There was once this Russian made Baikal MP-153 that used to work. One day it stopped loading new shell in chamber. After multiple dissassembly-assembly and careful inspection no-one could find the reason for the sudden lack of operation. Then gun was shot around 1000 rounds by then and it was no more than 6 months old and clearly under warranty so it was sent to the dealer.
I’ve never sent a gun with courier company before so I called the day the gun should have arrived at the dealer. “It’s the Baikal that shoot only full auto right? We received it yesterday” was the answer I got. Apparently they were unable to fulfill my request if they could just combine the faults of these two Baikals after mine have arrived. I could not help thinking about full auto shotgun. Usefulness 0, but such fun.
Couple of days later I got call from the “trusted gunsmith” (as the dealer called their gunsmith). I was told so much good about their gunsmith over the phone that I was almost thinking this would be a guy who could tell the fault of a gun by just smelling the barrel or something as absurd. You can make your opinion based on the following not exactly word-to-word quote of the call I got.
Also I didn’t bother quote my own text, you’ll get the point.
Gunsmith: “So you wrote here that this gun does not cycle with any type of ammunition?”
Gun that used to work 100% for the first 1000 rounds with everything I served to it. 24g trap loads to 32g practical sport, even slugs worked.
Gunsmith: “This gun is equipped with 89 mm chamber and anything below that will cause it to bleed too much gas away and thus it will not cycle with 12/70 shells”
I had to wonder how the hell every single Baikal MP-153 I’ve come up with have worked with everything you could jam on the chamber. Some shoot happily 24g trap loads like I did among 28g Sporting, 32g slugs and all kind ammunition I could come up with.
Gunsmith: “Umm that’t the case with semiautos, they will work one day and may not work next day, Russia is a big country with big tolerances”
(His reference to the tolerances in Baikal seemed to be his favorite sentence)
Gunsmith: “Have you tried turning the gas adjustment?”
After I told how I’ve tried adjusting the gas according to the limits told on the instruction manual (clockwise – lighter loads and ccw heavier loads)
Gunsmith: “Well that’s the thing, it’s exactly the opposite”
I had to explain him how the gas system regulates the gasses by controlling the suspension between the excess gas valve. As you turn the nut inward less gas gets released to the opposite direction from the gas piston thus more gas to operate the cycling action”
Gunsmith: “umhh… oh.. well have you opened the gas system ever?”
I told him how I took everything apart and cleaned all the carbon deposit with BoreTech Carbon remover until all parts were shiny and clean”
Gunsmith: “oh, you should not have used any cleaning solvents that were meant to be used in barrel, they tend to dissolve all oil and you end up a system that will not operate like it is designed to”
Well du-uh of course I oiled the gas system even so lightly after the cleanup. I did not want to leave too much oil there where new carbon could start to accumulate. And if the excess gas valve would jam shut that would just make the gun cycle more viciously but I was already having a feeling that it might not be a good idea to educate a grown man about his profession.
I also told him that he might find the gun very dry at the moment as I left it intentionally dry so he could inspect it without wiping all lube and grease away from the mechanism.
Gunsmith: “Yes, that was my next thing I was about to suggest, this gun is way too dry to operate, you should lube it regularly and clean it also once in a while”
Did I just tell him that I left the gun intentionally dry? And even I have not told him how pedantic I am with the gun cleaning he could have eaten his lunch from the gun. It would have probably just cleaned the food. I paid so much attention on cleaning the gun that there were some dust at most.
Gunsmith: “Well these guns are individuals, some will work some not that’s why I’m not that keen of fixing semi-auto shotguns at all”
Whoah what? Did the “trusted gunsmith” just tell me that he’s really not into semi-autos? But wait, even better thing happened after this.
I told him how I packed all the original parts, magazine spring, magazine cap and original follower if he would like… then I got interrupted.
Gunsmith: “whoa there, what? what did you packed in there”
It took me a while to realize that he did not understand what follower was. I did my best explaining the part to him. “It’s the plug that pushes shells from the magazine to the feeding ramp… a shellpushingplug?” And that was the word he used trough the rest of the phone call – a shellpushingplug.
Let’s see how the story continues. I don’t have high hopes.