Sunday, February 2, 2014

The KL-3B Fast Deer -- Part 1

Nick sent me this a long while back. A Fast Deer KL-3B sidelever from Norinco in the semi-rare .22 caliber.  I've been reluctant lax getting to it as I assumed it's pretty much identical to the BAM B3-1 (also sent by Nick) covered in depth here. 

There are some minor differences between the two guns, but more to the point, there are different problems.  Before tearing into the rifle, I test fired the gun across the chronograph with RWS .22 caliber Hobby pellets.  478, 257, 277, 258, 493, 249 fps...  Ouch.  Well, what's a 244 fps variation across six shots between friends?  A far cry from the 7 fps velocity spread I found with the B3-1.


The KL-3B isn't too horrific looking, but the trigger and trigger guard look positively huge compared to the rest of the gun.  I believe I've used the word, "cartoonish".  The rotating safety on the right side looks like the launch switch for a rocket from 1966.  No sights were included. 

I actually love the flat bottom of the forend.  It's a great place to rest the rifle on an open hand or the top of the knuckles.

Stock is way too glossy.  Looks like it's sprayed in plastic. 


Did I mention the sidelever?  The lever mechanism is a serious piece of milled steel.  This is the single best made part on the entire rifle. 

On with the show.

Removed the rear trigger guard and  forward mounting screws.


Action lifts right out.  Insane looking safety stays in the stock.

It functions as a trigger block.

The front mounting block is dovetailed to the breech.  Trust me--this is not the cheapest way to do this.

Ratcheting anti-bear trap safety.

Mainspring is dry.

The trigger is a "direct-sear" type.  It latches right to the piston without an intermediate lever.  Probably breaking in the neighborhood of nine pounds.  OK, OK, maybe more.

Back to the show.

Removed the screw holding the cocking lever to the end cap.

 And the lever pulls right off.

Behind the cocking lever is a secondary anti-bear trap device that captures the piston when the cocking lever is open.  The screw stud must be removed.

Look at that incredible cocking lever.  Great profiles from the mill.  The side lever on Diana Mod. 75 10-meter match rifles aren't in this league.

Put the action in the spring compressor and drove out the cross pin with a brass drift.

With the pin clear, the giant trigger and supremely heavy trigger spring pull out.

And the spring compressor is backed off...

...allowing the end cap to come free.  Note the stud removed a few steps above.


The end cap has a built-in spring guide. 

Mainspring is canted.

The ratcheting anti-bear trap mechanism up close.  It has to be removed in order to withdraw the piston and sliding compression chamber.

The front pin was stuck.  Had to tap it out with a thin punch.

 With the last pin out...

...the ratchet plate is pivoted up and out.

Tab fits into the compression tube.

Finally,  the sliding compression tube and piston are free.

Note the flat on the side of the cocking rod.  The secondary anti-bear trap safety rides in this flat when the cocking lever is open.  This is a nice design.

Some contact marks on the piston body.

Piston seal is leather.   Looks to be in good shape. 

The inside of the compression tube is not good.   It's badly scored.  This is just a poorly finished part.  Never mind that it's just the key component in the entire power plant...

The long striations are likely to blame for the erratic velocity numbers.  The seal isn't consistently closing off those voids.  This could be a small problem. 

More in a few days.