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ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 10:35 AM
I have a Beretta 3901 Ambassador that WILL NOT fully cycle light loads or 2.75" heavy game loads. It will fire and the bolt comes back far enough to cock the hammer but does not eject the hull or release another round from the magazine. It is squeaky clean on the inside and I have scraped the gas ports inside the barrel. According to the schematics I have found, it is put together correctly. The only part I have not removed and checked is the recoil spring in the buttstock. Could it be a bent or dirty spring?

Has anyone else run into this problem and if so, what did you do to fix it?

zippy13
November 25, 2011, 11:01 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "I have scraped the gas ports" -- typically you need an appropriately sized punch to knock the crud out of the ports. You said it's squeak clean, is it lubricated? Crud in the gas works and improper re-assembly are the typical causes of gas guns failing to operate properly. As far as the spring is concerned, does the bolt open and close smoothly when operated manually?

oregunner
November 25, 2011, 11:10 AM
The first thing I would do is use 2 snap caps. Load one in the chamber and one in the magazine. Pull the trigger and pull the bolt back manually. See if the first snap cap ejects and the second one loads. Pull back firmly. You should start to be able to see if it works, and if not why not. It may be gas related, lube related, or mechanical. Good luck. Mark

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 11:13 AM
I guess I should have been more specific. Sorry. I scraped the gas ports with a welding torch tip cleaner that I had modified to make the 90* turn. By squeaky clean I mean it was totally disassembled and detail cleaned then lightly lubricated on the metal-to-metal surfaces. The bolt also moves smoothly to the rear (manually) with not hint of binding.

oregunner
November 25, 2011, 11:31 AM
The most common problem I see with malfuctioning 390s at the range is that they have been assembled wrong. The gas release spring needs to be on the shaft after installing the barrel. If you put it on the shaft before installing the barrel, the gun will go together, but won't cycle. This was one the main reasons they modified this assembly on the 391. Mark

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 11:35 AM
Mark, checked that via the schematics I have on hand. The spring is installed correctly.

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 11:38 AM
The only part I have not removed and cleaned/checked is the tube for the recoil spring. I can take a rod work the spring up and down and it does not appear to hang up anywhere.

oregunner
November 25, 2011, 11:58 AM
Check out this post on Shotgunworld. http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=101242
It is for a 391, but most of it also applies to a 390. Have you tried cycling it with snap caps or empty shells? Mark

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 12:11 PM
Have you tried cycling it with snap caps or empty shells?

No. Just empty and shooting live rounds. Thank you for the link.

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 12:59 PM
Do you think running a handful of 3" turkey loads through it would hurt the gun (or me!!!)?

oregunner
November 25, 2011, 01:17 PM
If the gun won't cycle heavy field loads, there is something wrong. Shooting even bigger loads through it won't solve the problem, in my opinion. I think it is time for a Beretta expert to look at it. A bigger hammer usually doesn't fix the problem. :) Mark

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 01:25 PM
I believe I will heed your advice. I've done everything I can think of.

ActivShootr
November 25, 2011, 01:55 PM
OK. Couldn't help myself. After another cleaning of the gas ports it will fully cycle 2.75" heavy loads.

Still a no go on 2.75", 1-1/8 target loads.

mc123
December 1, 2011, 12:29 AM
Some questions: Were you able to shoot 2.75 1 1/8 inch loads before and then gradually your 3901 stopped ejecting properly? Or has this always been this way?

How far is the ejection of the loads? My ideal ejection distance is ~4-6 feet. 15-20 feet would be too much. Less than 2 feet, I've had an occasional FTE.

Experienced Beretta users who are confident in their mechanical skills have recommended to me to also clean the recoil spring and inside the recoil spring tube.

Nevertheless, it's probably best to seek the advice from a competent gunsmith i.e. Coles first before doing anything more involved.

Good luck

mc123
December 1, 2011, 02:10 AM
If the rest of the action seems smooth, a possible culprit is the valve spring. I use the Cole spring kit to adjust my 3901. I can shoot 1 oz 2.75 dram target loads with 4-6 ft. ejection distance and no FTEs.

RoscoeC
December 1, 2011, 11:27 AM
Experienced Beretta users who are confident in their mechanical skills have recommended to me to also clean the recoil spring and inside the recoil spring tube.

I bought a used Beretta AL390ST. It worked ok, but I could hear a screech screech sound every time it cycled. I disassembled the recoil spring tube, and it was full of rust. I ordered a new spring, and took a 9mm bronze brush wrapped with 0000 steel wool on my battery operated drill and along with a generous dose of oil, I polished the snot out of it. Put in the new spring and it has been perfect since. Every time I clean, I take a 10" phillips screw driver and depress the spring. While it is depressed I give it a spritz of Rem Oil. Just want to be sure it never rusts again.

I too have the Cole spring kit, but have never needed to use it. Mine even cycles 7/8 ounce loads.

HKGuns
December 2, 2011, 10:58 AM
The only part I have not removed and cleaned/checked is the tube for the recoil spring. I can take a rod work the spring up and down and it does not appear to hang up anywhere.

So you have taken the spring that goes into the stock and cleaned that up well? (Assuming the 390 has this as the 391 does.) There is definitely something wrong because those aren't light loads for a 390.

ActivShootr
December 3, 2011, 09:16 PM
So you have taken the spring that goes into the stock and cleaned that up well?

No. That is the only part I have not cleaned.

Another question: Should I run the gun wet (lots of lube) or dry (not much)?

oneounceload
December 3, 2011, 09:24 PM
run it wet, but not dripping

ActivShootr
December 3, 2011, 09:41 PM
Thanks 1 oz.

I am going to clean the recoil spring/tube and try it again.

krimmie
December 3, 2011, 10:24 PM
I am going to clean the recoil spring/tube and try it again.

If it hasn't been removed before, you will need to apply a little heat to free the spring tube nut. There is also a small hole under the nut, once the nut is loose, place an ice pick/nail etc. so the recoil spring doesn't come flying out.

ActivShootr
December 4, 2011, 11:09 AM
Krimmie, does it have a thread sealant on it or just torqued down really tight?

krimmie
December 4, 2011, 03:32 PM
Mine had a sealant.

lambertsteeth
December 4, 2011, 09:23 PM
If you are still having trouble, you could pose this question on the Beretta Forum.

It is full of Beretta mega-minds.

I hope you get it straightened out.

HKGuns
December 5, 2011, 08:00 PM
No. That is the only part I have not cleaned.

Another question: Should I run the gun wet (lots of lube) or dry (not much)?

That would be my next step......I think you'll be surprised at how dirty it can get back there, I know I was.......I run mine one the dry side, but not completely dry. It certainly isn't AR wet.......I've heard folks go both ways.

Second the recommendation on the SGW Beretta area. I frequent there as well and that is where you'll get the best Beretta advice.