*LONG POST* UPDATED UPDATE in 1st post to *and so it begins...XM21 Bula* - M14 Forum

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*LONG POST* UPDATED UPDATE in 1st post to *and so it begins...XM21 Bula*

This is a discussion on *LONG POST* UPDATED UPDATE in 1st post to *and so it begins...XM21 Bula* within the Modern M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; *UPDATED UPDATE* She's a shooter! Not only a shooter, but a pretty darned decent one for a decent price tag! I'm on paper pretty consistently ...


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Old May 31st, 2017, 08:19 AM   #1
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*LONG POST* UPDATED UPDATE in 1st post to *and so it begins...XM21 Bula*

*UPDATED UPDATE*

She's a shooter! Not only a shooter, but a pretty darned decent one for a decent price tag! I'm on paper pretty consistently and with nice small groups even with a warmish barrel...now if I can just figure out how to get her to cycle consistently (only cycled 2 out of 5 rounds or so yesterday). For now, I'm just happy she's shooting better than 20moa :D

Picture of most recent target in post #

************************************************** Original Update******************************************** ******
First range report here...and it's a doozie! I think i'll keep my day job

So I emailed Jeff a few weeks back (didn't actually know he was the President of Bula Defense) and inquired about recommended break in procedure for my new barreled action. His response as follows:

Good morning Mike! Thank you for the message. There is not a specific procedure we recommend, however my personal process is to pull a few patches with clp after each single round for five rounds, then do the same thing after 3 round sets 5 times. After that, I thoroughly clean the rifle shoot as normal. Mainly you're looking to remove minor machining imperfections and / or burrs from the milling process without driving copper fouling into those areas. You do not want to over clean it with harsh chemicals or lapping compounds because you WILL erode accuracy by softening the lands and grooves. I hope this helps and congrats on your rifle!

Jeff Miller
President
Bula Defense Systems


Simple enough! So I spent the last two weeks of nights after work and a few hours each weekend lugging #94 to the range...even bought a new 44" bomb proof Pelican style case from Cabelas to protect my new lady.

x5 - Show up to the range...sign in...remove rifle from case...*BANG*...put rifle back in case...sign out...drive home...clean barrel...put rifle back in safe.

x5 - Show up to the range...sign in...remove rifle from case...*BANG, BANG, BANG*...put rifle back in case...sign out...drive home...clean barrel...put rifle back in safe.

Then yesterday...the moment I'd been waiting for so long!

It should be mentioned that up to this point I hadn't turned the gas on, so as to simply ensure that I was isolating any issues that might occur during firing, and also to keep the action clean(ish) so I didn't get stuck cleaning that EVERY time while breaking in.

I set up my sand bags (i'm kinda ghetto) ran down range and set up a nice big USMC pistol target (tactically acquired) just to ensure the greatest success of making it on paper after a quick boresight (with a laser in my basement) and headed back to the bench. Not really a bench shooter save for instances like this...but I digress.

Thumb screw...high shoulder pocket...reach for the sky...high firm pistol grip...bone support...natural point of aim...breath! slow, steady squeeze and *BANG*...brass ejected for the first time since I turned the gas on, and it even chambered the next round for me

Look through my 9x optic, and what do you know...I can't see a hit. Take out my magazine, unload rifle and leave my action open while I head down range...walking, walking...can't see a hit...get about 10 feet from the target, and i'm in the 10 ring from 115 yards with my first 'real' shot! 'This is going to be awesome' I think, as I head back to the bench. Trying to keep calm so I don't botch my group...sit down, load up, same spiel...*BANG*...brass ejects, next round chambers just fine. A look down the scope reveals a hole in the paper about a foot below my previous shot...this can't be...can it?

The only thing that comes to mind requires a bit of a step back to when I was putting together this build...the hand guard I opted to use (based on aesthetics via my girlfriends opinion [she picks out my clothes for me too]) was REALLY tight...and i mean REALLY tight. I basically jammed it in there thinking that 'tighter is better', right? Tighter fit=tighter tolerance=tighter groups. For now, it seems I've not yet revealed the secrets of this fickle mistress that is the M14.

SO...my best diagnosis/questions to the experts:

1.Did I adversely effect my accuracy by putting pressure in between my action and my barrel band...causing the barrel to "U" in a downward direction from the heat of the first round.

2.Do you think this caused permanent damage to my barrel what with the previous 20 shots for 'break in' having probably had the same result (just not on paper, as I was just aiming at the berm)...OR do barrels (med. profile) typically go back to their original shape when they cool off each time?

3.If my diagnosis is correct...how much should I shorten the hand gaurd? How loose is 'too-loose?' I know on my match M1A built by a USMC 2112 (retired SSgt. Isaac McCaskill) there's some type of white glue used to secure the hand gaurd to the rear hand guard clip and the barrel band. I obviously thought I could alleviate this step by just jamming my handguard into the space alloted to me by the M14 gods.

Please advise.

Semper Fi,
Mike

Picture of my target from last night is in post#20

*************************OLD POST*************************
Thanks to Jeff...I scooped up this Bula XM21 barreled receiver for $851 to my door (including transfer fee at my local FFL and gas to and from the gun shop that's 3 miles away!) Now that's a steal!

I wasn't expecting to be able to build up an XM21 any time soon, but it seems the opportunity presented itself and I just couldn't talk myself out of it (and I didn't give anyone else the chance to either.)

I still have the M21 DMR build going, but I'm switching gears to get this one soup to nuts and hope to be shooting it in the next couple weeks. I'm picking up an Archangel stock tomorrow night off a guy locally for $160...I already have a complete OM-N trigger group, new TRW op rod, unitized gas system (needs a little filing before installation) and a few different scopes I can choose from to mount off other rifles (i'll probably play around with that a bit and find which setup I like best and buy a duplicate down the road). I worked out a deal for some other NM parts in trade and pretty soon I'll be on my way. All in all, this is going to be an 'on the cheap' build from mostly parts I paid next to nothing for, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again!
Attached Images
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Last edited by Dakar652; June 23rd, 2017 at 07:18 AM.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 10:47 AM   #2
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Congratulations. You are on the trail to one of the best optic enabled M-14 type rifles available. I don't believe there is a more stable system produced by anyone. We have Jeff and Bula to thank for their innovation in both design and production.
I have 6 XM21s set up in different configurations and love every one.

Semper Fi
Art

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Old May 31st, 2017, 11:12 AM   #3
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6!!! And here I am thinking I had a 'problem' wanting another one! Art, I see you're in CT...I'm a reserve Cpl. at your local(ish) devil dog war fighter unit in New Haven (CLB 25 Maintenance Service Company, used to be 6th Motors). Pretty sure there's a few guys in my unit from up in your neck of the woods. Any chance you'd know of anyone in CT or MA that could help me instal and headspace my Fulton M21 receiver to an LRB DMR contour 18.5" chrome line barrel (I would, of course, be willing to compensate them for their services)? Not that I don't trust myself to do it, but I don't trust myself to do it, Rah? :D

Semper Fi, sir!
Mike

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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dakar652 View Post
6!!! And here I am thinking I had a 'problem' wanting another one!
Nothing wrong with having more than one. You should have at least 3 or 5 or 10 or something. One is not enough.

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Old May 31st, 2017, 06:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Killashrub View Post
Nothing wrong with having more than one. You should have at least 3 or 5 or 10 or something. One is not enough.
I'm going to try and stop at 3 for now before my safe starts puking rifles out. I went a little crazy on milsurps in the last 5 years, and it's really showing. The DMR will quite literally be the last rifle my safe will hold comfortably.

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Old May 31st, 2017, 07:11 PM   #6
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Bula's are outstanding in all configuration's, congratulations!

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Old May 31st, 2017, 07:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakar652 View Post
I'm going to try and stop at 3 for now before my safe starts puking rifles out. I went a little crazy on milsurps in the last 5 years, and it's really showing. The DMR will quite literally be the last rifle my safe will hold comfortably.
Solution buy another safe; preferably a larger safe this time!

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Old May 31st, 2017, 10:57 PM   #8
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Solution buy another safe; preferably a larger safe this time!
Yep!! Went from a 5 to a 10 and then added an additional 14 to the 10. Just buy something big first time!

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Old May 31st, 2017, 11:00 PM   #9
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I got a 12 rifle safe and I have 12 M14's, 3 mini 14's, a Auto 5, and a 10/22 somehow fitting in there. With no room to spare.

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Old June 5th, 2017, 08:23 AM   #10
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Well...that was fun! Man, I wish I had enough money to build one of these rifles every day! I'm so glad I still have the Fulton M21 receiver to barrel/headspace/build in the near future, because I can see this being VERY addicting!

My girlfriend had a shift at the hospital Saturday night, and I knew it was going to be some time before I had another opportunity to build this up...so in 5 hours, she went from headspaced barreled receiver to what you see here including fitting in the Archangel stock. That's about as much fun as I've ever had with my pants on! It was NOTHING like building an AR...matter of fact I might sell my Mattel rifles to make more room for M14's eventually!

Still not sure if i'm going to keep my SWFA SS 3x9 glass on it, or put something else in. I love that glass, just not sure whether it's a good fit with the turret sticking a mile out to the right of the bolt cutout.

Specs:
-BULA XM21 Receiver with Medium Contour 18.5" Barrel (op rod guide installed)
-BULA bolt pre-headspaced
-New TRW op rod
-OM-N trigger group
-Sadlak spring guide
-Schuster adjustable gas plug
-Smith Enterprises Good Iron Muzzle Brake with 9/16x24tpi installed with jam nut (pictures might show it not fully installed, but it's damn near perfect now as far as my eyes can see.
-USGI op rod spring, gas lock, piston, firing pin, extractor/spring/plunger, ejector/spring
-ProMag Archangel stock
-Burris XTR low rings (my SWFA 3x9 is so close to the handguard, I can barely slide a piece of paper between the two!)

To date, I took it out back and fired one single shot with it (in driving rain yesterday) so I can now clean it and use Butch's Bore Shine (unless you guys recommend something else) and break this thing in right!

Thanks again to Jeff for the sweet deal on the barreled receiver, to M1Army for the trade on the Brookfield Op Rod Spring Guide, the guy that sold me the new TRW op rod for $220, to the dude from the other forum that sold me the unused Archangel for $160, and the dude that sold me all his M14 spare parts for a song as part of the deal with my 1987 M1A match rifle.

I'll keep all updates and range reports in this thread so as to not booger up the forum.
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Old June 5th, 2017, 08:38 AM   #11
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Back in the day some people would turn their scopes so the windage turret was pointed up. This changes the evaluation to windage and vise versa but it does work with as long as the reticle is standard. Rifle is coming along nicely.

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Old June 5th, 2017, 10:08 AM   #12
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Nice job! Watch out for how your brass is ejecting and possibly impacting your scope.

Leon McKee

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Old June 5th, 2017, 05:26 PM   #13
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Nicely done, Dakar!

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Old June 6th, 2017, 05:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by leonmckee View Post
Nice job! Watch out for how your brass is ejecting and possibly impacting your scope.

Leon McKee
I've contacted SWFA to see if they think it's going to be an issue. Their scopes are pretty tough...i'm just not sure I want to test the limits of the tube. I imagine that brass is coming out of there pretty quick.

Any of you guys have one of these and have any other suggestions?

Tilting the scope 90 degrees probably won't work for this scope, but that's a solid suggestion if I find another option here.

Also, is there a suggested break in regimen for the Bula barrels? I'd just planned on using a generic break in, but if Bula recommends something specific, I would rather follow that to make certain I'm getting the most out of this setup...I plan to shoot the bag out of this rifle.


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Old June 6th, 2017, 09:37 AM   #15
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You'll not know how she ejects until you fire her! Maybe consider buying yourself a Joby JB01491 tripod for your phone. You can then record video as you shoot and view later to see your ejection pattern (keep phone out of ejection area). For example, my SOCOM ejects at about 2:30 and sometimes dings my op-rod while many of my other rifles eject at around 1:30. Really high ejection could be bad for a scope turret on the XM21.

Leon McKee

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