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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
3 months and a pandemic later I finally got the mini300/garand back from my smith today. He's got it together, op rods together and not binding but can't it to function. The bolt only moves about an inch when firing generic factory blkout ammo. Cycles by hand just fine. Rather than pay him to tinker with it I figured that I can do that for free. I'll play with my loads first and then start opening up the gas port. It's a small cartridge and a lot of steel to move around. It would appear that I need more gas. Also got my 1873 carbine back from him so I have that to work on not to mention my 1927a1 sbr. Here it is at the gunsmiths with his 1928 try stock and 10.5 bbl. I'm still waiting for my 1928 stock quick detach furniture [called the slide] coming from the Netherlands via a slow boat from China I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
I've starting tinkering with it. My smith thinks he drilled a .070 [#50]gas port hole. From what I've read that's too small. I'm going to open it up to .089 [#43] and see what happens. I also think that he made my op rod a hair long and it might be partly blocking the gas hole in the gas cylinder. I want to experiment and drop a small ball bearing into the gas cylinder to act as a spacer to move the op rod a bit but not increase the volume of the space between the plug and op rod much. Small steps. I also replaced the factory op rod spring with a lighter one. It 'feels' correct hand cycling it but firing it yesterday with my handloads I had very little if any bolt movement. I didn't find my factory loads until a few minutes ago. Not wanting to waste any I'll try some after drilling out the port. I also discovered that my funky T20 muzzle brake is a hair too large in diameter and covers the bottom of the front sight. Need to turn it down a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
My smith was wrong, the port was a little bigger than .070, I opened it up to .099 [#39]. Fired it a few times but no go. I'll open it up a little bit more tomorrow but I think that I'll swap op rod springs around first to see if that makes a dif.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Swapped springs around a couple times, no go but then I redid the op rod spring guide which changed the spring dynamics and I got 8 rds of American Eagle to feed, fire and eject just fine. Success! The aguila and AE are both supposed to be 1900 fps but somebody’s lying. I might need to open the port a hair more so that I can increase my op rod spring’s power a hair. While it goes into battery ok it’s too weak imo. Also want to build some hotter handloads, my pc loads won’t work but my jacketed handloads ejected fine but didn’t pick up the next rd.

Opened the port up to .111 and added a couple of spring spacers on the op rod spring guide to give it more power to close the bolt. Try shooting it tomorrow.

Tried it with the aguila, ejected fine but still not stripping the next rd. I did finish shaping the muzzle brake. Need to reload some 150 gr as my 110 gr rn only ejected too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Experimented with the op rod, it’s a bit too long and blocks the hole as built which prevents any gas from getting into the cylinder. Adding a spring to back the rod up and expose the hole but it enlarges the space too much and I only get partial bolt movement. I put my bearing back in and get ejection and AE feeding. I pulled a American Eagle 150 gr rd apart to see what i can see. Found 19.0 gr of something that looks alot like H110 or CFE Blk, 150 gr fmjbt bullet. I contacted Federal to get some idea of what they use and as I suspected if they told me they’d have to kill me. I sent them a powder burn rate chart thinking that they might give me a clue, nope. I’ll get back on it today, finished my shopvac build and mowed the yard yesterday ahead of the next round of rain after going to town and getting 5 more boxes of AE 150 gr 300blkout from Academy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Might have had a break through, just tried 21.0 gr of CFEBLK and a 123gr .310 Zmax and they ejected and fed the next rd! No flat or cratered primers either. Onward and upward.

6-5. This afternoon I tried [.308] 110 rn, 125 plastic tipped and 130 hp and all ran with 21.0 gr. Tried some 150 gr bullets with 20.0 gr and they ran too. The 20.0 gr load will not work the lighter bullets. I think that I've figured this critter out. Next will be to put holes in paper and develop some accurate loads. And of course finish the build. Found a walnut m14 handguard that should work. I think that I will need to install the mini14 steel reenforcement into my stock as I noticed some battering of the wood inletting by the action but I did try some heavier bullets in my experimenting and could have damaged it then. H110 would just not work. I also added a ruger mini blue buffer.
6-6. Tried a few rds on cardboard at 35 yds, It's hitting low and I don't have any more elevation adjustment so I'm going to remove some front sight blade height. This is a very cobbled up rifle with a front garand sight designed for a .30-06 @2700 fps, a rear sight set up for .223 [with an 18 inch bbl] and it has a 24 inch bbl chambered in 300blkout. Has some identity issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Milled some off my garand front sight without much change. I took the ruger rear sight elevation screw out and added a spring between the sight blade and base and got a few 125 gr to hit poa but I’m way above the adjustment detent pin. I’m going to have to cobble a tall sight blade together from two blades. It’s coming, waiting on more parts.

7-8-20. Reinstalled the steel reenforcement today and moved the whole bbl/action and trigger group back about a 1/4 inch. I had to do that to get the stock and upper handguard to mate up. There was a space between them which I might not have had with a garand stock but I’m using an Italian star FAT 70 stock that’s a little shorter. I might not install the screws in the sides since the steel insert will be jbwelded in. Then I can start prepping the stock for my paint job. I will probably shoot it some more too. Also have the rear sight to tinker with.

7-9-20.. I jbwelded the insert and side screws in today along with a couple pieces of aluminum to help keep anything from moving. The insert fit fine in the shimmed garand stock. Tomorrow I’ll clean it up, take some photos and reboot the post. Then I can start prepping for some primer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Removed the excess jbweld at the reenforcement screws from the outside of the stock and had to remove a little of my aluminum insert as the action was bottoming out against it. Love my HF mini mill. Once I get the action seated back into the stock I’ll have to build up the wood on the sides of the receiver next where the garand recvr is 3 inches longer than my mini14 recvr. Here’s how I did my mini30/M1a. Drilled some holes, tapped in some brads, built a dam out of primer boxes and filled it up with jb. The heats been rough here but not as bad as out west, keeps me out of my shop.

Built 2 dams today and jbwelded them. Letting it cure overnight and then I’ll see what it looks like. Also added some to the top of the stock where the action sits.

Got those done and cleaned up. I need one more dam to fill in the stock void where the Garand op rod is exposed as the Mini14 op rod doesn’t extend as far. I’m going to use a m1a handguard for the lower guard with a mauser handguard clip to hold it to the bbl. My bbl does not have the cuts for the handguard clip. I used my mini mill to extend the op rod cutout on the side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Good news/ bad news. The rear sight eyepieces that I found on eBay are not the same as the one I've got. Mine has a large low hole, the ones I've bought are different, one has a smaller low hole while the other has a small high hole. The difference between the large and small holes and locations have changed things enough that the high small hole one seems to be spot on the money elevation wise which was an issue. The bad news is that my build is not cycling again. Obviously I've changed something when I worked on the action to get the stainless steel reenforcement installed. Didn't change the op rod, op rod spring or guide in any way but did add some jbweld here and there. But I HAVE moved the location of the bbl/action rearward a little [3/16 inch] to get my upper handguard to tighten up against the stock and lower handguard. I just put 20 rds through it and the last couple rds In the magazine ejected but not enough to feed the next. With no mag the American Eagle will eject. My first thought is the rds in the mag or tilt of the mag are affecting the cycling. The mag is held in place by the rear mag lock. There is no pin in the front. It was working fine before that way. If I can figure a way to lower my mag a hair I'll try that next. Thinking that I'll rubber band a couple of blocks to the sides of a mag and hold it in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
I don’t think its a mag thing anymore. I messed with the op rod spring and am getting ejection but no next rd pickup or the mty is extracted but not clearing the action. Tomorrow I’ll tear it down and clean it up and try some more ideas.

It has numerous issues I’m thinking. Found a burr on the firing pin that was making the bolt stick. That would explain some of my fte’s. I also polished up some of the contact surfaces on the trigger assembly. Not the sear engagement but where the trigger hook rubs on the underside of the hammer. It would stick there and when the trigger was touched would pop up to engage the hook. Shouldn’t do that. I’ll load up some more and tinker later, got a dental appt this am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Everything is ejecting fine. And just had 7 out of 8 feed. On the edge of getting it to run again. But the AE still doesn’t want to feed. Supposed to be the same lot that the first ammo was. Don’t understand why. I’ll just have to keep trying different bullets. There isn’t anymore room in the case for more CFE Black. Last resort will be to enlarge my gas port. Might play with a mag spring too as I’ve had the last couple of rds feed and fire when the first ones didn’t. I’m just loading 5 at a time and go out on the deck fire at my 40 yd plates in the containment I have. I’m hitting my mini marshals fine.

8-23 Update-Fired some 125 and 150 gr today. All 10 150 gr ran fine but the 125s only ejected and wouldn’t feed. Am going to experiment with the gas cylinder and gas plug tomorrow. If enlarging the space between the gas plug and op rod will lower the pressure in a garand gas system why shouldn’t shrinking the same space raise the pressure. I’m going to use my shuester plug as it’s threaded and build a spacer that will screw into it and protrude into the space in the gas cylinder. See what happens tomorrow.

9-13 Got the lower handguard on. Used a mauser handguard clip riveted to it. Should be ok. The exposed rivets will get jbwelded and the entire stock gets painted. I’ll get back to my reloads for it next week. Going to try some H110 but I’m thinking I’ve tried it before. But that might have been before anythong was working and the gun had mechanical issues.

9-16 Tried using LilGun and had some success with 125 gr bullets. Feeding and ejecting ok.

9-20 still playing with LilGun. Set up a spare dillon measure and with the small measure maxed out and the case about 1/8 in shy of overflowing the 120-130 gr eject but are hit and miss picking up the next rd. Might need to switch to the rifle measure to fill the case a hair more. LilGun and 150s are a go but need to work up an accurate load next. I wish I had made the bbl a couple inches shorter, I’ve got a long 23 inches from the boltface to the gas port. I’ll mess with it some more and if I don’t get a breakthrough I’ll bump up the port diameter again.

12-20. LilGun seems to work. One of my issues was the magazine position I think. I clipped a coil from the mag and removed the front pin that ruger uses to lock in the mag. Swapped magazine followers between a ruger 5 rd and the 20 rd. Seems to help. I’m adding a block to the front of the mag well to make it like it was before I moved the action back in the stock. Had some 130s and 150s fire, eject and feed today. Load up some more this week.
I’m thinking its the different internal case dimensions that are causing the erratic functioning as my rifle is right on the edge of working. Ran all of my aguila and federal 300blkout brass regardless of bullet weight. Also had a revelation as my 110 gr rn carbine bullets are working but when i mixed in a long nosed pointy bullet it failed to feed which tells me that my short loads are moving forward and feeding. If I can get my longest bullet load to cycle I’ll call it operational. Success..maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Today I experimented with cases. My FC 12-13 brass seems to be a little bigger internally than my commercial aguila and federal 300blkout which allowed my to cram in a bit more LilGun. I was 8 for 8 on feeding my longest bullets this am. Would have shot more but I ran out of prepped brass. Primers looked ok. If I can get these to run anything will run. I have to size and prime some more tonight. Also need to go through my boxes of 223/556 brass and find more FC 12-13 headstamps to cut down and make into blkout [have 60 so far, the most of any one military headstamp]. Might be getting close. Can't wait to paint it.
Found another 65 pcs. Cut them all down with my cutoff saw yesterday. I'll run them through my sizer this week. Should give me plenty of brass as the rifle tosses them at 5 o clock six feet behind me. A very well behaved Ruger Mini.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Decided to make a big modification on my build. Rather than shorten the bbl/ op rod/ handguard/ stock and pay to have the bbl gas cylinder machining and the op rod done again I’ve sent it back to Accuracy System to get it rechambered to 300Hamr caliber. This will give me a longer=bigger case to work with and enough gas to run the rifle. I hope. Brass shouldn’t be any harder to make than blkout and won’t have the neck thickness issues that blkout sometimes has. I’ll know in 6-8 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
ASI is already done and shipping today. I am building 300Hamr brass from commercial RP 223 brass. Should save me a little work not having to worry with swaged in primers. I have a coffee cans worth of mil 556 to play with if this idea flies. Have plenty of 300 blkout brass already done for my other rifle. ‘Here’s my HF cutoff saw setup that I put together. The 300Hamr cut brass is shot into the elbow to the lower coffee can, scraps go down the hole in the corner into a smaller can. Also have a 300blkout cutter. Works good.
Sewing machine Table Office chair Chair Sewing
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Got my rifle back yesterday, reassembled it and have shot it about 25 times. I increased the throw of LilGun and am getting positive ejection but not 100 % feeding. Seems to be a magazine issue. The 300Hamr case is a little different than the 223/556 and a lot different than the blkout. My mags are mini14 mags and my magwell isn’t standard ruger. Either the issue is the well or the mag. More experimenting. It seems to be dead on as I’m hitting my small sass marshall at 35 yds offhand with no problem.
 

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ed I sure envy you your handiwork, that's what there should be a lot more of on this forum.
 
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