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The New Automag Part 2

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CrazyLarry View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CrazyLarry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2019 at 5:56am
There may still be hope left! But, the poor casting results is what really bothers me.

I know for a fact that there are shops that help with designs like this and get them out the door in 30 days or less from a company, even with stainless steel. (I know this, as I have dealt with a couple in my time... worth every penny)

There are some technical details that I would like to hear more about, but, seriously... I just want my handgun at this point.
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KMP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KMP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2019 at 6:01pm
Something Bruce and I talked about almost 30 years ago, the elimination of the cast tubes and ring. With modern micro welding, spring tubes can be added separately and a hardened carbon steel bolt ring could be installed. I mentioned this to Larry back in the day and in the past couple of years, to Patrick. 

The original frame is almost to costly to make. As mentioned to Patrick, if you choose to use the one piece frame design, go with a forging and surf mill it. The are already surf milling the barrel (Rib on barrel) and cocking piece, just do the frame. It will be more precise with no imperfections. It would also look better too. My thought is, who wants to pay 4k for a rough cast frame.

My two cents....

Eric
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CrazyLarry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CrazyLarry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2019 at 9:02pm
Originally posted by KMP KMP wrote:

Something Bruce and I talked about almost 30 years ago, the elimination of the cast tubes and ring. With modern micro welding, spring tubes can be added separately and a hardened carbon steel bolt ring could be installed. I mentioned this to Larry back in the day and in the past couple of years, to Patrick. 

The original frame is almost to costly to make. As mentioned to Patrick, if you choose to use the one piece frame design, go with a forging and surf mill it. The are already surf milling the barrel (Rib on barrel) and cocking piece, just do the frame. It will be more precise with no imperfections. It would also look better too. My thought is, who wants to pay 4k for a rough cast frame.

My two cents....

Eric

I don't disagree with your argument for milling or welding.

stainless steel casting can be made to work, but, I don't know if the foundry that they are using is good or bad.

Ruger has shown that they can make casting nearly on par with forged... but it still ain't forging strength. Just add more material to it to make up for the lack of strength that a casting has.

Billet is nice, but, the machine time almost offsets any savings realized over forging if the complexity is too high.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TankMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2019 at 4:12am
I would agree with the previous posts regarding cast frames, machined( and there all manner of machining techniques that could work), micro welding or combinations of all three.

In my main hobby I have come in contact with many cast parts made using ceramic shell( I believe Patrick's firm uses some variation of this), pressure investment as well as micro welded parts in regular and stainless steel. There is a way surely to get properly cast parts if that is their chosen path. There are software packages whose sole purpose is to design the guts of a mold or die which take into consideration the dynamics of the liquid metal and effects of chilling, sinks, shrinkage and  flow characteristics. All manner of things can and do effect castings. I do simple free pattern and some match plate sand moldings for aluminum, bronze and grey iron as part of my hobby and as simple as my parts and methods are I'm always thinking about gates, risers and pouring routes. Not even trying to compare what I do with making a stainless steel frame casting but rather I know how tricky even the simplest castings can be.

I'm sure they'll get it right however they make it.

Jerry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRX302 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2019 at 1:23pm
Originally posted by KMP KMP wrote:

Something Bruce and I talked about almost 30 years ago, the elimination of the cast tubes and ring. With modern micro welding, spring tubes can be added separately


There are also some brazing alloys that are plenty strong enough and have melting points above the heat treat level for 4130. I dunno what temperature 17-4 needs offhand, but I bet that's doable.

I couldn't justify the proper equipment for welding, so I never investigated that.

I stressed quite a bit over those recoil rod holes... now, I'd at least try gun drilling. At the time I didn't realize that I could cobble some gun drill tooling onto the lathe without breaking the budget.


Quote and a hardened carbon steel bolt ring could be installed.


Drill and ream the ID, no problem. Have a form cutter made and cut the ring left side/right side and you're done.   When I was planning to make my own frame out of plate, I planned to use a dovetail cutter and the A axis to facet the outside, then make some file buttons to finish it, like big versions of a 1911 beavertail jig.


Quote The original frame is almost to costly to make.


The problem is that with few (expensive) exceptions, the investment casting industry talks big and walks short. AMT believe the hype and expected to receive castings, ream a few holes, and assemble guns. That never happened, and they laboriously made "adjustments" with welding and manual mills until they got something close to spec.

Nowadays it would be more reasonable to make the casting oversize wherever there are problems and use CNC to bring them to size. It adds an extra step, but it would make the "produce an acceptable casting" part a whole lot easier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote desertmoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 2:31am
Some test firing from today



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote desertmoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 2:35am


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bellarmament Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 5:55am
Thanks for posting the videos for me desertmoon. What a good friend you have become.

I apologize for not posting in a while. We have been busy setting up the Loris factory and dealing with the hurricane damage and damaged equipment that had to be replaced.

Thought I would give you guys an update. I will do my best to keep it short. lol

The frame porosity issues have been resolved. The frame casting company has worked very hard to produce the finest AutoMag frame casting I have ever seen. We are not using a back yard casting company. These guys are some of the best in the business, firearms savvy and we were lucky to have them work us into their busy schedule.

The pistol I am firing in the video is one of our own newly produced pistols assembled in the Loris factory. It has the following features.

1. A 55 grain  titanium firing pin. I was able to reproduce the inertial out of battery firing with the old original design 75 grain steel firing pin by pointing the pistol downward with a round in the chamber and dropping the bolt (bad idea on any firearm). Reproducing this out of battery firing condition supported the claims of many AutoMag owners who adamantly stated that their pistol blew up when chambering the last round in the magazine. The bolt when forward cessation of movement occurs will sometimes allow the heavier firing pin to contact a primer with enough energy to ignite a sensitive primer before the locking lugs have time to engage. This out of battery inertial firing has destroyed many AutoMag pistols over the years and explains the many original bolts we saw with sheared rear cams but good bolt locking lugs. We have NOT been able to cause any inertial primer detonations during testing just about every commercially available primer with the titanium firing pin no matter how hard and often we tried.

2. The new bolt is made from 8620 steel that is fluted and electroless nickel boron plated. The bolt has a redesigned magazine clearance cut that allows the use of a magazine with a higher elevation in the pistol which presents more cartridge case head to the bolt ring to minimize the nose diving of the bullet into the feed ramp. The stamping press is up and running and we should have the elevated magazines rolling out very soon. In the videos posted today I am using a non elevated magazine with a two piece follower that totally eliminates the follower pin bite in the follower pin slot in the magazine and helps correct some of the stacked tolerance issues of the tapered .44amp casing. The flutes on the bolt are only deep enough to lessen the surface contact area of the bolt with the bolt ring which makes the bolt glide chatter free and slick as a whistle through the bolt ring. The 8620 bolt also cures the metallurgical bolt lug failures which plagued the old original AutoMag pistols.  There is now more longitudal bolt lug thickness and dovetailed cams on the rear of the bolt to resist shear forces.

3. I had observed in working with the AutoMag pistols that both old and new pistols would run fine with three or four rounds in the magazine consistently but if more rounds were inserted into the magazine the bolt would fail to lock up and or be unreliable in returning to battery. This was due to the increased pressure exerted onto the bottom of the bolt which increases in direct relation to the number of rounds in the magazine and strength of the magazine spring thereby inhibiting the rotation spring from briskly rotating the bolt into battery which caused severe bolt bounce and increased the chance of an inertial out of battery occurrence or just a simple failure of the bolt to rotate into battery. I found a way to take advantage of the magazine spring pressure to assist the lockup of the bolt by making a cut on the underside of the bolt which acts as a cam interacting with the top round in the magazine to pressure the bolt into battery. The result of this modification was extraordinary. The bolt rotates into battery with 100% reliability with no bolt bounce regardless of the number of rounds in the magazine. As rounds are expended out of the magazine less pressure is exerted on the bottom of the bolt cam locking cut and the rotation spring is able to better deal with bolt rotation into battery and still be lightly assisted by the magazine spring pressure. Truly amazing development that has turned the pistol into a reliably functioning firearm. The pistols will fire with the new modified accelerator 240 grain rounds running from 1000fps all the way to 1450 fps out of the 8.5 inch barrel with no issues.

4. The Jesus clips are finally gone. We are now using reinforced snap rings that absolutely will not pop off. A set of snap ring pliers will be available from AutoMag Corp for those who want to be able to completely disassemble their pistols.

5. You can now remove the accelerator from the pistol without having to drive out the pressed pin from the accelerator block. You simply remove the upper from the frame and slip the accelerator out. This allows you to clean the accelerator and accelerator pocket area simply by spraying out the area with Gun Scrubber or any similar product.

6. The cocking piece now stops on the back end of the recoil tubes. In the past the forward cessation of bolt movement was by slamming into back of the barrel which caused terrible bolt bounce or would stop on the back of a cartridge casing if the casing was trimmed a little long. When the bolts were allowed to slam into the back of the barrel the bolt lugs would imprint into the back of the barrel and this further inhibited clean lockup as the bolt had to reverse motion to climb out of the imprint area. Our tightly held tolerances allows the bolt to stop in the same location every time without banging up the back of the barrel or frontal area of the bolt lugs. Your trim length is 1.296 to 1.298. This allows the pistol  1.5 thousandths lug space with zero to two thousandths headspace. Accuracy is improved and lug battering is kept to the bare minimum which extends service life.

The reason the same magazine was used over and over was to test the 17-7ph magazines ability to withstand the recoil forces exerted by the cartridges on the feed lips and the magazines ability to withstand rough handling without changes in feed lip geometry and gauge reliability degradation. This magazine has fed thousands of rounds and is finally going down hill but much later than I expected. The guy in the video loading the magazine is Chris. He has only been with us a couple of months but is showing great promise as a firearms design engineer. He is young, loves firearms and is driven to succeed. What a pleasure to work with him.

We have compiled hours of high speed video. By focusing the camera on the ejection port while firing these videos debunked the theory that cartridges were bouncing down in the magazine and were unable to be picked up by the bolt ring. The issue was caused by the bolt moving forward with the cartridge head extremely low on the bolt ring to the point the bolt ring would slide over the rim of the case and the bolt lugs would contact the case rim, move the cartridge forward and jam the pistol. You can see from the posted videos that the magazine is perfectly capable of feeding the pistol when firing rapidly. To be honest by counting frames filming at 10000 frames per second the magazine is capable of feeding the pistol at nearly 1200 rounds per minute. We also used high speed video to calculate bolt acceleration with different bullet weights, pressure curves, burn rates and accelerated bolt and barrel extension rearward velocities. You could watch the moment when the accelerator would strike the accelerator bolt lug and the bolt would take off like a rocket the moment before the barrel extension came to a stop.The high speed video was invaluable in separating myth from reality and led to the discovery of previously unknown issues.

Some of the delivery delay is entirely my fault. I simply would not sign off on what I felt was unsafe or unreliable. When you pull the trigger on any magnum pistol generating these pressures you are basically setting off a stick of dynamite (exaggerated to drive the point home) a couple of feet away from your body and on a short recoil accelerator assisted design like this you are moving considerable mass (recoiling parts) rearward at speed towards your face and you want to shoot the pistol not eat it.

In the last video you will see me strike the back of the cocking piece with my palm. That hiccup is entirely my fault. I am somewhat heavy handed and when I slammed the magazine into the pistol I did it with such force that it caused the top round in the mag to be captured in a bind between the feed lips. Quick smack of the palm got her back in action.

Also Bob Barbasiewicz wanted me to convey his best wishes to the members of the forum. We have become very good telephone buddies and he has been a great help filling in the missing history and I enjoy every minute I spend talking with him. This man doesn't get the credit he deserves in the development of the AutoMag. When Bob left AutoMag he went to work for Rocketdyne designing rocket motors for ballistic missiles and space travel. What a great guy! His mind is sharp as a tack and he is certainly one of the most intelligent engineers I have had the pleasure of knowing. We hope to work together on a gas operated  AutoMag design in the future.

I would like to personally thank Bruce Stark, Larry Grossman, desertmoon, Bob Barbasiewicz, Bill Dauksch ( Doctorate in Metallurgy, founding member and former vice president of NUCOR Steel) and Mark Lovendale (now deceased) for their patience and encouragement throughout this undertaking. Patrick Henry has certainly done the almost impossible feat of resurrecting the AutoMag. Hats off to you Patrick but remember you still owe me quite a few chicken boxes.lol

Again I apologize for the delays and this long winded post. I have done the very best I was capable of, have no regrets, made some great friends and probably a couple of enemies but feel it is finally over and now I can move on and leave the production to our extremely qualified machinists.

Sincerely
Timothy Bell


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USA 1776 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA 1776 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 8:51am
'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.' Ronald Reagan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEEMER1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 3:56pm
Thanks for the update, things are looking up.
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