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New M4 owner. Seeking answers from experienced owners


jwbaynham
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So I've installed the Mesa Urbino stock and I ordered the 8 shot Sureshell carrier that installs on the rail. After looking at it I'm worried about :

a. The weight of the shells stripping out the screwholes for the rail

b. rubbing on the side of the gun marring the finish

 

Can anyone attest to their experience with this setup?

 

Also if I chose not use the Mesa shot carrier how is the Sidearmor setup? Is it compatible with the surefire rail ?

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Haven't done anything rigorous with my 8 shell holder but I didn't use their screws. The ones from the factory rail worked fine. As for torquing, I would have used Loctite.. Maybe a little blue.

There is a rubber strip that gets installed on back for protection of the receiver.

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bhunted pretty much covered it while I was still typing :o, but I'll explain it in a bit more detail.

 

First, get a Wheeler "fat wrench" torque screwdriver if you don't already have one. You want to torque (15 in.lbs.) the screws, not run them in at random values.

Next, make sure that when you install the rail that none of the screws protrude through into the receiver proper. The last time I talked to Mitch at MT, the screws were set to the right length so they would not, but still, check. The screws should be identical to the genuine Benelli screws, unless you bought your sidesaddle a few years ago and haven't used it until now. As behunted indicated, you can use either screw, as the rail should be identical dimensionally to the Benelli rail.

Make sure the barrel can be removed and installed with no screw contact. If any one screw is too long, shorten it with a file and sandpaper.

 

Get some blue 242 or other similar Loc-Tite.

There should be a self-adhesive pad that goes onto the back of the sidesaddle to act as a receiver protector. Use it.

Make sure the receiver, 1913 rail, screws and washers are clean and grease and oil free. Acetone, lacquer thinner, spray degreaser like electrical or brake clean will all work. Don't get high... m-kay. :)

 

Install the sidesaddle with the proper torque (15 in.lbs.), using the special concave washers and Loc-tite. Install the sidesaddle and let it sit for 24 hours before using, giving the Loc-Tite time to cure.

 

That's it. In the interests of full disclosure, these recommendations are from installation on a M2T... but the arrangement is the same as the M4.

 

Cheers,

C

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Nothing special, a pint of acetone and a small stiff brush will do you just fine, or most any spray, no rinse type degreaser. I use CRC QD electronic cleaner because it drys fast and is plastic safe. Auto parts or DIY stores will have most of these products.

 

You can order a Wheeler "Fat Wrench" on-line for under $40, and sometimes find them at above stores and hobby shops.

 

By the way... sidesaddle installation instructions can be found on the MT website in a PDF format... under "support" I think. :p

 

Cheers,

C

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You might want to consider the Sidearmor rail with quick detach shell carrier. The factory M4 rail is not up to spec and most people need to replace it in order to effectively use it. I just got this set-up and I REALLY like the ability to quickly remove the shell holder.

 

http://www.sidearmor.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=46_48&zenid=nk596630v70r1pgj1krd0use92

Edited by M4-Desert Camo
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M4D C - I also have the SA short rail with detachable 6-shell. Love it. I was very curious about Creeper's post because I didn't torque mine to any spec but I did use the supplied loctite that came with the rail. I know this particular instruction set applies to the MT holder but I assumed the torque would apply relatively close to an SA rail since it goes into the same aluminum receiver.

 

No screws came with mine so I used the stock screws but they protrude every so slightly into the receiver; enough to leave some light markings where the black is rubbing off the screws on the top of the barrel flange going into the receiver / you can catch a fingernail on them every so slightly.

 

Thankfully I can seat the barrel in without any unnecessary additional downward force so I'm not concerned the ever so slightly protruding screws are going to cause a problem. I've thought about gently taking material off of them but I can't see how they would be a problem in this state if I am able to get the barrel in without issue.

 

I do plan on taking mine out, cleaning off / scraping off the loctite, and re-setting the screws to ~15 in-lbs of torque with the supplied loctite. I guess I'm pretty obsessed about making sure I don't strip the holes in the future or twist the receiver with excessive torque.

 

I also really like the Sidearmor and for the price its a fantastic upgrade.

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I didn't use any specific torque settings, I just used the supplied loc-tite and tightened pretty tight with a medium sized flat head screw driver. Did you use the factory lock washers? I need to check if there are any issues with protruding screws. I have yet to go to the range with this set-up ..... TBD to see if things loosen up.

Edited by M4-Desert Camo
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Anytime you mess with fasteners, you should do the following;

1. Try to find a torque spec.

2. Use a torque wrench. I really like the Seekonk dial indicator model. It isn't super expensive, and it works with all magnabit drivers.

3. Use the proper driver that fits. Close enough usually damages the screw head.

4. Clean the fastener and the threaded holes.

5. Prep the fasteners and the receiving thread holes with Locktite Primer. This cleans the threads and makes sure there isn't any oil on the two surfaces.

6. Apply the appropriate color Locktite for the job at hand.

7. When torquing fasteners, try to start all the fasteners first before making your final torque. Kind of like how you torque the lug nuts on a wheel.

8. Allow the thread locker to dry for 24 hours before shooting.

 

For shell carriers, rule of thumb is every shell you add adds 2 ounces. So an 8 shell carrier will add a pound of weight not including the carrier itself. Saying that, I woe use the 3gunner Velcro shell carrier system rather than either the Mesa or the Sidearmor carriers. It doesn't look as cool, but it works and adds no weight except if you have shells on the weapon.

 

Of the Mesa and Sidearmor, the Sidearmor is a better design.

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On the subject of securing a rail, e.g. Mesa or SA, I had a quick thought. In the 1911 world a common issue is loosening grip panels (especially with G10-material grips). One of the often recommended tricks to reducing this is to use these small black rubber #60 o-rings typically found in most big box home centers. This is an alternative to a compound like Loctite, Vibra-tite, etc.

 

I'm wondering if anyone has tried them on a shell carrier installation? I'm looking at the screw and it should get enough purchase in the receiver while allowing the head to sit flush with the bottom of the channel in the picatinny rail.

 

The only part that would concern me is the weight difference since, as SD pointed out, imagine an 8-shell carrier + optics, etc.

 

Forgive me as I'm quite new to this and perhaps this idea was blown apart in other applications outside of securing rails to the M4, e.g. ARs, etc.

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The factory rail has a lock washer. I wouldn't add anything else since it will limit how much thread is in the receiver. The aluminum receiver is quite thin, so you need every bit of thread you can get. Blue locktite works well on these fasteners. Another option is to mark your fasteners with a grease pencil. Then you'll have a visual reference to see if the fastener is backing out during recoil.

 

On the SideArmor rail I had, the fasteners to the receiver never backed out, but the disassembly knob would loosen during recoil. Every 50 rounds or so, I'd have to crank it down again.

 

I find adding a bunch of weight to the shotgun is counterproductive. I'm about 170 lbs at 6'2, and I do 1.5 mile in just under 10 minutes. I also do 125 push-up sets. It isn't about your physical strength. More weight slows down how fast you can swing the barrel from target to target. You really feel the added weight when you try to slow down the barrel swing to settle on a target. I keep my spare shells on my belt line, in a jacket pocket or in a bandolier. Devices like a California Competition belt carrier are faster than any weapon mounted carrier since you can load 4 or 6 rounds in one grab (depending on your hand size.)

 

I just took a half pound of weight off my M4 by dumping the Surefire M80. I could instantly tell that it was faster.

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SD - wow I messed that up! There was so much oil on my rail (from being packed new) that all of those washers were still stuck in my OEM rail!! :rolleyes:

 

Yep placing them IN the SA rail with the screws seats them flush. I had to literally whack my OEM rail upside down and they came out. When I originally removed it I was so gentle that they just sat in the rail holes suck with the oil!

 

So I'm assuming I should place these as well in the SA rail. Btw once I take it off say for a really thorough cleaning or just to re-seat the screws is it enough to scrape off the dried Loctite, clean them with the degreaser, Loctite primer, and re-apply the Loctite and refasten?

 

Finally when you say the disassembly knob you mean at the end of the magazine tube that secures against the ball detent?

 

I do see your point about weight savings. Btw since I'm only a measly 5'5" I'm sure you could knock my head off so I'll keep the questions to a minimum! :)

 

Other than this SA rail + 6-shell carrier this is really the only "upgrade" I'm going to do outside of the mag tube and hammer. I tried the M80 rail but for some reason didn't fit mine. Hookster was really good about it though and give him A++ for customer service!

Edited by jsn124
fixed terminology
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Hey J!!!!

 

Before you install the oem washers with the Sidearmor screws I'd check wih Sidearmor IIRC with my full length Sidearmor rail they specified to not use them. I maybe wrong but I can double check that when I get home this evening and get back to you.

 

Later,

 

Hookster :)

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3619213086_53b1f7b9b5_b.jpg

 

Not the best picture of the Sidearmor rail, but it shows the fasteners below the rail edge. I know I didn't use the washers when I installed mine. They had their own Allen head fasteners. This was several years ago, so things may have changed. I'd contact SideArmor and ask them. If the fasteners fit without them protruding into the receiver and binding the barrel extension, I'd go without.

 

Usually I hit the fasteners and the threads as best as I can with a wire brush. A tap would be best, but I don't even have that. Spraying them down with a solvent works well. I have a 5 gallon bucket filled with three gallons of odorless Mineral Spirits. I use it as a dunk tank. It'll last for years. The debris will settle to the bottom. It doesn't seem to evaporate even with just a cheap plastic lid that presses on.

 

I would minimize how many times you mess with that top rail's fasteners. I wouldn't pull it randomly for cleaning.

 

The SideArmor disassembly knob is for their full rail system. The top rail fits into a barrel clamp ahead of the forearm and has a knob you unscrew to detatch the receiver and the barrel. They didn't put any ratcheting detents in it like the magazine cap unfortunately. I'd crank it down hard, and I would still find it loose. They should have put a hole in it so you could crank it tighter with the bolt handle.

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As advocated above, not all rail screws that are supplied by vendors are the same as Benelli factory screws......they can appear virtually identical and yet be different enough to screw things up....no pun intended.

 

I use 8.5 in-lbs of torque to set the M4 rail screws, and virtually all pistol grip screws...1911's, Sig aluminum framed etc.....plus a dab of Blue loctite.....haven't stripped one yet. Try setting your torque screwdriver to 8.5 in-lb and feel just how firm it is setting those screws, before adding thread locker.

 

I have tried all the variants of sidesaddles and believe the SideArmor to be the best fabrication.

 

From the Anatomy Series Benelli Manuals.

 

Screenshot2013-02-01at72047AM_zps149c7129.png

Screenshot2013-02-01at72447AM_zps45e785dd.png

Edited by benelliwerkes
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Not to belabor the issue, but here are the recommendations from fastener manufacturers for metric m4 size screws, such as the Benelli rail screws. The above-mentioned 8.5 in-lb of torque is right at mfg. suggestion; the aluminum receiver threads do not tolerate over-torquing steel screws, or screws of slightly incorrect thread pitch.

 

 

 

Screenshot2013-02-01at90524AM_zpsa664943a.png

Edited by benelliwerkes
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