.22WMR Bolt-Action Problem (Stuck bolt)???
I got my grandpa's old .22wmr out of a storage unit yesterday, and boy was that thing filthy... words cannot describe how dirty the thing was. I spent 2 hours on it and yet I can still pull filth out of the gun. Anyway, that's not really the issue here. The bolt was just slightly stiff, nothing that made the gun unusable, not even close. But I figured I'd give it a good cleaning and a little lubricating, which I felt would make it much easier to use. I just want you guys to know that I'm no firearm aficionado, not by a long shot. Well I don't know if all bolt actions are like this, but in this particular rifle, which is (at least) 62 years old. Actually, it's marked on the barrel as
SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO. <> JC HIGGINS <>
MOD. 42 DLM (bunch of numbers...)
Well, in trying to clean this filthy thing, I ran some paper towels through the gun, obviously after taking the bolt out. Now I noticed a little bent "pin" type thing, kind of in the position just before the bolt closes, and this piece rides underneath the bolt.
When the bolt is pulled all the way back, it protrudes from the slot in the bottom of the bolt (...extractor?). One problem is that I didn't notice this before I cleaned it. I asked myself "Could I have bent it out of place?" I tried to wiggle it with my finger and that thing is strong. It'll move a little, but not enough where I would bend. After ours of doing my best to clean the gun, I oiled the bolt a bit and went to sleep, but I wasnt satisfied with the oiling because it wiped most of it off. I figured I'd get to oiling better today when I wasn't lazy. I did.
Now as I go to put the bolt back into the gun, it wouldn't slide forward. I took it out and put it back in with relative ease. I worked the bolt a few times with no improvement after oiling and ran into something strange. multiple times, the bolt would open, but would not slide back. After happening about 3 times in a row, I forced the bolt back with much resistance from the bolt.
Finally got the thing back. Then worked the bolt a few more times. Happened again, closed bolt, opened bolt, worked fine and then it happened again. Then, a couple times the bolt got stick in the "back" position. I took the bolt out again to look that "pin" and nothing had really changed... Then, put it back again, worked bolt, same problems, then couldnt even get bolt out of the gun at one point.
But then, the strangest thing happened. After trying to work the bolt a few more times, the bolt became unbelievably loose. I mean working the bolt required literally no effort. It's almost to a point where it feels like theres something wrong with the bolt because it feels "flimsy"... This was the biggest oddity of them all. Now my gun has a ridiculously free-flowing bolt, which of course was the original intent. But after all those troubles, I don't trust it...
I really don't know what's going on here. It's not like there was a casing getting stuck or anything like that... And why would the bolt become very smooth all of a sudden?
Does anyone know what the problem might be? Should I have a professional take a look at the gun, or is it something I can check / fix myself? Thanks.