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Old March 24, 2013, 03:33 PM   #1
everest
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Thompson Center Encore - Sticking Brass in .223

Yesterday I shot a brand new Encore Pro Hunter w/ an equally new .223 barrel for the first time. The good news is that the combo is insanely accurate. nice tight 1" groups at 100 yards, 2" or so at 200 yards. So great news there. The immediate problem I noticed was that fired brass simply does NOT want to come out of this barrel. The extractor pin pulls the brass back as one would expect but from there is requires pliers or at least a flathead screwdriver and a very strong thumb to get the brass out of the gun. New cartidges go in/out quite smoothly but fired brass is incredibly sticky. The extractor pin also leaves a nice score mark on the brass as it is extracted.

At the suggestion from another forum I marked a piece of brass with a sharpie marker, which would appear to confirm that the brass is rubbing towards the tail end of the cartridge (primer end) with rub points mainly on the extractor pin and the top of the chamber. My current suspicion is that the extractor pin is simply too long and applies excessive force on the cartridge, but I'm open to suggestions on how to deal with this. Any input or ideas would be more welcome. Thank you!

-Jeff
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Old March 24, 2013, 08:04 PM   #2
reynolds357
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Verify problem with different ammo and if problem is with rifle, Call customer service.
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Old March 24, 2013, 10:21 PM   #3
big al hunter
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From your picture I would say you have a rough chamber. However, as reynolds357 said, try different ammo. Sometimes it is caused by the brass. If that doesn't cure it the chamber needs work and TC should take care of it on warranty. You can do it yourself if you want to and are careful.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:19 PM   #4
Mike38
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I agree with the rough chamber. My NEF Handi Rifle would stick brass with “warm loads”. The primers showed no signs of pressure, but on occasion a spent brass would stick. I could see tooling marks in the chamber from the day it was new. I wrapped some 1000 grit sandpaper around a bore mop about the same size as the chamber and soothed the chamber a bit. No, not with an electric drill, just by hand. Took quite a while, but no more sticking brass. It didn't effect the accuracy, becuase it will shoot one inch groups with about any good ammo, and my best reload / best group last summer was 0.44 inch 100 yard group.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:58 PM   #5
everest
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I spoke with Thompson Center and they want to have a look at the barrel, so off it goes later this week. I will try removing the extractor pin before I send it back because I do have a suspicion that it is putting too much pressure on the case as it slides in/out. More play when inserting it means it doesn't matter so much, but after the brass has been fired I think it matters.

Anyways, once that pin is out if the brass is still sticky then it's definitely the barrel.

-Jeff
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Old March 26, 2013, 07:39 AM   #6
Doyle
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Since T/C agreed to look at the barrel, they really need to see it with the extractor in place. They need to know where their quality control went wrong. I would just send it in complete and see what they have to say.
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Old March 26, 2013, 07:56 AM   #7
everest
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I will put the pin back in before I ship to TC. That is a great point. I really just want to confirm if it is the chamber or the pin. Mechanically it must be one or the other.

-Jeff
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:12 PM   #8
Stealth01
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Jeff,
A really STUPID question... BUT, that image of your brass looks identical to my Lake City 556 brass... you ARE shooting .223s NOT 556s in that barrel??
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:29 PM   #9
everest
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Not a stupid question at all! It is Samson .223 Remington ammo, both full metal jacket and soft point. But the box clearly says .223 Remington.

-Jeff
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:49 PM   #10
eldermike
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I think you nailed it with the extractor thought.
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Old March 27, 2013, 08:10 PM   #11
everest
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My punch kit arrived today and I went ahead and punched out the pin holding in the extractor assembly. Sure enough, with the extractor out brass slides in/out of the barrel freely. Just a little friction in the final seating, but the extractor would pull it past that easily. Bottom line the issue is clearly the extractor pin, not the barrel.

I will call T/C back tomorrow. I'd sure like to avoid sending my barrel back and losing it for 3-4 weeks.

-Jeff
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Old March 27, 2013, 09:32 PM   #12
reynolds357
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Last time I sent TC a Rifle it was back in 4 days. It is hard to convince their thick headed customer service that a problem exists, but they fix the problems very quickly once you finally convince them there is a problem. You have already gotten past the hard part with TC.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:07 AM   #13
everest
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So after speaking with T/C customer support they suggested that I start to gradually sand down the inside (breech) facing side of the extractor pin. I was assured that doing such "home-smithing" wouldn't void my warranty on the barrel so off I went.

I wrapped some 600 grit sandpaper around a piece of brass, maintained the 45 degree angle on the extractor pin and went to work. I went very slowly but was not able to remove enough metal to resolve the problem. After studying the pin design for a while I took a stone to the bottom side the pin along the entire length, taking maybe 1000th of an inch of metal off the bottom. Then I spend literally 20-30 minute with the sandpaper on the front of of the pin.

After all that work I put it all back together and now the brass comes out much more easily. I dug out a few different brands of brass out of my pile and for the most part they come out quite easily. The Samson brand that I was shooting last Saturday it still a little bit sticky, and requires a fingernail and a bit of force to remove but it no longer requires tools. The extractor pin still pulls the brass back out of the chamber, so no issues with it's "bite" at all.

When my action gets back from the smith (I'm getting a Bellm trigger job) I will see how it works in action. But it doesn't look like I will have to ship my barrel back to T/C which is great news.

-Jeff
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