vz58 headspaceing
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  1. #1
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    vz58 headspaceing

    After much research and measuring I have copme to the conclusion that these are the easiest rifles ever to headspace. No guage is required, Proper headspace appears to be acheived with the barrel pressed right up to bolt. It checks good with live rounds however will not close on my clymer go guage. I have checked many bolts and barrels and it appears these were machined preceisely to allow swapping of parts and an always tight headspace. also my Tgi import is headspaced this way, and will not close on my clymer go.
    I prefer the vz 58 to the ak 47, as it is 11 better
    www.bonesteelarms.com

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    obiwanbonjovi? While I totally agree with your observations, I would stress that you are NOT advocating that a builder forgo proper headspace checks with standard gauges. You see, someone might misread this advice - get the one kit that neither of us have, and undergo involuntary plastic surgery at the range.

    So - everyone else? Yes - this is an interesting observation of the technical prowess of Czechoslovakia. However - NEVER bet your life (or face) on someone else's technical prowess. Please - use approved gauges, CHECK the headspace on your builds, and do NOT try to claim that obiwanbonjovi told you it was OK to ignore this - he hasn't. He gets to keep his house and car.

  3. #3
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    yes thank you trotsky I should have made it clear I am not advocating trusting anything without checking it for yourself. After assembly headspace must be checked after build, before firing. I am just suggesting that when pressing barrel chamber should be empty.
    I prefer the vz 58 to the ak 47, as it is 11 better
    www.bonesteelarms.com

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  5. #4
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    This is certainly an area where knowledge of the actual factory process would be beneficial.

  6. #5
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    I do not know for an absolute certainty but I would bet money that they are pressed directly to bolt with no guage present in chamber.
    I prefer the vz 58 to the ak 47, as it is 11 better
    www.bonesteelarms.com

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    OK.... I might actually buy into this...

    I took a bolt and a barrel and inserted a Manson CIP go gauge. The gap between the bolt and the barrel face was about .003 using a feeler gauge. I then inserted an unfired round and the bolt went all the way to the barrel face with no gap.

    As is stated above... ALWAYS check your headspace during and after final assemble with gauges but Obiwan may be onto something here....
    God, Guns and Guts made America great..... let's keep all three.

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    I need some opinions.

    As you can see in the photos below, when a CIP go gauge is in there is no gap between the locking wedge and bolt and with a no-go gauge there is about a .030" gap. Obviously this would be quite a bit greater if a field gauge was used so over all I feel it is safe. However, when the bolt carrier is used it does fully close on the no-go which bugs me a little. I used the original pin so I can re-headspace and re-drill for the 4mm pin if needed.

    Any thoughts? What would you do?


    God, Guns and Guts made America great..... let's keep all three.

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    For mine, I did as posted earlier and locked the bolt in and pressed until the barrel stopped.

    Once it stopped, I pulled it and locked up a live round. I also locked the bolt on an empty chamber. After doing this a few times, I noticed the tiniest gap between my locking lugs and the bolt lock--basically, it would allow a tiny amount of play in the bolt forward and backward on an empty chamber. It was much less on a live round, but the gap was there.

    So I put it back in my press and it made one last loud pop, and now the bolt locks very tightly on a live round. I felt this was good enough, and drilled my barrel pin.

    Using a 4mm drill bit, I noticed the supplied pin pushed easily through the hole. So I ended up stepping up a size in drill bits, and then used the shank for the pin. It was a much tighter fit than the original 4mm pin.

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    I also pressed the barrel in flush against the bolt so go figure. I could press it a little harder and probably tighten the headspace..... Maybe use a shim under the locking wedge as ORF suggests.

    I haven't even shot this one yet so maybe that might be the thing to do and then re-check after 100 rds or so. With the other two I built the BC will not close on the no-go.....just this one.
    God, Guns and Guts made America great..... let's keep all three.

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    Quote Originally Posted by animator
    For mine, I did as posted earlier and locked the bolt in and pressed until the barrel stopped.

    Once it stopped, I pulled it and locked up a live round. I also locked the bolt on an empty chamber. After doing this a few times, I noticed the tiniest gap between my locking lugs and the bolt lock--basically, it would allow a tiny amount of play in the bolt forward and backward on an empty chamber. It was much less on a live round, but the gap was there.

    So I put it back in my press and it made one last loud pop, and now the bolt locks very tightly on a live round. I felt this was good enough, and drilled my barrel pin.

    Using a 4mm drill bit, I noticed the supplied pin pushed easily through the hole. So I ended up stepping up a size in drill bits, and then used the shank for the pin. It was a much tighter fit than the original 4mm pin.
    If there is any gap after pressing in barrel then your barrel did not go all the way to the bolt. If you press barrel against bolt and it closes on a nogo either your bolt or barrel is out of spec(I don't believe this will ever be the case.) That loud pop you heard was most likely the barrel going past the peen you put in your receiver by closing bolt group on an unbarrelled receiver. With no barrel in place the bolt strikes the edge of the barrel hole and puts a small peen in receiver. The peen is enough to stop your press and fool you as it will only keep you a few thousands loose. I would bet money that the first time you pressed the barrel stopped on peen instead of bolt. I did that on my first build way back when on a grand power, and it took me a while to figure out the problem. I asked ORF to put warnings about this and have posted several places, but I bet this is a common problem and may cause ruptured cases in some cases where a builder is too cheap to buy a nogo guage. Some of the receivers need to be fitted for the carrier so a small peen is sometimes almost inevitable but 30 seconds with a file before pressing barrel will save you hours of grief.

    To use a 4mm pin you would need a drill at least as small as a 5/32 and that is a bit loose if you have any runout at all.
    I prefer the vz 58 to the ak 47, as it is 11 better
    www.bonesteelarms.com

  12. #11
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    I would also recommend headspacing with carrier installed as well, since the lugs can cam out while pressing.
    I prefer the vz 58 to the ak 47, as it is 11 better
    www.bonesteelarms.com

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    I got my barrel pressed in. This is what it looks like with a Go Gauge, this is a tight fit, had to pound the bolt carrier a little to get it all the way closed:



    And this is what it looks like with a No-Go, there is no way to pound the bolt carrier any further.



    With just the bolt, it seems to close on either Go or No-Go. It also looks like the bolt is up against the barrel. With a live round it closes fine.

    Does this look OK?

    Like that barrel clamp my son made at his shop? Nice eh?

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques
    Does this look OK?
    Yea....you're good.

    My problem is that while there is the gap on the locking wedge with the no-go the bolt carrier still closes. I'm gonna repress and use the 4mm pin so that I get the same result you have in your pic.
    God, Guns and Guts made America great..... let's keep all three.

  15. #14

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    Jacques? On this....

    "had to pound the bolt carrier a little to get it all the way closed"

    You don't want to do that to a GO gauge - treat them like glass. Having said that? US GO gauges are known to be a bit conservative - In the AK world, the BEST (minimum HS) guns will NOT close on a US GO - the definitive test is done with factory ammo, FIRING PIN REMOVED.

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    Thanks guys. Appreciate the feed back. I will be carefull with that gauge then. With live Ammo (yes the firing pin is out) it will close fine. It is a Clymer gauge.

    The last thing I need is a bullet going off in my garage and suddenly 10 sheriff cars appear out front.

    I think from what I have read here, it is good to go, so I am going to drill the hole for the barrel pin and get this project on the way.

    I wonder how rapid fire is checking the headspace?

 

 
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