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  #1  
Old 06-26-2017, 1:56 PM
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Default Ruger MkIII etc 80% builds

Has anyone done an 80% Ruger MkIII or similar? I see there are "barrel thread protectors" on eBay. Other parts are easy enough to find.
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Old 06-26-2017, 3:05 PM
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They are not difficult if you have a mill and know how to read drawings.
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Old 06-26-2017, 3:19 PM
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I have a (mini) mill and do a lot of drafting at work, although it isn't for machining stuff.

I found blueprints on Weaponeer that I hope are accurate.

I wonder how long unanodized aluminum will last as the receiver.
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Old 06-26-2017, 3:23 PM
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I wonder how long unanodized aluminum will last as the receiver.
I would anodize it.
The spring on the MK1/2/3 bolts tears up receivers.
Even steel receivers show wear from the spring.
The bolt will run smoother on the harder anodized finish.
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Old 06-26-2017, 6:48 PM
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I have one 90% built, only have the barrel left to do. Well I have only had the barrel left to do for two years. If you have a decent lathe you can do it from scratch, I did. Mine is Basicly a lite, aluminum tube steel barrel, well will be a steel barrel.
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Old 06-26-2017, 7:37 PM
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I have one 90% built, only have the barrel left to do. Well I have only had the barrel left to do for two years. If you have a decent lathe you can do it from scratch, I did. Mine is Basicly a lite, aluminum tube steel barrel, well will be a steel barrel.
The barrel should be the FIRST thing you do.
This is because everything else times off of the barrel's feedramp including the length to the cutout where the magazine and lug stick up into the tube.

If you cut out all the ports on the tube, how do you plan to TIME the barrel without changing the length of the barrel that sticks into the tube?
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Old 06-26-2017, 8:10 PM
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I inherited a POS China 7x12 lathe a few years ago, and didn't realize quite how bad it was until I took a machine shop class at my local CC. The China mini mill isn't quite as bad in comparison (although it's obviously a far cry from a Bridgeport). I just put a Kurt D40 on it, I wish I could find a smaller vise that's not a POS but they don't seem to exist.
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Old 06-27-2017, 2:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
The barrel should be the FIRST thing you do.
This is because everything else times off of the barrel's feedramp including the length to the cutout where the magazine and lug stick up into the tube.

If you cut out all the ports on the tube, how do you plan to TIME the barrel without changing the length of the barrel that sticks into the tube?
Easy it's a lite copy, the barrel will insert from the rear then be tightneed down with a barrel nut, I will put an index pin later. Look up the mk3 lite, it's not like a normal ruger.
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Old 06-27-2017, 3:52 PM
Nelson_2016 Nelson_2016 is offline
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I can post some pictures and rough "instructions" on how to make a Ruger Mark 2/3, if anyone is interested.

I think Matrix Precision might be selling threaded aluminum tubes that are the proper dimensions.
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Old 06-28-2017, 1:59 PM
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I'd appreciate instructions.

cas0914, where do you get a lite barrel?
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  #11  
Old 06-28-2017, 6:53 PM
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I'd appreciate instructions.

cas0914, where do you get a lite barrel?
I use a take off 10 22 barrel, and turn it it down to 1/2 inch diameter, then braze on a larger section in the back to machine to what I need, then thead the front. That's the plan any how.

The issue with the accuracy of the lites seems to be heat build up with the barrel being enclosed. I bored the body with a 1/2 hole and plan on using heat sink grease on assembly so the body can help dissapate heat.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2017, 6:57 PM
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Part 1



I made my Ruger Mark 3 receiver from a piece of ¾” schedule 80 aluminum 6061-T6 alloy pipe.

The 1.050” OD of the pipe is turned down to 1.00” – 0.004”, and the 0.742” ID of the pipe is bored out to 0.750” + 0.004”, on a lathe.

One end of the pipe is then counter-bored to 0.765” ID, to a depth of 0.650”, and this end is then tapped 13/16”-20 for the barrel. The piece is then parted off and trimmed to a length of 5.300” + 0.005”.

Once you get the receiver blank finished on the lathe (or if you got one from Matrix Precision or wherever), it's ready for milling operations.

Next you want to screw the barrel into the receiver blank hand tight (make sure there are no burrs on the receiver blank before you do this).

I hold the blank in a small milling vise using 1/8” thick plastic (cpvc) pads cut from a large sheet, to protect the surface.

The receiver blank will need to be held in the vise so that approximately 0.25” is above the top of the vise jaws. To do this, I’ve used two parallel bars as spacers and I’ve also used a Ruger factory rail as a spacer as shown in the picture.



Put the receiver blank and barrel assembly in the vise so that there is approximately ¾” of free and clear overhang on the left hand side. (This is necessary to allow enough room to drill the 5/16” through-hole for the bolt stop pin).



Next loosen the vise slightly and rotate the assembly clockwise (looking into the muzzle end of the barrel) until the front sight is about 20 degrees short of the “bottom dead center” position; i.e., the front sight should be at approximately the 5:00 to 5:30 position as shown below. This is fairly critical for proper barrel indexing during final assembly.

Once the assembly is in the proper position, tighten the vise. (If necessary, the barrel end of the receiver can always be sanded down later if proper indexing cannot be obtained, keeping in mind that each 0.001” of material removed corresponds to approximately 7 degrees of rotation).



Check to make sure that the receiver blank is level and square with respect to the milling machine’s axes. (The barrel is no longer needed and can be unscrewed and removed from the receiver blank).



Use an edge finder to find the left hand edge of the receiver blank. Set X = 0” at the edge.



The next step is to set the Y=0 reference point on the center line of the receiver blank.

Measure the diameter of the receiver blank for example with a digital caliper, and divide by two to get the radius, R. Locate the axis of the receiver blank by finding the diametral “edge” with the edge finder and then set Y = 0” at that “edge”. Move the table a distance R to bring the spindle directly over the axis of the receiver blank, and set Y = 0” at that point.



Using a small center drill bit, spot drill the bolt stop pin hole at X = 0.470”, Y =0”. (The center of the bolt stop pin hole will now become the X reference point, so set X = 0” at this point).



Spot drill the hole for the ejector at X = 1.813”, Y = 0”, then drill the through-hole for the bolt stop pin using a 5/16” drill bit (or better yet, use a slightly smaller drill bit and ream to final size), then drill the hole for the ejector using a 1/8” drill bit (this hole only goes through one side).



The receiver has three “flat” areas milled into the bottom of it. The first flat is located between the bolt stop pin hole and the ejector area, and is milled to a depth of 0.200”.

The contiguous second and third flat areas are located between the ejector area and the other end of the receiver, and they are milled to depths of 0.140” and 0.165”, respectively.

Using a 3/8” two-flute end mill, mill out the area between the coordinates X = 0.512” and X = 1.372”, to a depth of 0.200”. (Of course if you use a different size end mill the coordinates will change accordingly). I usually take about 0.050” per pass until I get to the last few cuts which will be 0.045” and 0.005” or so.



End of Part 1.
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  #13  
Old 06-29-2017, 6:20 AM
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Thanks. I'd appreciate the rest of it sometime.
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2017, 7:07 AM
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Part 2.

Next, mill out the area between X = 2.217” and X = 3.832” to a depth of 0.140”.



Next, mill the area between X = 3.338” and X = 3.832” (the “third” flat area) 0.025” deeper to a total depth of 0.165”.



The next step is to chamfer the edges on both sides of the ejector area using a 3/8” 60 degree chamfer end mill (e.g., Shars part # 416-3543).
Starting with the left side first, chuck the chamfer end mill and position the tip of the end mill (vertically) so it’s about 0.001” to 0.002” above the height of the flat area as shown.



The chamfer end mill will make contact with the edge at about X = 1.435”. Take about 0.010” per pass and make the last cut at about X = 1.495”.

Then do the same thing on the right side. In this case the chamfer end mill will make contact at about X = 2.130”, and the last cut will be at about X = 2.070”.

(BTW none of the machining of this receiver is very critical. If you're off a little bit it generally won't matter too much).



The next step is to cut the notch for the ejector locating tab. For this I used a 0.0625” two-flute carbide end mill. The notch is 0.1” in width, so the end mill will cut between Y = 0.019” and Y = -0.019”, and the X coordinates will extend from the open area on the left to X = 1.640”.



Ruger Mk2/Mk3 ejectors can be purchased from Midway for a few dollars. Factory ejectors are riveted in place, but a 4-40 stainless steel pan head screw, 5/16” long (and a nut milled to fit inside the ejector channel) seems to work well in lieu of riveting.

(Note: If the receiver will be used on a Ruger “Mark 3” grip frame with an intact magazine disconnect safety, the head of the screw may interfere with the mechanism. In this case, the screw may have to be countersunk, or a low-profile button head screw used instead of a pan head screw, or the magazine disconnect safety mechanism removed).

It’s a good idea to test an ejector for proper fit before removing the receiver from the milling vise.

With the 0.062” end mill still in the chuck, the next step is to open up the width of the flat areas, which will of course also clean up the inside edges.

Starting with the first flat area on the left, the width will be opened up to about 0.538”. (And this isn’t critical either; basically it needs to be wide enough so that the disconnector can move freely over its travel without binding).

For the first flat area, the end mill will cut between Y = 0.240” and Y = -0.240”, and from X = 0.356” to X = 1.529”.



Moving to the next flat area on the right, the width will be opened up to about 0.396”. The end mill will cut between Y = 0.167” and Y = -0.167”, and from X = 2.061” to X = 3.989”.



The next step is to cut out a slot for the bolt stop assembly. For this I use a 3/32” two-flute carbide end mill, and I typically plunge the end mill in about 0.015” per pass.

The end mill will cut between Y = 0.226” and Y = 0.250”, and from X = 1.966” to X = 2.620”.
(Note that a black ¾” ABS plastic rod has been inserted into the receiver for better contrast).



Optionally, a 7/64” hole can be drilled and tapped for a 6-32 set screw to help secure the barrel. I have found that the set screw isn’t necessary if the barrel is sufficiently tight, which it usually is. (As an added measure of reliability, a few drops of Loctite 243 can be used to secure the barrel).

Even though I don’t use the set screw to secure the barrel, I use the drilled and tapped hole as an electrical contact point for anodizing. (For this purpose, I thread the end of a piece of 1/8” diameter aluminum wire with a 6-32 die and twist it into the hole). This hole is located at Y = 0”, X = 4.230”.



This completes the work on the bottom of the receiver.

The receiver can now be removed from the vise and rotated 180 degrees, so that the top of the receiver can be drilled and milled for a Tactical Solutions’ “Integral Rail” (Picatinny scope base with integral rear sight).

End of part 2.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:56 AM
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Hmm...

Regarding the barrel, I might even try DIYing that (from a blank), which I haven't done before. It looks to me like the most difficult part of that would be the feed ramp.
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I will never buy another Spikes Tactical item, as I have a 5.45 marked barrel from them with a 5.56 bore that keyholed at 25 yards, and they wouldn't replace it.

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  #16  
Old 06-29-2017, 11:21 AM
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Default Milling and Drilling for a Tactical Solutions’ Integral Rail

Part 3.

The receiver must be carefully positioned in the vise so that the bolt stop pin hole is vertical, i.e., parallel to the spindle. I usually chuck a piece of 5/16” drill rod or reamer blank and use it to align the hole. When the drill rod goes into the hole and through both sides of the receiver without binding or scraping, I know it is in reasonably good alignment. (When I do this I also verify that I'm still at Y=0 when spindle is aligned over the bolt stop pin hole).



Once the receiver is in alignment and secured in the vise, use the edge finder to find the right hand side edge (i.e., the barrel side) and set X = 0” on this edge.

Tactical Solutions sells two versions of an integral rail, with the only difference being the screws that ship with it. The Ruger version ships with three 6-48 screws, while the Pac-Lite version ships with 6-40 screws. Either one can be used.

Chuck a center drill bit and spot drill on the center line (Y = 0”) at X = 0.428”, X = 1.073” and X = 2.923”.

If you have the Ruger version of the rail, chuck a #31 drill bit, drill the three holes and tap with a 6-48 tap. If you have the Pac-Lite version, use a #33 drill bit and a 6-40 tap.

The Tactical Solutions’ rail has an integral rear sight which is adjustable for both windage and elevation, and because of this, the receiver needs to be notched to accommodate the elevation screw.

Chuck a 3/16” end mill and cut a 0.090” deep notch between X = 3.974” and X = 3.992”.



While the receiver is still in the vise, I check to see that the rail fits properly.



The next step is to cut the ejection port.

End of part 3.
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  #17  
Old 06-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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Hmm. I had a Burris FastFire on my MkIII for a while with a special mount that replaced the rear sight, and was planning on re-using that (obviously I'll have to pick up a dovetail cutter, I don't have one) and not having any irons. This will just be a toy.

That's convenient that it's a rail with a built in sight, but closer to the bore has it's advantages too.
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I will never buy another Spikes Tactical item, as I have a 5.45 marked barrel from them with a 5.56 bore that keyholed at 25 yards, and they wouldn't replace it.

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Old 06-29-2017, 11:58 AM
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Regarding the barrel, I might even try DIYing that (from a blank), which I haven't done before. It looks to me like the most difficult part of that would be the feed ramp.
Cut a coned breech to the same angular dimension as the factory feedramp and then mill away the rest of the cone so that only the feedramp piece is left.
Matching the radius of the factory barrel is not really critical as long as the bullets will slide up the feedramp and into the chamber.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:01 PM
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Default Cutting The Ejection Port

Part 4.

To make a Ruger Mk3 style ejection port, I held the receiver in a 5” chuck mounted on a 6” horizontally-oriented rotary table as shown, using a 0.75” two-flute end mill to make the cuts.

(I used the rotary table and chuck because I happened to have them lying around, but you can use a simple holding jig that I'll describe later).



The receiver should be inserted into the chuck to a depth that leaves about 3.25” outside the jaws, as shown. (As always, the receiver should be checked for level and square with the mill’s axes, before doing any cutting).

Rotate the table to position the receiver at top dead center, i.e., the bolt stop pin hole and the rail mounting holes are vertical (parallel to the spindle axis).

Looking toward the receiver from the right hand side (barrel end), rotate the table 28 degrees counter-clockwise and lock the table in this position.
Use the edge finder to locate the right hand edge of the receiver and set X = 0” on this edge. (The receiver’s axis will be set to Y = 0” just the same as for the previous operations).

The cuts will be made into the side of the receiver. I usually plunge the end mill down (Z axis) about 0.050" per pass. Cuts will be made from X = 1.650” to X = 2.480”, from Y > 0.875” to Y = 0.640”. (I usually leave a few mils for cleanup on a final pass, so most of the passes will stop a few mils short of these limits, e.g., say from X = 1.655” to X = 2.475”, Y > 0.875” to Y = 0.645”).



To clean up the ejection port, unlock the table, rotate it 90 degrees clockwise from the present position (looking into the receiver from the right hand side) and lock the table in this position. Chuck a 9/16” end mill, move the table to Y = 0” and lock it there. Plunge the end mill into the ejection port opening, and cut between about X = 1.682” and X = 2.458”.

Instead of using a rotary table and chuck to hold the receiver while cutting the ejection port, the receiver can be held in a vise using a simple homemade “jig” as shown below. The jig is nothing more than two pieces of aluminum bar, 3.5” x 1.0” x 0.5”, with a 0.1” deep groove cut lengthwise in the center of the 1.0” side (using a 1.0” ball nose end mill). The disadvantage is the lack of index marks to set the 28 degree angle.





The next step is to cut the notches for the bolt ears.

End of part 4.
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Old 06-29-2017, 4:51 PM
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Default Cutting The Notches For The Bolt Ears

Part 5.

The final machining operation is to cut the notches for the bolt ears in the rear part of the receiver. These notches are about 0.530” wide and 0.200” deep. To do this, the receiver can be held in a three jaw chuck mounted vertically on the milling table as shown, of course with the bolt end of the receiver up.



To set up for this, the receiver “flats” are positioned to be perpendicular to one of the milling table’s axes. (In the above picture, the flats are seen to be perpendicular to the X axis). I usually clamp a small machinist’s square against the flat with a small C clamp and indicate it true using a dial test indicator held in the chuck.

Once the orientation is set, use an edge finder to find the X "edge" and set the center of the receiver to X = 0".

For this operation I use a 3/8” two-flute end mill and cut between X = 0.077” to X = -0.077”. I usually take about 0.025” per pass until a depth of 0.200” is reached.



Instead of the chuck, the simple jig can also be used to hold the receiver. (Although not shown in the picture, the jig should also be clamped together with a C clamp at the upper end where is is not supported by the vise).



The next step is fitting, anodizing and assembly.

End of part 5.
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Old 06-29-2017, 7:31 PM
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Default Fitting And Anodizing

Part 6.

It's best to have the grip frame (Ruger or Volquartsen) available at this point in time so as to fit the receiver to it before anodizing the receiver. Usually some filing with a needle file will have to be done on the inside edge where the front lug of the frame makes contact.

It's better to not be very aggressive with the file. I've found it's better to go slow and check the fit frequently. If you make it too loose, the pistol will still function but it's annoying if the receiver can twist a little bit on the grip frame.

A loose fit can be fixed, but it's PITA.



After establishing the proper fit of the grip frame to the receiver, I usually check to make sure the barrel will install and index correctly with the receiver.

I use a cheap Harbor Freight aluminum V block ("self-centering drill press jig", item# 92046, $9.99), some studs and nuts from a Harbor Freight clamping kit, and a piece of aluminum bar with two holes drilled in it, to hold the receiver while I tighten the barrel with a wrench I cobbled together.



A strap wrench might also work to tighten/index the barrel, but since I had some cpvc plastic chunks and some aluminum stock lying around, I made this thing:





I've messed up one or two receivers - in the sense that the barrels were not as tight as I would've liked to have them, but a few drops of loctite 243 fixed the problem.

When the barrel is properly indexed, the flat on the bottom of the barrel will be in alignment with the corresponding flat edges of the receiver. The picture below shows a barrel that is almost but not quite, properly indexed.



After burr removal, sharp edge breaking with a needle file, grip frame fitting and a barrel installation check, the receiver is ready for cleaning, bead-blasting and anodizing. (I use a ¾” end mill inserted into the receiver and turned by hand, to remove any burrs inside the receiver).

I usually use a warm “alconox” detergent solution and a toothbrush to clean the receiver prior to bead blasting. (Ultrasonic cleaning with alconox detergent solution should work well too).

After rinsing, the receiver is bead blasted with medium-fine glass beads, and then I clean it again with the alconox detergent solution.

Although I have had reasonably good anodizing results (with 6061 aluminum alloy) without etching and “desmutting”, the results seem to be somewhat better if the part to be anodized is first etched in a 2% lye solution for about a minute or so, and then immersed in a desmutting solution also for a minute or two.

The lye etchant solution is made by slowly sprinkling about 20 grams of sodium hydroxide (lye, available on ebay or at Lowes stores) into about one liter of distilled water. (I use polypropylene plastic containers from a grocery store for the etchant and desmut “tanks”).

The desmutting solution is a mixture of two common chemicals. It can be made by adding about 30 grams of ammonium persulfate (available on ebay or from almost any place that sells chemicals) and 50 grams of sodium bisulfate (available on ebay or in stores that sell chemicals for swimming pools) to one liter of distilled water. (See US patent #3373114).

(Of course always wear gloves, e.g. heavy nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight, and eye protection, when working with chemicals).

The anodizing takes place in a solution of 1 part by volume of automotive-battery-grade sulfuric acid which is added to about 2.5 parts by volume of distilled water.

The part to be anodized is connected to the positive terminal of a DC power supply with a piece of aluminum wire and immersed into the acid solution. (It is recommended to use a power supply with an adjustable “constant current” mode and which is capable of at least 30 volts output voltage).

I used a piece of 1/8” diameter aluminum wire to connect the work piece to the positive terminal of the power supply, and I also used a few feet of 1/8” diameter aluminum wire – formed into a crude helix of a few turns – connected to the power supply’s negative terminal, as the cathode electrode for the anodizing tank.

To anodize the receiver, it is immersed into the tank so that it is completely submerged, and the power supply current is adjusted to approximately 0.7 amps, for about 50 to 60 minutes.

After the receiver is removed from the anodizing tank it is rinsed and then put into a dyeing tank containing a solution of Caswell black dye @ approximately 120 to 140 degrees F for 15 minutes (I use a cheap crock pot for this).

After removal from the dyeing tank, the receiver is steamed over boiling water for 5 minutes and then immersed in boiling water for another 10 minutes. (This operation effectively seals the pores in the oxide surface).

The receiver is then removed from the boiling water, rinsed, dried, and wiped down with gun oil, inside and out.

The pistol is now ready for assembly.

Assembly consists of attaching the ejector to the receiver with a 4-40 screw and nut (or some other suitable means); installing and indexing the barrel; installing the rail; inserting the bolt; attaching the grip frame assembly to the receiver; and finally installing the Mainspring Housing Latch Assembly.

Once assembled, the pistol is complete and ready for test firing.

End of part 6,

Last edited by Nelson_2016; 06-30-2017 at 5:33 AM..
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Old 06-29-2017, 8:14 PM
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Old 06-29-2017, 8:56 PM
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Marked for future build! Thanks for the write-up!
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Old 06-30-2017, 2:26 AM
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Nice
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Old 06-30-2017, 6:50 AM
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Thanks for the writeup.

Do you do anything to ensure good anodizing of the interior of the receiver? I'd consider using a few cathodes, including one that goes through the center of the receiver. Of course, you'd have to make sure it's centered fairly well and make absolutely sure it doesn't touch.
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Old 06-30-2017, 7:32 AM
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The inside is definitely being anodized, but whether or not the quality/thickness of the oxide layer on the inside is the the same as on the outside, I don't know.

Considering all the cuts in the tube, I would think it's okay, but maybe someone who knows more about anodizing than I do can offer an opinion.

(Perhaps there's some kind of a self-leveling effect going on where if the oxide layer is thicker in one place, that spot presents a higher electrical resistance, and any spot with a thinner oxide layer presents a lower electrical resistance, overall acting as resistive ballasting or something like that. I don't know, I'm just speculating based on my very limited knowledge of what's going on microscopically with the process).

For comparison purposes, if the inside of the tube is not developing a robust oxide layer, then I would think the same thing would happen when an AR-15 low receiver is anodized, for example at the bottom of the fire control pocket. And I've never heard of this happening so I think it's not anything to worry about.

Last edited by Nelson_2016; 06-30-2017 at 7:44 AM..
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Old 06-30-2017, 8:23 AM
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The AR lowers don't have much need for anodizing, vs on one of these I'd expect it to be helpful for wear resistance. I'm just guessing, though.

Maybe it does self level, I have no idea.
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Old 06-30-2017, 1:54 PM
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The inside is definitely being anodized, but whether or not the quality/thickness of the oxide layer on the inside is the the same as on the outside, I don't know.
Anodizing is an electrical process that occurs in a liquid.
The anodizing will occur anywhere the liquid gets to.
It's only very small blind holes that have trouble getting anodized inside.
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Old 08-16-2017, 5:52 PM
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Does anyone know how come I can't upload a 3.8 Mb (pdf) attachment? I get a message telling me that I'm 800 Kb over my "quota". (I thought the file size limit for a pdf file was 5 Mb).

I deleted the few other attachments I've uploaded in the past, but I still can't upload the file.
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Old 08-16-2017, 5:54 PM
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Maybe you can upload the file somewhere else, e.g. Google Drive, and just post a link here?
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Old 08-16-2017, 5:55 PM
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Create a link to a Google Docs. We can access it in that manner.

https://www.google.com/docs/about/
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Old 08-18-2017, 4:50 AM
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If everything works okay, the file should be available here:

https://www.megaupload.us/3ir/Ruger.rar

The password for the rar file is calguns.

(Downloading from that site is annoying. Later on when I have time I'll try to host it somewhere else. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Last edited by Nelson_2016; 08-18-2017 at 4:54 AM..
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Old 08-19-2017, 6:59 PM
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Downloading there is annoying, wow.

I rehosted it, feel free to link this wherever you want. It should stay up forever.

I have it hosted as both a rar and a pdf

http://lolinter.net/Ruger.rar

http://lolinter.net/Ruger.pdf

Let me know if you want to change something for some reason.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:41 AM
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I'm recreating what Nelson posted, in a way that's easier for most of us to view vs the PDF. I've hosted the images on imgur, which hasn't given me any problems yet.

Part 1



I made my Ruger Mark 3 receiver from a piece of ¾” schedule 80 aluminum 6061-T6 alloy pipe.

The 1.050” OD of the pipe is turned down to 1.00” – 0.004”, and the 0.742” ID of the pipe is bored out to 0.750” + 0.004”, on a lathe.

One end of the pipe is then counter-bored to 0.765” ID, to a depth of 0.650”, and this end is then tapped 13/16”-20 for the barrel. The piece is then parted off and trimmed to a length of 5.300” + 0.005”.

Once you get the receiver blank finished on the lathe (or if you got one from Matrix Precision or wherever), it's ready for milling operations.

Next you want to screw the barrel into the receiver blank hand tight (make sure there are no burrs on the receiver blank before you do this).

I hold the blank in a small milling vise using 1/8” thick plastic (cpvc) pads cut from a large sheet, to protect the surface.

The receiver blank will need to be held in the vise so that approximately 0.25” is above the top of the vise jaws. To do this, I’ve used two parallel bars as spacers and I’ve also used a Ruger factory rail as a spacer as shown in the picture.



Put the receiver blank and barrel assembly in the vise so that there is approximately ¾” of free and clear overhang on the left hand side. (This is necessary to allow enough room to drill the 5/16” through-hole for the bolt stop pin).



Next loosen the vise slightly and rotate the assembly clockwise (looking into the muzzle end of the barrel) until the front sight is about 20 degrees short of the “bottom dead center” position; i.e., the front sight should be at approximately the 5:00 to 5:30 position as shown below. This is fairly critical for proper barrel indexing during final assembly.

Once the assembly is in the proper position, tighten the vise. (If necessary, the barrel end of the receiver can always be sanded down later if proper indexing cannot be obtained, keeping in mind that each 0.001” of material removed corresponds to approximately 7 degrees of rotation).



Check to make sure that the receiver blank is level and square with respect to the milling machine’s axes. (The barrel is no longer needed and can be unscrewed and removed from the receiver blank).



Use an edge finder to find the left hand edge of the receiver blank. Set X = 0” at the edge.



The next step is to set the Y=0 reference point on the center line of the receiver blank.

Measure the diameter of the receiver blank for example with a digital caliper, and divide by two to get the radius, R. Locate the axis of the receiver blank by finding the diametral “edge” with the edge finder and then set Y = 0” at that “edge”. Move the table a distance R to bring the spindle directly over the axis of the receiver blank, and set Y = 0” at that point.



Using a small center drill bit, spot drill the bolt stop pin hole at X = 0.470”, Y =0”. (The center of the bolt stop pin hole will now become the X reference point, so set X = 0” at this point).



Spot drill the hole for the ejector at X = 1.813”, Y = 0”, then drill the through-hole for the bolt stop pin using a 5/16” drill bit (or better yet, use a slightly smaller drill bit and ream to final size), then drill the hole for the ejector using a 1/8” drill bit (this hole only goes through one side).



The receiver has three “flat” areas milled into the bottom of it. The first flat is located between the bolt stop pin hole and the ejector area, and is milled to a depth of 0.200”.

The contiguous second and third flat areas are located between the ejector area and the other end of the receiver, and they are milled to depths of 0.140” and 0.165”, respectively.

Using a 3/8” two-flute end mill, mill out the area between the coordinates X = 0.512” and X = 1.372”, to a depth of 0.200”. (Of course if you use a different size end mill the coordinates will change accordingly). I usually take about 0.050” per pass until I get to the last few cuts which will be 0.045” and 0.005” or so.



End of Part 1.
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I will never buy another Spikes Tactical item, as I have a 5.45 marked barrel from them with a 5.56 bore that keyholed at 25 yards, and they wouldn't replace it.

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  #35  
Old 09-05-2017, 10:42 AM
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Part 2.

Next, mill out the area between X = 2.217” and X = 3.832” to a depth of 0.140”.



Next, mill the area between X = 3.338” and X = 3.832” (the “third” flat area) 0.025” deeper to a total depth of 0.165”.



The next step is to chamfer the edges on both sides of the ejector area using a 3/8” 60 degree chamfer end mill (e.g., Shars part # 416-3543).
Starting with the left side first, chuck the chamfer end mill and position the tip of the end mill (vertically) so it’s about 0.001” to 0.002” above the height of the flat area as shown.



The chamfer end mill will make contact with the edge at about X = 1.435”. Take about 0.010” per pass and make the last cut at about X = 1.495”.

Then do the same thing on the right side. In this case the chamfer end mill will make contact at about X = 2.130”, and the last cut will be at about X = 2.070”.

(BTW none of the machining of this receiver is very critical. If you're off a little bit it generally won't matter too much).



The next step is to cut the notch for the ejector locating tab. For this I used a 0.0625” two-flute carbide end mill. The notch is 0.1” in width, so the end mill will cut between Y = 0.019” and Y = -0.019”, and the X coordinates will extend from the open area on the left to X = 1.640”.



Ruger Mk2/Mk3 ejectors can be purchased from Midway for a few dollars. Factory ejectors are riveted in place, but a 4-40 stainless steel pan head screw, 5/16” long (and a nut milled to fit inside the ejector channel) seems to work well in lieu of riveting.

(Note: If the receiver will be used on a Ruger “Mark 3” grip frame with an intact magazine disconnect safety, the head of the screw may interfere with the mechanism. In this case, the screw may have to be countersunk, or a low-profile button head screw used instead of a pan head screw, or the magazine disconnect safety mechanism removed).

It’s a good idea to test an ejector for proper fit before removing the receiver from the milling vise.

With the 0.062” end mill still in the chuck, the next step is to open up the width of the flat areas, which will of course also clean up the inside edges.

Starting with the first flat area on the left, the width will be opened up to about 0.538”. (And this isn’t critical either; basically it needs to be wide enough so that the disconnector can move freely over its travel without binding).

For the first flat area, the end mill will cut between Y = 0.240” and Y = -0.240”, and from X = 0.356” to X = 1.529”.



Moving to the next flat area on the right, the width will be opened up to about 0.396”. The end mill will cut between Y = 0.167” and Y = -0.167”, and from X = 2.061” to X = 3.989”.



The next step is to cut out a slot for the bolt stop assembly. For this I use a 3/32” two-flute carbide end mill, and I typically plunge the end mill in about 0.015” per pass.

The end mill will cut between Y = 0.226” and Y = 0.250”, and from X = 1.966” to X = 2.620”.
(Note that a black ¾” ABS plastic rod has been inserted into the receiver for better contrast).



Optionally, a 7/64” hole can be drilled and tapped for a 6-32 set screw to help secure the barrel. I have found that the set screw isn’t necessary if the barrel is sufficiently tight, which it usually is. (As an added measure of reliability, a few drops of Loctite 243 can be used to secure the barrel).

Even though I don’t use the set screw to secure the barrel, I use the drilled and tapped hole as an electrical contact point for anodizing. (For this purpose, I thread the end of a piece of 1/8” diameter aluminum wire with a 6-32 die and twist it into the hole). This hole is located at Y = 0”, X = 4.230”.



This completes the work on the bottom of the receiver.

The receiver can now be removed from the vise and rotated 180 degrees, so that the top of the receiver can be drilled and milled for a Tactical Solutions’ “Integral Rail” (Picatinny scope base with integral rear sight).

End of part 2.
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  #36  
Old 09-05-2017, 10:42 AM
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Part 3.

The receiver must be carefully positioned in the vise so that the bolt stop pin hole is vertical, i.e., parallel to the spindle. I usually chuck a piece of 5/16” drill rod or reamer blank and use it to align the hole. When the drill rod goes into the hole and through both sides of the receiver without binding or scraping, I know it is in reasonably good alignment. (When I do this I also verify that I'm still at Y=0 when spindle is aligned over the bolt stop pin hole).



Once the receiver is in alignment and secured in the vise, use the edge finder to find the right hand side edge (i.e., the barrel side) and set X = 0” on this edge.

Tactical Solutions sells two versions of an integral rail, with the only difference being the screws that ship with it. The Ruger version ships with three 6-48 screws, while the Pac-Lite version ships with 6-40 screws. Either one can be used.

Chuck a center drill bit and spot drill on the center line (Y = 0”) at X = 0.428”, X = 1.073” and X = 2.923”.

If you have the Ruger version of the rail, chuck a #31 drill bit, drill the three holes and tap with a 6-48 tap. If you have the Pac-Lite version, use a #33 drill bit and a 6-40 tap.

The Tactical Solutions’ rail has an integral rear sight which is adjustable for both windage and elevation, and because of this, the receiver needs to be notched to accommodate the elevation screw.

Chuck a 3/16” end mill and cut a 0.090” deep notch between X = 3.974” and X = 3.992”.



While the receiver is still in the vise, I check to see that the rail fits properly.



The next step is to cut the ejection port.

End of part 3.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:42 AM
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Part 4.

To make a Ruger Mk3 style ejection port, I held the receiver in a 5” chuck mounted on a 6” horizontally-oriented rotary table as shown, using a 0.75” two-flute end mill to make the cuts.

(I used the rotary table and chuck because I happened to have them lying around, but you can use a simple holding jig that I'll describe later).



The receiver should be inserted into the chuck to a depth that leaves about 3.25” outside the jaws, as shown. (As always, the receiver should be checked for level and square with the mill’s axes, before doing any cutting).

Rotate the table to position the receiver at top dead center, i.e., the bolt stop pin hole and the rail mounting holes are vertical (parallel to the spindle axis).

Looking toward the receiver from the right hand side (barrel end), rotate the table 28 degrees counter-clockwise and lock the table in this position.
Use the edge finder to locate the right hand edge of the receiver and set X = 0” on this edge. (The receiver’s axis will be set to Y = 0” just the same as for the previous operations).

The cuts will be made into the side of the receiver. I usually plunge the end mill down (Z axis) about 0.050" per pass. Cuts will be made from X = 1.650” to X = 2.480”, from Y > 0.875” to Y = 0.640”. (I usually leave a few mils for cleanup on a final pass, so most of the passes will stop a few mils short of these limits, e.g., say from X = 1.655” to X = 2.475”, Y > 0.875” to Y = 0.645”).



To clean up the ejection port, unlock the table, rotate it 90 degrees clockwise from the present position (looking into the receiver from the right hand side) and lock the table in this position. Chuck a 9/16” end mill, move the table to Y = 0” and lock it there. Plunge the end mill into the ejection port opening, and cut between about X = 1.682” and X = 2.458”.

Instead of using a rotary table and chuck to hold the receiver while cutting the ejection port, the receiver can be held in a vise using a simple homemade “jig” as shown below. The jig is nothing more than two pieces of aluminum bar, 3.5” x 1.0” x 0.5”, with a 0.1” deep groove cut lengthwise in the center of the 1.0” side (using a 1.0” ball nose end mill). The disadvantage is the lack of index marks to set the 28 degree angle.





The next step is to cut the notches for the bolt ears.

End of part 4.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:42 AM
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Part 5.

The final machining operation is to cut the notches for the bolt ears in the rear part of the receiver. These notches are about 0.530” wide and 0.200” deep. To do this, the receiver can be held in a three jaw chuck mounted vertically on the milling table as shown, of course with the bolt end of the receiver up.



To set up for this, the receiver “flats” are positioned to be perpendicular to one of the milling table’s axes. (In the above picture, the flats are seen to be perpendicular to the X axis). I usually clamp a small machinist’s square against the flat with a small C clamp and indicate it true using a dial test indicator held in the chuck.

Once the orientation is set, use an edge finder to find the X "edge" and set the center of the receiver to X = 0".

For this operation I use a 3/8” two-flute end mill and cut between X = 0.077” to X = -0.077”. I usually take about 0.025” per pass until a depth of 0.200” is reached.



Instead of the chuck, the simple jig can also be used to hold the receiver. (Although not shown in the picture, the jig should also be clamped together with a C clamp at the upper end where is is not supported by the vise).



The next step is fitting, anodizing and assembly.

End of part 5.
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  #39  
Old 09-05-2017, 10:43 AM
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Part 6.

It's best to have the grip frame (Ruger or Volquartsen) available at this point in time so as to fit the receiver to it before anodizing the receiver. Usually some filing with a needle file will have to be done on the inside edge where the front lug of the frame makes contact.

It's better to not be very aggressive with the file. I've found it's better to go slow and check the fit frequently. If you make it too loose, the pistol will still function but it's annoying if the receiver can twist a little bit on the grip frame.

A loose fit can be fixed, but it's PITA.



After establishing the proper fit of the grip frame to the receiver, I usually check to make sure the barrel will install and index correctly with the receiver.

I use a cheap Harbor Freight aluminum V block ("self-centering drill press jig", item# 92046, $9.99), some studs and nuts from a Harbor Freight clamping kit, and a piece of aluminum bar with two holes drilled in it, to hold the receiver while I tighten the barrel with a wrench I cobbled together.



A strap wrench might also work to tighten/index the barrel, but since I had some cpvc plastic chunks and some aluminum stock lying around, I made this thing:





I've messed up one or two receivers - in the sense that the barrels were not as tight as I would've liked to have them, but a few drops of loctite 243 fixed the problem.

When the barrel is properly indexed, the flat on the bottom of the barrel will be in alignment with the corresponding flat edges of the receiver. The picture below shows a barrel that is almost but not quite, properly indexed.



After burr removal, sharp edge breaking with a needle file, grip frame fitting and a barrel installation check, the receiver is ready for cleaning, bead-blasting and anodizing. (I use a ¾” end mill inserted into the receiver and turned by hand, to remove any burrs inside the receiver).

I usually use a warm “alconox” detergent solution and a toothbrush to clean the receiver prior to bead blasting. (Ultrasonic cleaning with alconox detergent solution should work well too).

After rinsing, the receiver is bead blasted with medium-fine glass beads, and then I clean it again with the alconox detergent solution.

Although I have had reasonably good anodizing results (with 6061 aluminum alloy) without etching and “desmutting”, the results seem to be somewhat better if the part to be anodized is first etched in a 2% lye solution for about a minute or so, and then immersed in a desmutting solution also for a minute or two.

The lye etchant solution is made by slowly sprinkling about 20 grams of sodium hydroxide (lye, available on ebay or at Lowes stores) into about one liter of distilled water. (I use polypropylene plastic containers from a grocery store for the etchant and desmut “tanks”).

The desmutting solution is a mixture of two common chemicals. It can be made by adding about 30 grams of ammonium persulfate (available on ebay or from almost any place that sells chemicals) and 50 grams of sodium bisulfate (available on ebay or in stores that sell chemicals for swimming pools) to one liter of distilled water. (See US patent #3373114).

(Of course always wear gloves, e.g. heavy nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight, and eye protection, when working with chemicals).

The anodizing takes place in a solution of 1 part by volume of automotive-battery-grade sulfuric acid which is added to about 2.5 parts by volume of distilled water.

The part to be anodized is connected to the positive terminal of a DC power supply with a piece of aluminum wire and immersed into the acid solution. (It is recommended to use a power supply with an adjustable “constant current” mode and which is capable of at least 30 volts output voltage).

I used a piece of 1/8” diameter aluminum wire to connect the work piece to the positive terminal of the power supply, and I also used a few feet of 1/8” diameter aluminum wire – formed into a crude helix of a few turns – connected to the power supply’s negative terminal, as the cathode electrode for the anodizing tank.

To anodize the receiver, it is immersed into the tank so that it is completely submerged, and the power supply current is adjusted to approximately 0.7 amps, for about 50 to 60 minutes.

After the receiver is removed from the anodizing tank it is rinsed and then put into a dyeing tank containing a solution of Caswell black dye @ approximately 120 to 140 degrees F for 15 minutes (I use a cheap crock pot for this).

After removal from the dyeing tank, the receiver is steamed over boiling water for 5 minutes and then immersed in boiling water for another 10 minutes. (This operation effectively seals the pores in the oxide surface).

The receiver is then removed from the boiling water, rinsed, dried, and wiped down with gun oil, inside and out.

The pistol is now ready for assembly.

Assembly consists of attaching the ejector to the receiver with a 4-40 screw and nut (or some other suitable means); installing and indexing the barrel; installing the rail; inserting the bolt; attaching the grip frame assembly to the receiver; and finally installing the Mainspring Housing Latch Assembly.

Once assembled, the pistol is complete and ready for test firing.

End of part 6,
__________________
I will never buy another Spikes Tactical item, as I have a 5.45 marked barrel from them with a 5.56 bore that keyholed at 25 yards, and they wouldn't replace it.

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