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Thread: My first FAL / NEED HELP!

  1. #11
    Gunco Regular Oldgunner's Avatar
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    I?m getting low on cash so another $60 for the videos is a bit much right now. I?ve bought the AGI video, a few mag?s, the tool, DSA butt stock, Tapco cover w/stripper feed and will have to get a hammer spring to make it work. I?m also looking for a nice handguard set. I?ve blown way too much in the last eight weeks, lets see, I?ve bought the FAL rifle, a Saiga .308 rifle, a Saiga .410 shotgun, a Nagant M-44, an M-1 Garand and the Springfield XD.40. Oh, and tomorrow night I?m picking up a hundred-year-old pump shotgun from my local gun guy. (Only $100) That?s over $2,225 in eight weeks, damn! The only other thing I need to buy is another AK receiver, but I haven?t figured out from whom yet. I?ve got to stop buying and plan on how to make money and not how to spend it. Things are going to get real tight around here so I must grit my teeth and stop looking at Shotgun News all the time.
    By the way, that DSA stock is damn nice, it makes it easier to get your eye low enough to get a good sight picture, I really had to scrunch down with the original stock.
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    Last edited by Oldgunner; 12-16-2004 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Forgot something.
    "Moss Isley spaceport. You'll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
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  2. #12
    Gunco Regular Oldgunner's Avatar
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    Well Damn, After replacing the hammer, recoil, piston springs and the piston it self, I finely took it out and TRIED to fire off a few rounds. Two out of twenty fired, all the others just had a small dent in the primer. I?m getting real tired of this and will never buy a Century built rifle again. Would someone PLEASE pull your firing pin and measure it for me, PLEASE also measure how much your pin protrudes when it?s fully forward. I have a two piece firing pin so I really need two measurements for the pin. Picture below.
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    "Moss Isley spaceport. You'll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
    (Actually this better describes Washington than Moss Isley)

  3. #13
    Angry White Man RetVet's Avatar
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    Looking at the pic of your firing pin I don't see anything grossly abnormal with it. I'm at work until late tonight, but will measure one of mine when I can and let you know the dimensions.

    A few questions....

    Will the rifle hand cycle rounds cleanly? What I'm getting at is.....

    Does the bolt go completely into battery and lock up with the cartridge case firmly seated against the bolt head and the extractor claw fully gripping the cartridge rim? When cycled back is the cartridge extracted ok? Since it appears your getting a light hit on the cartridge primer, and your firing pin "looks" normal, the problem could be with your bolt/extractor/receiver.

    1. Pull the bolt and check for any blockage where the firing pin slides in. Should slide in smoothly. The spring should be in good shape. If it takes some effort to push the firing pin with spring in and reinstall the firing pin retaining pin, it should be serviceable.

    2. Check the extractor claw for burrs or any flaws. I've seen some with chips and gouges which would clearly affect seating of the cartridge head on the bolt.

    3. With the bolt and extractor assembled and back in the carrier, slide the whole assembly forward into battery. No need for a cartridge to be chambered. Check for contact between the extractor claw and the right side of the receiver. The front right side of the receiver has a small area milled out to allow the extractor to travel fully forward and engage the cartridge rim. On my one and only FAL build using a new Century metric receiver, I found that this milled area wasn't deep enough. It therefore prevented the bolt and extractor from going fully forward and functioning properly. I solved the problem by using a dremel tool and grinding out the milled area enough to prevent contact between the extractor and the receiver.

    4. One additional thought would be to inspect the hammer/trigger/sear parts to ensure they're all moving freely with nothing dragging. In other words nothing keeping the hammer from flying fully forward with force.

    I'll ponder this a bit more. Let me know what you find. I'm no expert, but I am working on FAL build number 10 with 4 more waiting for receivers. Every one fully functional.

  4. #14
    Gunco Regular Oldgunner's Avatar
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    Thanks RetVet, You may have an answer to my problem. I separated the upper and lower receivers, then removed the bolt from the carrier and slid it into the breach. The bolt slides all the way in and drops down completely on the headspace pin, but if I insert a live round the bolt doesn?t drop all the way down, it stops at what looks to be around thirty-five thousandths short of being all the way down and bottomed out. I guess the next thing to do is remove the extractor and try it again to see if the extractor is hitting like you said. I looked into the recess for the extractor and can see a thread that it may be hitting, if it is it will be an easy fix. Thanks for the help on this, I?d still like to know how far the pin should extend from the face of the bolt when it?s fully forward, fifty thousandths seems a little short to me but it may be to spec, I?d just like to check.
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    Last edited by Oldgunner; 12-31-2004 at 06:59 AM.
    "Moss Isley spaceport. You'll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
    (Actually this better describes Washington than Moss Isley)

  5. #15
    Angry White Man RetVet's Avatar
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    I switched over to night shifts tonight. Didn't remember to measure the firing pin. I'll make a note for self to do that tomorrow when I get up.

    Looking at your diagram, if the bolt isn't seating fully against the locking shoulder, then perhaps the extractor IS contacting the receiver recess and not allowing the bolt to slide fully into battery. Another possible cause for it not seating fully is if the headspace is set too tight. If you have a set of GO/NO GO gauges, insert the GO gauge in the clean chamber, assemble your bolt (stripped) into the carrier, then slide the bolt/carrier in and check the GO headspacing. The bolt should lock up with the GO gauge inserted. If it doesn't, your headspace is indeed too tight and you'll need to pull the locking shoulder and remeasure/set the headspace.

  6. #16
    Angry White Man RetVet's Avatar
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    I measured 2 sets of the 2 piece style inch pattern firing pins today. Both were from spare bolts, used, but look to be in good serviceable condition. Here's the numbers:

    #1 long section = 3.306", short section = 1.095"

    #2 long section = 3.303", short section = 1.091"

    As you can see there's a few thousands difference between them. I'm of the opinion this small varience between sets is to be expected. The short sections were measured from end to end, the full length of the part.

    GPG over at the FAL Files was selling replacement inch bolt/carrier assemblies, complete, for about $10 recently. Might be worth your while to swap out the complete bolt on yours. This may also solve that gap problem you're seeing between the rear of the bolt and the locking shoulder. You'll need to recheck headspace of course. HTH!

    Dave

  7. #17
    Gunco Regular Oldgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetVet
    The short sections were measured from end to end, the full length of the part.
    Dave
    The short piece that has the striker end has a shoulder that stops its forward movement, so I?m not sure what the critical measurement really is, but thought the end towards the longer pin may be the one. If it was longer or if the shoulder is cut back a few thousandths it should make the firing pin extend further out when hit by the hammer, but I?d think this would most likely pierce the primer. Thanks for measuring your pins for me; it tells me I?m in the ballpark on OAL of the pin.
    Tomorrow I?m going to try a few rounds of Remington 150GR. ammo I bought today, the bolt sits lower by half or more in comparison to the NATO ammo I tried, almost down flat on the headspacing pin.
    "Moss Isley spaceport. You'll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
    (Actually this better describes Washington than Moss Isley)

  8. #18
    Gunco Regular Oldgunner's Avatar
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    OK it?s time for an update. I have tried the Remington ammo and it will work, I think it has a softer primer than the ammo I tried before. I also picked up a beautiful STG-58 kit and will be doing my first FAL build as soon as I can get a receiver. I removed the hammer-spring unit from the kit and found it?s a bit stronger than the new spring (From Tapco) I had put into the Century Rifle, so that may be another possible problem with it not firing the surplus ammo. I?ve gotten the gun to fire now but still have problems with jamming, it looks like the bolt just barely hits the rim of the shell (about .025) as it comes forward, most of the time it rides over the shell. Looking at it.025 doesn?t look like enough to me. From what I can see from checking the bolt faces on both the bolts I have, it looks like the wear marks on them are about .055 showing that the original guns picked up a lot more of the shell as it was stripped from the mag. I wonder if this is one of the problems found with the Century receivers? Anyone out there that knows Century Receivers please let me know if this is a common problem or of any other problems I should look for. I?m new to FAL?s and I?ll admit I need help here. I?ve got to say that Century builds a great looking rifle, I just wish they worked!
    "Moss Isley spaceport. You'll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
    (Actually this better describes Washington than Moss Isley)

  9. #19
    Angry White Man RetVet's Avatar
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    Sounds like the mag may not be sitting high enough if the bolt is just barely catching the cases. You'll need to pull the top cover and remove the bolt. Insert a mag and see how high it sits. Century receivers are notorious for having tight mag wells, so perhaps the top portion of yours is a little tight and preventing the mag from going all the way up. This could be the problem even if the mag catch is locking up with the mag. The mag catch's themselves, or rather the hole drilled in the receiver for retaining it, isn't always located within spec.

    The first Century receiver I built on required opening up of the mag well just to get the mag fully inserted without the use of a rubber hammer. That's how friggen tight it was!

    As you're learning, the biggest trouble with troubleshooting FALs is that many problems can be contributed to more than one factor and they tend to be cumulative.
    " The world is a very dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who do nothing about them." - Albert Einstein, 1879-1955


  10. #20
    Gunco Regular Oldgunner's Avatar
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    Things are looking up,I?ve gotten the gun to fire a few more rounds now and the bolt is sitting just right on the headspacing bolt now too. Now I need to fix the jamming problem. I found that the aluminum mag?s I used may have been a big part of my trouble, I think I bought them from Tapco but I?m not sure on that. With a little work they could work but I think they?re just too lightweight to last very long anyway so I?ll put them away for now. The steel mag?s I just got are much better and hold the shells higher, as far as the receiver it holds the mag?s up tight against the rails so it?s fine. I?ve found three other things going on.
    1. The new hammer spring I bought from Tapco is weaker than the original spring.
    2. The double bullet guides are much smaller than on the STG-58 kit I just bought. (See picture)
    3. Slot for mag catch is undersize, Century ground the original catch thinner so it would fit their receiver. The new catch I bought won?t fit unless I grind it also.

    The drawing was just drawn by eye so things aren?t exactly to scale. It shows the sizes of the Century bullet guides as compared to the STG-58 bullet guides, the STG?s are larger and smoother than Century?s are so I can see why the Century built gun jams. After a bit of Dremel work it should feed much better.
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    "Moss Isley spaceport. You'll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
    (Actually this better describes Washington than Moss Isley)

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