For those that are interested, the Broadsword Saga continues. I am now referring to this as “The Great Broadsword Adventure of 2011”.
Custom equipment is always something that takes time to get right. If you are ordering something like custom clothing, the material and pattern is generally readily available, it just becomes a matter of the labor time, and the line of customers in front of you. For machinery, the variables are much the same typically though the time involved is more on material and getting the CNC settings, and the process steps in the right sequence. I have found for a rifle, it is all of the above with the normal supplier SNAFUs thrown in as well.
Crusader Weaponry, and Gundoc in particular, have been struggling with the material for this build. The bulk of the parts were ordered and received quickly. The barrel was an obstacle for quite a while. It was in queue to be fabricated, then the production schedule shifted, then equipment to fabricate the barrel was down, finally they upgraded the barrel and shipped one that they had on hand. Then we were held up on the Bolt Carrier Group (BCG). It seems that BCG requires a specific alloy that is only produced by a few steel mills globally, and there was a bit of a shortage of raw materials to fab the BCG. Having been an ops director for a steel company for a while, I can tell you that, “yup, that happens” and when it does it is a long lead time.
Gundoc worked some magic though, and finally got all the parts in hand. A couple of weeks ago, he got the upper half of the rifle put together.
Then he received the BCG, and went to work on the lower. Lo and behold, the supplier sent the wrong buffer and buffer spring. I could feel the anguish from Gundoc when he sent me that message. All I could do was laugh, with the number of hills that we have had to summit to get the rifle this far, having one more surprise was just about right.
As of Friday of this week, the rifle (I have to find a good name for this one) is wrapping up. She is the the final stages of having the scope mounted, test firing, tweaking as needed from the testing, and then the duracoating.
I have been working on my pistol shooting so much lately, it will feel a little bit strange to get behind a rifle again but I am really looking forward to working with her when she gets here. I hope to have a couple of more interim photos before the rifle is completed.
It has been an adventure, and I would not do anything different if I was embarking on this today. Crusader and Gundoc have been fantastic in putting up with all of my questions, and need for communication. They have been up front in delivering the tough answers when they have occurred and they have continued to earn my trust and respect through out the process (which is not an easy thing). Now we just have to move this adventure “across the goal line”.