Help with a jammomatic .22 rifle?


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campergeek
November 19, 2003, 11:57 PM
With a group of firearms I inherited is a semi-automatic .22 rifle, marked "COAST TO COAST STORES MODEL 285N 22 L., L.R. AND 22 H. S. SHORT". All I've learned about it is that it was made by Savage. I found one cross-reference to a Savage model 7J, but can't find any info about such a rifle. I'm including a picture of the action for reference in hopes someone is familiar with such a rifle and might be able to help.

The first few times I took the rifle to the range it seemed to work okay. On one trip, however, it started having jams and/or misfeeds and has done so reliably every second to fourth round. Often it will eject the empty cartridge and load the next round, but fail to reset the trigger. Sometimes the empty cartridge is not cleanly ejected and becomes trapped by the bolt in the ejection port. Occasionally (but not often) it will eject the empty cartridge but fail to feed the next one.

I completely stripped down the action (twice) and have cleaned all parts with solvent and with breakfree, with no noticeable change in behavior. This first started happening after I had fired several rounds of CCI mini-mags and then started shooting Winchester Wildcats. When I went back to the CCI rounds, however, it behaved the same. I did buy a 10-rd. magazine in addition to the original 5-rd. magazine and the problems started during the first range trip when I was using the 10-rd. mag, but now it doesn't seem to function any better or worse with either mag.

I'm reaching my frustration point and am ready to take the rifle to a gunsmith, but before I do I wanted to post here and see if anyone had any experience and/or advice for my situation. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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larry3screws
November 20, 2003, 12:50 AM
I am not familiar with your rifle but have had same performance
in other auto,s. #1 culprit is the ejector, it could have a worn out
or dull hook. when you took down the action did you pull out
the ejector and check the spring/plunger? also look in the breech
of the barrel the little slot for the ejector may have lead or other
debris in it. Is the feed ramp built in the mag or the gun? It
could need a little smoothin. It dont sound like an ammo problem
cause it does it with all brands. My opinion/guess is ejector

Master Blaster
November 20, 2003, 08:26 AM
Does this rifle have a buffer?, like a little piece of plastic at the rear of the recoilspring guide or the reciever?

It sounds like it may have been deformed and is not allowing the bolt to fully cycle. Could the CCi minimags have bent something???

Big_R
November 20, 2003, 01:02 PM
Please don't take this the wrong way, but the rifle you have (actually the whole family of those rifles) is famous for exactly what you are feeling. They're made by savage and are model 7 or 87 with usually some letter before or after. Tube or magazine feed.

The problem lies generally in the fact that most of these guns (especially the tube feed ones) have many small, stamped metal parts that will weaken over time. I have an 87 R that had the same problem you describe, the owner took it apart, and somehow broke the firing pin. I still haven't located one.

Gun Parts Corp has lost of parts for them, but they're a pain to work on. It took me several months to get my grandfathers working, and I (nor most 'smiths who've touched one) will touch another one. The only reason I'm working on this one is I got it free.

Ryan

Longbow
November 20, 2003, 02:13 PM
Sell it, take your loss and move on! That's my honest opinion. Its not worth spending effort on. :(

dfariswheel
November 20, 2003, 03:20 PM
As above, these rifles are notorious among gunsmiths.

In one case of a customer rifle with great sentimental value, I replaced EVERYTHING on the rifle except the bolt, receiver, barrel, and stock.
It still NEVER worked properly.

Cut your losses, trade or sell it off.

KMKeller
November 20, 2003, 03:46 PM
With a group of firearms I inherited is a semi-automatic .22 rifle
I don't know about the rest of you, but if it were me, the sentimental value would warrant giving repair a shot.

Jim K
November 20, 2003, 09:44 PM
I hate to say this, but I agree with the folks who have no kind words for that action. It was one of the worst ever put out. The problem is balancing the spring tension and the trigger pull against the spring required to lock the gun back, plus the poor quality of the parts themselves. At one time, we just replaced the whole trigger unit but sometimes even that did not work.

Most gunsmiths won't touch them because they can easily spend days fooling with the thing, and then can't charge anywhere near what a skilled worker should get for that 2-3 days work.

Honestly, if it has sentimental value, hang it on the wall and buy a good .22 rifle for shooting.

Jim

Longbow
November 20, 2003, 11:18 PM
Yep, I agree, if you don't want to dispose it due to sentimental reasons, just make it inert and put it in a display case.
I already have my good share of this kinda thing, and I don't want anymore! :( I try to keep guns now that are serviceable (10/22,1911,S&W revolvers....), if it breaks, at least there's hope it can be fixed.
P.S.
My apologies to the original poster, if I came across as being unsympathetic. I just wanna help based on my own experience. :o

mnrivrat
November 21, 2003, 02:38 AM
And I thought I was the only one who refuses to work on these things ! LOL !!
Sorry to say they were one of the worst creations in 22 auto's ever produced. Between the cheaply made stamped parts, poorly tempered springs, and touchy design, they are not worth the effort to fix (even a funtioning one won't last long) :uhoh:

campergeek
November 21, 2003, 07:53 PM
Well, here's an update:

After reading the first response, I looked carefully at the extractors. I'd looked at them before, but had somehow missed the fact that while the right one still has a sharp tooth, the left one is rounded off. Before reading the rest of the responses I spent half a day on the phone and finally found and ordered the part. If nothing else I'll have a chance to play around with trying to fix it. Best case I'll end up with a functioning rifle; worst case I'll ruin the whole thing. In any case I'm only out the cost of the extractor + shipping.

If I do get it functioning I may take the advice to sell the rifle off while I can. This one, coming from my father-in-law with no story hinting at its background, has no real sentimental value to me. (Now, were this the Stevens bolt-action with which I learned to shoot and which my father already promised me... but I digress).

Thanks to all who commented, and wish me luck on the repair effort.

BTW, can anyone recommend a GOOD semi-auto .22 as a replacement?

Longbow
November 21, 2003, 07:58 PM
Ruger 10/22, Marlin, Remington nylon(if you can find one, newer Remington 597, and...ummh.. did I mention Ruger 10/22? ;)

mnrivrat
November 21, 2003, 08:12 PM
campergeek :

I think you will find the extractor that you get will look just like the one you have. The left side extractor does not have a sharp hook like the right side. In order for the ejector to push the case off the bolt face and send it exiting to the right (through the ejection port) the left hand extractor is rounded to allow ejection.

FlyingBohonk
July 31, 2012, 01:11 PM
I have the same rifle a Coast to Coast 285 I bought around 1963 when I was 13. Mine started jamming. When I tore it down, there was a burr at the bottom of the receiving end of the barrel. I filed it down and smoothed it out and it seems to work OK now. If you have the same problem, look for scratches on the bullet or casing when you eject the shell.

Jim K
July 31, 2012, 04:56 PM
Believe me, I hope that a burr or a sharp corner is the only problem with that rifle, but I have a feeling the fix is not that easy.

FWIW, Coast to Coast was a hardware chain that was absorbed by Tru Value. They never made guns, but Savage (and some other gun companies) would put almost any name on guns they made if the order was large enough.

Jim

Skyshot
August 3, 2012, 04:09 PM
I have the same rifle a Coast to Coast 285 I bought around 1963 when I was 13. Mine started jamming. When I tore it down, there was a burr at the bottom of the receiving end of the barrel. I filed it down and smoothed it out and it seems to work OK now. If you have the same problem, look for scratches on the bullet or casing when you eject the shell.
Well, Flying stole my thunder, I have seen several of those and others like marlins,J.C. Higgins, Ect. Older .22 semi autos where the firing pin has pinged the end of the chamber raising a burr and causing failures. just something to check.

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