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Posted: 7/31/2011 9:48:39 AM EDT
Yesterday, I scored a real beauty of an M44 form my favorite local funstore. It is a 1944 Ishevsk w/all matching, stamped serial no.'s Metal/bluing is 100%, wood is very good to very good plus. It is counterbored, but has very good accuracy. It came with an M44 sling, oil can, ammo pouch and tools. I paid $150.00 and felt like it was a real find these days.

This morning I took it to the range and put about 20 rounds through it using two varieties of Russian Surplus; copper washed "silver tip", and green steel-cased non-corrosive. Both types chamber very easily and grouped respectably at 100 yds.

THE HITCH: I had to use the wooden handle of a hammer to knock the bolt open and eject the case. It was stuck too tight to open by hand. I had cleaned the rifle and chamber thoroughly (I thought) before going to the range. When I got home, I cleaned again, using brass shotgun brushes attached to a section of cleaning rod and chucked in my electric drill and coated with J&B Compound to thoroughly work and ream the chamber all the way to the lands and grooves to remove any possible trace of cosmolene or grease.

I tried some of the steel cases I had fired this A.M. and they were extremely difficult to close or open the bolt on. Again, I had to use the hammer handle. Scuff marks on the cases appear to indicate some slight case bulging near the base. If bulged, it is not visible to the eye, but I haven't mic'd them.

SO, WHAT MIGHT BE MY PROBLEM/SOLUTION? Headspace problem?  Irregular chamber dimensions?  Is it a lost cause?????????






Link Posted: 7/31/2011 10:28:36 AM EDT
Are there any scratches on your spent cases?  I had a M39 the had a burr in the chamber that would make the bolt very difficult to open.
Link Posted: 7/31/2011 10:37:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2011 10:40:34 AM EDT by sauerpauer]
yes, there is a small bright scuff mark on the base of the cases about 3/32" from the rim where the green paint or copper wash, depending on the variety of ammo, has been scrapped off.

Is this something a typical gunsmith should be able to fix economically?

Link Posted: 7/31/2011 1:40:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2011 8:18:40 AM EDT by dcs12345]
That may or may not be a bur.  It could just be the magazine lips or something else dragging on the case.

Can you take a pic a scratched spent case?

As far as cost goes, I think it is a pretty cheap fix, maybe $30....
Link Posted: 7/31/2011 9:01:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2011 9:02:13 PM EDT by MagnusM4]
Should be a real easy fix and is very common with milsurps. These rifles were stored with cosmoline and that cosmo is still in there which is what is messing with you, so you need to get it out. Find a long tray. Disassemble the rifle and set the receiver (and barrel if you can) into the tray. Also disassemble the bolt and set those parts in there. Buy some cheap paint thinner or mineral spirits from wally world. Fill the tray just enough to cover the metal parts. Let the rifle sit in there for 15-20 minutes. Take out the rifle and wipe it off. Take a 20 or 12 gauge bore brush and attach it to a cleaning rod. Scrub the hell out of the chamber. Clean the bore like you would any other rifle. Apply oil. Reassemble. Problem fixed.
Link Posted: 8/3/2011 9:35:49 PM EDT
My brother in law had the same issue. It happened one and hasn't reoccurred. The only solution was a swift smack with a hammer. I think the ammo was somehow warped after decades of storage.
Link Posted: 8/3/2011 11:53:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2011 7:59:40 AM EDT by MagnusM4]
Originally Posted By 88_Sahara:
My brother in law had the same issue. It happened one and hasn't reoccurred. The only solution was a swift smack with a hammer. I think the ammo was somehow warped after decades of storage.


Cosmoline...
Link Posted: 8/4/2011 4:42:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MagnusM4:
Cosmoline...


Yes, first make sure the chamber is absolutely cleaned of all cosmoline. Spray your favorite cleaner in there and let it sit. Better yet, take your favorite cleaner, spray some on a chamber brush chucked in a drill and give it a go. After that, see if the problem still exists.
Link Posted: 8/4/2011 10:01:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2011 10:02:18 AM EDT by AKJP]
Not that cosmoline won't cause issues, but if the cases are showing scratches, it's most likely a burr in the chamber and may need to be filed/lapped out. If you do a thorough cleaning (including the recesses for the bolt lugs in the receiver, which are usually a more likely culprit than  the chamber) and it still runs hard, have a gunsmith look at it.
Link Posted: 8/4/2011 2:08:28 PM EDT
If it's a minor burr, steel wool may be able to clear it up too, chuck some up on a chamber brsuh and go slow in a drill...
Link Posted: 8/4/2011 4:05:12 PM EDT
I seem to remember something about some of the surplus ammo having varnish on the case. It would melt and build-up in the chamber. The wooden mallet seems to be a common solution.

Jim
Link Posted: 8/4/2011 6:05:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
I seem to remember something about some of the surplus ammo having varnish on the case. It would melt and build-up in the chamber. The wooden mallet seems to be a common solution.

Jim


Some ammo is lacquer coated like Brown Bear, HotShot and some surplus. The lacquer coating isn't what makes the bolt stick. I can shoot lacquer coated ammo in my Mosin all day long once I clean the cosmoline out.
Link Posted: 8/5/2011 7:37:44 AM EDT
I just bought a new-to-me M44 as well.  I have no problems with Russian surplus ammo, but I tried feeding it some Yugo heavy ball and that sticks every case.  It sticks so bad the extractor can't even pull it, I have to use a cleaning rod to knock them out.  No scratches or gouges in the cases.
Link Posted: 8/5/2011 8:11:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
I just bought a new-to-me M44 as well.  I have no problems with Russian surplus ammo, but I tried feeding it some Yugo heavy ball and that sticks every case.  It sticks so bad the extractor can't even pull it, I have to use a cleaning rod to knock them out.  No scratches or gouges in the cases.


Have you done the old 12 gauge/drill method in the chamber yet?
Link Posted: 8/7/2011 6:02:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dcs12345:
Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
I just bought a new-to-me M44 as well.  I have no problems with Russian surplus ammo, but I tried feeding it some Yugo heavy ball and that sticks every case.  It sticks so bad the extractor can't even pull it, I have to use a cleaning rod to knock them out.  No scratches or gouges in the cases.


Have you done the old 12 gauge/drill method in the chamber yet?


Nnnnope.  Just got it.

Should I try polishing the chamber?
Link Posted: 8/7/2011 6:07:54 PM EDT
TrojanMan,
Yes do it, otherwise the problem will be ongoing.
How to fix sticky bolt
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 1:30:23 PM EDT
Update:
Because of the degree of my sticky problem, I was convinced that it was headspace or something equally serious.

NOPE:  I chucked a section of cleaning rod, tipped with a bronze brush, in my electric drill and did as recommended by others on this forum.

I wore-out a 20 ga. brush, then wore out a 12 ga. brush, then used a 30. cal chamber brush and finally, a small piece of a Scotch Green Pad. It took 3 long sessions and four complete charges of my drill batteries to do the job. My wife even checked on me a couple of times, concerned I was going to damage the rifle by working it so hard.

End results: Smooth function, easy and positive feed and extraction. Problem solved!! Thanks for the advice guys!
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