Bolt action rifle: Failed to fire

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by 375 Ruger Fan, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Was hoping to get some input and insight on a little problem I've had recently. I bought on Gunbroker a left handed Ruger M77 MkII in 300 Win mag for my son-in-law. This is for our upcoming elk hunt this November in Montana. The rifle is in excellent, like new condition, stainless and laminated stock. I bought two different flavors of ammo and off we went to an indoor gun range to check our bore-sighting of the scope we mounted. A couple of rounds fired and then a couple just went click, but no bang.

    Son-in-law took gun to a gunsmith buddy of his, got the firing pin assembly pulled apart, cleaned, lubricated, reassembled. He went and fired it and no issues. I was home in the US recently and took the rifle out to the range and planned to zero it at 200 yards on the Lead Sled. Click, no bang. Took the rifle to my gunsmith and he checked it out, said everything was in specs on the firing pin, spring, etc. The gunsmith did say that some brands of ammo have had primer problems and the two brands he named happened to be the two I was shooting. I have never had this problem before with any rifle or any ammo. Was wondering if anyone on the forum has heard of this type of issue. I plan to get some different ammo and give it a try, but the confidence level in this rifle is currently very low.

    Thanks!
    Dave
     

  2. Areaonereal

    Areaonereal AH Enthusiast

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    Try a heavier firing pin spring...28 lbs. also...change ammo... Problem of FTF. Remington? I reload and on occasion primers are the problem, if Remington. Not seated correctly and hard cup that doesn't let the mixture ignite. Just a suggestion, but changing ammo that is consistent firing is the simplest solution.
     

  3. Clayton

    Clayton AH Fanatic

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2017

  4. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I would never expect to have that problems from a Ruger, but who knows, anything is possible.
     
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  5. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    What did the primer look like?

    Did it appear to be a full strike or a light strike? That might help you to determine where the issue lies.
     
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  6. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    Also, if you have a dial or digital caliper, it might be worthwhile getting one of those cartridge headspace measurement kits, so that you can compare headspace of fired cases with that of unfired cases.
     
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  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    That would be the first thing I'd check. If the primers appear to be struck properly (compare with other ammo from other rifles), then I'm inclined to point my finger at the ammo. If not, then I'd say the firing pin spring may be the problem.
     
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  8. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    @375 Ruger Fan good advice above from Phoenix Phil. What ammo are you using?
     

  9. cmnhunt

    cmnhunt AH Veteran

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    I'd change ammo and than if it still happens, call Ruger. They would probably swap out the bolt or fix the pin. I wonder if the pin is misaligned. I've only had one gun that misfired constantly and that was a beretta shotgun.
     

  10. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    You cannot get an honest answer without showing us the primer so we can tell if the firing pin is striking the primer hard enough. I have had 13 Rugers and never had a problem with them.
    I did have 2 FTF and the primer was struck plenty hard. It was a bad lot of Win LR mag primers.
     

  11. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The primers did appear to me to be somewhat lighter than normal striking. However, my gunsmith pointed out that the difference in appearance is somewhat misleading. He said the primer strike gets enhanced from the firing/recoil effect. So a FTF primer which really strikes with a proper amount of force will look smaller than a cartridge that did fire properly. Have never thought about this aspect before, but makes sense to me.

    The gunsmith did all the headspacing checks, etc and found no issues. He fired three rounds, all different ammo, and had no FTF. He told me he has heard of issues with Remington and Hornady, which happened to be the two brands I was using (and did not tell him beforehand).

    I bought some of the new Swift ammo and will give it a try when I return to the US in late February.

    If I end up changing the spring to a heavier one, what effects, if any does that have on the operation of the gun. I know it obviously makes the firing pin hit harder, but there is no free lunch. Does it also make the bolt harder to cycle or the trigger a little stiffer? Or are the effects negligible?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017

  12. Areaonereal

    Areaonereal AH Enthusiast

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    As I noted in my previous post....Remington? Just change ammo, should correct the problem.
     

  13. buckcurtin

    buckcurtin AH Veteran

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    Had that problem on a Buffalo hunt using African PH ammo in my MRC 404 Jeffrey, twice, on first shot[worked bolt and first bullet fired, saved second un-fired cartridge and sent it and rifle to MRC to examine, no problem with weapon] and on finishing shot. Never had the problem with Hornady ammo.
     

  14. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have only had FTFs on handloads. Root cause was primers not seated to the bottom of the pocket. The Lee hand primer seater plastic was worn enough that it did not seat them squarely. I recocked (lifted the bolt) and on the second primer strike, they all fired. Now I cannot buy replacement plastic parts for the Lee. Very irritating! I doubt I'll replace them with the new Lee design.
    You might take a metal straight edge and see if all the factory primers are seated correctly. Their primer seating equipment will wear out too.
    Good luck finding the cause! Let us know what you find.
     

  15. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I would not spend much time scratching my head over this one. I would send the gun straight back to Ruger and demand an answer or a new gun. Their guns are nearly problem free and you should not put up with this issue. Ammo shmammo that gun should fire any cartridge you put in it every time! I am sorry it happened to you but you must have confidence in your equipment before undertaking a big hunting trip.
    Regards,
    Philip
     

  16. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello 375 Ruger Fan,

    Back in the 1970's, I bought a brand new / in the box - Ruger Model 77, in the then limited run of caliber .257 Roberts.
    And straight away, I experienced exactly what you are describing.
    In other words; once in awhile it would fail to fire, with the non-firing primers looking ever so slightly less dented than what I believed they should be.
    The answer to this riddle turned out to be, grit in the firing pin channel.

    Evidently, as long as these little creeps would all lay flat, the striker / firing pin, would smash primers thoroughly.
    However, when one or more of them would get cockeyed in there, the striker's impact was buffered just enough to give me a "click" instead of a "bang".
    It would go bang most of the time but the deafening click once in awhile was at first very puzzling, as well as mucho frustrating.
    Anyway, upon removing the striker assembly, I found it was festooned with a bright red color grease.
    In this grease I found a few tiny granules of something gritty, almost like sand.
    Upon thoroughly scrubbing and flushing out the whole works, the formerly occasional "click" never returned and I then enjoyed the rifle for many years.

    Upon degreasing, I found that these particles were magnet responsive.
    I concluded they were very-very tiny metal chips, from the manufacturing process that, had been missed during final inspection / packaging for shipment to "Barth Sporting Goods", in Chico, California, where I then bought it off the rack.

    I hope yours is that simple to remedy,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  17. Devin Twitty

    Devin Twitty AH Veteran

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    My rugers have never had a ftf. Had my father's ar do it with a bear charging twice which was a little rattling. Came down to bad primers. We switched to hand loads and haven't had a problem since.
     

  18. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    I have seen more remington FTF than any other brand. If 2 gunsmiths say it is good the common denominator seems to be ammo
     

  19. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    I'll bet that had your butt puckered! Did you bring down the beast, or did it change its mind?
     

  20. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I hate it when guns don't work. Fortunately the problems are relatively easy to fix. After reading all of the posts above mine and agreeing with them, I thought of another possibility a short or damaged firing pin. If you are going to strip the bolt down to install a heavier spring or to clean out any debris like Velo Dog mentioned why not measure the firing pin as well? Ruger makes more than one bolt action rifle, installing the wrong firing pin is not out of the realm of reason. I've also seen broken firing pins cause problems similar to yours

    Good luck finding the reason for your problem.
     

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