Okay, I did everything suggested. I gave the rifle another through cleaning, good chamber scrubbing and determined the chamber does appear to be LR or at least Long length. Also, the rifle does have a spring loaded "shell stop" of sorts mounted in the receiver, directly in front of the magazine tube.
Well I got to actually fire the rifle yesterday.
Here's what happened with standard velocity LRs-CCI LRN match.
I loaded 10 up, it chambered and fired each one. (did have a couple hang ups feeding up the ramp to the chamber once or twice) It ejected every single spent LR casing smoothly. And while off a little to the left. shot nice silver dollar sized groups at 25 yards.
Next with shorts.-Remington "golden bullet" plated RN.
Once again if more than 3 were loaded in the magazine, more than one cartridge will exit the magazine past the stop and jam up the action when the lever is opened. With 3 or less, or dropping them in one at a time through the ejection port; the rifle loads, fires and ejects them beautifully.
The rifle still will not eject live LRs. They bind and the bullet gets mangled trying. But it will feed, load and then eject the spent casings all day long. One problem with all rounds fired, 90% of the time I had to recock the hammer and give the cartridges a second strike to get them to fire.
One day, Men in tall hats will thump their chests and proclaim..."oh, what a great sea of mud we lived in"--The unalterable fate of billy creek
"Smoke.....it's what's for dinner"