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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Long post but I want to get all the details in so you guys can noodle over it. :D

Ever since converting my post-sample 1919 over from 8mm (it was built for 8mm) to .308 I've had feeding problems. The last club shoot I attended I had an OOB/KABOOM in 8mm (my fault: mystery ammo) that required me to replace a broken extractor (claw) and bent topcover. I converted to .308 (booster, barrel, and front cartridge guide/stop) before running it in 8mm again to test the MG in it's own native caliber (again, it was built for 8mm) (a mistake to not test it I know). In .308 I'd get two or three rounds and the gun would hang up, sometimes the topcover would even pop open. Yesterday a good friend of mine (and member here), the Browning flag-bearer of our beltfed division (he has both a 1917a1 and a 1919a4)(I consider him my mentor with respect to the Browning MG) spent the entire day troubleshooting my gun starting with linked dummy rounds working on the MG at home then taking it to the range and further work until we got it running right.

In our troubleshooting we replaced topcovers, replaced the feed pawl (two brand new Izzy feed pawls), replaced the belt holding pawl spring, replaced the feed pawl lever, replaced the topcover latch (that fixed the cover popping open), replaced extractors, replace trunion protectors, tried a completely different set of IZZY links, headspaced, cleaned, re-headspaced, re-cleaned, oiled like crazy, swapped complete topcovers between guns, the ammo I am using is 2014 Lake City M80 ball and 2014 Lake City M62 tracer ... it was a long day.

At the end of the day it appears that my 1919a4 absolutely requires that for .308 I run the links in a manner that I know to be "backwards" or "upside-down".

Is this normal?

What happens is that the belt hangs up to the extent that even if you push on the rounds from the feed side while manually charging the MG, the belt will not feed. You can watch as the feed pawl attempts to push against the upper 45-degrees of the second round in the feed area, but just slides over it. Lifting and closing the topcover, charging the MG will feed and fire for two or three rounds before hanging up again. If I flip the belt over and run it the opposite direction, it runs fine: I can pop doubles, five rounds, 6, 8, 10, or just run a belt.

While I'm fine with a "functional workaround" I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem and what may be causing it.


-- Forwards/Top? Does not run in this setup.



-- Backwards/Upside-down? Runs great in this setup.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Another thing that may or may not be related: my MG is absolutely trashing the rim of brass. While not an issue right now I want to resolve this soon. I plan on starting reloading later this year (probably over the summer when it is too hot to shoot in AZ) and I cannot have my MG destroying brass like this. Just the rim is getting damaged.

The rounds pictured below are the dummy rounds we were using to troubleshoot the feeding problem and went through the MG a few times, several times we took a file to the rims to take the large burrs out. I just want to be clear that this is not happening on one run through the MG, but multiple. That'd be really bad if it did that much damage on one run. :confused:





 

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Have you tried removing a coil or two from the belt HOLDING pawl spring? The replacement is a Century Spring C-500 if you can find one in a local farm/hardware store.

Some feed problems can be solved with this method.
 

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Another thing that may or may not be related: my MG is absolutely trashing the rim of brass. While not an issue right now I want to resolve this soon. I plan on starting reloading later this year (probably over the summer when it is too hot to shoot in AZ) and I cannot have my MG destroying brass like this. Just the rim is getting damaged.

The rounds pictured below are the dummy rounds we were using to troubleshoot the feeding problem and went through the MG a few times, several times we took a file to the rims to take the large burrs out. I just want to be clear that this is not happening on one run through the MG, but multiple. That'd be really bad if it did that much damage on one run. :confused:






Looks like a burr on the extractor is causing when its dragged across it in the on deck position. J.R.
 

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We actually have two 1919s that won't run with the links in a "normal" orientation. The first gun started last year during one of the Knob Creek shoots. Prior to that, it had always run just fine double loop first. Now if we're lucky we'll get a triple before it stops. Never have figured out what changed to cause it to happen. Second one we just finished building prior to the April Creek, and guess what? It will only run single loop first. All of the parts are different (the top cover is the only one that might have moved from the one gun to the other, but my Dad would have to confirm), but the problem is still the same. Normally the curious side of me really wants to understand the problem, this time I'm just happy knowing a solution that works. Maybe one day we'll get back into troubleshooting it, but not at the moment (it did look like the problem is in the feed pawl not moving far enough left to lock onto the link, but different lever arms and a different bolt did not fix the problem).

As for the rims, we had that same issue at Ft. Gordon a year or so back. It was actually notching some of them. We brought the gun home, changed nothing, and it stopped doing it. Since I can't reproduce the problem, I don't have a way to fix it. I watch for it, but haven't seen it come up ever since.

Sorry I don't have answers, but you can at least take consolation in knowing that you're not alone.

Chris
 

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The damage to the rims is in a fore and aft direction which suggests it was caused by the extractor, so maybe the vertical clearance above the round is on the tight side?
That's the distance between the trunnion and the top cover I'm referring to.
If George W's suggestion to remove the trunnion protector helps, then that would certainly point to the same thing.
 

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Stoppages

I know this seems stupid but try running it without that trunnion protector.
You are not stupid George. My gun does the same thing. If you take the protector out it runs great. Guess that is why some people run cloth belts. On the other hand loading cloth belts is why some people run links.
 

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I run links . And no trunnion protector.
The guns didn't come factory with them.
They seem to cause more problems then there worth.
And most of the trunnion's in use are how old already?
They have seen more ammo cross them then I will ever be able to feed into them in my life time.
I don't know why people use them but to each his own.

GW
 

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As far as link orientation, I thought I heard once that 308 and 30.06 orient the links differently.
 

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Seems to me that your ammo is too deep in the links also.
That was my first thought too when I saw the pictures. The brass should just peek through the end of the link with .308.

Also looks like a whole lot of wear on the top of the extractor surfaces, have you compared them to a newer one to see any dimensional changes?
 

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Well for the last 15 years, My ANM2 (Baby Browning on steroids) has always ran the linked belts as you have shown in the second picture. I've seen some brownings that like the belt orientation as in your first picture, but I've also seen many run as in your second picture. My son usually runs belts, but he has run links and they were always in the orientation of your second picture and had run fine in both 30-06 & .308. Its a Ramo gun. I created a conversion for my ANM2 so it can run .308, and the links I've tested with were orientated like your second picture. I would not worry about it.

As far as the knicks in the brass, I get them all the time. I see them on my 30-06 brass, I've seen them on my kids .308 brass. They are kind of a pain in the butt to reload because they won't case guage with knicks like that (so you don't really know if you properly sized the cartridge). I reload 80% of what I shoot and made and investment in a low speed (1725 rpm) grinder and I have a 3m De-burring wheel on one side. It cleans up the brass really quick. I do this while inspecting the brass before I do anything in the reloading process.
 

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Another thing that may or may not be related: my MG is absolutely trashing the rim of brass. While not an issue right now I want to resolve this soon. I plan on starting reloading later this year (probably over the summer when it is too hot to shoot in AZ) and I cannot have my MG destroying brass like this. Just the rim is getting damaged.

The rounds pictured below are the dummy rounds we were using to troubleshoot the feeding problem and went through the MG a few times, several times we took a file to the rims to take the large burrs out. I just want to be clear that this is not happening on one run through the MG, but multiple. That'd be really bad if it did that much damage on one run. :confused:






That rim damage is nothing to be concerned about, it can be corrected using the knurls on a case gage, I do it all the time.

That rim damage is also mild compared to what I've encountered with people stomping on the brass walking around on gravel topped or asphalted ranges.

You've got multiple problems going on with this gun, address them one at a time.

First, check the OAL of your .308 ammo

Secondly, I would remove the trunnion protector. Try the gun

Next, take a belt of about 25 rds and adjust the depth of seating in the links to just being able to see the brass(about 1/64th)
Try the gun.

Next, replace the extractor with one that appears to be in better condition. Try the gun.

Next, feed the gun with an assistant holding the ammo and level with the feed way. Try the gun

They ALL will run like tops when everything meshes correctly.
 

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My 54r conversion, want run , ladies first, it bugs me that I'm doing it backwards but tried single loop first and it just doesn't like it, i plan on a little trouble shooting this weekend but i guess the guns like me, a little backwards
 

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I fully concur with Finallygotabeltfed's assessment and advice. Those rounds look like they are way too deep in the links. You should only just see the brass peeking out. Those are crammed to the shoulder.
If you've done any machine work and understand how tapers work to hold objects and tools, you'll see where I'm headed with that. They just look bound up to me.
 

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linked too deep

I think you have the ammo linked too deep. You can fit your linker with a depth stop to regulate this. I did this with my linker so I could leave the linking to the neighborhood kids.

Also a point about your infeed pawl spring. These are easily confused with the buffer detent spring which is stiffer. I have a gazillion of the correct springs if you want some. They have no cost.

Ryland
 

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Most guns run double loop first because the metal starter tabs are made that way with a single loop on them.
GW
This is true and makes perfect sense.

If you try an experiment pulling rounds out of the links, you'll find that supporting the single loop side of the link facilitates easier removal.

So, if you look at how a belt is seated in a feed way, gun facing away, looking top down from the top as pictured above in the thread you'll see that when the belt is fed double loop first, the cartridges to the left will butt against the left rear stop and support the first end link thereby aiding in easier removal of the round by the extractor.

Try it with a few rounds in some links, you'll see that if you hold the belt with the single loop side in your left hand closest to your hand, the rounds will pull from the links easier.
 
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