AAAAHHHH!!!!!! (Springfield 1903a3 bolt problems)


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Mauser lover
June 8, 2013, 10:37 PM
Okay, friend brought me a 1903a3 build he is working on to see if I had any suggestions. The bolt (not an arsenal match to the rifle) did not fit more than a quarter inch past the beginning of the magwell when he got it, that is fixed now, but when the bolt (stripped, except the extractor) is pushed all the way in, the bolt will rotate down only 40-45 degrees. Can this possibly be anything other than the locking lugs catching inside the recesses?

If it is, how do you prove it, and how do you fix it?

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rcmodel
June 8, 2013, 10:50 PM
Different barrel installed by someone maybe??

All 1903 Springfield's of any model all use a 41 degree taper coned breech face on the chamber end of the barrel.

If it hasn't been cut properly, the bolt won't go in all the way, or close.

rc

Mauser lover
June 8, 2013, 11:13 PM
It is still the surplus barrel.

rcmodel
June 8, 2013, 11:33 PM
Mmmmm?
O.K. then.

If it is, how do you prove it,Dykem steel blue layout fluid, or a dry erase marker.

Color everything on the bolt, try to close it, and it will rub off what is hitting.


What was the problem that kept the bolt from even going in the receiver??

Sounds like perhaps you got a scrap pile reject bolt in the mix somehow.

rc

BBBBill
June 8, 2013, 11:57 PM
...or a warped receiver. Or a bad aftermarket. What brand is it, National Ordnance?

Mauser lover
June 9, 2013, 01:12 AM
Okay, I just ran all around the house looking for a dry erase marker, with none to be found. Will have to wait on that...

If it is warped, it is very, very little. I cannot detect any warpage at all.
It is marked something similar to the following on the receiver.

----------U.S.
-------REMINGTON
------MODEL 03-A3


The bolt has a part of an "R" followed by a short vertical line segment, possibly part of an "L" or an "I" or a "1", or maybe it is just canted off to the side enough to be part of an "A"...
Can you direct me to some pictures of Remington bolt cartouches (or however you spell that fancy word for "stamp")? Maybe some Rock Island pictures as well?

Don't remember what he said (if he said) about the problem before... There is some finish missing from the raceway beneath the receiver bridge, also some finish missing from the locking lugs... not even all of the finish. Also some finish missing in a couple of places on the extractor collar. Could have been any of those I guess. If I remember I will ask him later about that.

col.lemat
June 9, 2013, 01:16 AM
Warped receiver, yep that will do it. Had one once, tuff one to figure out. Start with stripped receiver and bolt, add one part at a time till it dont work

BBBBill
June 9, 2013, 11:46 AM
Okay, friend brought me a 1903a3 build he is working on to see if I had any suggestions. The bolt (not an arsenal match to the rifle) did not fit more than a quarter inch past the beginning of the magwell when he got it, that is fixed now, but when the bolt (stripped, except the extractor) is pushed all the way in, the bolt will rotate down only 40-45 degrees...

This is what made me think warped receiver. How was the bolt "fixed" to go in further? Did he get it with the original barrel installed or did he install the barrel? If so, what tooling and techniques were used to screw the barrel into the receiver?

The receiver needs to be critically examined to detect warp/bend/twist by someone who knows what to look for.

morcey2
June 9, 2013, 01:22 PM
As col.lemat said, start with a completely stripped bolt. The extractor collar can stay on , but take the extractor off. If it will close without the extractor, it could be an insufficient or incorrect extractor cut in the breech, or a jacked-up extractor.

Matt

Reloadron
June 9, 2013, 07:46 PM
I have a Remington 03A3 sitting here. On the barrel just aft of the front sight the barrel is marked RA, Bomb Ordnance Mark, 3-43 telling me it is a Remington Arms March 1943 barrel. Looking at the serial number it falls in this range: Mar 1942 3520614 to 3408656 so I can pretty safely assume this rifle has the correct original barrel on the receiver.

As to the bolt. The bottom of the bolt handle is stamped with a letter R the top with a number 3. The right side of the bolt sleeve is also stamped with a letter R. The rear of the safety lock is also stamped with a letter R. The extractor collar is stamped with a letter R and the extractor bottom is stamped with the letter R. All of the letters R tell me this bolt is pretty much Remington manufactured.

The only way I can think of assuming a true receiver that the bolt won't go all the way home and the rifle into battery would be as RC covered.

All 1903 Springfield's of any model all use a 41 degree taper coned breech face on the chamber end of the barrel.

If it hasn't been cut properly, the bolt won't go in all the way, or close.


So you can look at barrel markings as I mentioned earlier and get an idea of the actual year of manufacture from here (http://www.vishooter.net/ra_serialization.txt) and see if you have in fact a Remington Barrel dated to the receiver. At least you will get an idea if the rifle was ever rebarreled.

Ron

rcmodel
June 9, 2013, 07:53 PM
See post # 9 from morcey2 again too.

It could be the extractor hitting the extractor relief cut in the barrel.

Take it off the bolt and start over from there.


PS: The only other thing I can think of is if the bolt handle has been modified for low scope clearance and is hitting the receiver or stock before it can close all the way.

rc

Mauser lover
June 9, 2013, 10:26 PM
Barrel matches the receiver, extractor is not on the bolt. Still doesn't close. Bolt handle has not been modified, and receiver is not in a stock.

Anyway, it will be out of my hair soon. Assuming it is a warped receiver, how would a gunsmith fix it? Or is it fixable? (academic purposes only, I am frustrated enough at this thing)

What are the odds of something being bent? Like somebody twisting the receiver when screwing on the barrel?

This poor thing was pretty bad when my friend picked it up. Receiver had been drilled and tapped twice, two different size screws, in different patterns, it seems both times crooked. It was reblued, bluing was nice, but... receiver was ground under the bolt handle for a low scope bolt handle...

morcey2
June 9, 2013, 10:46 PM
Are the scope mount screws in or out? If they're in and removable (i.e. not plugged), remove them. One of them could be protruding into the locking lug raceway (is that what it's called?) in the receiver and blocking the bolt locking lug. Feel around in there with your finger and see if you can feel anything amiss.

If someone screwed on a barrel without a proper action wrench or barrel vice, it's pretty easy to bend the receiver without realizing it.

Matt

Jim Watson
June 9, 2013, 10:54 PM
If the front guard screw is too long or the stock compressed with age, it can project into the action and block the bolt, too. I had a Remington like that.

Jim K
June 9, 2013, 11:51 PM
It is unlikely, but could the safety lug be rubbing on the receiver? If so, don't grind on it without checking back.

Jim

Mauser lover
June 9, 2013, 11:57 PM
Nope, no problems with the d/t job, except that they are crooked. Screws are not there. Also, no stock or trigger guard attached to be a problem.

Plenty of gap between the safety lug and the receiver.

ApacheCoTodd
June 10, 2013, 01:29 AM
Improperly assembled bolt?

Re-welded receiver?

Trainer/Drill receiver?

Mauser lover
June 10, 2013, 01:37 AM
Bolt is just the sleeve, nothing to assemble. No welds or anything like that visible, so it wasn't a drill rifle unless somebody did an amazing job of grinding and polishing.

fguffey
June 10, 2013, 10:47 AM
First, remove the barrel, get it out of the way, then install the bolt into the receiver without extractor, after installing the bolt attempt installing the barrel (carefully) , once the barrel stops and is not seated against the front of the receiver, open the bolt and remove, then secure the barrel to the receiver. Before attempting installing the bolt, again, check the alignment with the slot in the receiver with the extractor cut on the face of the barrel. The extractor cut on the barrel must align with the slot cut into the receiver.

You made no mention of a head space gage therefore a gage is not holding the bolt off.

I measure from the front receiver ring down to the bolt face, then I measure from the head of a case/gage down to the shoulder at the end of the threads when deterring case head protrusion and the length of the chamber in thousandths. If the extractor cut in the barrel was aligned with the extractor slot in the receiver after secured there should be no reason for the bolt not to close, back to installing the barrel with the bolt in place, it is possible to determine the the interference in thousandths. The threads are 10 per inch, meaning 1 turn = .100” if a smith/builder can read a a feeler gage/thickness gage they can determine the amount of interference in thousandths.

Securing the bolt to the receiver, before alignment of the bolt extractor cut amd the slot cut into the receiver I prefer .003” to .004” gap.

There there are all those advisers that have no ideal how far they must ream the chamber to finish, not me, I install the gage then measure the bap between the barrel shoulder and and front receiver ring, the gap indicates how short the chamber is.(this method does require backing the barrel out until the bolt closes)

F. Guffey

Mauser lover
June 13, 2013, 03:03 PM
Apparently the extractor collar was the problem getting the bolt into the receiver at all, projecting a little farther than normal and contacting the receiver bridge.

morcey2
June 13, 2013, 08:39 PM
Apparently the extractor collar was the problem getting the bolt into the receiver at all, projecting a little farther than normal and contacting the receiver bridge.
I thought you said that the extractor was still on when you tried it initially? I'm now confused.

brickeyee
June 14, 2013, 03:44 PM
Okay, I just ran all around the house looking for a dry erase marker

A permanent marker works just as well.

Use some paint thinner or #9 to remove the excess when you are done.

I cannot remember the last time I bothered using Dychem instead of a permanent marker.

fguffey
June 15, 2013, 10:27 AM
And, I was about to suggest stacking 4 or 5 rounds in the magazine to increase pressure, then there is the rear bridge, I will not measure but will guess the distance between the rear receiver bridge is a safe 1.5” inches from the extractor ring when the bolt is closing, I will also guess the extractor ring stops before it gets close to the front receiver ring.

F. Guffey

Mauser lover
June 15, 2013, 11:34 AM
morcey2, the extractor was on when I tried it first. The collar must have had a kink in it or something.

brickeyee, I couldn't find one of those either. All I could find were highlighters, which I find difficult to see on metal.

fguffey, the ring is not the problem when closing.

dprice3844444
June 15, 2013, 03:30 PM
make sure the extractor is pointed to a 3 oclock position to the right looking at it from the rear(did it once)oh the joy of diabetes meds

brickeyee
June 16, 2013, 05:10 PM
All I could find were highlighters, which I find difficult to see on metal.

A highlighter would be about as bad as bare metal.

i buy 'Sharpies' and 'El Marko' permanent markers by the box at the office supply store.

There is a huge 'graffiti' marker (about 1 inch wide) in the drawer (probably dried out by now though).

Mauser lover
June 18, 2013, 01:49 AM
Man, this thread just will not die!
Not that it absolutely has to though.

I tried a highlighter on aluminum once... it almost worked. I am just not a huge fan of that type of writing/marking implement. Hence the difficulty finding one. I did obtain one and try it later.

rcmodel
June 18, 2013, 02:33 AM
If you can't find a Magic-Marker that suits your fancy, or your vision??

Smoke it with a candle flame, or kerosene lantern flame like sword makers, gunsmiths, and machinists had to do for hundreds of years before Magic-Markers & Dykem layout fluid were invented, or possible to make, or affordable if they had of been.

Candle or oil lamp soot works as well, if not better.
And everyone had to have candles, or oil lamps, or lanterns to see with to work on guns inside back then!

rc

brickeyee
June 18, 2013, 01:56 PM
Almost makes me want to find some carbide ad my carbide miner's lamp.

It is a real antique one.

We used them to blacken sights with for Bullseye.

i have an actual oil miner's lamp that belonged to my grandfather.

About 2 inches tall to hang on your hat.

Either would throw off enough soot to make layout easy.

Mauser lover
June 19, 2013, 10:24 AM
I never would have thought of that, I certainly could have found some candles lying around... Oil lamp, not so much.

Mauser lover
June 28, 2013, 01:11 AM
EUREKA!

Not me. I didn't find it. My friend came and showed me (with a different bolt) that it wasn't the receiver. I really still have no idea what it actually was, but it had to be something with the bolt.

Reloadron
June 28, 2013, 05:39 AM
A highlighter would be about as bad as bare metal.

i buy 'Sharpies' and 'El Marko' permanent markers by the box at the office supply store.

There is a huge 'graffiti' marker (about 1 inch wide) in the drawer (probably dried out by now though).
I just cheat and use Birchwood Casey Sight Black™ Aerosol (http://sport.birchwoodcasey.com/ProductSearchResults/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=40816e9b-f3ec-4008-a014-3c25963f2544). One quick pass over the barrel top and front sights and done. :)

Ron

pyro073
June 29, 2013, 04:59 PM
Are the scope mount screws in or out? If they're in and removable (i.e. not plugged), remove them. One of them could be protruding into the locking lug raceway (is that what it's called?) in the receiver and blocking the bolt locking lug. Feel around in there with your finger and see if you can feel anything amiss.

If someone screwed on a barrel without a proper action wrench or barrel vice, it's pretty easy to bend the receiver without realizing it.

Matt


This!

I encountered a similar issue on my 03A3 sporter and it ended up being a base screw was protruding down a little too far.

BBBBill
June 29, 2013, 05:29 PM
...My friend .. showed me (with a different bolt) that it wasn't the receiver. I really still have no idea what it actually was, but it had to be something with the bolt.

When dealing with a vessel that is supposed to contain a 50,000 + PSI explosion just inches in front of my face, I will not be content untill I know why.

Mauser lover
June 29, 2013, 05:46 PM
Probably just a 1 in 100,000 error in manufacturer tolerances in the bolt. Anyway, not supposed to contain any kind of explosion in front of my face. I will relay your concerns though.

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