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View Full Version : How to lighten your savage bolt lift


Bug Splat
06-28-2011, 10:29 PM
I've had a number of requests on how I lighten my bolt lift so I figured I'd share with everyone. As any savage owner knows the bolts are HEAVY! Savage kinda over did it on the spring IMO. "Go big or go home" does not really apply to bolt lift but kudos to them for thinking big ;)

Before you get started, measure your firing pin using calipers. A ruler is not exact enough so if you don't have a pair invest the $20 and get one. You want to make sure that the Pin Stop nut in the front (pointy end) remains the same. This nut sets the depth the firing pin protrudes out the bolt head. If it protrudes too much you risk puncturing the primer and damaging your rifle or yourself. If it does not protrude enough you will get light primer strikes and your round might not go off. Measure and wright down these lengths and be sure to set them back exactly.
http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss171/bugsplat/Savage%20build/firingping2.jpg


Unscrew the rear cocking nut and remove the spring. Try to leave the Pin Stop Nut in the front alone. Measure the length from the back of the Pin Stop Nut to the end of the firing pin shaft where the threading ends. Using a dremal cut the spring to this length.
http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss171/bugsplat/Savage%20build/Boltspring.jpg


Rebuild the assembly making sure the rear nut hole lines up with the castle nut/washer peak and you are done. Your bolt lift should be about 30%-40% less. There is still plenty of power left in the spring to set off even magnum primers.

Happy shooting :D

D3lta58
06-29-2011, 10:32 AM
Bug Splat, you have some of the best posts! Keep'em coming!

Army
06-29-2011, 10:51 AM
You can also polish the bolt lug contact surface for a smoother lift. I also polish the sides of the lugs to smooth out the back/forth track.

I use bore lapping compound for the lug faces, and a Kratex file for the raceways.

I estimated an easy 15-20% reduction in bolt lift and much smoother loading.

Bug Splat
06-29-2011, 12:41 PM
You can also polish the bolt lug contact surface for a smoother lift. I also polish the sides of the lugs to smooth out the back/forth track.

I use bore lapping compound for the lug faces, and a Kratex file for the raceways.

I estimated an easy 15-20% reduction in bolt lift and much smoother loading.

Yup, that should also be done. Great point. The combo of both polishing and lightening the spring will really change the feel of the rifle for the better. Before I install a new barrel I will polish the receiver lugs. this is also a big help but not everyone is willing to remove the barrel to polish in there.

TRguy
03-13-2012, 7:18 AM
Is there a special wrench needed to take the firing pin apart?

Do you need to use something to hold the spring tension back as you unscrew the rear retainer off the firing pin body?

joelogic
03-13-2012, 7:54 AM
I forgot about this mod, I am going to have to give it a try.

Army
03-13-2012, 7:54 AM
TRguy, nothing special needed to disassemble the firing pin assembly. Shouldn't be much more than hand tight anyway. The parts can only screw together just so far.

I leave the whole assembly in the rifle as I remove the rear bolt, or at least take off all the tension, then pull the whole thing out. This way you can leave the firing pin forward, removing most of the tension on the spring and rear bolt.

On a side note; I just received one of Sharp Shooters Supply's new fluted bolt bodies, in blue, that looks and runs GREAT in the LRPV with the blue stock (see how that worked out :) I've two more coming, in purple and green for the BVSS and FP. While Fred didn't put his magic angle on the cocking ramp, this new bolt has much less lift tension than stock, even after I had seriously polished the ramp. Looks good, feels good, really affordable. What's not to like?

LovingTheYear1911
03-13-2012, 8:15 AM
Thank you for this write up. That's the one thing I dont like on my Savage. I will give this a try.

Iloveguns
03-13-2012, 8:59 AM
You could also sell the Savage and buy a Remington. That lightens up the bolt lift quite a bit!! J/K great write up.

TRguy
03-13-2012, 9:23 AM
TRguy, nothing special needed to disassemble the firing pin assembly. Shouldn't be much more than hand tight anyway. The parts can only screw together just so far.

I leave the whole assembly in the rifle as I remove the rear bolt, or at least take off all the tension, then pull the whole thing out. This way you can leave the firing pin forward, removing most of the tension on the spring and rear bolt.

On a side note; I just received one of Sharp Shooters Supply's new fluted bolt bodies, in blue, that looks and runs GREAT in the LRPV with the blue stock (see how that worked out :) I've two more coming, in purple and green for the BVSS and FP. While Fred didn't put his magic angle on the cocking ramp, this new bolt has much less lift tension than stock, even after I had seriously polished the ramp. Looks good, feels good, really affordable. What's not to like?

Thanks Army,

I have eyeballed the bolt bodies at SSS for a while. I may pull the trigger on that at some point.

TRguy
03-13-2012, 9:33 AM
You could also sell the Savage and buy a Remington. That lightens up the bolt lift quite a bit!! J/K great write up.

yeah but the accuracy falls off so much.....http://www.smileyvault.com/albums/forum/smileyvault-stirthepot.gif (http://www.smileyvault.com/)

Iloveguns
03-13-2012, 1:15 PM
yeah but the accuracy falls off so much.....http://www.smileyvault.com/albums/forum/smileyvault-stirthepot.gif (http://www.smileyvault.com/)

If your modifying then go with a Remington! There is a reason they are more popular!

Army
03-13-2012, 1:31 PM
If your modifying then go with a Remington! There is a reason they are more popular!
Not really. Remington actions are round, making them easy to put in a lathe chuck and modify. All the work you need to do to a Remington to make them shoot as good as an out-of-the-box Savage, can get rather expensive :)

Notice how much aftermarket junk is available for Chevy's? Same thing. Easy to work on.

Iloveguns
03-13-2012, 1:45 PM
Not really. Remington actions are round, making them easy to put in a lathe chuck and modify. All the work you need to do to a Remington to make them shoot as good as an out-of-the-box Savage, can get rather expensive :)

Notice how much aftermarket junk is available for Chevy's? Same thing. Easy to work on.

LoL I guess your right!

BobbyZ
03-13-2012, 2:15 PM
What's bolt lift?

Army
03-13-2012, 4:11 PM
BobbyZ, the effort needed to raise the bolt on a manual rifle.

Most Mauser based actions...which is just about everything except Mosin-Nagant and British SMLE's...cock the firing pin as you "lift" the bolt handle. This tension is what is overcome with the effort.

BobbyZ
03-13-2012, 4:23 PM
Okay thanks. So it's the rotating motion or the sliding motion or both or am I way off?

Army
03-14-2012, 1:16 PM
Yes, rotating from the down position to up cocks the firing pin against the tension of the firing pin spring and locks it to the sear. It also rotates the bolt lugs out of their locked position in the chamber. "Sliding" back and forth is pretty much a free ride for the bolt assembly. Rotating from up to down now rotates the bolt lugs into their recesses in the chamber, fully seating the cartridge.