2005-02-03: Taking Care Of Annoying ThingsToday was a day of resolving long-standing annoyances. First off, the duct tape clinging to the back of Thor's cage finally gave way last night, which resulted in a cranky iguana freely roaming my living room. I managed to corral him back up, but without duct tape around, he was wandering again this morning. I didn't bother putting him back away, but I did talk to him for a while as he perched on my DVD shelves.
I came home on my lunch break, bought the requisite duct tape at Wally World, patched Thor's cage, and vacuumed the area behind the cage where I normally can't get to the flakes of skin from when he sheds. Thor did run under my couch when I was trying to corral him up again though, so I decided to catch him when I get back.
Secondly, I ordered the CZ-97B barrel bushing I'd tried to order yesterday. CZ's hold time was pretty short; I got right through and ordered my part for $17.30. Fedex ground (their only shipping option) did cost an additional $8. Oh well - $100 for a tune-up and performance boost on a 45 that's been heavily used for the past four years isn't bad. If I weren't going for the performance upgrade, I'd only be shelling out $37, which isn't bad at all - less than a budget-priced 250rd box of ammo at Turner's, and it's theoretically buying me even better Czech performance than before. CZ tells me my barrel bushing should be in Monday, as I managed to place my order 10 minutes before the fedex drop-off was scheduled.
Thirdly, I ordered a fairly complete set of overhaul parts from Tapco for my SKSes. If the new gas piston does indeed fix my performance issues, I'll be buying a second one for my other SKS. I also picked up a new recoil spring they were closing out for $5, since that could possibly be an issue as well. Lastly, I ordered a new black synth handguard for my SKS in the synthetic stock. The other one does exhibit a little bit of pitting, which I'm not going to pretend COULDN'T be at fault for the extraction failures. Unfortunately, in all the parts I looked through, I couldn't find the one part which I most strongly suspect of being the cause of gas system failures. That's the little metal piece that fits in the very end of the gas tube (and is part of the semi-auto/bolt-action selection mechanism) which is pretty badly pitted in both rifles. On the other hand, all the parts I did order are possible culprits, and they're good spare parts to have on hand anyway.
I did have to exercise a bit of self control though, as part of me actually wanted to order a telescoping stock, SAW grips, and other parts for my PAR-1 to dress it up like a heavy duty machine gun with a top-mounted red dot scope. Even though it's still pump action. Yes, I know it's silly, which is why I didn't do it. Other temptations included purchasing the gas system upper works for it so that whenever I may, at a later date, move to a state where semi-auto AK's aren't banned, I can swap over a few parts to revert it to its SAR-1 roots.
I have resolved, however, to eventually get one of the new stock adaptors that allow AKs to accept AR style telescoping stocks. The biggest complaint with my PAR-1 is that its stock is too short to fit to the shoulder... with a longer stock, it'd be a much less awkward shooting experience. And if I get a decent AR telescoping stock, I'll be able to adjust the PAR between a more traditional length and a longer aimed-shot length.