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Old July 31, 2013, 08:31 AM   #34
Senior Member
Join Date: July 18, 2013
Location: Albany Park, Chicago
Posts: 622
A Ruger .44 Carbine given to me by a co-worker in 1986 or so. I put about 30 rounds through it and then the action jammed in the open position, couldn't get the breech to close. I took it to a gun smith who said it needed a part, problem was I was a few months away from my 21st birthday so I'd have to wait until then, as Illinois law prohibits under-21 from owning a center fire rifle. In the meantime I went back to school and money was tight so I never did get it fixed, after college I moved into Chicago and pretty much stopped shooting.

After Sandy Hook with all the gun control talk it really spurned me to get back into the shooting sports again. I got a new FOID card, "rescued" my firearms from my parent's house in the suburbs - my dad had moved them from the upstairs to the basement, and the basement had water at some point. All the soft cases they were in had mold/mildew, thankfully only the butt of a Remington 581 had any water damage.

I took my reclaimed guns home and decided to take a crack at fixing the old Ruger, which still had the breech stuck open over 25 years later. I found a Jim Green video on YouTube (a source not available in the 1980s - progress!) showing how to take apart the Ruger, and completely disassembled it except for the trigger housing assembly. Gave it a good, thorough cleaning and oiling, put it back together, and the action cycled a few times before getting stuck open again. I couldn't figure out what was holding it open, everything seemed clear. Finally with the help of a LED light and a magnifying glass I discovered the problem - a small pin on the lifter latch had come loose, and slipped out just enough to hang up on the mechanism. Great I thought.. good luck finding parts for a gun that has been discontinued for 30 years! But lo and behold I found a replacement lifter latch online for $15 and installed it. Cycled the action, seemed to work just fine. Bought some snap caps to see if it could cycle cartridges, they worked through fine too.

So this summer I've put about 200 rounds through it without any problems at all save the difficulty of finding ammo. That gun is a lot of fun to shoot, gets attention at the range too because people think it's a 10/22 until it goes BLAM then they come over to see what it is.

I still have no idea what that pin is for in the lifter latch, it seems like it serves no purpose except to come loose and make the gun jam.
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