Problem with Bolt Action...


July 6, 2007, 12:14 PM
Hi Guys/Gals --

The wife just bought a Marlin 983 in .22 WMR and we were sighting it in yesterday when an oddity occurred. After it was sighted and we were enjoying plinking, the action failed to operate on the 50th round fired. Bolt wouldn't budge. The rifle was not fired without rests (no more than a 6 shot string) -- the ejected brass was normal (strong firing pin mark, no striations/bulging, etc.) and there were no abnormal reports (extra loud or soft).

As you can imagine, that scared me a bit. We switched to pistols and let the rifle rest for a bit.

As we were packing up, I picked up the rifle and operated the action and it worked like a charm! Spent casing went flying.... I do recall that the last few rounds before it locked up it seemed like the bolt was becoming stiffer in feel with each subsequent shot, but there was nothing else amiss that caused me concern until the bolt actually failed to operate.

Any ideas? I really like the rifle. The wife picked it out and is now not so happy with it.

Thanks in advance!


If you enjoyed reading about "Problem with Bolt Action..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Vern Humphrey
July 6, 2007, 01:20 PM
How fast were you firing? It sounds to me like a combination of heat (from rapid firing) and fouling locked up the rifle. That problem may have been accerbated by a rough chamber. When you let it cool, it operated normally.

Take it home, clean it thoroughly, especially the chamber and see it it happens again. If it persists, contact Marlin -- they owe you.

July 6, 2007, 01:27 PM
Hey Vern --

Thanks for the reply....

Out of curiosity, what would you consider rapid fire? I agree that with the time to cool things worked, but we weren't shooting as fast as we could... maybe a round every 4-6 seconds. The longest string was six rounds.

Will do on the cleaning. Going to go back tomorrow (hopefully) and try again.


July 6, 2007, 01:33 PM
I have not heard of a 22 becoming so hot that cases would stick. I've have seen automatic 22's shoot many rounds in a short time, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. What brand of ammo were you using? does it have a coating on the brass? Ammo is what I would suspect but that's a guess.

Vern Humphrey
July 6, 2007, 01:35 PM
I define "rapid fire" as "firing so fast the heat buildup results in a stoppage (unintentional cessation of fire.)"

Try thorough cleaning of the chamber -- swab it out good, and work a rough patch around inside the chamber. And, as I said, if the problem persists, contact Marlin.

July 6, 2007, 03:22 PM
Thanks Vern -- didn't know if there was some sort of rpm standard for bolts...

eli: CCI (Wally World) -- like you, I've seen 10/22s just rattle off the rounds and not have any issues. Makes me a little concerned, really. The store where I bought it has great service and will be taking a look at it before I take it back to the range just to be sure.

Thanks for all the help, folks; this truly is a great site!!!!


July 6, 2007, 03:41 PM
I sent a new rifle that developed bolt problems right off the bat back to Marlin for repair. Had it back in less than two weeks. New bolt and some fine tuning was done. Pretty pleased with Marlin service.

July 6, 2007, 03:52 PM
I think .22 WMR will more than likely have a slightly larger powder charge than LR, so may fire a bit hotter, but shouldn't be enough to cause the bolt to stick. I had a Marlin 922M that could fire 7 rounds as fast as you could pull the trigger, and it never really got hot.

I would guess it's a finishing and/or lube problem. If all else fails, Marlin should be able to make it right.

July 6, 2007, 09:12 PM
LUBE it!

July 6, 2007, 09:38 PM
Agreed try lubing the bolt and giving the gun a thorough cleaning. I have never heard of a bolt action giving anyone an issue. I know my .22 mossberg can fire more than a hundred rounds and even have smoke coming out of the barrel and still no issues with jamming.

July 6, 2007, 11:10 PM
Bolts are known to come from the manufacturer with some fouling in the firing pin assembly. Did your wife clean it before taking it to the range?

I had a similar situation with a Rem 501 and a 223 Rem VLS. I used a good shot of degreaser (Remington's version - whatever the name is on the green can) on both bolts. A year later they have not given me any more trouble.

Just shoot a couple shots in the firing pin hole. Let all the gunk run out. Give it a couple drops of your favorite gun lube. I use Rem Oil. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Problem with Bolt Action..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!