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 Post subject: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:05 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
I have an A300 Outlander, that does not work well with light loads.
So I want to fool around with the gas system some. I think the
instructions say you should not remove the nut that holds the
gas valve on the front of the gas system.
However, Coles sells this nifty wrench for removing it.
https://www.shop.colegun.com/products/3 ... lve-wrench
Also along this line, I think I could fabricate a wrench
in short order to do the same job, should actually be a
piece of cake.

So is this a big deal, or should a person go ahead and
fool around with it. I notice the permanent thread at the
top of the page about 391 maintenance, has no problem
with removing that nut.

So, how many of you take it off and do whatever it is
you are wanting to do?




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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:02 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 7:07 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Utah
I remove mine occasionally, for cleaning, no problems.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:07 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
DblXX wrote:
I remove mine occasionally, for cleaning, no problems.

Do you have any special tool for removing it. I fabricated a wrench in about
10 minutes but have not taken it off yet. Also I noticed a Carlson's choke tube
wrench should work on it if you turn it upside down. Also I have some curved
vice grips that I occasionally use on extended choke tubes and that should
work also.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:46 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 7:07 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Utah
I use an old rem choke wrench that I removed the plastic center, works perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:14 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
DblXX wrote:
I use an old rem choke wrench that I removed the plastic center, works perfect.

Super, I like it when someone has an imagination.

I tried my fabricated wrench that took me 10 minutes to make
and loosened the front nut. The wrench worked perfect,
but it is about 10 inches long, and so it is not good for
unscrewing the nut once it is loose.

So next I used just a pair of water-pump pliers and took the
nut off. Also tried the Carlson's choke wrench turned upside
down. That also was good once it is loose for turning the nut.

My next job is to try and figure out how to make the gun
function with those really light loads. I think the first
thing to try is adding a spacer on top of the spring. If
the spacer is maybe a quarter inch thick, then the spring
will be compressed a quarter inch more upon putting it
back together. That should quite materially increase the
pressure holding the ports closed that let excessive gas
bleed to the front and thereby cut pressure to the piston
that opens the action. This extra pressure on the piston
after adding that spacer should make it work with lighter
loads.

Probably a good thing to make the spacer is 9/16 nut or
washers. A trip to the hardware store produced the
spacer. It is a bushing, looks like a washer, and this
will be installed. Then off the range and see if it cycles
the really low power shells.


Last edited by JoeCool on Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:51 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:51 pm
Posts: 276
Location: PHX, AZ
My first question to the OP is what do you consider a light load? If it’s those Winchester loads at 960fps then yeah it won’t cycle them. They wouldn’t in my A300. After that the next lightest load I tried were 7/8oz load from anywhere between 1200 to 1350. Never a hiccup. Everything else after again was GTG.

I would try 7/8oz 1250 load if you are looking for a really nice soft shooting load for the gun that doesn’t require shimming or jimmying the gas system.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:41 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
The light loads are 2 3/4 dram 1 1/8 oz (1145fps) Winchester, Federal, And it is not 100% with 3 dram loads (1200fps).


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:07 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4424
Location: Western Tampa, FL
JoeCool wrote:
The light loads are 2 3/4 dram 1 1/8 oz (1145fps) Winchester, Federal, And it is not 100% with 3 dram loads (1200fps).


Agreed. Those "light loads" should not give it any problems. Obviously, there no reason for any issues with a 1200 fps load.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:30 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
Yea, they should work, but it is not a perfect world. The gun does not have a lot of miles on it. The shells it is not working with, are steel base light loads. With more miles on it, the recoil spring will loosen up, give less resistance, and then these light loads might work. I suspect that I could put some STS light loads in it and it would manage to function most of the time, maybe I will give some reloads a try and see if I can prove that.

In the mean time, I think I can get this thing to cooperate with the cheap steel base shells with a little ingenuity. I put my home made spacer in there that is like putting a 1/4 inch washer on top of the valve spring, and that will shut off more bleed gas to the front, thus giving the piston more. I will also make up a steel sleeve, that just replaces the spring. I can do that in about 20 minutes. With a steel sleeve instead of the spring, the valve will not let any gas escape to the front. It will sort of turn my 300 into a 303. The 303 did not have any extra metering for heavy loads. The sleeve will give me maximum pressure back into the piston and cylinder and should throw those cheap steel based things 6 feet. If it does, I will shoot it that way for awhile, and the recoil spring will be getting weaker all the while, and maybe then put the spring back in. Maybe, who knows? I sold my 2 V3 guns, so this A300 is getting some use now. I made a weighted magazine cap for it, now it handles more like an 1100 and is becoming quite a pleasure to shoot, just have to get the cycling whipped with the Walmart ammo.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:20 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:37 pm
Posts: 19482
JoeCool wrote:
The light loads are 2 3/4 dram 1 1/8 oz (1145fps) Winchester, Federal, And it is not 100% with 3 dram loads (1200fps).


Have you checked the gas ports? Your A300 should eat those loads and spit out the empties all day long with no problem. Also, have you lubed the recoil spring and bolt rails in the receiver?

I'm an advocate of running the autos wet, and, as I recall, you are too. You shouldn't need to go to all that trouble to shoot el cheapo loads of 1 1/8 ounce at 1145. They should work every time.

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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:07 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2746
Location: Central Maine
I have the coles tool and I have removed the nut, spring and associated parts off my 391's and now A-400 Excel several times a year to clean carbon build up out of that area. It does build up and impacts the gun function including cycling on lighter shells. That gas system will run pretty well with a surprising amount of carbon crud.

I am guessing that when you pull that stuff out of the way, you will find quite a bit of debris to clean up. Hopefully that restores full function to the gun.

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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:16 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
I checked the ports, maybe should look again, in case I did not look close enough. Running it wet would probably work, at least until all the wet gets pushed out. Probably should have tried that but have been running my 1100 dry for so long, just did not think of it. I haven't checked the recoil spring and tube, just sort of figured they should be pretty clean with the low mileage on this gun, maybe will check it if my other adjustments don't make it work.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:51 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:51 pm
Posts: 276
Location: PHX, AZ
In the close to 5k I put through my A300 it ate a steady diet of my 1oz 1250 reloads or 1oz 1290 factory shells. I never once removed the spring assembly on the barrel to clean it up. When I did clean it, which wasn’t often, I took a bronze tooth brush to the inside of the barrel band, a pipe cleaner to the port and the bronze tooth brush to the piston that sits inside the barrel band. A wipe with 0000 steel wool to the end cap post also. I never lubed the gas system, just sprayed the mag tube down with some Balistol and the bolt/action. That was it. This was on a Camo 28” gun that I got when they first dropped.

IMHO I would go the good cleaning route first. If that doesn’t work I would actually send it off to Coles for them to tinker with and/or mic/gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:46 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
Okay, with all this advice this thing should be running pretty shortly. I would like to get out today and try it, but the weather is not fully cooperating, so there might be a delay.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:40 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
I got to the range for testing. With my exhaust valve spring shimmed
with that extra washer making it harder to open the exhaust valve
I fired some Win Universal 2 3/4 dram. It worked almost all the time,
but it dribbled the spent shells right out at foot level. It failed to eject
about 1 in 20 times, definitely better, than before I tightened up the
tension on that exhaust valve spring.

Next I tried Estate 2 3/4 dram, and those it cycled a 100%, and I
am sure it did not do that well before.

So it has definitely improved with giving it a stronger exhaust
valve spring.

I had some Win universal 3 dram, and I tried those. It worked
consistently but did not throw the case more than 2 feet. I think
it had trouble with those before, so this was an improvement.

I also brought along my Winchester SX-1 for comparison.
I tried the Win Universal 2 3/4 dram in that gun. It cycled
consistently, but just barely, It dribbled the shells out at
my feet like the A300 just did. At least the SX1 dribbled them
out every time I tried it.

Judging by how the SX-1 almost parallels the A300, I think
a large part of the problem is the ammo, the Win universal
2 3/4 dram.

I think I can get the gun to cooperate fully with this ammo
if I replace that exhaust valve spring with a steel cylinder that
just keeps the exhaust ports closed. I will give that a
try next time out.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:51 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:51 pm
Posts: 276
Location: PHX, AZ
JoeCool,

Have you tried any premium loads in it before hand. AA’s, STS or Grands but in the same velocity range as the promo loads? Would like to know how those worked out head to head.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:32 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
Okay, now entering the last phase of my analysis. I made the steel
cylinder which replaces the spring, now the exhaust valves cannot
open at all. It is effectively now like the 303, that had no provisions
for bleeding off gas for heavy loads. With this configuration I won't
want to use any heavy loads, If ever I want to, then I can take the
cylinder out and put the spring back in. I also want to chronograph
that ammo and measure how much powder is in there. I suspect
there is very little powder, meaning it is probably really fast powder.
That allows them use as little as possible keeping the cost down,
but really fast powder does not give much pressure at the gas
port. So lets see. That is a job for tomorrow, tired of fooling
with this thing today.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:36 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
bigrobbierob wrote:
JoeCool,

Have you tried any premium loads in it before hand. AA’s, STS or Grands but in the same velocity range as the promo loads? Would like to know how those worked out head to head.

I am pretty sure I did back when I got the gun. I never shot it much after I got it set up right, got diverted to other guns. I shot a V3 Remington and an 1100, and a pump now and then. I can give some STS cases a try that I hand loaded. They are 7/8 ounce with about 18 grains of clay dot or slightly under that I think. I am betting they work fine. It might be interesting just to see how far it throws those compared to the Win Universal, which dribble out at my feet.


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:32 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:56 pm
Posts: 1324
I took the gun to the range, and
some ammo. I screwed up on the
ammo I only took the 3 dram Win Universal,
and some 7/8 ounce STS handloads. I had
wanted to take 2 3/4 dram but forgot them.


I chronographed the shells.

I chronoed 2 of the 3 dram and during shooting,
one cycled the gun but one did not with the steel
cylinder replacing the spring.

velocities:
3 dram Win Univer - 1159 and 1161 fps these
are way under velocity, but the last time I
measured 3 dram Universal a couple years ago
they were also, then they measured 1180, and
I had the sneaky suspicion Win was loading the
same shell and boxing them as either 3 dram
or 2 3/4 dram, because the velocity split
the difference, and no one would ever know
the difference anyway.

7/8 ounce STS I chronoed at 1285 avg and they threw
the shell 3 feet. This gun can cycle light loads.

So I decided to take apart a couple of these
so-called 3 dram loads at 1 1/8 ounce and see
what I was REALLY shooting.
The results:
The powder:
15.3 grains of something, both shells measured
that.
The shot:
468 grains on shell 1, 467.9 on shell 2.

So, just like I suspected they are using a really
fast powder, only 15.3 of whatever they are using
and it was coming up slow on velocity.

On the shot, they also cheated, it should have been
492 grains, to make an ounce and an eighth. but
they only had 468 grains of lead. they were shy
by 24 grains. These were not 1 1/8 ounce loads.
They were 1.07 ounces, closer to 1 1/16 ounce.
-----------------------------------------------
So I added shot to each one to get it up to 1 1/8 ounce,
then I measured 17.3 grains of clay dot, which load
I got from the alliant data to get me a real 2 3/4 dram
load, that is not even a 3 dram load which these shells
were labeled.

So now I have 2 Win universals actually loaded up with
17.3 grains of clay dot, and an actual 1 1/8 ounce
of lead, and the loading tables says I might expect
to get 1145 fps. What will I get? And, will it cycle
the gun?

Next test, shoot these over the chrono and see if they
cycle the action and see what velocity they give.
-----------------------------------------------

Back a few years I took apart a Win universal and also
found the powder to be some really fast powder and back
then it was supposed to be a 3 dram load and it only
measured 1180 on the chrono. I never weighed the shot
back then, but I am guessing it was light also.

The problem with Universal loads may not be steel bases,
but fast powder and light loads of lead, just a thought,
not a declaration.
------------------------------------------------


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 Post subject: Re: A300 gas system maintenance
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:16 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:37 pm
Posts: 19482
Joe,

If you want my advice, it's to quit messing around with Winchester Universals and crap loads like that. Load or purchase some decent 1 ounce at 1250 or 1 1/8 ounce at 1200 in some Win AA or Rem STS hulls and see how they do.

If the gun won't cycle these loads, then it's definitely the gun's fault. You're just wasting time and effort on trash loads and light loads.

Also, have you cleaned out the gas ports yet? Have you pulled out the recoil spring and cleaned/lubed it and the tube it runs in? Have you polished the chamber with steel wool on a bore brush chucked into a drill? If you haven't done these things, then, again, you're just wasting time. Can't figure out if you're really interested in solving the problem or just want to talk about it. :roll:

Over and out. Get to work and quit gabbing so much. :D



_________________
Please post For Sale items in the proper Classified section.

Semi-Auto Classifieds is ONLY for Complete Semi-Auto shotguns.
Over/Under Classifieds is ONLY for Complete O/U shotguns.
Items other than a complete shotgun go in OTHER Classifieds.


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