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Buffer Pilot Question

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#1 Nav4


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Posted 15 March 2005 - 11:19 AM

Hello all I'm relatively new to the board (been lurking awhile though) .

I've been reading the questions about buffer pilots with respect to the two peice pilot (which is std in the WH '28?)
and the original one pc unit which does not go out the rear of the receiver but does have a potential kink problem( I think?).

So I have to ask , is kinking of the recoil spring a real problem in an old "28s with the one piece pilot ?

Another poster (reenactor ) actually wants the two piece pilot but then there is a breakage issue with those?

Wow I'm confused.

Which pilot is really better/safer for use in my WH '28 etc ?
I've changes out all the other internals for WW2 Savage/AO parts but have left the WH pilot
since it's easier to change.

Oh and the name's Bill , I'm from NH and "Nav4 "
is the old designator for my aircraft a Navion .

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#2 Nav4


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Posted 15 March 2005 - 11:33 AM

Well seems like ( from reading the "Asmodeous's " thread and Philohio's last post ) that I should change the buffer pilot to the Savage unit.

but will kinking be a concern during shooting ?
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#3 Nav4


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Posted 15 March 2005 - 01:11 PM

Thanks Phil , no there is nothing unusual about my WH , so I will change out to the one pc old style

As far as my bird goes ,it's funny I think of a Navion kinda like a Thompson ;
There are lighter , faster and newer machines available for sure but (to me at least)
None has all the history or qualities of a Navion (or a Thompson ).

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#4 PK.


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Posted 15 March 2005 - 01:28 PM

It should not be said that you automatically need to replace the buffer pilot. WH guns were shipped with GI pilots, WH made units machined from solid stock and the ones that should be replaced, which were made from a steel disk brazed to a rod (“2 piece”). You can usually tell these by the golden ring around the rod at the joint.

Most kinking problems result from improper disassembly/ reassembly but, other alignment issues can be a real problem, even with the GI pilots.

Many WH guns had over sized holes in the receiver that allowed the pilot to move off center to much. This, coupled with a shorter than ideal front section of the pilot or minimal diameter of the stem that goes through the receiver (common with GI parts), a bent oilier frame, or a thinner than standard buffer all create a situation where the pilot can be off enough to accelerate wear of the spring and actually damage the opening of the spring hole in the actuator. In the worst case, the actuator will actually hit the pilot and lock everything up; not good.

When assembled, the pilot & spring may be just a bit off center and that’s ok, but if the actuator struggles even a bit to get back over the pilot/ spring, then something should be fixed. If you feel a “grating” sensation caused by the coils of the spring sliding against the edge of the hole in the actuator, something needs fixed too. Pay attention to the edges of the spring hole in the actuator and the end of the pilot; watch for rapid wear (usually on one side).

The problem I see with the “telescoping” pilots made in past years are two fold. First, the skinny front section may hold the spring from getting way out and kinking, but it does nothing to prevent excess wear to the actuator from friction of the otherwise unsupported spring trying to enter the hole. Second, the designs I have seen use the M1 buffer. I am uncomfortable with this in the 21/28 receiver because it really doesn’t do any “buffing” at all. There is a big difference between the M1 and 21/28 receivers.

Because I could not get Pilots to the standards I felt were desired, I started making my own some time ago with optimized tolerances that greatly reduce the wobble and maximize support for the spring. The dimensions were carefully considered and compared to the GI prints for the parts with which the buffer interfaces to insure compatibility. I have used these in many guns and been greatly satisfied. I still consider the basic 28 buffer pilot design to be the best, especially when combined with a buffer made from modern materials.

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#5 Nav4


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Posted 15 March 2005 - 02:36 PM

PK Thanks for the carification .
I 'll take my Westy down tonight to see if the pilot is a brazed unit.
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