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Av8er

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  • Location
    Democratic Peoples Republic of NY
  • Interests
    Aviation, WWII, Airborne, Firearms
  1. A number of S&W Model 15’s with 4” barrels are available on Gunbroker.com, but for whatever reason they are not cheap. There is even one with USAF markings currently on auction. https://www.gunbroker.com/item/873808382
  2. Sad to hear that Beretta has changed the markings on their newer M9’s for civilian sales. I picked up their 25th anniversary M9 back in 2011 as a present for my son when he returned from his first Afghan tour and was very pleased with how it was marked. As far as a M1911A1, it appears that the best value today are the ones being sold by the CMP if you can get on their lottery list. The reviews I have read on those show that the one being received are in better condition than the buyers expected. A lot of mixed parts due to Arsenal reconditioning, but just heard from one guy who got a late WWII Ithaca that was all matching Ithaca parts and no arsenal reconditioning markings.
  3. Just a few quick notes on building a retro rifle. There are several dealers specializing in providing parts for retro rifle builds as it has become a popular hobby in recent years. A lot of the available parts are reproduction, so buyer beware, you get what you pay for. Also, remember that the A2 receiver is different than the The earlier M16 it has reinforced areas added to the rear strap behind the charging handle and to the front pivot pin which changes the profile. To build a true retro rifle you are going to need an earlier M16 style receiver which are not as common, harder to find, and more expensive. Also, remember that the handguard slip ring has a different profile, the current A2 slip ring is more delta shaped, while the earlier style is straight. The earlier, thinner, “pencil barrel,” is a 20” barrel with a 1-12 twist for 55gr bullets. Barrels are available and can be found with the front sight base installed, which means that it will already have a triangular handguard mount behind the front sight base. The A2 and later have a round handguard mount. Check out the AR15.COM website threads for more information on retro builds. For retro parts and receivers go to; NODAK SPUD, Brownells, and AR15sport as primary sources. AR15.COM posters will also recommend sources for parts. One note, Brownells sells great AR15 specific gunsmithing parts to make the build much easier, but they aren’t cheap and probably don’t make sense to purchase for a single build. Good luck. Finally, I have a stripped slab side upper, I think it is a M16 upper and not a commercial AR15 upper that has a different from pivot hole. I need to check to see for sure, but I would be willing to sell it to you if you are interested, they are getting hard to find.
  4. Correct. There was no shell deflector on any M16 upper before the M16A2, the shell deflector came with the M16A2 and every version since, through the M16A4 and M4 variants. The same goes for the early issue short versions of the M16 such as the GAU-5. I never saw a Air Force issue GAU-5 with a forward assist through the late 1980’s. Also, I may have slightly misspoke in my previous post when I referred to the M16A1. Technically, a M16A1 refers to the upgrades that included the “fence” around the magazine release button and a forward assist. Since later issue Air Force M16’s may have had a “fence,” but we’re still slab sided, with no forward assist, they are technically not M16A1’s. Here is a good reference link on the M16 lineage: http://pullig.dyndns.org/retroblackrifle/ModGde/RflGde/CmpGdeRfl.html
  5. Retired Air Force aviator gun nut here. Handguns for both Security Forces and aircrews before the M9 Beretta were Smith&Wesson Model 15. All Air Force issue M16’s I saw in the 1970’s and 1980’s were slab side (without forward assist) M16A1’s with triangular handguards and either birdcage or three prong flash suppressors. I suspect that butt stocks were either earlier solid and/or later trap door depending upon date of issue. Air Force did not seem big on upgrading earlier issue rifles.
  6. The Denix Garand is a decent representation and used in large numbers by reenactors in Europe where dewat Garands are extremely expensive. The Denix version metal parts are generally just painted black and the wood is not walnut. I have reworked several of them to appear more realistic. It is not hard to do but can be time consuming. I recommend restaining the wood with a walnut stain and treating all metal parts by masking and airbrushing ’Duracoat’ Parker grey color and/or Parker Green for the receiver, the gas cylinder should be flat black. Make sure you remove any and all oil with degreaser before your Duracoat treatment. A Denix Garand so treated will look like like a real Garand up to a few feet away when you add a good quality canvas or leather sling.
  7. Please note since you are planning on using your parachute for a F-106 seat display. I looked at my 1980 copy of the F-106 flight manual. There is NO reference to the gold key or zero delay lanyard during preflight. The manual references to a preflight attachment of the “seat parachute lanyard” (which is attached to the seat). There is also no reference to removing the zero delay snap hook passing 10000 feet as in a standard BA-22 as would be used in a T-37 or T-38. This is all consistent with the links to photos of the parachute assembly from the F-106 in Dover. Make sure you do some further research. It looks like the photos of the parachute from Dover are your best bet if you still wish to put your chute into a F-106 configuration. I’m sure it has everything to do with the explosive deployment of the parachute, since the F-106 seat was one of the first zero-zero seats in use.
  8. Yes, that’s it. I bought one from them previously for a restoration I did.
  9. The ‘T’ or ‘blast handle’ ripcord is used in different configurations and has not been used in ejection seat aircraft since the 1960’s when it was used in at least the F-105 and F-106. Since then all ejection seat equipped aircraft utilizing the BA-22 use the cloverleaf ripcord handle that you have with your harness. As has been said, you are missing the red anodized snap clip for the zero delay lanyard. You can get a red anodized snap clip from Para-Gear, but they are not cheap. You are fortunate that your ripcord pocket also has the stowage ring sewn on for stowing the snap clip above 10000 feet (I am actually searching for one of those for a restoration I am doing). The ‘T’ or blast handle was (is?) typically used on bailout rigs for transport aircraft. That is what we had on the parachutes aboard the KC-135 back in the 1980’s. The T-37, T-38, and A-37 all used the BA-22 with the cloverleaf ripcord handle that you have (personal experience). The T-38 ejection seats currently in use no longer use the BA-22, they have been converted to a seat with an integrally installed parachute system. The crew utilizes a personal harness like used on ACES and Martin Baker seats and just clips in to the seat installed parachute risers.
  10. You will likely get a reply from ‘Mohawk ALSE.’ He was kind enough to email some PDFs of BA-22 manual sections in the past. In the meantime, you can try unscrewing the ripcord sheathing/housing connector from the F-1B to see if you can get the cable to release from the F-1B box. If you can get the cable released, then it is just a matter of using the housing/sheathing already on the harness, rethreading the cable through the ripcord sheathing/housing. Since I assume you are using this for display purposes there would be no reason to reattach the cable to the F-1B. Just mount the F-1B in it’s pocket and thread on the housing/sheathing connector already mounted on the harness. I did a similar thing with an F-1B that I mounted, but it did not have the cable and knob assembly. I used one off another another auto-altitude actuator assembly that I had. If this doesn’t work for you, you can just mount the ripcord housing that comes with your F-1B, and remove the housing that is already attached to your harness. It is only sewn with heavy duty thread that you can purchase through Para-Gear.
  11. Nope, those are not Korean characters.
  12. I believe the first M193 ammunition in strippers clips and bandoleers was not issued until late 1967 or 1968. Prior to that all M193 ammunition was issued in 20 round cartons. I think the reference is Stantons book on Vietnam equipment, but Ill have to look to confirm it.
  13. The Dead Man’s Corner Museum in Normandy has one of the most extensive Airborne in Normandy collections in the world. It is a constantly expanding collection. A close examination of the Airborne used M1 helmets on display show very few with D-bales, and most of the D-bales have been repaired, normally by brazing. A surprising number of the Airborne D-Day helmets on display are standard issue welded square bales. Some have Airborne chinstraps with the liner snaps, but a number of them are just standard welded square bales with the normal factory issue chinstraps. This is consistent with the D-Day used Airborne helmets that I saw at every museum in Normandy. Most of the helmets are identified to the specific soldier who wore it on D-Day, many of them were KIA, so the helmets are battlefield pickups that did not see service through the other European campaigns.
  14. This Operation Varsity manifest was posted by the Troop Carrier Group on Facebook and I thought you might like to see what I was referring to as far as colors being changed by Operation. It shows that during Operation Varsity ammunition cargo loads were coded as yellow.
  15. Here is the link on Rigger Depot regarding camouflage canopies and their history. Other pages on the website detail the transitions on the harnesses and pack trays. A lot of fascinating information, we owe him kudos for his detailed research. https://www.theriggerdepot.com/camo-parachutes.html
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