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Anybody heat treated their bolt catch?

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Old March 3rd, 2017, 00:05   #16
ThunderCactus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floreos View Post
To put it gently your gun has likely already been heat treated by people who are likely much smarter than you on that subject for a reason.
65 hardness of what could only be the rockwell B scale indicates they're using a stock material. Most likely a cast steel part, due to its complexity and apparent finish, especially the pictures of the back of it.
If it were 65 rockwell C, due to the design of the part (I'm not exaggerating) if you dropped it on a concrete floor from a height of 3ft, it would break.

If they really WERE smart, they're be using higher end alloys. 4140 is a very common steel grade, comes in at 25 rockwell C, and is VERY low wearing in this sort of application. Heck, even something like 1022 would be better than what they have now. But with billet material, they'd have to machine from billet, and that's way more expensive than castings.

Basically, his bolt catch is about as hard as good aluminum. Which is crap for a ferrous material.
I doubt his bolt carrier is made of much better stuff.
It's possible there might be an engineer somewhere that knows what they're doing, but ultimately they're subject to the manufacturing process.

So much like FCC, the bolt catch may have been the greatest thing ever in prototype, but in production, it is apparently garbage lol
It's too bad the gun doesn't use RS bolt catches.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 11:06   #17
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The catch isn't the real problem though. It's that super light spring that trips the catch.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 11:41   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
65 hardness of what could only be the rockwell B scale indicates they're using a stock material. Most likely a cast steel part, due to its complexity and apparent finish, especially the pictures of the back of it.
If it were 65 rockwell C, due to the design of the part (I'm not exaggerating) if you dropped it on a concrete floor from a height of 3ft, it would break.

If they really WERE smart, they're be using higher end alloys. 4140 is a very common steel grade, comes in at 25 rockwell C, and is VERY low wearing in this sort of application. Heck, even something like 1022 would be better than what they have now. But with billet material, they'd have to machine from billet, and that's way more expensive than castings.

Basically, his bolt catch is about as hard as good aluminum. Which is crap for a ferrous material.
I doubt his bolt carrier is made of much better stuff.
It's possible there might be an engineer somewhere that knows what they're doing, but ultimately they're subject to the manufacturing process.

So much like FCC, the bolt catch may have been the greatest thing ever in prototype, but in production, it is apparently garbage lol
It's too bad the gun doesn't use RS bolt catches.

Well I'm not saying it's a good part that's for sure. I'm saying it's not a heat treat problem.

As the OP suggested it's probably crap metal on purpose.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 23:39   #19
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Finally discovered why the Ra-Tech bolt carrier has been eating bolt catches.



The stock bolt carrier on the left, RA-Tech on the right. Since the RA-Tech 'height' is shorter, less of the bolt carrier actually contacts with the bolt release, thus slowly chipping away the tip of the bolt release.

On the stock bolt carrier you can clearly see the much larger surface area of that the bolt release rests on and the indentation of the surface area that the bolt release rests on.

Does anybody have the angry gun bolt carrier? I would like to know if it's profile is the same as the stock WE bolt carrier. I would like to give it a try if the profile is the same as stock.

You're probably wondering why not just get a new stock WE bolt carrier? Definitely will, but overall the only reason I bought the RA-Tech bolt carrier was that it is steel and not pot metal. If they made it exactly the same specs as the stock carrier then there would be no issue, but clearly there is.
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Old March 14th, 2017, 01:45   #20
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Just take a file to it
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Old March 14th, 2017, 08:03   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
Just take a file to it
There's not enough material, not an excess. Not sure what filing in this case would accomplish.

If I could make the notch in the bolt carrier taller then move the bolt release higher that would work, but that would change the geometry of the bolt release altogether, so no go there.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 19:51   #22
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oh I see it now, hard to tell from that picture
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Old March 17th, 2017, 11:58   #23
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Update:

I heat treated the bolt catch.

Heated up with a torch to non-magnetic, then quenched in water.

I did a file test and the file seems to be skating indicating some hardness. Will game and test over the next week and see if there is any durability / improvements. :infantry:
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Old March 18th, 2017, 02:14   #24
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Right on, hope it works out!
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Old March 22nd, 2017, 10:32   #25
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So, after about 100 lock back empties, this is how my heat treated bolt catch looks like:



Pristine. It works.

Now the caveat; I no longer use the ping pong paddle to release the bolt. I always use the charging handle now and it actually is more efficient in reloading since I only have to use my right hand for the whole reload procedure (I am a left-handed shooter).

The reload procedure used to be:
right hand release mag
right hand dump pouch
right hand fresh mag
right hand load mag
right hand grip mag well
left hand slap ping pong paddle
left hand to grip
right hand to foregrip
ready.

Now the procedure is:
right hand release mag
right hand dump pouch
right hand fresh mag
right hand load mag
right hand charging handle
right hand foregrip
ready.

Mind you I have Magpul BAD lever that I removed on the WE m4 since it seems to cause enough weight resistance to not lock back sometimes on empty, so I removed it and am putting it on my GHK m4 instead, since the bolt catch on GHK / WA systems seems a lot better to me and more closely resembles a real AR bolt catch/release system.


Using the paddle will cause some wear, as I heat treated 2 catches. The first catch I attempted to heat treat I did not manage to get to correct heat treat temp and hardness, since it still notched the catch on lock back, but the one pictured I got nice and red, and is solid - there is no notching of any sort on lock back.

There aren't even any markings of the bolt carrier lip on the thing, I am quite amazed. Usually at the very least, there will be a tiny amount of notching every time the bolt carrier slams on the bolt release - in this case, there is no such wear.

I will be doing this every time I need a new catch, which will seem to be a lot less now since I can't get catch to wear/deform yet.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 09:02   #26
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Same issue

I also have a 416 with the Ratech bolt - and have experienced the exact same thing - the bolt catch gets eaten up.

I use the stock buffer spring but still this issue persists. Now I have used both the Ratech bolt stop and the stock bolt stop; the ratech is a bit thin and wont work without a shim and still gets torn up.

I have had better results with the stock bolt stop which I file down so that the bolt can be retracted (the slant is a bit too high as is). I have also found the Ratech bolt stop to be softer when a steel file is applied than the stock bolt stop. Now while this works for a few mags it soon tears up the bolt stop beyond recognition. I also tried the heat treatment; which seemed to work at home but gave up the ghost during skirmishing. My question is this; how did you heat treat the bolt stop that you found to be impervious to notching (degree etc)? Is there any other mod you applied; like the filing of the nub, the back of the slant (bolt contact) or the magazine contact on the bottom? I'm about to go full stock but I'm going to try one last time. Thanks in advance - also we can't be the only two people who are experiencing this!

P.S. I also wonder if the problem occurs due to how far the buffer tube is screwed in or backed out - I have tried both ways; too far back results in the hammer lock problem - too forward I haven't noticed a change. Is there a sweet spot that negates the slamming forward of the bolt? Also I don't thing using the charging handle can have a positive effect either way, I mean the bolt slams forward on lock back in either case right? I have also employed that method but with limited success.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 11:57   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyarlothep View Post

My question is this; how did you heat treat the bolt stop that you found to be impervious to notching (degree etc)? Is there any other mod you applied; like the filing of the nub, the back of the slant (bolt contact) or the magazine contact on the bottom? I'm about to go full stock but I'm going to try one last time. Thanks in advance - also we can't be the only two people who are experiencing this!

P.S. I also wonder if the problem occurs due to how far the buffer tube is screwed in or backed out - I have tried both ways; too far back results in the hammer lock problem - too forward I haven't noticed a change. Is there a sweet spot that negates the slamming forward of the bolt? Also I don't thing using the charging handle can have a positive effect either way, I mean the bolt slams forward on lock back in either case right? I have also employed that method but with limited success.
I basically heated the catch until it was non magnetic. With a torch it only took less than 4 minutes or so until it was red hot. It gets red hot fairly quick, but I ensured it was in a non magnetic state while heating it just to ensure it was at a estimated stable hardening temperature.

Then with a can of water nearby, a quick dunk and done.

Most of the time it's trial and error. I had 3 catches that I worked with and the successful one I actually treated twice since my file test failed the first time. The second time, the file was skating well, and that catch is still in pristine condition.

The successful catch that was heat treated was never modified prior to heat treat.

The previous catches I tried were ones that were mangled by the bolt carrier, and had filed flat to keep their function.

I decided to start with a new fresh catch, instead of trying to heat treat one that I had filed considerably in structure to keep its function.

The weight of the buffer and bolt carrier will definitely impact the integrity of the catch.

For the first 100 tries I tested with the heat treated catch, I used the stock bolt carrier and buffer. No damage or deformity in any manner - absolutely pristine as in the picture further up.

Up to this point after the first 100, I have used the stock buffer that's been weighted to 60g (stock is about 21g or so) and the ra-tech bolt carrier. I believe the ra-tech carrier is about 20 or so grams heavier than the stock bolt carrier. Nonetheless, the return to battery weight is about 60-80 grams more than stock. I am also using the stock buffer spring in all cases.

Eventually, I will attempt to assess the damage using the angry gun super recoil buffer, which is a whopping 200+ grams. This would be the true test, but in reality, I am negating this in my head since real ar15 buffers in reality and practicality never are this heavy. Plus I would need a stronger buffer spring just to return the bolt carrier to battery in an acceptable timeframe (very sluggish to battery even with angry gun's provided spring - it's actually shorter and weaker than the stock WE buffer spring).

With Angry Gun's buffer, you have to pay very close attention to the amount you screw in the buffer tube as it will get locked behind the hammer. I remedied this by simply putting about 1 dollar in quarters in the buffer tube. With the stock buffer you won't really have this problem unless the buffer is not screwed in enough.

Angry gun's buffer is problematic because they have a spring on the end of the buffer to necessitate faster return to battery, but at times the spring compresses just enough to get caught behind the hammer. So it's trial and error between catch functionality and not getting caught behind the hammer.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 10:09   #28
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Why not Take it to a machine shop and get one Machined from 440c Stainless
it would last forever

Just a thought
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Old May 15th, 2017, 10:30   #29
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Why not Take it to a machine shop and get one Machined from 440c Stainless
it would last forever

Just a thought
Definitely crossed my mind, and in the end it probably would've cost less than purchasing more ra-tech catches when I was doing trial and error.

But now, it's an afterthought - I know what needs to be done. The catch I heat treated seems impervious to anything at the moment.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 14:15   #30
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Great you got it worked out

having a gun Out of Commission sucks
So i just wanted to chime in and Offer a suggestion..
maybe for future Ref to anyone in the same boat get one Machined ($50 or so plus material)

Will last longer then you will be alive lol
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