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Surplus Military Rifles & headspace???

3984 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BigBill
Do you check the headspace on your new surplus military rifle purchases?

At first i purchased all the "field" headspace gauges to check all my surplus guns as i purchased them to make sure there safe to shoot. I figure spending an amount of one surplus rifle i'm sure i'm safe to shoot it with the headspace gauges.

When i change a sewer pipe bore barrel out i have the "Go", the "No-Go" on hand also to check if the chamber is in the new position or not. I just swapped out a german 98k barrel and installed a czech 8mm barrel for $37 in excellent condition and it went right in and locked inplace and the headspace is perfect on the "Go Gauge" the bolt will close and the bolt won't close on the "no-go gauge". The headspace and chamber are perfect.

I been lately purchasing the "no-go" headspace gauges for all my calibers too a little at a time. Since then pass on the field gauge i'm wondering if they will pass on the no-go gauge too now. I just want to know just how good the headspace really is. I will probably end up with all three headspace gauges for each caliber.

What prompted me to get into this even more was i purchased a "ufix'em" from century arms. I had very bad gut feeling about this rifle were they changed the caliber on it. Right away i purchased the 308win field headspace gauge and it failed on it. Then i thought maybe they used the 7,62 nato chamber reamer so i purchased the 7,62 nato MAX headspace gauge and it failed on that too. I guess they fell asleep when rereaming the chamber. Now i need to set the barrel back more and reream the chamber.

My point is it plays to besafe with any surplus military rifle. I take nothing for granted I check everyone now and record it in my log book to. This way i can keep track of the headspace when it arrived here too. Besafe. Godbless Bigbill
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If you already have the gauges you might as well use them. The facial features you save may be your own or fellow shooter's. Unless you're re-barreling bolt-action rifles for hyper-accuracy, the no-go can be dispensed with, but it's desirable to have a go and a field. There are a lot of old myths about certain rifles said to be indifferent to bolt-swapping, K98 Mausers, 03-03A3 Springfields, M1 Garands, SKS's, AK's, AR's. It's true as a matter of design, but the one you bring home or assemble might be the one that proves the exception. This was discovered with the Garand and eventually the production of new rifles and spare parts at SA enabled rebuild armorers to be supplied with slightly longer and shorter bolts from earlier and later revisions. I.e., the one that came in a CMP M1 might not be "correct" per the receiver's year and month but it was a good fit for the USGI armorer who installed it. And we've seen plenty of arm-wrestling here with headspace issues that arise in commercial M14 clones depending on the receiver-barrel combination. Might as well get headspace right if you have the tools, or get it validated by somebody who does.
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