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Help Please - Bolt Action (Rem 721) "lazy extractor?"

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by IdahoSkies, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Active Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    I was unloading my Remington 721 (a predecessor of the 700) when I found that the round was still in the chamber. I tapped it out, and then ran some snap caps through the action. The caps would not come out of the chamber unless I had jammed the the bolt home quite hard when I loaded the round. (Much more than I have had to in the past, I could use a soft touch before). Even then on 50% of the snapcaps that I cycled once I got the bolt back part way the ejector would pop the snapcap out of the bolt face. This would happen before the round would be fully out of the chamber but enough that I could slide it out or remove it by hand.

    What's going on and how do I fix it.

    Thank you.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Elder

    Dec 31, 2002
    The extractor may need to be replaced, but I suggest first cleaning the bolt face really well, soaking it in a good solvent and using a power spray to really work it over.

    It sounds like there is crud behind the extractor, a common problem. That will keep the extractor from springing over the rim easily.

  3. LJH

    LJH Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    Austin TX
    I had this happen on my 721. The extractor is a steel ring that is riveted in. They have a tendency to crack. The permanent fix is to have the bolt machined for a different extractor, i.e. M16 or Sako are both popular extractors to replace the 721 ring.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  4. OYE

    OYE Active Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    721 extractor

    If after cleaning around the bolt face and the extractor, your failure to extract problem still exists then you might wish to monitor gunbroker.com auctions.
    721 magnum extractors show up fairly regularly. Extractors for the 30/06
    show up once in a great while. I picked up a spare for mine 3 or 4 years ago at gunbroker. The extractor on the 721 snaps in and is not riveted like the later model 700 as I recall. The other options, that have already been stated, are
    machinist modifications to the bolt for another type extractor. OYE
  5. shooter1niner

    shooter1niner New Member

    Sep 16, 2014
    Wash out with the brake kleen and tooth brush behind the extractor best you can.
  6. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    Been there done that more than once, just be glad it's not a riveted extractor.

    Right where the tail of the extractor slides back and forth in the bolt face, is where build up will prevent it from doing so.

    Or, it needs to be lightly sprang outward, very lightly. It can get compressed over time and use, and sometimes if your careful not to break them, you can take them out and tweak them a tad. You don't want the tail end that slides to angle to far into the bolt, or it will just recreate the issue.

    Or, you can just order a new one from Brownell's or Midway, and be done with it.


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