Chamber face on Henry .22 rifle

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by OldCorps, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. OldCorps

    OldCorps New Member

    New here folks. Have a question of a gun-smithing (fluff & buff) nature.

    Among my SHTF arsenal is a 12-year-old Henry .22 lever-action. It's primarily considered as my "food-finder" weapon, but also a back-up defensive weapon, in a pinch. The problem I've had with it over the years, is that the quite-sharp (knife-sharp) edges of the chamber-face, occasionally grab the lead (mostly with HPs, but also, often enough with round-noses, to reduce dependability in a defensive mode.

    I know that a certain amount of relieving can be gotten away with in this region, with center-fire, rimless cartridges, without compromising the cartridge head, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about the physics of a 22-cartridge rim, to know how much I could safely relieve the chamber-face sharpness. I do have many years of metal-working experience, and do have the wherewithal to perform some relief. Just need to know what my safety parameters are—if any exist.

    Can anyone—preferably someone with gun-smithing experience—tell me if I would be compromising safety by "very slightly" radiusing the circumference of the chamber face? That might not fix the problem completely, but I think it would go far toward reducing the jams. I've stock-piled a copious supply of CCI Stingers, should the necessity ever arise that I would need resort to using the .22 as a defensive weapon, and I don't relish blowing out a casing, and wrecking the rifle when I need it most.:eek:
  2. fordtrucksforever

    fordtrucksforever Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    East of DFW
    Have you watched the round try to chamber and see exactly where contact of the bullet nose is made? IIRC those shells chamber at a fairly steep angle.

  3. OldCorps

    OldCorps New Member

    Your question prodded me into taking a closer look than I ever have done before, and I think I have discovered :thumbsup: the problem. I had never noticed during routine cleaning that there is a slight ridge all around the top edge of the feeding ramp. I just cycled a couple hundred rounds through it, watching as the bullets fed into the chamber, and varying the cycling speed. The bullets were catching on the very top edge of the chamber—which, as I said, is very sharp—but, the only times they are catching is with very fast cycling, and what I see happening, every time, is that with the increased speed of the lever, when the nose of the bullet hits that ridge, it is deflected upwards, and catches the sharp edge of the chamber mouth. I won't have time until tomorrow, but I'm going to Dremel down that ridge, polish the ramp till it shines, and polish down the sharpness of the chamber mouth with some 400-grit emery, and I'd almost bet the farm, that the problem goes away.
  4. i have used a fine tapered stone to radius one of my henrys and a number of others throughout the years.i never have used my dremel on these,i use hand pressure only and some times coat the stone with a fine grinding will be fine as long as you do it slowly and try it at different need to remember you can always remove more metal but you cant put it back. old semperfi
  5. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    Trade it in on a pre-2001 Marlin 39A...they were made like tanks :D

    I'm not fond of the 2001-2012 I go for the oldies!!
  6. fordtrucksforever

    fordtrucksforever Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    East of DFW
    From the Marlin model 1897 to current 39A, they use a little leaf spring to achieve the same thing to resolve this issue Oldcorps is describing about his Henry. I have a 92, 97, 39 and 39A that all have problems chambering rounds. After a good cleaning and watching the round chambered I realized when the bolt traveled forward with bullet at a steep angle, the nose would catch on the sharp corner of chamber. This little leaf is supposed to be bent down helping feed round past the sharp edge and chamber properly. There is one very small screw right above chamber on top of receiver that retains leaf spring. A simple case of bending it down to just below the step and everything works correctly again. Unfortunately the model 92 Marlin does not have this additional piece and I still have to deal with to make chamber without jamming. But three out of four aint bad.
  7. OldCorps

    OldCorps New Member

    Thanks for the get-back. The feed ramp was rough as a cob. I polished it down with 400, then 600-grit emery wrapped on a small dowel. Did the same to the chamber mouth, and now even flat-nosed HPs feed well. Should have done that years ago. :)
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