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M31 Suomi Build: Barrel and Shroud
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  tommerr

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Posted: March 04 2006 at 10:16am | IP Logged Quote tommerr

Here are some random barrel and shroud thoughts:

1. The solid metal barrel length must be 16+ inches minimum.
2. The original shrouds, with the compensator, must be drilled with a 3/4 inch drill for either a new barrel or an extended barrel.
3. Brenbuilders extension looks first rate. It may or may not need drilling for a longer barrel. I have not looked at one but they sure look good.
4. A longer shroud makes nothing legal if the receiver will still accept the original short barrel unless the shroud is welded to the receiver.
5. A longer barrel, of either type, can certainly be cut for compensating slots. The Finns discovered that, with the 9mm round, the compensator had no discernable effect. It looked good but it did almost nothing.
6. The compensator shrouds can easily be cut down to the early style. If you cut the compensator off, Viola!
7. I will use the shroud as is. It reminds me of the FAL and other rifles.

All the Best

Tom
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  drdave

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Posted: March 13 2006 at 1:37am | IP Logged Quote drdave

I really have nothing to add about what I've done to the shroud.  I sawed the tip off with a coping saw and used a drill to widen the aperture to 3/4".  The tip I refer to is a 1/4" extension at the end of the compensator.  I used a step drill bit to open up the end of the compensator because it is the only bit I own that can cut a 3/4" hole into metal.  The fact that it is a step bit was handy in that it naturally centered the hole on the pre-existing hole. 

I had considered simply cutting the compensator in a diagonal to resemble the original version of the barrel shroud, but I decided against that for several reasons:
1.  The first hole on the compensator is right up against the end of the shroud; any cuts would likely leave a telltale divot to indicate that the slanted cut was not original.
2.  I don't know what angle the ends of the original shrouds are slanted at.
3.  I was using tools freehand.  I'm not sure I could keep my cut straight and symetric.
4.  By leaving the compensator I ensured that if I made any terrible mistakes, I could easily switch to Plan B and cover it with one of Brenbuilder's extensions.
5.  Most important, the finished product will look more like the original.  The difference will be that instead of a 1/4" original piece of tubing at the end of the shroud, there will be about 2" of extened barrel exposed, with the same external diameter!
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Posted: April 02 2006 at 10:47am | IP Logged Quote tommerr



This picture shows my first prototype next to an original receiver front end.

Tom
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Posted: April 25 2006 at 12:00pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

The BATFE has approved my takedown design. I will post a copy tonight. It utilizes the original diameter.

Tom
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Posted: April 25 2006 at 9:10pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

bigdave28:

1. The shroud remains "as is" or you can extend it as you wish.
2. The end of the receiver is different and the barrel recoil lug is altered to match.
3. The original SBR barrel cannot be used "as is". It must be altered. The original alignment slot has a piece welded in place. This renders the barrel unuseable on an original receiver. This was an overkill but it conveys the message about being legal.
4. Three new slots are cut into the recoil lug. When the front of the receiver is cut to match, there is only one way to insert the barrel. The feed ramp remains in perfect alignment.
5. The receiver barrel hole remains unaltered. This was an aspect I desired. All of Mike's receivers can be machined to this configuration, past or present, IF the receiver has not been already been cut. Sweet talk Mike about doing this work.
6. EVEN if it were already cut, a retro kit could be made, assuming the barrel diameter would be turned down where it fits into the receiver.
7. IF you have machined your receiver over the magic 80% mark, I have a very workable idea for a hardened filing fixture. Attach it to your receiver and hack saw and file away. Hand tools will only scuff the fixture. NO DREMEL WORK!

This was a crucial first step in the conversion IF you wished to keep the takedown feature. The only other legal option is welding the shroud in place.

If you are willing to do a donation to Gary, the barrel conversion price is $55 including shipping. A plug is welded in the original alignment slot and three new slots are then milled. The muzzle end of the barrel is turned down and some heavy wall 4130 tubing is pressed into place. The tubing is then welded in three places. Alignment is excellent. Currently I have barrels from:
Dafixer 1
Drdave 1
Shep 2

I have some of my own barrels mostly done. The moment I saw my first Suomi kit, I had to preserve the takedown.

boss429:

Yes, I have started to write a book on conversions. I am writing about the M56 and the Suomi will come second followed by the Beretta and the ppsh. So much fun and so little time.

I have a scanner which I have never used. I will play with it and make a sendable copy of the BATFE letter. I assume that I should post it in the approval letter forum.

My jet lag must be fading. I can read and write.

All the Best

Tom
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Posted: May 08 2006 at 8:49pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr



Here are some barrels that I converted to my approved takedown design. I just love it: Approved! Now we don't have to weld the shroud to the receiver. These barrels I received prior to going to Australia.

1. The original alignment slot is welded.
2. Three new slots are then milled at 120 degree intervals. One is 1/4 inch and two are 3/16ths inch. That means that the feed ramp is aligned in the same position and the barrel can only be inserted correctly.
3. The barrel is turned and a heavy wall piece of 4130 tubing is pressed on and welded in place. The alignment is excellent.

This is a donation incentive. The cost is $55 plus a donation to Gary. If you would cover my mailing costs, I would be grateful.

Lets make the Suomi come to life.

Tom
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  drdave

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Posted: June 07 2006 at 12:28am | IP Logged Quote drdave

My kit was one of the later "compensated shroud" ones.  I recieved an extended barrel from Tom this week, and there is great news--the extended barrel only adds about one inch to the overall length of the weapon!  The compensator ends with a small barrel-like projection that's about one quarter inch long and 3/4 inches in diameter.  I sawed it off, then used a 3/4 inch drill bit to open up the end of the compensator so that Tom's barrel extension would fit through.    Its a very tight fit, I need to do some polishing to make it slide easily.  I'm a little concerned about how heat from firing will affect the fit of the two parts.

From the side, the only difference between this and the original is that the extension at the front of the rilfe is about an inch longer.  From the front, you can see that the internal diameter of the barrel extension is much larger than the internal diameter of the original barrel.  The real difference is that this is now part of the barrel, not part of the shroud.

The ten holes drilled on the upper side of the shroud forming the compensator now end blindly as they are covered by the barrel extension.  After I get the barrel and shroud final fitted to the reciever,  I may end up drilling holes through the barrel extension that will align with the holes on the shroud.  Everyone says that the original barrel compensators were essentially non-functional, so I doubt that drilling these holes will have any effect on recoil, but it will make the look of the weapon more closely match the original full auto version.
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Posted: June 07 2006 at 11:17pm | IP Logged Quote drdave

2006-06-07_223830_DSCN6055.rar

I've never tried posting a photo here, hope it works.  Anyhow, this is the extended barrel & compensated shroud, a picture is better than a description.  Tom, I'll keep your recommendation to leave the parts tight in mind, but at this point it takes taps with a rubber mallet to get the barrel in and out of the shroud.  I want to be able to assemble and disassemble the weapon easily and without tools.  My hope when the rifle is built is to try to find a large briefcase that will hold the disassembled rifle as a very inconspicous rifle case.

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Posted: September 09 2006 at 11:32am | IP Logged Quote tommerr



A line was scribed on the tangs equal to the thickness of the barrel lug plus .010". The front of the tangs was filed to a taper. The next step will consist of the following:
1. The tangs will be blackened with a marker.
2. The barrel will be LIGHTLY (!) tapped over the tangs, and I mean lightly!
3. The barrel and receiver are then tapped apart.
4. All shiny high spots are LIGHTLY filed with a smooth file or stones.
5. Repeat the marking, tapping and filing process until the barrel is 100% seated.

This should produce an excellent and exact fit. Gradual filing is the key. Do not show your perfect fit to your wife or girl friend! They will be jealous.

All the Best

Tom
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Posted: September 13 2006 at 10:46pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr



The alignment tangs are finished. They are shorter than the barrel recoil lug and slightly rounded.

Check, double check and triple check, that is my ever present companion. I saw a dimension that I did not like so I will be changing the filing fixture. I will not send it out until I am satisfied. What would happen if I sent out the fixture and it ruined receivers??

All the Best

Tom
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  striker754

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Posted: September 23 2006 at 9:31am | IP Logged Quote striker754

tom,

how do you get the barrel into the shroud? the extension will not fit through the muzzle end of the shroud? and do you have to take those tack welds down? Those aren't going to go through either.
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Posted: September 23 2006 at 1:14pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

Striker754: The fact that the barrel will not go through your shroud is excellent. The ends of some shrouds are a few .001's smaller than others. The tightness of the barrel assembly is dependent on a close fitting shroud locking the barrel to the receiver and a close fitting shroud muzzle fit to the barrel. Take a six inch section of 1/2 inch hardwood dowel and saw one end, down the middle, with a hack saw, for approximately two inches. Insert some sandpaper into the slot and wrap it around the dowel. Slip this into the muzzle. Spin this with a drill. After thirty seconds or so, check your barrel fit. Repeat as often as necessay. Go slow. A snug fit is desired. Shrouds with compensators must have the compensator drilled out to 3/4 inches. The barrel extension is a press fit and the spot welds can be dressed down.

Tom
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Posted: November 20 2006 at 9:50pm | IP Logged Quote ronsandt

TOM question . are you just cutting off the tip of your shroud and let the barrel come through.or are you cutting back behind the supressor holes and letting barrel stick out? it will stick out 3 to 4 inches? just wondering. thanks RON IN P.A.
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Posted: May 03 2007 at 12:27pm | IP Logged Quote 1916holton

dcorb wrote:

I was digging thru my parts kits trying to decide what I could bring to the AZ build party. I located my three Soumi kits and noticed one different barrel shroud. I wish I picked up a few more of these when they were giving them away!

 

There were many variations of the shroud, the guy I bought my kit from had almost every variation, wish I had bought one of each.

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Posted: June 14 2007 at 7:34pm | IP Logged Quote Guests

Here is a picture of a barrel shroud with one of Brenbuilders extensions installed (top picture)

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Posted: June 21 2007 at 8:30pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

I will find my M14 notes and post what I found.



I would like to post a Suomi barrel option. In the products section, Gary is offering new 9mm barrels. They are excellent. I will do a show and tell on how to use one to make a new Suomi barrel. This picture shows the rear of the barrel threaded 11/16ths to receive a a threaded sleeve. The sleeve will enlarge the rear of the barrel. Into this sleeve, a recoil lug will be machined.

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Posted: June 21 2007 at 8:51pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr



The sleeve has been torqued into place using Loctite. The recoil lug has been turned. Please note that the sleeve was not threaded completely through. When the feed ramp is filed and polished, any thread gaps may produce an unsmooth ramp.

More to come

Tom
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Posted: June 29 2007 at 6:23pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

I agree, the barrel blanks are a great buy for many of the SA SMG projects we are working on.

I just need to remind people that these are barrel blanks.  a barrel blank is a new barrel, but it does not have a chamber yet.  you can chamber these in any 9mm, or .38 round you wish, but you do need to buy a chamber reamer.

chamber reaming is not rocket science, and perfect for the homebuilder, plus you you get to say "and I made the barrel from a blank!"

I just don't want someone getting the wrong idea, and thinking they will get a ready made barrel perfect for this (or any other project).  Pretty much everyone knows what a barrel blank is, so the reminder is wasted space, but it never hurts to post it anyway.

having said that...  it's better to buy more than one barrel blank.  once you have a reamer you might as well cut more than one barrel at a time, and I'm sure you will find something to do with the other barrels later.

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Posted: November 02 2007 at 9:35am | IP Logged Quote bikergunnut

mine is .435 anybody else got good one to measure?  back to unanswered headspace question...isnt it the barrel alone that determines headspace like the .45? there is a spacer ring on some suomis between the rec and barrel jacket (mine got torched but its there) somewhere in 200 pages here its was explained but my memory failes me. i seem to remember with tommerrs fixture its not an issue(the spacer), somebody got better memory?

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Posted: November 02 2007 at 9:51am | IP Logged Quote Guests

Yes... but on the Suomi you want to make sure that when you work the front of the receiver for the barrel to fit down into that the rear of the barrel and the feed ramp on the front filler mate.

There really isn't any "headspacing" that can be adjusted other than by chamber depth.

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