Ten signs Bubba is in Da House

We’re talking, of course, about our nemesis, Bubba the Gunsmith. Bubba is dim, but crafty and possessed of a certain animal cunning; he doesn’t appear wearing an oily shirt with an oval “Bubba” name patch embroidered over his heart. Nope, he’s insidious and and the evil he does lives on long after he’s interred; but he may call himself by many other names. (One sure clue: if the guy says, “I got it like that. Sumdood done it,” you’re in the presence of the doer: Bubba his ownself). But in general, you can’t count on the Gump of Gunsmithing to out himself.

Fortunately, while he can hide himself, he can’t hide his effects. By his fruits shall ye know him; Bubba’s telltale spoor is as recognizable as a reindeer herd on the Lapland snows; to follow his sign you only need the skill it takes to follow tracks. Train tracks. Here are a few of the “tells” that suggest that you’re dealing with Bubba’s enthusiastic if untamed craftsmanship:

  • #1: Your M16/AR-15 front sight base has screws instead of factory-style taper pins. Double Bubba Points for wood screws. Treble points if it’s visibly canted. The first photo shows a screw-on FSB, which people use because they’re afraid of screwing up a drill, ream and pin job (a screwup that’s really possible if you’re reckless or overconfident, and don’t make or acquire a jig). Source: an ARFCOM thread, now archived. Second photo shows a canted FSB from another ARFCOM thread. While a canted FSB is normally a Bubba product these days, Colt built a few over the years, often when their UAW local was looking for a new contract. A canted FSB may not be visible to the naked eye, but you will run the rear sight all the way to one side and still be off target. Bubba is in Da House.

Amateur Night at the FSB

  • #2: Your AK trunnion is attached to the sheet metal receiver by screws instead of factory-style rivets. Extra Bubba Points if they’re wood screws here, too. (And welding is also half-assed and a sign that Bubba is in Da House). Like the AR screws, this is caused by fear of using the right industrial process: set rivets. Mikhail his ownself says, use rivets. This screw job is even sadder, as AK-Builder and others will sell you the right tool for short money, and it’s easy to do this right. (It can be difficult to get an AR FSB right).

This AK is screwed


Kalashnikov Rivets

hack job

  • #3: Your barrel was shortened by hacksaw and Mark I eyeball, and so it’s not exactly straight. (“What’s a muzzle crown?” says Bubba. He thinks it’s a Japanese gentlemen who keeps flagging you at the range).
  • #4: After he hacksawed the barrel off, Bubba never got around to attaching a front sight. You can only focus on one sight at a time, so why waste time installing two?
  • #5: There’s a Dremel tool on the gunsmith bench. (Every smith probably owns a Dremel, but the non-Bubbas have the decency to stow it away. The tool in the open will be a Foredom). Bubba uses the Dremel for everything that he doesn’t use a hacksaw or hammer for.
  • #6: After the trigger job, your revolver is DAO.
  • #7: After the trigger job, your AR doubles.
  • #8: Your gunsmith also doubles — as a lawyer, telling you the ATF will not care about your double-firing AR. (They’ll take great delight in sending you to Club Fed until 2023 or so).
  • #9: He has an AR with one of more of the trigger guard bosses on the lower receiver broken off. (Extra points if it’s your AR, which was fine when you gave it to him. Double extra points if he built it from a forging or 80% lower, and there’s no trigger guard because he doesn’t have the right drill. Treble extra points if there’s no bolt hold-open because he also doesn’t have the right long drill).
  • #10: Your scope crosshairs are a few degrees off plumb. Extra Double Bubba points for every degree beyond 3º that it’s off.

The cold, hard, ugly fact is that Bubba is in a whole lotta houses out there, and he’s sawing, hammering, and don’t forget Dremeling his way into new adventures even as we speak.

6 thoughts on “Ten signs Bubba is in Da House

  1. longhunter

    Bubba is a nefarious troglodyte who has been the ruination of many a fine firearm. I picked up an SKS recently as an added incentive to a trade. This once proud weapon was originally a Sino-Soviet with a very low SN. In his infinite wisdom, Bubba decided that a cheap railed receiver cover to facilitate a $50 bushnell red-dot sight was far superior to the original cover. Matching SN’s be damned! Into the trash with the original. The original wood stock and bayonet met the same fate to make room for black synthetic monte-carlo monstrosity of a stock. This historical testament to the combined efforts of the two communist superpowers was no match for good old fashioned hillbilly ingenuity.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Painful to read.

      A friend of mine was given a curious slide stop for a 1911 recently. The donor explained “you like weird stuff, we had an oddball foreign 1911 copy that had this thing on here. We took it off and put a regular one and some good 1911 parts on it, and got nearly $1000 for it!”

      What they’d had? An original Norwegian m1914 pistol 11.25mm. In other words, the Norwegian 1911 with a weird slide stop (that works great with gloves, just the ticket if you’re patrolling the Dovrefjell in January, or on a cool May night for that matter).

  2. HeckifIknow


    I’ve met Bubba many many times.
    Back years ago I loved owning/shooting old mil-surp weapons.
    Enfields, Krags, Springfields, Lebels, Mausers, etc.
    It was always a crying shame to see Bubba’s handiwork on some unique and valuable firearm.
    A few examples:
    Imagine a mint condition Swedish Mauser Carbine. Beautiful wood. 98% plus blue. Matching numbers.
    Well Ol’ Bubba done got a holt of her and commenced ta cuttin’.
    When he was done he taken off the front metal and of course lost it, cut off the forearm, D&T’d the receiver, and jeweled the bolt. And of course the stock was missing the plate, disk, and sling buckle. This was done just to sanding the stock down to a toothpick to “get all them deep nicks outta thar.”
    He looked rather crestfallen when I told him he had spent $500 turning an $800 firearm into a $200 one.

    Then there was the British Enfield No.1 Mk1 that had every last bit of metal ground off and lost forever.
    Stock cut off at barrel band, rear sight destroyed, recoil pad added on cut down buttstock, mag cut off removed and lost. Of course it was a bloody Sparkbrook too. I almost cried over that one.

    Japanese Paratrooper carbine, yep the little 6.5mm one. Picture this- stock cut off at barrel band, folding stock hinge with wood screws holding it on, and best of all it was painted camo. Dust cover? Whats that?

    God knows how many 1903 Springfields and Krags I’ve seen butchered.

    There is a very special place in Gunsmith hell for Bubba.

  3. Reality

    Funny, I worked in a very high dollar AK house, and we used dremels hacksaws to cut down barrels and a few other bubba methods, yet people still rave about the guns, and pay upwards of 3000 each.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Ah, is comrade subsequently to hacksaw hackery crowning barrel? If so, comrade does not pass Bubba test. Must leave barrel cut off at angle.

  4. Petercat

    Y’know, it’s funny how upset some people get over things that don’t affect them at all.
    Especially when it’s something that a person does to his own property.
    Now, I’m not defending butchery that makes a firearm less safe or functional, but really.
    I have a CZ-52 handgun that was brought to the USA by my father sometime in the late ’50s. No importer marks. After he gave it to me, I heavily modified it. Replacement sights from a Ruger Blackhawk, relieved the trigger guard and backstrap for a higher grip (Dremel is my friend), etc.
    I take it to the range every time I go (it’s my favorite shooter) and people who know CZs first react with appreciation for a fine custom, but then…
    When they discover that it has no import marks, their reaction becomes “You Bastard! Killkillkill…!”
    Why? So what if it lost a little value? Never was high to begin with. Besides, it’s my property, I’m free to do with it as I wish.
    Sure, I chose to make it a better handgun for me. Whether anyone else agrees that it’s been improved is of no concern to me. But if I’d chosen to weld it into a garden implement, why get upset? It’s my property, what I do with it is my choice.
    If the guys who owned the Mauser and the Enfield ended up with weapons that worked better for them, why not? They owned the rifles, right?
    Now, if they’d done those things to someone else’s weapons without the owners’ permission, then there would be a problem.

Comments are closed.