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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
The weather is warming up, the snow is melting off and I was able to make it up the road to the local shooting spot to test changes made to the Big Smith.

First, I pushed the scope forward so I could shorten the stock up a bit. When I first got an AR with an adjustable stock my first thought was "I can finally extend the stock to fit my length of pull!" With my longer than average arms, factory stocks have always been too short. I set the scope on the Big Smith (and my precision AR) with the the stock set to fit my length of pull. That meant the stock was fully extended. However, I found the shooting position uncomfortable. Turns out, I needed to shorten the stocks and push the scope forward. I guess I'd been shooting rifles with stocks too short for so long, they feel normal.

Second, I removed the long & heavy factory flash suppressor and replaced it with a BABC.

Third, I replaced the S&W trigger with the trigger out of my PSA carbine which has been well broke in with almost a thousand rounds and countless dry fires. (It's been said the bolt release needs to be removed to install the trigger. I found that if the bolt release is pressed as if locking the bolt back, it raises the bar inside the receiver and the hammer can then easily be slid forward into place.) The trigger is still has plenty of travel but the pull is smoother and more predictable. It's a much welcome change until I can afford another G trigger.

All the changes are working. Shortening the LOP and adjusting the eye relief to match has resulted in a more comfortable, natural shooting rifle. The BABC goes a long way towards reducing muzzle climb and softening recoil. The Big Smith is much more pleasant to shoot and I can keep the target in the FOV of the scope during recoil and get back on it quicker. Double and triple taps are doable. Having a smoother, predictable trigger makes it easier to make hits. All three changes really make the rifle much better.

When I first got the rifle, the recoil felt harsh, especially compared to a FAL. I tried a heavier buffer but the rifle started short stroking with milsurp. (I haven't been able to run but one or two rounds of commercial ammo through it.) Today, I took the rifle out along with a carbine, H & H2 buffers. With German MEN and an application of oil through the vent ports of the carrier, the rifle ran fine with the carbine buffer. When I switched to the H buffer, it wouldn't lock back on the last shot. I put the carbine buffer back in and ran a couple mags through without trouble. Only more shooting will tell, but it looks the carbine buffer is needed in the Big Smith.

I also tried an H2 buffer in my 20" precision 5.56 with a rifle length gas system. It ran great and it softened recoil quite a bit. Next I'm going to try an H3 as it's pretty close in weight to a rifle buffer. With the H2 buffer, it was much easier to keep target in the FOV of the scope during recoil and that is with an A2 birdcage, not a comp.

Another thing that helped with felt recoil is shortening the LOP. I started shooting when I was small and rifles & shotguns with stocks too long for me seemed to kick harder than stocks that were too short. This is why I'm a firm believer of cutting down stocks to fit young shooters. Something as simple as length of pull and correctly setting eye relief made a difference in shootability and recoil control.

None of the changes were big, but added together, they made a noticeable difference.

Couple of things that were impressed upon me today-

Don't stand in the middle of a mud puddle if you're going to be ham fisted while loading ammo into your mags.

Don't forget your sling. When you need both hands, the ground is muddy and no benches are around, you'll figure out quickly just how valuable a sling is.

If you're going to take your 1911 out to test fire it, don't leave the ammo at home

Still need to fire the Big Smith with good ammo to find out how it groups, but it shoots consistent enough with milsurp that I can easily hit pieces of clay pigeons out to a hundred yards
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
The CTR stock, particularly with the Enhanced Recoil Pad added, is much more comfortable than the M4 style stock. But my cheek is half on the stock and half on the RE tube. With each shot, it felt like there was a little sting, just enough to be annoying. I wanted a stock with a more comfortable cheekweld. As much as I like the UBR, it's expensive and heavy. The MOE rifle stock would require swapping out the RE and adding either doing something clever with the buffer & spring or adding a spacer.

The MOE Fixed Carbine Stock however, is another story. It has a full length cheekweld and simply clamps to the carbine RE and it looked like I could swap the Enhanced Recoil Pad over. It's also cheap. I found one at the LGS my wife gave me a gift certificate for and bought one in FDE. Off came the CTR to go back on my AR carbine and on went the fixed carbine stock. Installation is as easy as it gets. It comes with two caps, one for a standard RE plate, the other for the ASAP. Slide on the cap you need, then the stock, pushing everything as far forward as you can. Install and tighten the cross screw and viola'! Done!

Problem is, the fixed carbine stock has a really short length of pull. I pulled it as back as far as I could but with the first shot, the whole assembly will slip forward again. The second problem is the fixed carbine stock uses a different type of buttplate and the Enhanced Recoil pad won't fit. Contour looks to be a bit different and the hole spacing is changed. I like Magpul gear I have to ask- What were they thinking? It would make more sense to make the recoil pads the same.

I went to the hardware store and bought a length of 3/4 PVC tubing and cut it just long enough to fill the space between the stock cap and the end plate. I made a split in the tube so I could stretch it over the RE and slide it all the way up to the end plate. I fitted it so there was just enough room to slide the cross screw into place. The spacer was given a rough contour job to match the cap. I didn't take into account the fact that the threads of the milspec RE are a little larger in diameter than the tube, so when the finished spacer was slid into place, it stood a little proud. That's okay, the charging handle clears it and it gets the job. I hit the spacer with a bit of paint so it would match. I didn't take any photos while I was fabbing the spacer, but here it is painted and installed.


The LOP is still shorter than I'd like, but the cheekweld is much improved. I'm going to look for a generic recoil pad to fit to the stock which will soften the recoil more and hopefully increase the LOP enough. If not, I'll make a longer spacer and cut a groove in the RE for the cross screw.

As it turns out, the painting didn't stop with the spacer. First, I painted all the black parts with Krylon Khaki, then got two darker shades and added them. The idea for the paint job came from the wolf. Wolves are stealthy and hard to spot when they are hiding. Their coloration is very pale underneath and darker on top. That's what I went with. I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I'm no painter and at some point, you have to just stop and let the paint dry. Still, I really like how it came out. The bottom is very light and as the rifled is rolled to it's side, then to the top, it looks like a shadow is making it darker.



Not your usual camo job, but I think it'll work and it's certainly better than all black
 

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Discussion Starter #24
A few changes to the Big Smith-

A thicker pad was added to the Magpul Fixed Length Carbine stock and a replacement MagPul K2 grip was installed. The angle of the K2 is more comfortable and the texture gives a more secure grip. After a long time saving up my pennies and searching, a good deal on a Lancer carbon fiber free float tube was found and I had it installed. Haven't shot it with the new handguards yet, but if all works out, I will in a couple of days. I'm hoping to see some good groups


I also picked up a couple of MagPul windowed 25 round magazines for a price I couldn't pass up. Almost makes me feel dirty, peeking in the window at all that 30 caliber goodness.

An Aero Precision scope mount, G trigger and sling are in the works. The Big Smith was a solid rifle out of the box, but needed a few changes, like replacing the heavy muzzle device and gas block with lighter parts and has only gotten better.

I like it!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
We've had the Big Smith out a few times but haven't put too many rounds through it with the new handguards yet, but we're seeing tighter groups. I like the extra length over the Magpul middies. I like polymer and carbon fiber handguards much better than aluminum handguards. I think the Lancer carbon fiber free float tube was worth the money
 

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MistWolf,
What brand & type of muzzle brake is on this? I see you've switched it out a time or two during your rifle evolving thru time.
This muzzle brake intrigues me a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
That is a Battlecomp BABC. It works great but it's price isn't for the faint-hearted, with a retail price of over $200. I have to admit up front I didn't pay for it. Captain Nick sent it to me while he was still part of Battlecomp, to make up for being unable to deliver one in a LH thread for my FAL. But it does a terrific job of keeping the muzzle down and recoil between shots is smoother and more controllable. I've had it on the Big Smith since removing the factory boat anchor and it's staying right where it is
 

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I would strip it down and clean it and oil it. Polish the feed ramp and look closely at the extractor. Anything else I would do warranty / take it to your gunsmith. Constant gun jamming is a dangerous situation possibly.
 

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My reach out and......

I really wasn't looking for a .308 but, a good friend at a LGS showed this to me when I was picking up another firearm. It was brand new with a slight blemish on the gas block. He priced it to me at below distributor cost so, it's mine.

I added an Osprey 3x9 40mm on a Nikon P series mount, UTG Quad-rail, bi-pod, Fortus Skelton grip, Velocity 3# trigger group, Magpul: MS4, Pictinney sling mount and, 6 position stock.

image.jpeg

Great shooting rifle that is a consistent 10/10 9" steel gong at 300 yards.
 
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