Picky about shells?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Appalachiannative, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Recently got a Stevens 94 12 gauge 3 inch chamber with the snap on for grip at a flea market. Always liked the older single shots with the switch below the hammer that opens it. Used it 3 times squirrel hunting with Remington express xlr and Remington game load, my two usual ammo choices, ammo shortage forced me to purchase some Nobel sport high brass hunting shells and they keep failing to go off. Tested them in my other two guns and didn't have a problem. Trying other shells made by ECI and Winchester in the single shot in question had failure to fire on the first drop of the hammer but upon the second it went off. Tested Winchester AA and universal, same result, consistently fires only upon second attempt. Just today fired half a box of some really old Remington field loads and had nothing but success. How could it be that it only wants to go off with Remington ammo of any type and nothing else? coincidence? Weak hammer spring? Oh and by the way I removed cleaned and inspected the firing pin already and saw no obvious problem there.
     
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  2. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Firing pin spring good?
    Open the gun and let the hammer down and check the protrusion. Then check the questionable ammo for chamber depth.
    Primer depth?
     
  3. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    I wouldn't know how to check chamber depth but I'll find out. As far as the ammo all the stuff that doesn't work in this shotgun works in my others. I've looked at how far the pin comes out and that leaves more questions. When you remove the firing pin from the gun it is definitely straight but when it sticks out of the channel into the chamber it comes out pointing down ever so slightly. Seems the channel it travels threw is angled. Dents the primers just barely off center. Idk if this is normal or not since I can't find info on the subject. My father in law also has a Stevens single shot in 20 gauge rather than 12 like mine so I'm gonna have at look at his and see if it is the same
     
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  4. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Could be a little to much headspace. Take the barrel off, drop a shell of each type in the chamber one at a time, put steel straight edge over the chamber and see how much clearance there is between the straight edge and the shell. Some have slightly thicker rims, some have deeper primers. This simple test should show you something.
     
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  5. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    You mean a ruler or something? I've never attempted a test like this but I'll definitely give it a try thanks
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Check:
    1. Weak hammer (main) spring.
    2. Short firing pin. They can erode/corrode short over time. Browning O/U lower barrels are famous for it.
    3. Long chamber. (Headspace fail.)
    4. Out of spec ammo would be #4, but you've used several brands, so that's highly unlikely.

    Best way would be with a set of (go and no-go) 12 ga. headspace gauges. Papa G's method will at least give you an idea.
     
  7. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    I loaded some old spent shells with some old primers I don't consider good enough to use for legit reloading so just use them for testing stuff like this. Can drop the hammer 7 or 8 times on the blank shells with no ignition and notice the dents are not that deep. So think I'm going to replace the main spring as I can order one from numrich for $8. This is a lot less than some of the go and no go gauges would cost. But first gotta get a longer screw driver so it's off to harbor freight for me. Will post results of spring replacement. As previously stated the firing pin looks great to me but maybe I'll post pictures so a more experienced eye can be the judge of that
     
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  8. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    IMG_20211204_130447427_HDR.jpg IMG_20211204_130914087.jpg
     
  9. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Here is the firing pin removed from the weapon. Plus a shot of it protruding with barrel removed. Note that the pin looks straight to me but protrudes on an angle making me think it is designed this way. However this is a gun made in 1957 long before my time so perhaps someone older than me could verify this is how it is supposed to be?
     
  10. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    I too would recommend replacing hammer spring and if that doesn't work, replace firing pin. Also check to make sure hammer strut (mainspring plunger) is straight and not binding against anything. Check to make sure hammer moves easily when not under spring tension.
    Shot shell rim thickness could be a factor, as could the configuration of the particular primers used. Here's a link to a parts diagram: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/222043140252-0-1/s-l1000.jpg I assume barrel locks up tight against the face or you would have noted that it was wobbly.
     
  11. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Oh yea it locks up perfectly. I did notice the rims on the Remington shells are a little thicker and look slightly tappered and the primers don't seem to be seated as deep as others. That's why I'm leaning towards light strikes from the hammer
     
  12. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    That diagram said model 94c, 94y. My gun has model 94F stamped into it. I notice that the one in the diagram has a firing pin spring. I found no spring in mine. When I got it the retainer screw out it was really difficult to remove and covered in grime so don't think it's ever been removed. I've seen other parts diagrams for other variants but I can't find one for the 94f specially but that 94c is the only one I've seen with a firing pin spring so I don't think I'm missing spring but will have to figure out for sure
     
  13. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Mine doesn't have the spring because it doesn't need it. Has a rebounding hammer that does not rest on the pin. Ones with the firing pin spring do not have a retainer screw on top like mine does. I found the correct diagram for mine. I'll be ordering the mainspring possibly tomorrow but first gonna pick up a long screwdriver to get the stock off so I can have a look at the action. Thinking maybe the plunger could be warped or just all gunked up with grime from never having been stripped down and fired repeatedly since the 50's. Will post stripped down action pics for future trouble shooting info. Hope this can help others dealing with similar problems.
     
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  14. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    In your hand the firing pin lookes slightly bent, might just be an optical illusion. Yes, the firing pins on almost all external hammer singles have the firing pin at an angle downward. The protrusion on yours looks fine, I'll bet a new mainspring and a good cleaning in the lockwork as long as you are in there will do wonders for your 94.
     
  16. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Thank you for that info. Upon second glance it does maybe look slightly bent I'm just tickled pink to hear that it is normal for them to come out at an angle. Can't find anything on that subject
     
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  17. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    So here is the state of the action. Which way do I drive the pin out to get the hammer off? Or can I remove the plunger with it in place I wonder? I also noticed a hair line crack in the spring so I bet that's the culprit
     

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  18. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Drove the hammer pin out and removed spring and plunger. Upon further inspection what I initially believed to be a crack in the spring turned out to be brown sticky residue that was all over the action. The hammer pin which it uses as an axel to ride on while functioning had the sticky brown junk all over it so I think I'll just clean lube and re assemble as the sticky residue was definitely impeding travel. You could feel the friction by putting the pin threw the hole on the hammer then twisting it around. Hammer spring seems stiff as a board. In fact I'm not sure how I'm gonna compress it enough to re install it. Wonder if someone spilled a soda on receiver or something
     
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  19. entropy

    entropy Member

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    When you reinstall it, be sure the longer part is on top, I found that one out the hard way.
     
  20. kudu

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    The remains of WD-40. When it evaporates this is what it leaves behind. Does a great job initially, it's main use is for Water Displacement.
     
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  21. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    That's why when you spray WD 40 in something, anything, you blow it out before you put it away.
     
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  22. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Man I wish I had asked about an easy was to put that thing back together. Spring was so stiff that my initial efforts to replace it with the hammer and pin back in place first we're a failure. Finally I tried putting the spring and plunger in before the hammer and pin then did a lot of prying with a cheap HF pick
    that got bent all to pieces in the process to line the hole in the hammer back up to replace the pin. The whole disassembly took 15 minutes followed by another 15 minutes of cleaning then 3 hours of knuckle busting paper cuts and plenty of profanity shouted at the top of my lungs to achieve re assembly. That darn spring can't be weak because I don't think I could compress it by standing on it. If it still fails to fire I'm gonna take it to my wife's grandfather. There is not a decent licensed gun smith within driving distance so if I can't fix it myself Idk who to call other than him. Would have taken it to him in the first place but he tends to take his time and wanted it operational before squirrel season ends.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  23. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Does Rem oil that comes in spray form do the same crap!? Cause this was awful I mean I really thought it was dried up soda pop. I believe you I'm just saying it was that sticky!
     
  24. entropy

    entropy Member

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    If I remember right, when I did a pair of Savage 24's for a friend, I did basically what you did and used a pin punch as a slave pin once I got the hammer lined up. The first one was hard. ;)
     
  25. kudu

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Dedicated oils should be fine, but like anything if you get too much it can accumulate gunk to them. I use Rem oil quite a bit to quick spray down, but my main go-to is Corrosion-X. Many prefer Break-Free or some other oil/lubricant. ATF fluid from your car is an excellent lube.
     
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