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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings,

Finally had a chance yesterday to take my 03-A4 project out to the range. The rifle had been previously "sporterized" (the way I got it) and I've been in the process of a semi-restoration over the last year or so. The final job I just finished was to relieve the stock (A3 "C" profile) for the bolt handle. Wish I had a photo of the way the factory did it before I started, but all in all it came out fine and worked well. Keep in mind this rifle is pretty much a "Mutt" and many parts are likely not "correct" to a 1942 A4.

Two major issues came up at the range.

First was that when loading more than one round, it was very difficult to keep them from shifting and getting out of alignment an stuck (to the point I had to pull out the bolt and use a screwdriver to remove each one, then try again). Also, 4 rounds were the max that would fit. Not sure if the mag spring is weak or there is a follower problem. BTW, far as I know, the floor plate is an earlier forged (?) (non-stamped) version. Does this require a specific spring/follower combination?

The other problem was the feel and let off of the FCG was awful. Felt very, very gritty and could not feel any transition to the second stage. It was pretty unpredictable when the rifle would actually fire. BTW, the rifle had come to me with an after market single stage FCG that I removed and then found the various mil parts at gun shows. I believe they were all fairly well used. So.............my next questions: (yes, the rifle was very clean and correctly lubed)

Are there any NOS sears, sear springs and triggers on the market?

Can someone explain the particular mating surfaces involved in the trigger pull cycle and suggest why there doesn't seem to be any second stage transition feel? Perhaps its that the grit is so bad I just can't notice?

What would be suggested that I can do (polish, stone, etc.) to the existing parts to make it any better?

FYI, we tried 5 ammo types (all 150g) and the best of the bunch was the Serbian "partisan" (PPU head stamp). 4 shot groups hovered around 1"+/- when we did our part. Greek HXP was about 4", Fed American Eagle may well have used a shot gun, Remington "green box" was 2-3", some 1957 "NK" stamp (the N is stamped backwards, anyone know what this is?) was about the same.

It's been a long road getting this rifle back (closer) to .mil condition.

Thanks much for any input!

Regards, Jim

PS.................I'll post a link to some pix over the weekend.
 

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On your single round loading issue: If the gap between the top of the floor plate box and the bottom of the receiver is too wide(.100"+/-) it will allow the follower to fall sideways(to the left). Or it will cause the follower to hang up in the gap. When the follower is not in position it will cause the round to get pinched/jammed. If it is a new stock you will probly have to remove some wood from the bottom of the stock to get the floor plate box closer to the receiver, but not touching. .020- 030" gap is good.

 

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A friend of mine gave up on the factory trigger on his M1917 Eddystone and put a Huber ball trigger in it. It took some slight mods for him to do this but it works sweeeeeet.

I myself am in the middle of a 03A3 project that had been started by another person as a sporterized build. I acquired it for the cheap as he couldnt afford to finish it. I thought about putting it back to original condition but the sporterization work was too far along. In this 03A3 I'm putting a 2-1/2# Timney trigger in it. It should be sweeeet as well.

As far as NOS I'm not too much familar with these rifles but you might try Numerich.
 

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I got two 1917's, a standard trigger is not too bad. Takes getting use to and it could use a little work but its no different that a mauser. And it isnt too bad.

Jerry Kuhnhauser's book on the mauser answeres alot of questions.

Lots and lots have been written about 03's
 

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levisdad may be on to something there.
Also not long ago on the CMP bolt action forum they were talking about a similar situation.
It was said that the stamped follower was less prone to hanging up due to it having rolled, radiused edges.
The rest of the post is pretty vague to me now and I don't have a link to it. But I bet if you went over there and searched a little you could find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Greetings,

Thanks for all the tips! Levisdad, you described my mag loading problem exactly (and much better than I did). It is an old stock, but I'll be sure to measure the gap per your info. I did find some good data on the trigger group mechanics in some old field manuals. At this point, I'm going to try and find some new FCG parts and compare them to what I have. I'm sure that part ware is a significant issue to the trigger pull.

Happy New Year!

Regards, Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
03-A4 update

Greetings,

I took the rifle down yesterday and it was all too easy to see why the trigger feel was awful. My gun show purchased FCG had the top surface of the trigger (where there should be two humps) filed down FLAT! Hard to say how I did not notice this when I bought or installed the parts. So, need to find a new trigger for sure, but the sear looks ok.

I need to take the measurements on the follower yet to try and resolve the loading issues, but as Levisdads' explanation absolutely matched the problem I'm having I feel pretty good that that will explain it.

I need to get a photo of the trigger and rifle up yet, I'll try that later on. Really can't believe I missed this. Thanks again to everyone.

Regards, Jim
 
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