The Waiting Affair

posted on February 12, 2009
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I received an e-mail earlier this week from the U.N.C.L.E. Gun guru (my term of endearment for Brad) informing me the flat, aluminum grips had arrived from the machinist (he also offers rounded grips) for inspection and was pleased with how they turned out. Brad's will have his hands full for the next several weeks with various forms of polishing and work involved in preparing them for finishing.

Such occasional updates from have served as an extremely welcome distraction throughout the course of this past year. Yes, the waiting game has been a long one, but I'm used to it. My dealings with the all but lethargic NFA Branch of the BATF have taught me the value of patience. Still, it's comforting to know things are progressing nicely and that the end is near.

On a slightly different note, the same can be said on my end. I'm close to obtaining aluminum duplicates of the final three parts needed to complete the carbine phase of my functional U.N.C.L.E. Special: the barrel handguard, suppressor and stock (Brad graciously supplied me with plastic loaners, which I'll soon be sending off to my gunsmith).

The handguard is the fluted, semi-cylindrical piece that slips over the barrel and is held in place by a pair of Allen-head set screws. It's typically placed about an inch or so in front of the barrel block. And even though the piece serves primarily as decoration, the fact remains it does add a peculiar aesthetic the carbine's overall dynamic (that's editorial jargon for looking bad ###)! Besides requiring a larger inner diameter to slide over the barrel, I suspect the barrel will need to have two shallow divots, or flats milled to for use with the set screws in order to keep the handguard from shifting under recoil.

Regarding the suppressor, my gunsmith plans on machining it with the same threaded skirt arrangement he made for the flash hider. The end result will function like a run-of-the-mill dummy suppressor.

Finally, Steve L'Italien recently clued me in on some incomplete stock kits he recently unearthed and offered to send them to me—including a completed one for my gunsmith to use as a pattern with regard to duplicating the missing components. The offer was too good to pass up. I get a stock spare out of the deal (spare parts are always a good thing) and, Steve gets some cash along with an estimate to complete the remaining kits. It's a winning deal all the way around.

Hmm…now if I can only find out the origin of the stock's Remington-marked butt plate.

For those brave enough to delve deeper into the mind of Bob Boyd, visit Boyd's Blog fan page on Facebook, or subscribe to its Twitter feed.


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