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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is only the beginning. I plan to document the evolution of this rifle in pictures. I would be doing this in a series of videos on YouTube, but frankly, plastering my face on YouTube is not something I'm comfortable with, even though I know you guys would probably love to see me do all this work.

I just picked up the new M1A Loaded SS/Walnut.

I got it from the local shop for $1,669.00. I was planning on getting a Loaded Carbon/Synthetic version for $1,499.00, but upgraded the barrel and stock for another $170. There are two good reasons for this. My plan is to convert this is to a target/tactical M1A on a budget.

1. I figure SS is best for accuracy, corrosion/longevity, and cleaning.

2. The stock and handguard will be removed and stored for a future build of real USGI parts on a forged receiver. If my future parts kit has a terrible stock, I plan to upgrade it with the new Springfield Walnut and handguard, to make it look much better.

Back to this one though.

Here she is (and I found my old Johnny Cash hat from 15 years ago). USNA










Her first upgrade. I also have a GC shim kit to install at a later date.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, I finally got the Archangel Precision stock, and also ordered a ProMag PM081A scope mount. The scope mount seems to be a very close copy of the A.R.M.S. #18 mount, but appears to be a cast, instead of machined. Outside of that, it seems like it should work just fine. I won't know until I try it out.

The stock had to have a some material removed from the trigger pad underneath, and also I had to sand the inside of where the sear sits a little, because I couldn't get the group to slide into the stock, and seated without tapping on it. I also couldn't remove it without the use of a screwdriver to pry it out. Now it goes in very securely, and can be removed by really pulling hard.

I am prepping everything for CeraKote. I just got done spraying everything down with Brake Kleen, to get the majority of dirt removed. I still have a couple parts to disassemble before soaking in Acetone. I am also tossing in the GC from my M1 Garand, because it doesn't match the rest of the rifle. It is a light gray, and the rest is black. So, I'll paint it too.

Also, I will not be fully disassembling the trigger group for Cerakote. I am just going to tape off the group, and trigger, in order to paint the trigger guard and the bottom of the group to coat it.



 

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Sweet. I'm looking forward to the pics of when it's coated and reassembled.



DI5
 

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In the gilded halls of Valhala
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good job on the SS barrel, they mislead you with the "carbon steel" model.

carbon steel means "plain ole steel"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^^ Yeah, I was originally thinking of getting the carbon barrel, just to save me about $100, and also to get it in black. But hey, that's what Cerakote is for.

Then, I thought to myself..... "Self, the stainless is generally better for accuracy, corrosion, and longevity. Plus, the carbon is not chrome lined, so..."

...Stainless it is.


Today I picked up a gallon of Acentone, 2lbs Alox, a cheapie face shield for blasting, and made some wood hangers for baking in the oven.

Yes, you read that right. I'm doing the H-Series Cerakote and I'm gonna cook this puppy. USNA
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Yes, I've vaguely heard of such an argument. (haha) I'm not too sure, but the idea is that carbon is harder (less barrel whip), so it can provide better accuracy. The other is that polished SS is smoother and offers better sustained accuracy....yada yada yada....

I think that argument will be around as long as the Earth rotates.

For corrosion alone, I decided on the SS. Either way, it's too late now.
 

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Condor great job, and a fun read. Please post more pics, I cant wait to see the GC.

You didnt mention a blast cabinet, are you not using one
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
^^^ I got myself a small hobby blaster, and I've done small projects in the past. I've done lots of custom bicycle painting on vintage road bikes, and new road racing bikes, etc. So, I got myself a couple pounds of Alox to use.

For my blast cabinet, I usually set up the component hanging, and hang a blue tarp around it, and funnel it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. I have an old piece of plexiglass I duct taped in the tarp for a window. All the excess blow off (or majority), funnels down into the bucket to be reused. I need to wear a respirator and goggles when doing this though (just to be extra safe). Kind of a pain, but for as infrequently as I do any blasting, I really haven't needed to build a cabinet, nor do I have the room to store one.

I suppose I should take a pic of my make shift blasting cabinet. It is a cheap and simple way of doing the infrequent blasting, yet easy to wrap up and stow away.
 

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^^^
I suppose I should take a pic of my make shift blasting cabinet. It is a cheap and simple way of doing the infrequent blasting, yet easy to wrap up and stow away.
Pics would be good. Im needing away to blast myself cheaply
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Ok. I got my makeshift sand blasting tent setup. Basically, just a cheap tarp, with a hole cut into it, and an old piece of plexiglass taped to the front for a window. The back is taped off, and the whole thing funneled into a plastic bin. Make sure everything is super clean, to keep as much dust or dirt out of the media. Also, I hung the tarp from the ceiling, and made sure one of the lights was inside, so I can clearly see everything for blasting.

Keep in mind this is only used on a very infrequent basis for small hobby type projects, not as something I would want to use everyday. Because there is a small openning in the front for access, dust does get into the air. You MUST wear a high efficiency respirator, not a cheap surgical mask. Also, a sealed pair of goggles, to keep dust out of your eyes. A pair of cheap coveralls is nice too. Otherwise, imagine sandblasting the inside of your lungs. Not good!!! I do this near the garage door, with the door fully open, so excess dust blows outside quickly.

For blasting, make sure you insert an empty shell casing into the chamber, to keep media out of the barrel. Insert a broken half of a toothpick into the gas port on the barrel, and plug the muzzle. My toothpick blew out while blasting, but I think it'll be fine, as long as I gently flush it out with acetone, before doing anything else.

1. Set my Blaster to 80psi.

2. LET HER RIP!!!

3. When done.... take a friggin' shower!!!

For blasting, I use brand new Alox media for the barrel, and any other rifle parts first. After that, I strain the media through a window screen, and use it for other less important stuff, like the stock. I have this little setup, because my wife and I had some fun with the little Hobby Blaster for etching wine glasses with our initials, and other fun stuff. If you have any intention of doing numerous firearms, I would highly recommend getting an actual sealed blasting cabinet.







My little hobby blaster. What a fun blaster for small projects.





Blasted Barrel - scroll back up the to earlier posted pic to see the difference. USNA





And the stock, blasted for Aluma-Hyde II





Everything wired up, ready for soaking and gas out.

 

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Ya its looking good
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Okie Dokie.

I had fun today. Got my cerakote in the mail yesturday, and today did the dirty deed.

She's a bakin' in the oven as I type. USNA



Soaking.....

DO NOT EAT THESE COOKIES!!!!





Gas Out!!!




Mixed 21:1, for an eggshell finish. Looks aweful Matte to me though.

Koted, and waitin' fur the bakin'.



A multi-screwdriver wrapped in electrical tape, and hammered into a 2x8 makes a great vertical stand for painting the barrel, and plugging the muzzle at the same time. I have a seperate rig for mounting in the oven to cure.

Now.... I get to sit and have a beer.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Not Gonna Lie.

I got bored waiting around for the barrel to bake in the oven, so I broke out the Aluma-Hyde II, and painted the Archangel stock OD Green.

Just the stock is green, all the knobs and butt pad are staying black.





Also, I painted the proMag scope mount, but kept all the little screws and mounting bolt black.





Oddly enough, the Aluma-Hyde goes on really nice. Easy too. I found a really good way of doing it for anyone interested. First, thoroughly clean and even sandblast the stock if you really want it to stick. When you are painting, use light dusted coats, and constantly dry the light coats with a hair drier to flash it off. This really helps keep it from running. Make sure to keep a close eye on the nozzle. It will tend to get excess paint around it, and spatter once in a while. So, wipe it off between coats with a rag or paper towel. Make sure you apply coats only a few minutes apart. I used almost a whole can to do the stock and scope mount, along with the handguard. I hung them beneath the lights in my basement, to get a little extra heat for curing, and I placed an electric space heater beneath the stock to help it cure a little faster too.
 
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