Recutting the ejection slot in the bolt and bending the ejector upward seems to have fixed the problem I was having. Cases now make good contact with the ejector tip and go flying out of the receiver. I had a couple rounds slip out of the extractor during recoil, so I replaced the trimmed extractor spring with a normal one. This should be the end of the tweaking for awhile. I'm not real happy that I had to recut the slot. I will probably make a new carrier eventually. And this time, I'll make sure the damn ejector slot is lined up!
I was only able to fire a few rounds before the neighbors kids came out in the yard to see what I was shooting. I love living out in the country because the neighbors aren't bothered by gunfire. Makes me wish I didn't have to live inside the damn city limits!
I still have to add a couple finishing touches (front sight pin, metal handguard ferrule, final coat of shellac on the furniture, and paint touchup, but I am going to call this project complete.
After building this thing, I have made a short list of things that I would do differently:
1. Move the magazine back about 3/16" to 1/4" from it's current location. This would allow me to use unmodified M3 magazines. I just had to shave a little bit of metal off the feed lips to get the rounds to feed. This modification works well, as the rounds do not jam in any way during feeding. Now that I know it feeds, I can move the mag on the next one back to keep from needing to trim the mags.
2. Don't fuck up the bolt alignment during welding! When my welder assembled the bolt and carrier, the bolt turned slightly. He must not have noticed after it was tacked. This slight rotation is what screwed the ejection up. When I do the next bolt/carrier, I'll slip a piece of copper into the slot in the bolt and clamp it against the carrier. That will keep the slot lined up.
3. Rivet the trunnion straight. When I assembled the receiver, I had to shim the trunnion in the receiver. The trunnion is 1.200" wide (I think it's a Chinese trunnion), and the interior of the receiver is 1.250". I used 2 pieces of 0.025" shim stock to tighten the fit. When I riveted the pieces together, I got the trunnion tweaked just a bit to one side. It's not really visible to the casual observer unless I point it out, but it bugs me.
4. Weld the cleaning rod lug onto the gas block before assembly. The gas block that I used did not have a lug for the cleaning rod. As such, I cannot install a rod. It's trivial I know, but the cleaning rod is part of the AK profile. I didn't have time to make the lug and get it welded before the shoot.
Item #1 was unforseen and an easy fix.
Item #2 was something I should have caught. It was my fault for not checking the alignment before the bolt was welded solid.
Items #3 and #4 were my fault because I was in a hurry to get the rifle done before the WV shoot.
Soon I will compile all the pics and info into a single post when I get a pic of the finished rifle. Now that I have all the hard work out of the way, this project could easily be repeated in a couple weekends or so. I'll definitely be rebuilding the .45 with a straight trunnion and relocated magwell. After finding out how smoothly and pleasantly this thing can shoot, I want to do a 9mm or 7.62x25. I may even consider doing a larger caliber, maybe a .44 Magnum with a functional gas system.