to mention is that with the new 104URs, Arsenal placed a gas restrictor "donut" inside the FSB/Gas Block assembly. You can no longer just do an at home cut and crown, that information is outdated.

What this means is that the whole front sight assembly has to get:
1) Unpinned
2) Pressed off with a hydraulic press
3) Gas port 'donut' drilled out
4) Front sight assembly pressed back on w/hydraulic press
5) Sight realignment
5) Repinned

All this is in addition to the barrel cut and crown plus engraving. Most gunsmiths do not work on AKs and do not have the tooling required to do so. Unless you're willing to buy all the tools yourself, you're going to have to send it out.

So realistically, not including the Tax Stamp and Trust Cost, this is what you're looking at:

SLR 104UR Rifle: $1300
Gunsmithing Fees: $175
Shipping Fees: $60
Muzzle Device: $120
Engraving: $45
TOTAL: $1,700

Now compare that with the price K-VAR is charging for the Arsenal SLR-104 SBR and it's a no-brainer: $1,939

So realistically, you're only saving about $240 by getting the non-SBR version and converting it yourself. However, since factory SBR's hold their values better than conversions, it's a wash.
Good info, thanks!
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeptuneTriton View Post
I purchased an SLR-104UR and if I had to do it over again, I would have just purchased the factory SBR.

What some of the people commenting earlier failed to mention is that with the new 104URs, Arsenal placed a gas restrictor "donut" inside the FSB/Gas Block assembly. You can no longer just do an at home cut and crown, that information is outdated.

What this means is that the whole front sight assembly has to get:
1) Unpinned
2) Pressed off with a hydraulic press
3) Gas port 'donut' drilled out
4) Front sight assembly pressed back on w/hydraulic press
5) Sight realignment
5) Repinned

All this is in addition to the barrel cut and crown plus engraving. Most gunsmiths do not work on AKs and do not have the tooling required to do so. Unless you're willing to buy all the tools yourself, you're going to have to send it out.

So realistically, not including the Tax Stamp and Trust Cost, this is what you're looking at:

SLR 104UR Rifle: $1300
Gunsmithing Fees: $175
Shipping Fees: $60
Muzzle Device: $120
Engraving: $45
TOTAL: $1,700

Now compare that with the price K-VAR is charging for the Arsenal SLR-104 SBR and it's a no-brainer: $1,939

So realistically, you're only saving about $240 by getting the non-SBR version and converting it yourself. However, since factory SBR's hold their values better than conversions, it's a wash.
Such bad info here. Yes, the newer ones do have a restrictor, which is easily removed at home.

Mine was an early one without a restrictor. I have $1350 in mine including the stamp. If I sold it, it's worth much more than that.

The "factory" guns in fact are not factory. Arsenal Inc. cuts and crowns them state side. In other words they do the exact same thing that guys like myself are doing, but then marking them up an extra $800. These "factory" guns do not hold their value. The last used one i saw on the marketplace here sold for $1500 iirc.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:13 PM   #12
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Mine had the donut, as mentioned not a big deal.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:13 PM   #13
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If you can operate a power drill and a hacksaw. You can cut and crown it yourself. Buy a 16".
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:31 AM   #14
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Went with the factory for better resale value and less hassle and lack of engraving.. if you don't give a shit about selling it sometime then go the DIY route
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:02 AM   #15
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I bought a newer 16" version with the gas restrictor. Paid 350 for gunsmithing and engraving, bringing my total to approximately 1600 bucks (not including tax stamp). If I had to do it all over again, I'd just get the factory SBR; more expensive, but less of a pain in the dick.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:06 AM   #16
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Such bad info here. Yes, the newer ones do have a restrictor, which is easily removed at home.

Mine was an early one without a restrictor. I have $1350 in mine including the stamp. If I sold it, it's worth much more than that.

The "factory" guns in fact are not factory. Arsenal Inc. cuts and crowns them state side. In other words they do the exact same thing that guys like myself are doing, but then marking them up an extra $800. These "factory" guns do not hold their value. The last used one i saw on the marketplace here sold for $1500 iirc.
No, the restrictor is not "easily removed at home". You need a press, sometimes a torch, a tool that goes in the receiver to keep it from buckling when you press the FSB back on (forget what it's called), and some skill. Not everyone has that in their garage.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ugroza View Post
Rent 90 degree cutter to even out surface, rest can be accomplished with what chknfkr mentioned.
If you get 90 degree tool, might as well get 11 degree crown tool, but tbh brass screw does job just as well.
All together about 30 min of your time.

Before someone links V8Merc124, he no longer rents tools.
This.
Brass screw job is pointless if cut isn't square
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:57 AM   #18
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I vote for neither. We all know they don't have the proper turn ratio and will be a keyhole machine. All these garage gunsmiths telling you to do it yourself are feeding you a load of crap.

Arsenals are crap, their finish melts off if you look at it the wrong way, you can't SBR them because they all keyhole, 5.45 is a dead round.

Better to buy a RAS47.

Try these threads:

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170623

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=238588

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=255759

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246526

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243065

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209770

Just a start...

-Bob
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Everybody needs a rifle with a magazine longer than its barrel.

Last edited by ryanr256; 01-11-2018 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by red_october View Post
Hey all, new to the forum, lots of great info and I’m slowly making my way through. I recently got a Vepr AK-74 and it’s already one of my favorite all time rifles to shoot. I want to add a second rifle in 5.45x39, and I’m looking at an Arsenal SLR104. Considering getting a factory SBR vs. a 16” version with short gas system and getting it cut down later.

Pro’s / con’s? Obviously the factory SBR is more expensive out of the block, but when you add in the cost to cut / rethread, engrave, etc. would it be close enough so that it makes more sense to avoid the hassle of getting the rifle cut down? NFA wait time is not an issue if I go the factory SBR route.

For people who had the 16” barrel cut down, did you have any issues with the rifle after that? Who did you use to do the work? I did do a quick search on this subject and didn’t see anything obvious pop up, I apologize if this has been covered before.
Get the 16" barreled SLR104UR and just cut the barrel yourself once you've received your Approved Form 1 from BATF. PM me if you have any questions.














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Old 01-11-2018, 02:03 PM   #20
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Such bad info here. Yes, the newer ones do have a restrictor, which is easily removed at home.

Mine was an early one without a restrictor. I have $1350 in mine including the stamp. If I sold it, it's worth much more than that.

The "factory" guns in fact are not factory. Arsenal Inc. cuts and crowns them state side. In other words they do the exact same thing that guys like myself are doing, but then marking them up an extra $800. These "factory" guns do not hold their value. The last used one i saw on the marketplace here sold for $1500 iirc.
There is no bad information here, everything I said is 100% factually accurate.

The only bad information being spread is from those of you failing to point out that ALL NEW 104UR's COME WITH A RESTRICTOR IN THE GAS PORT.

That changes things significantly. Back when all you had to do was cut/crown the barrel, I'd say getting the 104UR was the way to go. Now that there's a significant amount of extra gunsmithing work involved, there is very little cost-savings to be had and the whole process isn't worth the effort unless you already own all the tools OR have an local, affordable gunsmith who's willing to do the work.

Yes, all of these 104's are imported with 16" barrels and then Arsenal does the final SBR work at their facility in LV. That's still considered a "Factory SBR" because the work wasn't done in a private garage by some bubba with a hacksaw and a vise. All things equal, if placed side by side in an auction, the factory SBR will fetch more money then the garage job will, therefore being the better investment.

Going forward, anyone considering buying a SLR 104UR vs an SLR 104 SBR will have to weigh the additional gunsmithing costs and hassle required to convert a 104UR and decide for themselves if it's worth it.

Last edited by NeptuneTriton; 01-11-2018 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:19 PM   #21
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There is no bad information here, everything I said is 100% factually accurate.

The only bad information being spread is from those of you failing to point out that ALL NEW 104UR's COME WITH A RESTRICTOR IN THE GAS PORT.

That changes things significantly. Back when all you had to do was cut/crown the barrel, I'd say getting the 104UR was the way to go. Now that there's a significant amount of extra gunsmithing work involved, there is very little cost-savings to be had and the whole process isn't worth the effort unless you already own all the tools.

Yes, all of these 104's are imported with 16" barrels and then Arsenal does the final SBR work at their facility in LV. That's still considered a "Factory SBR" because the work wasn't done in a private garage by some bubba with a hacksaw and a vise. All things equal, if placed side by side in an auction, the factory SBR will fetch more money then the garage job will, therefore being the better investment.
I guess, BUBBA is really me.

What if I used a dremel rather than a hacksaw. Would I still be considered BUBBA?
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:22 PM   #22
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I guess, BUBBA is really me.

What if I used a dremel rather than a hacksaw. Would I still be considered BUBBA?
Hahahah, well not everyone who converts it themselves is a "Bubba" - some of you do way better work then the "pros" do! It's just a figure of speech, no offense intended.

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Old 01-11-2018, 03:03 PM   #23
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Hahahah, well not everyone who converts it themselves is a "Bubba" - some of you do way better work then the "pros" do! It's just a figure of speech, no offense intended.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:24 PM   #24
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...
Yes, all of these 104's are imported with 16" barrels and then Arsenal does the final SBR work at their facility in LV. That's still considered a "Factory SBR" because the work wasn't done in a private garage by some bubba with a hacksaw and a vise. All things equal, if placed side by side in an auction, the factory SBR will fetch more money then the garage job will, therefore being the better investment.
...
Here's my crown:



And, I didn't even use a vise.

-Bob
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:40 PM   #25
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God lots of drama in this thread. why don't we just start a "meet up and circle jerk" thread so the tension dies down already.... OP just do what ever suits you financially the best. While arsenal's finish is not the best, it is a rifle built by a company who's main contracts are for warfighting and believe me warfighters don't give a flying fuck about finish. Also no, they don't keyhole.....
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:40 PM   #26
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There is no bad information here, everything I said is 100% factually accurate.

The only bad information being spread is from those of you failing to point out that ALL NEW 104UR's COME WITH A RESTRICTOR IN THE GAS PORT.

That changes things significantly. Back when all you had to do was cut/crown the barrel, I'd say getting the 104UR was the way to go. Now that there's a significant amount of extra gunsmithing work involved, there is very little cost-savings to be had and the whole process isn't worth the effort unless you already own all the tools OR have an local, affordable gunsmith who's willing to do the work.

Yes, all of these 104's are imported with 16" barrels and then Arsenal does the final SBR work at their facility in LV. That's still considered a "Factory SBR" because the work wasn't done in a private garage by some bubba with a hacksaw and a vise. All things equal, if placed side by side in an auction, the factory SBR will fetch more money then the garage job will, therefore being the better investment.

Going forward, anyone considering buying a SLR 104UR vs an SLR 104 SBR will have to weigh the additional gunsmithing costs and hassle required to convert a 104UR and decide for themselves if it's worth it.
I suppose the ease of the work os relative to ones skills. Knocking 2 pins out, pressing off the combo block, drillimg the restrictor, pressing the combo block back om, and driving the pins back in is not difficult work for most.

The last used "factory" SBR sold om the marketplace here sold around $1500. That means the seller lost $400. Also, since his sale didn't cover the cost of his stamp he's out another $200. He's $600 in the red.

I have $1350 in mime includimg the stamp. I guarantee if I sold it I would get more than that. Let's say though for the sake of argument that I was only able to sell it for what I have in it, $1350. In that case I have covered the cost of my stamp, and I would still be breaking even.

Which one is the better investment?
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:05 PM   #27
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Here's my crown:



And, I didn't even use a vise.

-Bob
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God lots of drama in this thread. why don't we just start a "meet up and circle jerk" thread so the tension dies down already.... OP just do what ever suits you financially the best. While arsenal's finish is not the best, it is a rifle built by a company who's main contracts are for warfighting and believe me warfighters don't give a flying fuck about finish. Also no, they don't keyhole.....
Wait....what?? Are you serious? They don't keyhole?!?!...

Bob, did you hear that. They don't keyhole!
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:24 PM   #28
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Wait....what?? Are you serious? They don't keyhole?!?!...

Bob, did you hear that. They don't keyhole!
Read a few posts above me mentioning they do dingus....
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:35 PM   #29
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Read a few posts above me mentioning they do dingus....
That was satire
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #30
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That was satire

If you are saying the guy's response to my comment was satire, that's obvious. I was pointing out to him to look at ryanr256's comment about arsenals being trash and keyholing when cut down. Since islandfocus's response seemed to dictate that i was mentioning keyholing for no reason. If that was satire then welcome to the world of text communication i guess.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:01 PM   #31
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If you are saying the guy's response to my comment was satire, that's obvious. I was pointing out to him to look at ryanr256's comment about arsenals being trash and keyholing when cut down. Since islandfocus's response seemed to dictate that i was mentioning keyholing for no reason. If that was satire then welcome to the world of text communication i guess.
Ryan256s post was satire. It goes back to a thread started by a fellow who went by the name jorge walther:

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211291
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:05 PM   #32
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Ryan256s post was satire. It goes back to a thread started by a fellow who went by the name jorge walther.
Ah, the more you know I guess. Thanks. Lets get back on track with the topic.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:07 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by redmax29 View Post
If you are saying the guy's response to my comment was satire, that's obvious. I was pointing out to him to look at ryanr256's comment about arsenals being trash and keyholing when cut down. Since islandfocus's response seemed to dictate that i was mentioning keyholing for no reason. If that was satire then welcome to the world of text communication i guess.
I was parroting the common belief about the UR. I then provided links that demonstrate quite the opposite. My use of "turn ratio", "keyhole machine" and "garage gunsmith" was an indication I was poking fun.

And then, like clockwork, there's a post referencing Bubba's that cut their barrel in their garage (garage gunsmiths).

This topic has been done to death here. That's why I provided links. Some of us derive amusement when topics such as this come up because, yes, we have been there, done that. Literally. Some of us were the first to submit our Form 1 even though we were told it will never shoot straight.

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Wait....what?? Are you serious? They don't keyhole?!?!...

Bob, did you hear that. They don't keyhole!
Holy crap! Really!?! Well, shit. I would have never guessed that.



-Bob
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ryanr256 View Post
I was parroting the common belief about the UR. I then provided links that demonstrate quite the opposite. My use of "turn ratio", "keyhole machine" and "garage gunsmith" was an indication I was poking fun.

And then, like clockwork, there's a post referencing Bubba's that cut their barrel in their garage (garage gunsmiths).

This topic has been done to death here. That's why I provided links. Some of us derive amusement when topics such as this come up because, yes, we have been there, done that. Literally. Some of us were the first to submit our Form 1 even though we were told it will never shoot straight.



Holy crap! Really!?! Well, shit. I would have never guessed that.



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Old 01-12-2018, 11:29 AM   #35
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I wonder what would be a fair price for nib an early 104ur without a donut?
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