scorch, your timing is uncanny. I was just looking at the rifle, and at the exact spot you suggested. When the bolt is closed, there is some forward play if I push forward on the bolt handle. There appears to be wear on either the bolt handle or the action bearing surface, or both. Should I be able to move the bolt slightly forward when it's closed? I'm thinking that the answer is no and that I do have a headspace problem. There's room for a feeler gauge at the contact point of bolt 'shoulder' and the action, but the answer, in terms of gap, wouldn't tell me much, other than there's a gap where there shouldn't be.
Can a gunsmith build up the metal at either contact point, or is a new bolt handle the only option? Or how can it be built up successfully? I'm a woodworker and am now out of my field of expertise.
I think I'll go load a round into the action and see if there is still some forward play if I push the bolt handle forward with a round in it. That might tell me something.
I did put a round in the chamber and checked for forward play in the bolt. It will still go forward a bit if I push on the bolt, even when cocked. So...I attempted to fire the rifle with and without the bolt handle being pushed forward. Without it being pushed forward, there were several failures to fire. With me holding the bolt forward, rounds that had not fired were then fired. So...it appears to be a headspace problem caused by wear on bolt and/or the action. Whew. Now to find a gunsmith...
Last edited by 603Country; March 11, 2013 at 05:30 PM.