Major rifle problem!!!!


November 21, 2008, 01:33 PM
I have a Ruger 77 Tang RSI .243, I bought it about a year ago. Working up a load this summer, I got a LARGE amount of misfires using CCI 200 primers. I thought maybe I had a bad batch so I bought a new 1,000 case. Loaded up some and took it out today just to dial it in for Monday's opening day(it was already sighted in for my load.)

I shot 3 of them.. well tryed to shoot and it made a strike on the primer, not as deep as Im used too, and none of the rounds fired. NONE. I jsut got a click.

Bear in mind, that I have used the primers in my .270, .257 Bob and 7.62x39, with no problems.

What the heck is going on? Is there some type of firing pin adjustment that Im not aware of?

I do use an RCBS primer pocket uniformer on all of my cases, and this as yet to be an issue yet. Primer depth is about .003-.005" below flush, or about the thickness of a piece of paper. Surely that isnt the cause, as it never has affected any of my other rifles?

Please, answers needed as I was going to hunt with it on Monday.

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November 21, 2008, 01:43 PM
It sounds like your primers are too deep. My buddy has one of the RCBS bench mounted primer tools and he did the same thing with his .270. The tool has so much leverage that he pushed the primers deeper than any primer I have ever seen.

Try some factory loaded ammo and see if the problem goes away. Also look how deep the factory primers are seated.

November 21, 2008, 02:03 PM
With a couple EMPTY CASES - Try seating a couple primers just flush with the surface of the case heads and then - WITHOUT LOADING ANYTHING ELSE - see if your rifle will fire them. I bet it will. If it doesn't, spray the bolt face with some GunScrubber and inspect the pin for any debris that might be causing it to misfire.


November 21, 2008, 02:13 PM
2 things. First take the firing pin out and make sure it isn't broken or bent. Second thing is to see if you need a new firing pin spring. I doubt that your problem is seating depth.

November 21, 2008, 02:17 PM
First thing I would do is remove the firing pin assembly. I would wipe all spring/external surfaces to remove any grease or gunk. I would also clean the interior of the bolt the best you can, just in case grease or gunk is inside the firing pin channel.

I would then add a dab of grease to the cocking piece threads, and a dab to the cocking groove. I would not add oil or grease on the springs, at least not in cold weather. (I shoot in mostly hot weather, a little oil hurts nothing in 80-100 F weather, but cold, might slow the firing pin)

If it is not grease or gunk slowing the firing pin down, you have some other issues.

I would try Shawnee's suggestion and see if the primer ignites.

Something else comes to mind, did you use a cartridge headspace case gage when you sized your cases?. If you pushed the shoulder too far back, your case may be sitting too far away from the bolt face.

CCI primers tend to be the least sensitive around. This is great for military type actions which have a surplus of firing pin momentum. It is also great for gas guns where you do not want a slamfire. However in systems that have weak springs, or insufficient firing pin protrusion, you want a sensitive primer.

The most sensitive primers around are Federal. Might want to give those a try.

Since you want to go Monday, try some factory ammo, and if that works, use that. And then later figure out whether the misfires are due to your reloading process, or is a mechanical issue.

November 21, 2008, 03:03 PM

I would suspect excess headspace from pushing the shoulder back too far.

Try sticking a couple layers of Scotch Tape (.005") on a case head and see if the bolt will close. If it will, add two more layers (.010") and try again.

If you got that much + your .005" deep seated primers,
that right there might be your problem.


November 21, 2008, 03:10 PM
try shooting some factory loads, if they don't fire it's either a total coincidence or the problem is your rifle. 15 bucks for a box of federal and you have narrowed down your problem and have some extra brass to use.

November 21, 2008, 03:38 PM
I would disassemble and clean the entire bolt group. Your 77 is old as 77's go and you could have an accumulation of "grew" inside slowing your lock time to the point of no ignition. I have seen it happen on mausers, 77's, winchesters, savages and others. Somebody asked how it got there, the only answer is that it "grew" there.

November 21, 2008, 08:32 PM
Had the same problem with a Ruger once. The firing pin needed replacing. If you do not seat the primer completely the firing pin impact will expend energy pushing the primer into the case which will cause a misfire. That is a common cause of misfires with handloads. Or if you dress the primer pocket you might have made the pocket depth excessive. The factory ammo will eliminate your reloads or the rifle either way.

November 21, 2008, 11:43 PM
The saga continues...

Upon may of youall's advice, I disassembled the bolt, decrapped the firing pin assembly and interior of the bolt using 'Powder Blast' I REassembled the bolt (boy, Ruger's are EASY!) and took the rifle to the basement, took five sized and primed cases and the all ignited, all of them. Back to the range for the last 15 minutes of daylight.

Five more misfires. Put in five more sized, primed cases, they all ignited. Im going to interia pull one of the misfired rounds and see if the primer is firing and NOT igniting the powder (BL(C)-2.)

So I dont understand how sized, primed cases fire, but loaded rounds (with the same sized, primed cases) do not.

As far as headspace... Im necksizing.

Any more suggestions? Im at a total loss here. As much as I LOVE that '77, it's about to be GUNBROKERized. Seriously.

November 22, 2008, 12:29 AM
Try factory loads and see if they go off. Compare the dent in a factory primer to your hand loads. Measure the primer depth on a factory load compared to your reamed primer pockets.

Have you tried any brass that has primer pockets that haven't been reamed?

I haven't had a Ruger bolt apart. Can you adjust it to have more primer pin length? I had to do that on a Taurus 38 once to make it fire every time.

Past that I'm stumped without looking at the gun myself.

November 22, 2008, 05:15 AM
What is the result of pulling apart the misfired rounds ? Sounds like a problem with the powder to me - is that possible ? - wet powder or something similar ?

November 22, 2008, 06:16 AM
I would have guessed fireing pin spring but your test with the primed cases sorta rules that one out.BLC2 does tend to be hydrascopic,is it stored in a cool,dry place?

November 22, 2008, 09:08 AM
Pulled apart three of the loaded, misfired rounds. The primer had NOT detonated, and the powder was granulated and dry, just like it came from the Hodgdon container.

What a freaking mystery. If the gun didnt flawlessly fire the primered rounds, this wouldnt be such an annoying problem.

Call Ruger, perhaps? ...or is that a waste of time?

I looked on Midway and they have this...

Tubb SpeedLock Systems Firing Pin and Spring Ruger 77 Short Action

Would that potentially fix the problem if it IS the firing pin or spring. They tout it as being a third of the weight and faster locktime. Is it hard to install? What tools would I need since the spring assy is under pressure.

November 22, 2008, 10:10 AM
Well, I don't know. Something is wrong.

Because it fires with one set of rounds, but not another, makes me think you did something different between batches.

You disassembled some loaded rounds. If these were the misfire rounds, did you put the primed but unloaded cases back in the chamber and see if the primers went off?

Still, get some factory ammo and see if that ignites. If it does, you did something with your reloads.

It never hurts to replace an old mainspring. I would check on a 24 pound Wolff mainspring, don't get the heaviest one, bolt lift would be very stiff.

November 22, 2008, 10:13 AM
Yes, I disassembled my loaded rounds (which were from the same batch... my die adjustments never change after I set them. Same trim length, ect. Im pretty consistant with my reloads.) The disassembled rounds fired the primer.

November 22, 2008, 10:17 AM
I'm punting.

November 22, 2008, 11:30 AM
i had a T/C encore in 30-06 i had the same problem using cci primers
loaded up a batch with winchester primers and my problem went away...kinda boggeled my mind
i have used cci primers for along time with no problem....i'm still not sure why the T/C didn't like them...anyway give winchester primers a go.....better buy a box of factory loaded winchester see how they do

November 23, 2008, 12:36 AM
Things that could be wrong,

Primer seated to deep
CCI put out a very large amount of bad primers.
Fireing pin worn out/dirty
the firing pin spring is worn out.

Anything else? Check these off and see where you end up.

Jeff F
November 23, 2008, 10:37 AM
How does one seat a primer to deep? I have always seated them to where they bottom out. On the other hand if you don't seat them deep enough, it can give you misfires.

November 23, 2008, 11:56 AM
Are you crimping?
When I loaded my very first rounds I wanted to see how the crimp die worked and kinda shortened up a few .223's .If you do crimp then maybe you just need a little adjustmnt.Measure one of the cases you only primed and then measure one that you fully loaded and see if there is a difference.

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