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Newbie M4 questions


Tlon
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As I mentioned in another forum post, I'm new to the Benelli world, and frankly new to the semi-auto shotgun world. I have a M4, which I have not yet shot, but I've field stripped, cleaned, lubed, and put back to together. I just wanted to confirm that the pistons are supposed to slide up and down freely? That is, if I turn the gun from up and down from end to end the pistons will slide up and down and rattle a bit. I'm assuming this is normal, but I just wanted to check before I took it out to shoot.

 

Also just curious if there is a trick/easy way to get the bolt arm to line up with the recoil spring when putting it back together. Seems like it took me a bunch of wiggling to get it to get into the socket. I tried both putting the bolt in first and putting the trigger assembly in first. Neither seemed any better.

 

And speaking of springs, is there a trick to getting the magazine tube back into the tube? It was quite a bear to get in there after taking it apart and cleaning out the tube. I used snap ring pliers to remove it and put it back together, but just wondering if there is a good approach here as well.

 

Sorry for newbie questions. Just wondering if I'm missing some tricks to make things easier to get together.

Edited by Tlon
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1. Yes, it is perfectly normal for the pistons to move back and forth freely. In fact, if they don't, you have a problem!

2. If there IS a trick to this, I haven't discovered it yet.

3. The trick to getting the magazine spring back into its tube is to not take it out in the first place! :D

Seriously, unless I have a specific reason to clean the magazine tube spring, follower, and tube interior, I don't disassemble it. I certainly don't clean the interior of the mag tube as part of my routine field stripping/cleaning regimen.

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Also just curious if there is a trick/easy way to get the bolt arm to line up with the recoil spring when putting it back together............

 

Yes, purchase an inexpensive polymer scraper with an ANGLED end (as shown) at the hardware store, use the flat end to depress the action link down from the roof of the receiver, where it always seems to want to go, to quickly line it up with the action link plunger recess at the back of the receiver......takes about 2 seconds, will not mar the gun art, and no more wiggling to assemble.

Screenshot2012-12-08at103455AM.png

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Yes, purchase an inexpensive polymer scraper with an ANGLED end (as shown) at the hardware store, use the flat end to depress the action link down from the roof of the receiver, where it always seems to want to go, to quickly line it up with the action link plunger recess at the back of the receiver......takes about 2 seconds, will not mar the gun art, and no more wiggling to assemble.

 

You should buy a case of those scrapers, paint them matte black, call them a Benelli M4 tactical tool, and sell them for $40 apiece! :D

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And speaking of springs, is there a trick to getting the magazine tube back into the tube? It was quite a bear to get in there after taking it apart and cleaning out the tube. I used snap ring pliers to remove it and put it back together, but just wondering if there is a good approach here as well.

 

Sorry for newbie questions. Just wondering if I'm missing some tricks to make things easier to get together.

 

Last tip for the newbie.....snap ring pliers are usually part of the solution, however a proper guide rod makes it a lot easier. For those that don't have snap ring pliers, a hose clamp will work well if gently applied so as not to mar your gun art. An aluminum rod is shown below, but I also use a variety of sized brass rod stock as well.

Screenshot2012-12-08at61256PM.png

Screenshot2012-12-08at61240PM.png

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Benelliwerks,

 

The scraper and guide rod ideas are exactly what I was looking for. thanks!!! I actually have a few black flat polymer scrapers (for marketing purposes :-) ), so I'll try that next time.

 

The guide rod looks like it'd be perfect for the spring. I'd just been squishing it down one coil at a time. Brilliant! Is there anywhere in particular these can be purchased? I'd also be interested in purchasing your anatomy manual, if it's still available. How do I do that.

 

 

I have the Marine Corps manual and have read it, but it didn't help with the questions I'd asked I think. There was nothing about the guide rod idea, for example.

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Unobtanium is correct in that the magazine spring retainer was designed to be removed by the bolt handle, as the entire M4 system can be disassembled with the bolt handle only. My hands are worth too much to do it that way unless I am in a pinch (no pun intended!). However, even the M4 Owner's Manual recommends using "relative pliers" (Benelli-speak for snap ring pliers) for the task.

 

Straight from the Manuals.

 

Screenshot2012-12-08at81019PM.png

Screenshot2012-12-08at83725PM.png

Edited by benelliwerkes
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Just a word of caution on the Menck tool.

I have used it successfully a number of times, but it is generally not my first choice, as it can create problems after it has been in your hand that didn't exist before you put it in your hand.

The tool is screwed into the the center of the magazine cap, it's coarse threads usually removes the finish on both sides of the aperture, equal to the width of the thread depth. The center of the magazine cap is often pulled upward in a "nipple" like fashion to some extent depending on how tight the retainer is held by the walls of the magazine.

The worst result possible is shown below. An alternative to either a snap ring plier or the Menck tool is also shown below - a modified dry wall expanding bolt.

 

Screenshot2012-12-09at71142PM.png

Screenshot2012-12-09at71716PM.png

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  • 3 weeks later...

I forgot to mention one more possible solution to removing some magazine spring retainer caps that is an alternative to using a screwdriver to pry them out. A drywall anchor inserted into the center then use pliers to pull it out, or set the anchor gently into a vise and pull on the firearm to remove the cap. It usually will not work on really tight ones, as the polymer style anchors are too soft. The metal anchors, are not too different from using the Menck type tool discussed in prior posts, but still run the risk of marring the part.

 

Screenshot2012-12-25at92226AM_zps5fbcb4e1.png

Edited by benelliwerkes
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