Annie’s First Date

This morning, I took Annie to the range for the first time.  I spent ten minutes or so setting up the bench, the target, and getting everything lined up and ready for the first shot.  I loaded the magazine, and chambered the first round.  Cross-hairs were aligned, grip was good, breathing was controlled, and I was nervous as I squeezed the trigger.  I was rewarded by a thunderous …


Fuck!  What?  Did that dumbass sell me bad ammo?  I’ll crucify his worthless ass!  I checked the round.  No primer strike.  None.

Damn it all to hell!  Now I understand why I was able to buy the gun for well over a hundred bucks less than the next cheapest seller. It’s a fucking piece of shit.

No, wait.  It is new.  It was in a sealed factory box.  Savage warranties their stuff.  Shit!  Now I have to package it up and send it back.  Glad I actually sent in the warranty card.

Hell, let’s try it a few more times before giving up completely.  After about twenty-five attempts, all five primers were slightly marked.  Not a single one actually went off, though.

Range partner suggested that perhaps there was an adjustment on the bolt that might help.  We investigated.  There was no obvious adjustment, but it did appear that the firing pin protrusion was more than sufficient when the bolt was out of the gun and the pin released.  I was able to mark the primer on a fresh round with probably 1/8″ left before the round fully locked into place. That should be more than enough.


Not knowing what to do, and thoroughly frustrated by this point, I packed her up, and the rest of the time was spent turning Larry’s money into smoke and noise.  That went well.  Fellowship was good, as always.

After I got home, I removed the bolt again, and started cussing.  Then I googled the issue I was having, and found absolutely nothing.  While we were still at the range, there was some question as to whether or not the bolt was fully closed and locked, but it certainly got stiff and refused to go any further.  I assumed that this equaled locked.

Now, I’m not so sure.  It didn’t look right, so I pushed on it rather forcefully.  The fucking thing rotated another ten degrees or so, and solidly stopped.  I’m pretty sure this was the problem.  Now, I have a second problem.  I almost had to get a wrench to pry the bolt back open.  It should NOT be that stiff.  I’ll cycle it quite a few times, and see if I can get it to loosen up between now and the next range visit.

The bitch is gonna go boom, one way or another.

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4 Responses to Annie’s First Date

  1. Critter says:

    a lot of new guns are eally stiff out of the box. i bought a Ruger Hawkeye recently and after about 200 rounds it’s finally starting to loosen up from “cannot hardly open the bolt” to pretty doggone tight.”

    • alaskan454 says:

      This is my first new bolt action, and I guess I wasn’t prepared to stand up on the bolt to fully close it. Live and learn. And cycle the fucking thing whenever I get bored.

  2. lpcard says:

    You would think, after having owned a Mosin, that bolts would not be a problem…

    I’m hoping that’s the issue. Another 10 degrees should sure as hell let the pin come all the way forward, I don’t think it had the clearance to do so before.

    • alaskan454 says:

      I hope that is indeed it. Having to stand on the bolt to close it, and having to get a prybar to open it aren’t particularly attractive options, though. Especially with $500 worth of glass in the vicinity.

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