Raffica: March 1998

By Dan Shea

“Mechanical Engineers create weapons; Civil Engineers create targets”
- Old Engineer proverb

This month we have some interesting questions, and I was able to hustle up some photos to go with them- let’s keep it simple and get right into it:

Q1- I have heard people refer to several variations of the buffer on the HK33 rifles. They keep saying the “Buffer is on the bolt carrier” on older models. What do they mean by this- will this bolt carrier work in my converted HK 93?

A1- This question has been rolling around for years- I have unsuccessfully tried to explain it before, but lady luck smiled on me at the Phoenix show. Greg Needham purchased a 93 from a customer, and on disassembly, discovered the rare buffer system. No, the bolt carrier and buttstock will not work without each other- as a matter of fact, you can have a lot of problems from the wrong combination. If your buttstock does not have the buffer, you must have the buffer on the bolt carrier, and vice versa. These are not common parts. The typical .223 caliber HK rifle has the buffer in the buttstock, not on the bolt carrier. There are other differences between the full auto (HK33) and semi-auto (HK93) bolt carriers as well.

Q2- Just a couple of questions: I want to find a high capacity .22LR feed system for my suppressed M4 with a select-fire Ciener conversion unit. A real fun gun, and cheap to shoot, but not enough capacity. (I have already checked with Ciener). I hear rumors of pre-ban 50 rd. mag blanks similar to Ciener’s without the mag well block and catch in a single column stack. With these, I could use a block cut off of my existing 30 rd. Ciener units re-tigged to the 50 or better yet - come up with a double column arrangement to keep the length down. (How about a 5000 rd. ruck and trough setup?!!) Any advice on these 50’s or some drum configuration you are aware of ? The American 180 is the only drum-fed .22 I know of.

I am waiting on a Smith M76 transfer (NIB!) Gemtech SG-9 integral suppressor.. I would like to find a distributor for the Suomi 50 rd. mags mentioned in the Swedish K/Port Said article (Vol 1 No 1) if these are adaptable to the Smith & Wesson. Is mag well removal required for this installation? Also, how does the Smith stack up to the Swedish K in terms of performance? Any advice/ info would be most appreciated. I look forward to the next issue with great anticipation.

Phil Moldovan

A2- Another one of the 22 drum feds is the PPS-50 in it’s various incarnations. The AM-180 can work fairly reliably, but the PPS-50 is going to depend on “Who” did the conversion work. I keep thinking that you sound like a candidate for a hopper fed 22 caliber minigun on a sling. Raffica LIKES this idea! Unfortunately, most attempts at getting over 30 rounds in a magazine have been dismal failures. It has to do with the rim of the 22 cartridge, and the angle necessary for a smooth feed. You are also restricted by the width of the mag well on the M16- the 50 rounders for the 10-22 Ruger just won’t make it.

The S&W 76 should be a good shooter for you, but the Suomi 4 column 50 rounders are going to require mag well removal- and that is going to be a cutting job. Some versions of the Swedish K / Port Said had the removable well, and the Suomi magazine works fine. Reliability is not a problem on the 76, but you are going to have a hard time convincing the “K” shooters that it is as good a gun. I leave that discussion up to personal taste. Several of SAR’s advertisers have had those Suomi mags in stock- Omega has, Stan Andrewski has, as well as Ohio Ordnance.

Q3- I am a subscriber to your excellent magazine. I look forward to receiving my copy every month. My questions pertain to my H&K MP5. The lower is marked 0-1-A. The dealer I purchased this from said that it is a rare lower. Any comment would be most appreciated. I was thinking about changing this lower with a new navy ambi, picto lower and putting the 0-1-A in my 93. Which would be the most valuable set-up?


A3- As far as I know, the “0-1-A” was not original. These were aftermarket conversions. Many of the Class 2 manufacturers made their own 0-1-A lowers by removing the selector block on the original semi-auto housing, and inscribing the “A” for Auto in the third position. The front did not need to be cut and blocked to fit into a semi-auto receiver. You did not say whether your MP5 was a registered receiver gun, or if it was, if it had the “0-1-A” as a swing down lower. If it is either a “Registered sear” gun or a receiver gun with a clip on lower, installing any other trigger pack can be an arduous task, better left to professional Class 2 gunsmiths.

Q4- You referred to the “Sear being on the upper receiver assembly” of an AR-18 rifle. I have not seen any position for this on the AR-180 that I own- where would it be located?


A4- One picture is worth a thousand words... The sear position is located at the arrows in the photo. The reason you can’t find a location on the AR-180 is because the manufacturers left this position off of the sheet metal on the upper on semi- automatics.

Questions to:

Dan Shea C/O SAR
223 Sugar Hill Road
Harmony, ME 04942
Fax: (207)683-2172
E-Mail: SAReview@aol.com

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V1N6 (March 1998)
and was posted online on August 4, 2017


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