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Old April 3, 2020, 05:31 PM   #1
Polinese
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Parts wear on bolt actions.

Besides the barrel what parts have you had or are known to wear out/fail on bolt actions. I feel like I commonly hear about parts wearing out on ar's and such but never hear about parts being replaced on bolt guns besides the barrel and maybe occasionally a trigger.

I figure the manual action probably helps with longevity, but was curious of there's anything on the various bolt action designs out there that tends to wear out and need replacement over time.
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Old April 3, 2020, 05:48 PM   #2
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The main reason you don't hear about parts wearing out in bolt actions is, essentially, they don't. The "wear factor" is tremendously less, both in the speed of the moving parts moving, and in the number of rounds usually fired.

Not only do ARs "slam" their parts faster and harder than a bolt action, but they are usually shot a lot more. Shoot 100 rounds through a bolt gun at one sitting that's a lot of shooting. Do it with an AR and that's 3 1/3, 30rnd sticks, and can be done in a couple minutes if you blaze away...

The AR extractor is a tiny little thing, compared to a 98 Mauser. Think that might have something to do with its service life?

Barrels wear from the shooting, how bad is a combination of factors, the same in the AR and the bolt gun in the same calibers, save only one can put a lot more rounds downrange in a lot less time with the AR.

So, essentially, AR parts have both a higher rate (speed) of operation AND generally a higher frequency (round count) so they wear "sooner".
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Old April 3, 2020, 06:41 PM   #3
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Remington bolt guns have the weakest extractor design of any bolt gun and they will occasionally break. But most shooters won't wear one out in a lifetime.

Remington also uses a brazed on bolt handle that will break off from time to time and must be reattached.

Remington used a trigger with a flawed design for many years and it would be a good idea to replace them for safety reasons. But I've never heard of a trigger wearing out. Lots of folks replace them to get a BETTER trigger, and it is possible for someone who doesn't know what they are doing to ruin one trying to improve it.


That's about it. You can get malfunctions from ejectors, and floorplate latches and other parts if the guns are not clean. But that doesn't require parts replacement.
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Old April 3, 2020, 06:54 PM   #4
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Firing pin springs weaken over time. Best indicator is a given load at long range needs a few clicks more elevation on the sight and elevation stringing is noticed.
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Old April 3, 2020, 07:44 PM   #5
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I can corroborate Bart’s observation. A lot depends on the spring QA/QC and metallurgy, but they do weaken over time. “Time” can be years or decades......



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Old April 3, 2020, 08:29 PM   #6
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Depending upon the design, some parts can be known to wear.

Mosin Nagant magazine interrupters tend to be problematic in high round count rifles. Bolt heads can also have wear issues.

Some designs that use sliding blade type extractors tend to have problems, once worn a bit. (Marlin, Savage, some Remingtons, etc.)

Mossberg 800 safeties are known to be pushed off with a trigger pull, if worn.

There are certainly other examples that I can't recall at the moment.


But, in general, bolt actions tend to just get smoother and better with age.
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Old April 4, 2020, 05:22 AM   #7
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A better question might be...when does the accuracy "wear out?'
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Old April 4, 2020, 07:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
A better question might be...when does the accuracy "wear out?'
Whenever it no longer meets the objectives, conditions and standards set by its owner.

Sierra Bullets replaced their 308 Winchester test barrels when reference match bullets 10 shot groups averaged over 3/8 MOA at 100 yards. Around 3000 to 3300 rounds.

Military 7.62 NATO service rifle barrels were replaced when the bore erosion gauge went an inch into the throat reading 10. This happened at 10,000 to 12,000 rounds and 100 yard accuracy was 3 or more inches.

Last edited by Bart B.; April 4, 2020 at 07:29 AM.
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Old April 6, 2020, 11:10 PM   #9
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Other than the typical springs or maybe a extractor in a 700, the only thing I’ve seen “wear” out was the safety selector detent on a Remington 788. I’ve got 3 788’s and have only seen one of those rifles have that issue but I also typically swap to a Timney trigger pretty quickly.
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Old April 7, 2020, 06:06 PM   #10
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Three words: Lube re cation. Metal to metal contact need not result in wear.
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Old April 9, 2020, 04:16 PM   #11
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I haven't seen many parts wear in hunting rifles or light use target rifles. I have seen parts wear in PRS rifles, particularly in high-pressure rifles. In these cases, barrel replacements are almost like oil changes - sometimes done several times a season. But some of these calibers (especially the high-pressure small-bores) can lose match accuracy in as little as a couple thousand rounds, when a match may consist of 200 rounds.

I have seen firing pin springs weaken, firing pins get rounded off or broken, extractors broken or lost spring tension, even a bolt stop pin sheared.

You can get bolt head or lug deformation over time too. Savage free-floated bolt heads are known for developing concavity over time, though I've never personally verified it. Bolt lug setback can happen, but I'd be really surprised to see it in a modern action with proper heat treat and an appropriate cartridge selection.
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Old April 10, 2020, 12:16 AM   #12
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I think you should count barrel wear as normal, like tires, they are designed and expected to wear out with use. The rest of the rifle might be considered the engine and chassis, where sometimes some small parts wear out but the general assembly does not.
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Old April 10, 2020, 08:07 PM   #13
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Was at a Hipower match and member of my club, was using a M70 target rifle and meet him after a 600yd stage and he ran up to and said folow me.
At his car the rifle was lying on the open case and he drops deweyrod down the muzzle and tells nme to open the bolt. did that and pulss the bolt out of thw action , and disassemble thebolt adn removed the FP. The tail of the FP broke off during the "sighters portion of the string , [he was snapping in prior to firing the sighters].
Got permission to draw a spare rifle from car and completed the string.

So, yes FP's do break and MURPHY'S best timing.
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Old April 11, 2020, 06:29 PM   #14
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The extractor on my Remington 660 turned toes up. If it does it again I'll go with a Sako or M16 style as a replacement. My gunsmith said that for some reason the extractors on that model didn't hold up as well. I dunno as that rifle did have something like 5,000 rounds run through the action before quitting.
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Old April 12, 2020, 08:44 AM   #15
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Firing pin springs weaken over time. Best indicator is a given load at long range needs a few clicks more elevation on the sight and elevation stringing is noticed.
Just curious--is this because the impact force of firing pin can actually cause variation in the primer ignition?
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Old April 12, 2020, 12:27 PM   #16
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Just curious--is this because the impact force of firing pin can actually cause variation in the primer ignition?
I guess its possible, I don't know. My guess would be that a weakened spring changes the lock time, perhaps inconsistently, which could manifest as a visible change at long range.

Just a guess, ...
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Old April 12, 2020, 09:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
Remington bolt guns have the weakest extractor design of any bolt gun and they will occasionally break. But most shooters won't wear one out in a lifetime.

Remington also uses a brazed on bolt handle that will break off from time to time and must be reattached.

Remington used a trigger with a flawed design for many years and it would be a good idea to replace them for safety reasons. But I've never heard of a trigger wearing out. Lots of folks replace them to get a BETTER trigger, and it is possible for someone who doesn't know what they are doing to ruin one trying to improve it.


That's about it. You can get malfunctions from ejectors, and floorplate latches and other parts if the guns are not clean. But that doesn't require parts replacement.
Look at the TC Venture extractor and get back to me on the 700.
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Old April 12, 2020, 10:42 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the good info and feedback. I started buying some spare parts for my howa rifle that rides around in my car. Was just thinking about it and figured i'd ask what other folk have experienced.

What's wrong with the venture extractor? Isn't it similar to savage and others? Neither remington or savage are my favorite. I prefer a mauser action followed by something like the howa/sako with the "ar" type extractor.
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Old April 13, 2020, 01:30 PM   #19
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Polinese
A shooting buddy of mine shoots a Howa1500 , he never had a problem with it and he's been shooting it for many years . Having spare parts in your range bag is a good thing , it all depends on how often and the type of shooting . It is good to know how to completely tare down every firearm you own and proper maintenance will cut down on any problems . I find most problems are caused by reloaders not sizing or overcharging their cases. Shoot the proper ammo and good maintenance , you'll wear out faster then the rifle . Be Safe .

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Old April 13, 2020, 02:56 PM   #20
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I only ever shoot factory ammo. Primarly the AE 7.62 168gr load, and some m80 ball. Did start buying the gold medal match as i've been finding it for the same price I pay for the American Eagle and I get little to no impact shift just tighter groups.

Firing pin and spring are the only parts I still feel I need to add. Don't see myself needing a spare bolt shroud things are pretty fubar at that point.
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Old April 13, 2020, 03:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
...on weakened firing pin springs

Just curious--is this because the impact force of firing pin can actually cause variation in the primer ignition?
Yes.

Primer's not dented enough to uniformly fire the primer.

Same thing with insufficient pin sticking out from bolt face or too much head clearance from cartridge to bolt face.

Last edited by Bart B.; April 13, 2020 at 03:16 PM.
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Old April 13, 2020, 03:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
I guess its possible, I don't know. My guess would be that a weakened spring changes the lock time, perhaps inconsistently, which could manifest as a visible change at long range.

Just a guess, ...
Lock time will fixed for a given spring force on the firing pin spring. Increases as the spring weakens.

A 25 pound spring force on a 2 ounce firing pin will have the pin moving about 17 fps at the end of a 1/4" travel to the primer.

Got the formula to calculate that from Unclenick but lost it.

Last edited by Bart B.; April 13, 2020 at 03:46 PM.
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Old April 13, 2020, 03:44 PM   #23
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Lock time will fixed for a given spring force on the firing pin spring. Increases as the spring weakens.

A 25 pound spring force on a 2 ounce firing pin will have the pin moving about 17 fps at the end of a 1/4" travel to the primer.
So, translated to "normal mortals" language that does mean the reduced impact force affects the efficacy of the primer ignition?
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Old April 13, 2020, 03:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
So, translated to "normal mortals" language that does mean the reduced impact force affects the efficacy of the primer ignition?
Yes. You figured that out. Easy enough.

Last edited by Bart B.; April 13, 2020 at 03:54 PM.
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Old April 13, 2020, 04:02 PM   #25
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You figured that out
It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I get lucky.
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