Sunday, October 18, 2009
I got her back from the smith later Thursday. I had the barrel flutes peened in hopes that she would return to reliability without the purchase of a new op rod or gas cylinder. Saturday at Lee Kay I divined that Something Was Wrong. The bolt wouldn't open far enough to lock into the receiver. Wouldn't open far enough to accept a clip, for that matter.
I took her apart on a table at Lee Kay to find that the clip release tab wasn't connected correctly over the follower assembly. It's been literally years since I've taken her down to pins and springs, so I just put her back together with the tab in the "right" spot and headed back in to see if she would shoot. The bolt went all the way to the rear but the clip would not seat. I declared surrender and waited to get back home and the reference books to figure out what was going on.
Last night I found that the follower assembly was installed backwards. The fact that it had fallen out instantly when I detensioned the operating rod spring earlier at the range should have been a give away. So I put it in correctly and loaded a dummy clip with zero problems.
This morning I fired three clips with one FTF. In the course of this action I noticed that the front sight on my rifle is no longer stamped "NM" for National Match.
***UPDATE: Upon further review of my records, I found that the only part that bore an actual "NM" stamp when I purchased this rifle in 1987 was the operating rod handle. Old age is creeping up on me.***
I will discuss these ***assembly*** issues with the smith on Monday. (That didn't happen - got home after dark again.)