AI AXMC Bolt Knob

Stevo3556

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Apr 10, 2017
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When cycling my bolt the ball knob on the bolt handle split perfectly in half where the threads stop in the ball. I have never dropped my rifle or bolt, never loaned it, can't imagine that I could have done anything to break it.

Has anyone had this happen?
What did you do?

Are there better knobs that will still allow the stock to fold?
If so, source?

Thank you
Steve

thumb_IMG_4849_1024.jpgthumb_IMG_4850_1024.jpg
 

Stevo3556

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Sorta hoped maybe a kewl upgrade since it broke.....

I just superglued it. Will see if that works.

Would not mind still replacing it with something different if it isn't some thing specially made for me, thinking that would be costly.
 

Viper1973

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I had this exact same thing happen to a new AXMC 308 bolt the first time I used it. Mile High didn't have the part even though they sold me the bolt. It was the last one they had and couldn't exchange.

Adam got me in contact with Lance at Accuracy International US and they got me a replacement overnighted the next day at no charge.

I'd recommend emailing AI: aina@accuracyinternational.us
 

Viper1973

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Thank you Viper.

I'll do that..

Steve
Based on your pictures, yours broke in exactly the same place mine did. I was actually surprised that it's more of a billiard ball material rather than plastic or metal.

My guess is when they thread them sometimes they stress crack or when they're installed they get overtightened.

When I reinstalled the new one they recommended loctite. However, after doing some research and loctite's ability to weaken plastic I decided to just thread it on normally and snuggly. Worked perfectly and doesn't work it's way loose and is still going strong.

When mine broke though it cut the hell out of my hand so hopefully you didn't have to go through that.
 

Stevo3556

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Sent the email to the address you gave a few mins after responding to your post. Will see what happens. I would think they would replace it without hesitation.

I was going to remove the knob from my other bolt, bet it's locktited.

I assumed the same on why it broke. Bet if you over tighten it bottoms out and cracks. I never messed with it, so must be a defect or had been over tightened when installed as you said.

No injuries here, opened the bolt when I set it on the table or to cycle first round, don't remember, and it just broke in my hand. I took the end with the threads and put it back on to shoot.
 

Viper1973

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Sent the email to the address you gave a few mins after responding to your post. Will see what happens. I would think they would replace it without hesitation.

I was going to remove the knob from my other bolt, bet it's locktited.

I assumed the same on why it broke. Bet if you over tighten it bottoms out and cracks. I never messed with it, so must be a defect or had been over tightened when installed as you said.

No injuries here, opened the bolt when I set it on the table or to cycle first round, don't remember, and it just broke in my hand. I took the end with the threads and put it back on to shoot.
Steve,

If you don't hear from them quickly PM me. I think I still have Lance's direct contact info and I'm sure they'll get you taken care of.

Mine was attached to the stem with some weird adhesive. The stuff acted like a clear version of red loctite. I had to heat the sucker to like 400 degrees with my heat gun to get the broken part to unscrew.

When mine broke it was right in the middle of cycling the bolt and lets just say blood went everywhere - the edges of those suckers are sharp as hell.
 
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reubenski

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Purpose built sniper rifles..... Using the same contractor that makes joystick knobs. They probably put in their contract specs, "Joystick-like knob" and the Chinese sub-contractor read it and just shrugged, "I can do better than that. I'll give you an actual joystick knob!".

But, what is even funnier is that the Sega appears to have the better quality knob, lol!
 

trophyhunter

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Purpose built sniper rifles..... Using the same contractor that makes joystick knobs. They probably put in their contract specs, "Joystick-like knob" and the Chinese sub-contractor read it and just shrugged, "I can do better than that. I'll give you an actual joystick knob!".

But, what is even funnier is that the Sega appears to have the better quality knob, lol!
You really dislike AI’s don’t you ?

Seems every post I’ve seen from you is from this breakage

What might I ask is your tough reliable go to action or rifle maker ?
 

reubenski

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You really dislike AI’s don’t you ?

Seems every post I’ve seen from you is from this breakage

What might I ask is your tough reliable go to action or rifle maker ?
I just bought an AI. But yes, I do think there is a hype about them. If I had a go-to action, I guess it would be a TL-3. But in reality I have surgeons, AIs, TL-3's, Origins, and Borden's. They're all pretty reliable. I just like to poke fun at the fan base that claims they are significantly more indestructible than a custom.
 
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trophyhunter

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I dislike customs, everything I’ve seen has to be fitted, trimmed, cut, adjusted or made to work

Seems they all are cut for each other but nothing really fits.

But to each his own.
 

reubenski

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It's kind of a philosophical question but a custom build should be fitted. So when is the fitting that occurs in building a custom rifle part of custom building and when is it trouble shooting a Franken-gun?

The irony is that parts made from so many diseperate companies on no particular standard are almost a drop in fit these days. You could spend a boatload of money at Altus and get an MPA, a TL3, a TT, a prefit barrel, and a self-timing brake and screw everything together in less time than it takes to put together an AR. You MIGHT have to fit the mag catch.

And not to be inflammatory but didn't you spend a considerable amount of time, money, and effort fitting an AI in 223? My TL3 just took a BF swap and a different plug n' play barrel and mag.
 

trophyhunter

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It's kind of a philosophical question but a custom build should be fitted. So when is the fitting that occurs in building a custom rifle part of custom building and when is it trouble shooting a Franken-gun?

The irony is that parts made from so many diseperate companies on no particular standard are almost a drop in fit these days. You could spend a boatload of money at Altus and get an MPA, a TL3, a TT, a prefit barrel, and a self-timing brake and screw everything together in less time than it takes to put together an AR. You MIGHT have to fit the mag catch.

And not to be inflammatory but didn't you spend a considerable amount of time, money, and effort fitting an AI in 223? My TL3 just took a BF swap and a different plug n' play barrel and mag.
Besides having the tools like mill, lathe and files what do you think a 2” piece of 4340 cost ? $20 ? Time is not bad if I’m not payin myself. Other that that a barrel, mag and that’s about it.

If i wanted to swap heads like on a Savage I would’ve bought a $500 Savage, not a TL3.
 

jwood1284

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Mine broke in May after three years when I overtightened it. I emailed AINA the SN, and had a new one with a few stickers two days later.

The handle has a little point on it, and can create a pressure point if overtightened. The new one they sent has deeper threads so it doesn’t bottom out on the handle.
 
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W54/XM-388

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I wonder how it would work if you put a solid brass ball on which had the threads milled into it?
The other question is why even have a bolt knob at all, they could just make the entire piece one solid steel part from the handle through the ball on the bolt back to the attachment points with the rest of the bolt.
 

trophyhunter

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I wonder how it would work if you put a solid brass ball on which had the threads milled into it?
The other question is why even have a bolt knob at all, they could just make the entire piece one solid steel part from the handle through the ball on the bolt back to the attachment points with the rest of the bolt.
On McMaster Carr they have a stainless ball, brass and all kinds of plastic in various sizes

I’m probably gonna swap the knob on my Vudoo ro a stainless ball cerakoted black.
 

6brshooter

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I just bought an AI. But yes, I do think there is a hype about them. If I had a go-to action, I guess it would be a TL-3. But in reality I have surgeons, AIs, TL-3's, Origins, and Borden's. They're all pretty reliable. I just like to poke fun at the fan base that claims they are significantly more indestructible than a custom.
Hmm, the tl3 I had would bind easy upon closing bolt, unless you pushed forward close to root of bolt handle. My ae and at are alot smoother. Even my curtis axiom is alot nicer in bolt cycling compared to the tl3 I had. My tl3 was not coated.
 
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sharpshot50

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I also experienced this failure with a brand new AXMC last year. It seemed like the bolt handle was overtightened either by the factory or somewhere along the way before it made it to me. The knob cracked and was split down the middle like this after the first round was fired.

I contacted AI and they overnighted me a new one. I really hated the look and feel of the shiny plastic ball anyway, so I replaced it with a carbon fiber round knob from here: https://www.boltknobs.com/bolt-knobs-carbon-fiber/

As jwood mentioned, the AXMC thread was M6x1.0, so I bought one of these so I wouldn't have to attempt to drill new threads: https://www.boltknobs.com/m6-thread-adapter/

I hated that I had to do that on a $6000 rifle, but the CF looks and feels much better, IMO.
 
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reubenski

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Hmm, the tl3 I had would bind easy upon closing bolt, unless you pushed forward close to root of bolt handle. My ae and at are alot smoother. Even my curtis axiom is alot nicer in bolt cycling compared to the tl3 I had. My tl3 was not coated.
I've been able to bind my AI, my Vudoo, my TL3s, Surgeon, definitely the long action Borden Timberline, and my buddies Impact if I push up on the bolt when the body is completely to the rear. I noticed the same thing on my first TL3 two years ago when I was finger fucking it at my Smith's shop. I was instantly dissapointed after I heard everyone woofing big shit about how smooth the TL3s were. But here's the thing about binding actions. It doesn't happen when you run the bolt correctly, which is almost second nature when your brain is engaged in the act of shooting. All you have to do is apply downward pressure on the bolt knob. This happens naturally in a shooting position. And this discrepancy between artificially binding an action by deliberately pushing up on the bolt knob and never doing in a course of fire has been discussed many times over.

There's a difference between all the different characteristics that people refer to when they describe an action being"smooth". Bolt Lift (on a dropped pin), the bolt body literally sliding fore and aft, binding at full rear position, sticking or grabbing in the raceways (Defiance chromed shiny actions with some mixture of bolt grease and grime that encounter's dry dust all of a sudden), bolt drop(most of the time a function of sear timing). The only thing a TL3 is guilty of is binding at the full rearward position if someone runs the bolt wrong. Usually in a Smith's shop or in front of the TV just to prove it can bind. It is smooth, drops the handle smoothly when timed, and has easy bolt lift. An AI has mechanically shitty bolt lift and drop as a function of it's 6 lug short throw. No way to get around it. No amount of timing will fix it. If you run it like a man you likely won't notice. Yes, the bolt runs very smooth in the raceways and it does resist binding much better at the full rearward position, but I can get it to do it as well.

So when you say your AI action is "smooth", what do you mean?

Don't get me wrong. I like the AI action. In fact I bought an AT just for the action.
 

6brshooter

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My ae takes less effort than my at to cock on dropped fp, both are slick in cycling and at rear most travel. I believe that's due to bolt body being same size or larger than lug diameter. My curtis has bolt lift effort between the 2 ai and maybe not as slick cycling. My tl3 was good on bolt lift and smooth on cycling, but when pushing forward from fully open, it would bind. This was in position behind rifle, not doing anything different then I do with tikkas, ai, or curtis. It was definitely less bindy than a rem or savage, but being my first custom action and being used to my ai's and trued tikka, I was let down. Maybe my bolt head had more play or slightly larger dimensions. Bolt lug and raceway were greased and it was a non-coated action. Also the flutes tended to scrape brass in mag. Overall, I think the finish and machined edges that were radiused of the tl3 is nicer than my axiom. The axiom has some sharp edges that were handled nicer on the tl3, so there is that.
 

Stevo3556

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No problem... Lance and the folks at AI are really awesome to deal with. Glad they’re getting you taken care of.

I expected they would. Was also posting to see if this had happened to others and possibly why as well as should I just "upgrade" to something that's out there that I don't know about and not bother them.