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#1 mitchell6776

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 03:59 PM

Does anyone know of someone who can tweak/optimize a 1915 CSRG chauchat? Keep getting the stovepipe malfunction which I believe is a failure to eject. These things really were awful, although interesting from a historical perspective. For some reason I have two.... 


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#2 StrangeRanger

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 06:07 PM

Does anyone know of someone who can tweak/optimize a 1915 CSRG chauchat? Keep getting the stovepipe malfunction which I believe is a failure to eject. These things really were awful, although interesting from a historical perspective. For some reason I have two.... 

One to s##t on and one to cover it with? ;)
 


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#3 Haenelistklasse

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 07:21 PM

Try Bubba Naess at Black River Militaria. He is almost always backed up so it will probably be a long wait but I am sure he could do it for you. Just email him and ask.


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#4 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 08:05 PM

Somebody posted somewhere Andrewski fixed theirs.   They're good guns IMO for what the intended purpose was, but generally most people have no idea what's required to actually repair the damage done by deactivation and how to reassemble them.  There is some "technique" required to shoot them as well.  In hindsight I'd never suggest owning one without reading the book, and even then the odds of getting one put together correctly is not likely, so the gun will likely have issues regardless.  I have several and am one of the few that is not frustrated.  It's not a gun for everybody to grab off the rack and randomly shoot at the range. 

 

Nobody makes over 200K of anything because they don't work.  I have guns over 200K apart in ser. number with only minor variations from parts supplier's, and the parts interchange.  Had there been real problems the design would have evolved more, but it never did.  Buy the book, it's worth every dime.


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#5 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:28 PM

Couple things that you can check. You may know the dollowing already but it might be educational  to those reading this comment who are interested in knowing one of the aspects of how the gun works.

The ejection of a fired case is totally unique. There is an inner "receiver" and outer "receiver". The inner receiver holds the bolt, bolt recoil spring and is barreled on the front end. The design is known as a long recoil system. When fired, the inner receiver recoils all the way back inside the outer receiver housing. The bolt remains locked to the breech during this recoil movement. Simply put, when the inner receiver has recoiled fully the bolt is held by the sear, the bolthead rotates and releases the inner receiver to return to battery under the power of its own recoil spring. As the inner receiver moves forward the fired case is held in the boltface extracting from the chamber as the barrel moves forward. The tip of the ejector protrudes through the face of the boltface recess at the inside edge and is compressed by the cartridge base in the boltface. The ejector has a very stour small spring activating it. As the fired case clears the edge of the chamber, the ejector pushes the edge of the case and the case is "flicked" out of the ejection port. Two things of note here: the extraction of the fired case is completely dependent on the spring pressure moving the inner receiver forward; the ejection is dependent on the strength of the ejector spring, the free movement of the ejector rod and the correct length of the ejector tip protruding through the boltface. Both these actions are also dependent on the free movement of the inner receiver tube, the strength of the inner receive tube return spring and then finally on the condition of the chamber so that the fired case will release from the chamber under the spring pressure. Got it?
Test the guns current function by using a light lube on the outside of the inner receiver to reduce friction as much as possible on recoil movement and also lube the rounds.  Keep in mind that repro 8mm Lebel is underpowered compared to vintage 8 Lebel so any friction or drag in critical places will be magnified.

If the lube test results in fewer stovepipes fhen the follwing checks need to be done.

Check your chamber walls for no dings, divots, any coarse texture and insure that it is free of all that and is smooth and polished. If it is not, be very careful with polishing it and do not enlarge not it at all. Check the ejector rod for free movement and that the spring is in good condition with no collapsed or broken coils. I don't have the specs for protrusion of the ejector tip through the boltface, but at least 1/8"  by measurement of ejectors that function properly in my guns. Check the inner receiver return spring for collapsed or compromised coils; check the free movement of the inner receiver in the outer receiver which must be smooth and absolutely unhampered at any point in its forward and backward movement.
A simple method of working the action is to use a long rod that is wider than the bore and narrower than the OD of the muzzle. Put the rod into the flash-hider, invert the gun and put the other end of the rod on the floor. Press the gun down so that the action opens and moves all the way back so the sear catches. Lift the gun and the inner receiver will move back into battery. This is the only way to effectively test voth the SA and FA functions of the gun.

Having done about 25 reactivations of these guns, all of which ran as they should, a well tended and correctly maintained Chau Chat is very reliable. Ignore the armchair warriors who know nothing and are proud of it.
All I can think of at the moment and others with constructive comments can nave at it. FWIW

 


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#6 hawksnest

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:34 PM

You might give Bob Landis of Ohio Ordnance Works a call.


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#7 mitchell6776

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 08:41 PM

Many thanks for the help. I will try to tinker with it. This one is not a rewat, so it should be able to function. I have quite a few spare springs so I can start there. Was not aware that currently produced 8mm Lebel is underpowered.


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#8 jamesbucklin

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:43 PM

Thanks Bubba I will try that rod trick. I have the book and a bunch of other manuals for the Chauchat but I was still confused on how it worked until I saw a YouTube video by C&R Arsenal, also shows how to field strip and assemble. Assembly is tricky but this video does a good job of explaining it, Chauchat assembly starts about half way thru, it is called:
Small Arms of WWI Primer 099: French CSRG 1915 "Chauchat"

https://youtu.be/HChWbkzG-rc

Also check mag lips, see pic. I need to have mine fixed, I will try a local gun smith first and see if he can fix them. I also need him to remove my booster so I can clean the tube better, like Bubba says the barrel will drag on the outer tube.

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#9 jamesbucklin

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:40 AM

Is there a seal on the muzzle end of the barrel? I checked the book and found nothing but by just looking at it, it looks like there is a place for it, see pic. Thanks for any info.

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#10 1gewehr

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:00 PM

I've never heard of any kind of seal there.  Mine runs just fine with the PPU ammo.  It does like to be well lubed!  And as Bubba said, it is looonnng recoil operated, so it needs a firm base to recoil against.  In other words, don't hold it loosely and get your body behind it as much as possible.

 

I always challenge people to think of a better automatic rifle capable of automatic fire in the assault that was available in WWI.  And no, the BAR really doesn't count as it was only in use for a month at the end of the war.  For it's purpose, the Chauchat was the best available at the time.


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#11 jamesbucklin

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 05:58 PM

Is the front sight screwed on or is it pressed on?
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#12 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 07:05 PM

I actually have a Madsen from that period, so there was another choice, however I don't think they made many at all, and if so there are few survivors. 


Edited by johnsonlmg41, 15 December 2019 - 04:48 PM.

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#13 BillyDixon

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 10:37 PM

years ago i knew a guy that dad a chauchat and complained about would not feed, i watched him shoot it and he held it way infront of himself barely touching his shoulder, so i held the gun with butt against a tree trunk, sqeezed trigger and emptyed the whole magazine,you really got to hold onto these long recoil guns !! just sayn


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#14 jamesbucklin

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 05:54 PM

I had an epiphany after reading this post.
If after 25 years that can be called an epiphany.
After 25 years I have found a couple of my problems with this gun after reading this post and watching YouTube videos. I was micing the brass after resizing and it looked all wrong so I just slipped one into the chamber, the ammo I got with the gun does not fit see pics. Easy check, I do not know why I did not do that sooner?
Also the barrel was sticking in the tube, so I will have a gunsmith take off the front sight and polish the inside of the tube, the barrel looks fine.
I have 3 types of ammo
Recent purchase PPU= fits easy into chamber closer to Balle D specs
Ammo made with 348 Win brass= too big, does not slide into chamber
Ball N ammo from 1948= too big but goes in father then the 348 ammo

Balle N ammo should not be shot in a Chauchat but I have a bunch I may be able to pull the bullets and use for reloading the PPU brass. Lee book specs are .323 diameter bullet.
PPU bullet=brass .325
348 Win bullet=fmj steel .320
Balle N bullet= all steel .324

Photos upside down and backwards but anyway:
Photo 1=348 reloads. Photo 2=PPU loaded. Photo 3=Balle N loaded
Any advice or comments are welcome.



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#15 maxfaxdude

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 11:04 PM

I don't shoot reloads...and would certainly not do so in expensive (read all) machineguns.


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#16 jamesbucklin

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:43 PM

My safety bar is backwards? It is on safe when it is set to "C" and fires when set to "S"? Any suggestions, except be careful?
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#17 jamesbucklin

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 07:46 AM

To answer my own question. After watching C&Rsenal number 099 Chauchat vdo on YouTube and finding diagrams in the "Manual of the Automatc Rifle" from the 1918 War Department I have found that my "firing mechanism" and "safety lock" is different in my gun then what it shows in the manual. The safety lock uses the same pin as is used in the "front assembling bolt", the switch that latches the top half with the bottom half. My "safety lock" pushes down on the "sear" instead of holding up on the "sear lever". Maybe it is a post war modification of these guns? The safety works, just in a different way.
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