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Old June 12, 2010, 06:17 PM   #1
cens
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Join Date: July 9, 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 74
AK74 bolt locking issue

I have an AK74 that worked like a champ for over 500 rounds but then the bolt suddenly stopped locking on a round. With no round in, everything cycles smoothly -- the bolt rotates into locked position without any trouble. Once there is a round in the chamber, though, the bolt refuses to rotate the final quarter inch or so into full lock (and the bolt is a pain to pull back out).

Here is what I think I have ruled out:

--The gun is put together correctly
--The barrel is not blocked (rounds go in cleanly by hand)
--I am not riding the handle down
--There are no apparent burrs on the rails
--Lubrication is not an issue
--The bolt seems to be OK and is clean
--The piston moves freely
--Ammo or magazine issues

Any suggestions on what else I should look for?

Thanks!
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:34 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Check the chamber for a separated case stuck in the front of the chamber, or some kind of chamber damage.
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Old June 13, 2010, 07:18 AM   #3
5thShock
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If you checked you chamber as ordered by the the wheel and the chamber is clear how about the ammo? Is this happening with one kind and one batch or with different kinds and batches?
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Old June 13, 2010, 08:07 AM   #4
cens
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Thanks for your thoughts. The chamber is in good shape with no blockages. The ammo is Silver Bear, which worked well before this problem. I've tried different rounds from multiple different boxes from different batches with the same result. That said, all the ammo has been Silver Bear so maybe I need to get a different brand just to rule it out for sure.
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Old June 13, 2010, 09:13 AM   #5
noyes
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Does it have an ak buffer pad installed ? if it does that could be the problem.
Recoil Spring Assembly binding or worn out.
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Old June 13, 2010, 09:21 AM   #6
rbernie
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First - who made the rifle?

Since the bolt will go into battery when no round is present, the inference is that the basic mechanical relationships between bolt and barrel/trunnion and such are all fine. That would imply that something is keeping the round from fully seating in the chamber.

I vote for a case neck that was ripped off an earlier round and is obstructing the chamber. That can be hard to see sometimes, since the case will be flush with the chamber walls.
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Old June 13, 2010, 10:04 AM   #7
cens
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noyes: No buffer pad and the recoil spring seems to operate fine without a round. Moderate force -- more than I believe the spring could apply -- won't rotate/lock the bolt closed when there is a round in the chamber.

rbernie: The gun has Bulgarian parts built around a NODAK Spud receiver. I bought the gun used. Whoever made it had it running flawlessly, at least for the first 500 rounds I shot. There is nothing in the chamber that I can see using bright light or feel with a probe. Rounds slide right into the chamber when I do it by hand. It may be possible there is an issue just inside the bore where it meets the chamber. Although I can't see anything there, I can't see there well enough to be 100% sure there isn't a marred surface.

Frustrating -- it probably needs to go visit a gunsmith.
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