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Thread: my new, broken 1903a3

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  1. #41
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    didn't have time to put the barrel on...but screwed it on hand tight and got worried. About half an inch to close the witness marks together! The Sarco "NOS" barrel goes back tomorrow, but hand-snugs up to ~.2. The first one was the same, and I had it torqued on and aligned no problem.
    What's the difference? I'm glad you asked. My NOS 2-groove has very heavy and rough parkerizing, all intact and pristine, all over the threads and shoulder. The Sarco "NOS" 4-groove has worn smooth, light parkerizing, hardly any left on the bottom couple of threads, and some dings on the edge of the cone. The first one they sent me was the same. I'm very convinced these Sarco "NOS" barrels came off of rifles. The original barrel snugs up hand tight to just under 1/8inch, and its threads are blued and smooth. I think it's all in the variances in finish.
    I'll clean up the parkerizing on the threads and shoulder of my new barrel with a fine wire brush or fine wheel on a dremmel. Should do the trick, but I'm a bit nervous. I just finally shelled out for a reamer and handle...no more rentals, and now I might just have to send this out to get the shoulder pushed back - costs next to nothing more to have it finished reamed on the lathe.

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  3. #42
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    I might just have to send this out to get the shoulder pushed back -
    You can do that yourself gently with a machinist hammer. Just recreate the crush factor by tapping the edge of the shoulder all the way around. Not magic at all. Keep the reamer.
    Regards, Jim

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  6. #43
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Took the day off work today...and I think it's going to be "trigger day". I just finished reading a copy of TM 9-1270. I also found a copy of Campbell's book. I miraculously found a used one for $30 online amongst other prices from $300 up. Surprisingly it was signed!

    Anyone know Edwin W Busch (or Besch, depending on how one reads Clark's cursive)? I see that Mr. Campbell has posted here in the past.
    Anyway, there is a nice summary of what I found in the TM. Both were a little confusing at first on their own, but gave plenty of clarification to each other.

    Before I get dozens of posts about trigger worriers...thanks for your concern. I have a brand new trigger/sear set ready to go. I'm playing with restoring the original trigger. Take a look above. In addition to the rust coating the shoe, which has now been ground out and polished, material was welded on the front nose to permanently set the trigger after the first stage. It pulled a crisp 4.5lbs, but I don't like not having a first stage. Furthermore, that kind of alteration is a sloppy expedient, and bypasses the designed safety mechanism completely, rather than refining it. So, after hours of stoning and polishing last night, I have that weld fully removed, and reshaped to match my other trigger. Thankfully, whoever did the trigger job was too lazy to touch the humps. Rifle was't fired much because the bluing is still very intact on the receiver contact points. I'll take pics if I'm successful, and maybe even post my how-to.

  7. #44
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Success!
    I only buggered the sear spring experimenting...it was cruddy anyway and had already been ground by 1/2 coil, and I had a few more new ones in my parts bin anyhow.
    After removing the spot weld material, I had my 1st stage back. Average was around 3lbs first, total of 5.5 with a lot of very gritty creep...polished all bright and the grit was gone, but still a loooong steady creep to break. There was still bluing on the contact surface of cocking piece engagement, and the edge was slightly uneven. I started there, cleaned up the edge with my triangular stone, and followed Campbell pg. 221 and lightly rounded the tip. Then I polished the engagement surface with a felt pad and the big green stick of polishing compound I have. Next, I looked at the sear. The edge was a bit uneven, and some tool marks on the face. I lightly stoned it even and square, then the same slight rounding of the tip, and polished it mirror bright. Then, I polished the underside of the receiver and top of the trigger. No sanding, just polishing compound which just removed the finish.
    Check progress...5 lbs total, same 3lbs first stage, but a whole lot creep still. The main difference is every part of the pull is buttery smooth. I marked the sear face, and worked stoning down the engagement of the cocking piece notch, and the sear engagement, going slow and checking often. This took out about 3/4 of the creep. To get the rest, I moved some of the weight to the first stage by stoning the nose, or second hump. I could tell comparing against my new trigger that the second stage had been shortened by lowering the first hump before or after the weld trick was done. While I had brought back the 1st stage by removing the weld, It was very short...hardly no travel at all. Stoning the nose gave me back normal 1st stage travel. I test fit about 2 dozen times in all this, and finally had a 4.5lb trigger, with 2.5lb first stage, and no creep or travel after the 1st stage...broke like glass.
    Next, I messed with the cruddy spring. It felt stiff when I compared assembling with it vs. a new one. I ground off half a coil on the old one to see what happened. 2 lb first stage, 4.5lb total. I took off another half coil. 2 lb first stage, 4 lb total, right where I want to be. But the trigger return is sticky now. So Cleaned all, light touch with a felt wheel to remove any traces of the layout fluid I had used, and hit the contact surfaces with Hoppe's dry lube, and reassembled. OMG....0.5 lb first stage, but returns to full engagement if If I let go, and a 2lb total trigger! That dry lube is SLICK!
    After putting in a new spring, no alterations, I have a 1.75lb first stage, and 3.5lb total pull, with the Hoppes dry lube still on.
    Now that I know what I'm doing I suppose I'll make a thread just for the trigger, with pictures, and come back again for final assembly.
    Last edited by ssgross; 04-30-2021 at 03:54 PM.

  8. #45
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Got the barrel on today. Thanks for the suggestion, Jim, but no light hammering was required. I tightened it up and backed it off about 4 times, each time as far as I could reasonably get without yanking on it. This got me to within 1/8 of an inch, and the next iteration I pulled just a bit harder and it all lined up perfect.

    Mailman brought me new Remington a3 bolt today from chuck, with handle beautifully worked. It's quite "new" in that I don't think it has never been fit. My receiver was polished and blued, and a well worn bolt glides like butter. This one is very tight. I lightly stoned the cam surfaces to smooth up any burrs and roughness, but only just enough to knock the finish back. This removed the "grittiness" in opening/closing the bolt and made it smooth, but still very tight. So, following the TM to fit this new bolt, I need "COMPOUND, valve grinding, fine (SNL K-2)".

    Can anyone point me to an equivalent? None of the ones I can fine have a grit labeled. I have 220 wheeler I use for lapping rings, but that is likely too coarse. One automotive forum I read listed 220 as "fine".
    I've also got plenty of room behind the safety lug, so I plan to also lap the lugs before finish reaming and setting the final headspace.

    EDIT: Larry Mr. Potterfield likes 600 grit, I suppose this is good enough for me.
    Last edited by ssgross; 05-04-2021 at 01:21 AM.

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  10. #46
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I have lot's of little things to do...fit the bolt, lap cams and lugs, finish ream, and after perfectly fitting the buttplate, the top screw is just a tad off and pulls the buttplate out of its perfect position when fully tightened, so that will need to be drilled out, plugged, and redrilled.
    In the meantime, here is some eye candy after a week of daily coats of raw linseed oilicon.

  11. #47
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    well, unfortunately work has been getting in the way of my hobby. I lightly polished the cam surfaces on the bolt, easy enough. The shape of the cocking piece contact isn't like my other ones so I think it was altered. The original bolt hasn't sold yet - I think the tip of the cocking piece was lapped to death on that bolt when they were polished. The contact point along the cam of my new bolt is smooth now, but the the pull is still very heavy and sticky, even with grease, especially for the upper third. I swapped parts with my A3 buttery smooth and light to isolate the problem and it is indeed the cocking piece. After working it for quite some the edge of the bolt has left an imprint on the surface of the cocking piece, so I think the case harding was polished off originally. So I ordered a NOS cocking piece.

    While I wait, I'm stealing an hour or so each evening to polish the bolt. I got it from chuck, who bent and milled the handle to perfection. However, the metal underneath was very matte with some evidence of fine pitting - likely he had to sandblast to make serviceable again. I told him not to finish it so I could polish and fit myself and, since I already polished the bottom metal after busting all the rust off and all the bands etc are classy blue NOS, I thought I should make the bolt match. I haven't touched the lugs yet, will do that last, then I'll finalize the trigger with the new cocking piece.

    Last edited by ssgross; 05-10-2021 at 10:46 PM.

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