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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who need one.

It isn't easy to make and is time/tooling intensive - expensive; due to the material involved but it is available. (Turn your existing parts-kit into a functional/valuable rifle once again).

I have successfully made a replacement Op-rod using the existing piston-head and spring out of t304 SS rod and my rifle is now fully functional.

Details available to those paid/wanting one made for them.

Have a good day.

Steve.

:)
 

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For those who need one.

It isn't easy to make and is time/tooling intensive - expensive; due to the material involved but it is available. (Turn your existing parts-kit into a functional/valuable rifle once again).

I have successfully made a replacement Op-rod using the existing piston-head and spring out of t304 SS rod and my rifle is now fully functional.

Details available to those paid/wanting one made for them.

Have a good day.

Steve.

:)
Why not just post the price you're asking....or is each unit custom fit to the rifle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You make a good point, Sean.

The SS t304 work hardens very quickly and this causes tooling wear/failure which needs to be replaced frequently but it has an added benefit of hardening the surfaces of the more critical areas of the op-rod.

I went through 2 carbide tools while turning down the diameter of the rod, 3 drill bits installing the roll pin and one milling bit cutting the cross-slot on my 1st attempt of making the replacement which was successful.

I have learned a lot concerning how to best tackle this material in the process.

The time, effort, materials and tooling will require about a $200 fee to make one, plus shipping costs to their location from my best guesstimate at this point.

There is no need for the welded lug of the later design and that is not included.

It works very well and is a bit stronger than the original where it counts.


I'm not going to get rich doing this for anyone but I understand that people like me need a solution to the supply chain problem.

Its just an offer to get some guys out of the hole that RA has left for us.

Thanks, Man...


Grey Asphalt Font Automotive tire Audio equipment
 

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No need to justify the price....just explain what it is. It may well have to go up should you find it takes more time than you thought originally or has different tooling required.

Regardless, thanks for the baseline. I'm sure it will help people decide.
 
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The key tack welded into the new style op rod was a factory response to a "problem" reported by new end users of the M96. Being unfamiliar with it some were beating the roll pins to death by pulling and releasing the charging handle with no BCG in place.


Spring sets, bolts and small parts. If you build them we will buy them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have only made a replacement op-rod for the recon system at this point and it has held-up very well with about 100 rds down the bore at this point as that is all that has failed for me thus far.

The welded key isn't necessary at all if the rifle is properly assembled as I have discovered and Alex said as much himself.

I can make the rods and hand fit them for close tolerance but springs, bolts and other stuff is probably too much trouble to make as nothing is of of standard material dimensions with this rifle.

FAL recoil tube springs might be an option . . .

The piston head is a separate part from the Op-rod and can be reused on the Recon but not on the other configurations. (Those are sort of sloppy-made contraptions).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE - 8-3-2017:

After testing with milsurp 3300fps and hand-loaded 2700fps 55gr ammo I have determined that the stock RECON gas system is over-gassed as you cannot turn down the gas venting adjustment enough to make the rifle fail to feed.

This indicates that the rifle is beating its-self to death.

This is why OpRods break (Aside from machining tolerances).

I have a solution in the works which will increase the adjust-ability of the gas regulation system so that it actually functions as intended and reduces wear/recoil.

If everything goes well, I will have replacement OpRod springs available as a result.

This is an awesome rifle; it just doesn't have 50+ years of service and refinement like the AR15 design does.

Stay tuned if interested . . .

Best!

Steve

:)
 

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I have two M96 Recon Rifles with factory flash hiders (they were manufactured during the AWB and marked LE Only). I don't remember trying to turn the gas down to where the rifle would not function during the zeroing process (maybe I did because I have XCR's and FAL's and am familiar with how the system works) but I will investigate this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Any well considered experimentation and feedback is welcomed on this subject, Sir.

I have been running the RECON system on a gas setting of "5" (Wide Open) ever since I bought the kit from RA but it eventually broke the Op-Rod.

Thanks!

/O

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was just-now cleaning the original Op-Rod spring on the RECON kit and it broke-off a piece of spring about a 1/2" from the end while gently running a soft nylon brush on a rod down its interior.

This is another indication of being over-gassed as the spring is being crunched against the end-stop travel of the BCG and compressing it beyond its designed travel limits.

Good thing I am working on replacement springs at this point.

:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update 8-12-2017:

I have been working the spring calcs and have a spring manufacturer involved and we both conclude that the original OpRod spring design was a trade-off between just getting the rifle to function and its reliability. (The gas adjustment system is not effective as designed as it offers little to nothing in the operation of the rifle as far as I am able to determine).

The springs as designed are over-stressed for the application, so they are going to fail.

They need to be replaced as needed and are a maintenance part - I would suggest that they are replaced after every 4 ~ 5 K rounds fired if they last that long.
Frequent and prolonged mag-dumps are going to reduce the life expectancy of the spring due to heat.

There is only one solution for this which requires a complete OpRod/Spring assembly redesign which I have conceptualized but the manufacturing of that product will be cost prohibitive.

I will, as a hobby attempt to complete the redesign and manufacture the parts for my own rifle but cannot see this limited market bearing the expense to make it worthwhile as something which can be brought to those owning these rifles in any quantity.

Too much manufacturing time/tooling/material waste and cost to make a perfect OpRod.

So, since the rifle runs (and not optimally) I will focus upon making original replacement copies of OpRods and Operating Springs in the stock/original configuration for general purchase knowing that these parts will need replacing at some regular interval.

Best to have extra parts, IMO.

The next thing that I see which is going to fail is the Bolt-camming boss and that is not going to be easy to make nor come-by . . .

I still need feedback concerning the gas system adjust-ability and its effects upon the rifles' function - post the info as you are able - Can you make it fail to cycle on a setting of "5" on the gas regulator?

Tell me, please.

Thanks & best wishes,

Steve.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update 8-15-2017:

I have spent too many hours running calculations in order to match the original RECON OpRod spring characteristics using other materials/spring designs than Piano Wire and it cannot be done.
It just isn't going to work.
This (Piano Wire) is what the rifle was originally designed around and you cannot make it better (functionally) by substituting a different material.

Call my effort "Reverse Engineering" but it is what it is. (Alex is said to be an assh-le - But If I were to have tried and successfully made a new combat weapon for the general public during the Assault Weapons Ban Era and someone got on my back about ANYTHING; I WOULD be an assh-le TOO!)

The OpRod spring is a wear/maintenance part and you just have to deal with that. (Keep it clean and dry and it will last).

Looks like I can get them made but it is going to cost me dearly to get a run done - If I buy 50 at a time I get a pretty good deal.


How much interest is there here or that you guys can help us create?

Let me know otherwise I'll hang this effort up . . .

Thanks, & Best wishes,

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am going to get a run of 50 springs made.

I think $20 each plus packaging and shipping costs of $10 for a total of $30 shipped should make it worthwhile.

This spring will be made of music wire and yield 14 lbs which should make the gas system adjustable again.

I should have them for testing in 3 ~ 5 weeks.

I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update 9-20-2017:

50 custom made Recon Op-Rod springs are now here in my hands!

They are definitely stiffer than the originals and fit both the original and my newer design op-rods perfectly.

Field testing and tuning tomorrow with another update to follow.

Best!

:)
 

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Bama,
I have not played with my rifles in awhile so I need to check the gas system next time I go out. I am interested in a spring so I will get back to you after my testing.
 

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Steve,
I have not had an opportunity to test the gas settings as of yet. I pulled out the two rifles yesterday and examined them. One setting was on 5 and the other on 3. That indicates to me that I did not adjust the system while sighting in the rifle (don't ask me why as I don't know, even though I know better!).

I then pulled out the manual I downloaded and printed. I read the gas adjustment section a couple of times. Here is what it says: The higher the number visible on top,the larger the volume of gas that is bledfrom the system and the lower amount ofenergy used to cycle the action.Conversely, the smaller the number ontop, the smaller the volume of gas bledfrom the gas system and the higher the amount of energy availableto cycle the action.

If I am I reading this right, 5 is the least amount of gas cycling the system? The opposite process for the XCR? The rifle on "5" is still running 100% so a new spring is needed? I will have to test the rifle currently on "3".
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm not convinced that the gas flow profile in the gas block and its adjustment makes much if any difference because the initial impulse of propellant gasses impinging upon the piston are the same no matter what the gas bleed adjustment knob is set at.

The only thing that knob does is control the amount of time the pressure remains very high during cycling - it is pretty useless the way it is designed, IMO. (They should have regulated the amount of gas going into the gas-block instead of bleeding-off gas that has already sent the piston on its journey to the next round-fed).

Leave your gas set on "5" for the M96 if it functions fine like that.

The real problem with the piston rod and [original] springs is that the spring actually grabs/contacts the rod and all the carbon fouling on the rod acts like sand-paper and wears-out the interior of the spring causing it to get thinner in diameter, rust, weaken and break into pieces.

My new springs leave a clearance between the rod and interior of the spring so they should last much longer.

Keep it clean between shooting sessions.

Keep us posted of your findings when you get around to them . . .

:)
 
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