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New L Drums: Inspection Report & Group Buy


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#21 AZDoug

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 02:10 AM

QUOTE (PhilOhio @ Dec 22 2004, 10:54 PM)
People in the gun business are learning hard lessons. One is not to speculate heavily.

Just another reason I won't pay $25K+ for a gun that may be legislated into a Canada style transfer system (Only future transfers to existing C3 ownwers).


Yeah, I bit the bullet 10 years ago and plunked down $2K on a WH and $2700 on a S 1928A1, but I would not pay huge amounts for any FA gun now; the rate of appreciation will not continue, and the downside is too great. 500% over the past 10 years is OK, but anybody that thinks todays $25K TSMG is going to sell for $125K in 2015 better put down the crack pipe.

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#22 Sig

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 07:15 AM

I was going to add a cryptic comment but my mother told me if I can't say something nice don't say anything.
Merry Christmas
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#23 timkel

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 08:31 AM

QUOTE (PhilOhio @ Dec 23 2004, 12:02 AM)
QUOTE (timkel @ Dec 22 2004, 05:22 PM)
How wide should the drum Cartridge Aperture be?

timkel,

I never paid any attention to this dimension before, until PK brought it up. So I just measured my early Colt "L" drum #4180. It has virtually no wear on it, inside and out. So I assume the dimensions are all pretty close to the original specification.

From rear to front, for a distance of about .8", the width of the aperture is a uniform .380" to .381". From that point forward, the right lip continues as a straight edge, but the left lip widens, in a straight line toward the left, to about .450" at the forward edge of the rear shell.

This was curious to me, in that the release channel does not widen uniformly, both left and right.

A cartridge cannot sit very high in this aperture, and it is not cocked upward at all. It rides straight forward into the feed channel. And it looks to me as though there is no force which would make it rise as it is released forward.

I'm sure PK understands a whole lot more about the dynamics of this, because to me it is much different from the way the Suomi and PPSh drums release their rounds (upward).

Now, PK said the Kahr apertures were a few thousandths OVER .070" too wide, as I recall. That's a bunch. So if you add this to .380" you get .450", bullet diameter. The case is only a few thousandths wider. That means almost nothing is holding the round between the lips. It means that the whole width of the aperture on the Kahr drums is probably about the same width as the widest part of the forward release area on my Colt drum. I can't imagine something like that coming out of a factory, or being designed that way. Draw your own conclusions. I have.

But order away, guys. We don't shoot 'em much anyway. They will look nice.

I checked the size of the aperture on my kahr drum. It is oversize like PK says. But it doesn't seem to effect function at all. If it does become a problem, repair looks simple.
Seems like it would be a simple adjustment for Kahr to make during production.
user posted image
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#24 TD.

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 09:02 AM

I don't worry about the legislated out of existence theory; that is something that is unpredictable and, if happens, will probably be based on some unforeseen event. However, as Doug states, the current rate of growth is clearly unsustainable. Anyone that has several Thompsons they paid only a few thousand dollars for (or less) many years ago should take some profit. As with stocks and mutual funds, trying to time the market so to speak will only result in disappointment for the majority of people. I say several Thompsons because I would not sell the one Thompson I own regardless of price - but I do consider it a highly valued asset in my portfolio of worldly possessions. The problem with paying 18K and up for a well-used 1928 or M1 Thompson is the possibility of some change in the law that would allow importation of these widely available Thompsons into the United States. If this were to happen, the value of these WWII (and West Hurley) Thompsons would plummet overnight. What about Colt Thompsons? These too would see a drop in price because there are enough Colt Thompsons that could be brought into the United States to have an instant affect on prices. Of course, the class three market is not only about Thompsons. If the Class Three market were to continue as it has in the last five years, it would not be too long until the entry level machine gun will be 10K. If that happens, the number of potential customers will rapidly decline as will the number of dealers. How many people do you think will be paying 10K for a MAC or 50K for a Thompson? Let me assure you it will not be many – and not enough to sustain any type of market for these items. Look at the recent stock market correction and expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban as what can happen to highly valued items overnight. Anyone want to admit they are happy for paying $900 for that West Hurley L drum two years ago? Buying anything at the top of the market is a sure recipe for disaster. Regardless of what you subscribe to, the legislated out of existence theory or the market theory, both are enough reason for the cautious person to stay out the Class Three market for the foreseeable future.
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#25 PK.

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 09:44 AM

GI print dim for cartridge aperture is .383 +.003
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#26 giantpanda4

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 10:13 AM

I will take one PK.

By the way .... now that you "destroyed" the collector value of that Bridgeport... wanna sell it too?? biggrin.gif

Thanks to you and Merle for all you did on this!
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#27 Dylan

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 12:36 PM

Money order will be in the mail tomorrow for 1 drum.
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#28 thesavage

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 04:57 PM

Certified funds went out this morning via U S Post for one of the Kahr L Drums. thank you for the test report. Merry Christmas to you and Family.
Sincerely,
The Savage
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#29 Grey Crow

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 09:13 PM

Check is on the way PK.

I have no qualms with paying 1.1K for my patent dated Worcester. Sure, it may have take a tiny bump downward for now. This drum, like Colt Thompson's is more of an investment. A safe queen if you will!

About the only way these things will really loose value is if they legislate everything into the scrap heap, paying only the scrap value of steel at the time.

But then to the black market prices will really soar. There will always be a market!

Yes, the Kahr 27 IS targeted on almost every piece of ban legislation written.

This year PA wrote some very nasty legislation that luckily never made it to the floor.
The law was written that each person owning an assault weapon had to pay a yearly tax to the state, and the only time it could be removed from the house was for an insured sanctioned shoot, OR to surrender it to the State Police.

(Climbing off my soap box)

At any rate, I committed for one of the new drums, and stand behind my promise.

Thanks Paul for the leg work!
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#30 JimFromFL

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE (TD. @ Dec 23 2004, 09:02 AM)
I don't worry about the legislated out of existence theory; that is something that is unpredictable and, if happens, will probably be based on some unforeseen event. However, as Doug states, the current rate of growth is clearly unsustainable. Anyone that has several Thompsons they paid only a few thousand dollars for (or less) many years ago should take some profit. As with stocks and mutual funds, trying to time the market so to speak will only result in disappointment for the majority of people. I say several Thompsons because I would not sell the one Thompson I own regardless of price - but I do consider it a highly valued asset in my portfolio of worldly possessions. The problem with paying 18K and up for a well-used 1928 or M1 Thompson is the possibility of some change in the law that would allow importation of these widely available Thompsons into the United States. If this were to happen, the value of these WWII (and West Hurley) Thompsons would plummet overnight. What about Colt Thompsons? These too would see a drop in price because there are enough Colt Thompsons that could be brought into the United States to have an instant affect on prices. Of course, the class three market is not only about Thompsons. If the Class Three market were to continue as it has in the last five years, it would not be too long until the entry level machine gun will be 10K. If that happens, the number of potential customers will rapidly decline as will the number of dealers. How many people do you think will be paying 10K for a MAC or 50K for a Thompson? Let me assure you it will not be many – and not enough to sustain any type of market for these items. Look at the recent stock market correction and expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban as what can happen to highly valued items overnight. Anyone want to admit they are happy for paying $900 for that West Hurley L drum two years ago? Buying anything at the top of the market is a sure recipe for disaster. Regardless of what you subscribe to, the legislated out of existence theory or the market theory, both are enough reason for the cautious person to stay out the Class Three market for the foreseeable future.

I agree with the bubble theory for most any item.

Remember goal prices and baseball cards prices? Now you are lucky to get .10 to the $1. tongue.gif

Every one remembers the old stock market. Even I was thinking retirement. Now I am thinking I may have to work until 90.

The only problem with firearms is the recent sunset is the only ban/law that I have seen actually go away. Although I would welcome it, I just don't see it happening.
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#31 wildwilly2002

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 06:39 AM

PK, sent bank check for 1 drum. check e- mail for adress. Thanks
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#32 Bisley45

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 07:43 AM

Funds sent, 1 drum

For all the bitching how many people tried a X drum ? The one I got was soft, did not fit my recever and after it was adjusted wouldn't feed all ten rounds without a stopage.

They should be better but if Khar see's demand and hears plenty of griping about their product maybe they'll improve. If they used the same quality control the Goverment did or God forbid they barrow a few people from their K9 or K40 pistol line things would be right the first time.

Just my .02
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#33 Lafayette Gregory

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 09:25 AM

Payment sent for one drum Thanks for all you work.
Lafayette Gregory
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#34 Grey Crow

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 10:47 AM

Bisley45,

I have an X drum, 1st time out, nothing but jams, then after playing a bit I found that you can't count the soft clicks, with careful listening you can hear a differance in the clicks. When you count the louder clicks only, and wind to the amount on the drum it works great.

"Drum Jams are nasty!"

The 1st several times in, it was tight, but fit the slots fairly well after a bit of use. Even my 20's Worcester L is a little on the snug side.
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#35 jonathan

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE (PK. @ Dec 22 2004, 10:39 AM)
Inspection

For the purposes of this report, “early drums” means WH & early Kahr production (apologies to the pre 1950's products)

A group of 7 new production Kahr L drums are involved in this study. These were NIB and unused. I feel a lot of this quantity is adequate to give a reasonable picture of what to expect from this production run.

A comprehensive inspection was not attempted, but several areas that have proven problematical with the early drums were examined, as well as areas generally considered “important”.

The Guide (spiral which directs the cartridges) in the Body is of singular importance in the function of the drum. If there are places where the cartridges cannot pass, the drum simply won’t work. In inspecting this feature, a gage is used which represents the minimum dimension given in the GI print. This Gage is larger than the maximum cartridge and if the guide will accept it, there will be no binding during operation. In some instances the guides would not gage and could not be adjusted to gage. In this case, free movement of actual cartridges was checked and is considered the sub minimal standard. Due to the expense of ammunition and time constraints, it was decided to adjust the guides as required prior to testing.

Of the 7 drums, only one would gage without adjustment, 2 could not be brought to gage, all passed cartridges freely. The adjustments made were more easily accomplished than in early drums.

The Cartridge Aperture refers to the slot in the top of the body through which the cartridge being fed into the gun is visible. This slot positions the round and keeps it in place. All of the samples are oversize by about .075. I consider this to be the major fault of this production. There are ways to address it and these include adding metal or moving the lip of the slot adjacent to the deflector to cause a V type of support for the cartridge. If the drum works in it’s current condition, then I guess it’s a moot point for now.

The Mounting Plates have proven to be a real problem in the early drums, most not fitting guns at all without some serious reforming. I am pleased to report that all measure OK (although the form isn’t quite up to the print) and fit a gun of known dimension with just the slightest drag in one place. I feel this will quickly abate with use, and fitting to an ‘in spec’ gun will not be a problem. One exception had the rear plate rivets only partially set, causing them to hit the frame. When reset, all was well. The opposite ends of those rivets, on all samples, are not properly formed and this causes the ratchet to “click” 12 times per revolution instead of 4. The heads of these rivets can be reset & trimmed to eliminate this trouble.

The Winding Key slot is about .005 small on all examples and will not work with most Pre 1950 drums. The Guard was bent down on 6 of the samples, which made lifting the latch difficult. This was easily straightened.

Metal Hardness specifications call for a soft, low carbon, mild steel that can be formed to the shapes necessary. I tested the hardness of the body of a WH, new Kahr and (choke) my Bridgeport. The results are as follows: HRB 53, 46, 54 respectively. The guides in the new Kahr appear to be softer than the GI parts.

Other Things noted were that the tail of the guide was not bent around at its end to indicate the area into which cartridges were not to be placed; you could actually get 54 rounds into the drum, but this is not recommended. I bent some of these in various ways, just playing.

The Rotor is formed in such a way as to not have as great a surface area pushing on the cartridge as the early drums had. I did not see any problem with this during bench testing, as long as the guides were spaced correctly.

Many parts have burrs on the edges.


Range Report

I took 6 drums to the range for firing in a 28 TSMG known for flawless function and cycling at a clocked rate of 740 RPM (the seventh drum was tested previously and function was fine). Firing was a continuous burst until the drum was empty, or stopped for some other reason.

Only one drum would not run, the others were flawless. The offending drum had been the most difficult to adjust in the initial inspection of the body and guides and was subsequently found to be suffering from a cover guide alignment problem as well as some slight drag of the rotor on the body. These flaws were corrected and I expect this drum will run fine during the next range outing.

The oversize cartridge aperture allows the top round to sit high enough to preclude the insertion of the loaded drum into the gun unless the cartridge is pressed into the magazine with a finger, allowing it to clear the magazine well of the receiver. This was easily accomplished, presenting no serious problem.

Summery

Overall, we see improvements in this new production run and feel good about the way the mags fit the guns and the ease with which the majority of the samples evaluated can be adjusted. The oversize cartridge aperture is the sour apple but doesn’t seem to affect function in the short run. Merle and I are in consultation as to how to effectively correct this condition, should a long run problem arise.


Group Buy; here’s the deal

If any of you guys want to proceed with a group buy, I am willing to facilitate the same.

No additional warranty. Please keep in mind that I will not warrant in any way the Kahr product as received, I will simply be passing the unopened box to you. If you need to pursue a warranty claim, you must go directly to Kahr.

Tuning or other services on your drum could be discussed separately, should you desire such. It would appear that the average basic tune up would cost less than $25 + ammo ($11 a load), but this would be a case by case issue. I can not speak for Merle on this, only myself.

Limit. In an attempt to be fair, let’s limit this buy to three (3) drums per customer.

Time frame. Orders will be accepted until Monday 1/3/04, after that, this buy is closed.

Terms. An order is accepted when full payment in cash, check or money order is received. Sorry, no CC or PayPal. Orders will be shipped in the sequence they were received, first in, first out. The only thing that counts here is paper in hand, please don’t email and ask me hold you a place. Drums will be shipped until current supply is exhausted. If additional supplies are available, they will be brought in ASAP to fill all orders received. Personal checks will not be cashed unless there is stock to fill the order. If current supply is inadequate to fill all orders received, outstanding orders will be notified. All orders subject to price increases from shipping company’s or suppliers (there was already a $10 increase from Kahr in receiving this shipment).

Make checks payable to: Diamond K

Mail to:
Diamond K
1390 E. 7th St.
Delta, CO 81416

Pricing. By averaging the shipping, the cost of each drum will be $199, delivered to your door in the lower 48 states. Subject to change without notice (nice lawyer speech, huh?). CO residents, add applicable sales tax

If you desire to have one of the test group, they are available for an additional $11 to cover the ammo used in testing. Email to check availability prior to sending your order. These are offered “as they are” with no further representation being made.

In Closing, I wish to acknowledge and thank Merle for his consultation on this endeavor, and those whose jobs have been delayed a few days by it’s execution; thanks to you all.


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

ohmy.gif Hi Paul:
I really hope that your close date for the group buy is Jan 3, 2005 and not Jan 3, 2004. With a post date of Dec, 2004, I just can't figure out how you can accomplish ! My check for 3 ($199 X 3 = $597), is out to you Monday, 12/27/04 with an additional $75.00 for any necessary tweaking(plus expended ammo), seeing as you have my Tommy.
Cheers, and thanks for the heads up, Jonathan
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#36 Dylan

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 07:21 PM

I have a Kahr X drum that I picked up about 8 months ago. When I first got it the guide rails were a very tight fit but they loosened up a bit after inserting and removing the drum several times. Additionally, I had to tweak the feed lip upwards a little since the cartridges sat too low to be picked up by the bolt. In the time since then I've fed a few hundred rounds of hardball through without a hitch (the drum doesn't like hollowpoints very much).
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#37 timkel

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 08:14 PM

QUOTE (PhilOhio @ Dec 24 2004, 03:44 PM)
QUOTE (timkel @ Dec 23 2004, 08:31 AM)
I checked the size of the aperture on my kahr drum. It is oversize like PK says. But it doesn't seem to effect function at all.

Timkel, PK,

Eureka! Looking at Timkel's picture, and checking by putting rounds in my Colt drum, I discovered that the drum does not at all work the way I/we may have thought it did. Apperture width makes little or no difference. It could be one inch wide and it would work fine, if the "other" part of the configuration is O.K.

The drum feed works just like the double feed on a Thompson stick mag, but it only feeds from one side (off of one lip) all the time. Follower pressure holds the round in a "cradle" between the left lip and the two stamped metal guides just below it.

According to the apperture specs PK posted, my Colt drum was probably made to minimum specs (.380 - .381"). But it appears aperture width wear doesn't happen on the right hand side, where the cartridge doesn't touch, or hardly touches.

On my Colt drum, it "looks like" the round is touching both lips evenly, but it really is not. It is only against the left lip. I can slip a .002" feeler gauge between the right side of the round and the right hand lip, almost to the base of the cartridge.

It is interesting to see that the forward part of Timkel's Kahr aperture widens evenly on both sides, but on the Colt, only the left side widens...and this is the side against which the round presses.

You learn something new every day.

Does this mean anything, with regard to the new Kahr drums? I guess it means that, even if the rest of the thing falls apart, you should expect no wear at all on the right feed lip. laugh.gif It doesn't do anything.

PK,

On the plus side, it does mean that the two inside guides, on the left, could probably be modified slightly to let the feed round sit deeper in its "cradle", thus lower, making it possible to insert the drum normally, without fiddling the round with one's fingers (finger fiddling). wink.gif And of course this is also something Kahr might like to do at the factory.

Phil,
Thats the way it looks to me also.
I just am not sure of the dynamics during full auto fire.
If there is a problem with the aperture, someone will run into it eventually.
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#38 PK.

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Posted 25 December 2004 - 10:02 AM

You certainly caught me on that one Jonathan; the typo demon was working that day. I have corrected the date, and thanks for it pointing out. ohmy.gif

Happy new year!

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#39 john

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Posted 25 December 2004 - 11:32 AM

PK,
Money order is on it's way to you as I type this. Mailed it yesterday. Thanks for all you've done here and wishing you and yours a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!! smile.gif

john
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#40 dallasboy_75287

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Posted 26 December 2004 - 01:17 AM

Check for one drum going out Monday (12/27/04)
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