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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 10-09-2019, 11:18 AM
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Default Sticky Bolt on Howa 1500 .308

Hey All,

I am relatively new to Rifle shooting and just bought my first Centerfire rifle about two months ago. It's the Howa 1500 heavy barrel that was on sale at Turners, chambered in 308 Winchester with the Hogue stock.

I wanted to start off on the right foot so I went to The Gun Range in San Diego to perform the break-in procedure.
After just a couple of iterations of shoot/clean the bolt handle became increasingly difficult to raise after firing a round. Ammo was new Fiocchi 150 grain FMJ-BT rounds also purchased from Turners (in the green box)

That night I partially disassembled the bolt, cleaned everything up even though it was pretty clean, and applied moly lube to the cocking cam.

Yesterday I went to The Gun Range again and shot a couple of rounds of TulAmmo .308 in 150 grain with zero issues. I thought "great, I fixed it!"

I then shot 4 more rounds of Fiocchi and each time had to give the bolt handle a good tug or smack to get it to open.

Are these rifles picky with ammo? I wouldn't expect this kind of issue with a brand new rifle and brand new ammo. I called Turners and they don't have any gunsmiths and were not very helpful... They said I would need to get an RMA through Howa USA and mail it to them

What should I do next?
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:44 AM
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Tight chamber or just doesn't like that particular ammo. Try it with Federal american eagle or Federal gold medal match.
Other than sending it back, choosing different ammo it likes or living with it, not much else.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagearms View Post
Tight chamber or just doesn't like that particular ammo. Try it with Federal american eagle or Federal gold medal match.
Other than sending it back, choosing different ammo it likes or living with it, not much else.
^^^^^^^^^ this
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:38 PM
JackEllis JackEllis is offline
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I've run across this problem with a different rifle (Tikka T3 in .243) and different ammo (Prvi Partizan). Ammo may not be within spec.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:58 PM
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Signs of excessive pressure? Cratered or excessively flattened primers? Ejector or extractor smears on the base of the brass? Post closeup pics.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoscreature View Post
Hey All,

I am relatively new to Rifle shooting and just bought my first Centerfire rifle about two months ago. It's the Howa 1500 heavy barrel that was on sale at Turners, chambered in 308 Winchester with the Hogue stock.

I wanted to start off on the right foot so I went to The Gun Range in San Diego to perform the break-in procedure.
After just a couple of iterations of shoot/clean the bolt handle became increasingly difficult to raise after firing a round. Ammo was new Fiocchi 150 grain FMJ-BT rounds also purchased from Turners (in the green box)

That night I partially disassembled the bolt, cleaned everything up even though it was pretty clean, and applied moly lube to the cocking cam.

Yesterday I went to The Gun Range again and shot a couple of rounds of TulAmmo .308 in 150 grain with zero issues. I thought "great, I fixed it!"

I then shot 4 more rounds of Fiocchi and each time had to give the bolt handle a good tug or smack to get it to open.

Are these rifles picky with ammo? I wouldn't expect this kind of issue with a brand new rifle and brand new ammo. I called Turners and they don't have any gunsmiths and were not very helpful... They said I would need to get an RMA through Howa USA and mail it to them

What should I do next?
That's a quality firearm. I would suggest ammo issues or possibly a QC issue with that particular rifle.

Not something you'd have to live with, IMO.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2019, 1:39 PM
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Wow,
Thank you for all the responses!

I will take some pictures of the back of the ammo tonight. I kept the brass from the first break-in period. I don't know enough about what a spent casing SHOULD look like to know if something is wrong.

Turners has some Aguila ammo on sale this week, I will pick up a box of those and see if I get the same results as with the Fiocchi.
I am not a match grade shooter, I bought the .308 because I wanted something cheaper to shoot and easier to find ammo for than my fathers old deer rifle (.300 savage), but with more bang than my rimfires.
I gotta admit I love shooting the Howa. The weight of the rifle and the soft butt pad on the Hogue stock makes it more of a hard push than a punch in the shoulder like the Savage gives.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2019, 2:17 PM
American Muslim Gun Owner American Muslim Gun Owner is offline
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Hey chaos,

Glad you are keeping us updated. I thought you might've found a fix to the problem. I am going to follow your thread to see what ends up being the issue. I too think it is ammo-related since one brand worked just fine and the other did not. I know it sucks having to try all this different ammo as it can become costly.

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoscreature View Post
Hey All,

I am relatively new to Rifle shooting and just bought my first Centerfire rifle about two months ago. It's the Howa 1500 heavy barrel that was on sale at Turners, chambered in 308 Winchester with the Hogue stock.

I wanted to start off on the right foot so I went to The Gun Range in San Diego to perform the break-in procedure.
After just a couple of iterations of shoot/clean the bolt handle became increasingly difficult to raise after firing a round. Ammo was new Fiocchi 150 grain FMJ-BT rounds also purchased from Turners (in the green box)

That night I partially disassembled the bolt, cleaned everything up even though it was pretty clean, and applied moly lube to the cocking cam.

Yesterday I went to The Gun Range again and shot a couple of rounds of TulAmmo .308 in 150 grain with zero issues. I thought "great, I fixed it!"

I then shot 4 more rounds of Fiocchi and each time had to give the bolt handle a good tug or smack to get it to open.

Are these rifles picky with ammo? I wouldn't expect this kind of issue with a brand new rifle and brand new ammo. I called Turners and they don't have any gunsmiths and were not very helpful... They said I would need to get an RMA through Howa USA and mail it to them

What should I do next?
Do the Fiocchi cases show high pressure signs?
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 10-09-2019 at 10:52 PM..
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2019, 6:56 AM
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I am not sure what to look for here. They look okay to me, but I just don't know.

I am having some issues posting pictures... Imgur had gotten very weird and I'm not even sure if they still host photos and Icloud is also being a PITA...

I wrote Howa and told them what was happening. Their response was "we recommend Hornady ammo" and they gave me a list of approved ammo. Almost funny really, they didn't answer a single question



Last edited by chaoscreature; 10-10-2019 at 7:10 AM..
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2019, 7:33 PM
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Alrighty, I figured out how to post some photos finally!


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  #12  
Old 10-10-2019, 9:17 PM
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Pictures don't display for people who are not logged into YOUR google account.

Log yourself out of google and then come check what we are seeing...
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2019, 10:44 PM
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When you were cleaning and shooting did you get the chamber dry?
If you didn't the brass will get a frosted look to it and be difficult to extract.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2019, 3:31 AM
Gunsrruss Gunsrruss is offline
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Question Brass

Lets not get to excited here. It could very well be the brass. I had factory 6.5 X 55 brass from FN that was that way. Even after I started reloading only the FN brass was hard to extract. Finally after I got enough Winchester and Hornady brass did I recycle the FN brass, and was glad to see it go
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Old 10-11-2019, 6:56 AM
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Aaargh, I am so frustrated with technology right now!

What service are you guys using to share photos directly on forums? This is the best I could come up with. I installed Icloud for Windows and that was a giant waste of time too!!!

Gunsrruss,
I think you are right, it is probably just the ammo. Hopefully I will be able to get a box or two of Aguila today (assuming Turners isn't sold out of everything... again...)
LAX is also having there parking lot sale today, I will see what I can get that's not in bulk to try some more things out.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1BxNuV1kxkDJdDif8
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Old 10-11-2019, 7:37 AM
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I suspect the ammo. Defective ammo DOES happen. I have Hornandy 223 ammo I got years ago and most (but not all) of it will not chamber in my Howa. Winchester and Lapus brass rounds will. I measured the Hornady ammo and the case to neck dimension is noticeably longer than the Lapua and Winchester brass.
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Old 10-11-2019, 8:39 AM
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Well that sucks to hear. I got a bunch of Hornady .223 (might be 5.56) 75 gr because it's the best priced stuff I could find with target bullets. It's for my Howa.
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Old 10-11-2019, 9:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoscreature View Post
Aaargh, I am so frustrated with technology right now!

What service are you guys using to share photos directly on forums? This is the best I could come up with. I installed Icloud for Windows and that was a giant waste of time too!!!
Load the photos as files to your computer, then use MS Office or another program to crop, edit and resize, save. Then insert the files through the file attachment protocols. Here's some reference.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg Primers.jpg (42.3 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg Brass Walls.jpg (66.2 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg Action.jpg (51.3 KB, 110 views)
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Last edited by Dvrjon; 10-11-2019 at 9:03 AM..
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dvrjon View Post
If that's his picture, that's some pretty serious extractor swipe which denotes over-pressure.
That would definitely cause the bolt handle to be difficult to open.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
If that's his picture, that's some pretty serious extractor swipe which denotes over-pressure.
That would definitely cause the bolt handle to be difficult to open.
Straight off his google photo link.
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Old 10-11-2019, 7:00 PM
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Dvrjon,

Is over pressure a common issue with factory new ammo? I have read a bit about that issue, but I thought it was generally related to people running hot reloads.

Im going to get some different ammo to try out. I know Tula steel cased ammo ran through my Howa beautifully.

Using a 1 micrometer the spent cartridge I measured is coming in around .005 larger than the new brass.
Base of casing new = .4667
Base of casing fired = .4712

Top of casing before taper new = .4520
Top of casing before taper fired = .4582

Top of necked area new = .3398
Top of necked area fired = .3450
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Old 10-11-2019, 7:06 PM
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Oh, and I am off a week. LAX ammos sale is next week...
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Old 10-12-2019, 5:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoscreature View Post
Dvrjon,

Is over pressure a common issue with factory new ammo? I have read a bit about that issue, but I thought it was generally related to people running hot reloads.
Ill defer the technical review to others.
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Old 10-12-2019, 5:43 AM
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Compare.those measurements to the other ammo that worked fine for you.
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Old 10-12-2019, 6:21 AM
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I'm on my cellphone and don't see any ejector swipe or overpressure.
The case on the right is harder to see so I am guessing that is the one that is bad?
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Old 10-12-2019, 7:28 AM
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It doesn't look that bad. The only way to read pressure without very expensive lab equipment and setups is to measure the case head immediately in front of the extractor groove before and after firing. If the solid part of the head grows AT ALL, there is too much pressure. Primer condition is not the most reliable way to read pressure. Extractor and ejector marks are a sign that it is getting too hot, or the brass is too soft.
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Old 10-12-2019, 9:11 AM
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Not sure of this has been asked but were the rounds difficult to also go into battery when locking the bolt down? Some ammo manufacturers have cases that are pretty long in comparison. When prepping brass I notice to get down to what chambers in my Tikka I would have to trim almost 2mm off. If its having issues with clambering it's the case length. Nothing you can do about that if you aren't a reloader.
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