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I’ve been reading for a long time but this is my first post, I’m a 66 year old male ,been reloading and shooting since the late 50’s. I just picked up a 1919A4 kit , it’s a 308 Izzy so I’m all in !! When it comes to Browning’s I’m as green as you can be, there is not enough room in this forum for all my questions. I only have one, can you all recommend a book or some books I can read to get me off the ground ? Thanks , Jon P
 

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Welcome to the addiction. Hide your wallet! :D

On the question of historic reading material the gold standard is The Browning Machine Gun by Dolf Goldsmith, volumes I through V. Volumes I through IV were done by Collector Grade Publications. Volume V by Chipotle Publishing, LTD.

For a complete mechanical explanation Chipotle has the Browning Machine Gun Shop Manual.

Digest all of that and you will be a 1919a4 guru!
 

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did you find the build tutorial:
https://1919a4.com/content.php?5-tutorials

Its old, but good. Only change is welding parts together is no longer required.

There's a filed strip tutorial in the articles section also.

Welcome aboard. have you been warned this is a TERRIBLE DISEASE? Soon you will be willing to hock your wife's wedding ring to buy more beltfed parts.
 

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That's a great selection of books! Congrats on the 1919A4 - the 30 cal BMG is a pretty incredible setup - John Browning was a genius! Welcome to the addiction!!!
 

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Little update, first thanks guys for the info so far, I’m defiantly going to get the books, got one this week.I am very fortunate to have the resources to build just about anything I need for the gun, so I’m starting with the right side plate, I found a cad drawing on the internet , put it in our cam , assigned some tools and bingo I have a CNC program, found a piece of 4140 , now I just need to wait for a open machine to make it. Incidentally I checked the hardness in a small piece of the original side plate and it’s mild steal maybe 1018 or so, so 4130 is not necessary , but will machine nice. My question for the day RIVETING,, I’ve built a few AK- 47/74’s and used a hyd. Press to set them, I see some YouTube vids of guys heating them and then using a pneumatic hammer on them is this a acceptable way ? We do have one of those air over hydraulic rivet squeezers but I don’t know if it will fit into the box. What is the best way to set the rivets ?? Thanks. Jon P
 

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Little update, first thanks guys for the info so far, I’m defiantly going to get the books, got one this week.I am very fortunate to have the resources to build just about anything I need for the gun, so I’m starting with the right side plate, I found a cad drawing on the internet , put it in our cam , assigned some tools and bingo I have a CNC program, found a piece of 4140 , now I just need to wait for a open machine to make it. Incidentally I checked the hardness in a small piece of the original side plate and it’s mild steal maybe 1018 or so, so 4130 is not necessary , but will machine nice. My question for the day RIVETING,, I’ve built a few AK- 47/74’s and used a hyd. Press to set them, I see some YouTube vids of guys heating them and then using a pneumatic hammer on them is this a acceptable way ? We do have one of those air over hydraulic rivet squeezers but I don’t know if it will fit into the box. What is the best way to set the rivets ?? Thanks. Jon P
Your first stop should be on the Articles tab here, then click on manuals (far left side), then on SNL A-6 1947 this will give you much information regarding the parts and its illustrated, a virtual Sears catalog. Also visit germanmanuals.com John has the M1919 A4 BSD which shows everything the re builders needed and its reasonably priced..
 

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Little update, first thanks guys for the info so far, I’m defiantly going to get the books, got one this week.I am very fortunate to have the resources to build just about anything I need for the gun, so I’m starting with the right side plate, I found a cad drawing on the internet , put it in our cam , assigned some tools and bingo I have a CNC program, found a piece of 4140 , now I just need to wait for a open machine to make it. Incidentally I checked the hardness in a small piece of the original side plate and it’s mild steal maybe 1018 or so, so 4130 is not necessary , but will machine nice. My question for the day RIVETING,, I’ve built a few AK- 47/74’s and used a hyd. Press to set them, I see some YouTube vids of guys heating them and then using a pneumatic hammer on them is this a acceptable way ? We do have one of those air over hydraulic rivet squeezers but I don’t know if it will fit into the box. What is the best way to set the rivets ?? Thanks. Jon P
First, let me say "welcome!" On plate material, you will do well with your 4140. Bear in mind that there are different vintages of material on original guns. The WWI production called out for "cold rolled steel" with no alloy specification. At that time, 1020 was the common low carbon offering, and like as not that's what was used. However, by WWII they called for 4640, not something you can get "off the shelf" these days. However, I recently had the opportunity to test some original and current production plates on a Rockwell tester. The WWII plate comes up about 10 or 12 on the C scale, except at the rear inch where they heat treated it. I forget the number without getting my notes out, but it was below the called for drawing spec, which is 43-49. Still, they did start hardening that rear inch of the plates in early 1942. Today, no one bothers on semi plates, as nothing really is to be gained, and there remains two disputed theories on why they did that way back then. (Yes, we've tried to find that answer, but the documents are still hiding!) Anyway, you are good on your material, whether it is annealed state or pre hardened.

Get your rivets from forum member MSG, his product sold as Burnt Capital Brands. Best around, used by most everyone. As to technique, I am a cold press kind of guy. Member toolmanm203 sells the "Plinker 7.62" designed fixtures for the Browning, since Mr. Plinker himself disappeared from the scene. Given you are used to the press method, I suggest that to start. Heat and the pneumatic rivet gun is preferred by some that I know, but it does take more practice to get consistent results. Some insist it is better, but my experience drilling out cold pressed rivets tells me they are more than adequate. Done properly, they expand everywhere and fill in nicely.
 

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Welcome...!!

All excellent advise. Lucky is one of our most knowledgeable members and gives more detailed answers than some. Reading is the first priority,of course. Obtain a rivet set from BurntCapital (MSG) and as mentioned,not necessary to weld anymore. Keep asking pertinent questions and you might want to provide a general location,as we have site members all over the country who would be able to provide some hands-on help or direction. Again...WELCOME...and remember...we all started just like you...LOL.
 

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Thanks again guys for the wisdom, so I have the rivet set from msg, so I don’t expect there is anyway to identify the guns date of mfg etc without the rsp ? Most of the part numbers on the parts end in SG so is it a Saginaw steering gun ? I am amazed at the kits condition, I think it is almost a brand new gun , from the condition of the bolt face and the bearing surfaces on barrel I can say the Izzy’s didn’t run more than a few rounds thru it, unless was re parkerized it is almost un used, just a few shinny spots from being thrown around. As far as location great idea I’m in NW Washington half way between Seattle and the Canadian border, any one near by ? My only introduction to the 1919A was at a few machinegun shoots they had in Albany Oregon years ago. Jon P
 

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First off welcome to the board Jon as you can already tell we have many members here that go out of their way to help and answer any questions you may have. Cold pressing rivets is the way to go trust me and if you have already used that method you are ahead of most guys doing their first build. As far as the parts in your kit everything can be identified looking at the specific details on the parts but that would be too much typing for me lol and you are right SG is Saginaw steering gear.
 

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Another update and question for the weekend, I’ve got the RHSP all machined out and I can’t believe how snug it all snaps together like a new jigsaw puzzle , the only thing that is a little off is the bottom rivet holes are all off by maybe .010 to .015 so I’ll run a reammer thru them before final assembly. So I still have to engrave it, it’s a Saginaw gun converted by Izzy to 7.62, I think I read somewhere that the number on the left side of the top cover is the serial number of the gun ?. The part number on the right side has been xxx out, so is the number on the left a Izzy number or the original US number or is it random ??? Thanks guys, Jon P
 

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dunno about the numbers.

Its pretty standard to have to match drill all the rivet holes. In fact I always drill undersize on the CNC. Makes match drill go quick and easy.
 

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Another update and question for the weekend, I’ve got the RHSP all machined out and I can’t believe how snug it all snaps together like a new jigsaw puzzle , the only thing that is a little off is the bottom rivet holes are all off by maybe .010 to .015 so I’ll run a reammer thru them before final assembly. So I still have to engrave it, it’s a Saginaw gun converted by Izzy to 7.62, I think I read somewhere that the number on the left side of the top cover is the serial number of the gun ?. The part number on the right side has been xxx out, so is the number on the left a Izzy number or the original US number or is it random ??? Thanks guys, Jon P
No one knows for sure what the numbers on the top cover are. Since the top cover can be removed from the assembly it is not likely a serial number

What is the legible number and can you read the illegible one?

The drawings and BSD reference drilling the holes for attachment to the bottom holes under size and 'reaming at assembly"
 

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Thanks for the replies, can’t begin to read the xxxx out number, the number on the left is 439985 , the only other markings are two upside down u on the cover and one on the slide. The cover looks like a casting but I’m not positive, yea pretty sure it is a casting looking under the slide , oh boy I don’t know the block on the back that the latch catches on is riveted on
 

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Thanks for the replies, can’t begin to read the xxxx out number, the number on the left is 439985 , the only other markings are two upside down u on the cover and one on the slide. The cover looks like a casting but I’m not positive, yea pretty sure it is a casting looking under the slide , oh boy I don’t know the block on the back that the latch catches on is riveted on
That number matches the serial ranges assigned to Saginaw. As kkkriverrats pointed out, covers are easily swapped around between guns. However, I have personally observed enough Israeli modified covers (that upside-down U is an Israeli marking) with those numbers stamped in to conclude that they do tend to fall into known serial number ranges. But yours exhibits common evidence of having changed guns, so one number was X'd out and another added to the opposite side. Obviously, this is not going to be the guns original number, but you can use anything in the known SG range and call it good.

Saginaw did, once approved by Ordnance, introduce the cast top cover. As you noted, it is fairly easy to identify the castings by a number of obvious features. The cam underneath and the lug where the latch secures it are integral pieces, as opposed to being riveted on. Also, you will see a machine cut on top, which goes right through to where the leaf spring is retained under the cam underneath. This is how they created that retaining notch for the spring, on the cast covers.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Where I’m at

Well I have it all put together with clamps and nuts and bolts, I can charge it and pull the trigger and it goes click, I’m getting close !! I did have one little hick- up, after first assembly it wasn’t going all the way into battery ........darn well I discovered that the clearance in my rhsp for the locking block pin needed to go a tad bit further to the rear , fixed that and it all seems to work so far. Will try and run some dummy ammo thru it today and see how it feeds, or not. Once I get the feed working I still need to engrave the side plate and rivet it together. Only thing I’m not sure of is the deflector / guide that fastens to the rhsp by a single rivet at the link exit, not sure of its orientation ? ? Mine looks to be kinda mangled when it was removed I may look for a new one. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WISDOM SO FAR, Good Day, Jon P
 

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You are coming along well. Below are pics showing both the Israeli and USGI right rear cartridge stops. First pic, you can see the Israeli one mounted on a complete receiver, along with the left side spacers partially inserted. But I also am posting pics showing the two styles for comparison, and also a de mil'd side plate chunk with both USGI front and rear stops still installed. These should give you the orientation perspective you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the pics Lucky , just what I needed, mine has the little edge that wraps around the edge of the side plate broken off , so that explains the orientation, I’m gonna order up a new one
 
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