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Thread: First time out with the M1919A6 - good news and bad news

  1. #1
    Senior Veteran ptrthgr8's Avatar
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    First time out with the M1919A6 - good news and bad news

    Hi, folks.

    Yesterday I took Betty out for the first time. Per info in the other threads the headspacing was proper and the timing was well within USGI spec (it was at .077"). I handloaded 20 rounds into a belt in 10-round groups with plenty of space between - I wanted to have a fairly controlled test for the first time out. Each 10-round group of surplus HXP ammo (from the CMP) went off without a hitch. I then moved on to the first 250-round belt of Kynoch surplus ammo - this ammo was dated July, 1953, and was also from the CMP. There were a few fail-to-fires (didn't go bang when I pulled the trigger anyhow), but overall I was rather pleased with this first belt:

    http://youtu.be/osuCoaRC6CU

    A few notes about the issues from this first belt:

    1. I think there may have been a feeding problem - seemed like it had trouble at times pulling the belt from the can. May have worked more reliably if I had someone else helping feed the belt
    2. Every time it failed to feed a round into the chamber and I pulled the trigger you can hear the sear dropping the firing pin - so that seemed to be working as it should
    3. Every live round that I cycled out the bottom of the gun had no firing pin dent on the primer at all
    4. Manually cycling the bolt was easy as pie

    It was wicked hot and humid here yesterday... 93 degrees and 72% humidity. We had some other folks shooting and I had some other weapons I was shooting (Tromix S17 and STG-58) and then we all decided to take a break in the shade to have some beers and smoke a cigar. So, between the first belt and the second belt Betty was sitting in the direct sunlight and humidity for at least 90 minutes. May have been closer to two hours. The wifey wanted to shoot the MG, so I loaded up another belt and had nothing but problems... lots of problems. Here's the video from the second belt:

    http://youtu.be/xQXq3BKj49A

    Some notes about the second 250-round belt:

    1. The first 20 or so rounds went off without a hitch at the :12 mark
    2. After the stoppage during the 3-round burst at the 1:03 mark, the bolt was impossible to cycle manually and I had to use a mallet to knock it loose
    3. You can hear me fiddling with the ammo belt - I was trying to help feed the belt while the wifey was shooting
    4. Around the 2:24 mark you can see me looking into the action and I don't see anything obviously wrong - I say "Hmmm" because I'm stumped at this point
    5. Around the 2:50 mark you can see I'm able to cylce it pretty easily without the belt in at all
    6. There was nothing but problems with this second belt. BAH!
    7. When picking up the brass afterwards I was looking for split or ruptured cases to see if that may have caused any issues. None were found - just normal empty brass and several live rounds that I manually cycled through while dicking with the weapon

    What are some possible issues here? Betty ran pretty well during that first belt (made me happy anyhow, and tore the shit out of some pallets and targets we had set up down range), but she turned into a complete turd during that second belt. I don't *think* lubrication would have been an issue since I used damned near 1/4 bottle of CLP (the big spray bottle) when lubing her during assembly prior to taking Betty out yesterday. I didn't use Mike's method of the spraydown with 50/50 mix of motor oil and WD40 prior to shooting.

    I'm a little on the frustrated side, but since I'm a complete noob when it comes to 1919s I'm tempering that frustration by knowing that I'm likely not the first person to have these sorts of issues. I'm reaching out to my MG loving homies in the hopes of leading me to an answer here.

    Cheers,

    ~ Greg ~

  2. #2
    Imperial Marine Stormtrooper
    Perro Del Diablo's Avatar
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    Kynoch ammo is not very highly regarded from what i have been able to find online
    typically when the ammo is stuck in the barrel and you need to use a hammer to extract the case from the chamber, its a crappy ammo problem, or a headspace issue. Since the ammo sat in the hot sun for a couple hours, maybe the headspace was a bit too tight for your gun?
    you could try to open headspace by a click and see if the gun runs a bit better, but have a broken case extractor with you when you open it a click. You will know when you seperate a case that your headspace is too loose.

    sometimes when the round is stuck like that you have a broken casing in the chamber, and the next round is jammed into the stuck casing. Alot of times when you get the bolt to open up, you will find the broken casing stuck over the top of the round that ejects out of the bottom. I do not think this is your problem but at the end you were basically shut down, so check it to be sure


    I noticed while watching your videos that sometimes when you go to charge the gun, it doesnt advance the belt. This is typically a problem of a round falling out of the belt before it enters the feedway, or worn out top cover parts.

    the problem with transferable browning 1919s is that its very easy to parkerize out of your garage, and its very easy to take a worn out beat up machine gun, sandblast it, and parkerize it to make it look brand new. ALL transferable non C&R 1919s started out life as a parts kit, and all parts kits came from guns that were used during ww2. Start by finding out why the belt is not advancing when you pull the cocking handle to the rear, is the round too long and hanging up in the feedway as it tries to enter the feedway? Is the belt holding pawl spring one of those israeli springs that are way too tight and need a coil trimmed off of it? Is the belt feed lever bent? Is the belt feed lever tight to the top cover, or does it move up and down excessively on the pin? Is the top cover bowed up slightly keeping the feed parts from working correctly in there correct geometry?

    out me being there to actually see whats going on, its impossible to trouble shoot by just watching your videos, but if it were my gun, I would personally suggest loading up quality ammunition into israeli 308 links and trying it again to rule out ammunition and belt problems. If with quality ammo and israeli links it gives you similar problems, open up the headspace by 1 click with a broken shell extractor handy and see if it improves some.
    if it still gives you feeding problems with quality ammo and israeli links, then start replacing top cover parts with new old stock and replace the extractor with a new one. Sometimes the extractor gets so worn it wont reliably pull a round from the belt or feed down the T slot correctly. The Extractor is one of the most active parts in the gun and i wear out extractors more than any other part.

    my suggestion, load up israeli links with HXP and try again
    Last edited by Perro Del Diablo; 07-03-2012 at 02:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Not to shabby for the 1st time around with it
    COG# 7K

  4. #4
    Senior Veteran ptrthgr8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perro Del Diablo View Post
    my suggestion, load up israeli links with HXP and try again
    I'll give that a shot first since I have plenty of HXP on hand and 2000 IMI links. I'd rather try try changing out the ammo since that's easier than switching out parts at the moment. I've also got a bunch of the green 100-round IMA belts. I'll see if those work any better, too. I don't yet have one of the trunnion protectors. If I run a couple hundred linked rounds through the gun without the protector will that really screw up my trunnion?

    Cheers,

    ~ Greg ~

  5. #5
    7.62guy's Avatar
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    You can run a hundred or so links through her and it should only leave a light mark on the trunnion. I keep a protector on mine. it is a semi. I don't think it will damage a full auto as long as you don't run a lot of links with out one. More expert advice about full auto will come soon, i'm sure.
    For those who fought for it, freedom holds a flavor the protected will never know. Those who hammer their guns into plows-will plow for those who do not. Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Senior Veteran weasel_master's Avatar
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    run your links upside down and they'll gouge less.
    Czar of all the Michigans
    In memory of Johnhttp://act.alz.org/goto/Weasel

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    Imperial Marine Stormtrooper
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    i remember reading a post on the old old 1919 forum where someone cut out a sheet of trunnion protector out of an old soda can with a pair of tin snips and then glued it to the top of his trunnion with elmers school glue and it lasted a bunch of trips out to shoot.

    With as cheap as the trunnion protectors are i would just buy one, instead of making one, but there are other alternatives if you are in a pinch.

    a couple hundred links arent going to do too much damage to your trunnion. It might scratch the parkerizing off though.

  8. #8
    Senior Veteran ptrthgr8's Avatar
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    I've got a belt loader on order from Dewat over on the 1919A4.com forums. I'll load up a few 100 round cloth belts with the HXP ammo to see what difference that makes. If I still run into an issue, I'll try the links or adjusting headspace. Since I know the gun is headspaced and timed per USGI specs I want to try changing the ammo types first. I won't get a chance to take her out for a couple of weeks, but I'll report back once I'd done so.

    Thanks, all!

    ~ Greg ~

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