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Old Yesterday, 13:48   #1
Goose52
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Return / Recoil Spring Service Life ?

I just hit 5,000 rounds in my SAR-48 and the bolt carrier is starting to seem a bit sluggish and occasionally, when feeding from a full- or near-full magazine, I get a failure of the bolt to go fully into battery with the resulting "click" on hammer fall.

So, does 5,000 rounds sound about right for a return spring replacement? Any recommendations on a source for the springs...and for the tool used to replace the springs?

Thanks,

Goose
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Old Yesterday, 13:54   #2
D. Lehrman
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If you lack the tool, it's likely not been seriously cleaned in a while. Gunk in the recoil tube can slow things significantly. Try buying the tool or use a big azz screwdriver and a .22/.17 cleaning rod to contain the spring....clean the sucker and then see if things don't run better first. Very lightly grease/lube at re-assembly...not a bunch of heavy grease or anything.

The recoil spring set cheap, but you should easily see longer service life than what you've seen.
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Old Yesterday, 13:56   #3
4markk
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There are couple available on GunBroker ....

However, I'd clean what you have first. Take it apart, clean it and lightly grease it. Clean your carrier and rails and lightly oil them.

I know some claim no cleaning is required. I come from the school of meticulously maintaining my weapon saves lives (mainly mine). YMMV.
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Old Yesterday, 14:16   #4
J. Armstrong
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What Dean and 4 said +1.

I'm sure that somewhere in the universe there is a set of worn out FAL recoil springs, and I admit to having replaced a few on some really beat up, run hard/put up wet ex Rhodies, bit the truth is that springs are rarely the problem.

Even if you don't find a bunch of gunk in the tube when you clean it, a little cleaning and light lube is a good idea anyway.

Also, recheck your gas setting. I'd be surprised if that were it, but it doesn't hurt to check.
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Old Yesterday, 15:42   #5
Goose52
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Thanks for the suggestions. I (carefully) pulled the springs and tube. Nothing in there but a light coating of nearly 30-year old dried grease on the springs. No debris or crud in the tube. Cleaned the tube and the springs and light lube on the springs. All back together now.

I always put a bit of lube on the wear surfaces of the bolt and bolt carrier and typically only fire 50 to 100 rounds between cleanings.

I have the gas set at minimum to cycle and lock back. I could go up a click to see what happens...BUT, sometimes the failure to go into battery is on the first round out of the magazine so that eliminates gas and full bolt travel to the rear to get the springs completely depressed.

I'm headed back out to the range next Wednesday - I'll see if the light cleaning on the springs and tube help.

Thanks again.
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Old Yesterday, 18:17   #6
J. Armstrong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goose52 View Post
I have the gas set at minimum to cycle and lock back. I could go up a click to see what happens...BUT, sometimes the failure to go into battery is on the first round out of the magazine so that eliminates gas and full bolt travel to the rear to get the springs completely depressed.
I'd try the extra click or two on the gas. From minimum gas needed to engage the BHO, two extra clicks of gas are recommended. It is possible that on your current setting, the bolt is barely catching that round. There is a little more travel available to the B&C and that in theory would give it a small amount of extra compression of the springs, hence a little more energy going forward to strip the next round. As you already know, that first round out of a full mag is the hardest to strip. I'm not sure it is enough to make much difference, but I would give it a try.

I'm with you on minimum gas when casual shooting to save wear - I run mine that way as well - but the FAL is really supposed to use a bit more than that.
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Old Yesterday, 19:37   #7
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open the rifle up take off the dust cover close the rifle and point the barrel up and pull the charging handle to the rear and put several drops of auto trans fluid down the rat hole and work the carrier back and forward a few times.
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Old Yesterday, 23:22   #8
raubvogel
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Goose, if you need I can loan you the tool.

About the spring, the only way I know is to measure the K constant by comparing length of a good and your spring contracted (or expanded) when applied the same force. Wolff springs would gladly give me the geometrical specs of their springs but never the K
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