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Old December 9, 2012, 11:38 PM   #1
Tom68
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Storing Rifle Bolts

I did a search and the thread centered around legal issues, safety, and physical security of storing rifle bolts separately from the rifle.... none of which addresses my question. I pull my bolts in order to best utilize space within my safe; bolt guns with the bolts removed will fit side by side.

Most of my bolt guns are the cock-on-opening variety; pulling the bolt leaves the bolt cocked. Could long-term storage in this fashion cause premature wear or damage of another variety?
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:51 AM   #2
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Not in your lifetime, more than likely. Firing pin spring fatigue is typically an issue of improper heat treating. Back in the 1980s we used to buy crated K98s that had been stored since 1945 (40 years earlier), and they were typically boxed cocked. Every now and then one would exhibit signs of striker spring fatiguing, but rarely.
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Old December 10, 2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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.

FWIW, rifles stored with their bolts open/back can be stored close together.......................



.

Last edited by PetahW; December 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:18 PM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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I store mine with the bolt in them... ( just one less thing to lose... now where did I put that dang magazine )

if I'm worried about it, ( which I'm not particularly worried ) I pull the trigger as I turn the bolt in, which lower the firing pin / striker

this has been discussed with magazine springs... it's the cycles that wear them out, not the time with load
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:34 PM   #5
riche
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I used to work with an older gentleman that had a huge collection of guns. He was vary concious that there was always a chance of someone breaking in and stealing his guns. He had several safes, so he pulled all the bolts on his bolt action rifles and stored them in a differant safe than the other guns, now were talking like 50+ guns with bolts. Anyhow ,he seemed to of gotten confused and couldn't figure out which bolts went to which rifles. Anyhow I don't know how he eventually made out, as the company laid him off, with no hope of being called back. So I don't think its a wise idea to remove them unless you only have one or two.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:14 PM   #6
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
FWIW, rifle stored with their bolts open/back can be stored close together
That's what I do, as well.

With standard bent bolts, the open bolt tucks in behind the stock of the rifle next to it. With a little twist of the rifle, you can slide it right out (without hitting anything).


You know...
If none of us cared about our rifles, we wouldn't have to worry about things like this.
...Just toss them in the safe and slam the door shut, before they fall out.
Problem solved.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:24 PM   #7
jmr40
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Bolt open for me in the safe. It takes up no more room than removing them. There are however times when I'm not able to secure them as well as I'd like. Then I will remove the bolt and take it with me. When camping for example, I may have to leave the gun in camp. The bolt goes with me. It is less likely to be stolen because it is useless without the bolt.
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Old December 11, 2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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My guess is that when you start to have this problem you need to advance plans to go from a safe to a vault. One day, one day I will get there...
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:04 PM   #9
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Yeah.... If I could just build a vault then the problem would go away

I'm talking about 10 or so bolt guns, and so far I've never had a problem matching them to the proper rifle, although I've toyed with the idea of tagging them just to be sure. Perhaps some day I'll have enough to where that really could be a potential problem, unless the wife starts looking in the safe.

On another note, I'm finally going to get those primers and powder out of the safe and store them in a wooden lock box (like several other threads have discussed) which will free up more space. Thanks for the replies, y'all have confirmed what I suspected about spring fatigue not being an issue.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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you never know when it'll be your time to go... keep all your parts seperate, & unlabeled, & you can pretty much bet your heirs won't figure it out...
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:30 PM   #11
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Now you know why so many M1903, and Garand bolts have serial numbers on them. Certain military organizations were so safety paranoid that they stored the rifles separate from the bolts, then found out that bolts are not interchangeable between rifles (except Swiss K31 bolts, they are interchangeable across thirty years production and 800,000 rifles produced!) so they had to electropencil serial numbers on the bolts.

As for turnbolts. I would recommend lowering the cocking piece if you plan long term storage of the bolt. Like six months to years. You can use a vise to grab a cocking and pull it back into its notch prior to installation. You will probably scratch it on M700’s, M70’s. I don’t have any Savages. Old military actions, M98’s, 03’s, they are relatively easy to pull the firing pin/cocking piece back.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:36 PM   #12
Tom68
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Magnum, your post compelled me to get up out of my seat and immediately go obtain some hang tags to carry home with me today. Consider your advice well taken.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:56 PM   #13
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I hope you live a long & fruitful life... but glad you're trying to help out those that survive you...

I had to help sort out my FIL's affairs after he died suddenly... in fairness, I think he was grooming me to manage his collection, but died before he completed his task... I'd like to think I did "ok" but really... 16 guns laying around between the kitchen & living room, some of them in pieces, the day he died... I don't think he was ready to go... I found his will in with the reloading stuff... almost too late
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Old December 11, 2012, 06:11 PM   #14
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Gallon size ziploc baggie. Oil the bolt up, toss it in, label the outside of the baggie with a sharpie.

Easy enough!
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Old December 11, 2012, 08:29 PM   #15
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I can't remember who, MTM?? used to make a snap close hard plastic rifle bolt storage box.
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Old December 13, 2012, 03:33 PM   #16
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if you're not attempting to secure them Army style (Having the company 1st Sgt of the national guard detachment secure all the M16 bolts and the firearms locker separately secured with the M16 rifles...etc. that type of deal) what is it you're looking to accomplish by not keeping the rifles as nature/gunsmiths intended them to be ... ie. assembled/keep the darned tootin things together.

For a bolt action you could of course remove the bolt or just loosen it and lay it open/close the darned tootin thing... for AR-15 just fire it dry and be done tht way, etc.
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Old December 13, 2012, 03:57 PM   #17
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He already said why... he finds it easier to store them that way as the bolts hang over the next rifle's alloted safe space. Though others have answered that with open the bolts, and they're behind the action, in a void.
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