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Looking for help on a Remington 550

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mr transformer, Jun 21, 2011.

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  1. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    Just a new guy here looking for some help with a gun that was given to me as a gift.
    A Remington 550
    It has an odd jamming problem.
    Something just doesn’t seem right with the design.
    It has been cleaned and the extractors (both of them!) work fine.
    But………… A big but…………

    The spent cartridge doesn’t get thrown out like I expect hot brass to fly.
    And consequently, one stays in the bolt area too long and gets jammed in the works every four or five shots.

    I have absolutely no problem with the fresh round feeding!
    (when there is no spent round jamming up the works…)
    Just the spent round won’t get the heck out of the way!

    I have tried all three brands of ammo (federal Winchester, and Remington)with no luck.

    And when I went looking at the ejector that kicks the old round out, it’s placement just doesn’t make sense. The ejection port is on the right hand side. Same as a marlin 60. The marlin has the ejector spring on the left hand side of the bolt face so that it hits the butt of the cartridge on the left hand side to knock the cartridge to the right, and out the port.

    But…. The Remington has the impact face of the ejector on the lower right hand side which kicks the round to the upper left, right into the inside surface of the receiver. It hits with such force that it flattens the open end of the spent cartridge. Most of them ricochet out of the bolt area, but some don’t, which brings things to a halt.

    With the force that it is kicking the brass, if there was a hole in the gun in the direction that it’s kicking the brass, the hot brass would probably go so high that it would take out unsuspecting birds in mid flight above me!.

    But it just seems like it’s kicking it the wrong way. It kind of makes me wonder if there was a left handed version of the gun (with the ejection port on the left side) and someone use left handed guts in a right handed gun. Which is causing the cartridge to get thrown into a solid wall.

    Is it just a systemic design flaw with those guns?
    Maybe I should just give up on it and stick with the marlin 60 which doesn’t give any problems with any ammo I have tried?
     
  2. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I was going to say a worn recoil spring but you mention how much force there is. Are you sure theres no crud under the extractor?
     
  3. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    You can see the little claw marks on the rim of the cartridge where the ejector literally rips the cartridge out of the grip of the extractors. So the extractors have a firm grip on the cartridge when it comes out. And both extractors move to full deflection with no catching. They have about equal clamping pressure.

    They say the later models have only one extractor. (550-1) If they just had the extractor on the ejection port side, then it would kick it that direction a lot better…….. Maybe that is why they did that?

    Hmmmmmm...........
     
  4. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I have some parts for a 550-1 someday it'll be complete.

    Note to kids......don't let your friends clean your guns no matter how much experience they say they have!!!!!
     
  5. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    I have been messing with the Rem 550 again. and doing some searching. I have found other people talking about the exact same ejection problems with the 550 as my rifle has. And no one has ever stated that they were able to fix the problem.

    The only mention of the 550 I have seen on a gunsmith publication is in the American gunsmith magazine. In the april 1, 2007 edition. In the excerpts I have found, the person explains the exact same situation I have.

    Does anyone here have that edition of the magazine where they can tell me what the person in the publication determined was the cause of the problem?
     
  6. sack

    sack Member

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    I have read that piece regarding remington 550 jams

    This was just a short answer published in 4-1-02 American Gunsmith responding to a reader question about the same problem you have/had.
    The answer may not have been very good. It (without referring to the 550's floating chamber!) suggested the problem was due to lead buildup in the chamber and suggested cleaning the chamber with a finishing reamer. It suggested avoiding lead bullets, said to use plated bullets rather than plain lead ones.
    Do you still have the ejection problem? If not, how did you fix it? I just bought a 550 and find I have the same problem. I don't have a finishing reamer, so I just did a good cleaning, but am not real optimistic. Cycling the action by hand is not even uniform; sometimes I feel more resistance pulling the bolt back than other times. Sometimes I hear a click, sometimes not. Also, the trigger does not reliably engage the sear.
    I think I got reamed!
     
  7. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    when ever i had a problem with my 550 rem.it was traced to the floating chamber being dirty and cruded up. the floating chamber is what allows the rifle to fire shorts,longs and long rifles with out any adjustment. eastbank.
     
  8. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    The floating chamber on my unit did not have any problems. The bore was clean in the chamber, and it had free movement.

    And I know the problem rounds did not get stuck in the chamber because there was a dent on the bottom side where it hit the ejector at the end of travel. And the firing pin was reset. So the bolt did travel all the way back, and the empty shell did travel with it until it was separated from the bolt by the ejector.

    And when you are firing 22lr, the floating chamber should not come into play in the first place. The 22lr sticks past the floating chamber and the shell seizes the non moving part of the chamber until the chamber pressure drops and it releases so that the gasses can push it back. Once the shell gets back to the point the gasses can reach the floating chamber, the bolt is already out of reach of the floating chamber. The chamber only comes into play when you are firing 22short. The short shell does not reach past the floating chamber. That causes the combustion gasses to fill the space between the chamber and the barrel face. That causes the floating chamber to act as a piston and drive the bolt back.

    Remember that my gun is the original 550. Not a revision like 550A or 550B. The later revisions only had one extractor. I figured out why in the process of getting this one to behave. They had screwed up the design royally.

    If you have a two extractor version, and you look at your ejected shells and see a dent on the rim of the open end on almost every one, then you probably have the same problem.

    And if you look on the inside of the receiver and see the shiny patch where the empty shells are getting whacked into it, then you have that problem.

    The problem is caused by the fact that the ejector hits the shell on the lower right hand part of the shell rim. The two extractors are clamped onto the shell on the left and right hand side of the shell. When the bolt comes back and the ejector hits the shell. The open end of the shell is propelled up and to the left by the ejector. (away from the impact of the ejector) That drives the shell right into the upper left inside of the receiver. Away from the ejection port.

    Most of the time the shell will ricochet of the inside of the receiver and on out of the receiver. Sometimes it just bounces around in the receiver until the bolt comes crashing back down on it, along with the new round.

    In the revisions they just have one extractor on the ejection port side of the gun. When the empty shell hits the extractor, the left side comes away from the bolt face freely, and the right hand side is pulled back with the bolt. That drives the open end of the shell to the right, out of the ejection port.

    So I tried to replicate that with my gun. I ground down hook on the left hand extractor to a slope. It still held the shell to some degree but the shell would slip out of the extractor easily on the left hand side. The right hand side extractor still has a sharp catch so the left hand turns loose first which causes the shell to go right to the ejection port. It still is knocked upward, but it is at least going in the right general direction.

    That mod, combined with the use of Winchester M22 ammo has resulted in a relatively reliable operation. The modified gun works much better with all the ammo types I have tried, but it works the best with the M22 ammo. I can usually fire a full magazine without a spent shell jamming up the works.

    I have thought about trying it with no left hand extractor at all, but I haven’t got around to it.

    I can take the gun apart and post a pic of the modified extractor if you want.

    On that click you hear when pulling back the bolt. That is the firing pin resetting. It is a striker fired gun. When the firing pin is reset the bolt will pull back a lot easier. When it is in the fired position, the bolt will be harder to pull back. If the firing pin is already rest, and you pull the bolt back, you will hear no click.
     
  9. NEAL39

    NEAL39 Member

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    Mr. transformer,
    The Remington Model 550 has two extractors as you have noted. Past forum discussions have stated that one of the extractors is slightly longer than the other.
    If the two extractors are replaced in the incorrect location the extracted shells will
    eject in the wrong direction. You might try swapping the locations of the two extractors and see if your problem is corrected. NEAL39
     
  10. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    I had already thought of the possibility of them getting swapped, so I checked. Both extractors were the exact same size. No visible or measurable difference before I modified one of them..
     
  11. Gunbutcher59

    Gunbutcher59 Member

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    remington 550

    I have a 550 ,it has worked flawlessly for 45 yrs that I had own it. It is also the most accurate semi-auto I have ever shot. It has 2 extractor and 1 is longer,maybe someone replace 1 with the wrong part.
     
  12. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    I would be very much appreciative if you could some how post a picture of the two extractors.

    I have never found a set of 550 extractors listed, pictured, or for sale on the internet that show two different types for the left and right hand side. I would just like to know what the physical differences of a “good set” are.

    The fact that they have the ejector hitting the spent shell on the wrong side makes the job of getting it to go out the port hard enough. I would like to know what they did with the extractors to make it work.

    I pulled the extractors and I have attached a pic of them I made by scanning them on the scanner. You can see how I filed the catch tip some on the left hand one.

    I am going to reassemble it with just one extractor and see how it does tomorrow.
     

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  13. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    The snow slowed down outside so I wend ahead and tried it with one extractor. The results sucked. Had about three jams per mag. About the same rate of jamming I had when I first got the rifle with the unmodified extractors.

    So, the best answer I have as of this point, is file down the tip of the left hand extractor. That is what I have found to work, and that is what I am sticking to.

    Only other option I can think of is to swap out the bolt for a bolt from a 550-1 or some other revision that has a working single extractor system.
     
  14. sack

    sack Member

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  15. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

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    I needed to replace the firing pin. The new one needs fitting. How far should it protrude from the breech face? What keeps it rearward when in battery and NOT being fired? Also- what is the proper contour for the "face" of the firing pin- flat or tapered?
     
  16. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    The trigger mech sticks up through the bottom slot in the bolt and catches the pin when the bolt reaches the back end of it’s travel. When the bolt slides forward, the pin stays at the back. When you pull the trigger it releases it so that it’s spring throws it forward.

    From memory the impact point is more of a blunted wedge shape.

    Tonight, or tomorrow, I will pull and scan the pin on the flat bed so you can get an idea how it’s cut. And do a few measurements if needed.
     
  17. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    Basic measurements.
    Pin tip to outer bolt face 4 to 5 thou.
    A straight edge across the bolt face and the clearance between it and the firing pin tip is 4 to 5 thou. About the thickness of standard weight printer paper.

    That clearance prevents the pin from striking the chamber rim if you dry fire it. If it protrudes beyond the outer bolt face, then it will hit the chamber rim and cause a dent which may cause cartridges to stick in the chamber, or not feed properly.

    Pin contact face size is about 65 to 70 thou tall and 30 to 35 thou wide.
    The pin tip is ground down to a roughly rectangle shape at the face of a wedge.

    Pictures.
    A
    Two spent cases so you can see the strike marks.
    A1
    And an overall view of the firing pin.

    B
    Vertical view of the firing pin tip.

    C
    Horizontal view of the firing pin tip.
    You can see the grinding slope/taper is a lot more gradual where they ground the top and bottom of the pin contact face.
     

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  18. Mr transformer

    Mr transformer Member

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    D
    Bolt face with pin fully exposed.
    Bolt has not been cleaned from firing so you can see cartridge face witness mark.
    You can see the top of the firing pin face has been ground down to the point that the top is just even with the top of the cartridge rim.

    E
    A “from the bottom” view of t he bolt face with pin fully exposed. You can see where I had to grind the hook off the extractor on the right (Left hand side of gun) to make it favor kicking the cartridge out the ejection port on the right.

    F
    Full bottom view of bolt with pin half way back.

    You can see the big channel in the middle where the catch from the trigger system interfaces with the bolt system to catch and hold the pin back. You can see the worn area toward the face where the catch drags the bottom of the bolt while the bolt travels back.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  19. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

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    Very, very helpful, Mr. Transformer. Thank you very much. You seem to have the 550, with the pair of extractors. Mine is the 550-1 with just the single extractor.
     
  20. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

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    Is the floating chamber supposed to be loose? Mine does not appear to have any movement in it. How is it removed for inspection/cleaning? I don't have to mess with the dreaded sear spring, do I?
     
  21. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    The 550 was known for such problems, and that was my experience also.
     
  22. sack

    sack Member

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    progress report - Remington 550 failure to eject.

    I have cleaned my 550 well. The floating chamber is free. The problem persisted. I did some filing of the left extractor, which seemed to improve things a bit, but still get frequent failure of the case to eject (usually case is stuck to the upper-left of the new round, with a few stovepipes). Interestingly, trigger failed to engage the sear reliably, which seems to be due to the failure of the bolt to move fully forward after cycling.
     
  23. sack

    sack Member

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    After filing left ejector - update

    After filing more off the left ejector... it ejects pretty well! (One failure to eject in 60 shots)
    Examination of the fired cases does reveal that the open end of each case is dented.
    Now to work on that trigger/sear engagement!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
  24. sack

    sack Member

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    OK, after cleaning, bolt, etc well, and taking just a touch off the hook of the trigger where it contacts the sear, I get reliable function, IF I START THE TRIGGER TO THE RIGHT when starting trigger pull. Good enough for me.
     
  25. tark

    tark Member

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    Mr transformer...does your gun have the brass deflector still on it? My 550-1 had the same problems you mentioned and finally, in desperation, I removed the deflector. That did it. Now it runs perfectly with anything including CB caps. Yes, you read that correctly. Also, do NOT let any oil get near that floating chamber. They are designed to run dry
     
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