springfield 187a issue (Savage 87)...

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Dan Newberry, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    I know these are cantankerous as all get out... I should have read up on them before buying one, but alas, I did not, and mine doesn't work... :(

    This rifle seems not to be cycling the bolt. I can get it to load the first shot, but after it goes bang... the gun does not re-cock, and there is no shell in the chamber... like the bolt isn't going back far enough. It does eject the spent shell casing, however...

    Any idea. I've looked at Country Gunsmith's info on this rifle, and will be checking the mag feed lips and bolt as soon as I get the chance (great photos and instructions by Country Gunsmith, by the way)... but this rifle of mine seems to have a different problem... not cycling the bolt far enough to pick up the next shell and re-cock the hammer.

    Any help appreciated. Can these rifles be made to work well enough to merit keeping one around? Or should I get it fixed and then trade it off for a Marlin model 60? (I don't trade off broken guns, so I've got to get this thing working... )...

    Dan
  2. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    Sure. First thing is to clean the hell out of it. Then manually cycle action-proving dummy cartridges though the action.

    These rifles are almost impossible to diagnose from a distance. We have a lot of parts for this model and are very experienced in the design (I wrote the post you reference under an old screen name). Let me know if we can help.
  3. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    These rifles are a major hoot to shoot!

    First, I agree with the above, disassemble, soak/spray or whatever you prefer to do to clean every bit of funk out of a .22 and then clean the bolt to the best you can. When all mechanical parts are clean use a copper/lead solvent in the barrel (paying attn to the chamber and face) and clean with a ....preferrably... nylon bristle bore brush to remove any accumulated leading. When you assemble and lube try to put a grease in the bolt contact surfaces (you will later clean and remove most of it) and check the bolt springs for proper alignment/length.
    Make sure to check the firing pin for any burrs or damage and be sure it rides freely in the bolt (and the bolt in the receiver) prior to greasing and check bolt travel after installing springs. It will take a little playing with BUT the end result is worth it!

    I hate to say that when you get a used gun, you really do not know what the other guy did or did not do; is this your situation?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  4. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    thank you for the kind replies. I'm off work today, so I'll go down and take her apart... probably a lot of crud "under the hood" so to speak.

    Yes, I have no idea what has been done to this gun. I know it's been tinkered with, as the two flat screws that hold the magazine feed housing in place have been buggered up a bit. The feed lever spring seems strong. It will cycle cartridges from the magazine just fine if I operate the bolt manually...

    Is there a "single shot mode" for this rifle? I may have misunderstood, but somewhere on the 'net I thought I read something about a single shot mode.

    I'll post back later... hopefully I'll get her cleaned out good and lubed and take it to the range for a test.

    Thanks again for the replies and the help. :)

    Dan
  5. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    well that didn't take too long... I took the bolt assembly out and cleaned all of that, and it looks good (per StoneChimney's photographs I found in the archives here). I removed the feeding chute and checked the feed lips, to make sure the cartridge rim wasn't hanging behind the ledge like in the aforementioned photos. The mechanism really looks like the gun doesn't have many rounds through it at all. Which is good on the one hand, but makes me wonder how it could already be broken and malfunctioning.

    The feed lips on the stamped out feed chute were a little rough... not smooth from use, another reason I wonder about the round count on this rifle. I did take some 400 grit sandpaper and lightly smoothed those rough edges, just breaking the corners and rough spots. Don't know if I should have done that, or if it will help anything or not.

    I didn't remove the trigger assembly, just blasted it out well with brake cleaner and re-oiled with some G96 light spray cleaner/lubricant (I love that stuff). :)

    The magazine tube had a bend in it, and it was hard to press into the tube. I determined where that bend was, and put the tube in my vise and corrected the bend, now it slips in smoothly. I don't think that would have had anything to do with the malfunctioning... but it was bent about 1/4" off axis, and was hard to push into the tube to load the rifle.

    I put 12 cartridges in the magazine and manually cycled the action (with muzzle pointed in a safe direction) and they all went through flawlessly.

    I hope to get out later today and see if it works like it should now.

    I still can't figure out why the rifle was not cocking, but it was ejecting the spent shell... It's like the bolt maybe wasn't going back far enough. I did not find a lot of crud in the bolt/recoil spring housing, but there was at least some in there. It blackened a couple of 12 gauge patches before one came out presentable.

    Thanks again for the help. :)

    Dan
  6. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    The 87 has a single shot mode, not sure about the 187. You push the bolt knob in and it locks the bolt closed. The bolt will not retract in this mode so that's not your problem.
  7. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    Hawg... 10-4... thanks. My 187a does not do this single shot thing. Thanks for clearing that up...

    Dan
  8. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    rifle still fails to cock... loads next cartridge in magazine fine, but bolt must not be going back far enough to cock hammer. If I manually pull the bolt back, it ejects the loaded cartridge (which it picked up without cocking hammer), and the bolt will cock hammer and I can fire the gun again... and the whole process repeats.

    It did stovepipe once during ejection. I think I shot it a dozen or so times in the manner described above.

    I understood from reading in various places on the 'net that this gun is supposed to hold the bolt back until the trigger is released. I noted that my rifle is not doing this... the bolt does not stay back even if I hold the trigger back firmly.

    I took the bolt apart... I don't know what this piece is called, but for lack of the correct term at this point I'll call it the bolt stop. It is supposed to lock the bolt back and hold it as long as the trigger is held back--that much I can discern just from looking at the parts.

    If I hold the trigger back firmly and manually retract the bolt, it will hold the bolt back... but just the tiniest amount of release on the trigger and the bolt goes forward.

    I think this part is worn out of spec... here are some photos of what I'm calling the "bolt stop." I don't know if it can be filed or stoned and adjusted... it actually looks like it has already been filed a bit... not sure what the deep notch is for either...

    I would appreciate any comments. :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    thanks for any/all help...

    Dan
  9. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    That's the detent plunger and it could very well be your problem. I would also change the release plunger and both springs while I was at it.

    I should have those in stock.
  10. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    detent plunger... 10-4

    Let me know what the cost of parts would be, if you have them. I can send Paypal, or snail mail a check, or whatever... credit card over phone works too.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Dan
  11. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    update...

    I stoned the engagement surface of the detent plunger to make it mate with the notch in the bolt.

    This seems to have *temporarily* solved the problem, I think... I have not test fired the rifle but the bolt will now stay to the rear until trigger is released, and it cocks when it goes forward... so that's good.

    I say *temporarily* because the detent plunger face has been cut so deep you can see through into its hollow surface, and the tip on the internal spring is visible. Bad juju, I'm sure... so this thing won't last long.

    I don't know if these parts are surface hardened (cintered?) or not, but if so, this one has been cut through that layer, for sure.

    I'd still like the get a new detent plunger for the rifle... I want to get it working well and TRADE THE DARNED THING OFF!! :D

    It's hard to beat a Marlin model 60 for this type rifle, if you ask me. :eek:

    Dan
  12. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    If you can, loosten the screws that hold the action to the stock and try again, leave all else as is, loosten screws 1/4 to 1/2 turn and try function. Sounds odd, but a few probs can be due to poor alignment or tension. Let me know.

    CW

    Maybe it's just me, but I like the "odd" guns; I find this type action more interesting than the modern stuff.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  13. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    thanks CHW... I'll check the stock for issues of binding... it's only got one action screw, about 3 inches in front of the trigger guard.
  14. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    That's what I get for working from memory.
  15. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    I do have the correct part. Excellent condition detent plunger, spring, both levers and pin for $9.50 incl shipping.

    Attached Files:

  16. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

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    Stone Chimney... I'll take it. PM sent...

    Dan
  17. Homerduck

    Homerduck New Member

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    This is late to an old post - but I have the same rifle. I find that this 187 series MUST be really clean. When it gets dirty - and mine does after about 100 rounds - mine starts jamming and not feeding properly. As long as I keep it very clean its feeds, ejects and fires perfectly. A little dirt and carbon and you get to go home and clean it good.:)
  18. Fatstrat

    Fatstrat Member

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    I just acquired a model 87N that has same problem. Fires 1 round, feeds the next, but doesn't cock. Stone Chimney, do you still have parts?
  19. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    "I just acquired a model 87N ..." I am sorry for you. Note that the previous posts are over a year old and I have not seen Stone Chimney positng lately.

    I strongly recommend you not waste time or money on that gun. They were never any good and trying to obtain parts and fix one will cost more than the gun is worth and be horribly frustrating as well. I know that is not what you want to hear, but that is the way it is.

    In spite of the above, here's wishing you a Merry Christmas.

    Jim
  20. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Bullspit! :mad:
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