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Old November 3, 2007, 05:18 PM   #1
Mandevu
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Removing bolt from rifle

I'm the proud new owner of a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight. When storing the rifle, for safety purposes, it is recommended the bolt be removed and kept in a separate location. I notice that when I remove the bolt from the rifle the firing pin is primed (the tell tale plug at the back of the bolt protrudes, indicating it is ready to fire). There is no way to remove the bolt unprimed.
I am concerned storing the bolt in this state for long periods of time may be weaken the spring or be detrimental in some way. Would appreciate advice on this.
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Old November 3, 2007, 06:23 PM   #2
Harry Bonar
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Mod 70

Sir:
Don't give it a thought - run a patch with some good RIG through the bbl (after cleaning fouling out) - make sure rifle is unloaded and close the bolt holding hammer back to release the striker spring and forget it.
Be sure to clean it before next hunting season!.
Harry B. - I've never seen a Mod. 70 spring weaken!
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Old November 3, 2007, 09:02 PM   #3
Mandevu
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Mr Bonar,
Thanks for your advice - really love this Winchester which is a present from my son! Don't know how old it is but it is very accurate! Have experience with the FN and Enfield 303 when I was younger in the military, but get blown away with all the new tech out there today.
Regards,
Mandevu
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Old November 3, 2007, 09:36 PM   #4
Yithian
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You can de-cock the blot by rotating the rear of the bolt vs the front.
You should see a ramp and tooth near the butt end of the bolt.
rotate the bolt until the tooth is at the bottom of the ramp.

BE WARRY!!!
Winchester didn't seem to think too highly of "very safe" gun owners on the redesign of the 70.
Once you get that tooth down on that ramp, its truely a booger to get it back up the ramp and over its notch.
It has to be up and over that notch in order to be reinserted into the reciever.

Like Harry said. It's just plain easier to hold down the trigger while you close the bolt, in its reciever.
That will de-cock it without slamming it home.
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Old November 4, 2007, 09:16 PM   #5
Mandevu
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Thanks Yithian - think I will err on the side of caution as you suggest!
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Old November 4, 2007, 09:26 PM   #6
James K
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Recocking the bolt is easy if you have a vise. Just clamp the lower part of the cocking piece in the vise and pull the bolt body forward turning it to the cocked position.

Unless there is some good reason to store the bolt out of the gun (bad or careless folks around, maybe in the family) I would just close the bolt with the trigger pulled to relieve spring tension and store the gun that way. I have seen a couple of guns where the owner stored the bolt or firing mechanism separate from the gun - and then forgot where he had put them!

Jim
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Old November 4, 2007, 10:14 PM   #7
saands
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Jim ... I hate to admit it, but I was such a rifle owner ... had a .303 SMLE for just about 2 years without the bolt for it ... eventually it turned up. For the most part I do the close the bolt with the trigger pulled trick, but I still store the bolts out of the rifles when I can't keep the rifles locked up in the safe, but now I keep the bolts all together in the small safe so I don't lose track of them

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Old November 4, 2007, 10:18 PM   #8
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Springs won't weaken with tension on them for long periods of time. That's just an old wives tale.
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Old November 4, 2007, 10:26 PM   #9
W.E.G.
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Quote:
Springs won't weaken with tension on them for long periods of time. That's just an old wives tale.
+1!

Die myth! Die!!!
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Old November 6, 2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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Except it is NOT a myth, and most old time gunsmiths know that very well. I might agree that GOOD springs don't weaken (much) over time with tension on them, but there are a lot of not so good springs out there. It is not a bad idea to relieve tension on springs for long term storage. Yes, I know about WWII pistol magazines that were loaded for 50 years and worked fine, but those were very good springs. You just can't make the flat statement that springs (coil or leaf) don't take a set or call it a myth.

Jim
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Old November 6, 2007, 05:58 PM   #11
bcrash15
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Quote:
Except it is NOT a myth, and most old time gunsmiths know that very well. I might agree that GOOD springs don't weaken (much) over time with tension on them, but there are a lot of not so good springs out there. It is not a bad idea to relieve tension on springs for long term storage. Yes, I know about WWII pistol magazines that were loaded for 50 years and worked fine, but those were very good springs. You just can't make the flat statement that springs (coil or leaf) don't take a set or call it a myth.

Jim
this is an accurate statement. Springs can and do suffer from set. In most cases the people who create guns took such things into account, and designed the gun components around it. Most guns are designed to not deform the spring to the point that they will quickly wear out (many are in the high to infinite life cycle range where 10,000 to 1,000,000+ cycles are expected before failure), and even when they do start weakening the gun will still operate for some time until they fail completely.
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Old November 6, 2007, 08:22 PM   #12
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My Mustang Plus II suddenly stopped holding open at the last round.I replaced the magazine springs with new ones, which were about a full third longer, suddenly the gun locked back at the last round. I'd stored the gun for a month with full mags, one in the gun and one as extra mag. I don't know any way to explain it other than spring set. Now I'm gun shy () about leaving a magazine full.
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Old November 6, 2007, 08:25 PM   #13
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Y'all think what ya will but a spring will not set or get weak from being compressed unless it's compressed over it's safe zone. A spring will weaken(eventually) from repeated use but not from sitting compressed.
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Old November 6, 2007, 08:35 PM   #14
Harry Bonar
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springs

Sirs:
Frazier, an old time gunsmith (muzzle loaders) told me how to make springs:

Shape your spring with LENGHTWISE strokes. Make it a little more open (muzzle-loader mainspring) and take a torch and bring to a "cherry Red" (yea, I know he didn't have a pyrometer to quench on a rising heat at decalescence temp. where the object still recieves heat but the pyrometer stays still) and quench in room temperature water.
Then (if we can find one today) take a Quaker State oil can and cut it and beat a recess in it that will let you cover the spring with (of course) Quaker State oil and lite it. You might heat the oil from the bottom with the torch but only to help it burn off - all of it. Let it cool covered with asbestos (horror of horrors) or sand till cool.
Remove it, oil it, and compress it fully together in your vise. It will never take any more "set" than that initial set!
I agree with ole' Jim! and Hawg Haggen and the other gent.
Harry B.

I make all my muzzle loader mainsprings as ole' Frazier did.
How many old, old muzzle-loaders do you find weak mainsprings on??

Last edited by Harry Bonar; November 6, 2007 at 08:40 PM. Reason: add text
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Old November 7, 2007, 12:23 AM   #15
David Hineline
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Removing bolt

One should not be suprised that they forget where they stored the removed bolt and not a new one has to be procurred.
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Old November 7, 2007, 09:14 AM   #16
Martyn4802
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I'm in the camp with the guys who say springs made today won't weaken when stored in the compressed mode.
I consider it an old wives tale too.
I remember all of the old guys back in the 1940's peddling that notion when I didn't know any better; and I believed them then, but not now.
The biggest problem is remembering where you put the bolt. When my grand daughters came up to visit, before they really knew gun safety, which they know now, I would take all of the bolts out and put them in one place so I could remember where they were. They are now older and know gun saftey so they can be trusted, and they are both good shots too, so I leave bolts in rifles today.

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Old November 7, 2007, 06:13 PM   #17
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You all who say springs can't weaken, here's a question; Why do competition experts say to replace the magazine springs every so often? Here's another one, assuming anyone believes what I said about my Mustang Plus II, why did the springs end up an inch and a quarter shorter and the slide lock suddenly fail to lock the slide back after the last round? Why did it suddenly start working again after I replaced the springs? This is a very interesting thread. I always figure I'll stop learning the day I die.
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Old November 7, 2007, 08:26 PM   #18
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I wasn't aware that ALL competition shooters recommended that. Maybe yours was one of Jims not so good ones. This is a myth that has been making the rounds and disputed for years. I personally own a Winchester model 12 and a few doubles that I know were loaded over 30 years ago and never fired. There's no weakness in any of those springs. This is one of those subjects you either believe or you don't. I'm not going to argue about it. Believe what you want.
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Old November 7, 2007, 08:31 PM   #19
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I didn't say all do. How come the springs in the magazines got shorter? aliens?
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Old November 7, 2007, 09:02 PM   #20
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Maybe it wasn't tempered properly. Like I said one of Jims not so good ones.
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Old November 7, 2007, 10:06 PM   #21
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Not "it", they. I tend to agree with the notion that properly designed springs shouldn't "relax" with time and design pressure. I just don't have any way to explain the fact that springs get shorter and weaker other than that they are not designed correctly or are not heat treated correctly. Assuming that all or even most of the springs for a certain application do get shorter and weaker the result is the same, you can't leave them tensed or compressed without damaging them over time. I got to where I won't leave a magazine loaded, it's cheaper than replacing springs. Gosh, I guess this thread got highjacked.
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Old November 7, 2007, 11:05 PM   #22
James K
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Hawg, I wish I still had my old "junk box" as I had a bunch of springs that had taken a set. I had flat springs with no spring. I remember the "V" mainsprings out of an old double barrel that were totally flat - the "V" had become an "I" when the gun was left cocked for 80 years or so. I also had coil firing pin and magazine springs that were half their original length from being left under pressure. On the other hand, I had a Model 1836 pistol brought in, cocked, as it apparently had been for at least a century. The mainspring, sear spring and frizzen spring were all in perfect condition.

So if you say that good quality springs will not take a set under pressure, I would agree. But your flat, unqualified statement that no spring will ever do so is just plain wrong.

Jim
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Old November 8, 2007, 03:16 AM   #23
Hawg
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Quote:
So if you say that good quality springs will not take a set under pressure, I would agree. But your flat, unqualified statement that no spring will ever do so is just plain wrong.
Ok, I'll agree with that.
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Old November 8, 2007, 10:45 PM   #24
seabeescotty
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Yes, no, or maybe.

Hello members, I'm a new guy, and probably should keep my two cents to myself, but this is an interesting topic you've got going. I remember back during the time of the free Southeast Asian vacations, we were told not to top off the magazines of our m-16's. And I did experience some problems with them. But I guess they corrected that little snafu. My sons tell me the new 30 rounders are fine. Maybe everyone's correct to some degree. As for removing a bolt to store a rifle, I made sure through upbringing, same as my dad before me, that there would be no accidents. If the kids are raised to know and respect firearms, it helps with peace of mind. And if you only have one firearm, and can't find the hidden part, the burglar is gonna love it. Seabeescotty
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