M357A-1 Picatinny Trim

Discussion in 'Maintenance / Tweaks / Technical Difficulties / So' started by Wulf, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Howdy All :)

    For those of you who are interested in Mark Craig's Crossbreed IWB holster, here's a little tip for ya. When you order, its probably best to do so by phone. He's very friendly and a live one-on-one chat will help to firm up exactly what you are wanting from your custom holster and which model is best for you. Make sure that he knows its for an M-A1 and not an M. The turnaround time was 3 weeks, which is precisely the time it took to arrive at my door. In fact, it would have been there a bit sooner, but I asked him to postpone it for a few days because I was called away and couldn't be there to receive it. The quality was good and the end product is very light and comfortable. There was but one problem and it involved the M-A1 Picatinny rail slot near the muzzle...it was catching the Kydex on the draw and would have been disasterous if I had needed to draw my M357A-1 in a pinch. I just cut the forward portion of the rail off and filed it smooth. (I actually like it much better now and won't miss a minute of sleep over the new profile. <shrug>) The M Series would have no issue since it lacks the slot. Here's a pic showing the area of concern.


    [​IMG]


    Below is a pic of my new M-A1 right side profile with the forward portion of the Picatinny rail having been excised, filed and polished. I'll never be able to mount a flashlight or laser sight conventionally speaking, but oh well...such is life ;) After seeing the results, I considered cutting even more off, but the serial # would be part of the removal and I'm really not wanting to get into that part of firearm registration policy.<shrug>


    [​IMG]


    Here is my new IWB Crossbreed rig minus Mark's fine craftsmanship. Its not a good representation of his finished product to your door. In my excitement, I failed to take any pics before I started hacking away. It was very nicely hand crafted and the pistol fit like a glove. I've never been one to simply settle for custom without having a hand in what is custom for me, particularly when my life may depend upon improvisation and unencumbered reaction time. I've reangled the Kydex pieces to optimize the ergonomics and imprint for my body and recut the leather backing to help with my draw. Also, I had to remove the rivets he uses and these aren't near the quality that Mark uses in his holster making.


    [​IMG]


    All things being what they are, I'm quite pleased with the end result. A special thanx to Mark Craig of Crossbreed for his help in this project and for a good product, exceptional service and all for a very fair price. I encourage you to visit Mark's website and view what he has to offer at:

    http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/


    If ya talk to Mark, please tell him Wulf says howdy and thanks again. :)

    Thanx people. :)
     
  2. madecov

    madecov Active Member

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    8-O OUCH 8-O

    While I understand What you did, Why you did and of course how you did it.
    My method would have been to use a heat gun and modify the kydex a bit. I did that with my Safariland 6280.

    I would grind/polish/cut the lowest priced and most easily replaced item.

    Otherwise............ Doesn't look too bad.
     

  3. TheGuyver

    TheGuyver New Member

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    I have to agree, what you did was a little drastic. But,..It's your rig, and if you don't mind lowering the monitary value of the weapon, far be it for me to say you went at it from the wrong angle.

    A heat gun to the Kydex would definately been a better answer for me. But hey, if you are going to keep the gun forever, and never want to mount a light, laser, scope, etc, then congrats man, you got exactly what you wanted. I'm glad you're happy with it.

    I can't talk though, I'm heavily modifying my Bushmaster M17S. Barrel length, reciever length, cooling holes, mag well trimming, handle removing, adding upper and lower P'rails, etc.

    It just goes to show... Make it "Yours", and you can't go wrong....unless, of course, you are buying a weapon to make a profit later, then it is all situational and subjective.
     
  4. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Picatinny Trim

    Hiya Cov :)

    Yeah, I'm sure most people would think my approch to the problem and its solution radical, but I don't expect anyone else to handle the situation in the same manner that I would. My solutions are more permanent, however. I was always a bit weary of the sight rail for precisely the reason in question, "will it hang up on something". The situation with the Crossbreed brought it to reality. I never have bought a plastic pistol thinking it would retain its resale value so I must keep it pristine. Hell, all my pistols are shooters and are therefor subject to my modifications. If the serial # wasn't located where it is, I'd probably cut more of the rail off...the frame has enough material to sustain it. I'll never put a flashlight or laser on it. I considered the M and S Series but the M-A1's have a nicer grip for me. A good set of adjustable night sights I would jump at, and I'm sure they will become available in a short time. But other than that, a slimmer profile and an added max-capacity are 2 goals for its evolution. The trigger, sights and grip brought me to the Steyr M series to begin with. There are other plastic pistols to choose from...more all the time, but I liked this one in particular. I don't like the trigger on the M&P. It reminds me of the Desert Eagle 40's trigger and pinches the lower part of my trigger finger. After a long day of shooting, my Walther P99 kinda does, as well, only not as much. If it didn't shoot so darn well, I'd have traded it on something else. I actually shoot it better than my M357A-1, but I think it has something to do with the trap sights but I've shot heaps more 3 dotters. I have a Springfield Champion at the gunsmith's right now having a set of tri-traps being put on. The slide is having to be dovetailed to receive the front sight, the back can be shimmed a bit. What can I say except that I like tinkering and I've never had any complaints for the outcome. <shrug> Maybe others on the forum are more conservative about cutting and refinishing their plastic pistols...tayloring them to their personal preferences. And, there's nothing wrong with that. Its good to be cautious about modifying a firearm. :) Thanx for reading my posts. I wasn't sure I put it in the right place, but somehow it seemed more than just the "Holsters" topic. Hava good week.

    Wulf
     
  5. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hiya Guyver :)

    Thanx for your response. If I were dealing with a Kimber or a Wilson or a Caspian, I wouldn't even consider making any permanent changes to the firearm. It would indeed devalue its resale value. But, I'm not looking to purchase or collect firearms for their resale value. <shrug> My interest lays in the performance of the firearm and what they can do for me. I don't consider a new $400 pistol a collectors item. I am very involved in the pistols that I have selected for purchase. Each has a good reason for me to shell-out my hard- earned dollars, especially in todays firearms market. Choices are convaluted and endless. There is indeed a place for the Glocks and the Sigs and the HK's, but after careful evaluation of each of them that are of interest to me, I chose the Steyr. I consider them the best bang for my buck...for personal reasons. After I have my new firearms in my possession, I consider them mine to do with as I please and it pleases me to make them more to my liking. I gather that you aren't afraid to do the same, having read your post and fully understanding the need to "own" a pistol in its entirety. Purchasing a Steyr M or S or M-A1 is a very safe bet in todays market, they have been innovative and built to a very high standard of excellence for many years. Their inability to properly market their products in the USA has been a major setback for their popularity. Furthermore, if they would manufacture an M45A-1, all Hell would break loose for many American firearms manufacturers, IMHO. Glock has its G36 that has more recently hit the market and is doing very well and its not a 9mm or a 40 S&W...its a 45 ACP! I'm sorry for getting so long-winded. I just hate to see Steyr and their supporters bogged-down in some European quagmire deciding what calibres are desireable for the American market and limiting variations on its products. I do have a feeling that they will come around when its politically correct to do so...their way of thinking, or some new backer will step-in and takeover. <shrug> Oh well, thanx again and I'd love to have a go with your custom firearm. Variety and specialization are 2 of life's spices...that I consider quite patatible. ;)

    Wulf
     
  6. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Removing Serial # ?

    Howdy All :)

    Might as well push this rail removal to the max. Anyone here can tell me, "What are the circumstances surrounding the modification of a firearm and the subsequential removal of the serial #, legal-wise?" Cov, MrAp?...Anybody? Plz advise ASAP...PM me or post it to add to the Steyrclub database for other members to view. Otherwise, a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanx in advance.

    Wulf
     
  7. ScottW

    ScottW New Member

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    I hope you're not seriously considering that. From the National Firearms Act:
    ------------------------------------------
    Sec. 5842. Identification of firearms

    (a) Identification of firearms other than destructive devices.:Each manufacturer and importer and anyone making a firearm shall identify each firearm, other than a destructive device, manufactured, imported, or made by a serial number which may not be readily removed, obliterated, or altered, the name of the manufacturer, importer, or maker, and such other identification as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

    (b) Firearms without serial number.:Any person who possesses a firearm, other than a destructive device, which does not bear the serial number and other information required by subsection (a) of this section shall identify the firearm with a serial number assigned by the Secretary and any other information the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

    ------------------------------------------------
    So, section b says if you possess a firearm without a serial number, you have to go through official channels to get a new serial number. I don't know which Secretary they refer to (ATF?) but I'll bet the process sucks!

    Federal firearms law states in Sec. 922(k):

    "It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered or to possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce."

    So, if you removed the S/N and then sold it or otherwise took it across state lines, that would be bad. Generally, violations of Sec. 922 carry penalties of 5-10 years plus a nice fine. I don't know how severe the penalties would be if you kept it in state and just didn't go through the process of getting a new S/N. But, if it was found in your posession, you'd be easy pickins for any prosecutor. "But I only wanted it to fit better in my holster, I swear!" :lol: Good luck with that one!
     
  8. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hiya Scott :)

    That was precisely what I wanted to know. Thanx for posting. Now, that having been said, the more concise question would be, "Can the s/n be removed, carefully and without damage, the pistol carefully altered, and the s/n reinstalled in precisely the same place, unaltered?". That's a tricky one, I realize, but I'd like to know how people might interpret,

    "...Sec. 5842. Identification of firearms

    (a) Identification of firearms other than destructive devices.:Each manufacturer and importer and anyone making a firearm shall identify each firearm, other than a destructive device, manufactured, imported, or made by a serial number which may not be readily removed, obliterated, or altered, the name of the manufacturer, importer, or maker, and such other identification as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

    I'm not sure how Steyr would interpret it for warranty sake so I guess I will contact them this evening and see if the warranty would be voided. I'll post what Steyr has to say about this proposal. Thanx again, Scott. You're my hero! ;)

    Wulf
     
  9. TheGuyver

    TheGuyver New Member

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    I agree, I'd love to see an M45 A1

    I love the way all I have to do is drop in a 357 sig barrel into my M40 and I hve an M357-A1, hehe, but I imagine a bunch of .40's can do that.

    I don't think that there is a choice really, since Steyr is manufacturing in the US now, they will grab a chunk of the market, and accy companies will have to start producing for the whole product line... they would be crazy not to, as there is a large Steyr following, much more of a following than I thought there was.
     
  10. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    M45A-1

    Yeah, Baby! :)

    If the Steyr mags can be slightly modified, and I'm sure they can, there may be an M45A-1 sooner than we think! I wonder how difficult it would be to add a drop-in 45 ACP bbl for the M and M-A1 40's? I would think IGB or Bar-Sto could whip somethin' up PDQ. Hmmm, this thread appears to be getting farther away from maintenance and tweaks. Perhaps its time for the Pub. <shrug> ;)

    Wulf
     
  11. madecov

    madecov Active Member

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    Do not touch the serial number at all.
    It must remain in tact and in place.
    There are steep penilties if caught.
     
  12. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    .45 acp is too long. there would be no way to get a magazine in the frame. but .45 gap would be a drop in solution. as long as a modified extractor, and reaming out the barrel hole in the slide was also part of the package.

    when i was talking to the old steyr repair guy about having my broken s40 frame replaced (back when there were replacement s frames) he said he would remove the serial number from my frame and drop it into the new frame. ?

    seems like if the modification was artistic, no one would ever notice that the rail had been removed and the serial number moved. we're not altering or removing the s/n. just re-locating it, to the same highly visible place, albeit 1/8th of an inch away.