Nice writeup! And nice mods that I never would have dreamed of being able to make. Can you show people what the face of the hammer looked like and what your solution entailed? Also, nice closeup of the hammer with the wear on only one side of the rear edge, showing how "cocked" and out of alignment the hammer was as it moved through the body. As you said, tolerances weren't tight. I wonder how well the design might work if it were actually built well?
I like your comment about the noise. It certainly needs no loudener. It has a really cool, unusual, "BLAP!" sort of sound to it that I dug. I can remember, years ago, ripping off a string of those shots as I rounded a bunker and the shock and alarm that just the noise of the thing (as well as the speed that even my lame trigger finger could manage) put into folks at the field.
I really liked the grip frame and grips. It was always a very good fit and looked good (on an otherwise not-so-sexy gun). I wouldn't have dreamed of "upgrading" to dual-finger trigger frame, or cutting that one.
I'm positive that's all the spring washers that came with the RM. I don't remember whether I counted four or five pairs in the reg, but I can't imagine they didn't all either make it back into the reg or into the box/bags. I wonder if, with such a low S/N, it might actually have been something they didn't include until later?
Finally, I had noticed the issue with the wire ball detent. It was dinging the leading edge of the bolt but, like so many other similar points of wear, I just assumed it was inherent in the design. I had enough trouble trying to get it to cycle reliably to worry too much about it.
In the end, what do you think was causing the intermittent failure to cycle? Was it just the fact that the divot in the face of the hammer had shortened the effective length of the whole bolt/carrier train to the point where it just didn't always quite come together closely enough for the bolt to latch on? I can't imagine that the sear hitting the face of the carrier, rather than the "ramp" part, helped. But was anything else the "main" problem?
Thanks for getting some good use out of it. I would have loved to have kept it and used it (it totally fits my love of weird, suboptimal, old guns) alongside my Mag and Phantom. But I was never going to get it running. Thanks for keeping it alive. If you tire of it, let me know, or at least make sure it goes to someone who will play with it and love it.