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Snowman Crossing
Dec 4, 2009



I like pre-Freedom Group Remington 870s. I have one that I like a lot. It's just a joy to shoot. It's got orange Magpul furniture that reduces felt recoil to nearly nothing, and the action is worn smooth by decades of exploding pumpkins.



But I don't love bead sights. Now, I could get a barrel with rifle sights, but what I really want is a rail on the receiver so I can gently caress around with dots and such.

Remington makes an 870 with a pre-drilled receiver but it just wouldn't be the same

So I did the only sensible thing and decided to drill and tap the receiver myself

I was faced with a few problems:
1) I don't know how to drill and tap poo poo
2) I don't have any of the equipment

The Internet was able to help me out with (1). And (2) is a simple matter of putting yourself in the proper frame of mind

I bought a Mesa Tactical 5-inch aluminum rail section ($35). I know you can drill tap holes by hand, but I've never been a steady hand with a drill so I thought it was high time to get myself a small hobbyist drill press ($70). I also needed bought a tap and die kit ($200) and also some cutting fluid ($13) because you can never have too many different types of fluids in your garage. Guess what? There are a billion different types of size and thread pitch out there. I e-mailed Mesa Tactical and was able to find out the screws for the rail were 6-48, which of course did not come with my kit. So I went to Amazon and got the right tap ($7).

When my drill press showed up in the mail I assembled it and found out that the dimensions were just all wrong for my work bench. There was just no good place for it to sit, let alone mount (which I wanted to do anyway). Obviously I would need to build a table. So I fired up google Sketchup and mocked up a design for a drill press table. I had to buy a Jig Saw for some of the cuts ($100), a couple of bar clamps ($50) and some other miscellaneous hardware such as nuts and bolts, screws, and leveler feet ($45), but it really did turn out pretty nice.



Alright, let's get to work! The first step to working with any gun, as we all know, is to take it the gently caress apart.



I left the magazine tube in the receiver because it wasn't getting in the way. Then I clamped my receiver down onto the drill press deck. I made sure it was perfectly level. Then I set the aluminum rail section on top and make sure it was level and centered by using sophisticated tools such as a level and a ruler. When the rail was properly positioned, I taped the fucker down, checking again to make sure it hadn't shifted during taping.



With the rail acting as a guide for where I would need to drill, I used a center punch to dimple the receiver in 4 places.



I consulted some online charts to find the correct drill size for a 6-48 tap. Luckily, I had a set of hardened tungsten drill bits that are designed to cut metals, and one of them was the correct size. I used calipers to determine the required depth and set the drill stop accordingly (holy poo poo what a useful thing!). I squirted some Tap Magic on the receiver and got down and dirty!



It was very quick and painless to drill all 4 holes. Amazing what you can do with the right tools for the job.



Okay, this was the moment of truth. The weird little wingy thing on the right is the tap wrench. There is a chuck that locks into it, and my specialized tap is locked into the chuck. The tap is what I have to screw into the holes I just drilled to create the threading.



I set to it and was rewarded when the tap bit into the hole. There was some resistance as it cut the threads, but not so much resistance that it might break the tap.



This is a process that does not reward impatience. It took quite a bit of time to get all four holes tapped. I backed the tap out probably 3-4 times per hole as I was threading, because the resistance got harder than I would like, but after each time backing it out and adding more cutting fluid, the tap would move easier again. Eventually all four were done.



The rail went on without a hitch. The screws went in easy and held firmly. I love it when a plan comes together.



Looking good babe! Now where did I put that spare red dot?





Snowman Crossing fucked around with this message at 22:02 on Oct 7, 2016

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Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Ya dun good.

Final Blog Entry
Jun 23, 2006

"Love us with money or we'll hate you with hammers!"

That owns and now I want one. Need to unload this Maverick 88 in the back of my safe on some rube and get a decent shotty.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Good job. If you do this in the future you can make tapping easier by getting a tap wrench that has a divot in the receiver for a drill press tap guide. You chuck the guide into the press, push it into the divot on the tap handle, and that let's you use the press to keep the tap handle aligned right.

Snowman Crossing
Dec 4, 2009



Parts Kit posted:

Good job. If you do this in the future you can make tapping easier by getting a tap wrench that has a divot in the receiver for a drill press tap guide. You chuck the guide into the press, push it into the divot on the tap handle, and that let's you use the press to keep the tap handle aligned right.

That sounds pretty useful- thanks for showing me.

Jymmybob
Jun 26, 2000



Grimey Drawer

Nice, microdots are awesome on shotguns and we're orange/black magpul bros

GEEKABALL
May 30, 2011

Throw out your hands!!
Stick out your tush!!
Hands on your hips
Give them a push!!


Fun Shoe

quote:



I am very impressed that the color of the lens coating matches the furniture. Voted 5.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


Jymmybob posted:

Nice, microdots are awesome on shotguns



I rather like mine on a shotgun for anything that doesn't involve wing shooting.

stgdz
Nov 3, 2006

158 grains of smiley powered justice

Surprised no jb weld was used.

Akula Raskolnikova
May 12, 2013


Snowman Crossing posted:

I backed the tap out probably 3-4 times per hole as I was threading, because the resistance got harder than I would like, but after each time backing it out and adding more cutting fluid, the tap would move easier again. Eventually all four were done.


As you cut threads with a tap, the chip being cut off will eventually start butting up against the other flute on the tap, which is the resistance you felt. If you just power through, you'll end up breaking a tap, especially a 6. A good rule of thumb is to feed in a half turn, back out a quarter. The smaller taps are a lot more sensitive, so it's better to be safe than sorry, especially when you can't afford to just replace whatever you're tapping.

Uncle Caveman
Jun 16, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.


That looks great and this thread had motivated me to finally d&t my 870P for the Trijicon ghost rings I've had in a drawer for years.

About the saddest thing I ever witnessed on the job was a guy chuck a tap into a power drill and just go to town.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



I've seen a guy do that when threading plexi and just threading hole after hole after hole with no break. And by "threading" I m mean "melting a useless mess by the last few." Taps are for patient people. Though some larger taps can be run in a slow reversible drill press with a ton of cutting/cooling fluid if the material is soft enough.

Not Nipsy Russell
Oct 6, 2004

Failure is always an option.


I've never used a tap and die. How do you keep the tap straight in the hole?

NerdyMcNerdNerd
Aug 3, 2004

Lol.i halbve already saod i inferno circstances wanttpgback


I normally prefer wood on shotguns, but that is some slick looking plastic.

Congrats on your drill press, the one power tool I know how to use. My favorite thing about them is watching people try to drill poo poo without securing it.

Ygolonac
Nov 26, 2007

pre:
*************
CLUTCH  NIXON
*************

The Hero We Need


Not Nipsy Russell posted:

I've never used a tap and die. How do you keep the tap straight in the hole?

The tapered tip of the tap (tttthphphbh) will sit down in your hole and the cutting edges will sit level - especially if your surface is level. It's going to want to go the path of least resistance - generally, it won't start digging into one side more than the other unless your material is incredibly soft or something is totally hosed (like using a power drill goddamn). And once you have a thread started, it'll just screw itself in and follow the cutting end all the way down. (Based on my junior high school metal shop experience, like 35 years ago goddamn.)

Consider it a self-tapping screw going into a pilot hole (sorry, one Quagmire per post).

AceMcSquelch
Feb 16, 2009


Uncle Caveman posted:


About the saddest thing I ever witnessed on the job was a guy chuck a tap into a power drill and just go to town.

I worked for an livestock feed company where we had a major equipment failure one night. Since taps were cheaper than downtime, we chucked them into drills and rebuilt the damned pellet cooler over an 8 hour period. It was a 21 hour day for me...

Snowman Crossing
Dec 4, 2009



Akula Raskolnikova posted:

As you cut threads with a tap, the chip being cut off will eventually start butting up against the other flute on the tap, which is the resistance you felt. If you just power through, you'll end up breaking a tap, especially a 6. A good rule of thumb is to feed in a half turn, back out a quarter. The smaller taps are a lot more sensitive, so it's better to be safe than sorry, especially when you can't afford to just replace whatever you're tapping.

Makes sense, thanks for the explanation. Glad I didn't try to rush this one.

Uncle Caveman posted:

That looks great and this thread had motivated me to finally d&t my 870P for the Trijicon ghost rings I've had in a drawer for years.

H*ck yeah!

Akula Raskolnikova
May 12, 2013


Not Nipsy Russell posted:

I've never used a tap and die. How do you keep the tap straight in the hole?

Approximately straight is pretty easy, you just need to be careful and try to line it up. The finer the thread the easier it is, as well. The end is tapered, but if you're tapping something to 48 threads per inch, the thread in contact is going to be at a pretty shallow angle, since it is only advancing 1/48th of an inch per thread. The more coarse the thread, to something like 20 or 12 threads per inch, will have a more extreme angle that's going to lend to a slight cant on the tap. Mostly what will happen is that you'll make it a quarter or half of an inch into a big hole, and then you won't be able to advance any farther because instead of trying to tap the hole, you're trying to drill a new hole.

So basically, you do it very carefully. Additionally, you can use a jig to keep it straight, or a hardened steel block with a hole drilled in it to keep it level, but that's mostly for if you are going to be doing it regularly.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Not Nipsy Russell posted:

I've never used a tap and die. How do you keep the tap straight in the hole?
Easiest way is the drill press thing I posted.

Paper Diamonds
Sep 2, 2011


Snowman Crossing posted:

But I don't love bead sights. Now, I could get a barrel with rifle sights, but what I really want is a rail on the receiver so I can gently caress around with dots and such.

I went through the same chain of thought very recently with my Mossy 500. Luckily it's the receiver already is ready to mount. I think this thread just pushed me into actually doing it.

Would say, a primary arms red dot, handle slug recoil without slowly battering itself apart?

MohawkSatan
Dec 20, 2008

by Cyrano4747


Well done Snowman Crossing. Countersink the holes next time, and someone might even mistake you for a machinist.

froward
Jun 2, 2014


Parts Kit posted:

Good job. If you do this in the future you can make tapping easier by getting a tap wrench that has a divot in the receiver for a drill press tap guide. You chuck the guide into the press, push it into the divot on the tap handle, and that let's you use the press to keep the tap handle aligned right.

I did not know that's what the divot in the top of my tap is for. Thank you, friend.

Tony Doughnuts
Aug 12, 2016

There are, in fact, still motherfuckers who gotta ice skate up hill


There are multiple kinds of taps. You can buy fluted (look like a drill bit) taps for use in your drill press that are faster and they make taps that have a flat bottom and are not tapered for tapping blind holes. Meaning that the tap will cut threads all the way to the bottom of the hole with no gap. The standard tap set you have is mostly for through tapping. Meaning a hole you can see out the other end. But as the others have said always cut the chip when tapping and keep it slow with even pressure. If you feel any resistance at all back out half a turn. If you break a tap off of whatever youre tapping youre basically hosed.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Butch Cassidy posted:

I've seen a guy do that when threading plexi and just threading hole after hole after hole with no break. And by "threading" I m mean "melting a useless mess by the last few." Taps are for patient people. Though some larger taps can be run in a slow reversible drill press with a ton of cutting/cooling fluid if the material is soft enough.
Power tapping is a thing you can do, but IIRC it's one of those things where you can quickly gently caress everything sideways if you don't know exactly what you are doing.

froward posted:

I did not know that's what the divot in the top of my tap is for. Thank you, friend.
Yeah I learned that in an intro machine shop class years ago and I was "You can do that?!"

penus penus penus
Nov 8, 2014

by piss__donald


Tony Doughnuts posted:

There are multiple kinds of taps. You can buy fluted (look like a drill bit) taps for use in your drill press that are faster and they make taps that have a flat bottom and are not tapered for tapping blind holes. Meaning that the tap will cut threads all the way to the bottom of the hole with no gap. The standard tap set you have is mostly for through tapping. Meaning a hole you can see out the other end. But as the others have said always cut the chip when tapping and keep it slow with even pressure. If you feel any resistance at all back out half a turn. If you break a tap off of whatever youre tapping youre basically hosed.

Lol I did this on my motorcycle with a cheap rear end tap. It got stuck somehow (felt like a crossthreaded bolt). I broke out a wrench to get it out and I snapped it right off.

I ended up drilling through that with a hand drill then helicoiling it

It took 3 hours... I broke so many god drat drill bits.

On that note I imagine if you gently caress up a tiny hole in something as meaty as a receiver you could just helicoil it as well.

Doctor Grape Ape
Aug 26, 2005

Dammit Doc, I just bought this for you 3 months ago. Try and keep it around for a bit longer this time.


Wanna know when you're really, really hosed? When your EZ-out bit shatters in the already broken off rusty manifold stud you were trying to remove. I think poo poo like that is why I've moved to guns for my primary hobby.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



I hate helicoils with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

Tony Doughnuts
Aug 12, 2016

There are, in fact, still motherfuckers who gotta ice skate up hill


I've never had a helicoil work. Not once. Not in brass, steel, plastic, or anything else. It always either breaks, doesn't bite, or chews the material.

Doctor Grape Ape
Aug 26, 2005

Dammit Doc, I just bought this for you 3 months ago. Try and keep it around for a bit longer this time.


Time-Sert 4 lyfe. Luckily I've only ever had to use one.

Tony Doughnuts
Aug 12, 2016

There are, in fact, still motherfuckers who gotta ice skate up hill


Those do seem nice except I work mostly with hydraulics so those would just create another leakage path. I doubt they're rated for a few thousand psi push on them.

Snowman Crossing
Dec 4, 2009



Very happy, took this to the DNR range with some remington 2 3/4" rifled slugs. It only took like 5 shots to get it zeroed. It groups about as well as you expect at 50 yards with sluggers out of a smooth cylinder bore. I love how the bore is so big that when you group enough shots there's just a softball sized hole out of the middle of a target

Tony Doughnuts
Aug 12, 2016

There are, in fact, still motherfuckers who gotta ice skate up hill


Awesome! What ammo did you use?
I can't read.

Are you planning on getting a cantilever rifled barrel for it? Or is that not an option?

Snowman Crossing
Dec 4, 2009



Tony Doughnuts posted:

Awesome! What ammo did you use?
I can't read.

Are you planning on getting a cantilever rifled barrel for it? Or is that not an option?

Nah, I think I'll keep it smooth bore for my purposes.

Tony Doughnuts
Aug 12, 2016

There are, in fact, still motherfuckers who gotta ice skate up hill


Fair enough. Can't wait to see your next project dude!

DeesGrandpa
Oct 21, 2009





Orange scattergats best scattergats

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Lathespin.gif
May 19, 2005


Pillbug

This is a good thread

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