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Old November 08, 2019, 10:41   #1
W.E.G.
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Palmetto PA-10 - Is the barrel index pin killing my barrel nut?

Is the barrel index pin killing my barrel nut?

Palmetto PA-10.

I removed the barrel nut three times as I was doing inspections and other adjustments.

Each time, the barrel nut came off the gun with a lot of binding, and damage to the barrel nut.

This pic shows what the barrel nut looked like when I removed for the third time.
On each removal, there were bits of aluminum from the barrel nut left behind in the barrel nut.
This third time seems the worst.



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Next pic shows the barrel mounted in the receiver.
Is this index-pin standing-proud too far, and contacting the barrel nut, and shearing the point off the threads of the nut?



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Here is a pic of the barrel mounted in the receiver after the third removal of the barrel nut.
Notice that the threads on the receiver are completely undamaged.

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Old November 08, 2019, 10:46   #2
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I should also mention that I separately mounted a replacement barrel nut, JL Billet part #JLB-308-BN16, and I experienced the same sort of binding and damage to the nut.

All the pics you see above however are the Palmetto barrel nut.

I'm pretty sure its the index-pin standing proud that is causing the problem. But, I'm fairly new to wrenching on AR-type guns. Figured I would make inquiry before breaking out the dremel, and shortening the index-pin.
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Old November 08, 2019, 10:53   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Is this index-pin standing-proud too far, and contacting the barrel nut, and shearing the point off the threads of the nut?
That's what it looks like to me from the photos. If you look close it appears there are wear lines in the finish on top of the index pin from the thread contact.
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Old November 08, 2019, 11:12   #4
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Have you tried tapping the pin down to seat it? You could use a die too to cut it down. Buy yes that pin is sitting well above the thread minor diameter
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Old November 08, 2019, 11:29   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltblown View Post
Have you tried tapping the pin down to seat it?
Y'all are a clever bunch.

Beat on the pin and down she went.

I have concerns that she'll just migrate back up.

Can I yank it out and then fill the hole with JB Weld and beat it back in to hope it will stay put?

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Old November 08, 2019, 11:34   #6
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The theory that the pin is moving around seems to be supported by the fact that the worst damage to the barrel nut didn't occur until the THIRD time I removed the nut.
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Old November 08, 2019, 11:43   #7
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I just tried yanking the pin out with a pair of needle-nose vise grips.

She aint coming out that way. BTW, that pin is hard metal.
Put a divot in the tip of the cheap vise trip pliers.

So, banged it back down as deep as I could get it.
Probably won't chew up the barrel nut during install.
Fully expect it to migrate back out and chew the nut some more on next removal.
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Old November 08, 2019, 11:45   #8
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Can I yank it out and then fill the hole with JB Weld and beat it back in to hope it will stay put?
I would not glue it down, no. As soon as you do, you'll need to remove it....

If you don't need to remove the barrel again, I'd leave it tamped down as-is, reinstall the barrel, and leave it all alone.
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Old November 08, 2019, 11:58   #9
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Did you goof the nut up bad enough to goof up the receiver threads?
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Old November 08, 2019, 13:26   #10
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Could you stake the barrel extension in the North South locations to put some tension on the pin? The north south alignment would go inside the receiver slot and not interfere with that fit.
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Old November 08, 2019, 13:46   #11
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The pin seems to be a much harder steel than the surrounding barrel metal.

The area we are talking about is so small Iím not optimistic that swaging will accomplish much.

That said, it canít hurt to run the automatic center punch at at least from the North side. No room to fit a bashing tool between the lip and the barrel flange on the South side.
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Old November 08, 2019, 13:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
Did you goof the nut up bad enough to goof up the receiver threads?
Receiver threads are completely unmolested.

That threads on both barrel nuts were chewed up, and the receiver threads didnít have a mark is what initially had me so bewildered.
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Old November 08, 2019, 16:44   #13
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Clean the pin as much as you can and then use some wicking thread locker. Pull it back up as far as you can before applying and then whack it back in place.

You've sure managed to convince me to never buy a rifle from PSA.

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Old November 08, 2019, 16:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
The pin seems to be a much harder steel than the surrounding barrel metal.

The area we are talking about is so small Iím not optimistic that swaging will accomplish much.

That said, it canít hurt to run the automatic center punch at at least from the North side. No room to fit a bashing tool between the lip and the barrel flange on the South side.
Well the barrel being softer should be better to stake it from just the side. Peen it with a chisel or punch to flow over the edge of the hole towards the shoulder of the pin
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Old November 08, 2019, 17:12   #15
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This thread begs the question:

"Why have you had the barrel off three times and are now planning for the next time(s)?"

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Old November 08, 2019, 17:30   #16
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This thread begs the question:

"Why have you had the barrel off three times and are now planning for the next time(s)?"

Sort of my thought too. Unless he's doing some Hueyesque voodoo on it.
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Old November 08, 2019, 17:37   #17
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This thread begs the question:

"Why have you had the barrel off three times and are now planning for the next time(s)?"

Wasn't he having an issue with the bolt lugs and was taking it off several times to fix the problem?
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Old November 08, 2019, 17:57   #18
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My PA10 barrel had very sharp lugs. Case would drag, fail to feed, get deep scratches. Deburred and polished the lugs, ran like a raped ape after.
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Old November 08, 2019, 19:24   #19
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Clean the pin as much as you can and then use some wicking thread locker. Pull it back up as far as you can before applying and then whack it back in place.

You've sure managed to convince me to never buy a rifle from PSA.
FYI - My Gen 2 PSA-10 runs like a top and under 1 MOA out to 200 yards. I've built several rifles based on PSA's AR-15 line and none of them have any issues either. I wouldn't count PSA out just yet.
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Old November 08, 2019, 19:42   #20
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Three times isn't really that often.

But since you asked:

I expect an AR15 to hold the 10 ring on a service rifle target. This one always walks shots vertically with no real rhyme or reason. It will shoot in one location for a while, then next thing you know, its out the bottom in the 8 ring. Then back into center. Then out the top in the 8 ring. It doesn't just walk to one spot and stay there while the barrel is hot. I've been shooting service rifle competitively for about a quarter of a century. I hold pretty damn hard - especially prone. I don't shoot 8's... or if I do, I call the shot there because I know it when I do it. Now that we can shoot scopes on service rifle, there are no longer any mystery corner-shots or such. I've tried a completely different scope and mount. Same thing good 10-ring windage, random 8-ring wandering for elevation.

So, I'm pretty well certain its the gun, and not me, or the scope.

First time I took it apart was just to inspect. See what's under there. Looked OK, so I put it back together, and made sure the barrel nut was good and tight.

Still shooting 8's.

Second time, I actually removed the barrel from the receiver to look at things more closely.

Still shooting 8's.
Someone suggested running a lapping tool on the receiver face (although it didn't show any evidence of needing lapping)
Got a lapping tool

Third time, pulled the barrel and the nose of the lapping tool was so damn tight trying to go into the receiver, that the only way it was going to go in would be if I bashed it in with a heavy hammer. I decided that would be risking much, and for very uncertain reward.

So, here we are.

I'm going to replace the entire Palmetto bolt/carrier group with a new ToolCraft BCG. Something else is going on with this gun that I've never seen before. The bolt is getting eaten-up by the receiver extension. At 700 rounds the bolt lugs all look like hell. I can't say I know why ate-up locking lugs would only throw elevation shots. But, I'm hoping that simply replacing the BCG will make a positive difference.

I've got a whole other big thread going about this gun in the ARFCOM AR-10 subforum
https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_121/...rovements.html
and also elswhere on this board
https://falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=437722

Here's what the Palmetto bolt looks like after 700 rounds.

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Old November 08, 2019, 19:45   #21
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While I had the barrel out of the receiver this time, I also used a pointy dremel bit with an abrasive stone-tip (just the bit by itself by hand - not even mounted in the rotary tool) to try to de-burr the lugs on the barrel extension where the lugs have been chewing on the Palmetto bolt.
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Old November 08, 2019, 19:55   #22
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I think I used folded pieces of fine emory paper to debur sharp lugs, then dremel with polishing thing to put a nice shine on everything.

I wonder if your bimodal groups depend on whether the bolt is fully locked or hanging on those crapulent gnarled lugs? I wouldnt shoot that bolt. In fact, Id probably try to send that upper back to Palmetto. Thats terrible.
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Old November 08, 2019, 19:56   #23
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Those lugs look like it has been firing while barely locked. I'm scared on your behalf.
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Old November 08, 2019, 21:09   #24
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You've sure managed to convince me to never buy a rifle from PSA.
Fear not Brother M90A1. If you involve yourself in the gun business/trade/market/industry/hobby over a few decades and engage in purchasing/shooting/trading/exchanging/building/modifying guns, the more manufacturers/retailers/distributors/importers/gunsmiths/builders you deal with, the more you are going see problems with said guns; and the aforementioned people. There will be examples of malfuxtions in EVER quadrant.

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Old November 08, 2019, 21:17   #25
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I think you need to stop fugging with it. Youíre reminding me of a 6yr old that canít keep his hands off his newly discovered member .
Youíve been playing with it since you got it. Trying to make a precision rifle out of a budget parts AR just seems futile to me. But itís youíre time and money so .
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Old November 08, 2019, 21:19   #26
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I wouldnt shoot that bolt. In fact, Id probably try to send that upper back to Palmetto. Thats terrible.
It is a Friday night after a neighborhood UK basketball game viewing (nuff said about that), plus I have to get up early tomorrow to hopefully get Blondzilla some antlers.

With more time and energy (and sobriety) I could give you some more detailed info, but for now, what ByronF said is close enough.

Would you put your face behind that bolt lock-up if it was above the stock like a bolt action rifle and not below the cheek weld like an AR?
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Old November 08, 2019, 21:34   #27
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Fear not Brother M90A1. If you involve yourself in the gun business/trade/market/industry/hobby over a few decades and engage in purchasing/shooting/trading/exchanging/building/modifying guns, the more manufacturers/retailers/distributors/importers/gunsmiths/builders you deal with, the more you are going see problems with said guns; and the aforementioned people. There will be examples of malfuxtions in EVER quadrant.

Jarhead
I understand where you're coming from, but in the four decades I've been involved in selling, buying, competing with, and building ARs of several calibers, I've never run into any of the ridiculous problems with a DPMS that WEG has with this rifle. That doesn't include the fact that PSAs are not, or at least weren't, even completely compatible with DPMS, which seems to be the defacto standard for AR10s. That being said, I will admit that I've never had a problem with any of their AR15 parts, and will continue to use them.
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Old November 08, 2019, 23:39   #28
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Got it all put back together now.

Gave the bore the bizniss with some JB while I had it off the rifle.

Torqued the original nut (the ate-up one) to 55 foot pounds.

Installed the new ToolCraft bolt/carrier group. Small-diameter firing pin, double ejectors. Less and less of this rifle is still Palmetto. Sure hope that Palmetto barrel extension doesn't eat up that new bolt. Headspace measured out at 1.634". That's about where it was at with the Palmetto bolt. I know that's a little on the long side (Forster No-Go gage is 1.634"). I could tell the 1.634 gage closed tight. Should have known better than to try to get it to swallow the 1.635" gage. Man, that thing stuck in there like a sumbitch at partial batttery. Mortar/pogo was no-go. Had lay the big rubber mallet against the ear of the charging handle and wail on the rubber mallet with a four-pound sledge to get it to open up. I gotta stop doing that. But I just HAD TO KNOW. Now I know what I knew before I pulled that stunt. It aint gonna swallow a 1.635.

So yeah, 1.630 is the "perfect" headspace for .308. I doubt 0.004" is the cause of the up-down stringing. But, who really knows.

Still need to put the scope and sling back on. I'll do that, and shoot a pic in the morning when the light in the room is a little better.

Taking it to the range in a couple of days. Sure hope it at least cycles with the new bolt.

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Old November 09, 2019, 10:15   #29
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Below is the Dremel bit I used to de-burr the locking lugs on my barrel extension.

I used only my fingers to "drive" the bit. I did not install the bit actually in the motorized rotary tool.

I spent about 45 minutes, while watching TV, going over the radius-edge of each lug of the barrel extension.

Prior to the de-burring job, the lugs on the barrel extension would "grab" bits of Q-Tip cotton when cleaning the lugs. Now, the lugs do not grab any cotton.

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Old November 09, 2019, 10:20   #30
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I went back to the old thread and I'm re-posting the pic of the lugs
of the barrel extension as it appeared
some months BEFORE last night's adjustment with the dremel bit.

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Old November 09, 2019, 13:34   #31
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I am no expert with AR rifles, but IMHO that barrel nut is defective and needs to be replaced.

Also, how is the crown on the barrel? Are you using a muzzle brake or flash hider, how has it been installed, way too tight, way too loose or just right?
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Old November 09, 2019, 14:40   #32
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Iím glad someone asked about the flash hider.

Itís a common A2 type. Timed with a common crush washer (no shims).

Iíve had the original crush washer off the gun several times while dicking with the gas block.

I installed a new one on this reassembly. Definitely went on with more resistance than the one Iíd been re-using.

The crown looks no worse than any of my other guns that can hold the 10-ring.
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Old November 09, 2019, 20:33   #33
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After all of this, why hasn't the receiver extension been replaced (unless I've missed it- my eyes have been in the sun all day)?
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Old November 09, 2019, 20:44   #34
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After all of this, why hasn't the receiver extension been replaced (unless I've missed it- my eyes have been in the sun all day)?
If you're talking about the barrel extension, that's not a job to be performed at home. Imagine trying to drill the new barrel pin hole in the same place as the existing hole in the barrel that is now covered by the new extension.
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Old November 09, 2019, 21:13   #35
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Got it all put back together now.

Gave the bore the bizniss with some JB while I had it off the rifle.

Torqued the original nut (the ate-up one) to 55 foot pounds.

Installed the new ToolCraft bolt/carrier group. Small-diameter firing pin, double ejectors. Less and less of this rifle is still Palmetto. Sure hope that Palmetto barrel extension doesn't eat up that new bolt. Headspace measured out at 1.634". That's about where it was at with the Palmetto bolt. I know that's a little on the long side (Forster No-Go gage is 1.634"). I could tell the 1.634 gage closed tight. Should have known better than to try to get it to swallow the 1.635" gage. Man, that thing stuck in there like a sumbitch at partial batttery. Mortar/pogo was no-go. Had lay the big rubber mallet against the ear of the charging handle and wail on the rubber mallet with a four-pound sledge to get it to open up. I gotta stop doing that. But I just HAD TO KNOW. Now I know what I knew before I pulled that stunt. It aint gonna swallow a 1.635.

So yeah, 1.630 is the "perfect" headspace for .308. I doubt 0.004" is the cause of the up-down stringing. But, who really knows.

Still need to put the scope and sling back on. I'll do that, and shoot a pic in the morning when the light in the room is a little better.

Taking it to the range in a couple of days. Sure hope it at least cycles with the new bolt.


You jammed it on a HS gauge,,,where you had to beat it open with a sledge hammer......

This is either a joke,,,or you should probably take up golf instead of guns,,,,:,,
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Old November 09, 2019, 22:03   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yovinny View Post
You jammed it on a HS gauge,,,where you had to beat it open with a sledge hammer......

This is either a joke,,,or you should probably take up golf instead of guns,,,,:,,

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Old November 10, 2019, 18:18   #37
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Range report.

TLDR version - Accuracy still sucks. Rifle is junk.

I fired prone all shots today.
Beautiful conditions. Light overcast, which is perfect lighting conditions for this type of shooting.

I fired at four targets. I'll post pics of three of the targets below. No point in posting the target I used to re-establish zero, and on which I was cranking sight knobs. I had to come down about two minutes from what I thought was my correct zero.

You may care to know that the targets for the 13-shot and 10-shot groups are correct reduced targets for 200 yards to simulate the 600 yard NRA highpower rifle target. The Shoot-N-C centers very closely approximate the correct location of the scoring rings for that target. The aiming-black area of each target is approximately 13-inch diameter.

All firing from prone, sling-supported position.

I normally like to test accuracy by shooting 10-shot groups.

First target has 13 shots because I concluded that my zero was actually off by a couple scope clicks (1/10 mil - same as 1/3 MOA per click). Group is pretty much all over the place. I called one shot low, and two shots left. I called one shot "loose" - no call really - but you know when you shoot one of those that it could land anywhere - which it did out to the right in the 7 ring. Otherwise, all shots broke solid center. I shot the extra three shots in this group because it was already such a mess, I wanted to see where two clicks left would put me.

Second target is a 5-shot group. I fired this on a different bank of targets,a and also after making the aforesaid two-click adjustment. This actually gave me some hope that maybe that first mess of a target was just me. I could live with this kind of accuracy.

Third target is 10 shots. This target was right next to the nice 5-shot target, and was fired immediatly after that 5-shot target. Again, we've got shots pretty much all over the place. First two shots were high 8's. Each called a good center shot. After that, the hits just danced around wherever. That, despite me calling the shots good. I definitely had my position and trigger control established by the time I was on this third target.

The gun ran fine with the new ToolCraft BCG. The bolt seems to have weathered the day without being chewed-up like the Palmetto bolt.

But, accuracy just suck.

Only three things could be happening here.
1. Maybe the ammo is terrible - I doubt that. I've always said that if you shoot a good bullet through a good barrel, you will get good results shooting at service rifle targets. Things like choice of casing, or primer, or powder tend to matter very little compared to the major factors of "good bullet and good barrel."
2. Maybe I just can't shoot this rifle, even though its a slightly large version of the same rifle which I can consistently shoot high master scores (97%+) on a 200-yard range. So I doubt its the shooter.
3. Maybe its something about the rifle - who knows what. I suspect its simply the barrel. Like I said, "A good bullet through a good barrel..."

At this point, I'm going with "bad barrel" as the major reason this rifle can barely hold the 8-ring on an NRA highpower rifle prone target.

The cost of a replacement barrel is really not the issue at this point. Unfortunately, I live in goddamfugkingVirginia, and this gun is about to be BANNED by the asswipes who just took over our government.

I'm not gonna spend money on a new barrel I can't legally shoot.

The new laws will go into effect July 1. I'll decide what to do about this gun sometime between now and then.
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Old November 10, 2019, 18:19   #38
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TARGET 1


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TARGET 2


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TARGET 3
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Old November 11, 2019, 08:59   #39
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Interesting thread as I am currently back to working with my PA-10. I bought mine a while back, as two halves, and have added bits and pieces over time. Initially I ditched the sorry excuse for a buttstock and added a Velocity trigger.

Then I noticed pins walking (a new experience for me) so put on anti-walk pins. I shot it some but did not like the beating. So I parked the rifle for a year (or two) and recently decided to put on a muzzle brake and hydraulic buffer. In adding the muzzle brake we (my FFL/Gunsmith bud and I) noticed bolt chew on a couple of lugs. Only one lug was “bad” and all were smoothed down with a file. I had just a few hundred rounds though this rifle so maybe the damage would have gotten worse over time.

I fired 40 rounds through it this morning, and all seems well. This was 20 each of FM “FLB” (Argentine?) and Brazilian CBC 7,62 surplus and although I was mostly shooting for function accuracy was fine (for me with this ammo). I will pull the bolt later today or tomorrow and see if I notice and further issues but for now I’m calling it good. I don’t know which had what effect, the muzzle brake or hydraulic buffer, but I did enjoy shooting the rifle a lot better.

Later this Fall/Winter I will shoot it some more with “better” ammo and see.
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Old November 11, 2019, 10:51   #40
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I'm bothered that lug wear would not be equal for all lugs. Something wrong with wear in first place. Something VERY wrong with wearing just a couple of lugs.
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Old November 11, 2019, 12:06   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M90A1 View Post
If you're talking about the barrel extension, that's not a job to be performed at home. Imagine trying to drill the new barrel pin hole in the same place as the existing hole in the barrel that is now covered by the new extension.
With the price of barrels these days, Gary could have just scrapped the Palmetto barrel and receiver extension and gone with a known quantity. While he's at it, he should replace the upper, and re-use the Toolcraft BCG.
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Old November 11, 2019, 12:47   #42
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With the price of barrels these days, Gary could have just scrapped the Palmetto barrel and receiver extension and gone with a known quantity. While he's at it, he should replace the upper, and re-use the Toolcraft BCG.
I agree with buying a new barrel. What I don't understand is your saying he should replace the barrel and receiver extension. The "receiver extension" on a AR is the buffer tube and the "barrel extension" is generally considered just part of the barrel. I know, I'm maybe being pedantic here, but those terms are used to name specific parts.
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Old November 11, 2019, 17:48   #43
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The gun as a ToolCraft bolt/carrier assembly in it as of yesterday and today's outing.

Fancy thing. Small-diameter firing pin. Dual ejectors. Works great.

I'll decide what to do about spending money on a barrel after the General Assembly and the Governor get done fugking me in the ass in January. Looking very much like this will be an illegal gun in Virginia when the laws go into effect July 1.
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Old November 11, 2019, 17:48   #44
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Little range report.


I shot the PA-10 with Federal Gold Medal 168.
I’d say it shot the FGM a little bit better than my TAC 41.1 / 168SMK.
But not by much. Definitely not enough to commend the Palmetto barrel.
I’ll post a couple of those targets shortly.

But first, I want to show y’all something about that TAC handload of mine fired from a different rifle.
Again, all firing at 200 yards, prone, sling-support only.

DPMS LR-308-T, unmodified except Geissele trigger and the UBR buttstock. Service rifle sling not shown in this pic.



This pic shows the 10-shot target.
I bracketed the actual target with a paper target that is the correct 600-yard-reduced-for-200, and
the Shoot-N-C target that has appeared in some of the previous target pics I’ve posted.

This is the kind of accuracy to which I’m accustomed, and which I require of any rifle I will use in competition.
The two lowest shots, were called low when fired. No crazy off-call shots like the PA-10 routinely sends.
The TAC load wasn’t “developed” for that rifle unless roughly matching 41.5 IMR4895 velocity constitutes “development.”



Some folks have commented that I should look at the l
oad. “Develop” a load that the gun likes. Sometimes it really is the load. I get that concept.

Can we agree that sometimes the barrel (or something else with the gun) is the root of the problem,
and not the ammunition? I truly believe it’s THE GUN in the case of the PA-10.
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Old November 11, 2019, 17:48   #45
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Just taking a wild guess, but I figure that the bbl extension and bbl and possibly the chamber, too, are not concentric to each other.

The round being held in the chamber, may also be holding the bolt face sideways in tension a bit, causing the previous lug battering on recoil.

Sounds like a new, better quality bbl, and extension assembly is in order.

Handloader did a study a while back about a round brass concentricity and bullet concentricity, using a comparator.

While your ammo might be good, the mismatch of bbl extension, chamber, and bbl misthreading, or a bore that is not concentric to the rear threads, would produce the same results.
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Old November 11, 2019, 18:28   #46
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Here are the two targets I fired today with the PA-10, using Federal Gold Medal ammo with 168-grain bullet



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Old November 11, 2019, 18:57   #47
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Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Here are the two targets I fired today with the PA-10, using Federal Gold Medal ammo with 168-grain bullet



Next time carry a big ole cherry lemonade from Sonic with a pint of vodka to settle you down and quit pulling all those shots.
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Old November 11, 2019, 18:59   #48
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Next time carry a big ole cherry lemonade from Sonic with a pint of vodka to settle you down and quit pulling all those shots.
Lightweight.

Straight shine is more direct-and-to-the-point.
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Old November 11, 2019, 19:16   #49
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Lightweight.

Straight shine is more direct-and-to-the-point.
StG build at 25 yds looked ok. Minute of asshole like it was created as it would plunk a turd every 4 or 5 shots.
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