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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 3:49 pm 
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oneounceload wrote:
Dr Duk wrote:
Are the ports clean?
Take a drill bit, by hand and clean ports.
Sometimes there is a metal burr in the port.


I agree with this approach; there might just enough buildup in the ports or piston preventing lighter loads from working


I got all excited as one port was clean as a whistle, the second appeared completely blocked. I then looked in the barrel and saw no second port drilled through and got really excited.

Then I came back and did a search, actually found one of your posts that verified to someone else in the past that in fact, there is only one port. :(

The port was clean, I cleaned everything related again.

I took a close look at the rails and with the exception of a couple of small bare spots where the paint had rubbed through, everything else seemed smooth and straight.

When I looked at the rail channels in the receiver, up front there was enough wear on both sides that the anodized surface on both sides had warn through. I lubed the rail channels pretty well and will see if that seems to help.

Finally, I keep coming back to the elevator. When I cycle the bolt back and forth, the single biggest resistance is that elevator. If I cycled the bolt slowly, it actually kind of hangs up a little. Not sure how normal that is as it has been a long time since I handled my Unico.

Anyway, right now, I am kind of in the spot where I will see if a little more break in will allow me some more flexibility with loads. I suspect this gun will never cycle those 3/4oz skeet loads, which isn't the end of the world as the gun is so soft shooting even those buck loads weren't all that bad, running a little hotter target loads isn't a big deal.




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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Does Cole or anyone make a lighter recoil spring for the Xcel that could allow lighter loads?


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:00 pm 
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Why, yes, Cole does have different springs, but they are gas valve springs.

https://www.colegun.com/collections/ber ... -2-springs

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:17 pm 
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JNW wrote:
Why, yes, Cole does have different springs, but they are gas valve springs.

https://www.colegun.com/collections/ber ... -2-springs

Jeff


I saw that today when I went to their site. The more I think about this gun, when I hear all the glowing reports from other Xcel owners shooting light loads, I think there likely is something wrong in the gas system.

I sent Coles an inquiry and asked if they thought they might be able to fix this gun's intolerance for lighter loads, we shall see what they say.

I would buy one of their special exhaust valve springs and try it, but I don't have the special wrench used to take that nut off (looks like a small shock spring perch wrench), plus the nut looks like it was hit with a punch after it was tightened down, so maybe would need a new nut as well.

Anyway, I will wait to hear what Coles has to say. I hope to get out tomorrow for a couple rounds of 5 Stand and test the function with a few more loads, maybe the breaking in will start to bear fruit as well.


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:04 am 
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Well, I feel pretty dumb right now.

I suspect I have found the problem to my cycling issues with my A400 Xcel. I was looking at the parts diagram and realized the O Ring goes on the same side of the gas valve as the piston. I thought the O ring was on the other side with the spring as I never saw the O ring when I took the valve out.

I suspect the gun never had the O ring even before I got it, might be why I got such a good trade to get it. In any case, there is no rubber O ring on the piston side. Missing parts have to be a good suspect reason for malfunction. :)

I will order a new O ring from Coles tomorrow.

Does anyone know if it would be a problem shooting the gun without the O ring? (I know, kind of late now, but I would like to shoot it until the O ring arrives as I have some getting used to it anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:06 am 
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Buy o-ring, are you referring to the split elastomer ring that goes in the groove around the gas piston? If it’s that ring, I would not shoot it anymore with that ring missing.

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“A gun is a tool, it’s just like any other tool. It’s only as good or bad as the man using it.” Alan Ladd. “Shane”


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:38 am 
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Turpentine1 wrote:
Buy o-ring, are you referring to the split elastomer ring that goes in the groove around the gas piston? If it’s that ring, I would not shoot it anymore with that ring missing.


No, I was referring to the O ring that the diagram says goes in the body of the valve housing to seal against the rod the fore end cap screws onto?

I do wonder about the split ring on the piston as well as my piston just falls out if I tip the barrel up, like there is very little spring pressure being exerted on the valve body, holding the piston in, but there is also no O ring in the valve body.


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 11:00 am 
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The split elastomer ring can be spread a little to give a little tighter fit if need be. It needs to be such that you have to squeeze the ring together in order for it to slide up in the piston housing. You’re talking about the small o ring inside of the piston itself that seals against the gas rod. If the elastomer split ring is there, I seriously doubt you would do any harm to your gun by shooting it without that o ring. You could put a little grease inside the piston if you’re worried about it galling the gas rod.

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“A gun is a tool, it’s just like any other tool. It’s only as good or bad as the man using it.” Alan Ladd. “Shane”


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:27 pm 
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Turpentine1 wrote:
The split elastomer ring can be spread a little to give a little tighter fit if need be. It needs to be such that you have to squeeze the ring together in order for it to slide up in the piston housing. You’re talking about the small o ring inside of the piston itself that seals against the gas rod. If the elastomer split ring is there, I seriously doubt you would do any harm to your gun by shooting it without that o ring. You could put a little grease inside the piston if you’re worried about it galling the gas rod.


Thanks for all the good information. I will try and spread the split ring a little for a little more tension. The teeth are more like just grooves in the ring now. Given the amount of overall wear on the gun (like zero), I wonder if maybe the previous owner modified the ring, or swapped pistons with a more well worn gun. In any case, the ring exerts zero tension right now. I ordered a new split ring, along with the O ring from Cole’s and will just replace them both when they come in.

The rod already is a little galled, which I hadn’t noticed until you pointed out that may be an issue. After I get the new O ring in, I will try and polish it up some.

Looks like I may have gotten a shade tree smith special ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 7:50 pm 
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That ring serves as a seal and also a cleaner. It keeps carbon from building up on the housing walls. I like for that ring to carbon up a little because it will seal better that way. That tip is straight from the folks at Coles. You can use a little 600 and 800 grit wet or dry sandpaper to polish and smooth the gas rod. I like to have a light coat of oil on there when I’m using the sandpaper.
I had a gun come in with a badly bent split ring a while back. It belonged to a member of my youth team. It would not cycle. I was able to carefully bend it back into its original shape and the gun has shot fine with it ever since.

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“A gun is a tool, it’s just like any other tool. It’s only as good or bad as the man using it.” Alan Ladd. “Shane”


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:06 pm 
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Turpentine1 wrote:
That ring serves as a seal and also a cleaner. It keeps carbon from building up on the housing walls. I like for that ring to carbon up a little because it will seal better that way. That tip is straight from the folks at Coles. You can use a little 600 and 800 grit wet or dry sandpaper to polish and smooth the gas rod. I like to have a light coat of oil on there when I’m using the sandpaper.
I had a gun come in with a badly bent split ring a while back. It belonged to a member of my youth team. It would not cycle. I was able to carefully bend it back into its original shape and the gun has shot fine with it ever since.


I got it apart again today and took a very close look at everything. The ring was bent and chewed up on the ends closest to the split. I straightened it out as best I could and spread it back so it had enough tension to hold the piston in the housing when the barrel was tipped up. The rod isn't as bad as I thought, just some very superficial scratches.

It is really strange as the teeth on the ring were totally flat (essentially no teeth, just little grooves). I suspect it either was a ring (or whole piston) swapped from very high mileage gun or the previous owner ground the teeth off, as the rest of the gun couldn't have had more than a flat of shells through it (or less) when I got it, it just has very little wear other than up around the gas system.

After I got it back together, I got a chance to nip out for a couple of boxes of shells on a Sporting course near me. The gun ran 100%, but I was shooting 1oz 3 1/4 Dr Equiv. loads, so not really stressing the recoil system. These hotter loads shoot so softly with that KO system, I am not sure why I am spending so much time working it to cycle the lighter stuff. I just love the way the gun shoots, perfect balance for me... :)

When I get the new ring and O ring, I will bring the lighter stuff along and see if that was the fix. If that doesn't fix it, maybe I will send it back to Cole's when winter arrives, while it is there, I might get that Electric Blue coated with something that looks more like a shotgun... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:20 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
Turpentine1 wrote:
That ring serves as a seal and also a cleaner. It keeps carbon from building up on the housing walls. I like for that ring to carbon up a little because it will seal better that way. That tip is straight from the folks at Coles. You can use a little 600 and 800 grit wet or dry sandpaper to polish and smooth the gas rod. I like to have a light coat of oil on there when I’m using the sandpaper.
I had a gun come in with a badly bent split ring a while back. It belonged to a member of my youth team. It would not cycle. I was able to carefully bend it back into its original shape and the gun has shot fine with it ever since.


I got it apart again today and took a very close look at everything. The ring was bent and chewed up on the ends closest to the split. I straightened it out as best I could and spread it back so it had enough tension to hold the piston in the housing when the barrel was tipped up. The rod isn't as bad as I thought, just some very superficial scratches.

It is really strange as the teeth on the ring were totally flat (essentially no teeth, just little grooves). I suspect it either was a ring (or whole piston) swapped from very high mileage gun or the previous owner ground the teeth off, as the rest of the gun couldn't have had more than a flat of shells through it (or less) when I got it, it just has very little wear other than up around the gas system.

After I got it back together, I got a chance to nip out for a couple of boxes of shells on a Sporting course near me. The gun ran 100%, but I was shooting 1oz 3 1/4 Dr Equiv. loads, so not really stressing the recoil system. These hotter loads shoot so softly with that KO system, I am not sure why I am spending so much time working it to cycle the lighter stuff. I just love the way the gun shoots, perfect balance for me... :)
Bingo!
When I get the new ring and O ring, I will bring the lighter stuff along and see if that was the fix. If that doesn't fix it, maybe I will send it back to Cole's when winter arrives, while it is there, I might get that Electric Blue coated with something that looks more like a shotgun... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:49 pm 
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When I get the new ring and O ring, I will bring the lighter stuff along and see if that was the fix. If that doesn't fix it, maybe I will send it back to Cole's when winter arrives, while it is there, I might get that Electric Blue coated with something that looks more like a shotgun... ;)

The blue is the reason I never bought an xcel for myself. I stuck with my xplor for clays and now shoot an o/u. Of course now they have some of the xcels in Black. Normally any of my guns including my clays gun may see double duty in a duck blind or dove field. I knew if I bought a blue gun, eventually I might cerakote it but more likely would just haul off and spray paint it.

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“A gun is a tool, it’s just like any other tool. It’s only as good or bad as the man using it.” Alan Ladd. “Shane”


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Turpentine1 wrote:
When I get the new ring and O ring, I will bring the lighter stuff along and see if that was the fix. If that doesn't fix it, maybe I will send it back to Cole's when winter arrives, while it is there, I might get that Electric Blue coated with something that looks more like a shotgun... ;)

The blue is the reason I never bought an xcel for myself. I stuck with my xplor for clays and now shoot an o/u. Of course now they have some of the xcels in Black. Normally any of my guns including my clays gun may see double duty in a duck blind or dove field. I knew if I bought a blue gun, eventually I might cerakote it but more likely would just haul off and spray paint it.


I liked the pale green hue of my Xplor Unico. The Xcel fits me so well and shoots so well, I am thrilled with the gun, but pretty much hate the color.

It was funny, I was at the club yesterday and there was an older gentleman (definitely a hunter) coming out of the club house walking right in front of me towards the rack. As he reached out to pick up his gun, he kind of looked at my Xcel standing next to his well worn field gun and kind of scanned the gun up and down, like it might be some alien's blaster. I picked up my gun right after he did his and said, "what a beautiful day", he replied, "yep", clearly thinking we probably didn't have anything else to discuss. ;)

As we got to our cars in the parking lot (we happened to be parked next to each other) there was a big old yellow lab sitting in the passenger seat of his old truck, he was all animated, clearly thinking they were about to go hunting... :)


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 9:52 pm 
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All of their earth tone colors are fine. I came close to buying a Blue, but just couldn’t make myself pull the trigger so to speak.
One thing I really like about the Xplor, is its longer receiver. It gives a little different look from the stock and lengthens the sighting plane a little. Another thing I like about the 3.5” xplor is the hydraulic bolt buffer. Versus the static bolt buffer in the xcel and action line. I’ve seen some xcels that have been run an awfully long time without changing the action spring and some will have some peening in the rear of the receiver. There’s nothing wrong with the xcels design, I just like the other buffer type.

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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:45 am 
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Turpentine1 wrote:
All of their earth tone colors are fine. I came close to buying a Blue, but just couldn’t make myself pull the trigger so to speak.
One thing I really like about the Xplor, is its longer receiver. It gives a little different look from the stock and lengthens the sighting plane a little. Another thing I like about the 3.5” xplor is the hydraulic bolt buffer. Versus the static bolt buffer in the xcel and action line. I’ve seen some xcels that have been run an awfully long time without changing the action spring and some will have some peening in the rear of the receiver. There’s nothing wrong with the xcels design, I just like the other buffer type.


I will keep an eye out for the peening. I am looking forward to running enough through it to start to worry about it. I really do hope the new small bits address the lower recoil cycling issue, or perhaps it just fades away with more cycles.

The thing that still has me puzzled is how new the whole gun looks and yet that split ring in the piston looks like it has 30K cycles, very weird. I hope it was just swapped (maybe inadvertently when two guns were being cleaned at the same time) and a new ring will restore the reliability using lighter target loads.

Either way, it is a keeper. Especially if it ends up going back to Cole's and gets a Cerakote upgrade... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:39 am 
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I had my Xcel cerakoted.
Like it a lot better than bright blue!


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:35 am 
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Cerakote and dipped.

ImageDSC00765 by Patty Mjos, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Dr Duk wrote:
Cerakote and dipped.

ImageDSC00765 by Patty Mjos, on Flickr


Very nice


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 Post subject: Re: A 400 minimum shot load cycling
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 2:07 pm 
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dcr5468 wrote:
Dr Duk wrote:
Cerakote and dipped.

ImageDSC00765 by Patty Mjos, on Flickr


Very nice


I love these guns but the fake grain and bright blue is hideous.
What were they thinking??




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