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MP40 Inspired Build
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  Zuzzy

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Posted: June 01 2015 at 8:27pm | IP Logged Quote Zuzzy

UKBiker wrote:

It just goes to show what is possible with care and patience and some amazing skills.


Yeah, but I reckon it takes a years of practice and skill to get to that precision level.

Compare it to the professional sports, guys can pull off amazing things but not on the very first week that they started, no matter how much they tried.

Ken here is an example of extraordinary individual in this building hobby. This is surely not his very first project, or the most demanding he was doing ever.
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  vintagemx0

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Posted: June 01 2015 at 8:34pm | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

Blurrededge - I knew you had a good eye... Yes, I messed-up and started cutting the threads before changing the gears I had running to 16TPI. A short way into the cut, I noticed it looked wrong, realized I was stupid, and decided to change the gearing and just keep going. Since it is faux, I figured it was not imperative that the threads were proper, as long as it would spin on and off with ease and tighten down. It seems to wok OK, you have to find the "sweet spot" to get it started and then it spins freely. Since I won't have to service it, I may loctite it on there for extra security. I feel stupid, but it's going to work out and I doubt that I'll ever do that again. (this was the first threading operation I ever performed on a lathe).

That is weird about the anal positioning of the nut. Seems totally unnecessary. They must have stared the threading in a specific location and/or custom ground the spacer/sling loop ring on each build?

Body tips the scales at 5.5 pounds as seen in the last pics. That's with and empty receiver tube. I'm guessing around 9 pounds will be her final weight.

UKBiker - Thanks. The It will be kind of fun to do a photo shoot with this project along with my earlier project I eluded to. You'll see why when I do it. No question on the finish - magnetite (rust bluing). True, I like doing things old school, and this will be another head bow to patience, but I really think that the result is superior. I have a mental block with painting and just don't even want to entertain that idea. On my last project, I cold blued it first and had some issues. The durability is really poor and it rubs off much too easy to be considered for a long term finish. Also, because of (presumably) the nickel content in the mig welding wire, the bluing took-on a slightly different shade over areas that were welded. As you know, my technique is to weld & grind so the over-all finish looked a little mottled. I read about rust bluing and gave it a go. I'll never do anything but it again. A very impressive and durable black finish. For those who don't know, there are some precautions regarding cleanliness going-in and I found that distilled water worked best for the boiling, but once you get started the process is very methodical. It is slow - I did 8 boils and it took a week, but actual work per day is about 1 hour. Very worth while endeavor

lutylover - Thanks. I just used progressively less and less aggressive abrasives as I went, took it slow, and ended with little jeweler-type files. Actually, it still needs more filing.

Zuzzy - Thank you kind sir. Honestly gentlemen, I think the only thing you are truly admiring in my work is the grinding. Seriously, I learned how to do finish (ready to paint quality) on a production-line using an angle grinder many years ago. Over the years, I have learned how many people that just have not acquired that skill (practice) - and I use it. I can blob some weld on some steel and grind it out so it looks like nothing was ever the matter. I really feel that this is the main skill I bring to this project. Don't get me wrong - I am proud of my work, and I am taking it very slowly so as to be happy with the end result, but I think any one of you guys that are comfortable with working with steel and have the desire to spend the time taking it at the crude tools speed could, no WOULD do equally as well, or at least pick-up the same skills in short order. I love taking some steel and making something from it with conventional tools. Just plain fun.

-Ken
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  blurrededge

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Posted: June 02 2015 at 9:47am | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

I suppose early on there could have been a pile of barrel nuts, with some guy sitting there trying different ones until it clocked the way they wanted... or maybe the torque range was enough where they were able to crank it on until it lined up one way or another. I'm not sure what the original thread size was, but it may have allowed for that kind of adjustment.

9 lbs was the weight of the original I think, so you're on the right track... And you've replaced bakelite with steel!
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  vintagemx0

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Posted: June 02 2015 at 11:50pm | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

I came home from work today and was happy to see the new transmission gears for the mini lathe had arrived. I tore it down before dinner and put it back together after. I couldn't "take it for a spin" 'cause I forgot I blew the fuse last time I used it and need to get some. I hope to work on the barrel a little bit in the evenings this week.

Here's what I found when I got into the head stock:





-Ken
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  blurrededge

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Posted: June 03 2015 at 7:44pm | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

That's funny, as I just ordered two gears for my ancient smithy. They're cheap cast iron, but they work (as long as you don't let the tool holder run into the steady rest while it's feeding ) It's just a pain to switch out 4 gears when I want to cut threads... but at least I can.
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  vintagemx0

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Posted: June 03 2015 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

Man, that's a sweet deal for $50, with a milling head no less.
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  blurrededge

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Posted: June 03 2015 at 9:33pm | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

The milling head hasn't been attached since I moved into my house... it's in the way to much when I'm just using the lathe, and it isn't that great as a drill press let alone a milling platform. Anything I need to mill I still drive to the big shop to do... so I usually wait until I have enough work to make the trip worth it (I never have enough time to get it all done though, a 5 minute job always takes about an hour with set-up and all the other murphy's law things).
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  Zuzzy

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Posted: June 04 2015 at 8:39pm | IP Logged Quote Zuzzy

vintagemx0 wrote:


Zuzzy - Thank you kind sir. Honestly gentlemen, I think the only thing you are truly admiring in my work is the grinding. Seriously, I learned how to do finish (ready to paint quality) on a production-line using an angle grinder many years ago. Over the years, I have learned how many people that just have not acquired that skill (practice) - and I use it.
-Ken


On one photo I see you have a die grinder. Did you use carbide burrs with it, or only a cutting wheels ?

How long in hours have that taken in grinding the recesses in the bolt underside ?

Taken that the job is always done with a mill (forget the files, cold chisels and such), this looks extremely DIY impressive in results and precision.
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  vintagemx0

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Posted: June 04 2015 at 9:47pm | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

Zuzzy - I have one of those little cable-drive die grinder accessories for my Dremel that I use for small, intricate stuff. I have to remind myself when I'm trying to be precise to not use too aggressive of a wheel (diamond, stone, paper) and just s-l-o-w down. Always easier to remove than to add and re-form. On the bolt, I just used a 4-1/2 hard wheel (narely thing), but held the work in my vice and held steady taking light passes. One the cut is started, it's easier to keep the tool where you want it to be. Then I switched to a skinny 4 inch cut-off disc, then little 1" Dremel cut-off discs, then sand paper by hand and files. It's not done yet, but I have about 3 or 3.5 hours into those cuts. Not too bad.

OK, Don't judge me too harshly for what I am about to confess. (I did this klast week on the breech end of the barrel but didn't report it here) I did a very stupid thing, but somehow pulled it off. My barrel would not fit in my little lathe, so I took the chuck off, wrapped some masking tape around the barrel, crammed it into the spindle and cut away... It worked, but I do realize I came very close to throwing my barrel in the trash. About half of the way through on the front end, it started bumping pretty good and I shut every thing down to have a look. Looking at the muzzle, it was very apparent that the bore was off center. I placed in my big drill press and used an angle grinder to bring concentric again. Luckily, I still had some meat left to go and finished in the lathe with no drama. Then I chucked it up back in the drill press again and profiled the taper. It went very well. So, there it is... I do stupid things at times and darn near lost this barrel in the process.





In order to make sure the flat I need to grind in the front of barrel is level with the top of the weapon, I decided to temporarily press the barrel into the trunnion and do the operation with the barrel fixed so I can check everything as I go. I couldn't wait to slide the bolt in and see how chambered a round (snap cap). First one - perfect! Second one - perfect! third and subsequent - issues... It looks like my mag is a tad low, which would not be an easy fix on this weapon. It does look like I have just enough real estate in front of the mag to fashion some more feed ramping that may help orient the round. Extractor seems to be engaging nicely, so that is good...

Next, I will continue on the barrel and fashion a charging handle to help me work on the feeding issue.






-Ken
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  Zuzzy

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Posted: June 05 2015 at 9:00am | IP Logged Quote Zuzzy

There is a difference in round orientation when using only 1 round and full magazine, of course with full it points more downward so if its low feed problems are here.
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  blurrededge

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Posted: June 05 2015 at 2:08pm | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

how low do you think it is? Is there room on the mag catch to add weld and extend the height? You could file / grind / sand the bottom of the mag well to get them to fit deeper, or notch it for the humps (notching would probably break the lines you have going on though :/ and might go into the pressed rib )
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  vintagemx0

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Posted: June 05 2015 at 9:13pm | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

Well, this problem is with one round in play, so like Zuzzy points out, it's probably worse with more rounds in the mag. The mag catch is pretty static. It would be a major endeavor to try to change the elevation of the feed lips by means of the mag catch on this design.

Here are some photos. I think there might be some opportunity to work on the the feed ramp - either deepening what I have or adding some more ramp in front of the barrel breech, but I do not have any experience with this finer detail. Any advice or ideas would be most welcome.







I don't know how much I'll physically work on this this weekend as it is going to get pretty hot here in Portlandia this weekend.

-Ken
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  backbencher

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Posted: June 05 2015 at 9:44pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Some semi-autos don't use a ramp @ all, but it would look like there's plenty of room to throw a ramp in there.
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  blurrededge

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Posted: June 06 2015 at 12:55am | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

As much of a pain in the ass it might be, you could drill / grind the welds and pull the trunnion. This would allow you to move it closer to the magazine, so that the rounds are entering the chamber just as they leave the feed lips of the mag; and / or weld a small wedge in between for a feed ramp. As long as the bolt feed lips clear the ramp, you can make it as high as you need to angle the rounds correctly.

I'm assuming you tried this with multiple magazines?
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  vintagemx0

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Posted: June 06 2015 at 9:49am | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

Yes, three magazines all about the same. Some rounds will feed, others won't - about 50/50. I was thinking about inserting some material between the magazine and trunnion as you pointed out. I guess first I should fashion a proper charging handle. Right now I have a shallow 1/4 inch hole and am clumsily using a chuck key which is frustrating and annoying to hold everything while I'm trying to study this problem.
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Posted: June 06 2015 at 10:27am | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

So I've playing with this a little more this morning and I'm finding that when I have 5 snap caps loaded, the first three off the top load with good reliability. The second to last about 50/50, and the last 0%. It appears that the front ends of the top-most rounds have a little more upward thrust to them whereas the last round has significantly less.

Here's a photo with one round:



And here's one with two:



I obviously still have a problem, but perhaps it is a little less severe than I originally thought. 'Got to go mow the lawn now and do some other domestics, but I'll whittle on this later...

-Ken
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Posted: June 06 2015 at 1:35pm | IP Logged Quote Zuzzy

Maybe putting on the end of the barrel big old chamfer like Sterling has coud solve the problem, beside moving the trunnion closer to the mag.
The sten has only 1mm gap between it an magwell (according to dmitrieff plans)

Second, try loading the normal rounds and see the orientation, maybe there is a problem in the snap caps.


Youve made a pretty big procedural mistake of welding the magwell before these adjustments were checked and made.

But that is ok, when I plan and do something, Im always amazed how many devilish little mistakes pops up (some of them stupid ones, but like youre forced to make em), like some invisible gremlins work beside you ,or in your mind, on ruining the job.
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Posted: June 06 2015 at 1:38pm | IP Logged Quote Zuzzy

As for the 5-3-1 round and orientation, now you know why Sten magazines with their dozen of manufacturors, arent known as the world best smg magazines, sometimes quite opposite.
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Posted: June 07 2015 at 1:25pm | IP Logged Quote vintagemx0

Thanks Zuzzy -That was a pretty big mistake of welding the mag well in. I still don't know how I'm going to address it, but I'll probably try a ramp in front of the mag. It looks like there may be just enough space and clearance to try.

I did mess around with a front sight yesterday. I need a proper muzzle nut, but this hex nut still gives an idea of what the the finished product will look like.





I also fashioned grips from some oak. What do you guys think - Should I file in some ribs on those grips?



Won't be working on this today due to family barbecue fun, but next up will be the charging handle and recoil spring so I can work the action while exploring how to address the feed issue.

-Ken
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  KernelKrink

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Posted: June 07 2015 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote KernelKrink

You really can't tell how it will feed until you get the recoil spring in there. Running the bolt by hand is a good way to get a feed jam, which is why you always let the bolt slam forward when chambering. "Riding" it forward to slow the chambering process will make many guns fail to feed. You can also alter the feed lips a bit to make the round point up a bit more or release sooner if needed.

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