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Thread: Firing pin and block are VERY stuck

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptorjamboree View Post
    Surely it's not been welded in there?
    Just looks deformed and perhaps those are misshaped enough to jam it.
    Regards, Jim

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  3. #12
    Legacy Member Raptorjamboree's Avatar
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    Ok, I think those metallic looking slivers mentioned at the 10 and 2 positions of the firing pin shaft are oil. It's not the captive pin; that's out in the latest picture I've provided.

    So before I take this to a gunsmith tomorrow, I figured I would take some general pictures of the rest of the bren. Please let me know if there are any obvious problem areas. I would really like to try and get this functional, but I'm getting more and more worried that I may have to ask for a refund and return.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I'll bet the transverse pin has been peening the firing pin where they meet and swelled the firing pin so it's jammed. Once that's good I'll bet it's fine.
    Regards, Jim

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Looking at your photos again, I'm sorry to say, but what I can see suggests a lot of very worn parts; worn out in some cases. Massive erosion on the bolt face from primer leakage. Burrs extending out from the ends of the guide slots (my term) from extreme wear, pitting all over the extractor....

    The hole in this part is so badly worn that whatever fits into the larger countersink has gradually pounded the hole ovoid while the lower side looks to have worn away against something else.

    From about the 6:30 to 8:00 o'clock portion of the circumference it looks like a large chunk is starting to crack off.

    As for the stuck pin, that looks like silver solder to me. Which might explain the visibly glass-beaded surface: remove the discoloration from the heat of the torch.

    And what's with the pits and the deformed hole in the last photo? That's what happens when people grind welds with blending pads. Looks like there's still some lumps of weld proud of the surface though. I'd hazard a guess those are "grounding scars" where the current arced from the welding table to the part because they didn't ground directly to the part. Not to mention the unfilled pits....

    Who does these "conversions" again? I don't know much about Brens but you don't need to for this.
    Last edited by Surpmil; 07-13-2020 at 01:21 AM.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

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    Legacy Member Raptorjamboree's Avatar
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    This one was done by John Stemple, but from my reading elsewhere on this forum it was a one-off thing, not a production line. Of course, the same user also said it was supposed to run well and have a good reputation. I can't find information about this specific conversion anywhere else.

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    Legacy Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    Who is the John Stemple that is reported to have manufactured this weapon? Is the gun marked with his manufacturing information? If this link is to the supposed maker... Memorial He passed away in Feb of 2007. Can the previous owner provide any documentation as to the manufacture of this gun?

    The images show a weapon that is employing the striker method of ignition - however, the machining pictured of the striker appears to be rather crude - it might work fine, but it looks sloppily constructed.

    The firing pin issue photographed looks like the firing pin has been bound up by something within the bolt body... there is supposed to be a spring inside so that is one possible source. Per the illustration of a firing pin... the FP could have been rotated in the bolt body and the retaining pin capture slot is now bound up on the FP retaining pin end or parts of a broken firing pin spring... hard to diagnose remotely from these pictures. In normal condition you should be able to push forward on the rear of the FP and see the tip move out of the front of the bolt face.

    The normal profile (and we do not know if this semi FP meets normal specs for its forward end profile) of the firing pin is rectangular to match the shape of the opening in the bolt face... in the pictures it looks either round or like it is rectangular but has been twisted so that its long dimension is no longer vertical.. but horizontal - back to my twisted and jamed conjecture.

    Word of caution, If this is really a "one of build"... you need to determine if enough of the BATF semi auto only modifications have been performed in this design's execution. If not... it could still be classified upon inspection as a contraband manufacture machine gun. Only the maker can tell you whose approved design he followed...and how rigorously he followed the approved design... and there are only a few BATF approved designs out there.

    Best of luck - I'd recommend seeing your gunsmith and hope he has some understanding of how a striker fired semi auto Bren is supposed to function.

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    Hi Raptor, what did you find out? Your striker looks like an older design. The new and improved ones are lighter and use a different spring setup. A new bolt will need to be headspaced. The extension (bolt carrier and gas piston) with the post inside it has been filled with weld where the full auto sear catch was. This area is milled away on the more modern designs. I think the Bren is a great gun and a semi is the least expensive way to own one. Also the manuals by Skennerton are invaluable. Good luck
    Last edited by SNAFU22; 07-13-2020 at 09:14 PM.

  10. #18
    Legacy Member Raptorjamboree's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, thanks for your help. I called the seller today, who put me in touch with the consignor of the gun as well as Mark Stemple (the builder's son, I believe). They both said they have tons of spare parts and would be happy to fix the rifle if I send it back. So I'll let you know how the repair process goes. Hopefully it won't take too long.

  11. #19
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Good luck. You might want to ask for photos of the parts before they're fitted.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

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  12. #20
    Legacy Member Raptorjamboree's Avatar
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    Ok, so I got the firing pin and FP spring replaced, and they fit and seem to work!

    Unfortunately, I can only get one shot off before it fails to fire. It feeds and loads well, but I'm pretty sure the striker is not coming forward properly after the first shot. As you all can see from my pictures, the striker looks to be in pretty bad shape. Is there anywhere I can get a new striker and spring? No where online seems to have any in stock, but I haven't emailed Historic Arms yet.

    If I get a new striker, will it just fit in, or would I then have to get a new fitted bolt?

    Thanks for all your help so far.

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