2006-03-29: Three letter words: SRB, AKM, RPKWith my manager's gracious permission, I went to Riverside, CA today during daytime hours in order to fill out the DROS paperwork on a set of AK and RPK receivers I ordered from Nodak Spud. I filed paperwork on a total of 5 AK and 4 RPK receivers, and discovered while I was there that the Romanian RPK receiver also fits Russian parts kits. This somewhat irritated me, as I would've ordered two if I'd known that ahead of time. My friend Craig tagged along, to DROS his Romanian and Yugo AK receivers.
I had the opportunity to handle the receivers, and I must say that there were huge differences in feel between the NDS receivers and the Ewbanks I'd already purchased. For one thing, the NDS receivers have a dark finish and feel smooth to the touch. The Ewbanks feels very rough, almost unfinished, but it's better than nothing. I've since heard that the Ewbanks can be used to build an AK-74, while the NDS can't, so I believe the Ewbanks will become an AK-74 build.
At any rate, yesterday there were still semi-riots going on in the LA area from random Mexicans who were protesting anti-illegal-immigration policies. It might not have spread into other areas, but neither Craig nor I wanted to take chances. Enter the SRBs.
The Spring Retaining Bracket is an interesting widget put together by a guy on Calguns.net. It's nothing more than a little piece of aluminum that screws onto the bottom of your AR receiver in place of a pistol grip, and holds the grip spring in place. The grip spring is the reason you can't just run the AR without a grip and have a normally functioning rifle; without that spring, your safety detent falls out and your safety selector will probably back out of the rifle. I'd ordered two a while back, one for me and one for Craig, and both of them had just arrived. I gave Craig a call, and told him to load up a 30rd mag and pop off his pistol grip - of course, he knew exactly what had arrived.
California's assault weapons law does not prohibit one from having a detachable magazine on an AR-15. It merely prohibits a gun WITH a detachable magazine, from having a flash hider, pistol grip, forward pistol grip, collapsible stock, etc. Once you remove all of those 'evil features' from the weapon, you have a legal drop-mag rifle. Of course, without an SRB (or something like it), you aren't going to be able to remove the pistol grip from an AR and have a safely usable weapon.
At any rate, my M16A2 lookalike, minus the pistol grip, and his M4gery, also minus the pistol grip, quietly rode along in the back of my Pathfinder up to Riverside, then down to Oceanside, and back to my place with no incident. There were a pair of loaded 30rd USGI mags in the center console, stored seperately from the weapons, also in compliance with the law. Contrary to the beliefs of the Brady Bunch, the presence of drop-mag AR's in the vehicle didn't result in mass slaughter.
Now, I wouldn't drive around with an AR-15 in the back of my vehicle on any kind of regular basis, but when you're hearing rumors of riots and such, knowing it's in the vehicle is good peace of mind. Also, once the assault weapon list gets updated and these become assault weapons, that also won't be possible. As soon as they become AW's, you can't transport them anywhere except for directly to and from a range/competition/whatnot and where you're staying. Hopefully my SU-16CA won't be banned just for "looking evil", and I'll be able to use it for similar circumstances in the future.
We also took our rifles to the range that night - the SRB's worked quite well, although I've pretty much decided I need to pick up a new upper for a dedicated SRB rifle. The right configuration for that would be a threaded 16" barrel with a muzzle brake, a slick-top upper (no forward assist), and maybe a CAR short stock, dependent upon just how long the rifle's OAL (Overall Length) winds up as.