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The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

Posted on 09/23/2009 6:19:16 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog

Welcome to The Hobbit Hole!



TOPICS: The Hobbit Hole
KEYWORDS: corinnumber1; firstkeyword; jrgotanewjob; secondprecious
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To: 300winmag

11 lbs to 7 lbs on the trigger because of springs and “parts”?! That’s a big improvement! Do you think the springs were too stiff, or were match-up surfaces excessive?


3,661 posted on 12/11/2011 2:56:15 PM PST by hiredhand
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To: 300winmag

Heh, yep, it’s rare I don’t find something else each time I look for a specific item. Today it was the old set of drill bits which I had to replace since I ‘lost’ the old ones. Sigh. One of these days I’ll get organized. :-)

Kudos on finding the horseshoe clips.


3,662 posted on 12/11/2011 4:21:30 PM PST by osagebowman
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To: hiredhand
Do you think the springs were too stiff, or were match-up surfaces excessive?

It was the hammer's fault. I have some Wolff extra-power hammer springs, but they add only about two pounds of trigger pull, and I don't use them anyway. Not only did the second hammer provide immediate relief, but I could see the hammer and trigger start to "print" against each other almost immediately. With the old hammer, I was seeing a strange wear pattern that said some part of it was grinding against the trigger and sear that shouldn't.

3,663 posted on 12/11/2011 5:46:27 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: osagebowman
Sigh. One of these days I’ll get organized. :-)

I had that same thought when I was pawing through my AR15 parts for the umpteenth time, but I took a nap and the urge went away. :)

Seriesly, I figured out that if I totally organized all my parts, I would never build another M-faux again, which I found depressing. So I compromised, and developed a compromise system of organization. As I grabbed a part, I'd toss it into one of three boxes, marked "small, medium, and large".

3,664 posted on 12/11/2011 7:06:41 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag
Question for you...

My daughter and I have "national match" triggers in Armalite AR-15s that we own. The triggers are national match, but the springs aren't. They're not bad triggers as far as AR-15 triggers go. Hers is an SPR-1 upper on top of an Eagle-Armalite lower. Mine is an M4gery. These triggers break at "about" (guessing here) 5 lbs, but they're definitely two stage.

I was told that IF I swapped the springs, that the triggers would become "true" national match triggers. Meaning (I suppose) that it takes less force to break the sear from the hammer and free it at trigger pull.

So exactly what sort of springs should I replace for these triggers? Thanks in advance for any advice. :-)
3,665 posted on 12/12/2011 6:31:09 AM PST by hiredhand
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To: hiredhand
I was told that IF I swapped the springs, that the triggers would become "true" national match triggers.

Without seeing the actual trigger parts, I can only guess, but one thing for certain is that "National Match" has nothing to do with any springs, especially single vs two-stage trigger pull.

Some target triggers are made from modified GI parts. The hammer spring is lightened, and much of the hammer is cut away to remove mass. But there still has to be enough energy in the hammer spring to reliably fire any kind of primer. A slightly lighter trigger spring can be used, too.

The trigger, which operates on the see-saw principle, has setscrews in the front and rear. The front setscrew determines how much overtravel the trigger will experience once the sear has released the hammer. The rear setscrew determines how much take-up the trigger will have before it engages the hammer notch.

These types of triggers can be adjusted, and mis-adjusted by the user. I had one, and after reading all the warnings about possible dire consequences, opted not to use them. Instead, I went with the newer unitized drop-in triggers. They operate on the same principle, but with optimized parts geometry, and everything is sealed to prevent tinkering. NRA safety rules allow a minimum of three pound trigger pulls. For a rifle that may also be used in zombie defense, I find that five-pound no creep, no takeup, no overtravel triggers work just fine. Five pounds feels like nothing if everything else is tuned properly.

My last two builds involved getting GI trigger parts to work better. Everything is factory stock, but working in the contact surfaces with Nanolube has produced (from the one that is now fully broken-in) three pounds of smooth takeup of the first stage, and another two pounds of crisp, clean-breaking pressure to actually fire the weapon. I specifically explain that to anyone who fires them, especially if they are used to GI M16-type trigger pulls. These triggers are not unsafe, but you have to know what to expect, otherwise that first round can get away from you.

Bottom line: single vs double stage depends on parts geometry, or setscrews, not "special springs". I do not trust my adjustments to remain fixed over lots of firing, so I've gone to commercial unitized triggers for all my single-stage trigger work. And careful tuning can turn GI parts into vey nice, crisp double-stage triggers, with a little work, a little care, and a lot of knowledge. My goal is always safety first, then reliability, and finally a "nice" trigger pull.

I hope that helps. Thanks for asking.

3,666 posted on 12/12/2011 8:48:41 AM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag
Iffin you don't mind, I'll take the trigger out again... take some photos, and post them. It "sounds" like somebody gave me bad info with the line about only needing to swap springs.

I like the results you obtained with Nanolube though. I think I'll go that route... eventually. :-)

Thanks buddy! :-)
3,667 posted on 12/13/2011 7:47:09 AM PST by hiredhand
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To: 300winmag
I won't bore you with photos. :-) Besides, I'm sure you'll understand what I'm saying, and probably smile to yourself and say, "Duh-Huh!"

Anyway... I just put the trigger back IN my rifle and while it was out I verified that it is indeed an Armalite national match trigger. It has four positions on the disconnector where the spring can be repositioned, thus reducing or increasing trigger pull by a few ounces between positions.

Anyway... after finally understanding HOW this trigger works, I realized something. The mating surfaces of the trigger and disconnector were NOT even close to being uniform. Both had a low spot. I spent about an hour c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y removing these low spots with 600 grit worn wet/dry sandpaper. Then I snapped it all back together. Me and one of my buddies here agreed that it probably took two pounds of pull from the trigger.

It's still an AR-15 trigger... feels like one, operates like one, looks like one! But it's just a little lighter now. Not much, but a little. :-)
3,668 posted on 12/14/2011 3:03:43 PM PST by hiredhand
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To: hiredhand
Ooooh, a trick disconnector? I never heard of that, but it can make sense. But you hit on the key thing, the mating surfaces. Ideally, they should be smooth as glass, and shine like chrome. There is no earthly way to achieve that other than by painstaking hand labor.

I put the first 90 rounds through the new M4P yesterday, after applying the Nanolube treatment. The all-stock trigger system presently has a trigger pull a bit under seven pounds, with a good, but not perfect, takeup. I'll continue the Nanolube treatment, and check again after another hundred rounds, or three magazines. I expect the pull will lighten up another pound, and the takeup will be almost perfect.

One slight "problem" is that this particular rifle looks like it has all the makings of another rifle that can shoot far better than I can. I might spend on one of those unitized target triggers for it, anyway. Even there, I still apply tiny drops of Nanolube to the mating parts, because as fine as they are, it still can be approved.

Two of my M-faux are so well-tuned that there is no roughness in trigger pull or overall functioning that I can "zone out", and the world shrinks down to the image in the scope, and a bit of pressure against the pad of my index finger. I tell myself I like the sight picture, feel a bit of recoil, and notice that a new hole appeared in the target. I can only do that with two rifles, so far. But this is what can be done when all the right components, including gunsmithing skills, come together.

3,669 posted on 12/14/2011 6:15:50 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: hiredhand; osagebowman; Ramius; g'nad; TalonDJ; JenB
Here's the results of the first magazine put through the M4P(piston).

Except for a permanent scope, and sling swivels, the configuration is basically complete. The backup sights are new Midwest Industries extra-low profile models. The scope was not zeroed from an earlier session on another rifle, but still managed to shoot this first group:

The five circled shots we fired at ten yards, just to make sure I was hitting the paper. The other 25 were fired at 50 yards, the limit of the indoor range. No matter how careful I am, I still manage to throw in a few fliers. A bit more gunsmithing on my part, and a lot more effort with my marksmanship, and it looks like this rifle can keep ordinary M193 ball in the X-ring all day long.

Now, for a bit of rifle heresy. A gas-piston AR15-type is a feelthy weapon. Burnt powder was blown from the piston halfway back to the receiver, covering the barrel, piston rod, and handguards, inside and outside. True, it was easy to clean up, but there were a whole lot more square inches of fouling compared to the gas-tube system of the "traditional" AR15. There, the fouling is limited to the gas tube, and the bolt and carrier. It's more baked-on, but a much smaller area.

I can't detect any difference in handling, and accuracy can be astounding in either type of rifle. I'd give a slight edge to the gas-tube model just due to the smaller number of moving parts.

More testing will be coming shortly, along with testing another one of my "pet" M4s with a new PWS extruded buffer tube, to see if it enhances the accuracy of an already known accurate rifle.

3,670 posted on 12/14/2011 7:52:58 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag
Yep! The mating surfaces of the disconnector and hammer BOTH had low spots. I could tell right off when I shined a light on them because the bright spots revealed where contact was occurring. The disconnector had "about" a .003 low spot and the hammer was less. The hammer took no time to clean up with the 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. But the disconnector took over an hour. That disconnector was a real pain in the neck. The spring which holds tension against the trigger was very much in the way, and I had to take it off. It would have been easier had I removed the disconnector from the trigger, but I simply wasn't in the mood to be knocking out small pins. All in all, I'm pleased. I'm going to try to find some Nanolube this weekend.

Anyway... thanks... because if not for you, I never would have given this a second thought! :-)
3,671 posted on 12/15/2011 7:01:08 AM PST by hiredhand
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To: 300winmag
So much for all the talk of piston systems making the AR platform cleaner. :-)

I've often wondered exactly WHERE a piston driven AR exhausts. The FAL has two small vents on the tube, a few inches behind the port, and then that little regulator just AT the port. The SKS has two small vents on the tube similar to the FAL, but no regulator.

It sounds like the piston driven AR simply exhausts inside the front grips, and as best I can tell, there's not a full length gas tube... right? :-)

Thanks buddy! :-)
3,672 posted on 12/15/2011 7:38:07 AM PST by hiredhand
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To: hiredhand; 300winmag

Sounds like a reason to stick with the gas pipe.

Is there an overriding counter-reason in favor of the piston?


3,673 posted on 12/15/2011 10:04:24 AM PST by ExGeeEye (It will take a revolution to reinstate the constitution. (HT FtP))
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To: hiredhand; ExGeeEye
It sounds like the piston driven AR simply exhausts inside the front grips, and as best I can tell, there's not a full length gas tube... right? :-)

Correct. For any gas-operated weapon, the powder fouling has to go somewhere. In the case of this AA upper, it's spread out thinly all over. My Sig 556 keeps most of it on the piston and housing. It gets pretty filthy, too, and takes a lot to clean it. Some people have claimed firing 5000 rounds through the Sig without cleaning. That may be true, but I consider that abuse of a weapon, even for an AK47.

As far as my limited experience so far with a gas-piston goes, I can't see any one major benefit from one type to the other, except personal preference.

3,674 posted on 12/15/2011 11:22:16 AM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: ExGeeEye; 300winmag
I suppose a piston driven weapon is better than using the bolt as part of the PATH for exhaust...as in the case of DIGS with the AR. But I don't know. Perhaps time will tell. :-)
3,675 posted on 12/15/2011 11:43:24 AM PST by hiredhand
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To: 300winmag

Well, Win-mag I tried your small, medium, large sorting system; decisions, decisions, which goes where? Gave me another headache so I headed to the range instead of cleaning the bench. Feel much better now.


3,676 posted on 12/17/2011 3:19:39 PM PST by osagebowman
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To: 300winmag

Went to the gun show today...and was sore tempted by a “complete AR-14 lower” for $150.

I didn’t do it, but I don’t know how long I can hold out....


3,677 posted on 12/17/2011 5:45:40 PM PST by ExGeeEye (It will take a revolution to reinstate the constitution. (HT FtP))
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To: Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
Went to the gun show today...and was sore tempted by a “complete AR-14 lower” for $150.

Considering a lot of mid-grade stripped lowers cost $150, that deal sounds almost too good to be true. Caveat emptor

And with those words of wisdom, it's time to ignore all that, and check out tonight's Saturday Night Gun Pron

There I was, minding my own business, driving to some place unimportant, when the cell phone rings. It's my friend, calling me with a hot tip. He said our favorite EBR emporium just got in the first samples of an item he first saw at the 2011 SHOT show in February.

Knowing what it took to get my Kimber Solo when it first came out (persistence, and an ill-informed store clerk), I immediately headed to the store.

Once there, I laid out my debit card (handily, just refilled), and bought this on the spot.

The new Ruger Mark III 22/45 with rails and threaded barrel. This will be the vehicle for my first suppressor, I hope. In the meanwhile, I put on a leftover Docter sight, and I'm heading back to the range tomorrow.

Also, being the geek that I am, I've already ordered a special low-profile Docter mount for the Ruger, which should allow me to remove both rails. The gun can also be bought with regular sights, but most cans are too tall to allow the sights to work, so something higher is needed.

And, from long and painful familiarity with the Ruger .22, I'm getting a combined trigger/takedown/disconnect-remover kit. And some fancier grips than these optional rosewood ones. My primary task tomorrow is to see how it likes various brands of subsonic ammunition.

The other thing I learned in the phone call was some good Class III news may be happening after the first of the years. The old "approval of local chief law enforcement officer" provision in the 1934 NFA may be declared superfluous and replaced with the same NICS check that all FFL sellers have to perform. In 1934, local cops and feds had to run all sorts of investigations to see if you were a good guy. That's why, even if you already have the local approval, it takes six months for the feds to process things.

The NICS check, despite being scorned by liberals, provides a more thorough check in seconds that what all the federal paperwork does in six months. While politically the government might like the "go slow" approach, it still takes real time and money to do something that's already doing a better, faster job, and is already paid for.

I guess they figure they can save our tax money by dropping the manual background check, and use it towards buying more weapons for Mexican drug dealers.

Still, I'm grateful for small favors. I was also instructed to wait until after the 2012 SHOT shot so my buddy can see if he can make some deals out there, because he's trying to get his Class III license back, and he has lots of industry connections. I wonder how much I'd have to pay him so I could work behind his counter? :)

3,678 posted on 12/18/2011 12:35:39 AM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: ExGeeEye

*AR-15


3,679 posted on 12/18/2011 1:49:58 AM PST by ExGeeEye (It will take a revolution to reinstate the constitution. (HT FtP))
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To: 300winmag

holy crap! Mister mag... That’s exactly the same Ruger I got for my (patiently awaited) suppressor. The Mark III 22/45. The optics are similar, though mine is a Trijicon red-dot sight. Same idea though.

Schweet.


3,680 posted on 12/20/2011 9:45:36 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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