Bolt action rifle: Failed to fire

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
4,092
Reaction score
6,390
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
237
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
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
 

Areaonereal

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
649
Reaction score
704
Media
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
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.
 

Clayton

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
841
Reaction score
734
Location
SW Louisiana, USA
Member of
NRA: Patriot Life Endowment Member, 2nd Amendment Foundation: Life Member LA Shooting Association: Life Member, Gun Owners of America: Annual Member SW LA Rifle & Pistol Club: Annual Member
What he said. Wolf springs https://www.gunsprings.com/RUGER/77, MKI & MKII/cID2/mID52/dID226

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 8.47.47 AM.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
4,348
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
I would never expect to have that problems from a Ruger, but who knows, anything is possible.
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,472
Reaction score
13,427
Media
109
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
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.
 

ZG47

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
524
Reaction score
423
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
Member of
NZDA, NZMSC
Hunted
New Zealand
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.

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.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,291
Reaction score
7,849
Media
54
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
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.

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.
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,460
Reaction score
11,778
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
@375 Ruger Fan good advice above from Phoenix Phil. What ammo are you using?
 

cmnhunt

AH veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
224
Reaction score
215
Location
midwest
Media
11
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
Nothing
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.
 

Divernhunter

AH elite
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
1,110
Reaction score
1,204
Location
Denair, California USA
Media
51
Member of
Life member NRA and NAHC Escalon Sportsmans club, Manteca sportsman club and Coalinga Rifle Club. Member of SCI
Hunted
USA, RSA
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.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
4,092
Reaction score
6,390
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
237
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
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:

Areaonereal

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
649
Reaction score
704
Media
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
As I noted in my previous post....Remington? Just change ammo, should correct the problem.
 

buckcurtin

AH veteran
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
120
Reaction score
49
Member of
SCI NRA
Hunted
RSA/Zimbabwe
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
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.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,870
Reaction score
8,234
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
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.
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,036
Reaction score
6,882
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
86
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
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
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
 

Velo Dog

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
3,528
Reaction score
5,291
Location
Anchorage
Media
58
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member.
Hunted
Africa 5 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
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:

Devin Twitty

AH veteran
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Messages
128
Reaction score
107
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
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.
 

lcq

AH elite
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
1,308
Media
10
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
NRA CSSA
Hunted
Canada, RSA
I have seen more remington FTF than any other brand. If 2 gunsmiths say it is good the common denominator seems to be ammo
 

ArmyGrunt

AH elite
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
1,710
Reaction score
2,294
Media
63
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Hungary
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.
I'll bet that had your butt puckered! Did you bring down the beast, or did it change its mind?
 

Shootist43

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
6,020
Reaction score
6,150
Location
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
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.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,355
Messages
712,143
Members
66,547
Latest member
kucasinomobi
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
 
Top