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Old 03-14-2019, 02:16 PM   #1
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'Headspace' Check'n (Not Chicken)

Hey Folks,

After having a bolt failure in my old IBM M1 that destroyed the receiver. I have a question for my re-build. Which will be a Fulton receiver, barrel, and headspaced bolt.

Should I have a 'Field' (1.250") gauge on hand to check the headspace occasionally? I'm just kind-a paranoid for the future failures.

Oh, I'll use my original barrel to mate with a good USGI receiver and have pared with a matched bolt. I'll pack away this for the future. I'll use the Fulton set-up for range 'plunking'.

I guess my question is; How often should the headspace be checked in a well maintained gun?. Or is checking necessary?

Thanks,,
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:27 PM   #2
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Headspace doesn't need to be checked after assembly unless the round count is really high OR the gun is fired with an over pressure round
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:43 PM   #3
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Yep.
A lot of Carbines went through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam with the same barrel and bolt.

If the parts are good, it's properly head spaced when the barrel is installed, and over-pressure ammo isn't shot it should be good for a life time.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:49 PM   #4
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I've owned a carbine since 1972, have been reading about them since before that, and I think this is the first time I've ever heard the issue of headspace in the M1 carbine raised (unlike several other calibers I could name).
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Petty View Post
Headspace doesn't need to be checked after assembly unless the round count is really high OR the gun is fired with an over pressure round
Charlie P.,

That's pretty much what I thought, but it never hurts to ask. Especially if you are not used to the water temperature in the 'pool' yet.

Thanks again for good advise.

Mike
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake45 View Post
I've owned a carbine since 1972, have been reading about them since before that, and I think this is the first time I've ever heard the issue of headspace in the M1 carbine raised (unlike several other calibers I could name).
Snake45,

I'm not completely sure that my failure was a result of 'headspace'. But after I spend the bucks to get my old M1 running again I just thought an occasional 'check' might not hurt.

Charlie Petty suggested that routine checks would not be necessary if a large number of rounds were shot, which I don't foresee me doing anytime soon, or firing an over pressure round.

Thanks for your input it instills additional confidence.

Mike
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
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Commercial carbines occasionally develop headspace problems. It is rare for that to happen with GI carbines unless they have been fired a LOT!. Still a gauge is cheap insurance. All you need is a field gauge. If it doesn't close on that, you are good to go. Besides, most of us end up with more than one and it doesn't hurt to have the gauge for when that next carbine comes around! They are an addiction. *LOL*
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by smokpole View Post
Besides, most of us end up with more than one and it doesn't hurt to have the gauge for when that next carbine comes around! They are an addiction. *LOL*
smokepole.. I'm already in the 'Club'. I just got to be careful that my wife doesn't use one as a bat on my head.

OK so,,,, over time and a lot of rounds what causes the headspace to change? What grows or shrinks?
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:01 PM   #9
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What causes headspace change? Wear is the usual answer, but on rare occasion or with commercial carbines, you can get stretching of the receiver if it is improperly hardened.
Most headspace issues with GI carbines are caused by wear on the bolt lugs and can often be corrected simply by swapping out bolts for a less worn one.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by smokpole View Post
What causes headspace change? Wear is the usual answer, but on rare occasion or with commercial carbines, you can get stretching of the receiver if it is improperly hardened.
Most headspace issues with GI carbines are caused by wear on the bolt lugs and can often be corrected simply by swapping out bolts for a less worn one.
smokepole,

Sorry for a tardy reply. I have had my head somewhere in a dark place. Your input makes good sense.

I think that the 'wear' on the bolt lugs may have caused my failure. This wear on the lugs could have been aggravated by wear on the bolt...(?).

You say I could have possibly swapped the bolt out for a new or less worn one? Wouldn't I have to have 'Headspace' gauges and check the new bolt? If so would just a 'Field' gauge work or should I have the complete set?

Thanks for the advise.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:44 PM   #11
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Perhaps I'm a kibitzer? But how many rounds have passed downrange according to your maintenance log?

Did you receive a maintenance log from the previous owner for how many rounds had been sent downrange?

Pre-planned maintenance before the round count reaches catastrophic failure is why maintenance logs are annotated.

Sounds like your catastrophic failure was a pre-planned event that you were not aware of.

But being a fan of the full automatic M2 version of your M1 Carbine, said operators were required to keep accurate round counts to provide the armours the chance to provide prescribed maintenance to the firearm prior to known failures.

Sounds to me like you were a victim of a lack of documentation, now you can choose to repeat this failure to your detriment, or you might take the time to document when your firearm is once again going to fail? Just food for thought.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by M118LR View Post
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But being a fan of the full automatic M2 version of your M1 Carbine, said operators were required to keep accurate round counts to provide the armours the chance to provide prescribed maintenance to the firearm prior to known failures.
Are you suggesting that during the fierce fighting in WWII battles like the taking of Okinawa, etc, the men using the M1 auto, or similar, would keep track of the rounds that they projected towards the enemy?

I did not ask my family member who gave me his Koeran M1 for his 'rounds down range log'.

But your suggestion is good and when I receive my receiver/barrel/bolt form Fulton Army I will certainly keep copious records of rounds fired.

See Ya,,,, Thanks for the input...
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:54 AM   #13
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Maintenance/shot logs are generally kept on sniper rifles and competition target rifles. Most folks don't know what they are. The OP mentioned "M1" without noting rifle or carbine. There may have been some confusion as to which and previous usage.

That said, round counters seem to have become something mentioned on Requests for Proposals for military firearms. FN seems to have incorporated them in some recent items, or at least tried to.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:04 AM   #14
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IBM didn't make Garands or BARs during WWII according some internet sites.
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William R. Moore View Post
Maintenance/shot logs are generally kept on sniper rifles and competition target rifles. Most folks don't know what they are. The OP mentioned "M1" without noting rifle or carbine. There may have been some confusion as to which and previous usage.
William,

Gees,,, I have 'target fixation' in my brain about my little M1. I apologize for the assumption that all reading my post would assume that I was referring to the M1 Carbine. I should have been more accurate, sorry and I will try not to create confusion in the future.

Above you reference 'logs' kept on sniper rifles / competition rifles. Saying "Most people don't know what they are." Are referring to the 'rifle' or the 'logs'?

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Mike
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by csmkersh View Post
IBM didn't make Garands or BARs during WWII according some internet sites.
csmkersh,

That is nice to know. I'll do some research which should be interesting. Being new to all this I'm still climbing the 'Vertical Learning Curve'.

With the input from you folks on this forum the climb is still difficult, but gives me confidence to continue.

Thanks,,,
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:30 PM   #17
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With commercial carbines some soft receivers exhibit wear in the locking groove, so it does happen. But GI receivers were hardened to spec or not accepted. And they were all tested. Most bolts were too. If a headspace problem crops up it is usually either wear on the blot face or chamber wear. IF the carbine was once an M2 conversion, I might be suspicious of chamber wear, but those receivers were normally marked as M2s. When headspace issues do occur in semis, it is usually just an accumulate of minor wear on all parts combined. Pressures are low so those issues are rare.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokpole View Post
With commercial carbines some soft receivers exhibit wear in the locking groove, so it does happen. But GI receivers were hardened to spec or not accepted. And they were all tested. Most bolts were too. If a headspace problem crops up it is usually either wear on the blot face or chamber wear. IF the carbine was once an M2 conversion, I might be suspicious of chamber wear, but those receivers were normally marked as M2s. When headspace issues do occur in semis, it is usually just an accumulate of minor wear on all parts combined. Pressures are low so those issues are rare.
smokpole,

Good information. Thanks for responding.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:44 AM   #19
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William,

Above you reference 'logs' kept on sniper rifles / competition rifles. Saying "Most people don't know what they are." Are referring to the 'rifle' or the 'logs'?

Mike
Touche'. And yes, I did refer to the shot log.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by William R. Moore View Post
Touche'. And yes, I did refer to the shot log.
William (If I may),

Yes, I knew what you meant, but the Devil made me do the reply... I'm happy that your skin is as thick as mine.

I really enjoy this forum 'cause, as I frequently do, I say things that my brain hears at the same time. Gosh, I gotta stop doing that.

Enjoyed your reply....

Mike
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