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View Full Version : My brand new Stoeger Double Defense SxS locked shut on a live round


BigJ
07-03-2013, 5:02 PM
Last weekend I took my brand new Stoeger Double Defense SxS 12ga to the range. I got exactly 3 reloads and 5 rounds in before the trigger went click and I got no bang.

After waiting a full minute for a hang fire (was shooting Federal Premium Vital Shok 2 3/4" 1 oz Low Recoil Truball slugs) I tried to break it open and the thing wouldn't budge. I called a couple of the range officers over (who I know pretty well) and asked them to help me make the gun safe. And nothing they tried could crack it open either.

So I've got a loaded gun that won't open, with a trigger and firing pin in an unknown state and a safety that won't engage. Talk about the pucker factor! :eek:

I have an appointment with a qualified gunsmith tomorrow (who by the way is booked solid with work thru August, but who is going to help me make the gun safe anyway. Very cool of him to help me out, especially on the holiday). I'll update with what we find.

But in the mean time, anyone else had issue(s) with their Stoeger SxS and/or had a fail like this before? What was the cause?

RayPDA
07-03-2013, 5:12 PM
Did you pull the forend and remove the barrels?

BigJ
07-03-2013, 5:13 PM
I did pull the forend, and the barrels would not budge.

RayPDA
07-03-2013, 5:14 PM
To add... That's pretty scary, be careful and good luck!

epic1856
07-03-2013, 6:16 PM
That sucks. I have a 28g Stoeger sxs Uplander and I have not had any issues with it firing. good luck

BigJ
07-04-2013, 1:22 PM
Well I met with Lynn this morning (of http://www.llgunsmithing.com/) and he was fantastic. Very safe, very through and very helpful.

After some troubleshooting and very careful disassembly, here's what he found

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z260/JasonWilliamPics/Guns/Stoeger%20Double%20Defense/2013-07-04103325_zps68e346e4.jpg

I'm not exactly sure what that piece is pictured on top, but it fell out when the stock came off. Lynn got this far but still was unable to break the thing open, so he stopped there. The plan now is to call Stoeger Monday and ask for some help opening the action making the gun safe, then figure out how to fix the problem from there (warranty?)

I gotta say it was a little freaky when he took the stock off and we saw that hammer was cocked. Yikes.

jfifer
07-04-2013, 11:53 PM
With a new gun too. Thats scary. I had an old ithaca double barrel, and it would sometimes get stuck after firing the first round, and trigger would be really tight. I would pull really really hard and itd fire. About 1 time every hundred.

JagerDog
07-10-2013, 11:34 PM
Cheap guns break...be it 3 rounds or 300. Hate to say it.

Can you force a discharge in a safe manner? At least then it wouldn't be a hazard.

BigJ
07-10-2013, 11:43 PM
All guns break. Price isn't any guarantee.

For now the pin is blocked and the hammer is tied back. Best he can do until Stoeger weighs in.

roflwizard
07-10-2013, 11:59 PM
That's what you get for buying some mall-ninja *** 1800's tech.

BigJ
07-11-2013, 12:03 AM
That's what you get for buying some mall-ninja *** 1800's tech.

You're so right. What was I thinking. Thank goodness you're here to set me straight.

roflwizard
07-11-2013, 12:07 AM
I don't make the rules, i just enforce them.

Max Power!
07-11-2013, 11:50 AM
I have a double defense also. Last night I took it apart and compared the internals to your photo. It looks the same. I did not see the top piece that fell out when you opened yours.

If you didn't thoroughly clean the shotgun before you fired it, you could try cleaning the internals with some Gun scrubber/Action Blast and then spray with some Breakfree CLP. I did that because I was having issues opening the action as well as the right hammer cocking. The cleaning and CLP seemed to have fixed that issue.

JagerDog
07-11-2013, 12:47 PM
All guns break. Price isn't any guarantee.

For now the pin is blocked and the hammer is tied back. Best he can do until Stoeger weighs in.

Most guns don't break. Certainly not in 3 rounds.

Seems to me whatever locks the breech closed (crossbolt/whatever) isn't releasing.

BigJ
07-11-2013, 12:56 PM
Most guns don't break. Certainly not in 3 rounds.No doubt. And if you search the web, this particular failure with this particular model seems fairly unique.

You're bound to step in **** from time to time, and in my experience the price of the food that fed the dog never makes it smell any better.

jarr, thanks for looking. It was cleaned before shooting but I'll keep the CLP idea in mind if/when I run into an issue like you had.

Max Power!
07-11-2013, 1:39 PM
It could also be a problem with the firing pins. If there was crud in the firing pin channel causing a light primer strike, the firing pins could remain stuck in the out position.

ebencikiv
07-11-2013, 1:58 PM
Pucker factor for sure!

21SF
07-11-2013, 2:36 PM
That's what you get for buying some mall-ninja *** 1800's tech.

I don't make the rules, i just enforce them.

Like you know anything, noob troll.

loophole
07-12-2013, 11:14 AM
If that Stoeger is anything like any of my single shots, the breech will not open if the gun is cocked. You'll probably need to de-cock it to get it to open.

BigJ
07-12-2013, 8:39 PM
If that Stoeger is anything like any of my single shots, the breech will not open if the gun is cocked. You'll probably need to de-cock it to get it to open.I don't think that's the issue here. There's no way to decock it without firing, so I doubt they expect you to send rounds down range any time you want to unload it.

Tom-ADC
07-12-2013, 8:46 PM
If that Stoeger is anything like any of my single shots, the breech will not open if the gun is cocked. You'll probably need to de-cock it to get it to open.

How do you decock a hammerless SXS? They are made to open loaded, his broke.
I would have thought a range officer would let you fire it to make it safe, I would.

BigJ
07-12-2013, 9:58 PM
I would have thought a range officer would let you fire it to make it safe, I would.
I tried. Pulling the trigger produced no results. Almost like the safety was on (it wasn't).

hcbr
07-12-2013, 10:42 PM
have a Stoeger SxS , havent' had a single fault with it. Hope they can figure out what happened

loophole
07-13-2013, 9:58 AM
How do you decock a hammerless SXS? They are made to open loaded, his broke.

Of course they are made to open loaded. They are NOT made to open when cocked.

Any firearm can be de-cocked - it's all a matter of knowing how to safely do it.

XDshooter
07-13-2013, 10:04 AM
From the picture you can see the safety is still slightly engaged. Kind of weird that your gunsmith did not see this.

Could be be from poor manufacturing and lack of quality control.
It doesn't look like the safety can be moved further up. It's hitting the back of the hammer spring.

Tom-ADC
07-13-2013, 10:18 AM
Of course they are made to open loaded. They are NOT made to open when cocked.

Any firearm can be de-cocked - it's all a matter of knowing how to safely do it.

My O/U let me shot one barrel open the gun and reload the barrel I just shot, the other barrel remains cocked and loaded during this process.
Lets say you are out hunting and want to take a break doesn't matter if its a SxS or O/U they cock on opening so when you put the safety on and open the gun remove the shells, but that shotgun has remained cocked the whole time.
To store mine uncocked I use snap caps pull the trigger twice, remove the fore end open the gun remove snap caps, close and reinstall fore end that way it doesn't cock again.
Thats the only way to decock one of these. Of course you don't need snap caps but....

loophole
07-13-2013, 1:18 PM
My O/U let me shot one barrel open the gun and reload the barrel I just shot, the other barrel remains cocked and loaded during this process.

Yeah, I had a little brain fade there.

Will it open with the safety in either position?

Max Power!
07-13-2013, 4:53 PM
It should open with the safety in either position. It actually has an automatic safety which engages when the gun is opened.

When you remove the fore-end and barrel, the gun needs to be cocked or you will not be able to reinstall them.

Tom-ADC
07-13-2013, 5:16 PM
When you remove the fore-end and barrel, the gun needs to be cocked or you will not be able to reinstall them.

Not on any of mine, I have four including a SxS that goes back to 1908.

BigJ
07-13-2013, 5:22 PM
From the picture you can see the safety is still slightly engaged. Kind of weird that your gunsmith did not see this.This pic was taken right before the gun went into safe storage and after ensuring the safety was on as far as it will engage. He tried all sorts of things to open the action first, including toggling the safety into several different positions along its travel.

Will it open with the safety in either position?Yep.

Max Power!
07-13-2013, 6:47 PM
Not on any of mine, I have four including a SxS that goes back to 1908.

Maybe this is unique to the Stoeger SxS. There are tabs on the receiver near the fore-end. When you open the shotgun, the tabs get pushed down by the fore-end and the shotgun is cocked. If you remove the fore-end when the gun is not cocked you will not be able to put it back unless you cock it. You can push the tabs on a hard surface to cock the shotgun.

On this particular SxS, the safety in the forward position is for fire and the rearward position is safe. Every time you open the action, the safety is activated. The bar that the mainspring is on pushed on the safety lever. You can actually disable the automatic safety by removing some of the metal where that bar meets the safety.

Tom-ADC
07-13-2013, 9:09 PM
So with a Stoeger SxS you can't open it put in two snap caps, pull both triggers, remove the fore end open the gun remove the snap caps & close the barrels and reinstall the fore end?

Max Power!
07-13-2013, 9:41 PM
No, because if the Stoeger is not cocked you cannot re-install the fore-end. I put in 2 snap caps, pull the trigger twice, and then leave the snap caps in there. This shotgun only has 1 trigger. The first trigger pull fires the right barrel and the second pull fires the left barrel.

Tom-ADC
07-14-2013, 10:26 AM
Interesting, I would not have thought that, but I've never owned a Stoeger.

Parker2020
07-15-2013, 4:08 AM
Here's a link to some helpful info regarding problems with a Stoeger SXS
These guns are popular with Cowboy action shooters as "starter" guns due to the lower cost and some of the problems /fixes are detailed here.

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/stoeger.html

Bazerkly
07-15-2013, 8:10 AM
I once saw a brand new Stoeger Condor Competition and the ejectors were bent. I suspect somebody dropped the barrel. The Stoeger Side by sides have a different system. The only other issue was you can't shoot Remingtons in a Stoeger, as per the factory. They may have fixed that problem by now.

loophole
07-15-2013, 1:25 PM
When you say the top part fell off, do you mean the release lever?

Simply115
07-15-2013, 8:18 PM
No, because if the Stoeger is not cocked you cannot re-install the fore-end. I put in 2 snap caps, pull the trigger twice, and then leave the snap caps in there. This shotgun only has 1 trigger. The first trigger pull fires the right barrel and the second pull fires the left barrel.

That's not true, at least for me. I made the mistake of pulling my Stoeger out of it's box the first time and dry firing it without the forend installed. It was a bit tricky, but you can get the fore-end back on if it's uncocked. I've done it twice now, without scratching up the finish.

smittty
07-15-2013, 10:58 PM
http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z260/JasonWilliamPics/Guns/Stoeger%20Double%20Defense/2013-07-04103325_zps68e346e4.jpg
.

Your Safety is definitely on. Based on what I see in this picture the steel rod with the spring around it looks too long. That rod engages the safety when you open the action. On some of these guns the rod moves back from recoil just enough to engage the safety. IMO it should be shortened so that it doesn't automatically engage the safety when the action is opened.

I worked on a few Stoeger coach guns and with just a bit of work they are pretty good.

Max Power!
07-16-2013, 11:19 AM
They designed that steel rod that way. The automatic safety was an intended feature of this gun. When you open the action that rod pushes the safety into the rearward (on) position. The forward position is the off position.
In this photo it appears that the top part of the safety is in the off position but the bottom part did not articulate out of the safe position since it is still touching the trigger.

BigJ
07-16-2013, 11:32 AM
Got an update!

Stoeger was helpful in getting all this squared away. They told my gunsmith to make the gun safe, and if that meant damaging something in the process, they'll fix it under warranty with no complaint. Nice to hear.

Lynn was able to remove the locking block keeper which let him separate the barrels from the receiver and remove the live round.

After checking things out, he found two issues:
1) the factory fit of the trigger selector block had it not engaging the left hammer correctly, hence the misfire.
2) the locking block spring rod needed to be fitted correctly at its end of travel to allow the locking block to move back enough to allow the barrel lug to be disengaged.

He addressed both issues and now its a matter of test firing. Assuming all goes well, this should put an end to the problems I was having.

MrExel17
07-16-2013, 11:42 AM
Good to know BigJ, was wondering the outcome! Glad is going to work out!

Coolguy101
07-16-2013, 1:16 PM
...

DBADRAT
07-16-2013, 3:50 PM
Great to know and that Stoeger is taking care of you.

hcbr
07-16-2013, 4:45 PM
awesome to here OP, like how Stoeger gave their assurance to help resolve the problem with your gunsmith!

Glad you're getting closer to solving this mystery!

smittty
07-19-2013, 1:54 PM
They designed that steel rod that way. The automatic safety was an intended feature of this gun. When you open the action that rod pushes the safety into the rearward (on) position. The forward position is the off position.
In this photo it appears that the top part of the safety is in the off position but the bottom part did not articulate out of the safe position since it is still touching the trigger.


Yes that's how the auto safety works. By shortening that rod to the right length you essentially remove the PITA auto safety.

These guns might need a bit of cleaning up otherwise they are pretty good. With auto ejectors they would be awesome.

Mr. Beretta
07-19-2013, 9:58 PM
Good news for a change!

Thanks for the update.

BigJ
07-21-2013, 2:04 PM
Welp, alls well that ends well. Mostly.

The great news is I picked the gun up and the thing is butter smooth now. If you've read about these guns, you know that as they come from the factory they're fairly stiff to open. Lynn (the gunsmith) was able to "fix" not only the problems I had, but at the same time he fitted and smoothed and cleaned and lubed everything so that now the thing is truly a pleasure to operate.

The only bummer for me is that through all of this, we've learned (based on feedback from Stoeger's head gunsmith as well as in Lynn's opinion too) that this gun will last forever when used with bird or buckshot, but also that it probably isn't the best idea to shoot thousands of slugs through it. Which, for me, kinda stinks because I bought this gun primarily to be a fun slug gun.

So the bottom line is the gun is in better than new condition, which is great! But now I'm wondering if I should sell it on, and start the hunt anew for a "fun slug gun" given that as it turns out and despite Stoeger's advertising that says otherwise, this one isn't exactly the best choice in that regard.

Parker2020
07-21-2013, 5:16 PM
Ditto on the new gun stiffness thing . I have been disassembling different parts of my Stoeger coach gun and cleaning out the factory grit that is everywhere and then burnishing the metal to smooth metal - metal fit .
Every time I clean a new section it gets smoother . In hindsight if I had to do it over I would have just tear down the entire gun and clean up everything .
Its a nifty little fun gun but the quality control from the factory is a little lacking .

MongooseV8
07-22-2013, 8:31 AM
If you can afford to shoot thousands of rounds of slugs, you can afford to buy another Stoeger 10 years from now if and when it finally wears out.

BigJ
07-22-2013, 8:35 AM
If you can afford to shoot thousands of rounds of slugs, you can afford to buy another Stoeger 10 years from now if and when it finally wears out.That's a good point. Although I think your math is a little exaggerated. If you load your own (I planned to do so), you can make top quality slugs for around $0.35 ea. And when I hit the range, I'll set up for hours and I'll run 100+ shells at a time.

So, you're right, but not as right as the quick math would make it seem ;)

MongooseV8
07-22-2013, 8:08 PM
That's a good point. Although I think your math is a little exaggerated. If you load your own (I planned to do so), you can make top quality slugs for around $0.35 ea. And when I hit the range, I'll set up for hours and I'll run 100+ shells at a time.

So, you're right, but not as right as the quick math would make it seem ;)

Haha fair enough. Either way I would shoot it til is started getting loose. Im sure Stoeger would tune it up afterwards. Life is too short to worry about the service life of a shotgun!

3006mv
07-25-2013, 6:32 PM
Good news thanks for sharing.
Yeah roll your own low recoil slugs or 00

sk1
07-26-2013, 10:41 AM
Same thing happened to my friends double defense.......... We had to sit there and play with the trigger and safety at the same time until we got it to discharge into the berm.