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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I recently acquired a semi auto M53. I was looking for any advice in regards to operating it and just any tips related to ownership of one. I’ve ran into a couple issues. My first one was light primer strikes. I replaced the hammer spring and that fixed the issue. Another issue I’ve experienced is FTF with certain belts or ammo. Is this pretty common? Pretty new to these guns! Any tips are appreciated.

thanks ahead of time!
Rob
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What kind of ammo are you shooting
 

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Both look like good ammo...I have only shot 80's Romy out of mine , but was having LPS.. I traced it down to the little spring in front of the firing pin...Mine is a Wiselight built gun...the spring looked like they reshaped it with a set of plyers and sometimes it would bind when compressed...I replaced it with a new spring that I got from ACE ....When I first received my gun it was second hand,,,The owner before me shot the crap out of it and never cleaned it...Had all kinds of issues with feeding and dead trigger...So I tore it completely down and scrubbed every nook and cranny...Also found that the trigger pins would walk after about 100 or so rounds...I replaced them with anti walk pins...Put it all back together with grease and oil in the right places and it ran much better...But not perfect...I see that your using the drum....How you load the belt in the drum can change things...I go flap over.. I have found that the more I shoot it the better it runs ...On my gun it says to shoot only surplus ammo stamped right on the receiver ...Might be that your ammo is underpowered.
 

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Both look like good ammo...I have only shot 80's Romy out of mine , but was having LPS.. I traced it down to the little spring in front of the firing pin...Mine is a Wiselight built gun...the spring looked like they reshaped it with a set of plyers and sometimes it would bind when compressed...I replaced it with a new spring that I got from ACE ....When I first received my gun it was second hand,,,The owner before me shot the crap out of it and never cleaned it...Had all kinds of issues with feeding and dead trigger...So I tore it completely down and scrubbed every nook and cranny...Also found that the trigger pins would walk after about 100 or so rounds...I replaced them with anti walk pins...Put it all back together with grease and oil in the right places and it ran much better...But not perfect...I see that your using the drum....How you load the belt in the drum can change things...I go flap over.. I have found that the more I shoot it the better it runs ...On my gun it says to shoot only surplus ammo stamped right on the receiver ...Might be that your ammo is underpowered.
I see you probably have an early Wiselite like mine, What size spring did you use for the front firing pin spring?
I lost mine and thereafter had a problem with pierced primers and erratic ignition.
BRP had them but the shipping was like $16.00


AZB
 

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Mine ran best with Romanian surplus, but I did have to spend a lot of time to get the charging handle to fit in place. I suspect every semi-auto M53 is unique in the problems it's going to have given the work that goes into it...
 

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The early Wiselites employed many used parts, including springs. Gordie K was contracted to help them work out the bugs, and devised a number of fixes, including new springs. I sat at his table while he ripped them a new one because they'd called again looking for help, but hadn't taken up all of his suggestions.

These were, of course, rewelds, and as a result vary depending on how well it was aligned, etc. Not forgetting the above issues. So, much like the TNW MG34, those with the guns and insufficient skill or time put them in the closet. It's a real crap shoot, and not in the buyer's favor, to expect one to right correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the responses guys. After shooting a couple hundred rounds I’ve realized belts matter, a lot, when it comes to reliability. I was just wondering, why is this? I have some belts I can run and they’ll 100% work, other belts that won’t run at all, and then some belts that will run forever, and then randomly stop working. Just doesn’t make sense to me
 

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Mine ran best with Romanian surplus, but I did have to spend a lot of time to get the charging handle to fit in place. I suspect every semi-auto M53 is unique in the problems it's going to have given the work that goes into it...
Boy THAT's an understatement. I have YET to see one working properly. Multiple friends have bought them (always second hand) and they are NEVER working right.
 

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Boy THAT's an understatement. I have YET to see one working properly. Multiple friends have bought them (always second hand) and they are NEVER working right.
Guess I've gotten lucky. I've had two over the years and both have had some minor issues but nothing I couldn't work through without too much headache.

They are definitely a luck of the draw/lottery weapon...
 

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Guess I've gotten lucky. I've had two over the years and both have had some minor issues but nothing I couldn't work through without too much headache.

They are definitely a luck of the draw/lottery weapon...
Well, I suppose that depends on what you consider "not too much headache" or "minor" issues. I've seen them go full auto unanounced. (REALLY SCARY when you aren't ready for it.) I've seen them break the trigger group pins and just generally not work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mine is just having issues with belts. It doesn’t make any sense in my head. Some work, some dont, some work for awhile then randomly stop working. Just can’t make sense of it
 

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Mine is just having issues with belts. It doesn’t make any sense in my head. Some work, some dont, some work for awhile then randomly stop working. Just can’t make sense of it
It depends on what year the belts are because there were many makers of these over the years for diffent guns is MG3 etc... stick with WWII production MG42 belts and you should be fine. The green box of Romy ammo you have pictured above is probably a shorter over all length. Does it have a red band around the bullet or a green band? The newer 8mm has the green band and is shorter in length so I would stick with the 70's and 80's red band as it is much more reliable.
 

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That Romy ammo you have pictured is the same stuff that blew up my SA MG34, assuming it is a polymer coated case. I had an out of battery detonation caused by a ruptured case that wasn’t extracted. Blew off my top cover and messed up my bolt face and blew off the extractor. I never did find the top cover latch which was completely blown off. Kiwi did the repair and he concluded that after firing a few belts, the chamber got hot and the slower cycling rate caused some of the polymer coating on the cases to melt to the point where it “grabbed” a case. This caused a separated case head I did not catch, which then caused the out of battery detonation on the next pull of the trigger. Brian at BRP agreed with Kiwi that that could have been the cause. Kiwi had to use a finish reamer to get the case out of the chamber. Good ammo otherwise; works fine in FA weapons with a much faster cycle time with regard to insertion / extraction resulting in less time in the chamber. I have several thousand rounds of it and still shoot it, but I: 1) coat the chamber with a thin layer of high temp grease that’s rated for up to 850 degrees, 2) swap out barrels after 2 belts, inspect, and re-grease. Have not had a problem since. Kind of a kill-joy but it has prevented a repeat. One lost mg34 top cover and bolt is enough. It’s decent ammo, and I have it in boxes (just like your photo) and factory loaded on belts packed in white rectangular boxes, so it was intended at one time for MG’s, but of the FA persuasion and not SA. Pay close attention to how it is feeding and extracting, and if you have fired it for a while and have it hot, don’t leave any (polymer/ plastic coated) ammo in the chamber if you take a break...Clear it and get it out of the chamber so the costing does not melt. Beyond that, have fun!
 

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That Romy ammo you have pictured is the same stuff that blew up my SA MG34, assuming it is a polymer coated case. I had an out of battery detonation caused by a ruptured case that wasn’t extracted. Blew off my top cover and messed up my bolt face and blew off the extractor. I never did find the top cover latch which was completely blown off. Kiwi did the repair and he concluded that after firing a few belts, the chamber got hot and the slower cycling rate caused some of the polymer coating on the cases to melt to the point where it “grabbed” a case. This caused a separated case head I did not catch, which then caused the out of battery detonation on the next pull of the trigger. Brian at BRP agreed with Kiwi that that could have been the cause. Kiwi had to use a finish reamer to get the case out of the chamber. Good ammo otherwise; works fine in FA weapons with a much faster cycle time with regard to insertion / extraction resulting in less time in the chamber. I have several thousand rounds of it and still shoot it, but I: 1) coat the chamber with a thin layer of high temp grease that’s rated for up to 850 degrees, 2) swap out barrels after 2 belts, inspect, and re-grease. Have not had a problem since. Kind of a kill-joy but it has prevented a repeat. One lost mg34 top cover and bolt is enough. It’s decent ammo, and I have it in boxes (just like your photo) and factory loaded on belts packed in white rectangular boxes, so it was intended at one time for MG’s, but of the FA persuasion and not SA. Pay close attention to how it is feeding and extracting, and if you have fired it for a while and have it hot, don’t leave any (polymer/ plastic coated) ammo in the chamber if you take a break...Clear it and get it out of the chamber so the costing does not melt. Beyond that, have fun!
No offense to Kiwi but I have heard this kind of suggestion on the lacquer and poly cases before and I think its totally wrong. Why would melting poly "grab" anything? It does not make sense. Its like saying the lubricant caused it to stick... It would be like the old days of oiled cases in MGs and you get a separation and blaming the oil. If anything it was the lack of Poly or lack of oil to lubricant the steel on steel connection. The idea that a lubricant could grab hard enough to break the steel case in half does not make sense to me. Somehow the Germans made

Many things could have caused the case separation. The one issue that actually does happen with steel case is that it does not expand as well around the neck and so a bit more carbon build up occurs around the neck of the case. This then causes the front of the case to stick a bit more often. This could cause your issue. Or maybe if you were firing very quick, maybe you managed to fire with a bit of bolt bounce where the bolt was not completely closed, which gave you excessive headspace which caused it. Maybe you had a bad case....etc. Its really hard to say.

I will add that one of the safeties on most guns is that the hammer will not hit the firing pin if the bolt is not full forward. This is one of the reasons I bought the new BRP MG42 bolt rather than modifying an original. I am not 100% sure it solves this issue but it look to me like there is a fair chance it would stop this from happening. It has been a while since I looked at it when building my gun...
 

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I'm new to this gun myself and right now I have no dog in this fight but I have learned some good information from this thread. I am building a 42' from a couple of short shroud 42' parts kits I was given years ago. I just acquired a first pattern bolt. Is there anything else to know? between FTF and OB detonations?
 

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I'm new to this gun myself and right now I have no dog in this fight but I have learned some good information from this thread. I am building a 42' from a couple of short shroud 42' parts kits I was given years ago. I just acquired a first pattern bolt. Is there anything else to know? between FTF and OB detonations?
Wear shooting glasses for the OOB’s. Wear them all the time. Unless you are a pirate, you don’t need an eye patch.
A visit to church every once in a while probably wouldn’t hurt either. Just Use good common sense. FA weapons were not designed to fire SA. Being converted, they function in ways there were not engineered to function, which can, and do, create new problems. You have to blend fact with other party opinion and speculation and use your common sense to find solutions to a lot of the problems that arise. If you are shooting and the weapon starts feeling different or having a problem such as you having to start nudging the cocking handle to get it to close completely, stop shooting, examine the weapon and figure it out before shooting any more.
My only other piece of advice is a personal peeve of mine: shoot good ammo. I see guys all the time talking about shooting super cheap third world crap ammo in their $3-4-5,000 weapons. It makes no sense to me. I understand people like to shoot; I’m one of them. But I cannot see risking blowing up a good weapon, or even worse, losing an eye or some other body part, just so you can save 20 cents around on some 50 year old Pakistani or Turkish crap that might have originally been surplused out “for components only,” but but three middle-men later is now somehow “prime military surplus ammo at a price you haven’t seen in 20 years.” Cheap ammo is cheap for a reason. Respect your weapon and respect yourself - stay away from it. There are those that shoot it and swear but it, hang fires and all, and God bless them; they obviously have more money than I do to replace weapons and pay hospital bills than I do.
 

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No offense to Kiwi but I have heard this kind of suggestion on the lacquer and poly cases before and I think its totally wrong. Why would melting poly "grab" anything? It does not make sense. Its like saying the lubricant caused it to stick... It would be like the old days of oiled cases in MGs and you get a separation and blaming the oil. If anything it was the lack of Poly or lack of oil to lubricant the steel on steel connection. The idea that a lubricant could grab hard “ enough to break the steel case in half does not make sense to me. Somehow the Germans made

Many things could have caused the case separation. The one issue that actually does happen with steel case is that it does not expand as well around the neck and so a bit more carbon build up occurs around the neck of the case. This then causes the front of the case to stick a bit more often. This could cause your issue. Or maybe if you were firing very quick, maybe you managed to fire with a bit of bolt bounce where the bolt was not completely closed, which gave you excessive headspace which caused it. Maybe you had a bad case....etc. Its really hard to say.

I will add that one of the safeties on most guns is that the hammer will not hit the firing pin if the bolt is not full forward. This is one of the reasons I bought the new BRP MG42 bolt rather than modifying an original. I am not 100% sure it solves this issue but it look to me like there is a fair chance it would stop this from happening. It has been a while since I looked at it when building my gun...
You opinion is noted. The weapon was brand new, I put 4, maybe 5 belts of the Romy 8 mm through it and it ran like a Swiss watch. I stopped shooting to deal with something else, with a belt in it and with a round in the chamber. I started firing...bang, bang, boom. The consensus was that a case head separated either on the second round. A least one bullet passed through through the case “ironing” the neck out to point a ruptured case extractor had nothing to grab, hence the finishing reamer being needed to remove it. The barrel was properly headspace to the weapon and was German WW II production, brand spanking new, one of several I bought at a militaristic show in England in 2003, that I pulled from the original shipping crate while I watched. Subsequently, 5 belts of the same stuff was fired through a friends FA MG34 with no issues whatsoever. I have only had 2 case head separations in 40 years of shooting, this ne and another n an RPK. Both we’re running polymer coated cases. The RPK was shooting some Russian commercial 7.62x39 and jammed after it happened. The case was removed no problem with a ruptured case extractor. Two different weapons, 2 different calibers, two different manufacturers, “newer” ammo in one, brand new ammo in the other, different weapons, different operating systems. The only common factor was both times the case was polymer coated. I’m using up what I have and not buying anymore of it.
 

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Bob, head spacing the Mg42 seems to be an unknown, many think any old barrel/ bolt combo will do. Would you explain how you headspace?
 
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