1919 A4 Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched and read quite a bit before I posted this up. We've been building these for quite some time, but every now and again something jumps up and whips you. So rather than be too proud to ask for help, I'm reaching out to you guys who are 'old salts' with this weapon platform.

We built up a 1919a4 from an izzy kit and most of the time it runs ok. By that I mean I haven't sat there and worked through several belts so it has less than 200rds through it. Fire burnishing may cure it, so I'm not as concerned with it at the moment.

But... We just built up another 1919a4 and a water cooled and both seem to fail miserably with belts. I haven't messed with links, since we don't want to run them anyway. Besides, I'd rather stick with belts given the bronze trunnion we're using on the 1917...

The 1919A4 is chambered in 308
The 1917A1 is chambered in 8mm

What we've done so far:

-full build up and riveting from kits
-made sure the receiver was square
-increased extractor spring tension
-decreased extractor spring tension
-double checked the belt holding pawl moved freely and there was no debris in the spring relief recess

It seems like the extractor is popping over the 8mm and the 308 both.

I'm prepared to take pics and video of whatever you suggest, in an effort to help diagnose these. I just assumed that since I was experiencing a 'random' issue that there was nothing amiss and would just time to tweaking. Now that I have two in a row that don't pass muster, I have to admit I'm wondering if I've done something wrong in the process. Hopefully not, but it raises an eyebrow that everything else is working fine on all these suckers we have around here and now we have a batch that won't pull from cloth belts.

With my luck this is simple, but I simply haven't run across a cure yet. Thanks in advance for your willingness to lend us a hand.

-Michael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,280 Posts
Pretty much without fail this is the result of overall cartridge length being short or the front guide is wrong for the cartridge used. ON MY GUNS!!!! This does not imply this is the situation on yours. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
cartridge depth in belts

Are the cartridges seated too deeply in the belts ?
Are the belts new ?
Try pulling some rounds out by hand, how much resistance ?
Seat the rounds less deeply in the belt, test and report back.
DanG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
we're running military surplus ammo in both.

the belts are pretty darned new and it is a bear to load them. if you tried to do so by hand you couldn't, so we have to use a machine. not having much of a frame of reference, i'm not sure i could quantify just how hard they are to extract by hand, but given how hard it is to load them, i believe it is safe to say there is moderate resistance.

is there a way to 'break in' those belts i've stepped past?

-michael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,467 Posts
I'm going with frazier42. The M1919 is a pretty robust platform BUT (there's always a but) overall cartridge length and Using the proper spacers is critical. The belts were loaded in new condition so other than being a snug fit there should be no break-in required. Are these USGI belts? If they are the IMA repros that could be the problem as I have had mixed results with those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Cloth belts

I have used cloth belts from day 1. .308 is harder to load especially if you are trying to load them into belts that were not made for .308. Many shooters use 30-06 or other belt to hold the fatter .308 case because they are much cheaper. They will work if allowed to stretch out. In fact I find that 30-06 belts actually hold up better.
You mentioned that you are using modern ammo. Late production can vary considerable with respect to OAL because modern guns do not need ammo with exact OAL. Make your self a hand full of dummy rounds belt them up and run a few through the gun by hand checking each chambered round for the location of the extractor in the extraction groove. If the extractor is not in the middle of the groove you may have found the problem. I made a special seating die that seats the bullet by locating on the tip of the bullets.

What I mean by that is the bullet seating stem on most dies locates on the Ogive to prevent damage to the soft point of a hunting bullet. This can cause inconsistent OAL. My Dillon 1050 has enough spaces for an extra se
ating die that has a home made stem that finish seats the bullet by locating off the tip of the bullet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
one other thing

Does the top cover lock down completely. Had that problem when I got my 1917. The gun ran pretty good but I was surprised it never popped open. I simple reshape of the latch spring fixed that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
Many, many, years ago an elderly Polish veteran of WWII told me to use floor wax on the ammo cases. Not the current liquid floor wax, but the old time carnauba paste wax that is sold in tins. He told me that not only does it help with belt insertion and extraction, it also helps with spent cartridge extraction upon firing. So I picked up a tin of SC Johnson Paste Wax and tried it out. It worked great plus it leaves a slight coating inside the cloth belt pockets and helps with future loading. You only use a tiny amount on each case so my tin-o-wax should last a lifetime.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,866 Posts
Glad to see there are lots of home remedies out there. the bottom line is the guns should run just fine with belts. It is sounding like you may have OAL cartridge length issues, but photos would help. Make up dummy rds and slowly cycle the gun - it may be apparent once you do- Also look at seating depth in the belts, and ensure that the cases are uniformly inserted in the belts. Can we assume you have tried replacing wearable parts like bolt and extractor ? I dont know how worn out the parts kit is, but you might try replacing the flat spring in the top cover the provides tension on the extractor too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK... So here's what we found thus far on the 1917a1, which is the primary focus for now... The OAL were checked and all were fine.

The belt holding pawl wasn't able to lay out flat enough when depressed. The bronze trunnion needed more relief and the underside of the pawl was modified slightly. It helped.

The belt feed pawl had way too much spring tension. We removed the spring completely and under gravity operation with manual cycling it magically started working. It pulled rounds from belts some of the time now. So we modified that spring coil to hold a lower tension so it would still operation well, and not drag hard on the belts.

The top of the trunnion was raised slightly, so a little file and polish work took the 'hump' out in the middle and again, we saw improvement.

A myriad of extractor springs were used, bent, and modified until we found a tension that worked really well. It was then pulling 20 or 20 from the belt upon manual cycling with dummy rounds.

When we went to run live ammo, it became obvious the seating depth of the 8mm was a big deal. Too deep and the extractor wouldn't pull because it wouldn't pop over the rim. Too shallow and belt was out of alignment and caused problems following out of the trunnion.

So for kicks, we decided to snag some izzy links just for fun. Short version? It runs like a raped ape on links.

So since we had a demo at Brownell's as a favor to Pete, it is simply going to have to run on links for the time being and we'll readdress the belt issue when we tear into it next week. We know belts are the problem now, or it appears that way, so the parts associated with belts and the belts themselves we need to scrutinize will be next on the list.

Thanks for the help thus far guys! Very kind of you all!

-Michael
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top