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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, since introductions are concluded.:yup:

I bought a used UTG MK96 earlier this year for a $100. As this will likely be my daughter's field gun for next year I'm not looking to sink too much into it at this stage, just to correct issues of functionality and operation. Who knows if she'll want to keep playing/shooting next year, right? Fickle are the whims of children I say, let alone women.

Said UTG MK96 is suffering from a loose bolt handle base (I'm basing this on the loose part in question looking like this one):
UTG Bolt Handle Base, Fits Type 96 Airsoft Rifle. Other.

The screw in the back keeps coming loose causing the base to flop around during cycling. I can tighten it down, but then the entire bolt assembly won't move. Based on a disassembly video on Youtube the bolt in the back of the bolt handle base should be tight. Is this correct? Intentionally having something loose doesn't make sense. When loose I can push the bolt in with my finger, or pull it out completely with my finger nail. It has minimal engagement before it tightens up completely, probably 4-5 complete turns.

To me this implies more than just a loose bolt, but something larger at issue. Before I start pulling this thing apart I'd like to clear some things up for myself:
Is the bolt in the back of the bolt handle base supposed to fully seat and be tight? I would believe it should.
If so, what additional issue is that a symptom of with the bolt assembly? It would seem to imply that when tightened all the way down something is being distorted out of shape and thus creating a bind point.
Am I potentially looking at something that has had the threads pulled out further inside?

I'll probably do a complete tear down sometime over the next couple of weeks to just go through it, check for other potential issues with it, and generally make an upgrade plan if she wants to continue with the sport.
To whit here is the current thoughts:
The trigger box seems to be a weak point and a metal one would probably be the initial upgrade.
The gun shoots at 440 fps with a 0.2g round. I'm concerned that putting anything stronger in would adversely affect her ability to pull the spring back.
Is there a way to prevent that little pin that locks up the bolt from growing legs and falling out?
What typical DIY mods should I perform before making any substantial upgrades (there was one about foaming the stock)?

Thank you for your time,
 

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Here is a bit of info based on my personal experience, I hope this helps somewhat.

The screw that keeps the bolt handle in place should be tight. Mine liked to come loose once and a while and a couple terms and it was back in place. Not super tight, just enough where a little pressure is applied. Some blue loctite would keep it together nicely but I never got around to it.

The trigger box is indeed weak. A lot of my friends had issues with the sears, but mine held up with the stock spring for over a year. However, once I stuck in some PDI trigger and piston sears, the trigger box shell, which is plastic, decided to break. If you are going to go the cheap route, and not get a Z-trig, at least get a metal box for $35 and run those sears til it breaks, or get some PDI trigger/piston sears combos going and slap those babies in.

With a teflon cylinder, pulling the bolt back at 500 fps is a breeze, but if you stick with the stock cylinder, even though it is still extremely easy and a smooth pull, I am not sure how well your daughter will handle it. Best to play by ear and see how well she does with pulling it back at current fps. You can always switch springs later when you have more durable parts in there as well as her getting some practice with it in its current state.

That pin you are talking about that keeps the bolt locked in place when you are cocking it is a pain in the ass....if you are indeed talking about the small pin that causes the bolt to lock and not fall down when you pull it up (and say let go with hand), don't be worried about it. I actually took out the pin so that when I cocked the rifle and moved the bolt from its resting spot to the up position (but not cocked back), it would not lock, and fell down on its own. (I hope that description was good enough, if not I have access to pics to help).

There are a few stickies here that can help with DIY mods as well as answer other questions above such as about bolt handle:

http://www.airsoftsniperforum.com/36-rifles-parts-reviews/1284-guarder-bolt-handle-l96.html

http://www.airsoftsniperforum.com/36-rifles-parts-reviews/1276-utg-mk96-review.html

http://www.airsoftsniperforum.com/44-others/1990-ultimate-guide-silence-your-type-96-others.html

http://www.airsoftsniperforum.com/44-others/1159-so-you-want-buy-l96-clone.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Is the locking up if the bolt at the end is tight normal? It doesn't seem like it should be.

This is the trigger assembly you are talking about?
Angel Custom "OMEGA" Pro Zero Trigger System For Type96 WELL MB01 Airsoft Bolt Action Sniper Rifles, Accessories & Parts, External Parts, Trigger / Trigger Guard - Evike.com Airsoft Superstore

Thank you,

Skrag.
I am not sure if we are referencing the same thing or not in regards to the locking of the bolt. When you go to cock the rifle, the first thing you do is obviously grab the bolt handle and pull up. There is a pin that will lock the bolt in place at this position, and if you let go, it will remain locked and will not return to starting position (upon letting go). I removed that pin on purpose to get rid of the locking noise, and now the bolt moves freely. If I pull the bolt up, and let go, the bolt will fall back down. This was to allow the guarder bolt handle to smoothly move about, for the pin was causing it to get jammed halfway because the guarder bolt handle specs were a bit off in my experience.

If you are referencing the END SCREW being too tight causing issues of the bolt getting locked, that is a different story. The end screw should not have to be too tight and I would imagine if you apply too much pressure to tighten it you could cause issues. Try a bit of teflon tape on the end screw to keep it in place. That way your base is tight but not over the top.

Let me know if that is the thing you are referencing or not. Want to make sure so that you don't go about removing necessary parts due to confusion.

Also, the trigger unit you have linked is an Angel Customs part. I have no experience with that individual trigger unit. I ran a PSS96 laylax zero trigger, which never failed me. However, when I was working on another l96, I slapped in a cheap Matrix $35 trigger unit, that had a metal shell. It was an upgrade from the stock plastic shell. Reason I bought that one was the guy I was helping had plans to put in new sears and didn't want to spend the money on the expensive laylax trigger unit. By buying the metal trigger box, he then was going to add PDI sears to the list. He didn't stay with the stock box, which was plastic, and even if the sears held up, sometimes the shell itself will bust (like it did on mine).

With that, there are various options you can go in terms of upgrading. The UTG l96 is a great platform, easy to work with and switch out parts. Not everything has to be upgraded at once for it to work, and you can take it step by step. Let me know what exactly you want to upgrade right off the bat and I can assist. I recommend going for durability upgrades first to ensure the rifle will last. While hop up upgrades are essential, your rifle will not be of much good, if its slam firing right from the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the issue I want to address first:
If you are referencing the END SCREW being too tight causing issues of the bolt getting locked, that is a different story. The end screw should not have to be too tight and I would imagine if you apply too much pressure to tighten it you could cause issues. Try a bit of teflon tape on the end screw to keep it in place. That way your base is tight but not over the top.
I was just snugging it up by hand with the bolt forward and the handle down. The whole assembly wouldn't turn up or pull back.

I went through the other thread with your review and generated this order. Thoughts?
Trigger assembly
Piston (with accuracy cup)
Spring guide (any way to prevent the bearings from coming loose?)
Cylinder
Spring
Hop-up
Piston head

I'm not a shrinking violet with regards to parts cost, as I know that generally you get what you pay for in just about anything, especially if you don't want to have to replace parts in short order.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

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This is the issue I want to address first:

I was just snugging it up by hand with the bolt forward and the handle down. The whole assembly wouldn't turn up or pull back.

I went through the other thread with your review and generated this order. Thoughts?
Trigger assembly
Piston (with accuracy cup)
Spring guide (any way to prevent the bearings from coming loose?)
Cylinder
Spring
Hop-up
Piston head

I'm not a shrinking violet with regards to parts cost, as I know that generally you get what you pay for in just about anything, especially if you don't want to have to replace parts in short order.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
I have experienced almost every issue in the book with the l96, but that end screw issue is puzzling me. It would obviously be easier if I had my hands on it, but I think I have the issue painted in my head. The only thing I can really suggest doing is figuring out a way, whether using teflon tape or blue loctite, to play with the screw and get it as tight as possible without affecting the bolt getting stuck when trying to pull it back. It sounds like when its loose, the bolt will go back, but obviously we can't have it wiggling all over. Is it possible to get it tight enough to allow easy bolt pull back without it getting stuck?

Also in regards to the parts list, here is what I have for you:

I made that guide a while back, so I have experiences that change how I go about things. For instance, the spring guide can be bought later on. In my VSR, I actually ran the stock spring guide to provide more money for other funds such as hop up parts first. The stock spring guide held up fine. However, once you do get the upgraded one, to keep the bearings in place, a little blue loctite should work just fine.

Depending on how well your daughter does with pulling the bolt back, the teflon cylinder can wait. That piece, while awesome, due to its super smooth bolt pull, is not 100% necessary. Especially on the UTG mk96, which already has smooth bolt pull. My VSR was much less smooth to pull back, until I got a teflon cylinder, which made a huge difference, but again not 100% necessary for performance, especially if money is tight.

You don't really want to buy a spring until all durability upgrades are bought. It was the last thing I bought, but once you get the durability upgrades, go right ahead. However, I have run my l96 at various fps set ups, and I believe I ran my l96 at 450 fps.

By piston head, I believe you mean cylinder head. The piston/accuracy cup is all you need for that. Cylinder head can wait til end for the stock one won't break on you, and teflon taping it should do fine for increasing compression/consistency.

The hop up upgrades are where you are going to see major results in regards to actually spitting the bb out of the barrel. I fiddled with the PDI hop up chamber and the HP chamber for quite some time, and have two threads that deal with the many issues of the PDI hop up chamber, and the minor ones with the HP. Hop up, since it deals with overall performance, is one of the things that you want to get early on, but at the same time, the stock UTG l96 with a few mods can perform quite nicely. Everyone's situation is different, and it sounds like your daughter is just starting out. NOthing wrong with using the rifle in stock form, and is what I did for the first year I was using the UTG mk96. After that, I was able to make decisions to upgrade it, and knew what I needed to buy to get even better results.

I recommend the HP chamber if you do go that route, and I have a thread on it around here somewhere. I would avoid the PDI chamber, but many people have had great results with it. However, the HP chamber is much more simpler and similar to stock hop up design, only with a few tweaks to make it better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have experienced almost every issue in the book with the l96, but that end screw issue is puzzling me. It would obviously be easier if I had my hands on it, but I think I have the issue painted in my head. The only thing I can really suggest doing is figuring out a way, whether using teflon tape or blue loctite, to play with the screw and get it as tight as possible without affecting the bolt getting stuck when trying to pull it back. It sounds like when its loose, the bolt will go back, but obviously we can't have it wiggling all over. Is it possible to get it tight enough to allow easy bolt pull back without it getting stuck?
When we were shooting it a couple of weeks ago the bolt handle base would come loose and flop around (meaning you would have to flick it with your thumb or fiddle with the bolt to get it to seat properly for those last 2 inches or so). I would have to push the screw into the base, then tighten. When I tightened it down, the bolt assembly would lock down tight. If I backed the screw off enough that the bolt assembly could be pulled back, within 2-3 shots the bolt handle base would be flopping around again and the screw had pulled away. Based on this I'm guessing the threads are stripped in the bolt handle, but wanted a second opinion on the diagnosis before I start pulling things apart to inspect. I don't have much space to leave something pulled apart (no work bench, just my kitchen table) without things growing legs, finding their way down a cat/dog stomach or just heat from the Lady of the House.

Could it be as simple as replacing the screw and securing with some Loctite? How do I know if the base or handle may be worn and should be replaced? I'm sure if the threads are stripped that will be easy to inspect, but is there something else I should be looking for? I don't know the full history of the gun (I mentioned that it was used), so I'm working without a patient history so to say.

I made that guide a while back, so I have experiences that change how I go about things ...
So revised long term plan (Laylax preferred where not indicated otherwise):
0. Guarder bolt handle??
1. HP Hop-up chamber
2. Z-trigger system
3. Piston & accuracy cup
4. Cylinder
5. Spring
6. Cylinder head
7. Spring guide (Loctite on the bearings)

I've started putting together index cards for the upgrade plans on my different guns so I don't have to try and track this stuff in my head.

Personally I think I'll end up with a DMR setup for field action for myself (totally separate thread).

Thank you,
Skrag.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

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I really wish I could be there in person to help you out, as it is hard to totally know what is wrong. However, it does sound like something is stripped. There are replacement parts out there for the bolt base, as well as the end screw. The only thing that puzzles me is I don't ever remember having an issue with the entire assembly locking up from being too tight. Unless someone else here knows whats up and has had this issue, you probably are going to have to take it down to take a look.

As for upgrades, switch the spring guide with the cylinder head. You probably will buy them together at the same time since they are at the end, but in case you don't, a new spring guide would be more beneficial in regards to durability. In addition, the stock cylinder most likely will not break, while a spring guide has a higher chance at doing so, but if your daughter has trouble pulling the bolt back, then a teflon cylinder is worth the rush to buy. Hence, the variables in your purchases from what I typically recommend.
 

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I assume you are referring to the inner barrel. If so, I classify that as part of the hop up upgrade portion, since the HP chamber requires AEG barrels and buckings, so they all kind of go together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, so I had an opportunity this afternoon to take a look at the bolt handle and bolt handle base.

First off, you know that little pin they tell you not to lose? Yeah, lost that. Should be easy enough to fab something to replace it with a nail.

The bolt that goes into the end that I was concerned with being stripped is fine.

I did find that the bolt handle had some wear on the back end. You can see how the right side has one portion that is worn smooth whereas on the left side it doesn't look that way. It also looks like the indentations at the top and bottom are worn away as well.


The two nubs inside were rolling around loose and are bent (this would account for the damage to the handle. The springs that the nubs sat in are bent over as well.


The bolt handle base inside looked good, no significant wear showed like on the handle itself.



I'm guessing that the nubs rolling around inside is what was causing the binding when I tightened down the screw. When I reassembled everything, with the end bolt tight, nothing was binding up this time.

I believe the nubs and the "don't lose me" pin are just there to simulate the action of the real steel gun (handle locks up to clear the chamber and slides back on a groove) and perform no real duty on an airsoft gun.

Despite the damage to the bolt handle, it doesn't look like it will affect the actual operation of the gun other than to have the handle flop loose when it is pulled back.

Any other opinions?http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

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Here is a bit of info based on my personal experience, I hope this helps somewhat.

The screw that keeps the bolt handle in place should be tight. Mine liked to come loose once and a while and a couple terms and it was back in place. Not super tight, just enough where a little pressure is applied. Some blue loctite would keep it together nicely but I never got around to it.

The trigger box is indeed weak. A lot of my friends had issues with the sears, but mine held up with the stock spring for over a year. However, once I stuck in some PDI trigger and piston sears, the trigger box shell, which is plastic, decided to break. If you are going to go the cheap route, and not get a Z-trig, at least get a metal box for $35 and run those sears til it breaks, or get some PDI trigger/piston sears combos going and slap those babies in.

With a teflon cylinder, pulling the bolt back at 500 fps is a breeze, but if you stick with the stock cylinder, even though it is still extremely easy and a smooth pull, I am not sure how well your daughter will handle it. Best to play by ear and see how well she does with pulling it back at current fps. You can always switch springs later when you have more durable parts in there as well as her getting some practice with it in its current state.

That pin you are talking about that keeps the bolt locked in place when you are cocking it is a pain in the ass....if you are indeed talking about the small pin that causes the bolt to lock and not fall down when you pull it up (and say let go with hand), don't be worried about it. I actually took out the pin so that when I cocked the rifle and moved the bolt from its resting spot to the up position (but not cocked back), it would not lock, and fell down on its own. (I hope that description was good enough, if not I have access to pics to help).

There are a few stickies here that can help with DIY mods as well as answer other questions above such as about bolt handle:

Guarder Bolt Handle (L96)

UTG MK96 Review

Ultimate guide to silence your Type 96 + others

So You Want to Buy a L96 Clone
The screw on the back of the bolt snapped do you know what size screw it is?
 
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