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Posted: 6/6/2006 5:38:49 PM EDT
Was having problems with my PSL and failure to fires.  Turns out that there was a piece of primer in the firing pin channel.  I cleaned it out and replaced the pin.  Then I went to the range today and fired 30rnds through it. I couldn't figure out why I'd get smoke coming out of the top cover every few rounds.  Went to pick up my brass and found that it blew 6 primers and cratered most of the others.  Why and I getting pressure signs?  It's 1985 date coded Albanian ammo.  It would also fail to feed all of the way every few rounds and I'd have to use my foot on the bolt handle to eject the round.  The neck would hang up in the throat of the chamber.  I'm thinking it's just ammo trouble so I'm going to try a few different types.  

I'm also having trouble with consistency.  I need a new adjustment screw to get the scope tighter.  Three of the teeth are broke off.   If anyone has a source for one of these please post here or IM me.

CMS
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 6:25:26 PM EDT
[#1]
Headspace/bolt problem?

I would think that if the bolt has a positive lock on the breach, the primer would expand in the case pocket instead of popping out.  Check your cases for bulging at the base near the rim and the primer should have an imprint of the boltface.

Disclaimer;  I am not a gunsmith or claim to be.
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 6:29:08 PM EDT
[#2]
I have read elsewhere that the Albanian ammo is less than great. No personal experience with it though.
Try some of the better milsurp that has a good rep like the Czech silvertip made in the mid 60's. My PSL loves that ammo.
I have tried Polish milsurp 7.62x54r in my PSL too and it won't feed well. The rounds actually sit in the mag with their noses lower than the Czech ammo does. That leads to rounds getting their noses rammed instead of the bullets feeding into the chamber. It's accurate enough, but won't feed well. I'll use the rest of it in my MN91/30's.
I believe that many of the milsurp ammos out there are dimensionally just a tiny bit different and that leads to some of them working better than others in the rifles that use that caliber.
One guy at the range was shooting Wolf match grade 7.62x54r and his PSL rifle was cycling it just fine.
I would switch to another ammo first.
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 7:17:15 PM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
Headspace/bolt problem?

I would think that if the bolt has a positive lock on the breach, the primer would expand in the case pocket instead of popping out.  Check your cases for bulging at the base near the rim and the primer should have an imprint of the boltface.

Disclaimer;  I am not a gunsmith or claim to be.



The primers aren't popping out as much as they are just flowing the metal where the firing pin hits leaving a hole.  If it is a headspace problem how can I fix it?

I'm definitely trying more ammo before I do anything expensive to get it running.  I'm sort of bummed out right now but I have confidence that I'll get it up and running sooner or later.  Who has Czech Silvertip for a good price?  Thanks,

CMS
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 7:34:05 PM EDT
[#4]
Resetting the head space is not a simple task.  It involves removal of the existing barrel retainer pin, pressing the barrel either in or out a tad more to get the correct headspace using headspace gauges, milling in a slightly larger retainer pin hole and pressing in a correspondingly larger retainer pin.  Not a job for the novice, but a professional can do it for $100-$150.

I am not convinced you have a headspace problem yet.  I agree with the others, try some good surplus ammo or try a few rounds of Wolf 7.62x54R

I've heard not so good things about the recently imported Czech silver tip, but I'm not sure if it's true or not.  

According to the guys at Tennesee Guns, they say avoid the Albanian.  Also they recommend rounds that are lacquer coated over that of copper washed.

I think you have an ammo problem and it's cheap to prove out.  Don't give up hope yet.  Sounds like you've just found the source of you firing pin problem.
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 7:43:19 PM EDT
[#5]

Quoted:

Quoted:
Headspace/bolt problem?

I would think that if the bolt has a positive lock on the breach, the primer would expand in the case pocket instead of popping out.  Check your cases for bulging at the base near the rim and the primer should have an imprint of the boltface.

Disclaimer;  I am not a gunsmith or claim to be.



The primers aren't popping out as much as they are just flowing the metal where the firing pin hits leaving a hole.  If it is a headspace problem how can I fix it?

I'm definitely trying more ammo before I do anything expensive to get it running.  I'm sort of bummed out right now but I have confidence that I'll get it up and running sooner or later.  Who has Czech Silvertip for a good price?  Thanks,

CMS



I agree it could be an ammo problem.  When your said it "blew the primers" I misunderstood.
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 7:47:47 PM EDT
[#6]
I'm hoping its just the ammo but with the failure to lock and the deep primer strikes I'm worried.  I guess we'll see when I pick up some new ammo.  Unfortunately...I may not get to check until I get back from LTC at Ft. Knoxx in August...
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 7:58:04 PM EDT
[#7]
Do you have the capability to post any photos of the primers/cases to help show what you're describing?
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 8:07:08 PM EDT
[#8]

Quoted:
Do you have the capability to post any photos of the primers/cases to help show what you're describing?


No unfortunately the digicam is with my dad in Wisconson..the parents are moving there.  Just imagine a hole where the firing pin struck the primer...all the way through into the case...almost like it was drilled through.
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 8:09:38 PM EDT
[#9]

Quoted:




I'm definitely trying more ammo before I do anything expensive to get it running.  I'm sort of bummed out right now but I have confidence that I'll get it up and running sooner or later.  Who has Czech Silvertip for a good price? Thanks,

CMS




www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=248626


www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/copy_of_7_62x54R.html


Link Posted: 6/6/2006 8:46:02 PM EDT
[#10]
Sounds like crappy ammo to me.
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 9:18:50 PM EDT
[#11]
Just ordered 800rnds of Czech light ball (not silvertip) from AIM.  I'll try it.  If I have problems I can just use it in my M44.  If I have problems with every type of ammo I try the PSL is going in the safe for a while until I have money to do something about in September or October.  Any other suggestions?

CMS
Link Posted: 6/6/2006 9:26:45 PM EDT
[#12]
I just read on 7.62x54r.net that the Albanian ammo we were shooting has neck thickness variances and that it could cause chambering problems in tight headspaced firearm...maybe thats my problem...
Link Posted: 6/7/2006 5:22:53 AM EDT
[#13]
Link Posted: 6/7/2006 3:01:28 PM EDT
[#14]
By the book... first, with gauges - check your headspace.  HS is an ulikely culprit... verify this by looking at the fired casings - neck splits?  Bulges near the rear of the shell?  "Reading" fired cases is usually the ultimate measure of what is going on...

Let's eliminate HS first... then, all the rest can be worked on :)
Link Posted: 6/7/2006 4:19:40 PM EDT
[#15]

Quoted:
I just read on 7.62x54r.net that the Albanian ammo we were shooting has neck thickness variances and that it could cause chambering problems in tight headspaced firearm...maybe thats my problem...

The problem you are mentioning also sounds like excessive firing pin protrusion. I have seen this in some mauser rifles where they literally poke a hole through the primer.  As for Alby ammo, I had some where the case neck was uneven going around the mouth, as if it was improperly trimmed. This particular ammo would"nt even chamber in my m-44 because of the mouths of the of the cases being too long.
Link Posted: 6/7/2006 8:04:25 PM EDT
[#16]

Quoted:
By the book... first, with gauges - check your headspace.  HS is an ulikely culprit... verify this by looking at the fired casings - neck splits?  Bulges near the rear of the shell?  "Reading" fired cases is usually the ultimate measure of what is going on...

Let's eliminate HS first... then, all the rest can be worked on :)



Don't have headspace guages and cash is a little tight right now until I'm back from LTC in July through August.  I'm getting split necks, ammo thats visually out of spec...too short or long, cratered primers, and blown primers.  I could not get the fired empty casings to chamber in my M44 either.  I believe that it could be the shoulder length of the casings.  No blown primers in my M44 with this ammo but every 10 or so rnds you find one that won't chamber.  So either the headspace on both rifles is off or it's the ammo.  

As for the oversized firing pin...who has PSL firing pins?  I'd like to get an extra anyhow.
Link Posted: 6/8/2006 3:23:31 PM EDT
[#17]
"I could not get the fired empty casings to chamber in my M44 either"

That's pretty much normal - the cases are already expanded by firing.

The split necks, though, COULD be data...  Headspacing proves out the rifle independent of the ammo.... another choice?  Get 20 rounds of  Czech Silver tip... run it through, grab some casings - how does that look?  Silver Tip Czech is pretty much flawless ammo... at least, I've never heard of anyone having an issue with it :)
Link Posted: 6/8/2006 5:33:30 PM EDT
[#18]
Try some different and proven ammo before you hurt yourself. The signs on the casings you are talking about are signs of high pressure. It's possible the quality control just sucks with the ammo you have.
Link Posted: 6/8/2006 7:13:42 PM EDT
[#19]
yeah I'm trying different ammo.  No reason to destroy at nice firearm with shitty ammo.  If I continue to have problems I'll have to buy some headspace guages eventually...
Link Posted: 6/13/2006 10:09:38 AM EDT
[#20]
My Czech Silver tip arrived today so it's off to the range with 60rnds to see what results I get.  Wish me luck...
Link Posted: 6/13/2006 11:23:45 AM EDT
[#21]
Only 60 rounds????
Link Posted: 6/13/2006 11:26:07 AM EDT
[#22]
Hey it's working great.  No problems at all.  Only 60rnds as a function check b/c I can't tighten my scope enough to get consistent groups.  Need a new adjustment nut and since nobody sells them, I need to buy an entire new bottom part of the mount...  I'm still thrilled that this problem is solved though!  Pics and range report to come in a week or so.

CMS
Link Posted: 6/13/2006 2:12:26 PM EDT
[#23]
Glad to hear it was just an ammo problem.  Gotta love those easy fixes.  Sounds like you found the source of your firing pin problem.  You're on a roll
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 1:06:53 PM EDT
[#24]
Slow down a bit... you DID recover some of those fired cases, right?  You really want to.  Get about 10 of 'em, and look for any split necks.  You shouldn't have any.
Link Posted: 6/17/2006 5:35:00 PM EDT
[#25]
By all means, slow to whatever speed you deem necessary.  At the risk of stating the obvious, headspace isn't something to screw around with.  It is probably the most important parameter for safe functioning of a firearm.

"Pics and range report to come in a week or so".  Give him a chance to respond.

Link Posted: 6/20/2006 11:35:00 PM EDT
[#26]

Quoted:
Slow down a bit... you DID recover some of those fired cases, right?  You really want to.  Get about 10 of 'em, and look for any split necks.  You shouldn't have any.



Sorry guys...been busy shooting and packing.  Parents are moving to Wisconson and I leave for Fort Knox on July 5th so I won't get to shoot my beauties for an entire month.  No I don't have a digital camera...gotta get my own since the parents will have it up there.  I have fired almost 200 more rnds of the Czech silvertip and checked casings religiously.  No problems at all.  No pressure signs.  As for a range report...accuracy isn't bad.  Getting 5" groups at 200yds which is more than acceptable for surlpus ammo almost as old as my dad (1965 bxn headstamp).  Czech also seems alot more mild than the Albanian shit.... even out of the nagant.  I wish I could post pics but like I said won't have a camera.  I plan on buying one when I'm back in August.  I also planning on trying some Wolf and some 7n1 in August.  Thanks for the help though guys.  I appriciate it.  I'm relieved because I really like the PSL and didn't want to have to get rid of it.  Will definetely hold onto this thing for a long time.  Only way it's gonna get set aside in the safe is if I scrounge up the money for a NDM-86 in 7.62x54R...
Link Posted: 6/21/2006 6:32:47 PM EDT
[#27]

Quoted:
Glad to hear it was just an ammo problem.  Gotta love those easy fixes.  Sounds like you found the source of your firing pin problem.  You're on a roll



What he said !!  
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