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VMI KEYDET 08
October 18, 2004, 06:44 PM
Anybody have any ideas on how to smooth out the action? It is really stiff, I have tried oiling it, and working it many times, but it wont run smoothly. It is rough and hard to work the action. Should I take it to a smith? or could I do something to it on my own?

PzB41
October 27, 2004, 05:48 PM
Hi VMI,

I wrote a goodly amount as a reply, but for some reason my 'puter decided to take a massive dump and I lost it all. So much for technology.

Short version: Friction is cumulative. The only way to minimize that friction is to polish the metal of the bearing surfaces.

Things that need to be polished:

1. Bolt "ways" in the receiver.
2. Extractor (polished bright)
3. Follower (don't forget to have the rear of the follower ground to a shallow angle before you have it polished).
4. Ejector where it bears against the bolt.
5. Inside the extractor retaining ring, and the cut it rides in on the bolt.
6. Bearing surface on the rear top of the receiver where the bolt handle indexes, causing it to 'cock on open'. Also the bolt handle itself where it rides against the receiver.

Notes: STAY AWAY from the locking lugs. If you have the two-stage trigger replaced with a single-stage one, I'd go with something like Ron Power's triggers (all tool steel, fully adjustable and very, very high quality). NO 6-ounce trigger pulls, please. Only thing a 6-ounce trigger is good for in the field is getting someone killed. 4 to 4 1/2 lbs should do you just fine. You can pick up a 'way polisher' from Brownells for a minimal amount of money. Don't think you can cut corners by smearing valve grinding compound all over the bolt and just work it back and forth. That's half-assism and unprofessional. If I were fitting a new barrel, that stuff has it's place, but not for a smoothing job on a 98 that does not need a new barrel. If you try any of this on your own, remember that removing metal is a helluva lot easier than putting it back. If you have any other questions, email me.

Pz

NB: When you lube the rifle after it has been recleaned after the work has been done, I would reccomend something like Action Lube Plus, or some other Moly/graphite-based lube. Normal CLP or rifle grease is adequite, but doesn't have the qualities of the moly/graphite stuff. M-Pro 7 is also good, but pricey.