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May 11th, 2011

Stolle Panda Drop Port Conversion by S&S Precision Rifles

The Drop Port is a great feature for benchrest shooters. You can run a bolt without an ejector, yet your cartridge will extract smoothly and reliably each time you pull the bolt back. Stiller’s Precision Firearms pioneered the Drop Port design, and Jerry Stiller offers this as a popular option with his Cobra, Viper, Python, D-Back, and Diamondback actions. The Drop Port is amazing in its simplicity (watch video below). As you pull the bolt rearwards, the fired case slides downward into a funnel. As it tilts nose-down, the case rotates free of the six-o’clock extractor, falls nose first down the funnel, and finally exits through a hole in the bottom of the stock. Gravity does all the work.

S&S Panda Drop Port Conversion
Until recently, if you wanted a Drop Port, your only option was to purchase a Stiller action or engineer a conversion yourself. Now the owners of Kelbly Panda actions can enjoy drop-port functionality via a conversion performed by S&S Precision Rifles in Texas. The folks at S&S will mill a slot in the bottom of your action, and then install a drop funnel in your stock. The conversion work is done so well you’d think the Pandas were originally made as Drop Ports by Kelbly. Drop Port conversions will be available for popular small match cartridges including 22 PPC, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRX, 6 Dasher, 6.5 Grendel, and 30 BR (plus other wildcats in the BR family).

Conversion Will Be Costly — New Actions Are Best Candidates
This conversion will not be cheap. Because Drop Ports require a six o’clock extractor, you’ll probably need a replacement bolt for your Panda. S&S is in discussion with Pacific Tool & Gauge to provide these bolts. You can probably resell your existing bolt, but the upfront conversion cost could approach $400 with new bolt and labor. S&S hopes to announce firm pricing in 4-6 weeks. Don “Stick” Starks, S&S’s lead gunsmith, also cautions that this conversion is most cost-effective with Panda actions that have not yet been installed, or which are set up with pillars (as opposed to glue-ins). Stick explained: “If your Panda is already glued in, then we have to remove the action, mill the port, install the funnel, and then re-bed the whole thing. That’s going to substantially increase your cost. It’s more logical to do this on a Panda that has not yet be put in a rifle.”

In the video above, you can watch S&S Precision convert a Stolle Panda action to a Drop Port, and then see how the converted Panda functions. The rifle is a 30BR owned by FORUM member Truckincars, who also created the video.

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February 18th, 2010

CMMG .22LR Conversion Kit for ARs on SALE at CDNN

A reliable 22LR conversion kit for an AR-platform rifle lets you train with inexpensive ammo. That’s a big advantage for 3-gun competitors who must engage multiple targets rapidly, often at relatively short distances. Multi-gun competition is a speed game, requiring plenty of practice to “run with the big dogs”. It’s not unusual for elite 3-gun shooters to put hundreds of rifle rounds down range every week. Service Rifle shooters can also benefit from cross-training with an AR equipped to shoot .22LR rimfire rounds. With a good .22LR conversion kit, Service Rifle shooters can practice their positions and gun-handling at minimal expense. In the winter, if you have a .22LR conversion for your AR, you can train at the many indoor ranges that allow rimfire rifles, but not centerfire rifles.

Complete Conversion Kit for $189.99 from CDNN
CDNN Investments in Texas is offering a good deal on the CMMG .22lr Stainless Conversion Kit for AR15-type rifles. This includes a stainless bolt and bolt carrier assembly and two (2) 25-round magazines or two (2) 10-round mags. The CMMG Kit uses your existing fire control (trigger) group and requires no internal gunsmithing. Just drop it in and shoot. While supplies last, the CMMG Conversion Kit with magazine(s) is priced at $189.99. NOTE: CDNN is offering 2 mags with this package as a “limited time offer”. (MidwayUSA also has this Kit, with one mag, for $199.99.)

.22LR Rimfire conversion AR15 AR-15

CMMG .22LR Kit Is Reliable and Affordable
The CMMG conversion is widely used and has proved quite reliable, both with the 10-round and 25-round magazines. It is recommended by Brownells, though some Brownells customers have said the kits required some minor fitting or polishing. (This may be more of an issue with “off-brand” uppers — Colt AR owners reported no issues.) In the video below you see an AR15 being fired with the CMMG .22LR conversion in place. Then the CMMG bolt is exchanged for the original .223 Rem bolt assembly and the gun is shot in centerfire mode.

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In the second video below you’ll see the CMMG conversion shot with two full (or nearly full) 25-round magazines, in rapid fire. There are no malfunctions.

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