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Posted: 9/1/2013 11:43:32 AM EDT
Howdy everyone. I have the opportunity to buy a Para kit from a buddy. He had issues with the kit while shooting suppressed. He would break the guide rod and even had a custom one built and it still broke.

He sent it back to the company and they could not find anything wrong with it but they gave him a brand new kit.

Anyways, I have a Rhodie kit that I would like to make into a Para. Would this work? Or should I just buy a new upper and barrel?

Why would he have had issues with the guide rod breaking? I would also like to shoot it suppressed but don't want to build it and have similar issues.

Thanks
Link Posted: 9/1/2013 1:35:46 PM EDT

Quoted:


Howdy everyone. I have the opportunity to buy a Para kit from a buddy. He had issues with the kit while shooting suppressed. He would break the guide rod and even had a custom one built and it still broke.



He sent it back to the company and they could not find anything wrong with it but they gave him a brand new kit.



Anyways, I have a Rhodie kit that I would like to make into a Para. Would this work? Or should I just buy a new upper and barrel?



Why would he have had issues with the guide rod breaking? I would also like to shoot it suppressed but don't want to build it and have similar issues.



Thanks
View Quote
What are you calling a guide rod?



 
Link Posted: 9/1/2013 1:55:27 PM EDT
That's what he called it. From what I can remember it's a rod that the bolt is attached to.

Link Posted: 9/1/2013 3:49:09 PM EDT
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Quoted:
That's what he called it. From what I can remember it's a rod that the bolt is attached to.
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There is a return/recoil spring guide rod that's welded to the para top cover. The para return spring assembly also has a hollow rod that slides along the rod welded to the cover.

The suppressor could be exerting a lot of force on the para cover which would break the guide rod weld. Especially if you're not using the OEM para return springs. US made para return springs are underpowered.

Is it a DSA para kit?
Link Posted: 9/1/2013 4:32:45 PM EDT
I think it is a dsa Para kit.

How can I beef it up so it will not happen to me?
Link Posted: 9/1/2013 7:24:01 PM EDT
I don't have any direct experience with suppressed FAL's so I'm just theorizing here.

It sounds like the suppressor is creating a condition in which the bolt carrier is exerting excessive force on the cover. Barrel length and weak or incorrect return springs could possibly contribute to that. In addition, the quality of the DSA para cover is not comparable to an original surplus cover.

Why not just build a standard FAL and try your suppressor? You can always convert it to a para later.
Link Posted: 9/1/2013 8:18:35 PM EDT
I already have a standard fal that I suppress. The Para is something that has always interested me.
Link Posted: 9/2/2013 11:01:18 AM EDT
He could try adjusting the gas regulator nut to vent more gas.
Link Posted: 9/2/2013 11:22:07 AM EDT
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Quoted:
He could try adjusting the gas regulator nut to vent more gas.
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He tried everything.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 9:47:09 AM EDT
Sorry to say, this whole thing is fully of "huh?"

First, what exactly is in this "kit"?   Who is the manufacturer?  Seriously, he sent back "the kit" and they didn't find anything wrong and sent him a whole new one?   That would be shocking coming from DSA.

We still haven't established which "guide rod" broke.  Or, where it broke.

It is uncommon to break a recoil spring rod.  And, even if one did break, making a "custom" one wouldn't fix jack.    Did the rod break, or did it separate from the cover?  

It IS common to break a gas piston rod, particularly a cheap, non-FN specimen.   Making a "custom" gas piston may help if it were done right and with the correct metal; however, it wouldn't make sense to have one made because a FN example can be had for, what, $30?

Does the piston slide freely?

Is there binding on the bolt carrier?

How many springs are in the recoil spring assembly?

If it were the recoil guide rod that broke, did he try a buffer?

What is the barrel length?

What is the gas vent size?

What was the gas setting?

I'm sure he didn't try everything, he tried everything he knew, which isn't much if he's calling the failed part a "guide rod".

FALs aren't rocket science, but you have to get some details before the problem can be understood and rectified.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 2:00:39 PM EDT
Dsa manufactured the Para kit. He made a 16" gun out of it and was breaking guide rods in the upper. He tried all sorts of different options but could not get the gun to work while shooting suppressed. After installing new parts from dsa, he shot the gun and it bent the lower out of spec. This was due to the bcg hitting the face of the lower extremely hard. He sent the kit in to dsa and they sent him a new one. He ended up not installing it on the gun, instead He used a standard lower and had no issues.

He mentioned he talked to a dsa rep at shot show and they couldn't come up with why it was not working on his gun. I guess they have a full auto sir that they shoot suppressed with 0 issues.

I call it a guide rod because I don't know what it's official name is. My buddy did a lot of research on this and tried a lot of different parts and finally gave up on the Para concept.

I can't test anything because he is selling it to me as a kit. I would have to buy it and put it together with my stuff before I could try anything.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 9:11:47 PM EDT
16" barrels are sometimes problematic even on standard configuration FAL's. I think the combination of a short barrel, suppressor and weak/incorrect para return springs is the problem. The DSA para cover only has two small tack welds securing the rear plate so that doesn't help either.

The bolt carrier is clearly slamming into the rear plate of the para cover. If it actually damaged the recoil plate on your friends lower receiver, there's some serious force going on.

IMO, 18" is the shortest length I would go on a FAL barrel.
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 5:59:04 AM EDT
Why are shorter barrels troublesome?
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 5:48:40 PM EDT


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Quoted:



16" barrels are sometimes problematic even on standard configuration FAL's. I think the combination of a short barrel, suppressor and weak/incorrect para return springs is the problem. The DSA para cover only has two small tack welds securing the rear plate so that doesn't help either.





The bolt carrier is clearly slamming into the rear plate of the para cover. If it actually damaged the recoil plate on your friends lower receiver, there's some serious force going on.





IMO, 18" is the shortest length I would go on a FAL barrel.
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now I'm sure I'm missing some important information.....but I'm trying to figure out how a shorter barrel would change anything...since the gas system is engaged around the 13" mark (pure guess here) the only issue id see is low gas/pressure...not excessive gas/pressure...and after seeing a slow motion of the action..even that (low gas/pressure) dosnt really equate because the pistons action is so sudden id guess that even if you had the barrel shortened an inch after the gas hole it would still cycle (as long as the gas setting was on the right setting.)

 

 breaking piston rods i would look for alignment issues or a "speed bump" in the bolts rearward travel ...other wild guesses too much gas/pressure(like all) getting threw the regulator (which makes me think he should measure were the gas piston is taped on other rifles...possible been shortened?







I am interested on the affects of a short barrel on a FAL, because i just picked up a "shorty" (16")  but have yet to shoot her.

 
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 8:07:18 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Why are shorter barrels troublesome?
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Note that I wrote "sometimes" problematic. I'm sure there are 16" barreled FAL's out there with no issues.

The FAL was designed around a 21" barrel. More often than not, a 16" barrel will need to have the gas port opened up. Add a suppressor on top of that and you're probably directing excessive force onto the bolt carrier. That would cause it to slam into the back plate of the para cover. Clearly that is what's happening if your friends lower was damaged.

The 16" standard FAL I had years ago broke two gas regulators and created heavy wear on the recoil plate of the lower and rear of the bolt carrier. The recoil was noticeably heavier and the muzzle blast was pretty uncomfortable.

Never had those problems with 21" or 18" FAL's.
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 8:16:45 PM EDT
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Quoted:
It IS common to break a gas piston rod, particularly a cheap, non-FN specimen. Making a "custom" gas piston may help if it were done right and with the correct metal; however, it wouldn't make sense to have one made because a FN example can be had for, what, $30?
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Breaking a gas piston is not common. In fact, I've never seen or heard of a broken gas piston. A bent, pitted or heavily worn gas piston is fairly common though.

I'd be elated to sell you a surplus gas piston for $30. I'd even cut you a great deal of 5 gas pistons for $150 shipped.*

*Not an actual for sale ad.
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 8:26:17 PM EDT
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Quoted:
now I'm sure I'm missing some important information.....but I'm trying to figure out how a shorter barrel would change anything...since the gas system is engaged around the 13" mark (pure guess here) the only issue id see is low gas/pressure...not excessive gas/pressure...and after seeing a slow motion of the action..even that (low gas/pressure) dosnt really equate because the pistons action is so sudden id guess that even if you had the barrel shortened an inch after the gas hole it would still cycle (as long as the gas setting was on the right setting.)     breaking piston rods i would look for alignment issues or a "speed bump" in the bolts rearward travel ...other wild guesses too much gas/pressure(like all) getting threw the regulator (which makes me think he should measure were the gas piston is taped on other rifles...possible been shortened?

I am interested on the affects of a short barrel on a FAL, because i just picked up a "shorty" (16")  but have yet to shoot her.
 
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Barrel length does have an effect on the operation of the rifle. Short barrels usually need to have the gas port opened up. The particular rifle being discussed here may function fine without the suppressor attached.

The actual gas piston has little if anything to do with this particular problem.
Link Posted: 9/7/2013 7:18:55 AM EDT
PRK, thanks for the insight.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 3:35:05 PM EDT
So if I do this what size should I drill the gas port out too so I can shoot with and without a can?
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 7:36:51 AM EDT
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Quoted:
So if I do this what size should I drill the gas port out too so I can shoot with and without a can?
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Don't do anything to start with.   Try adjusting the gas first.

Drilling will dump MORE gas into the piston which will create more kick, force, and bolt carrier travel.   Typically one might drill out the port if the rifle won't cycle with the gas fully closed.  This does not appear to be the problem.   If anything it sounds like it already is over-gassed.

Before you go drilling anything, read up on 16" barrels and gas port on FAL FILES first.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 12:48:39 PM EDT
Copy, I guess I was thinking if the port was bored out it would release more gas before it got to the piston.
Link Posted: 9/12/2013 6:09:15 AM EDT
I used a DSA No-nose para conversion two years ago, with no problems. My rifle has a DSA receiver and a STG kit that has an 18" barrel  and operates fine. Interesting, I wonder what might be wrong with the kit your friend has?

For your viewing pleasure:)
Link Posted: 9/12/2013 6:20:54 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I used a DSA No-nose para conversion two years ago, with no problems. My rifle has a DSA receiver and a STG kit that has an 18" barrel  and operates fine. Interesting, I wonder what might be wrong with the kit your friend has?

For your viewing pleasure:)
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Very nice looking gun.

I'm sure his gun was messed up due to a gas problem. Once the can was installed it all went to hell.
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