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Thread: looking for advice

  1. #1
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default looking for advice

    I am looking for some advice on a problem I am having with a Ruger Hawkeye Alaskan I bought back in Feb. When I first bought the rifle, I handloaded ammo for it (full length sized, trimmed to correct length, OAL was good, etc). I went to function check the rifle to see if the ammo fed properly, etc. Did not shoot it at this time. Well, throughout the function checking, I noticed that the rifle scratched/dented the brass very badly, enough so that I would not consider them safe to load a second time. Also, once out of every 10 times or more when I would load the full 3+1 in the gun, the second shell would fail to feed. The bolt would not catch the rim of the shell enough to push it in to the chamber. Well, I have now sent the rifle back to Ruger twice, and it is still doing it. Still scratching shells and still failing to feed. I have to be very careful how I load the mag to make sure it works right. But that is not something I want to deal with on a rifle intended for dangerous game. Maybe if I was shooting prairie dogs I wouldn't mind--MAYBE. It looks to me like there is quite a bit of slop in the mag spring and follower that sometimes allows the rear portion of the top shell to drop below the level of the bolt, and that is causing the feeding problem. I have no idea what is causing the scratching. What do you all think I should do? I hate to send it back and lose another 2 months waiting. I have not even put the first round through the gun in the 5 months that i've owned it. Is there any possibility of Ruger refunding my money so I could buy a different brand? At this point that is what I would prefer to do. I'm getting pretty P.O.ed at this point. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

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    Default

    What caliber is the rifle and do you have the same problems with factory ammo?

  3. #3

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    If its an Alaskan then it must be a 375 Ruger me thinks.

  4. #4
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    Default Ruger blues......

    I think he speaks of the Ruger Alaskan in 375 Ruger.

    Scratching the case of the loaded cartridge is not a big deal almost every production run (not hand polished) CRF action will do that. If it fails to pick up the next round after you stuff one up the pipe...I have some concern and some questions about that operation.

    When you fill the magazine (it only holds three), how do you get the fourth round in the chamber? Do you just drop it in then close the bolt or do you have to pinch the extractor? Normally we would not stuff a round on such a gun but if your insides tell you to load an extra round, that's what you do.

    Also what did you tell Ruger before you sent it back? What did they do to it each time they had it?
    I doubt Ruger would refund your money but I don't think the rifle is unusable either. It is extremely unlikely that the scratched and dented brass would be unsafe.

    Here's my take on this. If you don't shoot it you don't know if it works. Also a bolt wasn't meant to be babyed. It is meant to be cycled like your life depended on it. Also, fill the magazine and stuff one up the pipe and start shooting. Recoil will settle the rounds into the correct position for the next shot. There is no belt, they will scoot to the front and they will be picked up. When you load them with the correct CAOL there is still slop in the magazine and you just put them in where ever thay fall, everybody does. The need to be fully to the front to be picked up by the bolt when it is yanked to the rear of its travel.

    Another unrelated question. Is this new 375 Ruger brass or someones fired brass? And wondering why you f/l sized everything.
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  5. #5
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default .375 Ruger

    It is the .375. I know typically you do not load an additional round in the chamber of a CRF. However, after reading the Ruger manual, it says you can simply drop a round in the chamber and the extractor will just snap over it. In other words, it's designed to be able to do that.

    Basically, each time I sent it back I told Ruger the same thing I wrote in my original post. Just described the problem. The first time all they really did was polish the feed ramp. The second time they "repaired" a few things such as the bolt (didn't specify what part of the bolt), magazine spring, etc.

    It doesn't seem to matter if I operate the bolt hard or light. In fact, if I was to keep track of it, I think it probably does it worse when I operate the bolt hard. Typically what happens when I operate it hard is it will either completely miss the next shell and close on an empty chamber, or the bolt will jam against the midsection of the next shell.

    I may be overcritical, but if I'm going to stake my life on a rifle, I want to have complete confidence in it. Whether it works 99% of the time, I don't want that 1% being when an angry beasty is coming after me. At this point, I do not have confidence in this rifle. I think it should work right each and every time I cycle it, regardless of whether or not I actually fired it. I don't think that's too much to ask for a $900 gun.

    Also, the brass was new Hornady unfired brass. I full length resized just to be sure the brass was 100% within standards. Just a preference of mine.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default

    If you've made up your mind to part with it you'll never be happy with it no matter what anyone says.

    That said- this kind of thing use to be part and parcel with almost all guns from major manufacturers. You'd buy it and take it to the local gunsmith to fix what the factory missed or didn't do right. On medium and big bore rifles feed problems were and still are pretty common. This kind of issue kept gunsmiths reasonably employed for decades.

    If it were mine (and I do own the exact same rifle) I'd take it to the local smith and describe the problem. Chances are he'd have it fixed and you'll be out minimum cash if you just fix what is wrong and you'll have it back in a couple days. You probably just need the feed lips adjusted and perhaps polished to remove a burr or two. Ruger is infamous for not doing very fine finish work on their guns and also infamous for not fixing this kind of issue. They do turn out reasonable work on parts replacement like cylinders and barrels and so forth- but tweaking one isn't their strong point.

    My rifle does scratch the brass pretty badly but so far it isn't an issue. After a few hundred rounds it should break in just fine. My advice is to take it to a gunsmith if you like and shoot the whiz out of it for a few months and then make a determination about what you want to do.

    Document your issues in writing as you're shooting in case you want Ruger to compensate you for it. After a gunsmith works on it Ruger may not exchange or reimburse you for it so the used market may you're only method to move it down the road. As an unfired rifle, its doubtful Ruger is going to allow you to return it. If you mention reloads or handloaded ammo of any kind they generally stop listening as well.

  7. #7
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default oops

    Well,
    About now I'd have major confidence issues with that rifle- whether or not it is fixed. Maybe a lemon. Sounds like a follower, magazine, rail issue to me judging by your description of the bolt face jamming into the body of the cartridge. Or, any chance the bolt stop is whacky and stopping the bolt just short of full rear travel? Of course this is all just guessing.

    Hate to say this after all the hype about the 375 Ruger Alaskan and CRFs, etc. but... Depending on budget and time I'd be tempted to go with something like one of those "crappy" post 64 Winchester 70 push feeds in 375 HH as long as it didn't have many round through it. Or, an even "crappier" Rem 700 in 375 HH with few rounds fired. The used market has them- just have to look and poke around a little. Good luck

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    Default

    I'm gald you cleared up some things here. It has a weak magazine spring, I would just stretch it and try things again. What have you got to loose here. Ruger had a service bulletin, if that's the phrase, about rough feeding and the solution was to polish the feed ramp and every gun that comes back will be so treated regardless of the actual problem. This is generally with the Hornady 300 grain round nose soft point.

    The best of my three Rugers, or the most accurate of them was the Alaskan non stainless (black model) the one I wanted to keep. It was the roughest feeder of the lot. I have fiddled with it polished and stroked and shot it quite a bit now, about 400 rounds, and it is now actually a slick feeder. The magazine spring was weak on it and I swapped it with a spring from another rifle, then stretched it. The followers are not very good on any of them. I have noticed here lately that you never get two Rugers alike, it is just how they come out of the mold, they don't do hand fitting.

    I understand your grief with it but it can be made reliable. You may get more grief (expense) from a smith before it gets better, though.

    Yes your right it is a snap over extractor and we do want to be able to stuff the fourth round but honestly that is never a good idea with any gun for the utmost in relaible feeding. You cannot get off more than three rounds in a fight anyway. I am a strong believer in just fill the magazine then cycle the round into action when needed. But I still want the gun to do what it is advertised to do. It should hold three+one.

    Ruger is a mass production company. The fix problems based on the engineers fix info provided. They do not get out of the box. If you pressure them they will replace your rifle. They also do not test fire. Right now they think they have your gun fixed. You should set them straight. Do not ship back until you get positive confirmation that the problem will be fixed. Talk to the supervisor of the supervisor of the customer service dept. Wait until you're in a really bad mood then call.

    I hope it works out.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    I only own one Ruger Rifle, an M-77MKII all weather in 30-06. I had the same problems as you do. It took lots of polishing and goofing around with my follower and spring to get it right. Also over-all cartridge length made a HUGE difference on how she feeds.

    I changed my COL a couple times and it finally stopped hanging up on the second round out of the magazine.

    Meanwhile my factory Remingtons feed everything with no problems, which drves me nuts since they are push feeds.
    And of course my 100 plus year old Mausers feed (controlled feed)everything nice and smooth as well.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  10. #10
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default Ruger's response

    Well, I had emailed Ruger again seeing if they would tell me anything different over email than on the phone the last two times. Here is their response:

    "We would recommend that you send your rifle back into us with your receipt for our evaluation. Please ship to Sturm, Ruger & Co, 411 Sunapee St. Newport,NH 03773. Put a letter inside stating problem and what you want with a return UPS address and daytime phone."

    Are you kidding me? How is that any different than what I've done the other two times I sent it to you and you didn't fix it? Holy cow! GGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRR

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