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op rod spring replacent schedule

This is a discussion on op rod spring replacent schedule within the Rifle Competition forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; How often should I replace my op rod spring? I tried search with op rod spring replacement and recoil spring, finding 10,000 posts that entertained ...


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Old October 23rd, 2016, 08:36 PM   #1
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op rod spring replacent schedule

How often should I replace my op rod spring? I tried search with op rod spring replacement and recoil spring, finding 10,000 posts that entertained me for a few hours but didn't answer my questions. I'm only shooting mabe 1,200 rounds a year with the M14 and about the same with the Garand in the local matches. I remember reading something about measuring the spring and "X inches less" was time to retire it. Both the M14 and Garand have about two years on the springs. Probably time to replace, but was looking for a general rule of thumb like every 3k (my normal schedule) or 2k, whatever it is.

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Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:02 PM   #2
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I say every 2,000 rounds or if it gets shorter than 15".
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Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:35 PM   #3
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At barrel change and after 16 pounds of powder burned through the barrel.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 03:25 AM   #4
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Rule of thumb for 308 is 150rnds. per lb. and that equates to 150rnds x 16lbs.powder or some 2400rnds. Have known shooters upon measuring length of spring and finding it not to spec, stretch it to the desired length whatever that length is, seemed to work OK.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 08:36 AM   #5
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So 2 to 3 thousand sounds fine then.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 09:52 AM   #6
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I have 10 or so spare springs most are NOS. The lengths very slightly with the coils evenly spaced.
I don't think the springs are that critical unless they have collapsed under a large amount of fired rounds.
I've never worn one out.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 11:47 AM   #7
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i replace them on the yearly cleaning

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Old October 24th, 2016, 02:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by aloreman View Post
i replace them on the yearly cleaning
I know you're a fairly active competititor so that doesn't surprise me that you replace them annually.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Instructor View Post
Rule of thumb for 308 is 150rnds. per lb. and that equates to 150rnds x 16lbs.powder or some 2400rnds. Have known shooters upon measuring length of spring and finding it not to spec, stretch it to the desired length whatever that length is, seemed to work OK.
I would never recommend stretching a spring to get it back to length....

The reason a spring gets shorter is because the material of the spring has yielded, and taken a new rest position. Stretching it back to the old length does not restore the "springiness" of the steel (the spring rate). On compression, it will almost immediately return to the yielded position.

It "seems" to work, because a short spring will also "seem" to work. But, it does not have the same spring rate.


If it is less than 15" replace it.

EDIT: The relaxed length is of no consequence, how much length the spring looses over its life is. Ideally, you should measure the spring rate, but I don't have that info.

Correction: I do have that info: At a compressed length of 10.87" the load should be 8.13 +/- /81 lbs, at 6.42" the load should be 17.00 +/- 1.69 lbs

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Last edited by lysander; October 24th, 2016 at 03:15 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2016, 03:09 PM   #10
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I have seen the 15" rule come up for several years now and it's the rule that I follow now.


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Old October 24th, 2016, 04:56 PM   #11
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I installed new ones with a fresh build, haven't replaced them since. 4000rds on one, 1000rds on the other. no problems yet.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 09:49 PM   #12
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I installed new ones with a fresh build, haven't replaced them since. 4000rds on one, 1000rds on the other. no problems yet.
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that a weak/worn recoil spring allows the op rod "saddle" to strike the front of the receiver with excessive force? Does the bolt tail hit the receiver heel with excessive force also? I'm guessing one would not "see" a problem till damage occurs?

Just curious here.

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Old October 25th, 2016, 01:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that a weak/worn recoil spring allows the op rod "saddle" to strike the front of the receiver with excessive force? Does the bolt tail hit the receiver heel with excessive force also? I'm guessing one would not "see" a problem till damage occurs?

Just curious here.
The thing with weak springs is that you don't see the problems they cause until they become very bad problems.

I don't see the need to replace them every 2000 rounds, but I think it wise to measure them at least every 2000 rounds . . .

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