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View Full Version : SIMPLE method to straighten FAL Mag sidewalls?


deadeye
September 18, 2017, 14:21
A couple of my Austrian STG magazines don't feed properly. The follower sticks about halfway through the 20rnds. I think one side wall (or both?) might be slightly bowed inward.

Is there a way to force the walls outward again WITHOUT having any specialized form that fits into the mag body (I no gotz).

Thanks

1911Ron
September 18, 2017, 15:13
Have you taken them apart and looked inside? If so was/is there a noticeable bowing in, or dried up gunk? I ask as i had some surplus mags that had gunk in them that would hang up the follower until i cleaned them.

deadeye
September 18, 2017, 15:30
Have you taken them apart and looked inside? If so was/is there a noticeable bowing in, or dried up gunk? I ask as i had some surplus mags that had gunk in them that would hang up the follower until i cleaned them.
Thanks for your reply, Ron. These are Austrian STG mags purchased from DSA years ago. Typically they're excellent and I think they're the best FAL mags available. I own a lot of them, and these two are the exception to the rule.

As you suggest, I pulled the floor plate on one and had difficulty pulling the follower down and out. I didn't see any crud. Maybe a slight bit of grit, so I swabbed the inside of the body, the follower and the floor plate with BreakFree CLP - then reassembled.

Upon reassembly the follower went right to the top of the mag, but ultimately the rifle jams at about the 8th round when cycled manually. I pulled the mag and found NO upward pressure was being applied to the stacked rounds. They were just kinda floppin' around in there :biggrin: because the follower's upward travel had been curtailed.

The walls MUST be bowed (got stepped on before I purchased it, I guess) but the bow is very slight. Just enough to summon Mr Murphy...

meltblown
September 18, 2017, 15:52
I would just cut a piece of wood and hold one side flat on the bench and lever it out and flip over. You could probably use just about anything to pry on it

gunplumber
September 18, 2017, 16:58
doesn't cover everything, but may help.

https://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/notes/notes-fal-tut-mag/notes-fal-tut-mag.html

deadeye
September 18, 2017, 17:23
I would just cut a piece of wood and hold one side flat on the bench and lever it out and flip over. You could probably use just about anything to pry on it
I wish I could see exactly what you mean. I understand about using a lever force to pry, but how to exert that force at the middle of the wall...on the inside of the mag body?

HERE'S A DIAGRAM (http://bothbarrels.net/fal/spreader1.png)

It's just a first thought on how to approach this. Sort of a "spreader" that could be inserted through the open mag floor, and then CRANKED with a wrench to press against both walls simultaneously. It could work IF it can be made slim enough to fit in there, AND also can expand enough to force those walls apart...

AND if I can find material that's rigid enough and won't break/crack from the pressure...

deadeye
September 18, 2017, 17:29
doesn't cover everything, but may help.
https://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/notes/notes-fal-tut-mag/notes-fal-tut-mag.html
Man, that's beautiful, Mark. I'll go back and expand all the photos later today.

And but for the oak paddle, no exotic tools... Great!

See my diagram in the post above. I think something like it may work for subtle, gradual bows - the problem I seem to be facing.

deadeye
September 18, 2017, 17:58
Or how about a pair of shims, just like hanging a door or installing a window. :biggrin:

This would be simpler and might work even better.

HERE'S A SECOND DIAGRAM (bothbarrels.net/fal/shims.png)

The anvil parts (that exert pressure on the inner sidewalls) really will fit into the mag body, as they can be inserted one at a time.

Then drive a pair shims into the magazine from opposite ends, the result of which forces the two anvils apart. I think that might work!

MAINER
September 18, 2017, 18:35
I have used a small steel block, aluminum would work as well, the block is placed inside the magazine in the desired location and wood shims inserted from the top and bottom openings. Jiggle everything about until centered on the right spot then alternately hammer the shims in to apply pressure forcing the Mag wall outward the desired amount.

It's kinda fiddely, a bit crude, and not very technical, but I got lots of wood and damn few machine tools here in the backwoods.

I got half a dozen fairly well dented up mags to work fine with this method.

deadeye
September 18, 2017, 19:05
Mainer ==

Thanks for that description. It's what I tried to describe in my post above. The blasted image wouldn't display, so I had to go to my website cPanel and learn things I don't want to know about .htaccess files. :facepalm:

Now that it's working you can see that you and I are definitely on the same page. :D

The backwoods of Maine sounds like THE PERFECT PLACE for a reliable FAL rifle. Does Maine "frown upon" those evil 20rnd mags...?

They called him 'Tex' when he's in Texas,
and 'Banger' when he went to Maine.
He was a travelin' man...

Those lyrics have been stuck in my head for decades :D

gunplumber
September 18, 2017, 19:52
So there are these things called "angle blocks" SPI makes an economical set but for this even cheap chinese would work. THey are just ground metal at different angles. If you take two angle blocks of the same size and drive them toward each other, they expand.

I'm referring to the R side of the box.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QSS8U9G

I think this is what is meant above by wedges, and I think it is sound. Probably could be made from hard wood or delrin in this application Pick a size where separated, they'll fit in the mag, but when driven together are wider than the mag.

Just brainstorming.

deadeye
September 18, 2017, 20:34
Thanks for the link. I might not be getting the full idea, but based on what I see in the product page it looks like the only parts (of that particular set) that are narrow enough to fit past the feed lips and bottom tabs are the shims/wedges themselves.

I think there has to also be a pair of components positioned inside the mag at the apex of the bowed wall(s). Per my post #8 above.

If the shims/wedges don't exert force between those two internal parts I think the wedges will end up exerting spreading force on the feed lips and/or bottom tabs of the magazine.

MGMike
September 19, 2017, 12:35
...
...Probably could be made from hard wood or delrin in this application Pick a size where separated, they'll fit in the mag, but when driven together are wider than the mag.
...

Been doing this for years with different sized blocks for different sized magazines, with a try-square to check the cross-section afterward.

M

MAINER
October 01, 2017, 10:51
Mainer ==

Thanks for that description. It's what I tried to describe in my post above. The blasted image wouldn't display, so I had to go to my website cPanel and learn things I don't want to know about .htaccess files. :facepalm:

Now that it's working you can see that you and I are definitely on the same page. :D

The backwoods of Maine sounds like THE PERFECT PLACE for a reliable FAL rifle. Does Maine "frown upon" those evil 20rnd mags...?

They called him 'Tex' when he's in Texas,
and 'Banger' when he went to Maine.
He was a travelin' man...
Those lyrics have been stuck in my head for decades :D

Sorry, I kinda lost track of this post,...been a "travelin' man" myself this past couple weeks or so.

Hadn't heard the lyrics to that song, have to look it up. Been to Texas a couple times and Bangor isn't very far from here.

No evil 20 round mags here, we have any size we like. Maine also has concealed carry with no permits or other funny business. Along with New Hampshire and Vermont, we are far different than our neighbors Massachusetts and Connecticut to the south regarding firearms or most anything else. Even democrats are known to have guns here and being an anti-gun type is a sure way of getting voted out of office.

No apologies necessary, am pretty much computer challenged myself, but can turn one on and off. Someday hope to find out where all them pics and notes I saved are at. :tongue:

paulo
October 01, 2017, 11:08
You could try using a long bolt that just fits into the mag. Put a nut on the bolt and then turn the nut off, applying pressure with the nut. Like a jack screw.