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Old October 8, 2010, 10:24 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: February 6, 2009
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 313
Need Some Help to Complete a Project -Please!

Several years ago, I bought a Norinco ATD (Browning .22 Auto copy) in excellent overall shape except for a broken "finger" on its extractor for $35.

I bought the Browning replacement part from Brownell's and it dropped in with next-to-no fitting required. The little rifle functioned fine and turned out to be surprisingly accurate and fun to use. Because of that and the handiness of its take-down configuration it became one of my favorite "knock-around" rimfires.

(Minor Rant follows: Please excuse, but it's directly related to my current problem.)

As my eyesight has deteriorated with advancing age, I decided to make some sight upgrades that had worked out well for me on my other woods bumming companions. I had the receiver drilled and tapped for a Lyman 66 that I had and the stock open rear replaced with a Marble's folder. I'd also asked the gunsmith to install a FO front.

This fellow (who will remain nameless for reasons that'll become obvious) advertises himself as a Trinidad program grad and had a good rep locally.

Over six months later, I finally get a call to come and get my rifle. Everything seems to be in order (shame on me for not checking more thoroughly before I accepted delivery!) except the front sight hasn't been replaced. I'm told that this is because the dovetail is grossly oversized (it is, at a whopping 0.426") but that he'd test fired it and it worked fine with the stock one so he didn't think it was worth the time and expense it'd take to work out a replacement. I took him at his word, and paid the $125 and change he charged me for what he had done.

It was several weeks before I could get to the range with the idea of resetting the 'zero' for my ammo and eyes. It wasn't a pleasant experience.

Not only did it now refuse to feed more than a couple of rds without jamming, but the POI was from 4 to 6" high at 50 yds with the rear sight bottomed-out and several different brands of ammo. "Test-fired", my rear end!

I (belatedly, I know) field stripped it to see if I could figure out what was causing the feeding problems and discovered that the cartridge stop was missing! I put it back together and went home in a semi-major funk.

The following Monday I called the "gunsmith" and told him what I'd found. He absolutely (and very indignantly) insisted that he HAD tested it, it functioned fine, shot fine and that I must have lost the part after it left his shop, therefore I must be "full of s--t and it's not my problem".

Folks, I swear that I did not remove that trigger group until that abortive range trip. I'm no expert, but the missing part was immediately obvious when I finally did. And there's no way that both the POI problem and the functional issues wouldn't have been immediately obvious to anyone if they'd actually tried to shoot it either.

It's strictly a "He says/I say" situation, so naming him here would resolve nothing while making me look like a possible jerk. But I really want to get this little project completed and could sure use some input on how best to go about getting that FO front on there, preferrably with the least further outlay of cash.

I ordered a replacement cartridge stop from Numrich, which should restore the functioning to its former reliability.

The best I've been able to come up with so far for a possible front sight fix is to dress-down the stock front to more or less match the barrel contour put something like a Williams "Shorty" ramp over it by drilling and tapping the remainder for the screw. Not a pretty or elegant solution perhaps, but almost certainly a lot less work than trying to cobble-up my own FO blade from scrap and definitely a bunch less expensive than custom fabrication by a pro.

What I'm not at all sure of is just how feasible that might be. My barrel is only 0.5765" near the muzzle and I have no idea of how well the Williams ramp's dimensions, especially the radius, might match up with it. If there's anyone out there who has used these and is willing to give me some data and/or possible alternatives, I'd be very much obliged to them!
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