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I Am The Walrus
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sourdough44:
One has to evaluate if they need $5k worth of battle rifle. For most of us, that additional $3500 could be used elsewhere.

I guess you get some range cred, with the high $$ rifle & all. No not jealous, don’t mind a bit if the guy next door has the high $$ rifle.


The human is the weapon, the rifle is just a tool. Big Grin


_____________

 
Posts: 10979 | Location: All over | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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quote:
The M14/M1A has some severe design flaws that can be dangerous if not attended to.


Please elaborate, as I have a Springfield M1A....



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 7554 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
LIBERTATEM DEFENDIMUS
Picture of Belgian Blue
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No doubt, SCAR all the way. Choose the 17s or 20s (now available in 6.5 CM) depending on your specific needs.
 
Posts: 5259 | Registered: October 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
Picture of benny6
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by OttoSig:
quote:
Originally posted by chongosuerte:
Honest question...how much benefit would the extra to build one get me over say, a Springfield M1A Scout?


Interested in the answer also, been looking at a Scout vs an entry level AR-10


Before I owned my first M14, I didn't know I'd eventually own six of them. I drooled over the M1A super match and I wanted one that was really accurate. I wanted to own the most accurate and reliable M1A I could, so I joined the M14 forum (of which I'm now a moderator) and started learning as much as I could about M14's. That was back in 2007 and I had been reading about problems people had with over-indexed barrels, broken hammers, bolt roller impact defect, loose operating rod guides, bolts that would disassemble themselves while firing (not that common, but common enough that people had heard of it happening) and also the fact that Springfield Armory Inc had run out of GI parts and had been using cast operating rods, trigger groups, gas cylinders and flash suppressors.

To their credit, over the years, SAI has addressed most of the issues. The bolt disassembling itself goes back to the early days of the M14, but for different reasons. In the early days of the M14, they used M1 Garand extractors.

What they did not know was that when using 7.62 NATO blanks for training, with a longer nose than a real round, caused the case-head to feed differently and it would lift the extractor out of place. For anyone that owns a M14/M1A, they know that the extractor is what keeps the whole bolt together. When the extractor is removed, the bolt guts fall out. To correct this, a M14 specific extractor was designed with a relief cutout on the bottom claw of the extractor. This stopped M14 bolts from disassembling itself.

When Springfield Armory began making their own extractors, the relief cutout is there, but the extractor dog-leg was too long. It sticks out of the bottom of the bolt. Sometimes, the case feeding from the next round will push up on the extractor and it will disassemble itself while firing. To fix the issue, SAI simply made the dimple for the extractor spring plunger much deeper. While it solves the bolt disassembly issue, it makes it nearly impossible to disassemble the bolt without destroying the extractor spring plunger.

If you go with a custom build, you get to pick which barrel you want. SAI barrels can be pretty heavy on the tooling marks. I've seen them shoot very well, but the copper fouling will build up quicker. My preferred barrels are Lothar-Walther, Kreiger and Criterion.

We do hear reports of broken hammer hooks and sears from time to tome. An annoyance, but the M1 Garand is identical and a quality hammer and trigger can be easily solved by a drop-in Garand hammer set. Shooting Sight makes fully adjustable trigger that is amazing!

There are now forged receivers available from LRB and Bula Defense, but LRB bas been at it longer and seems to be slightly more refined than the Bula. I've built three rifles on LRB receivers and three rifles on Bula receivers. All have performed very well. The SOCOM I built is on a Bula receiver with a Criterion barrel. My most accurate M14 is built on a LRB receiver with a heavy Lothar Walther barrel (~1/2 MOA).

A custom gunsmith will make sure operating rod guides are tight and aligned properly. They will also make sure barres are timed just right which means that to zero the rifle, the iron sights will be set closer to mechanical zero to achieve an actual zero. There was a time when, and maybe still, that if you set the rear sight to mechanical zero windage, that the front sight had to be set all the way to the right and almost overhanging the front sight dovetail to achieve zero at 100 yards. If you set the front sight to mechanical zero, left windage would have to be applied to the rear sight to achieve zero.

Most of the SAI parts or castings come from outside the US and are either finish-machined or finish assembled in the US. Since the early days of SAI, there have been at least four different casting suppliers with the latest rumored to have its origins in Canada. Most of Fulton Armory branded parts are cast as well. That doesn't mean they are of poor quality, but people go ape-chit over the cast vs forged debate, so it matters to some people.

I can tell you 100% for a fact, through feel and through pictures that LRB and Bula receivers have far superior machining and finishing than a SAI receivers. When you cycle the action on a new SAI rifle, it feels like there's sand in there. When I cycle the action on a LRB or Bula, it smooth as silk. I will admit though, that the current run of receivers from SAI (400k serial number range) has improved a lot since the 100k serial number range from the turn of the millennia.

If you build a rear-lugged M14, the lug will be tapped for a rear screw if you get a LRB, Bula, or Fulton. SAI rear-lugged super match M1A's do not have a rear torque screw. One can be drilled and tapped though.

I prefer Minelli stocks over Boyd's Minelli is supposed to reintroduce their M14 stocks through Stocky's any day now. SAI uses Boyd's walnut stocks. SAI also ran out of GI fiberglass stocks in the early 2000's and their composite stock offerings are extremely flimsy compared to a GI fiberglass. I only wish McMillan would introduce a medium weight stock that would be more rigid than the GI, but not as bulky as their full match stocks.

The stock I have on my SOCOM is a carbon-graphite-kevlar stock that was made by a guy around 2010 who had a bunch of aerospace composite materials left over from his aviation job. He made maybe 50 or 100 of those stocks and it's my favorite M14 stock. It's only slightly heavier than a GI fiberglass stock, but extremely rigid.

You can still find GI fiberglass stocks from TreelineM14.

SAI should be credited with keeping the M14 platform alive at an affordable price and for the casual M14 enthusiast. M14 addicts that want more go custom and spend order of magnitudes more in cash to get their final product. I've got a guy who has dropped around $7k for me to build him two complete rifles with top-tier parts and aluminum chassis.

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4018 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ironmike57
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I picked up 10 super clean aluminum mags for my PTR at the WBP gun show for 5.00 apiece!


I have a ptr 91 that makes a pretty good battle rifle too. Especially with $10 mags
 
Posts: 1513 | Location: Delray Beach | Registered: July 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Do No Harm,
Do Know Harm
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Benny,

I’ve read your post a couple of times. I certainly value your experience and knowledge.

I’m tossing extra cash to the side for a few “wants” and “what-ifs” that are outside my normal household budget (like a new rifle). I’ll reach out to you directly at some point for more advice.

One quick question, how much of a premium would you guess a built rifle with a wood stock and 16”-20” barrel would be over a similar offering from Springfield? $500? $1,000? I know there are several variables, and I see it’s easy to spend as much as you want.

I wouldn’t be making 1,000 yard shots with it, not even 500+ yard shots probably. But I see the importance in buying quality and not regretting it. I’m just trying to get an idea of the cost. Is that worth $100-$500 to me? Yes. Is it worth $500-$1,000 to me? Ehhhhh




Knowing what one is talking about is widely admired but not strictly required here.

Although sometimes distracting, there is often a certain entertainment value to this easy standard.
-JALLEN

"All I need is a WAR ON DRUGS reference and I got myself a police thread BINGO." -jljones
 
Posts: 10835 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree that the FAL is a very good Battle rifle. It will go through hell and high water and come out shooting. Dirt, mud, snow, ice sand and general neglect and it will come our shooting. Is this what you are looking for or just something in .30cal.?

QOUTE “Personally, I like the FAL. It's a dated design in light of all the bells and whistles we use these days - but as a battle rifle it is the best all around package. Again, as a dedicated battle rifle.”

QUOTE “The G3 is under rated. The roller lock system will handle ANY ammo you run trough it. Ergonomics are crap and it's difficult (or impossible) to mount optics on it. It's easy to hit a gong at 500yds so I think it has good accuracy.”

H&K G3 is also a Great battle rifle. People shoot it with the very hard plastic buttstock, it kicks like a mule and they immediately discount it. There is a wonderful rubber replacement that makes it a whole new rifle. It too will stand up to all of the above. I have a scope mount for mine, easily removeable with accurate re-mounting.

Both are easy to strip and clean. The H&K could be cleaned by a smart 10 year old. The FAL might take a 12 year old.

If I had to grab a rifle and run, expecting that the area was to be over run, destroyed and that I would never see my home the same again - I would grab one of the two.

A “battle” rifle is expected to stand up to some abuse - ie survive and shoot in battle. These two will do that.

Swish any AR around in a wet sandbox, in a river, in snow and ice, etc. and take it out expecting it to shoot? I don’t think so.

Your experience might vary from mine...
 
Posts: 1827 | Location: south central Pennsylvania | Registered: November 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
Picture of benny6
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by chongosuerte:
Benny,

I’ve read your post a couple of times. I certainly value your experience and knowledge.

I’m tossing extra cash to the side for a few “wants” and “what-ifs” that are outside my normal household budget (like a new rifle). I’ll reach out to you directly at some point for more advice.

One quick question, how much of a premium would you guess a built rifle with a wood stock and 16”-20” barrel would be over a similar offering from Springfield? $500? $1,000? I know there are several variables, and I see it’s easy to spend as much as you want.

I wouldn’t be making 1,000 yard shots with it, not even 500+ yard shots probably. But I see the importance in buying quality and not regretting it. I’m just trying to get an idea of the cost. Is that worth $100-$500 to me? Yes. Is it worth $500-$1,000 to me? Ehhhhh


I know Para doesn't like advertising or soliciting, but since you're asking for a cost comparison to see if it's worth it, I hope this is allowed since I'm merely answering a public question.

Barrels come in sixteen inches, eighteen and a half inches and twenty two inches. Bula does offer a 19.25" in medium weight as well.

A core parts kit (all USGI parts minus barrel, receiver and stock) from Fulton currently costs $1,300. I'd pick a 18.5" Criterion medium weight barrel for $275. A LRB receiver would cost $860. A Boyd's "slimline" stock with all the metal is $130 and hand guard with clip is about $20. I prefer the Minelli stocks, but they're not available yet. You can also get a USGI walnut stock from Treeline, but you'd have a hole where the full auto selector should be. With all metal, that would be about $120 if you got a GI walnut stock that has not been refinished. Add $25 for a magazine.

That's about $2,600 in parts alone, Then add the build fee and you're at $2,800 for a properly built M14 that has been custom built and has all forged parts. Not one single cast part in the rifle. Bedding can really improve the accuracy as well (+$200).

Springfield M1A's retail at around $1,600 for a SOCOM and around $1,800 for a scout with a GI profile barrel. Loaded's are around $2k. The higher end M1A's with heavy barrels come in around $3,000 to $3,500 and those are still built with commercial cast parts and Douglas barrels. I spec'd out a rear-lugged heavy Kreiger with all GI parts, a McMillan stock, a LRB receiver and Shooting Sight trigger parts for around $4500.

So apples to apples, a SAI walnut scout, un-bedded, might cost your around $1800. A custom built LRB with a better quality 18.5" medium weight barrel and all forged GI parts would cost you around $2,800. $2,400 if you use a Fulton cast receiver in place of the forged LRB. Fulton receivers are $450 right now versus the $860 for the forged LRB.

I did build an optics ready scout last year with a 18.5" Criterion medium weight barrel, Bula parts kit and a Bula M21 DMR receiver. He spent $850 for a McMillan M3A stock so he ended up paying around $3200 for his build with bedding. He cut some cost by using a Bula parts kit instead of a GI parts kit and he went with a Bula receiver instead of a LRB. I'd say he saved about $500 or $600 going that route. A LRB receiver and Gi parts would have sent the cost close to $4k.



Bula has other business besides M14 parts, so some parts are not as available as they once were, so I can't guarantee certain parts will be in stock anymore. I think they have been busy on other larger orders for different industries.

Hope this helps.

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4018 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tony,

Thank you very much, I didn’t view that as an advertisement at all. Instead it is very valuable knowledge.

I view these rifles like I view wine and cigars. I can drink a 12 pack of PBR and a pack of smokes, but I always appreciated the classiness and expertise of wine making. And much like wine years ago I was quite ignorant prior to my first glass and diving in so to speak. So thank you, I’m just now starting to learn about these rifles.

I do want a 308 rifle soon and while more modern examples might be more “practical” this just speaks to me.

Thank you so much for sharing.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: OttoSig,





14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
 
Posts: 3492 | Location: Seoul | Registered: August 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Do No Harm,
Do Know Harm
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Yes, thank you, again I appreciate your time and knowledge. Exactly the type of discussion I was looking for.




Knowing what one is talking about is widely admired but not strictly required here.

Although sometimes distracting, there is often a certain entertainment value to this easy standard.
-JALLEN

"All I need is a WAR ON DRUGS reference and I got myself a police thread BINGO." -jljones
 
Posts: 10835 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by chongosuerte:
Yes, thank you, again I appreciate your time and knowledge. Exactly the type of discussion I was looking for.


Hope I didn’t come off as hijacking your thread Chongo, you were just asking questions I’ve been having.





14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
 
Posts: 3492 | Location: Seoul | Registered: August 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Do No Harm,
Do Know Harm
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by OttoSig:
quote:
Originally posted by chongosuerte:
Yes, thank you, again I appreciate your time and knowledge. Exactly the type of discussion I was looking for.


Hope I didn’t come off as hijacking your thread Chongo, you were just asking questions I’ve been having.


Not at all!


For those still reading, what sets the FAL apart from the M1A? Looking at those, sub $2k seems achievable. Do they come out of the box with less worry than a Springfield?




Knowing what one is talking about is widely admired but not strictly required here.

Although sometimes distracting, there is often a certain entertainment value to this easy standard.
-JALLEN

"All I need is a WAR ON DRUGS reference and I got myself a police thread BINGO." -jljones
 
Posts: 10835 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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My FAL was no more reliable or accurate than my M1As, and it just didn't "spark joy" for me like the M14 family does. It's a solid platform, and an iconic Cold War battle rifle, but I've since gotten rid of mine.

At the time I got mine, metric FAL mags were stupid cheap, which was a plus for the FAL, but that's no longer the case.

 
Posts: 25959 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
Picture of benny6
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I think the one single advantage that the M14 has over the other classic battle rifles is that it can and has been match conditioned and I think it's safe to say that the FAL and the H&K G3 can't touch a match conditioned M14.

I could be wrong, but I've never heard those rifles being capable of sub-MOA accuracy. I've never heard of anyone shooting a FAL or G3 for accuracy at 1,000 yards.

They all have their merits, but the M14 design shines in this department.

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4018 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Austin228
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I vote HK91 type and specifically DSA FN FAL

I have a Springfield Armory SAR8(HK91 Greek ones with all steel construction, pre-86).

I also have a DSA STG58 with extreme duty scope mount(top rail), SAW grip, 21 inch barrel, carry handle, looks similar to RogueJSK old one but with different handguards.

I've had them both over 10 years so I'd say I have some experience with both platforms.

I ordered my STG58 how I wanted it from DSA so you don't have to sacrifice modern ability to mount stuff/scopes/red dots etc.

I also had gotten a DSA FN FAL one that was quad rails handguards, 16' inch barrel(well 14.5 with pinned/welded flashhider to 16), para stock.

I eventually got rid of the short tactical one one not because it wasn't great just had more than enough stuff really.
My STG58 and SAR8(Hk91 clone) cost me less than $2500(in another time)

If you ordered one of the DSA "Warrior" FAL's they are $1,450 and then a PTR91 goes for $900-$1100 the lower end ones so it could be done....magazines for FN FAL are running 15-25 and HK91 magazines are new from 7 dollars (Korean) and used from $5+ dollars.


The SCAR 17s I see are all north of $3K-$4K ( and magazines $40-$50, then also you still have to buy 308 ammo, for that price + magazines you'd have a PTR91 or DSA FAL + magazines and ammo to actually shoot it.


Scar 17S $4,362 - 1 magazine?- maybe when prices were normal but I think the .308 ones were always north of $3K...

https://gunprime.com/products/...-308-win-16-blk-20rd

DSArms FAL's from $1,450 - $2,245 for all models except 1 (3 models at $1,450 with 16 inch, 18 inch and 21 inch barrels to choose from as well plus whatever options you have them add)

https://www.dsarms.com/c-936-d...=100&sortby=priceasc

I will say though that I'm not a 1000 yard shooter myself, however at hog ranges on the 3000+ acre ranch I used to visit these rifles were great performers.

Honestly for the cost of a $5000 dollar SCAR+tax +magazines and enough .308 ammo to learn how to hit at 1000 yards....


You could literally buy a full auto at this time for the overall price of a SCAR 17S and then sell it later and buy as many SCAR as you want

I have fired full autos in my day, and I can say they are "fun"

https://dealernfa.com/product-...&pa_transferable=yes

If you want an 1000 yard rifle just buy a bolt action 7mm magnum or whatever and a scope for cheap

I see the SCAR as a nice weapon, but the continuing value for paying that price is not there.

No way it will go up in value like a full auto you could get instead, of course if you're just burning money then it doesn't matter.

I'm willing to spend 500-1000 on something that's just a toy but $5000++ makes me think twice and think about other things I would do with the money.

DSA FN FAL or PTR91, I'd say HK 91-type for the real bargain on price/magazine price.
 
Posts: 1174 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: March 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by MikeinNC:
quote:
The M14/M1A has some severe design flaws that can be dangerous if not attended to.


Please elaborate, as I have a Springfield M1A....


The general problem with the M21 is that it's a fragile design. This is particularly true if the stock has been glass bedded. Having carried the thing, I can verify that it needs to babied to an unreasonable extreme.

In the Army, we were not authorized to disassemble the rifle since it would ruin the glass bedding. The rifle could not be jumped for Airborne Operations (even though we did it anyway). Cleaning, with the exception of the barrel and general exterior, could only be done by the unit armorer.

It was really a PITA, so many problems and obstacles that had to be dealt with.

According to my instructor at the Army Marksmanship Training Unit, the main mechanical flaws were the design of the bolt and the tendency for the operating rods bending with the use of certain types of ammo.

The rifle was very hard to mount a scope on. The instructors at the old Sniper School on Ft.Bragg would put a cheater bar on the scope mount bolts and torque them until the bolts were just shy of shearing off (I still can't figure out how they did that). Armorers at various levels would put up a stink about it (especially if they sheared the bolts) but that was what it took to get them to hold a zero.

The biggest flaw was the design of the bolt. All three components of the bolt (extractor, ejector and firing pin) are all held together and to the bolt by one spring and pin with pressure on it from several different angles.

Specifically, (IIRC) the extractor spring has a half moon detent on it that fits into a half moon recess in the bolt body. If this detent or the recess become worn then the whole bolt assembly will fly apart during firing. This is why people say that a properly spec bolt is a must have on this rifle.

How do you get around this? First, make sure you have very high quality parts throughout your bolt assembly and have the thing built by somebody who knows what they are doing (I would look for an older 14 smith - my opinion). Secondly, I would buy a bolt disassembly tool and keep an eye on these areas. Don't let them get worn.

I never saw problems with the op rod in practical use. However, we never shot anything other than M118 Match through our rifles.

My personal opinion; There are a lot of people who love the M1A and they have been working hard for the last 30 years to fix a lot of these problems. The rifle *IS* capable of fine accuracy if built right.

Look at this way; the M1A is a lot like the 1911 in that neither should be owned or used by an unsophisticated user. There is a lot to know about each of these weapons in order to effectively use them.

That's pretty much what I have.

Cheers,

V.
 
Posts: 286 | Location: Pacific NW | Registered: April 09, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I appreciate your post and don’t take this as an argument but the army not allowing soldiers to do something speaks more to soldiers than the equipment in my experience lol!!!

Thanks for your post. In all seriousness.





14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
 
Posts: 3492 | Location: Seoul | Registered: August 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by OttoSig:
I appreciate your post and don’t take this as an argument but the army not allowing soldiers to do something speaks more to soldiers than the equipment in my experience lol!!!

Thanks for your post. In all seriousness.


No worries. I spent ten years in the infantry and I know soldiers can destroy (or screw up) anything.

However, everything I wrote about the M21 applies to all users during that time, unsophisticated or otherwise.

You just couldn't take the thing apart without ruining the glass bedding.

V.
 
Posts: 286 | Location: Pacific NW | Registered: April 09, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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Which ones keep the bolt open when the magazine is empty?

Speaking only for me, that is an important feature of a "battle" rifle.
 
Posts: 6534 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of trebor44
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One of several things to consider is 'weight', both ammo and rifle. Also the cost of feeding it and availability of ammo. "Fix-ability" can you scrounge or find the parts to keep it running? KISS is a desirable option.
Anyone interested in a PTR-PDW in .308?


--------------------------------

On the inside looking out, but not to the west, it's the PRK and its minions!
 
Posts: 488 | Location: Idaho, west of Beaver Dicks Ferry | Registered: August 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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