Need help, Rem. 552

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by johnnyehlers, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    I bought a new scope and was zeroing it in today shooting Winchester Wildcat ammo. It was not holding a very tight group, so a friend had some Remington Gold's that I tried. I got 3 shots off, but the 3rd blew the rear of the casing off, the other two were ballooned at the rim. The gun is a 1948 Model ser.1439xxx, Barrel marks are TT, it says on the barrel 22 short, Long and Long Rifle. Do you all think the recoil spring is weak, or since it's made to shoot shorts that its just not made for today's high velocity ammo? BTW it went from a 3in. group to 1/2in. group @ 25yds. except for the last shot which was about 2in. low. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, as this has never happened to me before.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    to be honest thats strange , is the chamber ok ?

    have a felt tip magic marker handy ?

    as quick as you can

    cover a round with the magic marker and put it in and eject it manually (fingernail job) and take a look

    most of the magic marker should be off ( nearly all ) if theres patches where it aint off your chamber has expanded and become oversize and this allows the round to distort and tear

    all i can think off but its been a while since i played with these ( 17 years? )
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  3. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    Thanks Jack, it split right where the rim starts, it left the front part of the brass in the chamber, everything looks normal except for right at the rim. I'll try to take a pic. of one of the shells after church. That is if I can force myself away from TFF long enough to get some sleep. :D
  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    yeah gotta be awful early that way
  5. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    Here's pic's. of one of the shell that ballooned. Sorry about the blurry pic's. (cheap cell phone)


    08-26-12_092.jpg

    Photo0266.jpg
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    that looks like it did not fully seat in the chamber ..

    its ballooned fully all way round evenly

    either ya chambers worn to heck at the rear or this round never seated fully inside the chamber only way that brass could move so much and as the rest of it looks ok i'd say it aint seating LR rounds correctly
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I'm not 100% familiar with how the 552 looks as I don't have one, but everything inside the receiver is pretty much identical to a 572 slide-action except the slide bar (action bar) is attached to a recoil spring instead of hooked to the fore-arm. The 572 uses an action bar lock in the same place where the 552's disconnector is.
    I know the 572 CAN fire if the bolt is not completely in battery...which will cause ballooned or separated case heads like what you've got pictured.

    Start by giving the chamber a good cleaning. It might have a bunch of lead/fouling buildup that's keeping the shell from fully seating in the chamber, which will hold the bolt partially out of battery.
    If the chamber is clean and the bolt is fully closing on a unfired cartridge, I would suspect a weak action spring. This will let the bolt begin to open before the chamber pressure drops far enough to be safe and can also cause a ruptured case.

    If the bolt isn't fully closing and everything is clean, try different ammo. The recent Remington stuff (actually most all of the "bargain" .22 ammo) seems to have way too many misformed or out of spec rounds compared to what used to be acceptable. I'd recommend getting some CCI Mini-Mags for testing as I've very rarely had a bad one in a box.
    You should have no problems running modern High-Velocity .22LR in your 552. I would avoid the hyper velocity stuff (like Stingers) though.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  8. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    Thanks Jack & Binder, I'm thinking weak spring too since the wildcats worked fine, except for the grouping. Gonna try to get another spring and see what happens. Sure did strengthened my belief in safety glasses, felt a little flash hit my cheek.
  9. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    Need more help PLEASE! I did a complete clean of my 552 and here's a new problem. About 10-12in. from the breach end of the barrel is small ring (carbon?) as if a bullet has been lodged in it and maybe left in for a while before removing. I've tried soaking overnight with Hoppes #9 and am now trying airtool oil, also I got a brass welding rod and filed it into a scraper, but it still won't break loose. I also tried MassAirFlow Cleaner to no avail. I read somewhere about using ammonia but not sure how long to leave it in, seems I read it would eat into the metal. I also considered muratic acid but decided against that. Any ideas?
  10. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    First, DON'T PANIC! There is no critical must rush going on and no real damage to your gun.
    Simply put away your tools and use a solvent. Go to your gunshop and look at the bore cleaners, there are bound to be several listed as copper solvents. Copper solvents will remove built up jacketing and lead (follow directions on what you buy) harmlessly and eliminate buildup. Chances are that your gun has residue of metals in the barrel that are older than you are.
    As you said, the gun is a 1948 model, there could well be lead accumulated at the breech, use your new solvent and a nylon bore brush (chuck it in a slow speed drill if you like) and work the brush back and forth in the chamber area, into the barrel if you like, and let the solvent dissolve/loosen the metals.
    Patch the bore and apply more solvent until lead shavings and (blue/green) copper smears quit coming out; this may take a few days, be patient.Hoppes is a decent bore cleaner, but not a powerful copper/lead solvent. Personally, I like Butch's bore shine; there are many others. Do NOT use straight ammonia in your bore.

    Use the same spring for your testing after cleaning the gun, pay attention to the bolt and bring several different brands of ammo.
    Slow down and do not rush.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  11. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    Thanks CHW, hopefully I can get to the gun shop this weekend. So glad to hear that the barrel is not junk. At least now I know why it's not patterning very well.
  12. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Ammonia based-copper solvents do not do a good job of removing lead...and as you've heard, yes they will attack the steel in a very short time (15min will start the etching barrel).

    If it's a lead ring in the barrel, keep working at it with a bronze brush and your choice of regular bore cleaner (non-ammonia). If it's a rust ring where something was lodged for a while, the bore solvent will also loosen that eventually too.
    You can plug the end of the barrel with a wooden or plastic dowel and fill the entire bore cleaner so it gets a good soak for a few days too.
    Try using some penetrating oil (not WD-40) as a solvent too. Kroil is my personal favorite, and what a normally use for bore cleaner, but any brand will work.


    Are you sure the ring is buildup and not a bulge in the barrel?
    If the rifle was fired with a bullet stuck in the barrel even the lowly little .22lr will make a bulge ring. If that's the case, then there's not much you can do with it. Hope that's not the case but it's what I'm kinda suspecting.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  13. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    If it will take a week to make it to a gunshop just flush the barrel with penetrating oil and let it sit. Most certainly it will not harm anything. Should you have a pressure ring/bulge in your barrel again, slow down. You should be able to find a replacement barrel if you must.
  14. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    I wish I could see it better, but its not bulged out its kinda filled in, cleaning rod won't fit through. Been using parts blaster airtool oil/cleaner last 2 days, and worn out 1 brass brush. Thinking I might try Type F ATF, lots of detergents in Type F.
  15. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    You need solvent, not detergent. Soak it whhile you wait, it will not hurt; but the best hope is copper solvent.
  16. johnnyehlers

    johnnyehlers Member

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    Hi All,
    Well here's an update on my 552, after three months of filling the barrel with a mix of Seafoam and airtool oil, and brushing almost everyday, my barrel is finally clean. I've went through nine bore brushes, and tonight the culprit appeared.
    There was the front piece of a casing in it, and it was paper thin. Who knows how many times it had been shot with it in there, judging by the buildup I'm guessing a lot. Anyway I'm very happy to report that there is no damage to the
    barrel, and I'm betting it's the cleanest one in town. LOL Now I just need to go shoot it and if all works well, finish zeroing the scope. As far as it not closing all the way, after a good lube job before reassembly it seems to be closing fine. Wish me luck, and THANKS for all the great advice. :)
  17. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap New Member

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    If that rifle had been shot with shorts much , it might have had a ring of crud in the chamber , where the short ends . This ring will prevent anything longer than a short from chambering freely or fully . If there was a ring there it would have come out along with the rest of the crud that was in there !
  18. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i bet that rig was causing a lil bit of extra pressure!
  19. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    Please keep us informed, :)
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