Personal Experiences With Rifles Malfunctioning In The Field

Trail Rated

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On my 2017 bear hunt, I lined up a shot at 150 yards and pulled the trigger. My old sporterized Springfield 1903 just went “click.” I ejected the round, saw the primer was lightly dimpled, and chambered the next round. Luckily, the bear stuck around, and luckily, the next round fired. Later I took the bolt apart and found the Springfield’s two-piece firing pin and spring were covered in ages-old gunk. It cleaned right up and hasn’t caused any problems since.
 

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Not a field problem, but I bought a brand new Sako 85 in 30-06. With a low mounted scope the ejected case would bounce back down into the chamber instead of scampering off to my right. The dealer suggested higher rings, but was good enough to take the rifle back. I got an A-Bolt II from him, and have been very happy with it.
 

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Legendary arms works 375 H&H. Cartridges would jam if the bolt worked to quickly. At 100 yards third or fourth round would drop out of the group, like the barrel was heating up. Rifle is at the gunsmith currently. So far he found the action not sitting in the stock properly, cause of the jam. Also potential cause of accuracy issue. As an aside my 14 year old son never had a malfunction with the rifle no matter how he worked the bolt.
 

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30-06 Rem 700 wouldn’t extract a live round after my buddy decided not to shoot. Also a blind mag fully loaded. Pulled the bolt out and ran a cleaning rod down the barrel. Had to do it a few times to unload the gun. I don’t know what ever came of it. I know it’s a common problem with factory R700 Extractors.

Auto Ordnance 1911 .45 ACP broken ejector, cracked barrel at the lugs. Got a parts kit and replaced everything. It’s at the smith now getting a fine tune.

T/C Venture 300 Win Mag I had out shooting steel prone position on a tarp. Opened the bolt after shooting it empty. I got up to walk the 10 yards to the truck for more ammo and a ridiculous gust of wind come out of nowhere. Picked the tarp and rifle up about 15-20 feet in the air and dropped it.

Broken Vortex Diamondback scope
Action/barrel packed with grit
Very scuffed and gouged crown
And the kicker....bent barrel

It went from 3/4”-1” groups before the airlift. After a thorough cleaning, barrel re crown and a refurbished scope from Vortex I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. I did test the scope on another rifle and it passed.
 

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Remington 700 ADL in 30-06 fails to feed second round after firing the first jamming on entry .. But ONLY with certain ammo. In particular local RSA PMP soft points... With Remington, Federal etc NO problem.
CZ 458 W Mag feed jam during elephant hunt... I short stroked in my haste to reload the 3rd round and jammed.. Was easily corrected and no danger resulted THAT time!
While on a very quickly arranged elephant hunt in Zimbabwe, I borrowed the PH's Chspuis 470 double... From the get go I wasn't happy, as the rounds were a very tight fit and would not even fall out when the rifle broken and tipped over... Imagine after firing!!
Anyway, only ONE shot was required, but I shudder to think of the consequences of any resultant charges, by either the shot ellie or any of the others in the vicinity.
I remedied this by suggesting that the PH throws it into the Zambezi!!!
 

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Browning Abolt 7RM. Locked up and we couldn't get the bolt open even with a hammer. Sent it to Hill Country and they got it open. Sprung the receiver beyond repair, bent the bolt. Caused by faulty progressive press that threw loads about half again over max. It was set for 52g and threw 65 to 68g. I pulled all the remaining bullets in that batch and loaded them with my single stage.
Mossberg 152 22lr (circa 1950) went full auto after umpteen thousand rounds. Replaced the sear and now works fine.
Ruger 10-22 won't feed with banana mags. They don't lock up tight enough. Works with rotaries.
 

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Many years ago my elder brother finally convinced my eldest brother to let him borrow his (then!) pride and joy - his Winchester 1894 .44 Mag lever action - to go pig hunting at night. So after giving many sworn oaths and assurances that his darling .44 Mag wouldn't come to any harm or disrepute (and that he'd also return the rifle!), my elder brother with a mate in tow, gleefully departed into the outback with it.

On that very first night as luck would have it, he had a head separation. This happened at night and out in the densest scrub in the middle of nowhere. So, after a long trudge, muttering obscenities all the way back to camp, and with a now useless rifle, my brother lit upon the idea to extract the offending portion of the case himself and go back to pig hunting. Superb hunting keeness - but bloody stupid given the environment and availability of tools!! Remember, too, that what follows - as related by his mate - was done at night, and in the field, with the aid of a 2-cell torch.

Of course to extract that portion of separated case is impossible to do without the correct tools and equipment being wielded by a competent gunsmith, but my dear brother - being an eternal optimist - has always relished a challenge!! Oh, and btw - did you know he's NOT mechanically minded in the least? (Starting to spot the flaws in his "cunning plan"?)

So in the spirit of "to strike while the iron's hot" he began by hunting around to find something of a suitable length and thickness to insert down the barrel and "tap out" the offending portion of case. Now both my brothers were pretty good pool players back then, and it just so happened this brother had one of his old pool cues behind the seat of his ute (can you see where this is going??).

Roughly breaking the cue at .44 Mag calibre my brother then inserted the cue down the barrel and - yep!! You guessed it!! - as he tapped it further down with a hammer, the cue became progressively more and more jammed. I'm told that by torch light, the muzzle resembled an umbrella stand with a length of the now solidly jammed pool cue sticking out of the barrel like a mushroomed carrot!! (Much later I asked him why did he do this: his reply was that he thought that as the thicker the cue got at the muzzle, it would simply be shaved off by the muzzle - like some sort of cutting tool!! Actual events however conclusively disproved his ill-thought out pet theory!!).

So! It's now about 1am, pitch black in the middle of nowhere, with the now completely useless Winchester 1894 .44 Mag looking stupid and forlorn with 3" of pool cue sticking out of the muzzle. Any one else, waaaayyyyy back at that point when the head separation occurred, would've simply packed it in and gone home - but thats not how my brother thinks!! Remember - he LOVES a challenge!!

Reaching into the back of his ute he then pulled out the tool box. A quick shine around in it and he found all the tools he needed: a couple of screwdrivers and pliers. (Yep! This is getting worse - and as God as my judge - it's ALL TRUE!!)

So having failed to extract the head separation from one direction, my brother was determined to tackle the bastard from the other!! So with a heart-felt: "Let's start by taking this f@%king thing apart!!" - he embarked on Round Two of the operation.

Using the bonnet of his ute, he began unscrewing this and that until he'd had all the finely machined pieces scattered all over the bonnet. (Did I mention that he's never actually disassembled a lever action before?) Now the ute bonnet is slightly curved, and with their leaning on it and pieces left in darkness, screws and other vital, but very small, parts began trickling off, straight down into the sand at crucially important moments while struggling with the rifle. With exclamations of: "Oh Christ!!" interspersed with: "FFS!! Stop that screw falling off!!" - followed by wild flashes of the torch as it followed a shiny little errant screw trickling off into the abyss - you can appreciate that not much progress was eventually made from this direction either!!

Finally admitting defeat, my brother gathered up all the remaining little bits and pieces and dropped them into an empty plastic, crumb-lined, bread bag. Brooding silently, I'm told it was a very quiet, but tense, drive back to my eldest brother's home.

Cheerfully fronting up at my eldest brother's front door at sunrise, my elder brother simply handed back the rifle that now jangled in crumb-encrusted bits and pieces in a plastic bag. With a doff of his hat and a "Thanks mate!!", he got back in his ute and left! My eldest brother was stunned speechless at what had happened to his pride and joy, and at my elder brother's cheek!! Neither did he ever offer to pay the gunsmith to repair, replace lost pieces, or to reassemble the rifle. But the gunsmith (a family friend) reminisced years later it stood out as one of the most memorable jobs he'd ever done - mainly for the comedy value of events alone!

That was the last time he ever loaned ANYTHING to our brother, and this story is still retold with much laughter in our family! I hope this makes a worthy addition to your research. (y)
 
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Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS

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have a 375 H+H. safety came on after firing, thus u cannot lift the bolt
sorted by gunsmith, lots of gunk inside caused the safety to slip back from recoil, hasnt happened since
303 lee enfield, firing pin was a hitting a bit short, also caused by dust(gunk) got in there, cleaned out and all sorted
 

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Many years ago my elder brother finally convinced my eldest brother to let him borrow his (then!) pride and joy - his Winchester 1894 .44 Mag lever action - to go pig hunting at night. So after giving many sworn oaths and assurances that his darling .44 Mag wouldn't come to any harm or disrepute (and that he'd also return the rifle!), my elder brother with a mate in tow, gleefully departed into the outback with it.

On that very first night as luck would have it, he had a head separation. This happened at night and out in the densest scrub in the middle of nowhere. So, after a long trudge, muttering obscenities all the way back to camp, and with a now useless rifle, my brother lit upon the idea to extract the offending portion of the case himself and go back to pig hunting. Superb hunting keeness - but bloody stupid given the environment and availability of tools!! Remember, too, that what follows - as related by his mate - was done at night, and in the field, with the aid of a 2-cell torch.

Of course to extract that portion of separated case is impossible to do without the correct tools and equipment being wielded by a competent gunsmith, but my dear brother - being an eternal optimist - has always relished a challenge!! Oh, and btw - did you know he's NOT mechanically minded in the least? (Starting to spot the flaws in his "cunning plan"?)

So in the spirit of "to strike while the iron's hot" he began by hunting around to find something of a suitable length and thickness to insert down the barrel and "tap out" the offending portion of case. Now both my brothers were pretty good pool players back then, and it just so happened this brother had one of his old pool cues behind the seat of his ute (can you see where this is going??).

Roughly breaking the cue at .44 Mag calibre my brother then inserted the cue down the barrel and - yep!! You guessed it!! - as he tapped it further down with a hammer, the cue became progressively more and more jammed. I'm told that by torch light, the muzzle resembled an umbrella stand with a length of the now solidly jammed pool cue sticking out of the barrel like a mushroomed carrot!! (Much later I asked him why did he do this: his reply was that he thought that as the thicker the cue got at the muzzle, it would simply be shaved off by the muzzle - like some sort of cutting tool!! Actual events however conclusively disproved his ill-thought out pet theory!!).

So! It's now about 1am, pitch black in the middle of nowhere, with the now completely useless Winchester 1894 .44 Mag looking stupid and forlorn with 3" of pool cue sticking out of the muzzle. Any one else, waaaayyyyy back at that point when the head separation occurred, would've simply packed it in and gone home - but thats not how my brother thinks!! Remember - he LOVES a challenge!!

Reaching into the back of his ute he then pulled out the tool box. A quick shine around in it and he found all the tools he needed: a couple of screwdrivers and pliers. (Yep! This is getting worse - and as God as my judge - it's ALL TRUE!!)

So having failed to extract the head separation from one direction, my brother was determined to tackle the bastard from the other!! So with a heart-felt: "Let's start by taking this f@%king thing apart!!" - he embarked on Round Two of the operation.

Using the bonnet of his ute, he began unscrewing this and that until he'd had all the finely machined pieces scattered all over the bonnet. (Did I mention that he's never actually disassembled a lever action before?) Now the ute bonnet is slightly curved, and with their leaning on it and pieces left in darkness, screws and other vital, but very small, parts began trickling off, straight down into the sand at crucially important moments while struggling with the rifle. With exclamations of: "Oh Christ!!" interspersed with: "FFS!! Stop that screw falling off!!" - followed by wild flashes of the torch as it followed a shiny little errant screw trickling off into the abyss - you can appreciate that not much progress was eventually made from this direction either!!

Finally admitting defeat, my brother gathered up all the remaining little bits and pieces and dropped them into an empty plastic, crumb-lined, bread bag. Brooding silently, I'm told it was a very quiet, but tense, drive back to my eldest brother's home.

Cheerfully fronting up at my eldest brother's front door at sunrise, my elder brother simply handed back the rifle that now jangled in crumb-encrusted bits and pieces in a plastic bag. With a doff of his hat and a "Thanks mate!!", he got back in his ute and left! My eldest brother was stunned speechless at what had happened to his pride and joy, and at my elder brother's cheek!! Neither did he ever offer to pay the gunsmith to repair, replace lost pieces, or to reassemble the rifle. But the gunsmith (a family friend) reminisced years later it stood out as one of the most memorable jobs he'd ever done - mainly for the comedy value of events alone!

That was the last time he ever loaned ANYTHING to our brother, and this story is still retold with much laughter in our family! I hope this makes a worthy addition to your research. (y)
Oh lordy, I recognize this tenacity in my own offspring!:ROFLMAO: Their mom never sees the humor in it for some reason:unsure: That's a great tale.
 

Boomstick!

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Reading a few new posts reminds me of 2 more.
My uncle insisted that a 5.56 Ann 223 Rem were the same thing. Not so I insisted. He said give me one so I did. He proceeded to load it up in a 223 Rem match chamber bolt gun and let’s loose with it. He had to tap the action open with a mallet!

A custom 6.5x55 Swede 1894 Mauser had some timing issues after being built. Forgot to take the safety off aimed squeezed the trigger and “click”. It dropped the striker against the safety. So we pointed it down range and clicked the safety off and it fired. Fixed by a smith the next week. Works great now.
 

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major, I have a question for you please and no disrespect how do you count a shot out barrel or as you say worn out rifling a field problem? that happens over time and lots of rounds??
for your survey I have had 2 broken extractors (one of which was a model 70 post 64 crf extractor) and 1 broken firing pin and one double that liked to double fire, one broken safety. way more scope failures than gun failures.
Please , Buck Dog ... l feel no disrespect when a gentleman asks a sensible question. I always encourage discussions such as these . The reason why l consider a "shot out" barrel to be a field problem is because we typically do not see large calibre rifles like .375 Holland & Holland magnum or .458 Winchester magnum develop worn rifling . It is unnatural. Therefore the 1s which l did see in the field , which developed worn rifling ; l recorded as being an " unnatural " problem. Some rifle calibres are also more prone to wearing out barrel riflings than others , due to excessive velocities or the type of bullet used ( like A Square monolithic solid bullets and other non banded monolithic solid bullets ) . Therefore , l also wanted the gentlemen replying to this thread to count a " shot out " barrel as a malfunction , as a way for us to assess the set of circumstances under which that gun's rifling had worn out .
What calibre was your Winchester Model 70 , which had the extractor break ?
 

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custom made 25=06 on a a3=03 mag floor platte popped open on fireing.used duck tape to finish hunt and replaced catch with no further problems..Savge 110 22=250 locked up upon fireing,found cause to be cases that were not triimed to spec were too long and caused excess pressure learned a lesson about shooting some one elses reloads.
... And here l was thinking , that magazine floor plates popping open were a problem only in my time . Sigh.
 

Major Khan

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Reading a few new posts reminds me of 2 more.
My uncle insisted that a 5.56 Ann 223 Rem were the same thing. Not so I insisted. He said give me one so I did. He proceeded to load it up in a 223 Rem match chamber bolt gun and let’s loose with it. He had to tap the action open with a mallet!

A custom 6.5x55 Swede 1894 Mauser had some timing issues after being built. Forgot to take the safety off aimed squeezed the trigger and “click”. It dropped the striker against the safety. So we pointed it down range and clicked the safety off and it fired. Fixed by a smith the next week. Works great now.
Thank Heavens that you had the fore sight to keep it pointed at the firing range . Disaster was narrowly averted.
 

James Adamson

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I once lost a shot at a roe buck due to not being able to close the bolt on a round. I was blaming my hand loads but it turned out to be crap from in the moderator ending up in the chamber. I got rid of that moderator and bought one that could come apart for cleaning.
 

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I have a Ruger Guide Gun chambered in 416 Ruger. During my lion hunt it jammed bigger than Dallas. It had extracted the spent shell fine but when I went to send the bolt home the new shell jammed. The bolt wouldn’t move forward or backward. I did not look down to see exactly what the issue was as I was watching a extremely upset and wounded lion coming at us. I was able to clear it by slamming the buttstock on the ground really hard while shoving the bolt handle back at the same time. It cleared that round and picked up the next one fine that time. I was able to get back up and put another round in the lion when it cleared the Bush just in front and to the left of me.
I know I didn’t short stroke it as in the video the shell ejects fine and you can clearly see the bolt go all the way back. I don’t know if I’m the excitement I sent the bolt home to hard causing the malfunction or what. My adrenaline was pretty high to say the least. That is the only time I’ve flat had that rifle or any rifle jam like that and it certainly couldn’t have picked a worse time. It has never done it since either and I still shoot it at Feral pigs and targets. I won’t take it DG hunting again that is for sure. Between the ammo failures with the Hornady ammo and it jamming during that hunt I don’t trust it with anything that truly bites back.
 

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Oh lordy, I recognize this tenacity in my own offspring!:ROFLMAO: Their mom never sees the humor in it for some reason:unsure: That's a great tale.
Unfortunately I see the same trait in my kids too - the young always going off half-cocked!! :ROFLMAO: But whenever my brother becomes a little too much to handle, he's always neatly brought back to earth by us asking very casually: "So, hows that .44 getting along?" :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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:eek:
Many years ago my elder brother finally convinced my eldest brother to let him borrow his (then!) pride and joy - his Winchester 1894 .44 Mag lever action - to go pig hunting at night. So after giving many sworn oaths and assurances that his darling .44 Mag wouldn't come to any harm or disrepute (and that he'd also return the rifle!), my elder brother with a mate in tow, gleefully departed into the outback with it.

On that very first night as luck would have it, he had a head separation. This happened at night and out in the densest scrub in the middle of nowhere. So, after a long trudge, muttering obscenities all the way back to camp, and with a now useless rifle, my brother lit upon the idea to extract the offending portion of the case himself and go back to pig hunting. Superb hunting keeness - but bloody stupid given the environment and availability of tools!! Remember, too, that what follows - as related by his mate - was done at night, and in the field, with the aid of a 2-cell torch.

Of course to extract that portion of separated case is impossible to do without the correct tools and equipment being wielded by a competent gunsmith, but my dear brother - being an eternal optimist - has always relished a challenge!! Oh, and btw - did you know he's NOT mechanically minded in the least? (Starting to spot the flaws in his "cunning plan"?)

So in the spirit of "to strike while the iron's hot" he began by hunting around to find something of a suitable length and thickness to insert down the barrel and "tap out" the offending portion of case. Now both my brothers were pretty good pool players back then, and it just so happened this brother had one of his old pool cues behind the seat of his ute (can you see where this is going??).

Roughly breaking the cue at .44 Mag calibre my brother then inserted the cue down the barrel and - yep!! You guessed it!! - as he tapped it further down with a hammer, the cue became progressively more and more jammed. I'm told that by torch light, the muzzle resembled an umbrella stand with a length of the now solidly jammed pool cue sticking out of the barrel like a mushroomed carrot!! (Much later I asked him why did he do this: his reply was that he thought that as the thicker the cue got at the muzzle, it would simply be shaved off by the muzzle - like some sort of cutting tool!! Actual events however conclusively disproved his ill-thought out pet theory!!).

So! It's now about 1am, pitch black in the middle of nowhere, with the now completely useless Winchester 1894 .44 Mag looking stupid and forlorn with 3" of pool cue sticking out of the muzzle. Any one else, waaaayyyyy back at that point when the head separation occurred, would've simply packed it in and gone home - but thats not how my brother thinks!! Remember - he LOVES a challenge!!

Reaching into the back of his ute he then pulled out the tool box. A quick shine around in it and he found all the tools he needed: a couple of screwdrivers and pliers. (Yep! This is getting worse - and as God as my judge - it's ALL TRUE!!)

So having failed to extract the head separation from one direction, my brother was determined to tackle the bastard from the other!! So with a heart-felt: "Let's start by taking this f@%king thing apart!!" - he embarked on Round Two of the operation.

Using the bonnet of his ute, he began unscrewing this and that until he'd had all the finely machined pieces scattered all over the bonnet. (Did I mention that he's never actually disassembled a lever action before?) Now the ute bonnet is slightly curved, and with their leaning on it and pieces left in darkness, screws and other vital, but very small, parts began trickling off, straight down into the sand at crucially important moments while struggling with the rifle. With exclamations of: "Oh Christ!!" interspersed with: "FFS!! Stop that screw falling off!!" - followed by wild flashes of the torch as it followed a shiny little errant screw trickling off into the abyss - you can appreciate that not much progress was eventually made from this direction either!!

Finally admitting defeat, my brother gathered up all the remaining little bits and pieces and dropped them into an empty plastic, crumb-lined, bread bag. Brooding silently, I'm told it was a very quiet, but tense, drive back to my eldest brother's home.

Cheerfully fronting up at my eldest brother's front door at sunrise, my elder brother simply handed back the rifle that now jangled in crumb-encrusted bits and pieces in a plastic bag. With a doff of his hat and a "Thanks mate!!", he got back in his ute and left! My eldest brother was stunned speechless at what had happened to his pride and joy, and at my elder brother's cheek!! Neither did he ever offer to pay the gunsmith to repair, replace lost pieces, or to reassemble the rifle. But the gunsmith (a family friend) reminisced years later it stood out as one of the most memorable jobs he'd ever done - mainly for the comedy value of events alone!

That was the last time he ever loaned ANYTHING to our brother, and this story is still retold with much laughter in our family! I hope this makes a worthy addition to your research. (y)
Dear Lord, while funny in a turn your stomach sort of way, had he been my brother the family would be one brother less come next reunion. It’s amazing your eldest didn’t beat the bloody brakes off of him at some point afterwards. It’s also amazing that story can be told at family gatherings with our eldest brother beating the hell out of him again for good measure. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
 

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:eek:Dear Lord, while funny in a turn your stomach sort of way, had he been my brother the family would be one brother less come next reunion. It’s amazing your eldest didn’t beat the bloody brakes off of him at some point afterwards. It’s also amazing that story can be told at family gatherings with our eldest brother beating the hell out of him again for good measure. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
Oh my brother DID beat the crap out of him afterwards - I just omitted that part. He was Golden Gloves in boxing, so he gave him a good going over. Both are brawlers and have busted each others noses - while I sit back and just laugh at their stupidity!!
 

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