Savage 340 Problem


November 14, 2009, 08:53 PM
I picked up a nice Savage 340E in .30-30 today in a private sale. It has seen some use, but the bore & crown are great.

The problem is the bolt is VERY stiff opening & closing. I mean nearly as bad as a Mosin Nagant with "Sticky Bolt Syndrome". Its also fairly rough riding in the bolt, but I would expect that on a cheaper rifle. The previous owner told me about it up front, and he even had his gunsmith check it out. The gunsmith told him it would loosen up with firing. He told he put 500 rounds of .30-30 through it, and it did loosen up a bit.

That said, I can't believe something isn't wrong. The force needed to open & close the bolt is just outrageous.

Does anyone have any ideas on what it could be? I thought about disassembling the bolt, but I can't find instructions online.

If you enjoyed reading about "Savage 340 Problem" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Jim K
November 14, 2009, 09:30 PM
Those guns were a bit rough, but not as bad as you describe. It sounds like the gun was neglected and allowed to dry up and maybe even rust a little.

Have you tried some gun oil at the cocking surfaces and in the bolt. (Do not disassemble the bolt!) If you have some solvent, like breakfree, you might try soaking the bolt in it before lubing it.

I have heard of break in, but 500 rounds of .30-30 is a bit of overkill; the gunsmith must think you received a federal stimulus payment.


November 14, 2009, 10:01 PM
A lot of folks used WD-40 back in the day. I read on this forum where a bolt action 308 firing pin was sticking due to dried WD-40. I think the remedy was hot water and Dawn??? I'm sure following Jim's advice will help. Personally, I think those are fine guns, but the sights remind me of Daisy BB gun sights! On the 325 anyway. If anybody can help me find an ejector for the 325, I would appreciate it.

November 15, 2009, 04:11 AM
I disassembled the bolt (big mistake). I did not find anything inside that would be causing the problem. After cursing the high heavens, I was able to get the roll pins back in. I did have to Dremel a splint end with the bolt head retainer roll pin, but it is secure. I'll still order a spare to complete replace it one day.

I did oil the inside of the receiver, and even used a very soft polishing wheel for a couple of seconds on the inside surfaces where the bolt rides. The bolt is still very hard to operate on opening & closing. It sucks because the trigger is actually very good, the bore is great, and its a handy little rifle.

I have the complete reassembled bolt soaking in 3-In-1 oil & CLP. Hopefully it is something that couldn't be seen with the bolt disassembled.

I also had a part of the stock crack after tightening up the action screws (hopefully it is fixed with the epoxy I used), and the rear sight probably needs to be replaced. The guy I bought it from said he had some fired cases in his truck, and he would tell me if they showed signs of bad headspacing when he found them. I would assume he would have noticed some signs after putting 500 rounds through it.

This rifle has been a true case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. :banghead:

If you enjoyed reading about "Savage 340 Problem" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!