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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of converting my 1917A1 to .308. I've already done the 308 barrel, Izzy bolt and lock frame; got em installed, headspaced, and timed. When I went to install the front and rear cartridge guides that I got from BMG Parts, I discovered they weren't drop in parts, and looked like they had to be fitted. I fitted the front cartridge stop buy filing down the surface that fits up against the trunion so the stop would fit over the cartridge stop stud on the right side plate.
The rear cartridge guide is going to be a booger fit. It's so hard, my file won't cut it, and quit a bit of metal needs to be removed to get it to fit in the bracket, and the feed tray opening.
Am I doing something wrong, or do I need a better file? If I do need to remove metal to fit the rear cartridge guide, which surface or surfaces do I remove it from?
 

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What flavor RRCS (Right Rear Cartridge Stop) is installed on your Right Side Plate? A picture would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, I'm bad at this compooter stuff, so adding a picture is going to be an extremely time consuming task.
I did place a 308 round on the feed tray and the extractor lined up with the round, so I don't think there is an issue with the RRCS.
 

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Shoot a picture to my email and I will post it for you. toolman11 (at) Rochester (dot) rr (dot) com just remove the spaces and replace the obvious. Russ
 

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PhD in Over-Engineering
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Seems like his concern is with the Israeli feed spacer, the rear one, and its fit into the belt holding pawl bracket. So far as I know, that will be an original Israeli part, at least I am not aware of those needing to be reproduced yet. But the front spacers are generally new made, since the old Izzy surplus supply rand dry, many being milled out for 8mm conversions long ago. If the part had never been in a gun before, it might indeed need fitting as your situation requires. Tough when it's that hard and you have no milling machine. Could be done CAREFULLY on a grinder, if you have access to one, but that's not ideal.
 

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>The rear cartridge guide is going to be a booger fit. It's so hard, my file won't cut it, and quit a bit of metal needs to be removed to get it to fit in the bracket, and the feed tray opening.
Am I doing something wrong, or do I need a better file? If I do need to remove metal to fit the rear cartridge guide, which surface or surfaces do I remove it from?<

The .30-06 stop and the .308 stop both have the same length leg that stops the round. If your rear stop is the standard .30-06 type, you can cut off the front portion of the stop with a hacksaw. The cut should be flush with the stop leg that sticks into the feedway. A fine tooth hacksaw blade is perfect and if you are careful you can cut down close to the floor of the feedway. The sideplate cutout on that side is radiused on both bottom corners but you can saw down to a few thou from the floor and lever off the cut piece which can be filed down to a right angle corner. The standard .308 stop has an angled front face with the narrow edge at the top down to the full width bottom edge which can carefully be done with a dremel.
This has worked on quite a few BMGs for owners who don't want to have the loss of finish on the outside of the plate and the new in-the-white rivet on their guns. The forward edge of the rear of the ejection cutout will be ppppbright as will the stop but both can be cold blued which is effective in that application and makes the work blend quite well. FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, getting pictures posted just isn't going to happen anytime soon.
I have done some research, and it appears that the RRCS is the correct one for the 308. At least for the time being I'm going to assume it is, or at least until I get to that point.
I have ordered another rear cartridge guide from Apex, in hopes that that one fits or will be easy to file. If not, then at least I'll have a spare in case I muck it up with a grinder or Dremel. I may also be able to get to a friend's machine shop, and have him mill it for me, but I'm not sure when we can get together because of this damned virus.
Anyway, I'm on hold until the parts get here.

Lucky#13, you may not remember, but about a year and a half ago, at the Knob Creek mg shoot, you looked this 1917a1 over for me. I think, but won't swear to it, that you said the RRCS would work for the 308/7.62.
You, Toolmanm203, and Greaser have been a big help with this.
 

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PhD in Over-Engineering
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Okay, getting pictures posted just isn't going to happen anytime soon.
I have done some research, and it appears that the RRCS is the correct one for the 308. At least for the time being I'm going to assume it is, or at least until I get to that point.
I have ordered another rear cartridge guide from Apex, in hopes that that one fits or will be easy to file. If not, then at least I'll have a spare in case I muck it up with a grinder or Dremel. I may also be able to get to a friend's machine shop, and have him mill it for me, but I'm not sure when we can get together because of this damned virus.
Anyway, I'm on hold until the parts get here.

Lucky#13, you may not remember, but about a year and a half ago, at the Knob Creek mg shoot, you looked this 1917a1 over for me. I think, but won't swear to it, that you said the RRCS would work for the 308/7.62.
You, Toolmanm203, and Greaser have been a big help with this.
Yes, I do remember, if not in every detail. The key with the USGI cartridge stop and 308 is the depth of seating in the links. To clear the USGI stop, the 308 rounds are seated just deep enough to stay in place. This keeps them forward enough in the feedway to clear the RRCS. MG34_Dan and I have both run guns this way. But if one is dedicated to 308, certainly the Israeli RR stop will be preferred. I don't remember which you had, but we can certainly help you get the pics up if needed. You can e-mail them to toolman or to me. rollin13 AT juno DOT com
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Though not exactly the same, mine resembles the one at the top of your picture, which is the 7.62 RRCS.

I'm having compooter problems at work
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, I got my rear cartridge guide from Apex yesterday. I was able to file it to almost fit. I haven't been able to get the retaining pin holes to line up yet. I was getting tired (way past my bedtime) so I decided to call it quits until I was ready to take a fresh look at it and tackle it again.
So far, I've filed the back of the guide that fits up against the left side plate and that area, and the front of the guide that fits in the slot of the belt holding pawl bracket.
Right now, it looks like I may need to take some off of the bottom and back of the portion that fits in the slot of the belt holding pawl bracket to get the pin holes to line up. Am I correct, or do I need to look some where else?
 

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PhD in Over-Engineering
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It sounds like you are on the right track. Must be all the ones I have had were used, and had been fitted. This is the first example I have heard where one of these needed so much work! But I have done similar things with custom stops I had made for my Dual Feed guns, so just keep an eye on where the part has to seat so that your pin goes through. Remove material to meet that end.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After doing some filing here and there, I finally got the hole in the rear cartridge guide to appear in the hole of the belt holding pawl bracket. I went for broke, and put it all together; the front, rear, and belt retaining pawl.
Then I tried a cloth belt of 7.62 NATO that I had loaded on a 1918 belt loader. It didn't fit. The tips of the bullets were hanging up on the front cartridge guide where the angled portion meets the parallel portion of the feed tray.
Figuring out how I was going to get the retaining pin out took some time. I finally held on to it with a set of vice grips and tapped on them with a small hammer and got it out with no damage.
I filed on the front cartridge guide a little, test fitted, and repeated until the belt moved easily. Put all back together, and tried the belt again. So far everything looks okay.
Now I just need to find the time to test fire it.
I don't know if I did this right. I was just going off of how things work and the gunsmithing knowledge I have. I do know it was kinda fun if it works, and I don't ever want to do it again.
I do hope to get pictures of this some time when I figure out how.
 

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PhD in Over-Engineering
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I think you got it nailed, based on your description. You will know when you test fire!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update on testing, and a question.
From my firing test, it seems that I have either an issue with clearance of rounds going through the front and rear feed tray guides, or a weak drive spring.
I could chamber and fire a round, but the bolt would not close and fire on the next round. Sometimes the bolt would be half way forward, and sometimes almost all the way forward after firing a round. After I pushed the bolt into battery and pulled the trigger it would fire a round or 2 or 3. If the empty side of the belt was pulled on while firing it seemed to run OK. I thought it might be a weak drive spring at first until I tried dragging the loaded belt across the feed tray (top cover open) and the rounds would bind on the feed tray guides. Then I thought the guides needed more filing. That is until I got it home and tried dragging a belt across the feed tray and realized the belt hold pawl was causing the rounds to cant enough to bind on the guides.
I'm going to play with it a little more before I start filing again, and I've ordered a new drive spring from Apex to see if that helps.
So the struggle to get a reliable gun goes on.

My question is, I was wondering if a 7.62 feed pawl and belt retention pawl would help in preventing the belted rounds from canting. If so, I would need to change out to an Israeli top cover and belt feed pawl hold bracket to get those parts to fit. What do you think about drilling the top cover so the 1917a1 sight base could be riveted to the top cover? What other issues might I encounter fitting the top cover to the 1917a1? How about fitting the top cover and top cover latch? Also, can you use the 7,62 belt retention pawl bracket with 30-06 rounds?
 

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Update on testing, and a question.
From my firing test, it seems that I have either an issue with clearance of rounds going through the front and rear feed tray guides, or a weak drive spring.
I could chamber and fire a round, but the bolt would not close and fire on the next round. Sometimes the bolt would be half way forward, and sometimes almost all the way forward after firing a round. After I pushed the bolt into battery and pulled the trigger it would fire a round or 2 or 3. If the empty side of the belt was pulled on while firing it seemed to run OK. I thought it might be a weak drive spring at first until I tried dragging the loaded belt across the feed tray (top cover open) and the rounds would bind on the feed tray guides. Then I thought the guides needed more filing. That is until I got it home and tried dragging a belt across the feed tray and realized the belt hold pawl was causing the rounds to cant enough to bind on the guides.
I'm going to play with it a little more before I start filing again, and I've ordered a new drive spring from Apex to see if that helps.
So the struggle to get a reliable gun goes on.

My question is, I was wondering if a 7.62 feed pawl and belt retention pawl would help in preventing the belted rounds from canting. If so, I would need to change out to an Israeli top cover and belt feed pawl hold bracket to get those parts to fit. What do you think about drilling the top cover so the 1917a1 sight base could be riveted to the top cover? What other issues might I encounter fitting the top cover to the 1917a1? How about fitting the top cover and top cover latch? Also, can you use the 7,62 belt retention pawl bracket with 30-06 rounds?
Post some pictures and make life easier for yourself.
 

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My question is, I was wondering if a 7.62 feed pawl and belt retention pawl would help in preventing the belted rounds from canting. If so, I would need to change out to an Israeli top cover and belt feed pawl hold bracket to get those parts to fit.
Are you currently using a USGI (30-06) feed pawl?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Does anyone know where I can get an Israeli belt hold pawl bracket? I've located all the other parts except for rivets to change the feed system to 7.62.
I'll probably have to take the sight base off of my current top cover, since finding a 1917a1 sight base is like finding hens teeth. So I still need to know if 30-06 will feed through the Izzy feed system minus the 7.62 feed Guides.
 

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I've got a 1917a1 made from a 1919, it feeds 7.62 just fine with a unmodified 1917 top cover.
 
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