View Full Version : New Sarsa 20 ga

March 5, 2011, 05:50 PM
I just bought a new youth model sarsa auto shotgun in 20 Ga for my 15 year old daughter to shoot a little skeet and do some light hunting with me . I took it to the skeet range today and it fires every time but wont cycle the action . Not the first time did it eject the empty . The gun is brand new and we were using factory winchester small game and target ammo( the 2 3/4 inch stuff , she shot 2 full rounds of skeet and had to eject the empty and rechamber a fresh round every time , no such thing as shooting doubles with this gun until its fixed .. Do any of you have any suggestions on how to remedy this ? Any help would be appreciated ........LOUD :confused:

March 5, 2011, 06:42 PM
Did you CLEAN the entire gun? - Not just barrel, but ALL of the parts?

How many different types of ammo have you used?

Keep trying

March 5, 2011, 07:08 PM
No I didnt clean it and I have used only one brand of ammo (winchester) also at the time of purchase I also got a new charles daly (full size) also in 20 gauge for my older daughter . we used the same ammo and it was not cleaned prior , it performed flawlesly no hangups, no misfires , no problems , but the sarsa never moved the action, not even once.

Don H
March 5, 2011, 08:51 PM

Did you perchance verify that the gas piston is set for light loads rather than heavy or magnum loads?

March 5, 2011, 11:35 PM
Hey Don , Yup I took the forearm off and then the barrell off to observe the gas piston . It is reversable and according to the pics in the manual it is set for average to low powered shells whereas the reverse of that is for magnum or high powered shells . it has a rubber O ring ahead of that which is ok so it should cycle right? makes you wonder whether they test fired it at the factory and if so with what? Thanks for your input .....LOUD

March 6, 2011, 01:10 AM
Are you correctly loading your new SARSA? We're all familiar with R-1100's typical loading: Lock the bolt back, toss a shell into the open port and hit the release latch. For multiple shots, insert additional round(s) into the mag tube. The R-870 pump action is loaded in much the same way. With the SARSA, and some other shotguns, the R-1100 loading technique is not appropriate. The US Sporting Goods, Inc. Model: SARSA Instruction Manual for SEMI-AUTO Shotguns describes a different loading procedure: Rounds are not to be directly loaded via the ejection port, but via the magazine. Here's an extract from the manual:
When loading, keep the safety on at all times and keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. To load the magazine tube, draw back the operating handle until it’s locked in the open position, press the action release button once and turn the shotgun upside down. This will allow the cartridge lifter to move into the receiver well. Insert your cartridge and push it into the magazine tube until it is held in place in the tube by the cartridge latch. As you insert each cartridge you will hear a “click” that tells you the latch has closed behind the cartridge and you can now load the next shell. The action release button should be held in while loading or it will have to be depressed after each cartridge is loaded.

To load a cartridge into the chamber, pull back on the bolt handle. As you pull the bolt handle fully rearward, a cartridge will come out of the magazine tube and the cartridge carrier will raise the shell aligning it with the chamber. Release the bolt handle and the forward travel of the bolt will chamber the first round. Never allow your fingers or another object to come in contact with the trigger while loading.

Your shotgun is now loaded and ready to fire if the safety is moved to the OFF position. To fire the shotgun, hold the shotgun firmly with both hands and the proper placement of the buttstock toy our shoulder and cheek. Aim at your target. Press the safety button into the OFF position and pull the trigger. The system that operates your semi-auto will fire the cartridge in the chamber, eject the fired case and load the next cartridge into the chamber, each time that you pull the trigger. Be prepared to either fire your next shot or engage the safety in to ON position after firing.I've no trigger time with a SARSA; but, I'm guessing that they have some reason for the elaborate loading process. Loading it R-1100 style may get your first shot off but not any subsequent rounds.

March 6, 2011, 09:07 AM
hey thanks Zippy, when all else fails read the instructions! . I'll give that a try and see what happens. last night I took tha little gun down and cleaned it from one end to the other . Truthfully I had the little girl loading it like a Rem 1100 and it didnt work like that. as i stated earlier . later today I will try the loading procedure in the manual and see! Many thanks for your effort in trying to help me with my problem, I dont want her to lose interest and give up on shooting with her Dad. ......LOUD

March 6, 2011, 06:12 PM
Hey Folks. Went out this afternoon after cleaning the little gun and fired some more of the same shells (Winchester 2 3/4 1200ft. per sec.) and it wouldn't cycle. However, I fired some high brass 2 3/4 in. shells and it did cycle and I even fired one 3in. shell and it did cycle. We were loading it wrong but the shells weren't enough to cycle the action. What I fear is that the recoil from a heavier load may be too much and my daughter won't want to do it. Is there anything that a gunsmith can do to help this gun to cycle with lower recoil shells? Again, any ideas would be appreciated.

March 6, 2011, 07:22 PM
Someone who knows his way around the SARSA might work with various different spring rates or open the gas vent area.

As a long-shot, something that might make a difference, try an exaggerated extended choke tube. It might increase the pressure just enough to make a difference.

Or, perhaps the gun just needs a good breaking-in. It couldn't hurt to replace the O-ring.

In his thread Stoeger M2000 question - not cycling, sks describes the frustration trying getting his gun to function. He sold it after over 6-months of unsuccessfully attempts to get it to operate correctly. Let's hope your luck is better.

March 6, 2011, 08:56 PM
After I read this I had to go find out what a Sarsa was. For those who also do not know it is a new EAA offering. It looks like they may have picked up the line that Charles Daly used to import.

As to the original question. Is it your daughter or yourself that the gun is not chambering the next shot for? If you have not shot it you should try it to eliminate the operator from the equation. My son used to rock back so much he had to manually cycle his autoloader till he started standing into it a little more. Also Try some different shells. I do not like the cheap winchester ones. Try some Remington or Federal. next make sure the gas ports are open and not cloged with a burr or debris. Make sure the packing grease is cleaned completely and a light coat of gun oil is applied. I like Remoil. If it is still not working run 100 high brass shells through it. If after that it does not operate you will need to have it serviced.

March 6, 2011, 09:52 PM
Hey Bad Karma , the ammo we were using has 2 1/2 drams of powder and as of yet, it wont cycle with me or her, so its the ammo for being lite or the gun for being tight , Hey no ryme intended. I took it out in the boonies with a friend that had some old looking 2 3/4 inch high brass shells ( dont know the drams ) and even a few 3 inch shells and it fired and cycled perfectly . Id did increase the recoil considerably and I was just wondering if it should be able to shoot the lower powered shells. How many drams powder does a low brass shell have at max ? thanks ......LOUD

March 7, 2011, 08:35 AM
If the gas piston is reversable I'd try turning it around just for the heck of it since it's cyclng the high brass. It might be possible that there was a typo or picture mess up in the manuel. Just a thought.

March 7, 2011, 12:05 PM
I have a Franchi autoloader which will not cycle the cheap aluminum/steel shells. Try something with real brass.

March 8, 2011, 06:00 PM
2.5 dram eq. should cycle the gun. The Cheap Winchester shells that are in the Wal-mart packs have steel rims. I have seen these shells fail to cycle in autoloaders on a regular basis That is why I said to try the Remington or Federal brands. If you try another band of ammo and it will still not cycle it will have to be serviced.

March 11, 2011, 12:03 PM
My kids new SARSA 20GA goes to the range tomorrow morning to thin the skeet population. I also intended to shoot the cheap stuff through it. In fact for him I really want it to cycle the Fiocchi 20LITES, I guess that wont be happening.

I have cleaned and lubed it completely, all the way down to inside the mag tube. I did find the shell lifter on the trigger mech had swarf on the inside where they ground some metal away. Reversable gas piston is set so the light setting and it's arrow points forward.

I'll take a selection of 2 3/4" shells and report back.


March 11, 2011, 12:59 PM
Greetings Barry, and welcome aboard

Good luck with the new gun. As evidenced by LOUD's experiences, the Sarsa doesn't function exactly like an 1100. Be sure to peruse the loading section of the owner's manual.

We're looking forward to your report of a successful range outing.

March 11, 2011, 02:06 PM

Thanks for the welcome.

What if I toss one in the port and drop the bolt? I don't see the difference?

I do know that dropping the bolt results in the lifter moving freely and allowing additional rounds to be loaded into the mag without holding down the bolt release. (kinda nice)

I suspect the only difference is safety.
Their method results in all loading being performed on a gun with likely nothing in the chamber.

I've never used an 1100 so if I'm missing a key point please do let me know.



March 11, 2011, 08:54 PM
These days we take for granted the 1100-type loading, where you toss a shell into the open port and release the bolt. Back in the day (early last century) it was a different story, some auto-loaders were loaded only via the mag. Direct port loading was a design improvement.

As I mentioned earlier, I have no trigger time with the Sarsa, so I'm basing my info on the owner's manual. In different parts of the world they do things differently. Who knows, with the Sarsa, port loading my engage a mag cut off -- it could be a mandated safety feature in some parts of the world.

As anyone who's purchased a gun in recent years knows, most gun owner's manuals go on ad nauseam about gun safety. If the lawyers have their way, we'll be seeing shotguns that automatically engage the safety between repetitive shots. :eek:

March 11, 2011, 09:05 PM
I've taken a careful look at the action and it appears to load as per normal.
I don't own 20GA snapcaps and so I'll wait until I can range test it tomorrow to be sure.

Oooooooo it's going to be sunny!


March 11, 2011, 09:48 PM
Hey Barry , again welcome aboard . I bought winchester universal shells 2 3/4" and the gun fires but dopes not cycle, it will be interesting to see if you have the same experience! I tried some high brass shells and it functions just fine. Let us know how it goes and best of luck......LOUD

March 12, 2011, 08:14 PM
Shot some trap and skeet today with the Sarsa 20 Gauge youth.
Let's not discuss fit, I'm 6'1" and it's a youth model, nuff said!

"Winchester Target and Field loads" (White box specials) = mostly failed to cycle. See below.
"Remington Premier STS Target Load" = flawless, cycled every time.
"Remington Gun Club Target Load" = flawless, cycled every time.

Started out shooting trap with the Winchester white box specials. Tossing a single in the port and dropping the bolt. Only one third of the shells would cause the bolt to lock back after firing, the other 2 thirds resulted in various forms of stovepipe or failure to fully extract/eject. Switched to the STS and it all the problems went away. Cycled every time. Singles resulted in bolt locking back. Switched to the Reminton Gun Club Target Loads and expected the same issues as the White box specials... Surprise, flawless.

Went over to the skeet field and shot a box of the Remington Gun Club, not a single failure.

I also tried the Fiocchi 20lite low recoil trainers.... they all went bang but all had to be manually extracted, as expected.

So far, so good, I like this gun.

However I think I've purchased the wrong gun for my young son. I think he will want to shoot it as soon as possible, but that a Mossberg 500 Mini might have been a better purchase and able to shoot the 20lites without issue.
Oh well, I'd better get one of those as well.


March 12, 2011, 11:42 PM
Thank you Barry for your report! So its not just our gun . well I will have to try some other types of ammo to see what will cycle and what wont. maybe after we shoot em a bit they will loosen up. Again many thanks ........LOUD

March 13, 2011, 12:54 PM
Misread prior post.

No I suspect it's not just one example that wont cycle white box specials (WBS), but the design and setup.
Although with 1/3 WBS actually locking back, I suspect they are right in the edge of being able to do so. I would expect with a little work the cycling of the white box is achievable.

However I don't think it would ever cycle the 20Lites safely. After shooting them I would worry that a significantly lightened recoil/action spring would fail to have enough force to slam the next round fully into the chamber.

March 14, 2011, 03:33 AM
You may want to take a look at the amout of shot in the promotional shells and type of powder. I took a look at their website and some of the promotional loads are only running 980 fps.

March 14, 2011, 09:04 PM
mine were winchester universal 20 ga 2 3/4 inch with 7/8 oz number 7 1/2 shot on top of 2 1/2 drams of powder . The box said 1200 fps. Im going to trt something at about 1300 fps and see if it will cycle......... LOUD