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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 06-24-2018, 1:28 PM
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Default T/C Compass .308 - Bolt Locked Up

My Brother and I bought T/C Compass .308 rifles and took them out to shoot for the first time about a week ago. We had some Tula Steel Case 150gr he bought at WM for initial sight-in/plinking and some Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr we had previously bought for accuracy testing.

The day that we shot was pretty warm, around 90. I had previously warned my Brother not to leave any ammo sitting where it would heat up as this could cause it to raise pressure levels when fired. I was shooting clays with my JM Pro 12gauge so was not paying attention to him as he started sighting in his Compass. I heard him put about 10-15 rounds downrange over 15 minutes or so then he came up to me saying he was having problems with the rifle and could not get the bolt to cycle.

I asked him if it initially was functioning ok and he said yes but with the last rounds he shot, the bolt was getting harder to cycle. I looked it over to be sure the safety wasn't in the lock position and verified it wasn't. I then glance over at his shooting table and notice the Tula ammo he was shooting sitting there cooking in the hot sun. I picked some loose rounds up and they were definitely warm/hot to the touch.

Based on my description of what happened, has he seriously damaged his rifle? I'm guessing at the least that he's going to be sending the rifle back to T/C-S&W to have it repaired.
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Old 06-24-2018, 2:05 PM
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Lacquer coated?

Look, I seriously doubt damaging the rifle is possible, most likely just glued a case in the chamber - were the .308’s the kinda with a coating or sealed primers/necks?
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Last edited by plumbum; 06-24-2018 at 2:08 PM..
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Old 06-24-2018, 2:46 PM
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On the factory box it says nothing about the casings being lacquer-coated but various online Sellers state it has a phosphate polymer coating.

This is the stuff he was shooting.

Last edited by WartHog; 06-24-2018 at 2:54 PM..
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Old 06-24-2018, 9:17 PM
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Default T/C Compass .308 - Bolt Locked Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by WartHog View Post
On the factory box it says nothing about the casings being lacquer-coated but various online Sellers state it has a phosphate polymer coating.

This is the stuff he was shooting.


Is there a live round in it? If not...
Flood the chamber (lightly, but enough to more than fill the case itself) with solvent from the bore, wait with it propped up, work the action several days while its waiting, see if it frees up.

If there is a live round in it, I would schedule a time with a local gunsmith immediately. Shipping it to S&W would be poor judgement until the round removed then send for evaluation.

My 308 TC is occasionally sticky and I never fire polymer coated steel case ammo, only fired my own loads so far actually.

I suspect it just needs time to wear in.


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Last edited by lordmorgul; 06-24-2018 at 9:24 PM..
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:07 PM
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No live round in chamber, Andrew - just the last fired casing. I propped the rifle up vertically & sprayed some Cyclo Breakaway Penetrating Oil/Lubricant down the bore. Will let it sit a couple of days and try to occasionally work the action.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:23 AM
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Shooting steel cased tula in a commercial bolt action is not something I would recommend doing. It sounds like you already have an idea of what happened. Pressure spike due to ammo temp likely stuck the steel case in the chamber pretty good. It tap the bolt handle gently with a plastic mallet to get it free then clean the chamber really good.
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Old 06-26-2018, 7:18 AM
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If the bolt is lifted past the point where the primary extraction occurs (i.e. it's up far enough that it should pull back) drop a cleaning rod down the muzzle and give it a few taps with a piece of wood. Won't work unless the bolt handle is fully raised.
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Old 06-26-2018, 8:55 AM
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The cleaning rod never worked well for me. The always seem the buckle and im still left with a stuck bolt. Another option is a wood dowel rod. Cut pieces about 6-8" long and feed them down the muzzle and tap them through with a plastic mallet.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:37 AM
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Brass rod works great. Iíve got a 20 and a 28 ish caliber one for just this sort of thing. Weight and velocity will knock almost anything loose without a hammer.
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Old 06-26-2018, 1:03 PM
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Great idea ^^^
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Old 06-26-2018, 1:14 PM
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So, before driving an hour this morning to have Nathan at Bay Area Gunsmithing in Novato look at it, I decided to try the suggestions of using a rod to try to tap the casing loose. Used a piece of 1/4" mild steel rod with wraps of electrical tape in the crown area and at three inch intervals down the rest of the rod to help prevent contact with the bore/rifling. A few gentle taps with a small ball peen hammer and the stuck case came free.

Cleaned the bore and bolt and could not see any visible damage. Cycled a couple of mags of ammo with safety on and it fed and extracted as it should. I think my Brother won't make the mistake again of letting ammo cook in the sun before firing...
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Old 06-26-2018, 1:25 PM
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Sweet! Saved time and money is good, now buy more guns and ammo with it! 😃
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Old 06-26-2018, 5:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WartHog View Post
Ö.Cycled a couple of mags of ammo with safety on and it fed and extracted as it should...
When you first feel the bolt getting harder to lift, stop and let the gun cool down. Brass cases are much more reliable in smaller chambers. You have tried steel cases and you found an issue, you may want to shoot slower or change ammo.
It's not really a good idea to load up a rifle unless you can point the muzzle in a direction that can absorb a rifle bullet strike (like the shooting range). Do that stuff outside in a safe area.
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Old 06-26-2018, 5:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ69 View Post
When you first feel the bolt getting harder to lift, stop and let the gun cool down. Brass cases are much more reliable in smaller chambers. You have tried steel cases and you found an issue, you may want to shoot slower or change ammo.
It's not really a good idea to load up a rifle unless you can point the muzzle in a direction that can absorb a rifle bullet strike (like the shooting range). Do that stuff outside in a safe area.

Thanks for the good advice - I think that'll be the last steel case we buy/shoot in our 308's. I think the major issue was my brother left the ammo sitting it direct sun which must've caused some degree of overpressure when fired.
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