Browning Challenger II Case Ejection Issue

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by Loran, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Loran

    Loran New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
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    Hi everybody,

    Yesterday I picked up this beauty, vintage 1977, for a mere $350. The guy wanted more but I talked him down because he was moving to an anti-gun country the same week. Anyway, I cleaned it up (there wasn't much cleaning to be done, hadn't been used in years), got her oiled, took her to the range today and tested a variety of different 22 ammo.

    I tested Federal, Remington Thunderbolt, CCI Mini-Mag, and Lapua Standard Plus, all 22LR ammo that I have sitting around. No matter the ammo type, after firing through about 20 ten-round mags of ammo, or 200 rounds, there were only two instances in which all of the ammo in one magazine was emptied without the spent case getting stuck in between the slide and the frame. In other words, this was happening about every other shot. Keep in mind that this is NOT a feeding issue; the rounds feed without a problem.

    This is not as annoying of an issue as it sounds; the slide is very easy to pull back, so every time it happens, I simply pull back the slide a hair and the case falls out. But I would be a much happier camper if this was not an issue. Of all the ammo, Federal had the most success, while Lapua had the least success. I think this is due to the lesser powder charge in the Lapua, because comparing the ammo being shot side-by-side made it clear that the Federal definitely was louder with slightly more kick. Unfortunately, this is a real bummer, as I have nearly 5,000 rounds of the Lapua, while all of my other 22 ammo brands number only in the hundreds. I have probably about 400 rounds of Federal.

    I truly love the way this gun feels in my hand and am not ready to sell it to go buy a Buckmark that may function without problems. This is truly a well-built, great looking gun, and I am amazed they are going for such low prices... especially in comparison to the incredibly high-priced Colt Woodsmans.

    What do you think is going on? Slide return spring too old? Bad ejector piece, if one exists (not too experienced with gun parts)? Or something else?

    I'll probably post this on Rimfire Central when it will let me log in again. Having some serious issues with their website not sending me emails. I took the gun to a local shop today and they handed me a card for a certified professional gunsmith. Great, but that sounds expensive. Not really rolling in cash, here.

    Suggestions?
     

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  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The kind of failure to eject you are having is actually an extractor failure.

    These are blowback operated guns. The gas pressure from the fired cartridges turns the case into a piston which drives the slide open. The job of the extractor is not to extract during firing but to hold the case firmly against the slide face so the ejector can hit it to drive the empty case out of the gun. The extractor acts as a hinge to send the empty out at a particular angle. If the extractor drops the empty during the travel of the slide then you get the kind of failure to eject you are seeing.

    The test of the extractor is to pull the slide off the gun. Take a live round and slip it up and under the extractor on the bolt face. Gently shake the slide and the cartridge should not fall off. If it does fall off that is your problem. The first thing to do is inspect the extractor to be sure dirt has not gotten into its spring or the cavity it lives in. It must be able to be snapped with a probe to assure the spring in not weak. If all that is OK then it is time for an inspection of the tune of the extractor.

    The extractor should fit the case that is on the slide such that extractor claw point is the only thing that touches the case and that should be at the junction of the case body and the rim and NO WHERE ELSE. Not jammed up against the case body or riding on the rim. Today few guns have the extractor tuned correctly for perfect gun function. It is a hand fitting job manufactures have eliminated. There are also chamfers on parts of the claw that aid feeding. Just replacing the extractor MAY or MAY NOT fix the problem. Its tune determines that.

    LDBennett
     
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  3. Loran

    Loran New Member

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    Oct 30, 2014
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    This was extremely helpful, thank you. I will take this into account and inspect the gun.
     
  4. AKshooter150

    AKshooter150 New Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
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    I took apart the upper part of the gun completely, i.e. took the barrel off, removed the slide, and then removed the extractor assembly inside the slide. Oiled everything in CLP, but it might be a better idea to take these parts and drop them in a degreaser to soak overnight. May not be necessary though.

    But look at this. I put the extractor assembly back in, got it situated, then placed a cartridge under it, flush against the slide as instructed. The extractor holds the round in place.. but if you look very closely, you'll see that the claw actually hit the case just slightly above the rim... I mean, barely. But it makes a difference, because the cartridge rocks back and forth under the pressure of the claw.. the rim area doesn't slide around on the slide face, but it rocks.

    Should it be held firm, or does any of this make a difference at all? I can't post a video, so here's a close-up picture.

    Thanks for your help, LDBennett.
     

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  5. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It looks like the extractor is not holding the case tight enough. The angle is not sharp enough.
    It does not look like it can be filed to fix so I would start with a new one that can be fitted correctly.
    Mike
     
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    AKshooter150:

    I think you ought to try to make the claw touch the case correctly. If the extractor does not have the correct bite on the case then the case can fall off the slide during the violent recoil of the slide. Usually if the extractor passes the gently shake test of the slide it will work most of the time. If it is 100% reliability you seek then fit the extractor correctly.

    First find a replacement extractor. Then attack the original. It looks to me that it may be possible to file the extractor you have but if you screw it up you may need the replacement. Guns this old that have long since been discontinued are often hard to find parts for. Browning is the first place to look. Then try a search on the internet for a company that specializes in parts for these exact guns. An absolute last choice is Gun Parts Corp (Numrich) as often they send inferior or wrong parts.

    I think you can get there with modification of the extractor you have but it will need a little modification with a file. If you are not capable of doing this find a good gunsmith. Show him the problem and what you think is the solution. If he does not agree find another gunsmith. The test and solution is right out of the training for gunsmithing schools. Gunsmith are not government licensed and their abilities vary greatly. You have to try and judge if they know what they are doing before leaving any work for them.

    LDBennett
     
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