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Thread: Will CF-W tungsten bolts be made again?

  1. #41
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    Dunno numbers. Got my A-bolt from Vegas. He added a bunch of extra springs and ejector rods as well as several vintage Cobray earplugs free of charge. Had many conversations with him, and he was a really good Dude!!!

  2. #42
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    It is my understanding that there has never been any run of 200 of any tungsten weighted bolts. The first run of tungsten steel hybrid unmarked was more like 10 or 20 units that were made by CF as I recall. Tom is gone so I don't think he would be upset if I say what I remember. The first engraved full size bolts were in batches of 50. As I recall the alloy alone was over $25,000.00 plus machining. The tungsten is so dense, the tooling only lasted for machining three bolts. Tom didn't make much per bolt. I can't remember whether there were one or two runs of 50 full size M11/NINE CF(W) bolts.

    The price of tungsten climbed between the end of the full size M11/NINE production and the start of the shorter M11 size bolts. The first production run only ran 9mm in the large magwell M11. The bolt was redesigned with some refined dimensions. That refined bolt could run either .380 in a small magwell and 9mm in a large magwell M11 with a different recoil spring. With further testing Tom found that the M11 size tungsten bolt in a M11/NINE would give close performance to the full size bolt. The M11 size bolt was close enough to the cyclic rate of the full size bolt that would not justify the higher cost of the larger full size bolt.

    This was a labor of love for Tom. Did he make some money? Yes, but he spent so much time on the project. It wasn't just having the bolts machined. He needed to source all the other parts to complete the units. There is a lot of work that goes into the completed bolt group that the average shooter would never know. This is what I remember from Tom. I hope Sam can work out a deal with Tom's estate. I am glad that I have the bolts that I have. No, I don't want to sell any.

    Scott

  3. #43
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    Tom did 4 runs of 50 unengraved gen 2 full size cfw bolts. The next 200 we’re engraved. Then as a cost measure he only had A bolts made. There were 2 generations of A bolts

  4. #44
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    I had one of the all tungsten, non-engraved, full size bolts. It was choppy at 650rpm in a stock upper. I got the grey ghost upper from Sam and it ran smoother for some reason. Sam's magic sauce! I purchased one of the A-bolts and it smoothed out at about 750-800 in a stock upper. Tom and CF developed this for the ability to run it in both the platforms. Options, Tom used to say. For some reason, Sam's magic sauce, the grey ghost upper seemed to like the full size bolt better.

    I will miss the conversations with Vegas about the tricks and tips of the platform.

    I sold the M11-nine and advised the young buyer to purchase all of the accessories he could afford now because they might not be there tomorrow.

    Sadly, I was right.

    I hope for all the people getting into the platform now that these come back. One of the best accessories for the mac.

  5. #45
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    Interesting thread so I guess maybe for history sake I should set the record straight. For the most part Beau, The Colt Collector has most of the history down as he helped me with a lot of the testing. I rarely get on here but started a thread in supporters talk trying to find out what happened to Sid T. and read through Mac-10 talk to see what was going on. Beau and I still keep in touch. Tom was one of my best friends and Sid T, real name Bryan Trois was pretty close too. I still have all the cad files and all of the original prototypes except for the first Gen one prototype, Beau has that and Sid T was supposed to purchase the Mac10 prototype from Tom although now that they are both dead I don't know for sure who has it. I have the A bolt prototypes including one made from another tungsten alloy that gives it a golden look.

    I still am the owner of the cad files and there is only one manufacturer that can reliably make the tungsten alloy CF-W bolt. There were a couple companies in China that claimed to be able to but Tom and I were too American to try and get it made there. I have an agreement with the American manufacturer that they will not make the bolts for anyone unless I designate them as the official CF-W distributor. If anyone tells you they have been given permission to have the bolts made other then Sam Snider of Practical Solutions they are lying. Tom told me about four months before he died that he wasn't going to make anymore runs and was getting out of the it due to the tungsten shortage and skyrocketing costs. All the tungsten comes from China and they were not mining it during Covid apparently. The company that machined it said it could be a year for another batch and it could cost double. He asked me what I thought about Sam Snider taking over the list, and sales and I thought he was an excellent choice. We talked more about the saturation, numbers and determined if Sam had more made it would be a couple years before he had enough on the list. Most of the people that shoot their macs had one and many had two or three, one of each of the generations. But there are still a lot of NIB guns in peoples safes so there might be enough demand some time in the future for another run.

    As far as production goes, there were 110 Gen one CF-W bolts made. Beau, helped tremendously with the testing and production of the Gen one bolts. that's why he has the first prototype.

    I ran out of steel bolts to modify and couldn't source anymore.

    I was working on a Gen 1.5 that used a different weight in the back and on top. There were only two of those made and one was the one that went to NUTS a few years ago. I still have that. Richard Lage was going to start producing the steel bolts and supply me but that never materialized.

    The other Gen 1.5 prototype eventually much later got sacrificed, cut up and modified to become the first 380A bolt prototype. It ran well in my guns and we had one made up of tungsten alloy. More on that later.

    The Gen 2 all tungsten alloy CF-W bolt. It was an almost exact copy of the early M11/9 bolt and had a removable OEM firing pin and had the ability to accept a movable firing pin and accept the closed bolt mod. More on that below with the military testing. My first run was 200 bolts.

    In talking with Tom, after he got his bolt, one of the first Gen 2 bolts, he couldn't get it to run. I walked through troubleshooting it with him, he had a barrel alignment problem and over that time we became great friends and he called me every day, and my wife and I went out and visited him for a week when he still lived in Henderson Nevada. We had planned on going to see him in Idaho this last spring, before he died.

    The second batch list was almost at 200 and I contacted Richard Lage to see if he wanted to take over the M11/9 bolts. He hesitated, told me he wasn't sure if he could handle it with his current product line. In one of my conversations with Tom I explained I didn't want to get into this as a business, thought it was too much of a niche market and would reach a saturation fairly quickly and wanted Richard to take it because I thought, based on his reputation, and business it could make his product line better. But Richard didn't seem to want it. Tom immediately said I want to do it, I can do it. We talked about it, set the terms. He agreed to keep the business model the same and take no deposits and that meant he had to stroke a check for $60,000 to the tungsten company for the deposit on the next batch of 200 bolts.

    He surprised me and honored me with adding CF-W 9mm to that second batch of Gen 2 bolts. That order came to me, I inspected them checked each one for fitment in my uppers and assembled each bolt and test fired each one and shipped them all to him for distribution. I modified the extractor slightly to grab the case a little better on the Gen ones and both the first batches of Gen 2s. Tom never really understood what I did or didn't have the patients. It took a little reshaping of the claw. It's a common practice with match pistol shooters.

    Tom did a couple of runs of 200 of the Gen 2 bolts after that. Those batches were divided up between people who signed up to purchase on the lists and Richard Lage and Sam Snider who became authorized retailers of the bolts. Tom handled all distribution after that so I am not sure if Richard and Sam also sold the CFW-A bolts..


    The 9MM A bolt came about by accident. As I said the first prototype was a chopped down Gen 1.5 bolt. It ran 380 flawlessly for me so we had a tungsten alloy prototype made up. I still have it. Now it ran for me but strobro32 who helped with the testing because he had a baby mac that used 380 mags couldn't get it to run reliably. Now, I didn't have a M11/380, I put a block in the back of my M11/9 with a 380 barrel to mimic a M11/380 and Matt, Strobro32's gun had been chopped apart and welded back together so we couldn't figure out if it was his gun or my gun was just more reliable. I told Tom I think this bolt could run 9MM in the baby mac and against his wishes (he paid for the prototype) I opened up the bolt face slightly to help wiith Strobro's barrel alignment problem but that allowed me to test it with 9MM and it ran, awesomely. And that is how the baby mac 9MM CF-W bolt was born. Never did get it to run 380 in Matt's gun though and we tried everything. The bolt was sent back and forth to me and I took lightning cuts on it and reduced it's weight 20%. Just couldn't get it to run. In the mean time, Tom went into production with 200 baby mac 9mm bolts.

    The birth of the 380 bolt. I don't know if it was Tom or Matt, but one of them had the idea to change the ejection angle slightly by moving the extractor slightly and that made the 380 bolt work. Apparently because it was ejecting with less force then the 9mm it was hitting the edge of the baby macs ejection port that was slightly smaller on some 380 uppers. That's why it didn't work on Matt's gun. The 380 bolt was born.

    The birth of the all purpose bolt. Tom's cost were going through the roof. The tungsten company was increasing prices with every batch and he was having trouble sourcing firing pins. He was also reaching saturation and not getting the numbers he needed for the quantity price break (200) he needed of any one model. So he decided to make one model bolt that could be used in all the guns. It has the length of the A bolt with a fixed firing pin with the new ejection angle to work with 380 and 9MM and all the last batches were that bolt. It looked kind of funky in the M11/9 and due to it's longer stroke caused a little more movement so it wasn't quite as accurate but was acceptable and way better then OEM. As Beau stated, it was a cost saving measure.

    There will never be a Mac-10 bolt. I had the drawing made up and Sid T. was supposed to pay for the first prototype. When he found out how much it was going to cost, one bolt is 5 times the cost of one of 200 he backed out of the deal. Tom paid for it. It did slow down the ROF of the Mac 10 to that of the grease gun but the Mac-10 just didn't have a long enough stroke length in the receiver and that heavy bolt beat the gun to death with 45ACP. After all the testing Sid T and Tom came to an agreement. Sid T would buy it from Tom. Now they are both dead so I don't know where that bolt is.

    The closed bolt CF-W and military and government testing I was contacted and asked to provide 12 CF-W Gen2 bolts and 6 CF-W closed bolt fire control groups for military testing for the government PDW-Sub machine gun replacement testing program. I explained I was not a manufacturer, and it would be time consuming and would only work in a full auto M-11/9. I agreed to supply 6 bolts and 2 closed bolt fire control groups. They would obtain the M-11/9 sub guns. I signed NDA's and was allowed access to the testing progress and results, but couldn't release information about the tests results until testing was completed and the contract was awarded. The testing was performed by professional operators and over the test period I was asked to make modifications to the fire control group. I further developed a drop in friction device that delayed the reciprocating mass of the CF-W closed bolt using something similar to the Blish system the early Thompson used. The closed bolt CF-W used an M-16 9MM hammer and there were Youtube Videos about it before Youtube went all anti gun. The results put the M11/9 with the CF-W bolt as the top preferred weapon by the operators in the testing. They also had Grey Ghost uppers (not provided by me) and said it was the most controllable, accurate, compact and best suppressor host. There were not all great things to say about it though. They hated the magazines. Hated loading them. Gave it low marks for that. Recommended it use double feed mags or preferably Glock mags. It needed to incorporate a last round bolt hold open. In the end, the contract was awarded to B&T for the APC9K. It was felt that even with the high rate of fire, they would be issued with suppressors and were still very controllable suppressed. The APC9K would be ordered with the proprietary B&T magazine well but the magazine well would be modular and would also come with a Glock magwell. That's about all I have to say about that.

    I sold my Machine guns. Google is anti gun and I was up in the ranks working on Google projects. Under my NDAs they read every word I type on the internet and probably every word everyone does, lol. You can't hide and don't think you can. They have algorithms that can figure out who you actually are in about 10 minutes just by your key strokes. Avatars and screen names and even VPNs don't really work from identifing you from Google. There was a lot going on, my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Covid was just hitting the US and I knew her business wouldn't survive that combination. There were bills before the state house of representatives in my state banning mags to 10 rounds and a red flag law. Machine guns would be hard to sell capped at 10 rounds. I decided to sell my machine guns and pay off my debt and pay her co-pays. Eventually, the mag ban didn't pass the red flag law did. She sold all of her business equipment before Covid was big. It was wise. Covid's shutdown of the economy killed my town. Every business eventually closed. The only thing left is Dollar General and the Post Office. It's been a tough three years but my wife beat the cancer. The really good news is her new boobs look like that of a 20 year old's. I'd post pictures but she won't let me. I'm afraid the global economy is collapsing now.

    So you are up to date on the history and production of the CF-W bolt and if the economy does some how recover, and we still have a second amendment, and Sam Snider stays in business and the dollar still has value or whatever takes it's place if the demand is there Sam will be the one you should contact. I fear we are in for some tough times. I will check in on this post over the next few days, if you have any more questions about the history of the CF-W bolt. The Gen 2 will always be my favorite.

    Good luck and God bless and protect you.
    Mike
    Last edited by CoffeeFreak; 06-22-2022 at 06:40 PM. Reason: adding information

  6. #46
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    Thanks Mike. Much appreciated... thanks for the bolts and the whole story. Good luck to you as well.

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    Mike, Great write-up but the best part is your wife is well. God bless...

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by har1340 View Post
    Mike, Great write-up but the best part is your wife is well. God bless...
    I agree 100% with this.
    At the end of the day, all we have is family and a few friends (thatís if youíre lucky).

  9. #49
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    Thanks for the update Mike and congrats on the survival (thrival?) of the tatas! This type of post from those that were in the thick of things really makes UziTalk the awesome place it is.
    AWWWW NUTS!

    REAL MEN DRIVE MIATAS

  10. #50
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    Mike, I'm glad your wife is ok. I'm a 2◊ survivor; cancer sucks!

  11. #51
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    Thanks! Amazing update!

  12. #52
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    Thank you, sir, and best for good health and happiness for you and your sweetheart!

    Please consider editing your well thought out post to include the markings on the various bolts. The whole uppercase versus lowercase lettering is part of the lineage.

    Again, thank you, and, may he rest in peace, Tom, for this really valuable work!

  13. #53
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    ,Mike, thanks for taking the time to post here. Thanks for your talents and time to develop the bolts. I was lucky enough to own a Gen-2, unengraved, bolt and the A-bolt. Both were machining masterpieces.
    Even though I moved on from the platform I still marvel at the design and function of the bolts. I am one of the lucky ones to say " I have been there and done that".

    Peace and good health to you and your wife.
    Last edited by cajun 22; 06-22-2022 at 09:31 PM. Reason: correction

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajun 22 View Post
    Mike, thanks for taking the time to post here. Thanks for your talents and time to develop the bolts. I was lucky enough to own a Gen-1, unengraved, bolt and the A-bolt. Both were machining masterpieces.
    Even though I moved on from the platform I still marvel at the design and function of the bolts. I am one of the lucky ones to say " I have been there and done that".

    Peace and good health to you and your wife.
    Thanks, C22, because you reminded me I was too quick with my earlier message.

    I have two of the latest bolts, and they run flawlessly in my large magwell M11-a1. I have yet to run them in my small magwell a1 with .380. TBD.

    I never chatted with you, Mike, but Tom and I had a lot of conversations, and his loss was such a shock. Be well, and thank you for your ingenuity and your industry to make the CF-W bolts a reality.

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    It's my understanding that Tom had both .45 bolts. Bryan never purchased the bolt. Tom was looking into the possibility of cutting the tungsten bolt and a steel bolt and ending up with two slow fire bolts. As far as I know, that didn't happen.

    Scott

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    Mike I'm so sorry to hear the whole town got wiped out. I remember reading about y'all being a part of the revitalization of the area a few years back. Just a shame. Well I'm glad to hear your wife is back in top form! We need to have an east coast uzitalk meetup
    Check out my Youtube channel

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    Hello Mike, and thanks for the retrospective. I have one of the 110 Gen 1 bolts I got from you directly, I believe. I shot it earlier this week and it still works great.

    2X cancer survivor here too so I'm glad to hear your wife is doing well. I've just passed 5 yrs which was a major benchmark.

    An EC MacMeet would be fun!

  18. #58
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    Hi Mike: Thanks for the update and history! I have to say it was always a pleasure speaking with you on various issues. I have three different CF-W bolts (a Gen 1, and Gen 2, and an A-bolt) in different M11s and enjoy them all!
    Now hosting: www.MAC-11.info

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    Good to hear from you again Mike. I am so happy to hear your Wife is better. I own a gen 2 unengraved CF-W bolt. It is the best M11 accessory ever.

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    Thanks for the well wishes and it's so great to see so many people I remember still here. I edited the above post with some interesting information and more information on things I remembered. It would be easy to add up how many CF-W bolts there are out there but I would be curious to know how many Grey Ghost uppers there are? How many Sam made after I stopped producing them and how many were made for baby macs? I think Sam is still producing them. It was an awesome upper, especially if you were looking for a compact suppressed platform with the gas kicker. I incorporated that in my uppers but you can thank AtTheRange for the original concept.

    All the best, Mike

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