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I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve celebration. Now that I’m older I don’t get carried away, but I still know how to have fun. The wife and I had an enjoyable evening and managed to be in the sack by 12:30 with satisfied tummies and not even a mild buzz. Remember that age and experience always wins out over youth and enthusiasm.

I keep a couple of different logs in order to track problems that come up building rifles or shooting. Any time I find an a problem or odd incidence regarding a part or tolerance, any anomaly, I try to record it in a log. It’s a good way to track problems that may reoccur for future reference. I do this to record instances of equipment failures, ammunition problems, and personal traits in my shooting performance. It helps me analyze problems and make corrections that become necessary. I use a simple ring binder.

One small aid that you should find helpful is available from Creedmoor Sports in California (www.creedmoorsports.com). This is a little $2.50 item called the Creedmoor Gun Book (item N070). It’s a simple diary used to record the date, number of shots fired, and remarks about rifle performance, maintenance, ammunition performance, etc. I find it indispensable. It’s helped me track and analyze the issues that appear from time to time while shooting in competition and practice. I write everything down, even minor changes in zero and occasional malfunctions. Of course, none of my rifles would ever malfunction…

I’ve noticed that many of you have concerns about gas port alignment. I know I’ve discussed this before in this forum, but I should bring it up again.

Perfect gas port alignment is not required.

What is required is that the gas port in the gas cylinder does not cut off the gas port in the barrel. A certain amount of misalignment is allowed because the gas cylinder port is larger than the barrel port. This allows the use of different parts from different manufacturers which may not be made to the same tolerances. Things like gas lock thread timing effect the alignment of the gas ports.

Some folks like to use shims to tighten and prevent barrel band movement. This is similar, but not as effective as gas cylinder unitizing. One difference is that unitizing doesn’t require shims. Keep in mind that the object here is to prevent the barrel band from shifting under recoil. Unitizing also allows consistent pressure against the stock ferrule in a properly bedded rifle to enhance accuracy. This has nothing to do with gas port alignment. Gas port alignment is solely a concern because it can effect functioning of the rifle. Extreme misalignment of the gas port will restrict gas flow and result in low pressure. This causes short cycling.

Well, I had to come back in and edit this post with an addition...

I've been at this (building M14s) for many years now and I have to remember to force myself to review some of the military tech manuals now and then. It's a good thing I do, because I always find additional information that answers a lot of questions. It is much better than when I just wing it. Trust Me! One of the manuals I like to refer to is USAWC Depot Overhaul Work Requirements. It's dry reading, but contains a lot of pertinent info. I was discussing gas port alignment and the fit of the gas cylinder. According to this manual, one of the things effected by a too tight gas cylinder fit is vertical bullet impact on the target. Too tight and the point of impact may be too low. This is an often overlooked malady. I see complaints all the time about TFL members who's rifles shoot too low. This may be one of the contributing factors. This info has been around since 1970 - I think I'll read this manual a little more.

Shims are used to insure the gas lock indexes within certain parameters while securing the barrel band from movement. The only relation to the gas port is that ports should not be so far out of alignment that gas flow is reduced. Again, perfect centering of the ports is not required.

On this subject, rumor has it that one of our TFL members may manufacture and offer for sale a new gas port alignment gage. This will be a welcome addition to the few tools available for the M14. I know I’ll be standing in line to buy one.

An interesting package showed up at the shop. It was from LRB Arms and felt fairly heavy. I thought it might be a couple of receivers I had ordered, but what I found in it was scrap metal… Lou sent me a couple of pieces of the waste trimmings left over from basic forging of LRB’s receivers. This stuff has absolutely no use except to melt it down for more forging billets. Well, it might make a good paper weight. Each piece weighs about 2¼ pounds. The hole in the center is the exact shape of the receiver forging while the left over part is well squished from the forging die. This is the part that sort of gushes out. I guess it will go well with the forging samples LRB gave me. Now I have the receiver, gas cylinder, and bolt forgings. It’s interesting stuff to show at gun shows.

Did any of you see the CBS documentary about Remington’s Model 700 Trigger. Talk of this problem has been circulating around the industry for some time. It seems CBS is out to boost it’s ratings by demanding that Remington recall the one million or so Model 700 rifles to fix the triggers. They claim Remington could have prevented accidental discharges in the one percent of rifles that failed with a one penny fix. There have been at least a few deaths involved.

I think Remington would have been wise to do the fix if the triggers are truly defective. However, regardless of the alleged problem, no one would have been injured if ordinary safety rules were followed. CBS implied that Remington changed the safety rules to cover their butt. You and I both know that the basic rules for firearms safety have never changed and there would be no accidents if everyone followed them. The NRA has always had ten rules for firearms safety. All manufacturers include these rules in there owners manuals. Even so, there are only three rules required to be safe around guns. 1. Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to destroy. 2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. 3. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it before shooting.

I’ve owned three Remington 700 rifles and never had a problem with the safeties. I suppose that I am just one of the lucky 993,000 or so owners who got the good ones. I know Remington is touchy about safety issues. As a gunsmith, I couldn’t even get Remington to send me a ball bearing to repair a safety that the customer had lost the part out of. They wanted me to send the rifle in to them. I got the part from an outside supplier and fixed it. No problem…

Remington may be in for some big trouble. It could even break the company and that would be a sad loss.
 

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Thanks for the posting.

I've had a LH 700 for many a year; bought it used around '80. It's provided me with lots of pleasure on the range and bagged plenty of game in the field. I've never had a problem with it.
 

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Imagine how quickly an administration can bring down the next Remington if this administration has its way and creates a powerful Department of Consumer Protection.

If Remington folds I wonder where that will leave the Bushmaster brand.
 
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