Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mexico: Underground Arms Cache across the border from McAllen, Texas

A recent confiscation of some rifles and ammunition made headlines from an AP report.  The arms were found near Reynosa, Mexico, not far from the border with the United States and McAllen, Texas.  While the AP report claimed that 33 "assault rifles" were found, the pictures from Mexican sources indicate that is an exaggeration.    This small cache would barely be noticed at a local gun club.  It is a moderate collection for an enthusiast.   The picture of the rifles on the table leaves much to be desired.  If anyone has access to a higher resolution image, please let me know.

It appears that most of the rifles are semi-autos, hardly "assault rifles".  My best count for rifles on the tables is 28.   On the table there appear to be 7 AR15 clones, 10 AK clones (including the RPK or clone), one or two HK91/G3 types,  and about 10 too pixilated for me to ID.  The rifles shown below appear to be separate from those on the table.  There are five of them, which would bring the total to 33, as reported.  Three "submachine guns" are listed, but I do not see any that I can identify.

The five rifles pictured above are an AR15 clone with stainless barrel, a AK clone, almost certainly semi-auto because of the thumbhole stock, a customized 98 Mauser (maybe in .22-250?)  and an Enfield MK III or variant.  The rifle on the table is an Armalite AR-50 .50 caliber single shot bolt action rifle.  It is not much use without the scope.

Here are the captured magazines.    The round objects on the left and far upper right of the picture are AK drum magazines.   In the articles from Mexican sources, it is stated that 32 magazines for AKs were found, and 188 magazines for 7.62x39 machine guns.  Maybe they are refering to the drum magazines.  The AK magazines that I know of work in the AK family machine guns as well.  

They also list 1,405 AR15/M16 magazines, 70 HK91/G3 magazines, 1 .50 caliber magazine (odd, as I do not believe the Armalite AR-50 takes a magazine), and 4 pistol magazines (two of the "pistol" magazines on the far right seem to be .30 carbine magazines).

The ammunition found with the rifles.  Most of it is .308 or 7.62 x 51 (5,514) linked cartridges listed, 620 7.62x39 cartridges, 40 ".30 caliber" cartridges (maybe for the .303 British?), 65 7.62X51 cartridges (with an 83 headstamp?), 170 .22-250 cartridges, and three 40 mm grenade rounds or launchers.  I do not see the grenades or launchers in the pictures.

Here is the trap door and the surroundings of the underground storage unit.

Perhaps some other subject matter experts can add to the above.  Technical details are often mangled by American reporters, so I do not expect any better South of the border.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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extexanwannabee said...

Local story here

Anonymous said...

The only thing you need to make an AR15 or an AK 47 fully automatic is a different selector switch or you can carefully machine the one in it

Mr. Fosi said...

This lie is interesting only because it is so obviously false.

A fully auto conversion for an AR would require, at minimum, machining affaire l additional material out of the trigger pocket, homes drilled for additional pins, and an entirely different fire control group.

You win zero internets.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fosi have you ever seen the selector switch in an M-16 or an AR-15 One has two positions on it and the other has three positions on it, that Is the only difference. Lock (1) semi (/) full (-) All you have to do is pull one out and put the other in. At least that is how it was when I carried one for a year. If the design of the lower has been changed I do not know abut that change but the only change that could effect it is able to be fixed in about ten minutes with an end mill.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fosi could you explain the extra pins function or the extra material to remove from the trigger movement. No automatic I ever saw requires more movement for the trigger. You pull the trigger and the gun fires period. the selector switch pushes out from the left side and pushes back in from the rights side using the same hole. all the selector switch does is limit the movement of the sear from safety to fire or full auto. The only machining that could be required is if the sear is limited in its up or down movement some place other than the selector switch and that would have to be between the pivot and the selector switch points of contact or the sear its self at the pivot point. If you wanted the gun to fire on full auto all the time all you would have to do is shorten the sear where it makes contact with the selector switch but then there would be no safety, you would only have semi and full. I'm wondering do you call yourself a gun smith?

Dean Weingarten said...

The design of the fire control group for the AR-15 has only been changed for about 40 years. You need to change out much more than the selector lever. There are several methods that can be done to make an AR-15 fire in full-auto mode. None are quite as simple as what you describe.

Dean Weingarten said...

Here are four methods, from an expert:

Well....sort of. There are at least four ways to turn an AR-15 type rifle into a fully automatic or selective weapon.

The first is the most obvious: pitch most of the AR-15 components and replace them with their M16/M16A1 equivalents: the hammer, trigger, disconnector and safety/selector in the fire control group, and the bolt carrier in the upper receiver. Then add the M16/M16A1 automatic sear, which will also require drilling a retaining pin hole for it at the rear of the receiver, nd adding the pin [interchangeable with either the Ar-15 or M16 hammer or trigger pin.

Second option: again, replace the AR-15 fire control group components and bolt carrier with the M16/M16A1 type. Then add a new component, known as an *auto-sear* NOT the military M16 type, but a commercial/expedient part which performs a similar function; it consists of three peaces, the body, the sear itself, and a spring to return it to its starting position at a rate of about 10-15 times per second. This, again, offers selective fire: safe, full-auto, or semiautomatic.

Third possibility: a *trigger kicker.* This is a two-part device consisting of two pieces of interlocking flat metal, one of which is horizontal or parallel with the rifle barrel and is tripped by the rear base of the AR15 bolt carrier and a second, 90 degrees to the first, which trips the hammer's sear when pushed forward by its partner. This arrangement gives full-auto only fire, but does not require any change of the AR-15 parts, and, of course, two short pieces of hardened flat steel [cutdown saw blades have been used] are an extremely low-bucks proposition.

There is a fourth variety of a sort, a trigger that fires once when pulled, then another as it is then released. It's not common, but there are a few around. I've also seen an interesting prototype that operates from the turning of the rifle's bolt; it has the advantage that it is its own disconnector, meaning that the sear can't be tripped to drop the hammer until the bolt is fully forward and turned into the locked position. Best of all, it requires no replacement of any major components, and only one slight modification of the AR-15 disconnector, a 1/16th-inch diameter hole.

The most common method is probably the auto-sear, where the M16 or M16A1 components are available. But in some circles, the *trigger kicker* is fairly often seen too.

Anonymous said...

Well the one I carried was in 1968 so maybe it has changed. I have seen the two piece units for other weapons and even have the plans for them. If my suggestions are out of date then the weapon design must have been radically changed. for the one that called me a liar I would be happy to meet him anywhere and let him call me a Liar to my face.