View Full Version : bolt wont lock in lugs on a Rem 742

July 25, 2010, 09:28 PM
was out shooting today and got off 6 shots before i had a problem. when i noticed it the shell didnt feed right, i didnt think much about it so i got it chambered and fired, the next round chambered fine but when i pulled the trigger nothin went off. so when i looked at it i noticed the bolt would not lock up. i know most will first say its dirty...well it was i took the gun apart down to almost nothing. got it down to where i had the action spring out but dont have the right stuff to take the bolt down the rest of the way so i just left it as it was and sprayed the snot out of it with Gun Scrubber and scraped out some of the built up grime and sprayed it down well with Rem Oil...and it still wont lock down.i know there is a pin in there that is supposed to make the bolt head spin to lock in the lugs but mine isnt turning at all.
is there something more wrong? and if so is it an easy fix or do i just need to take it to a smith and have it done

July 26, 2010, 07:14 AM
Probably gunsmith time. Getting the bolt out involves taking the barrel off and if you don't have the right wrench and booger the nut you got real problems. Without seeing the gun I'd be thinking that you have bolt latch problems, then again it may be nothing more than needing a detail strip and clean. Good luck. Goatwhiskers the Elder

July 26, 2010, 08:58 AM
742's are notorious for dirty chamber problems. For some reason, they seem to suffer from unburned powder left in the chamber more than other guns. If so, the next round may not chamber all the way keeping the locking lugs from engaging.
Being an enclosed auto, you cannot look into the chamber to see the unburned powder. If I owned a 742, I would carry a chamber brush with me all the time.

July 28, 2010, 02:25 AM
From my experiences, semi rifles have problems more with a rust film in the chamber causing shell adhesion jams, not any particularly common problem of powder particles- in fact- I don't recall ever seeing powder in a chamber causing a jam.
Rust tends to make an ejection failure or rim heavy pull mark with the extractor.
Not normal to make a closure incomplete with such a light buildup.

If powder was present, though, a semi closing under spring pressure would have the best chance to make a tight wedgie out of that load.

I recently had a 742 here with the bolt rotated before entry into the barrel extension, and was claimed to have happened about the fifth shell after a cleaning.

No Alaska.


August 2, 2010, 11:19 AM
The bolt race way could be worn, this is common with 742 and a major job if repairable.
To tell you have to remove bolt and barrel so take it to a smith.

August 4, 2010, 01:09 AM
The 742 and similar models that had the multi-rows of small locking lugs on the bolt would peen a series of matching dents into the rails that can be directly seen without disassembly by shining a light through the bolt handle slot in the side of the frame while the bolt is forward. It is possible to make a more thorough examination when the mechanism is completely disassembled, but I can make a reliable call on expectations by examining the areas visible with the bolt closed and open.

Pulling the magazine and trigger assembly allows viewing the peen marks in the typical multiple battered areas. The barrel and bolt do not need to be removed if doing only an inspection of the battered areas- you just have to fight the action spring with that tiny bolt handle with the sharp edges against your one finger- use a rag, if necessary.

Peening evidence will be visible directly along the rail top surface on the far inside of the receiver in the indicated area. All will exhibit some peening, but heavy peening will have edges that stick up past the dents about as high as the dents are deep.
At that level of deformity, bolt troubles of remaining locked back are common, and any goof that tries to smooooooth off the dent/burred areas usually makes no difference of how well the gun functions due to the lack of bolt guide surface, since it has been ground or filed away. You basically trade one version of a "wedgie" for another, and removed metal has no way of being put back into place.

I have been able to do some special refit of parts and reforming of the metal to improve reliability. The last example repaired here was able to run multiple magazines without a hiccup during test fire for confirmation. I call that "returned to usefulness".


This is the view (previously mentioned) through the bolt handle slot in the side of the frame. Notice that the peen dents have no metal protruding up above the level of the rail- thus denoting that there has been filing etc. in an attempt to smooth the burred areas.

Here is another rail that has evidently been smoothed by filing and polishing etc. After all of that rework, the action still had unresolved issues that I later did mitigate, for the time being. No repair is forever, but can make a useful lifespan if no excess shooting like plinking is done with these rifles. The mechanisms were going to have a long life if only used for hunting and the testing necessary to ensure sight alignment and modest levels of practice. Many of the.308 and 30/06 rifles had batches of military surplus run through them and accelerated the process of deterioration that would have taken a normal lifetime and compressed that level of shooting into a couple of years (or less).

August 5, 2010, 10:53 AM
Very rarely will you read anything good about these guns. I bought one used for $150 this year, got online and googled some info on it and damn near everything I read about that model was bad. They jam, they break, ect. I know a lot of gunsmiths wont even touch them.

That being said, the one I owned was chambered in 30-06 and I fired around 70 rounds through it without a single problem. I ended up selling it because I was offered twice what I paid for it, and I figured I may as well get rid of it before it starts giving me problems.

My advice, stay away from Remington auto loaders.

August 5, 2010, 06:59 PM
Before dropping a lot of money on a 742, a short story. Years ago, Remington
produced a number of 742's that if memory serves, had an incorrect receiever
heat treat. Not all 742,s suffered from this improper heat treat, but enough
so that Remington eventuallly put out a recall to get these rifles back to replace recvr's. Not all these rifles got repaired, resulting in some recvr's
stretching over years of use. Of course, Remington's recall is long over, so too bad for a free fix. At my last place of employment(major gun shop), we
would no longer take in any 742's for trade or buy, due to the chance of
getting one with a stretched rcvr., and of course, all the 742 rcvrs. are long
gone. Please be very wary of well used 742's.

August 5, 2010, 09:40 PM
I too avoid the 742s like the plague . I will take a 7400 in trade but I'd rather not . Those Rem. auto loaders are like a bad check , they will come back !

August 6, 2010, 06:28 AM
This time of year one more 742 shows up in the shop because “it jams”. If a cleaning (or other obvious quick fix) does not cure the problem here is what I tell the owner:


After years of warranty work, replacement rebates and parts support Remington will tell you (and rightfully so in most cases) “its just worn out”.
Remington discontinued the Model 742 in 1980. Though the 1990’s Remington offered an exchange program in which you could send in your old 742 and $325 and receive a new 7400, This program ended in 1999. Remington no longer has parts nor do they offer factory service for the 742

(This info per Remington's Customer Service)

Miata Mike
August 6, 2010, 09:21 PM
I had a 742 in .308 that jammed after a shot or two that I picked up second hand. :confused:

A trip to the gunsmith got it working again, but he said to sell it ASAP even though my receiver looked factory fresh as he said they all self destruct in due time. :( I sold it and bought a brand new 7400 in .243 instead.

August 6, 2010, 09:26 PM
If you are using reloads, it is imperative you use small base sizing dies!

August 8, 2010, 07:40 PM
Agree with a few others here. In our shop we really try not to take 742's. When we do wind up with one our price is $50-$65 max as I can usually part them out if I have to. Parts are very hard to come by so there is always someone looking. When properly done they make great standing lamps.

August 18, 2010, 12:25 AM
In my part of the country, I was a grown man before I new their real name wasn't the 742 jammomatic. That told me all I needed to know about them.

January 22, 2011, 07:42 AM
I have a collection of 742s. I have 8 that I bought for parts that have jammed up. I still buy cheap Jammers and use the good parts to fix one to function. I do this when I have nothing else to do. I am still looking for Jammers to buy.:D:barf:

January 22, 2011, 08:08 AM
742's are notorious for dirty chamber problems. For some reason, they seem to suffer from unburned powder left in the chamber more than other guns. If so, the next round may not chamber all the way keeping the locking lugs from engaging.

The model 742 is very sensitive to a dirty or rusty chamber. Dirty ammo will also cause a malfunction. About every six months my two model 742 guns get the chambers cleaned up.