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Thread: problems with Browning 358

  1. #1
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    Default problems with Browning 358

    Hi guys Im new on here and have searched this site for some info on my BLR and cant find anyone with this problem. I have a new Browning BLR 81 in 358 and was haveing trouble getting it to fire, I think I was pushing the shoulder in when seating my bullets. But I major problem I still have is once fired it is REALLY hard to cycle another round (even factory shells) since I bought this gun for backup guideing this is a real problem does anyone have any ideas??

  2. #2
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    Default

    Yes I have lots of ideas. This one sounds serious.

    Is there two problems or all interrelated?

    Answer these questions for me.

    Does it fire and freely cycle factory 358 Win ammo?

    Why do you think you are pushing the shoulder in when seating bullets?

    Is the action hard to close on your reloaded ammo?

    Is the action hard to close on new brass, handloaded ammo?

    Are you using small base dies?

    It would be very unusual to push the shoulder (neck) in when seating bullets. If the crimp ring in the seating die is adjusted to give a crimp and seat bullets at the same time, it will bulge the neck just at the mouth of the case, this is more likely. These rounds with a bulged neck would be extemely dangerous to fire. Can you take a picture of the loaded rounds?

    If the once fired cases are not sizing down tight enough and cause chambering difficulty, small base dies should take care of that. Or you may not be sizing the case down far enough with your full length dies.

    You stated; having trouble getting it to fire. Do you mean after it is chambered, it clicks instead of booms? That is another problem. This could be primer malady or headspace problems. Is this the first time you have handloaded for a gun of this type? Did you buy this gun new?

    I see lots of problems but it's hard to diagnose without good details.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  3. #3
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    Default 358

    Murphy it will shoot factory ammo every time but is still really hard to cycle (you couldnt do it from the shoulder) I am in the bush right now and dont have my reloading dies with me but a pilot friend brought in some reloads he reloaded and they shoot every time but still cycle hard. The problem when it wont shoot is you chamber a round pull the trigger and click it wont shoot (with my reloads only) but if you pull the hammer back it will almost alway fire the 2nd time. I am not useing small base dies (cant find them) I think maybe when Im seating the bullets I need to back the die out a bit and use the screw on top to get proper seating depth??? Its like the first time the hammer falls it pushes the cartridge ahead then the next time it fires it?? I reload a lot but for bolt guns. I bought the BLR as it is light and handy and the 358 is a real thumper, but ordered a new bolt gun to carry until/if I get this gun reliable. I did buy the gun new and it has the fluted bolt that seems to have to be super clean or it will be impossible to operate. I had to go in after a wounded grizzly this spring so took the scope off and went down to check zero with open sights, (I had been in the bush for about 7 days) anyway good thing I checked as I couldnt open it up, had to clean it real good. Bear was dead anyway but that would not happen with an 1886. Maybe Im doin somthin wrong??

  4. #4
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Experience with my BLR's...

    My own experience involves three .308's and two .243's. All five rifles were Belgian manufactured rifles, but I've been around a number of the Japanese produced rifles to see similarities.
    These rifles use an 'inertia' firing pin, that is, the hammer strikes the firing pin, which is held away from the bolt face with a light spring. The firing pin is shorter than the distance from the face of the hammer to the primer, so that in theory, a round can be held in the chamber with the hammer down, without worrying that a blow to the hammer would be sufficient to set the round off...
    Any crud, or excessive lube inside the rotating bolt, in the spring, or on the firing pin can cause inadequate firing pin travel, it can also soak up some of the inertia the pin needs to give adequate force to the primer.
    Ammunition has to be clean, free of lube or any debris. Loads that are assembled as close to minimum dimensions as possible, with little or no crimp worked best in my rifles.
    I ended up preferring to use Lake City GI brass in my rifles, first off because it was 'free', and it was tough. Those cases seemed to take a lot less effort to size, and were hard enough that they were fairly 'slick' going into my chambers.
    I mentioned crimp...the slightest bulge at the case mouth, especially with an ever so slightly generous bullet diameter would make cartridges that refused to chamber in my rifles. Cases CAN be crimped hard enough that the shoulder is sometimes set back, making in essence a cartridge created excessive headspace condition, and it can also make a bulge there that won't let the round chamber.
    Pretty much, the ammo has to be just about as close to perfect as you can make it. The rifle's bolt and guts have to be as clean as you can make them.
    The BLR's are hell for stout, but 'overbuilt' for lever guns. Mine were close to being lever actuated match rifles.
    Hope it works out for you, they are a neat rifle, can be VERY accurate, and in .358 should be a very effective 'finisher'.
    Last edited by Darreld Walton; 08-15-2007 at 19:53. Reason: correction

  5. #5
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    Sounds to me like high primers.... your not cleaning your primer pockets and seating the primers flush and the primers are moving foreward under firing pin strike pressure and soaking up energy needed for ignition which is why they go off the 2nd time after the primer is seated fully by the firing pin the 1st try.

    This (high primers) will cause hard chambering too sometimes if bad enough (pseudo headspace OAL condition) and could result in a crush fired round as the primer could be crushed as you try to chamber a round so keep it aimed in a safe dirrection at all times when checking your reloads and dont chamber any in the house..

    As for the hard extraction cycling pressure I would look at the chamber for carbon,dirt,grit roughness or light rusting pits or just someone missed final polish of chamber at the factory (it happens)...look at the brass after you fire a round....is it smooth and shiny or does it look rough and dull/frosted or maybe have tool mark/ sanding rings?

    Just some thoughts on what seems like the most likely culprit.

    jedi

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    Default

    Don't keep us in the dark.

    Let us know what the problem was and how you solved it.

    jedi

  7. #7
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    Default

    First thing I would do is to "smoke" one of the factory rounds with candle soot and then try to chamber it. Then do the same with the reloads. Remove the round carefully and determine where they are binding based upon where the soot it removed.
    It is not that rare to have a factory rifle with a bad chamber. Do you have access to a 'smith who has go and no go gauges? I would go out on a limb and guess the shoulder was not cut correctly and since the case does not go in the chamber far enough it is difficult to chamber and this would also slow down the speed of the firing pin. Just an educated guess but a good place to start.
    Either way, if you tailor your case resizing to this issue you may be able to fix it yourself.
    Good luck,
    Tennessee

  8. #8
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    Default blr

    I have fixed the fireing problem I was pushing the shoulder back when seating the bullets causeing the first blow of the fireing pin to shove the case forward until the shoulders contacted and the next blow would fire the round. The hard extraction of fired cases however is still not solved there isnt a good gunsmith here in the Yukon so will have to take it to BC next trip. Thanks for everyones help you guys pointed me in the right direction! Dave

  9. #9
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Resizing Brass

    When you resize your brass.......turn the sizer die down 1/4 of a turn and see if that helps chambering your rounds......what your doing is setting the shoulder back at bit on the case. This works in my BLR 358.
    Alaska

  10. #10
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    Default Browning 81 BLR

    I bought a BLR 81 several years ago in .284 Win. It would occasionally fail to fire after the hammer dropped with a barely detectable (if that) mark on the primer. Most of the time when this occurred it would fire if re-cocked and another attempt made to fire. The problem was mis-timing of the “lawyers safety” fitted to the rifle, which is recognizable by a hinge in the hammer allowing the top portion to fold forward from the half cock position. The trigger mechanism has a “fly” similar to that in a set trigger, which must align a slot with the falling hammer to pass, within a pre-determined time interval. If this isn’t properly timed the fall of the hammer is interrupted and the gun will not fire. I returned the rifle to Browning for re-timing and they fixed the problem but I wish I’d gotten one sooner before they introduced the additional safety feature - the best safety is between the user's ears. Hope this may help you with your problem.

  11. #11
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default BLR

    Yukon,
    I wouldn't hazard a for sure guess on the hard extraction other than all the planets lining up- or not .... my only poorly BLR educated guesses would include- slightly rough chamber?, slight imperfection in the chamber?, minimum SAAMI chamber specs coupled with near max pressure loads coupled with the minimal body taper of the 358 coupled with the minimum extraction cam pressure of the design, etc, etc. But I noticed you mentioned the 1886. Oh yes- great design. Also, if you see a Winchester 71 in 348.... might look it over. Unfortunately the originals are collectible and have been going up in value steadily for several years now- added to the double whammy of the Winchester facility closing- ughh! The BLRs I've been around.... never owned one.... have been impressively accurate but that doesn't do much good if there is a question of reliability under less than ideal conditions. Just some thoughts and good luck!

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