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Thread: SSD's PTR44 / BD44 In Detail The Semi Automatic MP44

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    Yes sir. I've noticed that original handguards are stiffer and harder to remove. On the Steyr rifle shown, I had to use the tool or I just couldn't get it off. Almost everything I'm posting here will be old hat to many of you guys but I'm posting this elsewhere too so I'm going into extra detail. Also, guests may come here to find information and many of them will not be as knowledgeable as you guys either so I'm going into more detail for them as well. Additionally, since this thread is mainly about the SSD rifle, I didn't include anything about the tool here. Thank you for the input though! I know you are a wealth of information about the MP44 so anything you have to say is much appreciated!
    Fabulous write up Wilhelm !

    Here in Canada the BD44 as it was marketed was not burdened with the US 922 regulations.

    Some of the problems like broken hammers and sears we don't have,Dittrich must have gotten the hardening process down pat with those,what we did get
    was broken bolts and bolt carriers of course,looking at my broken bolt I'm sure it's a die cast part and not forged like the original ones.
    Trying to get replacement parts from SSD proved fruitless so I ended up installing original WWII parts and the gun functions flawless now.

    I also noticed a difference in hand guards,not only is the SSD part a little thinner metal but the groove on the top where it snaps on to the gas tube is
    different from the MP43 (dewat) that I have hanging on the wall.

    Also the barrel markings under the hand guard are absent on my BD44,the caliber marking is like yours between the gas block an front sight,so the only
    serial # on the gun is stamped on the left side,a little above where my MP43 is stamped.

    Hope you get your computer fixed soon,looking forward to your next post.

    Herman

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1-Garand View Post
    Fabulous write up Wilhelm !

    Here in Canada the BD44 as it was marketed was not burdened with the US 922 regulations.

    Some of the problems like broken hammers and sears we don't have,Dittrich must have gotten the hardening process down pat with those,what we did get
    was broken bolts and bolt carriers of course,looking at my broken bolt I'm sure it's a die cast part and not forged like the original ones.
    Trying to get replacement parts from SSD proved fruitless so I ended up installing original WWII parts and the gun functions flawless now.

    I also noticed a difference in hand guards,not only is the SSD part a little thinner metal but the groove on the top where it snaps on to the gas tube is
    different from the MP43 (dewat) that I have hanging on the wall.

    Also the barrel markings under the hand guard are absent on my BD44,the caliber marking is like yours between the gas block an front sight,so the only
    serial # on the gun is stamped on the left side,a little above where my MP43 is stamped.

    Hope you get your computer fixed soon,looking forward to your next post.

    Herman

    Broken bolt/ bolt carriers are the main problem in the USA also. Replacing them with original MP44 parts is the best way forward, I did that myself.
    HDH.

  3. #23
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    Nice thread Wilhelm. As always ... excellent detail on the parts and explanations of functioning with the added comments that make it educational to read. Or I could say ... Dude !!! ... like awesome thread, man. I'm like totally information overloaded mind blown ... BOOM !!!! LOL Keep it coming.

    Hey !!! ... Wazzzup Model ?

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    Default magwell

    The picture of the inside of the magwell is very interesting. Having handled about 6 PTR's that well is the first I have seen where the remnants of the welds that held the steel block that made the PTR's single shots was real obvious.
    In the photo the finish inside the well looks good. I wonder what was done to cover what had to be bare metal after the block removal and weld dressing.
    Cold blue?? whole assembly reblued??
    Anyone know for sure?
    Pete

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by d dAY dOG View Post
    Nice thread Wilhelm. As always ... excellent detail on the parts and explanations of functioning with the added comments that make it educational to read. Or I could say ... Dude !!! ... like awesome thread, man. I'm like totally information overloaded mind blown ... BOOM !!!! LOL Keep it coming.

    Hey !!! ... Wazzzup Model ?

    Hi Doug. Yes I hope Brian is able to finish the series, very informative........................Dave H.
    HDH.

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    I'll be back on it as soon as the new computer arrives. It's too hard to do on a kindle!
    Some P38 "experts" are yo-yo's who, for some reason lost on me, can't or won't accept the truth when it's staring them in the face.

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    It's been a while due to technical difficulties but.......I'm back at it.

    Picking up right where we left off, let's rip this thing apart and take a look inside. Everyone reading this most likely knows how to take the MP44 apart so I didn't take any pictures of that. If you don't know how it comes apart, it couldn't be easier. Remove the magazine, remove the pin holding the stock on and pull the stock off. Swing the lower down and dump the contents out the back of the receiver. Done.

    Let's start by discussing what was done to the PTR44 to prevent you from easily dropping original WWII reciprocating parts into the receiver. The answer is....something but not much and what was done does not always work. What?? Let me explain. Take a look at this photo taken at the rear of an original MP44 receiver:



    We can see that there is a simple tube welded in place at the bottom of the receiver where the takedown pin passes through.


    Now take a look at this picture showing an HK93 receiver on the left and the SSD MP44 receiver on the right:



    The HK93 has a simple piece of tube welded in place just like an original MP44. But the SSD receiver has a steel block welded in there instead. If you look very closely, you will see that there is a small ear rising up from this block at either side. The purpose of this is to keep a WWII manufactured bolt and carrier from being inserted as they will hit these ears. The SSD produced bolt and carrier is made just a bit more narrow at the bottom than original parts so that they clear these ears. And it seems to work on SOME rifles. But, on other rifles, original parts will slide right past these ears. It seems that on some of them, the ears must have been machined too thin to do their job. Now before any of you folks start questioning whether or not this makes some of the PTR44 rifles illegal, consider that the receiver is still not cut for the full auto trip lever. I'm not the ATF and I won't discuss legalities but I will say that, even if you can/do fit an original bolt and carrier into your PTR44, you're still not going anywhere without cutting holes in your receiver and modifying it further to fit an original lower. No, I'm not going into details.


    Here's a look at the bottom rear of the PTR44 receiver where the takedown pin passes through:



    Lots of sloppy weld going on there with a tear in the sheet metal thrown in for good measure. Who cares so long as it works.


    Here are a couple angles showing the bottom of the receiver at the rear of the magazine well:





    In the first picture, we can see a slot cut into the side of the receiver. This is where a lever (mounted in the swing down lower) passes through. The purpose of this lever is safety. It sticks up through this slot when the bolt is not in battery and prevents the trigger from being pulled. When the bolt is fully locked in place, there is a lug on the bolt carrier which presses down on the lever allowing the trigger to be pulled and the rifle fired. On a select fire rifle, there is an identical slot cut into the other side of the receiver where the full auto trip lever passes through.
    In both of the above pictures, we see a slot cut into the bottom of the receiver running back from the magazine well. This is where the hammer passes through and it is one of the potential problems in the SSD rifles. The problem is two fold. The first part of the problem is that, because the bolt has been modified to pass the ears on the block mentioned earlier, it is narrower at the bottom than the width of this slot. If the rifle malfunctions the carrier sometimes pushes down on the rear of bolt forcing down through this slot. Something has to give. The bolt is made of hardened steel and the receiver is made of thin pressed steel; guess which one gives. Over time, this can create a bulge in the receiver which, needless to say, is very bad. On original rifles, this cannot happen because the bolt is wider at the bottom than the slot. This can be rectified by welding a piece of steel along the bottom of the receiver and cutting a new, more narrow slot. The second part of the problem is hammer related. One of the US made parts on the PTR44 is the hammer. Apparently, some of these were either made wrong or installed wrong preventing them from pivoting straight along the longitudinal axis of the rifle. As a result, the hammer hits this slot as it rises beating up the receiver and/or the hammer. It can be fixed too but it requires someone who knows what they are doing because, as mentioned earlier, the pins holding the fire control components are peened in place. Mine exhibits this problem. After fewer than 100 rounds, here is what my hammer looks like already:



    Notice how it is getting chipped away at the edge. Pretty isn't it?


    In the next post, we'll take a look at the bolt and carrier. I wanted to get more done in this post but I'm slow and my honey keeps me busy helping her with inane things. I'll be back.
    Some P38 "experts" are yo-yo's who, for some reason lost on me, can't or won't accept the truth when it's staring them in the face.

  8. #28
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    Next up is the bolt and carrier:




    If you own an SKS, you will immediately notice some striking similarities. No, I'm not saying that the SKS was based on the MP44. What I AM saying is that the locking system is essentially identical . Here is the PTR44 bolt compared to the bolt from a Soviet SKS:



    Note the twin unlocking lugs sticking up at the rear of the '44 bolt and compare them to the single lug at the rear of the SKS bolt.


    Bottom of SKS carrier showing twin lugs hanging down compared to the single lug hanging down from the bottom of the '44 carrier:




    Both mechanisms as they would look in the locked position:




    And unlocked:



    Neato! Moving on.....


    Both the bolt AND carrier (but especially the carrier) in the PTR44 are prone to failure. Apparently they were over hardened and MAY (I'm being polite) destroy themselves sooner or later (most likely sooner) if you actually shoot your rifle instead of just stare at it or play with it while you watch war movies. According to SSD, they had an outside company doing the hardening when these rifles were imported. Once they became aware of the problem, they started doing the hardening in house and say that new made parts are properly hardened. Whatever the case, if you plan on shooting your rifle any real amount, I would greatly recommend that you either find yourself an original WWII bolt and carrier or buy new made SSD ones. While the rifles are not being imported at the moment, some parts are and at present (09/28/2017) are available here:

    http://www.dkproductiongroup.com/

    In addition to other parts, new made operating rod/carrier assemblies are available. Bolts are not for sale as of this writing but are in the works according to the owner, Tor, who is based in Kentucky and is working with SSD to make BD44 available in the US again. I have bought a carrier already and will cover it in an upcoming post. Additionally, I will be buying a bolt and 10 round magazine as soon as possible as well. I have found D-K Production Group to be easy to deal with and responsive to any questions I have posed. I'm usually a somewhat picky customer and I have nothing but good to say about them to this point.

    Alright, lets look at the bolt first. We already saw it in 3/4 view above. Here is the top front showing the serial number:




    Two views of the unlocking lugs:





    If I remember correctly, some people have noticed chipping in this area. I have not yet but these pictures were taken with only 50 rounds through the rifle.


    Top rear of the bolt showing the area the bolt carrier pushes against to lock the bolt into battery:




    Bolt face:



    At the 9 o'clock position is seen a little tab sticking out under the extractor. I have seen at least one picture where this has broken off.


    Bottom of the bolt:



    Rear is to the left. You can see bluing worn off where it engages the locking block in the receiver. The rib running along the entire bottom of the bolt is what SSD has narrowed to clear the ears at the rear of the receiver we saw earlier.


    Rear of the bolt showing the back of the firing pin:



    The large cut out on the left side is where the ejector passes. Also seen is bluing loos at the bottom where it hits the locking block.


    Tip of the firing pin:



    This part is free floating but is friction held in the bolt by an internal spring. To remove the firing pin, you simply tap the rear of the bolt on a hard surface. The firing pin will pop out a bit and you can then just pull it out the back with you fingers. To reinsert, turn the firing pin so that one of the flutes is at the 6 o'clock position and push it in until is stops. Then, rotate it a bit until you feel a "click" and push it in the rest of the way. Done.
    Some P38 "experts" are yo-yo's who, for some reason lost on me, can't or won't accept the truth when it's staring them in the face.

  9. #29
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    Next up is the carrier. The pictures that follow represent 50 rounds through the rifle.

    First up is the unlocking lug that grabs the bolt as the carrier travels to the rear during recoil:





    With repeated use, this entire area is almost guaranteed to shear clean off the carrier. That equals a BAD day at the range and it can't be good for the sheet metal receiver either.


    Here is the cam surface that pushes down on the bolt forcing it into engagement with the locking block in the receiver:



    To the left of the picture is seen a round thingee in the carrier. This is the intermediate striker. When you pull the trigger, the hammer hits the rear of this part which in turn hits the rear of the firing pin. The part sticking out of carrier and exiting out of the bottom of the photo is the charging handle. We also see the bottom of the unlocking lug and the rear of the gas piston exiting the right side of the picture.


    Bottom of the carrier which has been narrowed by SSD; again, to pass by the ears at the rear of the receiver:




    Detail of the gas piston where it threads into the front of the carrier:




    Left rear of the carrier:



    Notice that no machining was done here, giving away the fact that the carrier is forged. Originals ware made the same way. To the left is a round lug sticking out the rear of the carrier. This engages the end of the recoil spring.


    More evidence that the part is forged:



    Again, originals were forged too so this is not to say that SSD has tried to cut corners in production here. It's just the way they are/were made. The round bit at the top of the picture is the rear of the gas piston. You can also see the rear of the intermediate striker.

    That's it for this post. In the next one, we'll compare the carrier shown in this post to a new made one manufactured by SSD.
    Last edited by Wilhelm; 10-08-2017 at 06:49 PM.
    Some P38 "experts" are yo-yo's who, for some reason lost on me, can't or won't accept the truth when it's staring them in the face.

  10. #30
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    Well done once again. I have 8 repop mags, most from Numerich. My PTR as originally configured wouldn't feed 90% of the time from any of them. Added new Carrier from Tor (Major Props!) and original bolt and Voila! 2 FTF in 150 rounds and zero FTF with 25 blanks. I replaced the extractor in the original bolt and it still wouldn't cooperate. Sigh

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