Ammo or Firearm?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Crawdaddy, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    I bought my 10 year old son a Ruger American in .243 back in September. Between the 2 of us, we've put around 50 reloads through the gun without any issues.
    I took the boys hunting yesterday evening & he got a shot on a big doe, but when he squeezed the trigger, all he got was a click. Of course being a reloader, you can imagine the things that went through my mind, #1, not letting him open the bolt for several minutes & keeping the rifle pointed in a safe direction.
    I inspected the round in the blind & found a very light firing pin impression on the primer, which leads me to believe something went wrong with the rifle. I've noticed a couple times that the bolt will partially open fairly easily & I've had to stop him a couple times to make sure the action was completely closed.
    The good news is a 5 point stepped out about 30 minutes later & he hammered him, nice double lung. It's his 1st buck, so he went from lowest of lows to highest of highs in a span of 30 minutes.
    Anyway, I'm attaching a pic of the 2 rounds in question, you can tell an obvious difference in the firing pin impressions. I guess I'd just like to know your opinions on this & specifically could the bolt being partially open have caused the problem?
    Thanks for any help & info you can give.

    Attached Files:

  2. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    hmmm... light strike. Sometimes due to fouling but certainly possible there's mechanical issue. This is the first dud, or have there been others? Not the primer from looking at your pics.

    Nice deer! and show more of your Toyota next time...:D
  3. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    In knowing that both primers are the same. one would be lead to think that it is the bolt/firing pin. Even with only 50 rounds fired through the rifle, I would not think that the firing pin is dirty enough to be fouled in anyway. However, did you give the bolt a good cleaning after getting to rifle home.

    I would inspect the bolt a little closer. If you can't find anything I would take it to a gunsmith for a second opinion. If your son is shooting it you want to know that it is good working order.

    Congrats on his first "Big take."
  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    Will do on the Tundra & thanks for the reply. Yes, this is the first misfire from a brand new rifle, like I said, about 50 rounds or so through it. I don't visually see any fouling & everything was cleaned & oiled last Friday before opening day & he put a 3 shot group on paper that evening when he got home from school, something I always do before a hunt; clean shoot, hunt.
  5. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    Absolutely Highboy, Ive had my heart sink in the deer woods before, as most of us have, but that was terrible. You don't know the relief I felt when he folded that buck up like a lawn chair!.........Pheeeeww! I'll go through the bolt this afternoon with a fine tooth comb.
  6. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    I cant tell from that. I suspect your problem is on the other end of the case. DId you Full length size the cases? DId you trim the cases? DId you do exactly what the instructions say when you installed your dies? If you ran your dies in from the last time you had them installed without going thru the procedure you may not be just right on your setting and you may not be ending up with the case being sized just right. Your shoulder may be bumped back and not letting the case fit into the chamber just right. A headspace case gage is a real cool thing to have. Look into the wilson gages. I have heard bad things about the cheaper lyman.

    NO i dont think its the gun.
  7. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Just curious. How much oil did you put on the firing pin. Too much can cause the problem you experienced.
  8. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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  9. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    Just a drop highboy, same as hundreds of times before, then blow it out with 30 psi compressed air.
    Cyclone, Yes I trim all cases on every hunting round I build. This is the 3rd .243 in my household I load for & I load .243 for 2 other rifles as well. Trust me when I say I'm very particular with my hunting rounds since a bad factory load costing me the biggest buck of my life is what started me reloading in the 1st place. I've been loading for 3 years now & have probably made up 2000 .243 without any issues. I'll double check case dimensions, but it was made in the same batch as four others that have performed without issue.
  10. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  11. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    My first guess, with a problem like that, is that the primer was not seated all the way. When you fired, the firing pin blow finished seating the primer. That absorbed much of the force, and all you get is a little dent on the primer. If you hit that one again, since the primer is now fully seated, it will go bang (if that was the problem).

    Bolt being partially open cause it? I don't think so. Unless a gun is defective, if the bolt is partially open, it won't fire. Trigger don't pull, firing pin don't move.
  12. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    You got me thinkin Alpo, I left the bolt halfway open & squeezed the trigger. It sets off & the bolt falls down into the closed position, did it a couple times. Can we post videos?
  13. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Yes, you can post video links. I would contact Ruger tomorrow morning and get them in the loop.
  14. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    what Alpo said also. Sounds crazy but the primer might not have been seated all the way, either not enough oomph and/or dirt in the primer pocket. Use a PP scraper/cleaner to help seat them.

    While I doubt it's headspace, it certainly is a possibility.
  15. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy New Member

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    OK guys, I'd like to link this video. It's in mp4 format, is there an easy way to convert it to an uploadable format?
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