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7x57 Mauser Bolt Seized in Receiver

FergisFergis Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
edited May 2013 in Ask the Experts
While trying several mild loads in a 1916 Mauser short rifle in 7x57mm the bolt seized in the receiver and refuses to come loose. My questions is: What could be causing the problem?

Comments

  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 774 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Supposed "mild" loads can be deceptive and result in high pressure. Unless it is a proven, recommended mild load, the burning characteristics of the powder can change and cause excessive pressure, freezing the case in the chamber. You can try tapping the bolt handle at the root, but not so hard as to break the extractor. If that does not work then you must try a rod down the barrel. It is possible the case head may break off leaving the rest of the case stuck in the chamber.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sometimes light loads of slow single base powder produce excessive pressure. Were you using published data? Have you checked the components and settings.

    You should take it to a gunsmith.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,515 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Spanish made Mausers don't have the greatest rep as far as workmanship and materials are concerned. Even if you manage to get the bolt functioning without taking it to a gunsmith. I would have it headspaced to check for setback on the bolt lugs. Even if you have to rent the go and no go gauges.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Years ago a gunsmith showed me a bolt that had seized in a Spanish Mauser. The lugs had partially cracked loose from the bolt body and spread out at an angle.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,599
    edited November -1
    I concur with Ambrose. And, Charliemeyer007, take it to a gunsmith. It might only be just a hot load and you may have to beat the bolt open and it's okay, but he can check and see if there is damage to the untrained eye.

    That particular model of Mauser has had a reputation for issues, simply by the number of times they have gone back to be re-worked. High 90's percent chance it's just a stiff load, and the bolt can be beat open, but just to be safe, have it looked at.
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 11,548 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some of the receivers in that model are "soft" and suffer setback of the locking lug recesses. If that is the case, the only recourse is to force the bolt open. Rather than simply hammering the bolt open, you can set the muzzle against a board(or something solid but non marring)and use a brass punch and 2# hammer to strike the base(where the handle comes out of the bolt NOT the knob) of the bolt handle toward the muzzle. This will force the bolt forward pushing the case shoulder back and relieving the pressure on the lugs.
    As previously stated, you must be very careful about under loading. The only powder I feel comfortable doing this with is IMR 4895. Another possible cause of the lockup is carbon fouling being blown back past the case.
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,642 ******
    edited November -1
    Fergis,

    We just remove the barrel from the action and then open the bolt. Since most folks don't have the proper tools such as a good barrel vise or action wrench, this usually becomes a task for a gunsmith. Your gunsmith will have the know how to address this problem carefully. Then if there is any damage to the bolt or the action he can assess the probability of fixing it or having to retire the action.

    Best.

    quote:That is ONE way to do it. Do you also pull the motor to change the oil in your car?

    I can't recall a time when I have ever stated that there was one and only one way to solve any problem. In fact, I have gone out of my way to state that there are multiple solutions to solving most gunsmithing problems.

    On the other hand, I remove and replace barrels several times a day without trauma or problems ever. It's a simple mechanical process necessary in diagnostics and repair/replacement of firearms parts. In fact, it's often easier to pull a barrel in the situation described above than to take a punch and 2-lb. hammer to beat open a bolt, hoping to not do any significant damage to the rifle. I know how to remove a barrel from an action without damage and it save a lot of time and energy given the alternatives. It also allows me the ability for a complete assessment of the problem/damage to the rifle when it's apart rather than a potential guess and by golly.

    Best.

    Mobuck,

    In fact I did read the response a couple of time and I still stand by my assessment of the situation.

    quote:and use a brass punch and 2# hammer to strike the base(where the handle comes out of the bolt NOT the knob) of the bolt handle toward the muzzle.

    No matter how you try to reassess the action, the result is the same. I'm sorry you seem to think that your solution is the only one that will work but it's simply not true. Removing the barrel is the best method without causing potential damage. It also allows for the ability of a complete assessment of any damage that may have occurred.

    Best.
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 11,548 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "We just remove the barrel from the action and then open the bolt"
    That is ONE way to do it. Do you also pull the motor to change the oil in your car?
  • asphalt cowboyasphalt cowboy Member Posts: 8,572 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "In fact, it's often easier to pull a barrel in the situation described above than to take a punch and 2-lb. hammer to beat open a bolt, hoping to not do any significant damage to the rifle."

    JMO, but easing the task is moot compared to the risk of further damage.

    Fergis, take nononsence' advise and have a competent smith handle it. Should he employ the bigger hammer theory he will be responsible for any additional damage.
  • cussedemguncussedemgun Member Posts: 985 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Never ceases to amaze me how many will employ the "brute force & ignorance" method of repair, especially if their only tool is a hammer :)

    As already stated, find a 'smith with the proper tools!
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 11,548 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Guess you didn't READ my post. It said nothing about using a hammer and punch to beat the bolt open.
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