[ This is a guest post is written by Y-Man. If you have been reading the blog over the past year you will have seen the incredible ingenuity he has demonstrated in Nigeria, where there exist severe restrictions on guns and ammunition. His previous exploits include Turning Birdshot into Slugs for Self-Defense and Fabricating a Shotgun Stock. ]
Remember I did some modifications to my shotgun, and later to the ammunition I could get? Well, I have gone a few more steps further. I have made three more major (In some ways: crude but safe) modifications to my shotgun: based on what is available here in my country and what I can get.
Firstly, I was in an accident in the 1990s, and lost some muscle tissue from my right arm. This has healed over the years, but my arm is not as strong as it should be. This affects my charging of the semi-auto shotgun: so much so sometimes I am forced to charge with both hands awkwardly. I then thought of getting and fixing a charging handle extension: obviously not easily available in my country, and not easy/ sensible to take the shotgun out to a welder to fabricate something (You most likely would get the welder and his apprentices run shrieking out of the workshop when you pull out the shotgun from the carry-bag…!)
So, I got a grip from an adjustment tab of an office chair, made out of plastic, and “JB-Welded” it to the charging handle. See pictures after the jump. I got some concerns from a few friends: wondering if the plastic adjustment tab would stand much firing/ shooting.
Well, I did me some shooting: a total of 25 rounds of my slugs, and tab is FIRM and helping me so well. I can charge my shotgun much more easily now. Very ugly, but functional!
Secondly, I have been shooting my own “brand of slugs” for some time now, and recently got quite uncomfortable with the lack of good sights on my shotgun. I had been using the bead sight, and on a good day, could get 3″ groups at 35yards using the open bead sight. On some bad days, I can barely hit a barrel at 25 yards! I KNOW it doesn’t have to do with the consistency or otherwise of the slugs themselves: they are regular, Foster-type slugs that I cast myself, but the problem is my own aim. I am just not getting it right. The alignment of the bead is just too much for me sometimes. Sometimes, my shots go over, and sometimes into the ground in front of target.
So, I decided to make (Fabricate) or get some proper “rifle-like” sights. A “firearm-enthusiast” friend traveled home to Louisiana on vacation last month, and I asked him to get me some sights. After checking and researching online, I settled for the Truglo Xtreme Turkey Combo from Pro Bass, which is right around the corner from my friend’s place in Baton Rouge. I asked him to get 2 sets, which he did.
I then asked him, when he was on his way back, to make sure he removed the parts from their packaging, so that some beady-eyed Customs Officer would not start asking questions. Well, luckily, no one even looked twice at the packages at the airports.
I excitedly worked on fitting them to my shotgun, and discovered that while the rear sight fit perfectly, the front sight had some seatings; none of which actually fit my shotgun accurately. I still persevered, and fit them: rear-sight was okay, and finally front-sight seemed to seat well, bolted to the bead hole, and with a little glue and pliers-manipulation. It seemed firm and I had HIGH hopes.
I went out shooting at the range the other day, and while I was hitting my 12″ x 12″ target (Half-inch thick steel plates.) quite well (Most shots out of twenty went into a 10″ x 10″ circle at 38 yards.), the front sight began to jiggle loose. At the end of the day: it was sliding from side to side, while the rear ghost ring remained strong and firm. I got home, and in my usual way, started thinking of ways to get this thing sorted…
Finally: I took a look at the unused second set of sights, which I had initially kept as a spare… Then a brainwave hit me: why don’t I fit the SECOND Ghost Ring Sight on the FRONT of the barrel: where the bead used to be?! Then that way you have two rings. Align the two circles (Rear and front) against your target when aiming and you have a good aiming picture! Look through the two rings to your target, and you are ON TARGET!
Finally, I got tired of looking for a place to store my shotgun safely: it came originally as a PGO (Pistol Grip Only.) then I initially did some modification by creating a “wire-type” stock. See link…
This increased the length of the shotgun to about 42″: quite unwieldy and difficult to conceal sometimes. (Like when driving to the range: even though I have all my legal permits, it is better to avoid too many questions at the Police checkpoints.) I have long thought about getting or fabricating a collapsible stock, or a folding one. Well, like you know: it is completely impossible to get such a thing in Nigeria, so my “creative-mind” went to work.
I ended up with a stock that can be tightened onto the shotgun for shoulder-firing usage, or off for storage: leaving a much shorter shotgun in Pistol Grip only configuration. I know it takes “forever” to screw on the stock to use it or to screw off the stock to store it: crude and ugly but it works!
Actually NOT on target! I went to the range to do a test with my “double Ghost-ring sights” and did absolutely the WORST shooting of my LIFE! The two ghost rings aligned okay, but obviously not correctly. At one point: I fired TWICE at a crow, using one of my “slugs” at less than 10 yards, and MISSED both times! ALL shots at my steel 12” x 12” target at 30 yards, and 50 yards MISSED EVERY TIME.
Then to close the day with the WORST news: the firing pin on my shotgun broke! Now my nice Turkish EFE shotgun was wrecked! I don’t think it has to do with my modifications: either to the gun or to the ammo: I really believe it has more to do with the quality of the parts of the gun. Would you believe that the firing pin assembly was of a brittle cast-iron metal and NOT steel!? The Plastic bits for the trigger assembly are weak, brittle PLASTIC!
Well, my EFE Magnum shotgun is useless now: it is not possible to repair it: by myself or a gunsmith (Archeologists discovered the fossils of the extinct Nigerian Gunsmith a few months back! 🙁 ) The Shotgun makes a good club though: and when used right: a great hammer! (No ammo loaded, of course…) Just kidding!
At least: I have a “happy” ending to my story: I met the supplier of my Turkish Shotgun (A licensed firearms dealer…) and complained to him about how strange it was that my shotgun would spoil in less than one year, not with any really heavy shooting… He was more worried that I could tell the large number of clients I already have showing interest in buying from him: so we came up with a deal:
I returned the EFE Magnum Shotgun to the dealer (He says he can get it repaired … Good luck to him!)
He brought me (At my choosing) a Mossberg 500A PGO 18.5” 7+1 Pump-action Shotgun. I like VERY MUCH! As soon as I travel/ have someone travelling: I will get me some tactical sights (Mossy’s already drilled and tapped!), a sling and a stock. I hope to try some shooting this weekend…
I paid him a little something extra to cover his costs: About $200. (Y’all would be SHOCKED to know I paid about $1,000 for the Turkish Shotgun originally! You don’t know what you guys are enjoying in the US: buying firearms legitimately for as low as $100!
Phew! All’s well that ends well, I guess… I’m now the proud owner of a more reliable Mossberg 500A pump-action shotgun!
I fabricated a “Y-Man” Steel target too! This is just perfect for plinking: you hear the slug ring loud and clear! Half-inch thick steel, a steel rod, a discarded car spring, and voila! It is fixed on a spring to reduce the impact of slugs hitting it, and to reduce/ eliminate the risk of ricochets. The steel plate is painted white: so the impact of slug-hits can be seen using Binoculars.