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    Bula Build

    I started a new project yesterday. The receiver is a brand new stripped "M-21" type from Bula Defense. Serial number is 30XXX and it has the removable scope rail. Overall the receiver looks fantastic, and appears to be of excellent quality and dimensions.

    For me, when I build up a rifle from stripped receivers, I like to install the bolt stop first. I find that placing the receiver with the ring down against my solid bench I get really good pin travel with minimal effort. I've installed bolt stop pins on assembled rifles before and of course it's OK, but nothing beats that solid bench under the receiver ring for providing the resistance for positive pin travel with little effort.

    What I should have done before attempting the bolt stop installation was de-grease the receiver, but I didn't. That's why it has somewhat of a marbled appearance in the first few photos.

    At any rate, with the receiver ring against my bench, I added a few drops of lubricating oil to the pin holes and a piece of tape along the side of the receiver. The oil will assist the pin in traveling through the holes and the tape will help prevent the receiver's finish from getting marred when I inevitably "bounce" the punch off the pin and miss the punch and hit my fingers instead.....always happens a couple times to me!

    For the bolt stop, I chose a NIW "extended bolt stop" from SEI for this build. The build concept is a scout-type "Walter Mitty" rifle that I will not be afraid to shoot the proverbial $#%! out of. The bolt stop was purchased from Fulton Armory, and came with a pin and spring.

    Problem #1...... during install, and despite placing the receiver ring on the bench I had to use an incredible amount of force to get the pin going. Eventually the pin that came with the kit mushroomed and then broke. Well let me tell you what a major PITA it is to get the broken pin out of the receiver when this happens!

    Something is not right here........

    Problem #2..... repeat of problem #1.......that's right, two pins broke!! WTF!!??

    Problem #3..... is sort of related to problems one and two because if you look closely at the photos of the receiver's bolt stop pin tangs you'll see the front hole of the forward tang is not machined enough to allow for proper reversal punching of the bolt stop pin. Let me tell you, that's a real pisser offer right there!!

    Long story short, both of those pins were of commercial manufacture and were ever so slightly "too thick," which if you look closely at the photo showing the initial insertion you can see quite a lot of compression on that roll pin. Thankfully these are roll pins and can be "crunched," but they can only take so much. Pin number three was authentic USGI and slid right in as designed to do.

    Anyway, with a little bit of ingenuity, leaning on some old experience, a lot of cussing, and a few beers....viola! Step number one is complete. The SEI extended bolt stop is installed and functions correctly.

    Stay tuned for the barrel install.......should be great fun!


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    Welcome to the Addiction!

    I always slightly file a bevel around the edge/end of the pin then take a pair of pliers and crush the whole length of the pin together. Makes it much easier to install. Cant wait to see your project when finished


      I had an M-21 about 2 years ago, bought it, sold it last year. A few minor problems. Went to Springfield, Lifetime warranty. Had a couple Springfields. Just purchased a NM Nelson built in 90. Really never used. for 1700 shipped with all docs and a few extras. Bedded, all NM. Feel did pretty good. Bula reputation was low, hope it picked up. QC was bad.


        Brian , What became of this project ??


          Check into M14 forum. lots of info about Bula QC. hope they fixed it. LRB has better QC but 1 year to receive.


            Originally posted by IRON WORKER View Post
            Brian , What became of this project ??
            Hi Pat!
            I've had numerous issues with this build, but haven't given up hope.
            It's on my bench, and I look at it every day. I still need to figure out a few things, but hopefully in the Fall I'll have more time to play with it.
            Working 10-11 hour days is tough on hobbies I'm finding!
            Thanks, and hope you're doing well.
            Welcome to the Addiction!