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James River Armory BM-59

Thread in 'Curios & Relics' started by napp, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. napp

    napp ODT Junkie! Supporter

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    Anybody have any personal experience with one of these? Looks like JRA is casting and machining the receivers now; so it is no longer necessary to chop up a historical USGI Garand. I will admit I had never heard of a BM-59 until today when I went to the Classic website to check out the JRA M-14. Looks interesting on paper.
     
  2. 10thmountain

    10thmountain American Warhorse.

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    You know iraqvet8888 does a good job reviewing those on you tube. They look good.
     
  3. spencer60

    spencer60 The Hen that laid the Golden Legos Supporter

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    I have one and it's been a PITA from the get-go.

    When I first got it every round would weld itself to the chamber so hard that the extractor ripped a big gouge in the base of the brass trying to extract it. I had to pry each piece out with a knife.

    I called JRA, and they had my try a couple of different types of ammo, but they all did the same thing. The (kind of grudgingly) sent me an RMA and a shipping label, and I sent it back to them.

    A few weeks later they sent it back, and this time it would cycle OK. According to JRA they had to open up the chamber a bit, although they couldn't explain how this wasn't caught when it was test fired. Anyway, it started working, so I loaded up a full mag, and it immediately failed to feed the second to last round.

    No biggie, it was probably the mag, and they send me a free one back with the repaired gun (plus a milsurp cleaning kit), so I tried that. Same thing. I tried different ammo in both, then tried downloading the mags. Same deal, second to last round would simply not feed. Absolutely the most bizzare failure I've ever seen.

    After shooting as a single-shot for a while, I then noticed that the pin for the bolt release was working loose. I pushed it back in, but it wouldn't stay. At that point I gave up on trying to shoot it and called JRA again.

    And oh ya, the front sight was so far off I have to have the rear sight all the way to one side to hit at 25 yards.

    The gunsmith there was nice, but sounded really stressed out. He was complaining about these guns and how the receivers they got were a PITA to work with, how the parts from the kits were all over the map in wear and quality, and how they all needed an incredible amount of tuning to be reliable as semi-automatics.

    He got me some pics of a place on the trigger to file down a bit, which he swore would fix the second-to-last round problem.

    As for the bolt HO pin, he suggested a little epoxy on the stock to keep it from sliding out. I guess there was something on the select-fire ones that did that, but now there's just a gap in the stock. There was nothing he could do about the sights he said.

    To be honest, I haven't even tried these fixes yet. The gun is simply waiting on my bench along with a few other projects. I'm just tired of dealing with what should have been a functioning rifle out of the box.

    IV88888 was one of the reviews I looked at when deciding to buy this, but I can start to see the criticism Yankee Marshal had of him promising to make sure a gun got a good review if they paid his rates and sent 3 guns for testing was probably spot on.

    A few weeks after I bought this lemon, Firearms News (used to be Shotgun News) reviewed it and ended up sending it back because their test gun was incorrectly assembled and wouldn't headspace correctly.

    I have a JRA '03 Springfield that is a fantastic firearm, and I know their M14s and M1s are supposedly top-notch, but the BM-59 has been a real dog from both personal experience and the few honest reviews I've seen out there.

    Maybe someone got a good one, but at $1200 they should all work flawlessly.
     
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  4. napp

    napp ODT Junkie! Supporter

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    Well, daaammnn. Thanks for the reply...I think. Spence, how long ago did you go thru all this. I had read somewhere that some of JRA's earlier attempts weren't too good; but they had supposedly solved the problems.
     
  5. spencer60

    spencer60 The Hen that laid the Golden Legos Supporter

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    They may have. This was all about 5-6 months ago if I remember right.

    I think it's got a 1 year warranty, so I should probably get back on it and try and sort it our while I can still send it back to JRA for free is needed.
     
  6. 10thmountain

    10thmountain American Warhorse.

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    Great Review. They certainly look good. Maybe better to go with the m14/m1A platform?
     
  7. spencer60

    spencer60 The Hen that laid the Golden Legos Supporter

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    They are beautiful rifles with some really great features, and in general the JRA folks have been pretty helpful.

    I actually feel bad about giving them a bad 'review' on this gun, and I really hope that I just got one of the early lemons and that they have fixed these problems. The '03 Springfield I have from them is a fantastic rifle so I know they can do a good job.
     
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