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A noticeable long thread back from 2003, now with the missing first posting.

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jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 12:29:08 AM
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I took my M38 to the range today. After about 50 rounds the bolt was getting harder to open and eject. After about 100 rounds the bolt was very tight and hard to open and extract the round.

It also seems that the spent cartridges were not being ejected in a consistent pattern.

Any ideas if I have a problem here?

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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.

jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 06:52:07 AM
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jhm,What ammo were you running thru the M38?Factory?Milsurp?Ball, hunting, reloads,( how many firings, components, brass type etc what?
Also describe the spent brass as it concerns flattened primers, enlarged primer pockets, extraction or bolt face marks, 'smoking' marks around the neck, bright ring at the web, etc.

On the surface, hard bolt lift is an indicator of pressures that are too high.
High pressure or the indications of it can be caused by a variety of things ranging from too hot of a load,(powder charge) improper trim-to-length during resizing-reloading,( neck-bullet too tight)problems with headspace-locking luck setback,bore obstruction(partial).

Without knowing any more about the ammo you were feeding the Swede, I might speculate that the hard bolt lift after 50 rounds might be due to a bore that was becomming restricted due to jacketing material fouling the grooves-bore, aggravated by heat rise.
Any chance there was residual lube left on some cases or the chamber was not quite clean?

Were the problem simply too hot of a load, I think it would have surfaced far sooner than after 50 rounds, same with 'gun-action-bolt-headspace issues.'

But describe in depth the ammo, general condition of the M38,etc and maybe we can narrow it down.
And, yes..hard bolt lift is a concern and the cause should be determined-corrected.jim


jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 10:28:04 AM
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I was firing Military Surplus Hirtenberger from Austria that I recently purchased from Sportsmansguide.

The ammo looked great.

The primers looked fine. No unusual looking marks on the case at all.

Before I fired I looked down the barrel. All seemed bright and minty looking.

The M38 is in really superb condition. At least from what I can tell.

I'll try to get more information today.

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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 11:08:20 AM
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jhm9812, Of all the ammo you might choose, the Swede Mil contract ball ammo from Hirtenberger is at the top.
Likewise, the general condition of the M38 rifles concerning use as imported is also top shelf.
Bolt matches action I'm assuming?

My suggestion, however, is to thoroughly clean the bore on the rifle.
I have never seen a Swede that didn't look bright when viewed with a bore light..they never used any corrosive ammo and with their cleaning solvents and methods, kept the rifles in great condition.

BUT when I have rigorously cleaned them with Sweets alternating with Hoppes type cleaners over several days, I have been very surprised at the gild metal and layers of residue which were laying in the grooves.
Beyond that, having the rifle show hard bolt lift after 50 rounds is a mystery to me..jim


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 12:01:35 PM
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As a not on the 70's vintage Hirtenberger Swede milsurp contract ammo:
I have shot a bunch of it in both my mausers & Ljungman and it chronoes and has a POI virtually identical to the Swede ammo made at their own factories.

The ONLY difference I have noted( aside from headstamps) is that the primers are staked three times on the Hirtenberger ammo.

Hirtenberger even used the same brown boxes and mil designation as the Swede produced ammo.

IF there was some sort of generation change to the original Swede MIL ball m/41 prickskytte ammo, I have been unable to detect it.

Insure your chamber is clean and scrub the bore.As jacketing material & fouling layer up in the grooves, pressures will rise.IF the grooves were already loaded up, you'd notice it far sooner.

I'm not sure IF the FMJ material is Tombac steel or other on the Hirtenberger..The Swedes produced ammo with the same designation which had different jacketing material, all else being the same.


With the barrel thoroughly cleaned( it took me three days of successive cleanings on mine and I was first owner since import)shoot over a chrono if you can.

Velocities from the M38 24" barrel should be in the 2450 fps range..Appreciably higher velocities might indicate a hotter load, or rising pressures from other causes such as mentioned above.
Let us know how your investigation goes.

I have seen and shot alot of Swede Mausers and I have never seen one which had bad headspace or setback in the locking lugs as imported.

I have seen two which were severely abused with reloads that produced 2800 fps velocities in 140 grain bullets( probably 51,000 CUP) OR those which were consistently shot using Barnes X solid COPPER ALLOY bullets..My Swedes showed instant high pressure signs even with moderate loadings of the Barnes X solids and fouling was immediate and gots critical fast.jim


jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 2:55:53 PM
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All the numbers match including the bolt.

I've also scrubbed the bore. Used Hoppes and a bronze? brush.

The barrel sure looks super clean. I don't think there is a problem there.



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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 7:35:05 PM
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jhm, well, SOMETHING caused the hard bolt lift after numerous rounds.
Run thru the possible causes.Eliminate them one by one.

Try different ammo maybe with 50 rounds plus sustained fire.
Run the Hirtenberger Sede ammo over a chrono yourself and see what the velocities generated are in your rifle.

I still think a few successive visits over two or three days by 'Mr Sweets 762', alternated after 15 minutes by Hoppes or another non-ammonia solvent might be surprising, but it's your rifle and your call.
I have read numerous accounts of rifles that had a 'foul out' electrode used on them when they seemed to have pristine bores only to find amazing amounts of crud which resided down in the grooves which they could not see.
Good luck and I do hope you resolve the issue..and hard bolt lift IS an issue.jim



jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 10:45:36 PM
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I just checked the rifle with a go & no-go gauge. I don't have a field test.

Both checked out OK.



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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


kriggevaer
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
1709 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2003 : 11:57:51 PM
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This is an intriguing problem - and I've never run into it on a Swedish Mauser in good condition. I'd definitely follow Jim in Oregons advice. The only Swede I've ever seen with lug setback was a sporterized m/94 that was fired with way too hot handloads. The headspace checks out on two gauges. Could it possibly be something in the bolt body itself? Perhaps from an over torqued and warped receiver that ocurred during a re-barrel? I'll keep an eye on this post - would be important information once you figure out what it is.

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kriggevær

"Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun..."



jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 07:33:27 AM
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John, The phenom as you describe it is sort of an anomaly in that it is after numerous rounds fired that the hard bolt lift occured.

Although you might have a strange-inconsistent batch of Swede milsurp ammo, that would be out of the ordinairy.All of it I have shot, and chronoed was very consistent whether shot in slow, timed or even rapid fire from the Ljungman semi-auto.

So you don't overlook a possible ammo problem, try some different ammo in a similar 'test'..

Concerning headspace possibilities,one would think that a problem there would surface far sooner than after 50 rounds.You indcate the brass looks good, no flattened primers, no marks on case head from extractor groove or bolt face.

Just as a double check, go thru the rifle's bore, chamber and locking lug recesses and insure that the grooves of the bore are truly clean down to the steel of the barrel.
Insure the chamber is clean, lube free, no burrs, rust etc.
Using a right angle swab on a stick with solvent, clean the locking lug recesses to insure there is no semi dried grease, gunk, cosmo etc which might be heating up and causing the bolt lugs to hammer back tightly into the locking lug recesses after numerous firings.

The anomaly of this occurring after numerous shots and not within the first two to ten rounds speak of one or two things that potentially 'change' during sustained firing:
Heat buildup in barrel, chamber and rising pressures( but the brass shows no pressure signs)
OR increased fouling after numerous rounds which can cause increased pressures.

A chronograph might be a good tool to help in the diagnosis..
Chrono the first five rounds, then repeat for 15-20th rounds and so on up to the point where the bolt lift gets hard( if it does again do so)
Compare velocities as barrel heats up and (potentially) fouling builds.
Number-sort the spent brass in order they are fired and get the mic out and see IF anything strange is going on such as extreme stretching elongation of the brass.

Inasmuch as the M38 Swede was designed as a battle rifle, I can't imagine that after fifty rounds fired in 30 minutes or so that the rifle would become unserviceable...

There's a reason why this happened, cause and effect..Just need to work thru it..eliminating possible sources of the problem one by one.
Are you the first owner since import or one of a series of owners since the rfile was imported?jim




jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 1:21:17 PM
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jhm, Recall in a previous post that I indicated that the Hirtenberger surplus Swede ammo I have showed three stake marks on the primers.The original Swede milsurp had no staking.

Does the Hirtenberger ammo you were shooting have staked primers also?Verify it IS Hirtenberger by looking at the headstamp at 6:00 mark: should have the number 586 denoting Hirtenberger mfgr.

If as I suspect it does have staked primers, that could help explain why there are no usual pressure signs on the primers.The stakeing keeps the primers in place even as pressures rise and so the primer backing out a bit and flattening would not occur or be minimized IF pressures rose or if headspace or locking lug setback were an issue..
Even without pressure signs on the primer, one can tell a case which has been subjected to abnormal pressures in many ways.
Will the fired cases rechamber?Will they rechamber efter trim to length only?

You have my curiosity up anyhow; please let us know how your forensics go..jim


jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 7:35:21 PM
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The headstamp reads 586. It also does have the three stakes holding the primer.

I plan on going out Sat. morning to the range.

I have another M38 I can shoot. I can see if I get similiar results. Ruling in or out the ammo. Unfortuntely I do not have any other ammo to test other than the nearly 1000 rounds of this Mil. surplus.

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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 7:50:38 PM
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I'm going out to the local gun store to buy three boxes of 6.5 X 55. Just to make sure that it's not an ammo issue.

Also have some pictures of the rifle taken by the previous owner.

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/jh...//f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/jhm9812/my_photos

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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 8:17:10 PM
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Well, John Murphy, Enjoy the day at the range tomorrow and take a few notes..

When you shoot the other M38, do your best to duplicate the firing as it pertains to time..
You never indicated how fast you ran thru 50 rounds when the hard bolt lift occurred..

I have an M94 Swede that my son pretty much ran thru the mill.

He was young then and often cycled the little rifle hard and fast, reloading with stripper clips..:)Hot days and cold, the little rifle never missed a lick.

Never had a hard bolt lift even on that little Swede.He'd run thru 100 rounds on 6' paper plates and clay pigeons at 100 yards on the quarry walls and berm in less than 30 minutes..while I was serenely shooting the farther interactive golf balls at 300 yards..:)

I do hope you figure out the root cause.

Should it be the ammo, let me know.

The Swede spec milsurp Hirtenberger works very well in both my Mausers and my AGm42B Ljungman rifle..jim



jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/15/2003 : 12:41:48 PM
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Went to the range yesterday. Took two rifles. Both M38's.

Rifle #1 was the one original one that had the problem. Rifle #2 was another rifle I have recently purchased. Same model.

I cleaned #1 using Hoppe's #9. Barrel brush. Solvent. Cleaned again. Cleaned until swab was clean looking.

Shot both rifles.

Rifle #1. Same problem. Starting at round 26. The bolt started to feel a little "heavy". I noticed now that the bolt is not only hard to open. But seems a little hard to close as well. I did not notice this before. I'm not sure if this is new or maybe I just did not notice this the first go around. Stopped firing at 55 rounds. I'm not comfortable continuing firing until I figure out what's going on.

Rifle #2. Fired 80 rounds (4 boxes). No problem at all.

There was a fellow next to me who has a chronograph. He said he would bring next Saturday to let me try it out on rifle #1.

The condition of the empty shells on rifles 1 & 2. Look the same to me.

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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/15/2003 : 1:49:14 PM
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John, Interesting..
I wonder IF the #1 Husky may have had a new barrel installed (by the importer or by someone subsequently who maybe got one from Samco)

It's possible if they did that the finish reaming was not done or done completely.
The hard bolt close as the rifle heats up would seem to indicate that perhaps the chamber is a tad on the shorter side and perhaps as things warm up, the problem shows itself.

May be the shoulder area of the chamber, or where chamber ends and leade starts or both.

A check of the barrel to see IF it has a number matching to the receiver might tell you something.
A chamber cast made with CerroSafe certainly would..

First see if once fired brass from rifle #2 will :

rechamber in rifle #2 without resizing, and then see IF it'll chamber in rifle #1. jim


Gary Norge
Starting Member



1 Posts
Posted - 12/17/2003 : 3:46:44 PM
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What year is the reciever? almost sounds like the bolt lugs are set back. Gary


jhm9812
Gunboards Member



USA
60 Posts
Posted - 12/17/2003 : 11:39:48 PM
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The rifle is marked, 1942. All matching part #'s. NRA "excellent" IMO.

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John Murphy, NRA Life Member, Retired US Army Officer, Retired LEO.


Mopar Lou
Gunboards Member



USA
57 Posts
Posted - 12/18/2003 : 12:43:53 PM
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I have a m/41 and when I use neck sized ammo, it is kind of hard to open the bolt.. the exact same load, but full length sized is fine, Thoughts on this???


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/18/2003 : 1:51:12 PM
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MoparLou, Neck sizeing doesn't touch the shoulder of the case.
Aassume that you are also trimming the neck-sized cases if they need it?

As the brass ages( and depending on the original quality) the case may expand during obturation and not completely contract like a fire-formed case.

Try rechambering the once fired neck-sized case BACK in the rifle after ONLY trimming to length.

IF it is a bit snug, or you feel resistance as the bolt toggles closed,chances are the case may need at LEAST a partial resize to bump the shoulder back down to chamber easily.

Usually if sizing issues are causing a bit of hard bolt lift, you will 'feel' the problem when you chamber the round.
RCBS makes a case length gauge which can quickly tell you how many thousandths the case has expanded longitudinally.
It's also possible to over -resize a case too short.Shouldn't be a hazard as you are only talking about .005" too short, but that'll work the brass harder and shorten it's useable life. jim


jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/18/2003 : 2:36:44 PM
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MoparLou,You didn't indicate what brass, powder charge, bullet, primer you were using or what MV you are getting with the F/L resized ammo versus the neck sized ammo.( that's somewhat of a pressure indicator.)

Something to ponder:

IF one is using a 'borderline-too-hot' load for a particular rifle which may have a bit of lug setback, a F/L resize would seem to INCREASE pressure, as case volume is somewhat reduced.

As a general rule, using thicker brass, reduced case interior volume deeper bullet seating etc will show a slightly higher pressure.

BUT , as old man Joyce Hornady was fond of saying, BUT NOT ALWAYS.

In your case, the neck-sized only case would have greater interior case volume as the neck is all that's being resized..
The rest of the case 'fits' the chamber nicely...fire-formed as it were.
This would normally mean reduced pressures compared to the same load that was in the F/L resized case..

The problem may be this tho:

The neck-sized loads are doing virtually all their obturation-expansion LENGTHWISE..and the greatest piece of those expansion pressures are being exerted REARWArD on the bolt face, and hence, the locking lugs.

The F/L resized load brass cases are able to expand in several directions..Neck, shoulder, sides of the brass case, reducing the almost pure rearward thrust on the bolt face.

So what does that all possibly mean?

Without knowing anything about your load, you may be using a load that is too hot for that rifle.
Not necessarily too hot according to the data manuals or even for Swede rifles in general..but for YOUR rifle when the cases are neck sized.jim



jim in Oregon
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2301 Posts
Posted - 12/18/2003 : 3:46:56 PM
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Here's a fairly good article written by one of the Sierra Tech guys on partial resizing.
May be a good option to F/L or collet-neck sizing only for your bolt actions..jim
Technical Newsletter From
Your Ballistic Technicians
Volume 1, No. 2

Setting dies for your rifle: Minimal resizing.

Begin by removing the decapping assembly and turning your full length die into the press until it contacts the shellholder at the rams highest point of travel. Back the die out one and a half to two full revolutions. Find a case that will not chamber easily in your rifle. Resize it, and try it in your rifle. It probably won't chamber easily, so adjust the die down by another eighth turn. Resize it again, and try to chamber it in your rifle again. Continue this until the bolt will close with some pressure. Continue to adjust the die downward by a sixteenth of a turn at a time, until the bolt will close with a slight "feel." The ideal fit is achieved when we can close the bolt without feeling any resistance at all, but will feel some resistance if the die is backed off even a sixteenth of a turn. Each time you resize, and before you fire the rifle, the chamber should be cleaned of lube from cases.

Reinstall the expander assembly, square your die, and you're ready to load custom fitted cases in this rifle. They may not work in another rifle of the same caliber, but they are a true custom fit in your rifle. This procedure will yield maximum case life and provide accuracy potential superior to other methods. Should excessive resistance be encountered after resizing and expanding the necks when chambering, the probable cause is the expander ball is pulling the neck and a section of the shoulder forward. A light polishing of the leading edge of the expander ball and lubing the inside of the neck will ease passage.




kriggevaer
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
1709 Posts
Posted - 12/18/2003 : 11:17:05 PM
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I think Jim is on the right track with this. The rifle may have an ever so short chamber that allows the rifle to shoot well until the metal warms up and expands. I noted you said you had go and no-go gauges. Switch bolts on your rifles and check your cold headspace. If that gauges out okay, fire the rifle and see if the different bolt starts to bind when the rifle heats up. That may be kind of shade tree way of checking things, but I think it may allow you to isolate the problem, either to the receiver or the bolt. I don't believe this would be unsafe as long as your headspace checks okay. Others please chime in if you feel it would be unsafe.

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kriggevær

"Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun..."



Mopar Lou
Gunboards Member



USA
57 Posts
Posted - 12/24/2003 : 09:25:37 AM
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Jim, and all others, thanks,,, I'm using Herter's unprimed brass, that was new, I Fl sized it initally, then it was fired once or twice then neck sized on a lee collet die,, the load I think, is a 140g Hornady spire point flat base, that seems to be more accurate than the Sierra match 140 BT.. Loads I think, without going 100 yds out to the reloading shack, are apprx. 44g Re-22 or 37g 4895 , which seems to be a tad more accurate, with Fed Gold Medal match primers, I will measure some of the fired neck sized brass compared to the full length ones.. I trimmed all brass, even though it was only once fired or twice, before my last loading session,, but I used for the first time a lyman trimmer, for a drill press, and wasn't real happy with the squareness of the trim,, maybe because of the drill press itself, am going to buy a hand cranked one,, any reccomendations on what brand , model??? Thanks for replys, and sorry it took me so long to answer, have been having virus problems, and been on several road trips at work.....


dirtydaveb
Gunboards Member



USA
50 Posts
Posted - 12/24/2003 : 1:00:52 PM
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You know, when things heat up, the bolt lug or extractor may be contacting the barrel flange, face, whatever it is called. This would explain the harder closing of the bolt also. Try some thin shim stock to estimete clearance. I bet it's too close. Dave
 
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