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The Parts, Parts Who's Got The Parts Affair

The Parts, Parts Who's Got The Parts Affair

My friend John sent me to Brad Ferguson's website. Other P38 forum members recommended it as well, but since he dealt primarily with Airsoft, blank-firing and non-firing variants of the U.N.C.L.E. Special I dismissed it during my initial visit. However, I soon discovered Brad's reputation for producing the most detailed and highest quality replicas of the U.N.C.L.E. Special currently available—a byproduct undoubtedly due to his other profession as a jeweler. I also learned of a few instances where he was responsible for organizing a small production of carbine kits with metal parts—including grips.

Sadly I was too late to purchase a set of aluminum grips; however during one of several phone conversations he told me his plastic grips were durable enough to withstand live ammo. I decided to give them a try and yes, they held up for several hundred rounds (the same can be said for Brad's plastic scope mounts). Despite being plastic, they should provide a suitable platform for someone wanting a live-ammo capable pistol variant of the U.N.C.L.E. Special—provided patrons follow the instructions and don't over tighten the grip screw during installation.

The monolithic grip used on the U.N.C.L.E. Special, such as the one shown above, featured two dovetails, one for attaching a scope and the other accepted a telescoping stock.

The plastic would undoubtedly crack if used in conjunction with a stock on a National Firearms Act (NFA) approved, short barreled rifle (SBR). Originally I intended to have my gunsmith make a pair out of aluminum using them as a pattern. However, they're also available from Larry Green Productions. (But plan to have them anodized, because the paint doesn't hold up to constant handling).

Given its barrel length of less than 16 inches and the ability to accept a shoulder stock, making a fully functional U.N.C.L.E. Special requires registering it as a short-barreled rifle and paying a $200 stamp tax.

 

As with John, Brad is more than just a source for parts—more than a friend—he's a kindred spirit, fueled by the same desire for a functional variant of the U.N.C.L.E. Special. Our friendship is symbiotic: we both have something the other needs: he has parts/specs cast from the original props from the show, while I offer knowledge regarding gunsmithing and the NFA registration process (having successfully registered several SBRs). Thanks to a common goal I now had a source for both vital parts and specs from Brad's U.N.C.L.E. Specials, and was one step closer to accomplishing my—correction—our goal.(Images courtesy of Larry Green)

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