AK 47 FTE, wobbly bolt

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by pinkerpv, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. pinkerpv

    pinkerpv New Member

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    I have read on several forums that FTE on an AK 47 could be caused by a wobbly bolt inside the bolt carrier. I am experiencing this pbm with a WASR I just purchased. I also have a SAR; It never fails to eject. The bolt does not wobble in the Bolt carrier. The two carriers are of course just alike with the exception of the thickness of the metal in some areas. Both bolts appear to be OK. Extractor on the WSAR is OK. Ejector rails appear to be OK. However the bolt can move enough inside the Bolt carrier to allow the casing to just barely hit the ejector or miss it altogether. During operation I am getting about 10 rounds fired when the first FTE occurs. After that, FTEs occur every round so. A solution is to change out the bolt or bolt carrier or both. Also swap bolts and carriers and see if pbm persists. Is there any other solution to wobbly bolt in the AK? I don't think this is a mag problem, as it occurs with all mags.

    Does anyone know where I can get a bolt carrier? Only found one website so far. Some gun shows are coming up in my area and I will look there.
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    Change the bolt only. The bolt also rides in the rails in the reciever. If its worn then it will tend to flop around. If you have a excessive amount of up and down slop then change the carrier. Get a new bolt, not a used surplus bolt. Brownells carries them. Its not a mag problem.
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Helix is spot on. when the bolt becomes wobbly from exessive wear, the ejector wont contact the case consistently and cause ejection problems. I would change both the bolt and carrier and be done with the problem
  4. pinkerpv

    pinkerpv New Member

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    Helix, JLA; Thanks for the response. On really close examination and comparison of the two bolts, the lugs on the WSAR AK are a little worn and are not as beefy as the one from my SAR. Checked out Brownells. Do you think there might be a headspace pbm with new bolt?
  5. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    Headspace? on a AK? they do that?:D Haven't had a problem yet. That's why I said new. Used bolt could do the same thing your experiencing now also headspace issues. New bolt you won't run into that.
  6. pinkerpv

    pinkerpv New Member

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    Helix, thanks. Didn't think H/S was a pbm, but heard it on another forum.
  7. pinkerpv

    pinkerpv New Member

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    I took measurements with a caliper on the WSAR and then compared the measurements to the SAR. The gap between the WASR rails just above the ejector was 1.000 in and the gap between the ejector and opposite rail is .517 in. The gap on the SAR was .984 and .497 respectively. So the gap on the WSAR is larger than on the SAR. I have included a picture of the two receivers with ejectors side by side.
    WSAR is on the right. Note dimple on SAR on left. SAR appears to have more robust Ejector.

    At a gun show this past weekend I found a guy selling AK parts and discussed it with him. He was pretty convinced that the bolt was not the problem; however he did try another bolt in the carrier and saw that it was a better fit. He still suggested before I buy another bolt and/or carrier, I try to close the gap between the rails and the ejector. Any other suggestions.

    Attached Files:

  8. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    and how does he presume you do that without altering the receiver? Can't swap ejectors, You could have someone build up a weld on the ejector and reshape it, risk changing the temper on the receiver and snapping the whole thing off. There is no adapter, there is no insert and you said it right there "he tried another bolt in the carrier and it was a better fit". How much more convincing do you need? He was a parts guy, not a gunsmith. He's asking you to do something very very stupid. Sorry for the rant but this burns me when some parts guy at a gun show trumps solid proven advice. GET A BOLT and a new one-not from some guys junk parts bin.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I very much agree with Helix on this one. Parts swappers claiming to be smiths give smiths a bad rep. They need a good ol fashined texas sized ass beating IMO!!!
  10. sniper69

    sniper69 Member

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    If swapping out the bolt in an AK for another one, head space should be checked. Even if the replacement bolt is new. SAAMI gages might not be 100%, but the CIP gages should work fine. :)
  11. pinkerpv

    pinkerpv New Member

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    Thanks for all the info. Here is what I have done so far.
    I closed the distance a few 1000s on the WASR receiver. This made the gap between the ejector and the receiver rail smaller, about the same as the SAR.
    At the range yesterday I fired the WSAR and managed to get about 10 rnds off before the FTE. I then swapped the bolts and carriers between the WSAR and SAR and guess what. No FTEs in about 50 rds. I did have one FTE in the SAR with the other bolt in about 50 rds.

    I’m going to replace the bolt with a new one. I'll have to find the gauges to check the head space.
  12. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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  13. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a question. You asked for advice and then didnt listen to the advice given and went a round about way to find out that the advice you got was correct. Then someone says headspace and you didnt think that to be a problem, but are now going to buy a guage to check it. I am just a little confused. Also, you were told that attempting to close the gap on the reciever was risky and you did it anyhow. What method did you use for this "adjustment"?
  14. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    Though I know the point of checking head space, but do you actually think that these piece mealed, duct taped, wire wrapped, 2x4 for a stock AK's used in the middle east ever seen the likes of a headspace gauge?:rolleyes: Doubtful
  15. pinkerpv

    pinkerpv New Member

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    Double D; I can appreciate your comments. I asked for help/info on other forums as well as this one. I also read several articles. The timing of my request for info and the responses don't always coincide. But I do take all the info into consideration and make a decision with that available info on what to do. Later responses with info may alter my decision on what to do. Also its sometimes hard to determine the level of expertise in the response. Usually its done by my familiarity with the issue, the wording in the response, number of posts and previous post by responders and my gut. I don't want to take someone's post and act on it and then blame them for poor results, so i make my own decision as to what to do and then I blame only myself.

    I do agree with you that it may be confusing for someone reading the thread. This works for me. There are many posters with much expertise and I have learned a great deal form many of them. And I do appreciate everyone's responses to my questions and requests for help.

    Helix FR; I agree with you in a way; however, you wont believe how many people on other forums talk about checking head space. Even Sniper 69 above.

    As I mentioned above in an earlier post, I measured the distance between the rails and also between the ejector and opposite rail with a digital caliper. Then using a rubber mallet(in finest AK fashion) I hit the receiver side several times and rechecked distance. This is the method a gunsmith told me about. After all many AK receivers are made from flat blanks this way. After closing the distance some and measuring along the receiver with calipers, i went to the range and fired the WSAR getting the same results of 10 rnds fired and then a failure to Eject. That's when I swapped bolts and decided that maybe a new bolt was the key. BTW, before swapping bolts in the field, I had checked them first at home , even chambering a spent casing and a cartridge to ensure the bolt lugs locked up and observing distance from the bolt face to chamber. Crude, I know but the best I could do. After the range time, at home in my shop I checked the distance with the caliper and found that the distance had not opened up with the firing. So I continued striking the sides of the receiver until the rail and ejector distance were the exact same as the SAR. I have not refired the WSAR yet, but am interested in seeing if this corrects the problem.

    If my methods offend or confuse, I am sorry. I am not intending that.
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