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Posted: 3/20/2006 8:13:32 AM EDT
PTR-91. 18” barrel with flash suppressor. Green furniture.

Upon first glance I was impressed. Fit and finish looked good. I pulled back the cocking handle (a little stiffer than I expected – I think I was anticipating something similar to my AR’s charging handle) and locked it in place. Looking inside, no surprises. Confirming the chamber was empty, I let the handle go. The bolt carrier slammed home solidly. I selected the safety to the E position and squeezed the trigger. It seemed a tad firm, but I’ll reserve judgment until getting it out on the range. Mags have just a little side play, but nothing to cause concern. I can wiggle it by hand, but it doesn’t rattle. The mag release is a push button on the right side of the receiver. I have to shift my hand forward from the grip to reach it with my finger. Looks like I have a new set of motor skills to work on. The mag does not drop free when the release is pressed.

Next, I opened up the manual to go over disassembly/assembly.

After removing the takedown pins, the buttstock came off with a little coaxing (snug fit). The trigger group assembly was then removed with no problem. I had to convince the bolt carrier that it wanted to come out, and it cooperated. So far, no problems. It seems that this rifle has been built to close tolerances. No slop.

I then removed the bolt from the bolt carrier. It, and the firing pin assembly, came apart pretty easily. Putting it back together proved to be more of a challenge (have you ever noticed how things come apart easier than they go together?). Let’s see, slip the bolt onto the firing pin holder, ¼ turn, squeeze the rollers, turn it the rest of the way, make sure the rollers are squeezed in. It sounded simple enough in the instructions, but my wife was getting a bit too entertained by me trying to get this thing back together.

However, together it went and I saved a little shred of my dignity.

After reinserting the bolt carrier into the upper receiver, the trigger group assembly went back into place without a fight. The butt stock took some finesse because of the tight fit. After getting it on I lined up the holes and reinserted the pins. A quick function check confirmed success.

I finally got the opportunity to take my PTR-91 out to a 100-yard range. Here is my experience.

I was shooting Australian surplus. During the first mag I had two FTF events. In each of them the nose of the round hung up and the bolt carrier actually bent the round when it slammed forward. This caused a little concern, but the other six mags I brought fed flawlessly, so it seems the problem was with that one mag. At three bucks a pop it won’t hurt much if I have to toss the offending magazine.

I placed clay pigeons on the berm (100 yards) as targets. Most of my shooting was prone, but I also did some sitting, kneeling, and standing.

My rifle has the 100/200/300/400 rear peep sight. I quickly adapted to it, adjusting my head position so I could see the outline of the front sight ring inside the rear sight. Getting a good sight picture soon became natural.

Right away I realized that this rifle is more accurate than I am. It’s a pretty sweet shooter. Popping those clays at 100 yards was almost routine. The misses were 100% my fault. Whenever I took my time and did my part it was dead on.

The biggest thing I would consider a drawback is that there is nothing to tell you that you shot your last round except the click of the hammer falling on an empty chamber. Thinking about a defensive deployment of this firearm, like in your typical zombie attack, I figure the options are either count rounds (yeah, right) or do tactical reloads to ensure you have one in the pipe. I’d hate to be drawing down on a zombie and hear a click.

Mag changes will be the subject of some practice. The mag release on this rifle is a pushbutton on the right side. I have to shift my hand position a bit to reach it. A fresh mag seats solidly, no problem. The most cumbersome part of replacing an empty mag is pulling the charging handle. This will become smoother with practice.

Reassembly after cleaning went smoother than the first time.

I have to honestly say I love this rifle. I’ll be sending the trigger group off to Bill Springfield this week to have him do his thing with it.

Now to order more ammo…
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