Gunsmithing .223 BDL Feeding Help

BigBlue&Goldie

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Jul 10, 2011
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I'm at wits end trying to get a project rifle to feed, and I could use the help of the collective. This is all during function testing following assembly, and not actually fired. All components are new.

-.223 Pierce barreled action (barreled by Pierce)
-Accurate Innovations stock, with their bedding block system
-Sunny Hill BDM bottom metal
-Remington OEM .223 spring
-Remington OEM .223 mag box
-Gun Runners .223 follower
-.223 rounds sized/seated using my standard Redding Competition dies with 69 SMK, loaded to 2.26" OAL.

Based on what I've read, .223 can be tricky in a BDL configuration, and naturally I have no prior experience with BDL setups. Combine that with a bunch of non-OEM parts, and I'm seemingly pissing up a rope.

The various issues encountered while trying different tweaks:

-The best I got it to work was to feed the first 3 rounds and the 5th round, but the 4th always popped out of the mag when ejecting the 3rd round.
-The rounds would pop up tip high randomly, regardless of position in mag.
-The rounds/follower would rest nose down.

Things I've checked/tried:

-The follower moves freely up and down in the box. This is a non-OEM part, only purchased because I wasn't able to find an OEM one at the time.
-The spring.....the god damn spring, doesn't seem to make a positive difference no matter what I do. It's installed so that both legs face the muzzle end. I don't see how this could be installed improperly? I've tried bending it various ways, but it seems to have weak pressure on the front of the follower.
-The box is the proper .223 model with the built in spacer.
-The round's OAL fits comfortably in the box.
-The box to feed ramp transition is smooth, not causing hangups.

What I *think* could be the possible issue:

- The spring seems week on the front of the follower and far stiffer on the back side (primer side)
-The follower is aftermarket, so maybe the profile sucks? The little I've read on these followers indicates they are quality units.
-The rails on the action might be a little wide causing the occasional round to pop out? I'm not sure what the spec is here?

Any general setup tips would be greatly appreciated. I really want to run the BDL configuration, but I'm about to throw the towel in and get a DBM setup for the generally better mag feeding.
 
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Brisket

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Jan 31, 2020
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You might try seating the spring forward or aft on the floor plate. Doing that you can change the heel pressure on the cartridge. When you figure out where it works best, use a center punch on the bottom spring leg to lock it into place.

If that doesn't work, you can soften the spring pressure by chamfering the corners of the spring at the bends. Doesn't take much material removal to change the pressure a lot.
 
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BigBlue&Goldie

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Thanks Brisket.

I did experiment with fixing the follower to the spring in various locations. I simply drilled a small hole in the spring and drilled/tapped a few holes in the machined follower. It didn't seem to help. I wanted to do the same with the floor plate, but didn't have a good way of doing so. The spring seems to move pretty freely in the floor plate, so there is no doubt it could be shifting to a non-optimal position. Being that the bottom metal is so pricey, I didn't want to risk hosing the floor plate up. I think I'm going to try another spring and a stamped OEM follower.
 

FisherT&C

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    Does the mag box fit snug between the bottom metal and receiever? I always preferred the ADL boxes on a BDL build because they have the tab that screws on to the bottom of the receiver and keeps the box from moving around. Maybe that would help.
     
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    Grand

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    Make sure you have the spacer installed behind the spring where it attaches to the floorplate. If not, the follower will tend to dive nose down.

    xQZWGmE.jpg


    I have a drawer full of OEM parts if you want to borrow an 223 OEM spring and follower.
     
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    BigBlue&Goldie

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    Jul 10, 2011
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    Arizona....land of the free
    Does the mag box fit snug between the bottom metal and receiever? I always preferred the ADL boxes on a BDL build because they have the tab that screws on to the bottom of the receiver and keeps the box from moving around. Maybe that would help.

    The box seems to have a nice fit, not only into the action recess, but there is no excess slop/movement between the action and bottom metal.

    Thanks
     

    BigBlue&Goldie

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    Jul 10, 2011
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    Arizona....land of the free
    Make sure you have the spacer installed behind the spring where it attaches to the floorplate. If not, the follower will tend to dive nose down.

    xQZWGmE.jpg


    I have a drawer full of OEM parts if you want to borrow an 223 OEM spring and follower.

    This might very well be my issue! I wasn't aware of this spacer. I will have to look into this and see what Sunny Hill says.

    I also appreciate the offer of the factory parts to try out. I ordered another spring today. I think I need to first figure out this spacer as I had suspicion something wasn't right with how much movement there was with the spring in the floor plate.
     
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