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I'm working on finishing up a couple of Bula builds. I have a couple of Bula gas cylinders and everything I'm doing on both builds will be NM spec. So, would you recommend to unitize the cylinder or just go non unitized? Pros... cons?? If so, who could unitize these for me? Thanks in advance. I'm having a blast building these great rifles.
 

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well,since unitizing is a nm function,you answered your own question
 

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There are a few I know of that can unitize and I'm sure others, Jeff Shapiro (a member here), probably Jon Wolfe but not sure, Fulton sells them already done as does SAI.
I would unitize if I were you because you are building a NM as mentioned.
 

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A unitized gas cylinder allows a strong stock with proper draw pressure to minimize barrel vibration and whip. It helps maintain a consistent relationship between the stock ferrule and front band.

So, whether or not a unitized gas cylinder will benefit you depends on what kind of stock you will be using. USGI and polymer SAI, no benefit. Medium, Heavy, McMillan, JAE, etc, with proper draw pressure, yes.
 

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So, whether or not a unitized gas cylinder will benefit you depends on what kind of stock you will be using. USGI and polymer SAI, no benefit. Medium, Heavy, McMillan, JAE, etc, with proper draw pressure, yes.
I am considering the same thing, minus any adherence to NM standards beyond just trying to make an M14 battle rifle as accurate and reliable as I can. I've read both "The M14 Complete Assembly Guide" "The M14 Owner's Guide" and don't recall guidance about conditions where the unitized gas cylinder might be pointless, so thank you for that tip.

Is shimming the front band good enough if I'm using a USGI wood stock? Or will even that have negligible effect?
 

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brownells also. don't forget shims.you can also have it melonited to prevent rust and wear.
 

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I am considering the same thing, minus any adherence to NM standards beyond just trying to make an M14 battle rifle as accurate and reliable as I can. I've read both "The M14 Complete Assembly Guide" "The M14 Owner's Guide" and don't recall guidance about conditions where the unitized gas cylinder might be pointless, so thank you for that tip.

Is shimming the front band good enough if I'm using a USGI wood stock? Or will even that have negligible effect?
Shimming will keep the front band from rattling. Using them is cheap and certainly doesn't hurt, as long as you can still tighten the lock by hand.
 

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It can be done that way but you're likely spinning your wheels and wasting money if you just buy a unitized assembly and slap it on. You have to know what you're doing with draw pressure.

Unless you send it to someone with experience a unitized gas system is simply a bragging point with little or no value to accuracy
 

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Setting up the glass bedding procedure includes aligning the barrel band and stock ferrule. Unitizing requires a proper jig to maintain alignment between the band and gas cylinder. If the stock is warped, bent, or twisted it's near impossible to get the band and ferrule to mesh correctly. My point is that every part needs to be in serviceable condition and proper set ups are required to insure everything works in harmony. Accuracy in the M14 is all about consistency and consistency is achieved by having the proper skills, tools, and procedures to build a NM rifle. Unitizing is required for consistency, but it must be done right.
 

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Unitized if you can get done properly. I've seen a few that weren't getting proper contact with the ferrule on the stock. I'll never understand how a cylinder can be unitized without the armorer having the entire rifle.
How do you ensure proper contact between the stock ferrule and the front band of the initized gc? What do you look for?
 

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rvr350 said:
How do you ensure proper contact between the stock ferrule and the front band of the initized gc?
I have been reading the archives about unitized gas cylinders/barrel bands.

I raise my hand and second that question. How does a 'smith or armorer assure or create full and proper contact between the two pertinent parts, especially in light of the bedding practice of locating the barrel with a bent coat hanger?

. . and a further question that's not too far off topic: I have also been reading about shooters and 'smiths who interchange multiple gas pistons as a means to achieve that last eighth of an inch of accuracy. How did the perfect gas piston become identified as the key to accuracy?

Very little is written about proper shooting technique, rifle rests, trigger control, follow through, calling the shot, and etcetera?
 

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If you want better accuracy I would unitize it*

*Assuming its done correctly AND fitted correctly to the sum of the parts.


You can unitize it crooked , install it with too little or too much draw pressure, rubbing the stock ferrule ( not cleared properly ) and not centered with uneven contact pressure and get worse accuracy than using a drop in USGI fiberglass stock.

By contrast if unitized correctly ( centered ) , ferrule cleared and making even contact on both sides with correct barrel tension & a dab of grease on the contact point accuracy should improve. Guys way before most of us came up with the process and it made a difference so I accept their results and try to do the same.


Fixtures are a nice aid......

Crappy pics from experiments past~







 

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If you want better accuracy I would unitize it*

*Assuming its done correctly AND fitted correctly to the sum of the parts.


You can unitize it crooked , install it with too little or too much draw pressure, rubbing the stock ferrule ( not cleared properly ) and not centered with uneven contact pressure and get worse accuracy than using a drop in USGI fiberglass stock.

By contrast if unitized correctly ( centered ) , ferrule cleared and making even contact on both sides with correct barrel tension & a dab of grease on the contact point accuracy should improve. Guys way before most of us came up with the process and it made a difference so I accept their results and try to do the same.


Fixtures are a nice aid......

Crappy pics from experiments past~









YEA, what he said!!!!!
 

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UNITIZING AND OTHER ALTERNATIVES - AKA "?? A COMPLICATED SOLUTION TO A NON-EXISTING PROBLEM ??"

As mentioned by several others, unitizing is merely one [ ?RATHER MINOR? ] part of the complicated AND complex accuracy equation with the M14 type rifles.

If you think of the M14 as a BATTLE RIFLE,
then all these complicated methods of increasing basic battle rifle " Minute of Man " accuracy, may seem like overkill,
and a prime example of the above mentioned CSTAN-EP.

To successfully complete the tactical role the M14 was initially designed for, no mods are required.
The M14 is arguably, still, one of the best [ if not THE BEST ] battle rifles in the world.
EVER!!

NUFF SAID!

However,
if you see the M14 as a potential "ACCURATE, LONG RANGE HOLE DELIVERY SYSTEM", suitable for sniper, target, and match shooting, you will soon discover that ALL of the individual system components are inter-related, and must work together in harmony to achieve CONSISTENT accuracy.

Over the decades I have shot some pretty accurate M14 type rifles.
HOWEVER, the most accurate M14 in my personal experience, out of hundreds I have range tested, was a basically stock GENUINE US GI TRW, with a great trigger job, and minor fitting and tweaking to all original stock parts.
It was capable of a 10 shot 100 yd group that was SUB-MOA ...
WITHOUT A UNITIZED GAS SYSTEM!!

PRETTY SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCE FROM WHAT IS AFTER ALL A BATTLE RIFLE!!

BUT,
this level of accuracy is rare in the M14 type rifles simply because the M14 NOT simple.

CONSISTENCY with a COMPLICATED system is difficult to achieve, and the M14 IS INDEED COMPLICATED!
Lately, the most accurate M14 type rifles I have shot were the ones that SIMPLIFIED the system by the time honored system engineering principles of:
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
AND
Parts left out cost nothing and rarely break.

I am speaking here of the modern M14 variants like the SAGE EBR, the not well known Canadian designed AKM, and the BLACKFEATHER,
which all eliminate the complicated forend to barrel connection by relocating the connection point to the op rod guide.

The original interface between the forend, gas system, ferrule, and barrel on the M14 BATTLE RIFLE was never designed for "Target or Match" grade accuracy. To be charitable, it is an overly complicated RUBE GOLDBERG type of mechanism, and it is utterly amazing to me how often and how well this complicated system actually does produce decent results. And it is also amazing how well a properly tuned, tweaked, and customised M14 with this complicated system can be made to shoot.

BUT
match grade accuracy is achieved by CONSISTENCY, and achieving ( and MAINTAINING) this level of consistent consistency in a COMPLICATED system like the M14 is a job for dedicated and highly skilled professional ...
And all of them would probably admit to having various levels of OCD in their character ...
Which is a good thing.

Because the level of attention to detail [ picky, Picky, PICKY!!) required to be a successful M14 target rifle builder, would probably drive most non OCD people CRAZY!!

I have built a few dozen "accurate" M14 rifles in my time. And even though I do admit to having some OCD, I found the accurizing process time consuming, and NOT ALWAYS PRODUCING CONSISTENT RESULTS. I could build two seemingly identical rifles, same parts, same procedures, yet they would show different levels of accuracy. And often, would show different preferences as to which ammo was the BEST choice.

Frustrated by this lack of consistency, I eventually decided that most of the inconsistency in my M14 builds was in the conventional forend to barrel connection. So I started experimenting with alternatives, like connecting the barrel to the forend AT THE OP ROD GUIDE ...
AKA ...
"Half Assed Free floating".

AND LO AND BEHOLD,
I started getting more consistent accuracy results from my M14 builds.

These experiments eventually resulted in the BLACKFEATHER alloy stock, with it's unique ADJUSTABLE TENSIONING mechanism. The BF stock system does not rely on perfect alignment and mating of several individual gas assembly components, so UNITISING the gas system is irrelevant. The ferrule is replaced by a simple round washer, and the barrel is supported, connected, and tensioned further back by the MASSIVE ADJUSTABLE op rod guide, which connects solidly, rigidly, and durably to the alloy forend with two precision fitted MASSIVE alloy buttresses and a steel anti-wear plate.

Some may see this as a complicated solution rather than a simplification, and others may accuse me of simply being incapable of doing the standard MM forend customisations properly ( and CONSISTENTLY), and I will not deny this.

But now there exists a different method of CONSISTENT M14 barrel tensioning that relies on a BIG SOLID STEEL AND ALLOY SYSTEM, easily and simply adjustable with a torque wrench, rather than highly skilled labor from an expert M14 practitioner ... who is after all, as much if an artist as he is a mere technician.
Not all of us M14 owners can be artists ( or Voodoo practitioners?), but most of us are capable if using a torque wrench.

Or as I like to put it,
SCIENCE instead of VOODOO.
AKA: tuning (and hopefully accurizing) of the forend to barrel interface on the M14 SYSTEM , for the common man.
OCD now optional rather than required.
(;-[)

These are my personal opinions,
Based on my personal experience,
Your experience and opinions may differ,
AKA
YPMMV
 

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My rifle, a SA M14 mfg in 1962-64 is currently in a Troy MCS. I am playing the, what to do, game with to whom or not to shim dilemma. My gas lock will tighten at the 8 o'clock position, which means it is loose when I swing it back to 6 o'clock. However, it is appearing that condition may actually create a "free floating" condition.

The foreend of the Troy chassis does not touch the barrel or GC when properly tensioned and if no shins are installed the barrel band is also loose and "free floating" albeit by an not a small amount. So I am considering removing the shims and allowing the gas plug to pull the gas system forward as suggested by Kurt.

Any opinions or advice are welcomed. Maybe we need a separate forum for those of us that have these non-traditional chassiss since they have their own completely different set of problems. A search of the internet has failed to uncover any advice on this topic. Troy is not very liberal in their explanation of how to install their product. They fail to provide much detail.
 
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