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Old December 05, 2018, 14:08   #1
pcar916
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Action Wrench Question: Nooby

Hi Folks,
I've received my FAL action-wrench jaws, barrel-vice inserts, and a new Coonan receiver. I've never installed an FAL barrel before. I do know the barrel timing procedure and to use the charging handle to protect the channel, although with proper relief cuts that won't be an issue.

Questions:
1. How much relief should I grind into the jaws when fitting them to the action? There isn't enough space to use glass-bedding compound to make a perfect mold.
2. Should I just do moderate relief grinding to miss the high spots on the receiver and go with tape to protect it?
3. Am I overthinking this?

My concern is that if I make the jaws specific to the Coonan receiver then with another manufacturer it might not fit well. I have another parts kit arriving today that will need a receiver and thought about perhaps one from DSA will be interesting when they get some with the handle-cut.

Question: How do the two manufacturers compare?

Thanks,
Ron

Here's my Coonan... not tightened at all yet



Below: I like the fit of this wrench better than mine.
Note: gunplumber is correct and this is a (Casey) Elliot Enterprises wrench.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg FAL_Action_WrenchFitting_2.jpg (71.6 KB, 160 views)
File Type: jpg Web_Action_Wrench_2.jpg (74.7 KB, 158 views)

Last edited by pcar916; December 06, 2018 at 15:42.
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Old December 05, 2018, 14:14   #2
308/223shooter
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Don't think I've seen that type of wrench. The Ratas wrench has been the most efficient for me, with no modifications needed. I think if you grind on that one, and it slips or the ground on areas contact your receiver, it's going to leave some ugly marks that tape will not protect it from.
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Old December 05, 2018, 14:44   #3
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I really like Rats wrench

Three layers of masking tape under the wrench and no scuffs
4th time I used it 2 Centuries 1 Imbel and 1 DS LMT, no damage
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Old December 05, 2018, 14:56   #4
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The one in the second pic is either a Casey Elliot (RIP) or a copy. Water-jet cut.

I had him send me a number of blanks which I've machined for use with other model rifles as well.

I do not understand the one in your first image. Unless I'm missing something, it does not look suitable.

In the second image, you can see the contact points are at the concave 10-11 o'clock, and 1-2 o'clock. This is good. No contact on the top.

It also contacts on the convex points at 7 and 5 o'clock. Everything else is clear.

The first image you show, I see no suitable contact points.
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Old December 05, 2018, 16:23   #5
pcar916
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Rat's tools

Just ordered Rat's wrench and timing tools. I have drill rods and flats that could work fine for timing but it's a good thing to support the site's vendors.
My original is a Brownell's FAL jaw set for their wrench. The instructions stated there might be some customization for individual manufacturers
receivers.

Thanks,
Ron

Last edited by pcar916; December 05, 2018 at 16:30. Reason: Additional information
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Old December 06, 2018, 09:35   #6
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You cannot beat the Ratas wrench and barrel vise set.

Most of us will wrap a layer or two of tape around the receiver before installing the Ratas wrench. This is to protect the finish somewhat. For your barrel vise, you can use tape or rosin to assist on getting a good grip. Since ,my Ratas vise is cut from aluminum, I just adjust it, then crank it down. It leaves aluminum marks on the barrel but these clean up pretty quick with no damage to the finish.
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Old December 06, 2018, 09:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tac-40 View Post
Since ,my Ratas vise is cut from aluminum, I just adjust it, then crank it down. It leaves aluminum marks on the barrel but these clean up pretty quick with no damage to the finish.
One, single layer of paper wrapped around the barrel helps the vise grip without slipping, plus prevents the aluminum marks on the barrel.
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Old December 06, 2018, 10:11   #8
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Barrel vice

My barrel-vice has aluminum FAL inserts and I have some rolls of really thin shop-paper that should do the trick. I'm not sure how long it'll take for the new rat-wrench to get here but I can spend the time cleaning up the parts from the two kits.

Thanks folks,
Ron
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Old December 07, 2018, 08:39   #9
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I have built more FAL's than I can count with a RAT wrench. Heck, I personally know him. And I can vouch for the quality of his wrenches. I know each is water cut using only fine New Mexico beer. We pre-filter it first.

Vince
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Old December 07, 2018, 09:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmtz View Post
I have built more FAL's than I can count with a RAT wrench. Heck, I personally know him. And I can vouch for the quality of his wrenches. I know each is water cut using only fine New Mexico beer. We pre-filter it first.

Vince
Hey, thanks!
Always nice to become educated as to the manufacturing techniques behind tools I own.
*piss cut* is new technology, to me.
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Old December 07, 2018, 10:43   #11
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The Rat-wrench and finishing the first rifle

I'm pretty sure after my Rat-wrenching sessions and the completion of this first FAL there will be a wee dram to be had. With the suggestion in another thread that I do three low-torqued (and oily) barrel fittings to "settle" the threads and burnish down the surface coating on the new receiver, that should lead to a good break-in for the new wrench!

Locking shoulders:
Not having the piles of FAL parts around like most of you I have exactly two locking shoulders that came with the two kits. One is .258" and the other is .259". Those seem to be on the small size according to my reading here. My assumption is that I'll need a few more. Oh to have a set of gauge rods to measure it! I'm not sure building two or three kits justifies their expense. But it would save a lot of time.


Headspacing:
Question.. Will I be too tight at 1.634 NO-GO by your experience or should I buy a 1.636 NO-GO gauge for these FAL's?

I already own Clymer 1.630" / 1.634" (match) GO / NO-GO gauges. I found this chart on the cruffler site.

http://www.cruffler.com/trivia-April01-assembly.html

Minimum, SAAMI 1.630"
Minimum, FN 1.6315"
Maximum, FN New Rifle 1.638"
Maximum, FN In-Service Rifle and SAAMI 1.640"

His take then is that the optimum HS is 1.6315" < Headspace < 1.638"

According to his article, to use different types of surplus ammo, he likes the Clymer 1.636" NO-GO gauge, which I don't have.

What are you folks using?

Ron
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Old December 07, 2018, 13:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcar916 View Post
I'm pretty sure after my Rat-wrenching sessions and the completion of this first FAL there will be a wee dram to be had. With the suggestion in another thread that I do three low-torqued (and oily) barrel fittings to "settle" the threads and burnish down the surface coating on the new receiver, that should lead to a good break-in for the new wrench!

A good idea, as it also gives you practice for the "feel" of hand tightening the barrel, and where it should stop before you torque it down.

Locking shoulders:
Not having the piles of FAL parts around like most of you I have exactly two locking shoulders that came with the two kits. One is .258" and the other is .259". Those seem to be on the small size according to my reading here. My assumption is that I'll need a few more. Oh to have a set of gauge rods to measure it! I'm not sure building two or three kits justifies their expense. But it would save a lot of time.

I have never met anyone who has built "just one" FAL, they usually only stop when they realize a second mortgage to fund the latest kit and receiver batch, actually is a bad thing.

Headspacing:
Question.. Will I be too tight at 1.634 NO-GO by your experience or should I buy a 1.636 NO-GO gauge for these FAL's?

I already own Clymer 1.630" / 1.634" (match) GO / NO-GO gauges. I found this chart on the cruffler site.

http://www.cruffler.com/trivia-April01-assembly.html

Minimum, SAAMI 1.630"
Minimum, FN 1.6315"
Maximum, FN New Rifle 1.638"
Maximum, FN In-Service Rifle and SAAMI 1.640"

His take then is that the optimum HS is 1.6315" < Headspace < 1.638"

According to his article, to use different types of surplus ammo, he likes the Clymer 1.636" NO-GO gauge, which I don't have.

What are you folks using?

I actually have all three gauges, and when I can, I prefer to head space on the "GO" gauge. I've found a bit tighter improves accuracy some, but can cause some feeding issues with certain makes of ammo. Setting it loose on "GO" and firm hand pressure on a "NO-GO" has given me the most reliable feeding/extraction with any ammo I've tried.

Ron
P.S. You may as well buy the Field gauge, the bolt should never close on a field gauge on any FAL you intend to shoot. Buy the pin gauges, you'll need them. PM me for locking shoulders, I have spares. And, building your own FALs is addictive, to say the least. Once you begin down the path of building them, it's quite difficult to stop.
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What if the Mystery Babalon described in Revelation, which is destroyed by the nations of the North, is actually America?

The biggest problem with religion is those who claim to know Jesus, then turn around and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what a unbelieving world, simply finds unbelievable.

Before you die, you should have a will with extra copies. The old saying "No one will screw you faster than family" is bloody well true.
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Old December 07, 2018, 13:10   #13
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Meant to add, the RATAs tools are very good. I've built more than I can remember, helped others build their own, and not once has Rats tool set failed me. Even when breaking down over torqued barrels, to the point of flexing a four foot breaker bar, his receiver wrench has never failed me.
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What if the Mystery Babalon described in Revelation, which is destroyed by the nations of the North, is actually America?

The biggest problem with religion is those who claim to know Jesus, then turn around and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what a unbelieving world, simply finds unbelievable.

Before you die, you should have a will with extra copies. The old saying "No one will screw you faster than family" is bloody well true.
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Old December 07, 2018, 16:31   #14
pcar916
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Tools and shoulders

Quote:
Originally Posted by 308/223shooter View Post
P.S. You may as well buy the Field gauge, the bolt should never close on a field gauge on any FAL you intend to shoot. Buy the pin gauges, you'll need them.
Thanks! Pin gauges ordered and a few other things I've not gotten calibrated for years. I'll get back to you about the locking shoulders after I get to work with the pin gauges. I'll use those to find the correct locking shoulder right?

I wasn't sure the bolt would catch on a pin. But looking at the engagement patterns on both of these locking shoulders, it's shiny down to the halfway-point on the flats. I want to tap in those shoulders as few times as possible to be kind to the receiver bosses for them. Much appreciated.

Ron
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Old December 07, 2018, 21:37   #15
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no worries, the pin gauges slide in and out easily. Only the locking shoulder itself is a press fit.
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What if the Mystery Babalon described in Revelation, which is destroyed by the nations of the North, is actually America?

The biggest problem with religion is those who claim to know Jesus, then turn around and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what a unbelieving world, simply finds unbelievable.

Before you die, you should have a will with extra copies. The old saying "No one will screw you faster than family" is bloody well true.
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Old December 07, 2018, 21:52   #16
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Unfortunately, the Headspacing Guide I posted years ago lost the picture attached; and since then the hard drive they were stored on crashed. Luckily, another member here copied that guide and saved it, complete with pictures. So check out this link to read the Guide to Headspacing FAL's. You don't need to log on or join, so just ignore the requests. Don't know if you can download or copy it from DropBox.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gat0fsfu6g...c-40.docx?dl=0
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Old December 08, 2018, 09:54   #17
pcar916
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Tac-40's Headspacing guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tac-40 View Post
... Don't know if you can download or copy it from DropBox...
Got it from DropBox and it looks excellent thanks! The FALFiles site continues to be a great source. If I mess something up it'll certainly be my fault!
Ron
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