sticky bolt


January 27, 2003, 11:04 PM
I just purchased my first centerfire bolt action. A LH savage 110 in 30.06.

I've noticed that the bolt handel seems unusualy hard to operate, moreso than other bolt actions I've fired. The back and forth motion of the bolt seems normal if not entirely smooth but the initial upward rotation of the knob that disengages the lugs and cocks the firing pin is particularly difficult.

This is the first brand new bolt action I've ever operated so I'm thinking there may be an initial "wearing-in" period over which the action will become more smooth. Is this the case with the a new gun or might I have a problem? Also, What about dry firing this rifle? I have read it's not a problem, but I'd like to here that from a few more sources if it's true.

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Navy joe
January 27, 2003, 11:15 PM
Put some very fine valve lap compound on the bolt lug contact areas and work the bolt a bunch.

January 28, 2003, 11:49 AM
The friction is probably due to rough surface on the cocking piece. I am unfamiliar with the 110 but Mauser type bolts all have an angled cut in which the cocking piece rides which forces the firing pin assy. to the rear as bolt is opened and I assume the Savage is similar. Look at these surfaces and you will probably see bright marks indicating a not-so-smooth mating surface. Use a fine stone to polish the notch and cocking piece. Do not remove metal other than the high spots, just polish the surface. A thin film of good gun grease on these surfaces will help.

Or, you could shoot 7-8000 rounds through it and it will slick up on its own.;)


Lee F
January 28, 2003, 12:20 PM
STOP! With all due respect to the other posters, don't polish anything yet. Until you know what the problem is let it be. I would hate to see your warranty cancelled because you attempted to solve the problem yourself.

This is a new rifle and should not require you to do anything, but clean it and shoot it. Try another brand of ammo just to make sure that's not the cause. If the rifle gives the same problem with two brands of ammo its the rifle. Return it. Fixing it yourself only allows the manufacturer to get by with and continue to produce a poor quality rifle.

I bought a savage in 30-06 that locked the bolt up with every shot. After trying three brands of ammo I returned the rifle to the gunshop, they took it back and gave me an identical model. It also locked the bolt handle down after each shot. The rifle gave no problem cycling rounds in and out of the chamber unless they were fired. The shop owner didn't believe the second rifle was failing the same way until he experienced it for himself. Maybe my problem and yours are different, but the manufacturer needs to correct their mistakes.

January 28, 2003, 03:48 PM
Grease, and what he said ^


January 28, 2003, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the responces guys,

It has nothing to do with fired rounds, it does it with an empty chamber. After some more experimentation I narrowed it down to the cocking action, it's very smooth if you operate the bolt with the action cocked. As I said I've never owned a brand new bolt of any kind so maybe the cocking action is a little sticky until you break it in.

January 28, 2003, 04:02 PM
even if brand new, CLEAN IT. New guns have preservatives on them to keep them from rust in storage. Clean and lube as the manual says. Then if problem still exists, send it back


January 29, 2003, 06:25 PM
I agree with the Greasers. It solves lots of problems in moderation.


January 31, 2003, 01:52 PM
Actually I think your bolt is working exactly the way it's supposed to. If I read your posts correctly your only concern is that the bolt resists the initial rotation more than you feel is normal. I'm not seeing anything really about the action feeling rough.

Since this gun "cocks on opening" you're compressing the firing pin spring when you first rotate the bolt. The energy stored in that spring comes in the form of extra force required to open the bolt. If your bolt cycles smoothly after it's already cocked then it's operating normally. Eventually it will probably get to the point where the extra cocking load decreases but that's not really a good thing. That'll probably mean that you're due for a new spring!

All that being said, I'm still a big fan of cleaning a new gun before it's ever fired. I've found new guns with globs of grease where it really shouldn't be and others with no lubrication at all. And I've seen (but never actually owned) new guns that came with parts missing. Besides, the first cleaning goes a long way toward making you more familiar with the gun.

But overall, I think your gun is acting normally. It's just the nature of the beast. :)


January 31, 2003, 04:18 PM
Alerion has got the right idea.

Never having owned a new bolt I wasn't sure home much resistance was normal.

What's a good sort of lubricating grease to use on this gun?

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