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Old November 8, 2018, 11:56 AM   #1
cptmclark
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REmington 700, stuck bolt

There I was innocently shooting my rifle, when the bolt jammed shut.
Not only that, but there was some smoke around the bolt and trigger assembly. Indicates a pressure problem to me, but not a high pressure cartridge, 42 gr I4895 and 165 gr Sierra. I'll pull the rest of that batch to confirm whats in there.

My first experience with this problem in 60 years of shooting. What is a good way to open the bolt and examine the case?

Thanks a lot.
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Old November 8, 2018, 12:36 PM   #2
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Brute force is the only way I know of.

Be sure and check the ammo as the smoke coming out of the receiver indicates some bad stuff happened.
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Old November 8, 2018, 02:27 PM   #3
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Sounds like a ruptured case to me.
42 grains of IMR4895 is way below minimum(49.0) for .30-06 and a 165. .7 of a grain below minimum for a 165 out of a .308. The latter isn't enough to matter. Neither would cause smoke to billow out and jam the bolt closed though. However, 5 grains below minimum loads can cause as bad things to happen as 5 grains over Max. So what cartridge it is, matters.
"...to open the bolt..." Rifle in a padded vise and whack the bolt handle with a rubber mallet.
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Old November 8, 2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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Hot, high pressure metal cutting gas: That could be one problem and then there is high pressure. High pressure will lock it up and make it difficult to lift the bolt handle and make it difficult to extract the case, so it could be necessary to drive the handle up and then drive the handle back.

There is a good chance the extractor will jump the case rim, this will allow you to move the bolt back but the case could be locked-up in the chamber. Anyhow, get as far as you can and then call.

Many years ago Bruce Hodgdon came to out house, my oldest brother had some 270 rounds that were shooting 10' high, getting the bolt open was a workout.

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Old November 8, 2018, 06:29 PM   #5
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Aye, brute force.
Non-marring hammer. Block of wood. A tough palm.
Or clamp the action solid and find a way to apply pressure via other means. (Cargo strap, cheater bar, levers, etc.)

You're going to have to carefully beat or pry it open.
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Old November 8, 2018, 06:36 PM   #6
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IMR 4895 can be loaded well below starting loads w/o issues. It is one of the recommended powders for loading reduced recoil loads.
Better look for another scapegoat.
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Old November 8, 2018, 06:38 PM   #7
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Many may not agree but this happened to me once also and I took care of it by using a wooden dowel down the barrel and at the same time while my brother tapped on the dowel lightly I pulled on the bolt. I was afraid by forcing it with brute force it might ruin the extractor. It worked very well only thing it is a two person job and make sure the dowel fits inside the cartridge. This was many many moons ago before my hair turned grain.
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Old November 8, 2018, 08:19 PM   #8
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Be for warned,The bolt handle is brazed on and may come off.

I don't know if Remington planned it,but it could be that at some point,if you have to beat the bolt open Remington would like the rifle out of service till they look at it.
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Old November 9, 2018, 02:54 AM   #9
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Get a piece of steel drill rod just slightly smaller than your bore. Put it down the bore to the bolt face, hit it with a hammer while lifting the bolt handle.
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Old November 9, 2018, 04:04 AM   #10
Old Stony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
Get a piece of steel drill rod just slightly smaller than your bore. Put it down the bore to the bolt face, hit it with a hammer while lifting the bolt handle.
Scorch has the right idea. This has worked for me in the past. Just beating on the bolt can take the knob off and then you have some real problems..
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Old November 9, 2018, 09:23 AM   #11
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Well, thanks for the support. I didn't really want to hammer on my rifle.
I just hammered upward on the bolt handle with a rubber mallet. It was very stiff all the way up. Then the bolt extracted normally as if no problem . Now that it's out it works normally in and out. So where was it stuck??
EVIDENCE: THE CASE DOESN'T APPEAR DAMAGED BUT FELL OUT EASILY. THE PRIMER WAS SEPARATED FROM THE CASE AND BLACK SMUDGE ALL OVER THE PRIMER. NO OTHER BURN MARKS. tHERE IS A VERY DEFINITE MARK FROM THE EJECTOR, MORE THAN i'D EVER SEEN. yOU CAN FEEL THE EDGES OF THAT MARK. Maybe that's where it stuck, with a broken ejector? Have you ever seen this?
Now, the ejector as I recall is a plunger on a spring, and protrudes out of the bolt face when at rest. I'm not sure about this. The ejector is now flush with the bolt face, which seems wrong, and there is a tiny piece of bright metal (maybe primer) junction of the of the ejector and bolt face. OTHERWISE I SEE NO ABNORMALITIES, EVEN THE BLUING IS BRIGHT AND NEW LOOKING. THEY DID GOOD WORK 30 + YEARS AGO!

Sorry for so many words. I need to learn how to disassemble the bolt and whether the ejector should be sticking out of the bolt face when at rest.

Now I'll go pull some bullets and see what I really loaded under the 165 gr bullet.

Thanks again for your advice.

M
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Old November 9, 2018, 09:31 AM   #12
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Checked the 06, and yep, the ejector is sticking way out. So the 308 is stuck or broken. Gotta learn how to take the bolt apart.
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Old November 9, 2018, 10:41 AM   #13
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Gas went around the primer cup. Brass flowed into extractor hole and stuck the bolt. I say you over pressured that round. Consider yourself lucky.

Or that particular brass has soft head.

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Old November 9, 2018, 11:16 AM   #14
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Now I've pulled bullets and measured powder charge. It is 42.0 gr. Powder can on the table next to the scale is 4064. The last power I used was 4985. I'll pull all the bullets and reload just to be safe, but right now I don't see any overload. Brass is RA 65, once fired. (yes, I'm old)

Overload was my guess too.
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Old November 9, 2018, 11:27 AM   #15
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Perhaps you did it to that round only. There is no way to tell for certain now.

Just count your blessings and be extra careful down the road. Check and double check after powder charge, and never lax on eye protection.

BTW, it is quite easy to disassemble the ejector. There is a small pin in the bolt body retaining the plunger. The spring behind the plunger is super stiff. Don't let it fly out. It could be a bit tricky if the plunger refuses to come out with the pin removed. Will see.

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Old November 9, 2018, 12:46 PM   #16
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If you wanna take the time and do some measuring, you will most likely see some eye opening things.

Measure the rim diameter against an unfired case, then measure the case body just above the rim with both cases again.

I have observed rim expansion as much as 0.006" which gives some indication as to how much the pressure hammered the case.

The ideal would be to measure the case before firing and after firing.

I have all my brass recorded in this manner.
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Old November 9, 2018, 03:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
wooden dowel down the barrel
I'm glad that worked out for you.....and,it can workout,sometimes.
A lumberyard dowel can have a pretty shaky diagonal grain structure.

If it fails and you end up with a dowel wedged stuck in your bore ...with the bolt still stuck,you have a real problem.

It worked for you,thats good.Its not something I would recommend. Scorch's drill rod is a safer bet.

I don't have enough information to speculate about what happened with the OP,but if brass extrudes into the ejector hole you were at pretty high pressure.
I'd begin by accepting that
How you got to high pressure,you will need to discover. I would not shrug and ignore it.
You had to shear that brass off to open the bolt.I'd guess you now have brass scrapings wedging the ejector plunger.
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Old November 9, 2018, 06:48 PM   #18
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Now I have the retaining pin removed, and the ejector pointed in a safe direction with a (hopefully) catcher in front of it. Problem now is that the plunger is still in its hole. I don't see how to get behind it. Maybe a broken spring caused this whole thing after 30 years. I doubt it.
I'll scrape off the metal over the space (about as wide as a pencil lead or maybe 4-5 thousands. There's no deformation in the face of the pin, but underneath maybe. If someone knows how to get behind and push the pin out that would be super.
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Old November 9, 2018, 07:00 PM   #19
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My suggestion, and the method used by many gunsmiths that I know:

Add a little oil and push the ejector in farther, to see if it pops back out.
If it does, good.
If it doesn't, no big deal. If it's stuck, it will have to be drilled out anyway.
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Old November 9, 2018, 07:06 PM   #20
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So far I havnt rermoved the drift pin. There's still some brass at the junction of the ejector and bolt face. Just looks like a smear. I have to remove the retainter to drive it deeper. No doubt it will get away from me when it comes out


\Thank you for all the education. You'd think after all these years id have done it once.
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Old November 10, 2018, 05:15 AM   #21
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Is it possible you had a powder hang-up and under charged one case before dropping the hung up powder with the next charge? 4064 pretty well fills a .308 case but leaves a lot of room in a 30/06.
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Old November 10, 2018, 10:24 AM   #22
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He finally mentioned this is a .308. It is also possible for an undercharge to do this, but it would have to be pretty severe. Another possibility is aging powder. Once the stabilizer is consumed, the acidic breakdown products can attack the deterrent coatings, causing the burn rate of the powder to go up faster than the nitrocellulose is broken down. The Navy documented this in 7.62 ball ammunition and replicated it in a laboratory with accelerated aging by application of heat. There have also been a couple of Garands blown up by surplus ammo from the late 40's. Having had powder in surplus cartridges break down, I can tell it shows up in one cartridge first, then another and then randomly more and more of them until they're all bad. Anyway, when you pull the powder from the others, I would toss it on the lawn rather than reuse it, just in case that's the problem here.

However it happened, the pressure was too high, clearly. When the ejector and extractor profiles are deeply impressed into the ejector and extractor cuts, that proves the high pressure flowed the brass excessively. The chamber also expanded and stretched to greater length than the elastic limit of the brass and when it returned to shape it clamped the brass in place. This is what holds it hard enough so you smear the brass impressions when you force the bolt open.

You will have had a bit of brass flow into the ejector tunnel and the resulting bump on the case head face was in the tunnel and sheared off when you forced the bolt open. That left brass in the ejector tunnel. The brass may be making the ejector stick. If the force was great enough it may also have bent the ejector retaining pin or the spring by driving them back hard. If you can knock the pin free, that may free the ejector, as already suggested. Likewise, a good penetrating oil left for several days may help. I enjoy experimenting, so I'd probably use an eyedropper to put some BoreTech Cu++ bore cleaner in there and let it dissolve all the brass out to see if that freed the ejector before going to penetrating oil or knocking the retaining pin out. If the pin is already out, I would apply either fluid with the bolt upright in a padded vice and lay a couple of denim rags over it to catch the ejector if it pops loose.

If the retaining pin was bent, driving a new one in may push the ejector loose, too.
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Old November 10, 2018, 10:41 AM   #23
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All useful news. The retaining pin is straight. You suggest that with the firing pin removed there is access for oil from the rear. Do I have that right? The recoil was normal, which sees a squib was unlikely, and since the powder just about gives 100% loading I don't know how I'd get it overloaded. Of course stuck bolt always suggests an overload. And it the first time I ever saw a little smoke around the bolt and trigger.
I'm not seeing how the primer came out and found its way to the ejector hole, with the bolt closed. I fear this might not be my hunting rifle this week for the opener.
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Old November 10, 2018, 11:04 AM   #24
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The deteriorating powder theory would fit nicely, then. You get a higher peak pressure, but a bit less gas due to the breakdown having taken out some of the nitrocellulose, leaving you with a lower muzzle pressure. But the average pressure during bullet travel could have been about the same, giving you similar velocity and recoil. I would definitely toss the powder.

My thinking had been that if the pin had bent then the ejector would partly obscure the hole and that's why driving a straight pin in could drive the ejector forward. Given the visible brass, my own inclination would be to give it a day with a chelating copper solvent likt the Bore Tech product I mentioned or KG-12. If you don't have one of these water-base super copper grabbers, just go straight to the penetrating oil. Kroil is good. PB Blaster is good. Apply a little every day, both through the pin hole and from the front, and repeat for two or three days, then try using a drift punch to tap the nose of the ejector to see if you can knock it loose, but don't tap it too hard, as you don't want to jam it further. You could also take a brass rod and hammer and hit the bolt face to see if inertia can bring the ejector forward.

Wear eye protection doing this, btw, as we don't know where a high-speed ejector might go. There is a spring loaded plunger in the mechanism of the Ruger Redhawk that kept taking off on me when I disassembled and reassembled doing trigger work, leading to an hour of searching to relocate it each time it got away. I finally just cut a couple of hand holes into a cardboard box and laid a sheet of window Plexiglass on it so it looked like a poor man's gloveless sandblast cabinet, and then I disassembled the gun in there. It captured the little detent plunger every time.
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Old November 10, 2018, 08:16 PM   #25
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I'll suggest a possibility,with respect. I'm old,too.

If we conscientiously adhere to certain procedures,we can add a level of safety to what we are doing. Example,the four rules of firearms safety.

Intially,we were talking about a load of 4895 if I have it right. Then came up a can of 4064 by the powder measure. So.now it seems these may be 4064 loads.
Fine.Both 4064 and 4895 are good,and the charge weight is reasonable.My concern is not which powder,but maybe a glitch in the process.

The conspiracy theory that forms in my mind COULD be about two cans of powder,and a cross contamination event involving dumping powder left in the hopper back into the wrong can.... 6 months ago ...to be discovered later via mysterious overpressure. To be clear,I'm not talking about this time,or this can of 4064. Is it possible 6 months ago it was 4198 in the hopper,and it got dumped in the 4895 or 4064 can?
I'm not suggesting anything insulting.I'm an old Guy,too,and,frankly,a 20 something can make a human mistake.

I'm not saying that is what happened,but SOMETHING happened.

With only one can of powder on the bench,and by not leaving powder in the hopper, we maintain a "Chain of custody" on the powder.

As precious as powder is, If I have not clearly and with forethought labeled any powder left in my hopper,it goes on the lawn.
Because I am fallible and I make mistakes

Last edited by HiBC; November 10, 2018 at 08:50 PM.
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