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Tactical Rapidstrike Modification - Flat Top

posted Jul 5, 2015, 10:21 AM by Coop772   [ updated Sep 22, 2015, 10:35 PM ]
To be clear, the use of 'tactical' in the title is satirical. Anyways, here is an overview on the Tactical Rapidstrike modification!

Modifications
- Electronic locks removed
- Resistance removed
- Rewired to 3x AA tray (to run 14500 IMR/Ultrafire/Trustfire batteries)

Paint Job
- Black vinyl dye primer/base coat
- Tan vinyl dye base coat
- Citadel black accents
- Dry brushing - Citadel black and silver
- Matte clear coat

Project Resources
Rapidstrike: Amazon LINK
Aim Sports 12" Rail: Amazon LINK
Red/Green Dot Sight: Amazon LINK
Polycarbonate sheets: McMaster LINK
6-32 machine screws: McMaster LINK
JB KwikWeld: Amazon LINK
Bondo - body filler: Amazon LINK



Permanent marker line on the shell indicates the cutting point. I used a bandsaw to make this cut.

Off with his head! As you can see, the flywheel housing protrudes from the top of the shell opening. This is the reason for the odd square cut-out you'll see as you scroll down.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the lower polycarbonate plates beforethey was installed. I set clear polycarb on the gaping hole and traced the shell outline so I could cut the plate to fit. Then, I cut the plate in half so I could secure it to each half of the shell. The reason for using two plates is so you can securely attach the rail to both sides of the shell without leaving an unpleasant/sloppy seam line between the polycarbonate and the shell on one half.

I chose to use 1/8" polycarbonate to fill the shell gap created by chopping the rail off. You could use most flat, rigid materials but I'm very familiar with polycarbonate and had it on hand. To stabilize the polycarb plate, I cut up a Rapidstrike jam door to use as a mount. This was an extra jam door I had laying around in addition to the jam door used in the final product. I was going to use epoxy putty to built a mount, but this was in my spare-parts bin and saved me the time of waiting around until the epoxy putty cured.

I used JB quick-weld to secure the mount into the shell. I cut the jam door in half (in the above picture) so I could have a super secure mount on both halves of the shell instead of only gluing it into one half. There is JB weld securing the polycarbonate plate to the mount, but I use hardware to secure it as well.

Here  is the hardware holding a lower polycarbonate plate in place. These are #6 machine screws threading into #6 nuts w/ nylon to prevent them from unthreading under vibration. These nuts were JB welded into place so they held still during reassembly. (I just realized I don't have a single picture showing the JB weld on the nuts - le bummer)

Lower plate installed.

The plates on the right are the lower plates, which will be blended into the shell to look as clean as possible. As you can see, I had to cut a square hole in them to allow the flywheel housing to pop out.
The plate on the left is the upper plate, which will be bolted onto the lower plates. This piece also required the same hole for the flywheel housing. However, the flywheel housing doesn't pop up beyond the highest point of this plate, so the rail can be attached right over this hole without touching the flywheels or the housing.

Alignment.

Hole cut

This shows the clearance of the flywheel housing. This lets the tactical rail sit smoothly on the polycarbonate without interfering with the flywheels. The spacing may be different if you change materials or make the shell cut at a different height.

I didn't take an 'after' picture for some reason, but this was 'before' showing the location of a small piece of plastic that was hot glued in place to fill the this shell hole. Since I added Bondo immediately after this, it didn't have to be super clean or anything - the idea was just to block the hole so Bondo could rest on top.

Bondo comparison. The left is Bondo that is dried but not sanded while the right shows the shell after the first round of sanding.

Initial sanding.

Flat!

You can see the holes that align the top plate and the lower plates. The bolts that go through the top plate go into the nuts that were JB welded into place earlier. This holds both layers of polycarbonate onto the shell securely.

The rail used is a 12" weaver rail by Aim Sports. I secured it to the top polycarbonate plate with #6 machine screws and nuts.

After final stage of sanding.

Ready for paint!




Thanks for reading,
Coop