Storing rifles cocked:


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Lucky
April 22, 2007, 02:50 PM
Is this OK? With both rimfire and centerfire rifles, I don't want to dry-fire them. But to extract the last cartridge I have to cock them.

What do you all do?

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7mmsavage
April 22, 2007, 03:02 PM
I have always heard, and believe that it won't hurt weapons to keep them cocked but I don't like to do it either. For my bolt rifles I just squueze the trigger as I slowly close the bolt, that lets the firing pin also fall slowly. For semi auto's I really don't know anything other than a dry fire, but as long as it's not a rimfire you're not hurting anything. Hope this helps!

pdowg881
April 22, 2007, 03:05 PM
i too store my rimfires cocked I'm more afraid of screwing up the chamber face than wearing out springs. Of course The easy solution is to go buy snap caps.

koja48
April 22, 2007, 04:12 PM
And thus came into being, Snap Caps . . . anything that doesn't have a bolt action or an exposed hammer has a snap cap nestled in the chamber. Leaving a spring compressed for long durations is NOT a good thing.

Lucky
April 22, 2007, 04:24 PM
Ok thanks, I wasn't sure if trigger and hammer springs were the same deal as magazine springs, and it appears they aren't.

7mm thanks, that slow closing trick works fine.

koja & pdowg I wasn't sure if there would be any problems with leaving anything in the chamber for periods of time, the manuals all say "do not plug barrel", and I assumed it was because moisture would collect, or something.

Mossberg ATR manualIf the firearm is to be stored for a long period of time it should be thoroughly cleaned and oiled. Do not plug barrel or store in a fabric lined case that will absorb lubricant from the gun.

Otherwise I'd just leave a spent case in the chamber. I thought about doing that for the rimfire, but was afraid that corrosion might build up or something. However if you guys are doing it without problems with snapcaps then it's possible the warnings are to prevent people from firing with forgotten obstructions in their barrels.

And I learned the trick for home-made snap-caps on this forum so doing so with all my center-fires will be simple (put caulking in the primer pocket, no powder, and load and crimp a bullet).

Chawbaccer
April 22, 2007, 04:59 PM
For most of my guns, both bolt and semi, I open the bolt,hold the trigger and then close the bolt, this releases the firing pin gently.

eliphalet
April 22, 2007, 05:19 PM
Might be a good idea but I've never have uncocked my guns to store them. I betcha my dads current deer rifle has been stored cocked 45 years or so. It works like a new one. I own a 1923 made Winchester I bet it has always been stored cocked, it shoot perfect.

security6
April 22, 2007, 05:27 PM
Ok thanks, I wasn't sure if trigger and hammer springs were the same deal as magazine springs, and it appears they aren't.

I think trigger and hammer springs are the same deal as magazine springs. Why would they be any different? A spring is a spring is a spring. There is no problem storing them compressed.

For spring life, it doesn't matter whether you store the spring compressed or not. Spring life is dependent on how many cycles it has (compress and uncompress = one cycle), not how long it is compressed for.

351 WINCHESTER
April 22, 2007, 09:42 PM
It really matters on the gun. Most bolt guns can be uncocked by holding the trigger down and closing the bolt. For those other guns that do not have exposed hammers you could insert a wooden dowel into the bbl. and pull the trigger with the bbl at 90 degrees. On my cz452 it's better just to pull the trigger on an empty chamber.

Gator
April 22, 2007, 10:09 PM
I don't think storing them cocked would do any harm, but that said, I always uncock mine before putting them away.

CDignition
April 22, 2007, 10:28 PM
Leaving a spring compressed for long durations is NOT a good thing.

This is completely wrong. A spring in its compressed state, will not wear out... it is Cycles that wear out springs.

Have no fear... your springs are safe.

Lucky
April 22, 2007, 10:43 PM
Even better then:)

aaronrkelly
April 23, 2007, 06:16 AM
I store mine uncocked.

Its probably doenst matter, but it only takes a few seconds to do so why not.

Simple to do with rimfire or centerfire.

1 Open bolt

2 Hold and continue to hold trigger to the rear

3 Close the bolt

You can now see the bolt in uncocked, just as if you had pulled the trigger on an empty chamber.....but you didnt so no worries about dry firing.

pdowg881
April 23, 2007, 01:11 PM
All this time I thought there was no way to uncock my bolt action without firing it. Just tried it and it works. Learn something new every day.

SaMx
April 23, 2007, 02:46 PM
I store them cocked with the bolt locked back. From what I understand springs will wear from use, but not from just sitting there compressed. Plus I don't want to damage anything by dry firing.

pdowg881
April 23, 2007, 03:43 PM
That's why you do what Aaron said. I was always worried about dry firing rimfires but what aaron said works and just uncocks it without dry firing.

Waywatcher
April 23, 2007, 05:19 PM
Leaving a spring compressed for long durations is NOT a good thing.

This is completely wrong. A spring in its compressed state, will not wear out... it is Cycles that wear out springs.

Have no fear... your springs are safe.

CDignition is right, just think about it: does the full weight of a truck resting on its leaf springs wear it out, or do bumps and miles wear them out?

So to answer the original question: store 'em cocked--it doesn't hurt a thing.

Bondo_Red
April 23, 2007, 08:37 PM
not to start an argument but I'm fairly certain leaving springs compressed weakens them. Just ask airsoft shooters.

pdowg881
April 23, 2007, 08:46 PM
here we go again with the spring discussions.

ConfuseUs
April 24, 2007, 03:30 AM
A trick I learned for semi auto rifles is to pull the bolt back until the interruptor is about to engage, pull the trigger, and slowly let the bolt go into battery. Snap caps are much easier though.

Hokkmike
April 24, 2007, 10:08 AM
My understanding is that it is the actually recoiling of springs, not whether they are loose or under tension, that ages them. For example, people have kept magazines in psitols loaded for 20 years or more with no ill effect.

security6
April 24, 2007, 10:41 AM
There are two things that will wear a spring out:

1. Compression cycles (i.e. loading and unloading the spring)
2. Streching a spring beyond its yield point (i.e. streching the spring so far that it doesn't go back to its original shape)

Storing a spring compressed or uncompressed has ZERO bearing on spring life.

CajunBass
April 24, 2007, 11:52 AM
You know this is just one of those things that it would never occur to me to even think about. I just put my guns up.

WinchesterAA
April 24, 2007, 12:01 PM
My AK's been cocked and locked since I bought it. Only time it didn't have one in the chamber is when I ran out of ammo.

same for the 870. Everything else though is usually kept decocked.

jklinstein
April 24, 2007, 12:06 PM
I've never had a problem with dry-firing an unloaded rifle.

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