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Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower

imr4198

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Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« on: January 02, 2012, 06:06:52 AM »
Fellow Weathbyterians,
   One of our members reported feeding problems with his new S2.  It seems that his plastic follower had a tendency to jam sideways in the magazine well.  There was a suggestion from a member to lubricate the follower.  After some experimentation I have come to the conclusion that lubricating the follower is the correct solution.  But how to do it and with what lube?
   The ideal lubricant is kerosene.  Our state mandates the use of a red dye in the K1 kerosene, so that is what I used.  Clear K1 should work as well.  I am not prepared to state whether or not off-road diesel or number 2 fuel oil would work or not.  For the Aussies, I probably should mention that kerosene is the same as what the Brits call paraffin.  Got it?
   The first thing to do is drop down the floorplate and remove the follower from the spring.  Then you take it outside, since it is going to get messy.  Place the plastic follower on a piece of newspaper and apply approximately a tablespoon of kerosene on the follower.  Don't worry if it isn't evenly distributed.  Then carefully roll the newspaper and follower into a loose ball.  We will have to apply a little heat for the next step.
   Take an old fashioned kitchen match and light one corner of the newspaper.  Stand back as the fire takes hold and watch as the follower is melted into a tiny curled wad of plastic.  Stomp out any grass fires.  When the remnants cool off, take out what is left of your follower, if anything.  Now it will never malfunction again. 
   My distaste for this cheap piece of equipment is such that I once entertained the notion of fabricating them myself from stainless steel and selling them to Vanguard owners.  I decided to make them from two pieces of stainless steel which would be spot welded together.  The finish would be brushed stainless or red Brownell's Gun Kote (a baked on finish).  The red would be for shooters who wanted to verify that the magazine was empty from the bright color.  I figured that I would probably need about $10 each with shipping included to cover costs.  Howa could probably make them for less than a dollar each, but I would have to make my own tooling and buy my own supplies at retail.  An old friend of mine used to have Chinese contacts so I probably could have a few thousand of them made in PRC for just pennies each.  Unfortunately he is dead and gone, and his contacts are lost.  He used to ship popular pocket knives there and would have a sample counterfeit copy returned in 6 weeks.  If it passed inspection, he could buy as many more as he wanted.  Cheap.   
   After a little more thought, I decided that the whole project could easily become a great pain in the gluteus.  Probably would be a financial loss for me.  I really didn't like that part.  So... the idea went where my other good ideas go.  Somebody else will have to correct Weatherby's mistake.  Unfortunately, this is the weak link in what used to be a bulletproof rifle and one of my favorite Weatherbys.  Our great Vanguard.
imr4198    

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 06:23:15 AM »
Plastic Follower, ew.  That's not good.  The S1's are steel. 
There are as many answers to that one as there are reasons men hunt, fight, skydive, gamble or take up with redheaded ladies.

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imr4198

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Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 06:39:11 AM »
If you mean the models before the S2, the late ones were plastic also.  Don't know about the new Howa branded ones.  So far, I haven't been able to find the parts for Howa/Legacy sports models.  Does anybody out there have a Howa that he has bought over Christmas?  Is the follower steel or plastic?
imr

Chip

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Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 07:10:38 AM »
Well seeing as we are stuck with them for now at least I guess my second choice for lube would be powdered graphite.  As for the scratches,all I can say about that one is
CMON man. It's a Weatherby, make it look and feel like a Weatherby.  I lke the rifle overall but I really expect first rate fit and finish.  Nagging little QC issues have been the downfall of many a really good company over the years.  Maybe I'm out of line here but I think Roy would be pissed. 

Chip 

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 07:20:37 AM »
Your Right on Chip
I have seen more negitive post about the S2 then positive. Hope its not like the pre & post 64 Winchester.
Mark

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 09:04:08 AM »
Hey Folks,  I was one of the people complaining about the deep scratches in the trigger guard, also the plastic follower being an issue. I tryed the metal follower out of one of my other Vanguards, feeding is much improved! After taking the action out of the stock, It looks like the receiver was finished down to the stock line(bead blasted) and left rough below the stock line!  I swear it looks like the action was blasted while in a stock!  It's a Weatherby guys!  Of course, It's not a Mark V. But with all the other choices out there you would think a little more care would be put in "The next Generation of Vanguard rifles"  one would think that we should have an improvement over the last model!   I fix(short of the kerosene method, ha!)
for the follower might be painting it with DuraCoat Self lubricating paint.

zonie

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Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 09:09:01 AM »
The  scratches are not just an S2 issue it predated the S2's.    I don't care for the plastic followers either they have to go.   The scratches are not even a QA - QC problem,  it's a total lack of checking at all.   I could see one or two being scratched , but not as many as there is.   To me the ball was left in someone elses court.   I have them on at least one WNMR rifle,  the other one probably is also although I need to check.    Don't think I was a happy camper when I seen it.   I just haven't said anything until  now.   That had to go in for engraving or at least final assembly so someone had to see it.    Looks like someone took a grinding wheel to it inside on top of the trigger guard  where the trigger comes thru,   then finished over,  the outside looks fine

I have another issue with some of these rifles and it's the shims under the hinged floor plate,  guys are going to flat lose them because they are not familiar with the rifles or forget how many went were,  if that's the case.    I'm lucky on mine one on the front and rear,  but I'm not so sure on other rifles there could be  one or two on the front or rear and none on the other side or vice versa.  I really don't know why they are in there other than other than allowing the hinged floorplate to latch correctly ?   It can't be for stock compression mine are pillar bedded.   If that's the case  that's a bandaid and there shouldn't be any in there.   I can surely live with it, but I have always wondered why it was done that way.  

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 10:09:55 AM »
 Sorry if this question has been asked and answered already, ive been out for a bit with the holidays and all. Is it possible to buy an after market or a Weatherby metal or stainless follower? Also, could someone please post some pics of the scratches on the trigger gaurd you guys are talking about?
" If your going to put a hole in something, make it a hole to be proud of "

dubyam

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Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 10:29:26 AM »
I can't speak to the scratches, but I can help out a little on other issues.

The shims are in the floorplate cutout to get the floorplate to sit correctly in the stock and appear level and flush.  The only other fix is to individually bed each one, and that's not going to happen at this price point.  Other makers either don't use shims at all (and end up with bad metal to stock fit) or they use shims/washers.  It is what it is.  I have them in my Mark V's, even.  Once I convert to Medalist stocks, I'll bed the floorplates and it won't be an issue.

As for followers, you can get a short action magazine box assembly (which includes the follower, spring, and box) from Numrich for about $25.  It appears to have a metal follower.  I'm unable to quickly locate any long action parts, but that doesn't mean they're not out there.

The one thing I can add is that Weatherby does listen to their customers.  Remember when the Mark V bolt handles all came drilled for a short period of time?  That was an effort to stock 1 fewer SKU to save on costs.  It's more than just the cost of the item, as we all know; the cost of tracking, ordering, etc. come into play.  So they tried it.  People complained mercilessly.  They switched back.  I suspect if enough people complain about the follower, it could return to being steel.  I'm sure it's a major cost savings to mold them out of polymer, though, so it may be something outside our control.

For reference, though, I've got a Glock, which is a lot of polymer, and it's a great gun.  I don't have as much problem with the follower as some folks - as long as they feed properly.  Give me one that doesn't, and I'm going to be a real loud complainer if it can't be resolved.

I think Chip is right with his thought line into powdered graphite lube.  Either that, or Remington Dri-Lube sprayed on.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 11:41:37 AM »

These are the photos of my S2 triggerguard, The deep scratches are quite deep.
I should explain my last post, The action above the stock line has a nice smooth bead blasted finish, the action below the stock line has a very coarse finish!  If I were to glass bed this action, release agent would not be enough to fill in the "pock" marks.  JMO

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 12:17:54 PM »
Thanks for the Picts.That was what I thought it would be.For what we are paying for the S1and S2, I don't expect perfection.Just a very accurate shooter and I don't think anyone has had many complaints about that.I pay big bucks then things should be much better.Just my opinion though.
Roger
Faster horses,younger women,older whiskey,and more money.

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 12:48:22 PM »
 I guess it may be a little give and take with a rifle at that price point. The .99 MOA  vs. a few imperfections that may arise but not effect performance. I dont spend any time looking over other manufacturers rifles at all so I couldnt say a word about their finishes or procedures. It does seem to me that in order to make a .99 MOA rifle and sell it for five or six hundred bucks that they would need to keep costs lower on other parts of the rifle though. If the follower becomes an issue with a good percentage of the V2s then they will have to replace them. If you cant count on it to cycle you cant count on the rifle to hunt with it. That is a problem.

 As far as not being able to make changes to the rifle such as bedding the action and barrel due to an unseen surface, that would be an alteration to the rifle and im sure Weatherby doesnt sell them to be modified. They sell a product to be bought and used by the general public as is no different than any other company. They also sell different levels of products not unlike any other company.
" If your going to put a hole in something, make it a hole to be proud of "

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 01:23:45 PM »
We all have our likes and dislikes, Ford, Chevy or Dodge!  My point is that The Black Vanguards were finished better!  why stop the finishing of the steel half-way  down the action? It wouldn't take 10 extra minutes to do the job right! I knew I would stir the pot when I posted my comments!  While some may say that It does not affect the function of the firearm, that is true!  The S2 is not an improvement over my other three Vanguards.  I know that I am not the only other person complaining about this!  I won't turn this into a p#$$ing match about Weatherby, They are a very good company! The company is only as good as their products, that is why I will be contacting customer service, Because it has the name "WEATHERBY" on it! 

dubyam

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Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2012, 01:43:59 PM »
I didn't think this was devolving into a peeing match, Sleeper.  I think you're right to be concerned about details.  I certainly concern myself about them.  I just don't get worked up over polymer parts like some folks, but then again I probably get more worked up over other stuff that most folks simply overlook.  I'd like to see the different finish on your rifle just for my own education, but I'll agree that a rifle action and barrel should be uniform in finish quality.  To do otherwise is to sell short.  I believe Weatherby will take care of this for you.  Keep us posted on how it's handled.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

Re: Fixing the Plastic Vanguard Follower
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2012, 02:11:38 PM »
Cooler heads have prevailed!  I never used to complain when my french fries were cold! LOL. I must be getting too old and trying to relive the good old days! I'm sure that my complaints will be taken care of!  I still remember looking through the Weatherby catalog in the mid 60's, those were the days!  Thanks Dubyam..