Rifle Reliability Issues

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,771
1,787
Africa Huntress":2ckqj8ux said:
SJB358":2ckqj8ux said:
I agree, I will give up a shade of accuracy to have a rifle that handles rounds each and every time.

Scotty, I agree and will add I am even willing to give up shooting at extreme distance's. in exchange for reliability. I admit that I was weaned on doubles and therefore my opinion is probably a bit bias. However, I have a 300 H & H Flanged that has never given me an ounce of trouble. Admittedly, it is heavier than you like at 8 lbs and 12 oz, the distance of 200 yards is less than you would want to hunt at, and even the accuracy at those distances is less than you like, but the reliability has been excellent.

Guy, this is very unscientific but we have had less drama with double rifles than bolts, regardless of the manufacturer of the rifle. My father, tinkers with them ( mum and I hunt with them ) and he once stated that he has had fewer problems over the years with pre 64 model 70 rifles than the mauser 98's and the 98's are "clunkier"--his choice of words. Overall, we have found doubles in general to be more reliable, mechanically speaking

Hodgeman, loved your post and sense of humor

Best Regards

Jamila.

Good stuff Jamila! Most of us don't have experience with doubles - so I really appreciate your input on this subject. Thanks!

Also, though I like Mauser 98's, I too find them "clunky" compared to a Model 70 or other, more modern bolt-action rifles.

Guy
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,771
1,787
Polaris":144zkpxh said:
As for selecting reliable rifles in general, I tend to stick to military designs. They have stood the test of time, infantry grunts, combat and ordinance boards. Their flaws are well known and remedies are available. Just need to stick to cartridges that will work in your particular rifle.

Incidentally, the one rifle I have never, ever had any sort of malfunction with is my M1917 sporter. That's why this one comes out when the weather or the game get a bit hairy.

Ya, I was kind of disappointed when my youngest son liked my sporterized M1917 rifle so much. It was MINE until he discovered it about 2009 when we took up bear hunting in earnest. I love that danged old rifle!

Perhaps of interest, my Remington 700 CDL's were a turn away from Winchester for me. I'd really tried to like the CRF Model 70 and had been through several... But each one was problematic. Over time I grew tired of dealing with the problems. I knew I could buy a Rem 700 and it would shoot reliably and accurately. I wasn't disappointed. Eventually I did have them pillar bedded, free floated, and the triggers adjusted, but honestly they were pretty doggone good as Remington built them.

Guy
 

ART300WSM

Beginner
Mar 19, 2017
10
0
Never had a malfunction with any of my HPR's including a M700 in .338wm. 116 in 7mmstw, a M700 in 300wm, and a M96 Swedish in 6.5x55, two 336C's in 35 Remington, but I do go over my rifles with extreme care including disassembling them bi-yearly, especially just prior to deer season to the minimum recommended to inspect parts most likely to fail me. Found out the hard way my Encore ML's trigger assembly has an itsy-bitsy spring that if your not VERY careful to capture while disassembling will fly like it's on full after burner, making finding it a true challenge on your concrete basement floor.
 

35 Whelen

Handloader
Dec 22, 2011
2,075
7
Old Ward Gay of Alaska fame, had some nice double rifles that were " London Best" guns and he enjoyed hunting Africa, he told me that he was surprised to see numerous PH' there; that All owned fine English Doubles, had an American double in 12 bore ready to "rock n roll" if it got ugly on a wounded cat , or after dark .
Even though they loved their sidelock guns, it was commonly known that the simplicity of the lowly boxlock from Philadelphia USA was considered THE most dependable firearm ever developed. And the gun that PH's
Trusted ;more than guns they owned, that cost 50x as much. Of course I am referring to the creation of one Ansley Fox..............
Having worked on doubles for over 40 years now, I certainly can appreaciate the exquisite craftsmanship of a Londons Best, However the basic design of a Fox Shotgun was so vastly simpler , having so fewer parts, it is still as true today as it was then........
I restocked one last winter that was 99 years old , had been in the same family for 3 generations and the gun had never been apart since it left the factory! Never failed them once in 99 years. It had had a tremendous amount of use with almost no original finishes left but still worked
Flawlessly ........... Talk about getting it right the first time!
If I had to face a wounded animal that could kill me at Ultra close range were any problem could cost you your life the barrels would not say Anything but A.H. Fox Philadelphia, Pa. 40555x7.jpg
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,992
554
I've only experienced the following issues:

A Remington 700 customized rifle that fired upon closing the bolt; gunsmith found the problem to be the headspace on the 300 WSM, and corrected provlm. Has not happened again. Not the rifle's fault, but an issue with the headspacing by the gunsmith when fitting the custom barrel to the action. Nevertheless, disconcerting to say the least! Glad to have been practicing safe gun handling techniques.

A loud "click" when pulling the trigger on a Marlin 375 Win on a wounded bear. Bad primer in Winchester ammunition. 3 more shells in same box experienced no-fires upon trigger pull at the range. again, not the rifle's fault, but the ammunition manufacturer's.

Ruger 10/22's can be picky of which 22LR ammo they prefer: need to find which power/velocity rating will reliably feed and cycle the action every shot. I believe this has to do with the strength of the spring in the action, and have found that no two rifles (at least amongst the four that I have/currently own) like the same ammo. With some ammo, you get cases that do not fully eject and are caught in the action by the closing bolt. This I will say is a rifle manufacturer's issue as this would indicate that not all the springs are of equal and consistent strength.
But knowing this, experimenting with various ammunition makes and various loads until finding the one that performs reliably and accurately in that particular rifle has resolved the issue. Changing the spring out to a quality after market spring also helps.
 

Europe

Handloader
Jun 18, 2014
1,123
94
35 Whelen":gkt70kug said:
Old Ward Gay of Alaska fame, had some nice double rifles that were " London Best" guns and he enjoyed hunting Africa, he told me that he was surprised to see numerous PH' there; that All owned fine English Doubles, had an American double in 12 bore ready to "rock n roll" if it got ugly on a wounded cat , or after dark .
Even though they loved their sidelock guns, it was commonly known that the simplicity of the lowly boxlock from Philadelphia USA was considered THE most dependable firearm ever developed. And the gun that PH's
Trusted ;more than guns they owned, that cost 50x as much. Of course I am referring to the creation of one Ansley Fox..............
Having worked on doubles for over 40 years now, I certainly can appreaciate the exquisite craftsmanship of a Londons Best, However the basic design of a Fox Shotgun was so vastly simpler , having so fewer parts, it is still as true today as it was then........
I restocked one last winter that was 99 years old , had been in the same family for 3 generations and the gun had never been apart since it left the factory! Never failed them once in 99 years. It had had a tremendous amount of use with almost no original finishes left but still worked
Flawlessly ........... Talk about getting it right the first time!
If I had to face a wounded animal that could kill me at Ultra close range were any problem could cost you your life the barrels would not say Anything but A.H. Fox Philadelphia, Pa.

+ 1 on all points

We were lucky enough to own an original and one from Connecticut. Those who have known me for awhile are already aware of my love of the shotguns made by Connecticut and when they started reproducing the Fox a decade ago--it was a win = win for me.

My husband handled all the rifle repair and malfunctions but I do remember him once saying that he had fewer problems with Weatherby produced rifles than any of the others.

Jamila, would love to own a nice 300 H & H double, How cool would that be? Unfortunately they seem to be out of favor in North America and some of that is because of the animals, on average, seem to be hunted at longer distances and everyone wants cloverleaves at 500 yards in North America and that is not going to happen with a double, but I still wish I owned one
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
Europe":25z7qxjy said:
Jamila, would love to own a nice 300 H & H double, How cool would that be? Unfortunately they seem to be out of favor in North America and some of that is because of the animals, on average, seem to be hunted at longer distances and everyone wants cloverleaves at 500 yards in North America and that is not going to happen with a double, but I still wish I owned one

I am not sure it exactly a 1/2" at 500 yards, but I'd bet if the double rifle were better for the type of hunting we did here in North America, we would be using them. In todays day, we have many more rifles than our fathers did and have enough extra money to buy mostly whatever they think would give them an edge. I know for a fact if I thought a double, single, auto, etc were better and would give me an edge on the mountain or in the woods, I'd have one or work towards owning one.

What sorta action is your 300 made on J? I know little to nothing about doubles, but is it similar to what E posted about the Fox's? How is it regulated? Do you run a scope on it or use the irons? What load do you shoot out of it? Sorry for all of the questions but it is pretty interesting. Sounds like a cool shooting iron.
 

Polaris

Handloader
Dec 16, 2009
1,223
0
I don't think double rifles would ever be popular in North America. Since the introduction of the Win M12, the doubles have even fallen out of favor with shotgunners here. Combination guns were modestly popular for awhile, and have since fallen out of favor with the prices of quality utilitarian shotguns and rifles coming down in recent decades relative to income.

Several reasons. Quality doubles tend to be more expensive, and in North America hunting is accessible to the working, and even lower classes. They are seen as a very "English" thing, and that tends to chafe us a bit. The longer ranges mentioned above. The glut of 30-06 and .30-40 Krag, mauser, bolt rifles and actions, as well as 2 very good domestic commercial rifles in 30-06 class calibers available after WWI and the previously unheard of range and accuracy potential of said rifles vs the lever action carbines previously available thoroughly entrenched the bolt gun in the North American hunting community. Optical sights are the norm for North American hunters, and as far as I know are not very suitable for double rifles.

Closer range hunting, where double rifles would be practical, was dominated by the lever action, and later the ultra-modern semi automatic designs that became practical in the 1950s. We don't have much dangerous game that needs the heavy hitters not practical in heavy levers or semi-automatics.
 

Africa Huntress

Handloader
Feb 14, 2012
461
1
Dr Mike, Guy, Scotty, April, Polaris,

Thank you

Scotty, I tend to shoot heavier loads, 200 and 220, I prefer ion sights, it is not like the Fox shotgun, it is a sidelock.

Polaris my father likes the lever, my mum likes the double, but again she was raised in Sweden and Africa and Dad was raised in the United States.

Having said all that, let us not get distracted by the "double" and by doing so move away from Guy's question and the purpose of this thread, but again thank you very much guys. For those who dont know, some of my support here, which is appreciated, is because my original post drew some fire, suggesting that I was boasting about using a double. I was not. I was merely explaining to Guy that we have had fewer issues with doubles than bolts. In actuality the 300 H & H double I use actually belongs to my mum, so I dont even own it.

Best Regards

Jamila
 

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
757
33
elkhunternm":vgp45l7x said:
I use dummy rounds if I'm using a seating die for more than one rifle in the same cartridge. For instance,I have two 7x57 Mauser,one is a Featherweight and it has a normal throat and the other is a CZ,which the bullet can be seated way out yonder.

I don't think this is what Guy was referring to, I think he was talking about using dummy rounds to teach or learn how to use different firearm types.
But I also use dummy rounds to determine seating depth. I have them set up with the neck a slight slip fit, just enough to hold the bullet but not so tight that it gets stuck in the rifling. Saves a lot of brass and bullets.
 

pre6422hornet

Handloader
Jan 24, 2012
974
1
Guy I do have snap caps for most of the rifles and handguns in the stable, and use those with the kiddos all the time to explain how a particular firearm works.

I also do have dummy rounds made up and I just used them the other day actually. I just got done cutting/filing some pillars down to correct length and used the dummy rounds to work the action while the pillars were in place to ensure that the action was not bound in any way.

I personally have only experienced one malfunction and that was on a 1996 vintage Rem 1187. It would not function/cycle handloads at all. Now it may have been the handloads, it might not. After a day in the dove field with basically a single shot, I drove to the store and traded it in on a Benelli. The Benelli ate those handloads like me on a big bowl of ice cream.... never a hiccup!
 

1100 Remington Man

Handloader
May 1, 2007
1,068
115
Reliably is everything and accuracy is second for me. I have sold only one gun in my life a Model 70 push feed that jammed when chambering a second round a .270 Win. I lost confidence in it and sold it. That did not sour me on Winchester Model 70 push feed as I bought one in .264 Win Mag and I really like this rifle.
I do have to watch the floor plate on my Model 70 pre 64 to make sure it is seated correctly or it will dump the cartridges out of the magazine.
My Remington 700,s have been flawless, but I wonder if I should change the trigger even though I never have had a problem with it.
My experience with the M16 while in the Marine Corps in 79-82 was it was accurate but a POS and I had little faith in it. This is why I have not bought a AR-15 even though I keep telling my self I could use one for Coyote hunting.
 

EOD Diver

Handloader
Dec 30, 2011
534
65
I've only witnessed two:
1. An old M700 in 308 I borrowed from a friend in 1997 while deer hunting refused to eject the case after firing despite his father's best attempts to dislodge it using channel locks. When they say that little Remington extractor is pretty strong they really meant it!
2. A former PJ I used to shoot competition with had an ejector or extractor failure with his Surgeon rifle during a match.
Those are really the only two I've seen firsthand.
V/R,
Joe
 

preacher

Handloader
Aug 19, 2012
2,070
43
DrMike":14xk3zi0 said:
I replace the butt pad on almost every rifle I buy. I assuredly replace the hot glue that passes for bedding on all my Winchester rifles, and almost all rifles will be pillar bedded just to avoid problems. I check the crown on each rifle as well before ever pulling the trigger. Even so, it is almost inevitable that I find things that must be addressed during the workup.

Same for me Pard, I don't tolerate any weapon that is not 100% reliable, don't care how accurate it is! I guess growing up poor and having to use junk, used guns "affected me", ha.
Guy- every M16A1 I used ( 71-76) in the Army was reliable, even in Full auto. Every M4 clone I've ever used, same way. My "only complaint" was the wind at distance on the rat turd bullet! :) We when "qualified" in Germany at 300M (Graf) it blew our "patterns" 6ft, onto the next guys target! Needless to say, "penciled in" kept us all at "Expert" level, ha.
 

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
757
33
1100 Remington Man":oh9exs6b said:
My Remington 700,s have been flawless, but I wonder if I should change the trigger even though I never have had a problem with it.

If your trigger is the older Walker designed trigger I would say Yes, change it out for a newer, safer trigger. I never had a problem with mine until suddenly I did.

Those old triggers could be adjusted to be fine shooting triggers. But after having that trigger problem I'll never trust one again.
 

EastTNHunter

Beginner
May 10, 2017
144
2
Ejection issues from an NEF Handi Rifle, extraction issues from a Win 94, factory new Marlin .22lr with a faulty extractor, broken slide on Revelation pump 12ga shotgun, and 2 misfires from bad primers (obviously not the guns fault)
 
Top