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converting 9mm PAK blank to .380 live
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  UKBiker

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Posted: July 19 2013 at 7:51pm | IP Logged Quote UKBiker

I have done quite a bit of investigating into the useful conversion of 9mm PAK semi auto blank firing pistols, and have found a lot of info to show that many can indeed be converted to fire .380 auto.
The .380 projectile requires seating 2mm further into the case in order to fit the 9mm PAK blank magazines, but it can be done.
There are several vids on youtube showing conversions of various 9mm PAK blank firing semi auto pistols.

I have found quite a large number of these that look fairly easy to convert, including a version of the scorpion machine pistol, the blank version uses a straight mag and appears to be identical to their .380 version but with a non removable barrel ( for non removable read not readily removable as there's always a way).
A couple of Rohm/Umarex models CP1 Vector and Walther P380 will readily convert, as will several models made by Turkish manufacturer Zoraki (ATAK arms) including their glock17 clone the 917 and the 925 fully auto machine pistol, and the 906 subcompact.
It appears also that Grand Power also make a 9mm PAK G9 which is a version of their P380 pistol and a .22 blank revolver made by Kora which is an almost identical copy of their own .22 mag revolver.

The UK authorities banned the Brocock air cartridge series of air pistols that used a precharged air cartridge a few years ago over concerns they could be readily converted to fire live ammunition, however following this legislation I researched this and discovered that rather than being as easy as the authorities alluded to, it was actually quite an involved process that required use of a lathe and certain skills and tools that are not considered "readily available at home" as defined by the legislation.

It would appear that the 8mm blank cartridges could possibly be converted to .32ACP, but whether the actual pistols are of a suitable quality I have no idea at present.

What thoughts do people have about the conversion of readily available blank semi auto pistols, as oppose to scratch built projects?
If you type Zoraki conversion into youtube you'll see a series of videos of them.

These videos are NOT my handiwork I hasten to add, I have only been researching the subject from a purely educational and investigative standpoint, rather than actually undertaking anything involving physical possession of the items listed above.
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  Fantomen

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Posted: July 19 2013 at 11:35pm | IP Logged Quote Fantomen

I have seen it done before, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Many of those blank guns are made from very poor materials and are not strong enough to handle live ammo.

They might be capable of withstanding a couple rounds, but they degrade quickly and when they do they become very dangerous.
It will look OK, but the metal will be severely stressed, and could easily snap, sending the rear end of the slide into your face or just blowing up.
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  UKBiker

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 3:30am | IP Logged Quote UKBiker

There's a couple of them that are made from the same materials as the originals, especially as they're made by the same companies.
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 6:21am | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

Being made from the same materials does not necessarily mean to the same standard.

Blank firers do not need to handle the pressures of a live round, and so the steel maybe the same but unless you can be sure of the heat treatment being the same.

For example the receiver of the M14 is made from 8620 steel and heat treated to rockwell scale C 28-42 in the core, but Rockwell scale D 68-72 on the surface.
I can make an M14 reciever from the same material but unless I perform the appropriate heat treatment, the chances of the bolt going through my face are huge.
That is not to say, if the materials are the same it cannot be brought up to spec, through applying the appropriate heat treatment.
So long as you can guarantee the same final specification, you can't be safe firing a live round through a blank firer.

Bottom line, yes you can do, but there are caveats.
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  UKBiker

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 9:10am | IP Logged Quote UKBiker

I had wondered about this, the youtube vids mention nothing about this, although he recons that the slides are strong enough, and he makes his own barrels.
The three I was more interested in are the Grand Power G9 which is made by Grand Power and costs significantly more than any other blank I've seen.

The Kora revolver which states it uses the exact same frame etc as the live version

The VZ61 scorpion, which looks indistinguishable from the 7.65mm original, and appears to be the .380 version with a blank barrel fitted, and the barrel retaining pin appears to be welded over and flush finished.

The Zorakis are made of an unknown alloy, although the guy reckoned that they were plenty strong enough and he'd fired many rounds through them, I was concerned about his supposed loadings as he was effectively running plus P+ through them from the load data he was giving. He seemed to think that the smoothbore barrels resulted in lower pressures, but I'm as yet unconvinced by his statements as to the durability and safety.

I had always believed that it was not something that was safe to do, and whilst these conversions may indeed run a few mags through them fine I wouldn't want to risk it.
I suppose remanufacturing the slides etc in a suitable material would make much more sense
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 10:40am | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

Just download the 1911 blueprints and be done with it.
At least you'll have a proper pistol.

All you'll need to do is find somewhere to hide safely so the plod don't find it or find you with it.
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  ryche

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 11:08am | IP Logged Quote ryche

I'm gonna agree with North on this one,  because it would really suck to get caught with an illegal conversion that blew up and took part of your hand or face. So not only do you have medical bills but also a court case, and the evidence is irrefutable.  so you are busted and busted up.
Get a real one and find a good place.
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 11:13am | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

If you don't fancy a 1911, I am working on a set of 1903 Pocket Hammerless blueprints, which can be chambered in .32 ACP or .380 ACP.

When I've got them finished They'll be posted on here.
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  Sora-tobu chiru

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote Sora-tobu chiru

Chavs didn't convert BACS revolvers, as there was absolutely no need for that.

You just took cheapest Cuno Melcher and put simple* subcalibre adapters in a cylinder.
Although better quality models (like Italian ones - made from dead soft steel) and LEP converted firearms were(and are) often well protected from that(same goes for a gas/blank firers from west Europe - and modern ones from east).    


But thanks to "tracksuit wearers" prices of brocock cartridges and pump went down in UK (good for me ).



*nothing that can't be turned on electric hand drill by a medium-intelligent chimpanzee(so someone else was manufacturing it for them ).
Below are examples of "sophisticated" ones:




(Lothar Walther - the one with a O-ring - is available in just correct size).  
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  UKBiker

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Posted: July 20 2013 at 6:00pm | IP Logged Quote UKBiker

Sora-tobu chiru wrote:


Chavs didn't convert BACS revolvers, as there was absolutely no need for that. <br><br>You just took cheapest Cuno Melcher and put simple* subcalibre adapters in a cylinder.<br>Although
better quality models (like Italian ones - made from dead soft steel)
and LEP converted firearms were(and are) often well protected from
that(same goes for a gas/blank firers from west Europe - and modern
ones from east).     <br><br><br>But thanks to "tracksuit wearers" prices of brocock cartridges and pump went down in UK (good for me ). <br><br><br><br>*nothing
that can't be turned on electric hand drill by a medium-intelligent
chimpanzee(so someone else was manufacturing it for them ).<br>Below are examples of "sophisticated" ones:<br><br><br><br><br>(Lothar Walther - the one with a O-ring - is available in just correct size).  

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I see now, I had looked at the BAC issues from a different angle, and was looking at a more regular type of idea, which did require a bit more work than a simple calibre adapter, I'd been thinking about a conversion that made it pretty much into a regular .22lr revolver so reloading was a simple matter of swapping empties for fresh ones, hence the amount of extra work in making a new extractor and rimfire firing pin and permanent inserts. I see that if you just wanted to throw live .22lr through it that it is indeed a simple enough job rather than a complete conversion as I had looked at.
I was rather miffed that when the bans were brought in I had to get rid of mine, and the more I thought about the effort involved in converting one the more unjustified it appeared.
I see now that it would be easier to accomplish doing it the way you outlined above just to make it work as oppose to the more regular end product I had thought about.

The 1911 would be the easiest route to undertake I think, so I may indeed look at that, North I'd be interested in the 1903 idea too. I may have a go at machining a 1911 up from materials that would not bring any problems from the Gestapo here just as a machining exercise.
I have to be very careful about what I do here for obvious reasons.
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 2:34am | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

The 1903, is a much simpler design, being blowback.
machining is very similar to the 1911, just less of it.
Materials, 8620 for the slide, En8 plate for the frame, EN19 for the barrel, EN24, for the Hammer, Sear etc.
Silver Steel for the firing pin, & other pins etc, everything else mild steel.

I will say this, you WILL need to sort out a heat treat furnace.

When I've got the design work finished, I'll post it all on here. It's taking time as all I have to work on is photos, and old illustrations on books etc.

I can give you details on where to get the correct materials, but if you've got your own suppliers, all I will say is if you can't get 8620, EN19 will do the same job, but has to heat treated differently to achieve the same result.

I prefer 8620, as it's a case hardening steel, that is really easy to heat treat with pack carburising.

The 1911 is same as above just more involved.
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  backbencher

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 8:08am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Given the inherent safety advantages of blowback firearms, I would suggest shying away from locked breach designs for a scratch build (says the guy designing a plastic brick AR lower).  If the handloaded ammo is exceptionally hot, or a +P+ round mixed in the magazine, a blowback action will just open faster, whereas a locked breach design such as a 1911 will severely stress the enclosed system & test whether your heat treatment was sufficient.  Woe to you if it was not.

Given it is legal to own a firearm in the UK, but not a handgun, I would highly suggest applying for a shotgun certificate, and go down the building route for a shotgun, in coordination with a gunsmith who is familiar w/ the building regulations & can send it to the proof house on your behalf.
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  UKBiker

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 8:44am | IP Logged Quote UKBiker

Here in the UK, we can own semi automatic rimfire, long barrelled revolvers in both rimfire and centrefire, bolt action centrefire,
Handguns were banned although the actual law relates to short firearms with barrels below 12" and overall lengths of 24"
there are several manufacturers offering UK spec revolvers, and GSG are offering their 1911 .22lr in a UK legal format which has the extra part of the barrel disguised as a suppressor and the ubiquitous "spike" on the rear of the backstrap bringing length to 24" overall.
There are some AR variants in 9mm which use a lever release mechanism to cycle, the bolt ejects and holds back on firing then the lever is depressed to allow the bolt forwards to strip and chamber a fresh round.
5.56mm AR variants are available in a straight pull bolt arrangement as are AK variants.

The law here is a pain in the arse to negotiate, but if I want to go shooting here then that's what I must do.
I can manufacture a UK spec firearm here and then have it proofed apparently, so I will be checking out how I go about this, and what hoops I have to jump through.
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 11:47am | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

I think I have the perfect gun for you, and I think it'll be a seller in the UK.

Tell me what you think.

A Luger, chambered in .22LR, with a long barrel and stock a la artillery style, ensuring the length is 24"

What do you think?
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 12:01pm | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

Something like this



A stock may or may not be necessary.
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  backbencher

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 12:05pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

I'll take a Buntline 16" in .357", please.  When I was in the UK, I had no idea such things were available.  I was just applying for my shotgun license so I could get a 200 quid Mossy pump.  The fella @ BOSS was quite helpful, as I recall.
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 12:35pm | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

I have to admit, at the moment I've had nothing but French gun laws in my head, as I have to learn them off by heart for work.

I just forgot all the UK stuff.

So thank you very much UKBiker for the reminder.
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  northumbrian

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 12:52pm | IP Logged Quote northumbrian

backbencher wrote:
I'll take a Buntline 16" in .357", please.  When I was in the UK, I had no idea such things were available.  I was just applying for my shotgun license so I could get a 200 quid Mossy pump.  The fella @ BOSS was quite helpful, as I recall.


I wasn't intending on making revolvers, but if you provide the blueprints for me, I'll make it.
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  backbencher

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 1:03pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

north, only if I move back the UK would I have need of such a thing.  It would be a simple matter of taking a S&W donor & screwing in a 16" + bbl, whatever was needed to meet the Queen's regulations.  But it would move that 125 grainer pretty quick, no?
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  OldCoot

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Posted: July 21 2013 at 1:28pm | IP Logged Quote OldCoot

Backbencher, you'd have to allow for the barrel gap, and you'd still be losing ground over the solid barrel.  Only revolver that did a decent job of sealing the gas leak at the rear of the barrel was the Nagant, and it had its own set of issues.    If you like the .357, have a look at the Taurus lever action pistol, the "Mare's Leg" dating back to the old Bounty Hunter series on television in the 1950s.
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