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Winchester mod. 88 question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bdvw, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. bdvw

    bdvw New Member

    Hello all, I recently acquired a Winchester model 88 (308) in very fine condition. Here's the problem; when I tried to fire it, nothing happened, just a click. The primer was never even scored. I have the proper ammo., and the gun is squeeky clean. Is this a firing pin or spring issue? It was also very difficult to close the lever once the cartridge was installed. I got it from a dear fried whom I trust, and he doesn't recall having any problems with it that he can remember. Any suggestion out there? Thanks a bunch!
  2. Driftertank

    Driftertank Well-Known Member

    When you say "Squeaky clean", does that include inside as well? Did you check the chamber and bore?

    Did you disassemble and clean the gun when you got it? I generally at least field-strip every weapon and inspect and learn before I ever try to fire it. ESPECIALLY with used guns. I think that may have helped with the lever effort.

    If it clicked, I'm guessing the hammer released and struck the firing pin. The firing pin failed to strike the primer. I would disassemble the gun and inspect the bolt, particularly the firing pin. See if it sppears to be rusted in place, or if the oil used in it may have turned to lacquer. If not, the firing pin may be broken.

    Basically, priority #1: disassemble and inspect, then clean and lube.

    Here, this may be useful:
    Winchester 88 Exploded parts diagram
  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR, bdvw.

    Hopefully it may be something gummed up in the firing mechanism, if it has not been used in a while. Parts are getting to be harder to get, if something is broken.

    Some parts here.

  4. bdvw

    bdvw New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I did strip it down, but did not go into great detail. The lever worked fine before and after I took it apart, barrel is clean and everything was where it belongs and looked clean; never even questioned it. Thanks for the break down view, very helpful. I 'll have to investigate into further detail, especially the firing pin tonight on the wifes new dining room table....again.
  5. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    You say the action is hard to close when chambering a round. Are you shooting reloads or factory fodder?
  6. bdvw

    bdvw New Member

    I always use factory loads, I don't know anyone well enough to trust a re-load, and I don't shoot enough to justify doing it myself. I'm going to break it down in detail to see exactly what's going on; hopefully nothing catastrophic is going on, it's too nice to ignore.
  7. Aunt Bee

    Aunt Bee Active Member

    bdvw- I own an 88-.308 (1955), also factory takedown-assembly manual (1/2 in thick), an almost impossible to get extra firing pin, etc. Service notes say if action opens hard after firing #1- check headspace.It also says-headspace is NOT necessarily determined by whether or not action appears to close over a "go" or"no-go" gage . Rather the siginificant factor relates to the rotation of the bolt head WHEN VIEWED thruogh MAG. opening. Then it goes on to tell how to check headspace. Directions & how to check for failure to fire, bolt dis-assembly --I can photo copy & send to you for no cost- if you PM or provide address via E-mail. Al Hunt, Annapolis, Maryland
  8. Aunt Bee

    Aunt Bee Active Member

    PS- Misread your post (thought you fired weapon) but headspace might still be your problem. Manual also goes over failure to fire & firing pin problems!

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