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Thread: Browning lever action frustration

  1. #1
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    Default Browning lever action frustration

    I have one chambered in .308 that is very handy and has worked well hunting dear in Kodiak but with one agrivating problem. You have to take the gun of your sholder to cycle the lever for a second shot. It is VERY hard to unlock the rotory bolt after firing. It will cycle free and easy until its fired then lock up TIGHT.

    Anyone with experience with the brownings out there care to comment???

    Regards,

    Jim

  2. #2
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Browning BLR...

    First guess is that the load you're using is too stinking warm....what do the primers look like? Any noticeable case swelling ahead of the web? Bright spot? Dirty ammo? Dirty chamber?
    When fed good ammunition in the proper pressure range, all four of my BLR's would swallow anything I put in them, two were .308's, two were .243's, all were Belgian mfg guns from 1972...
    My best reloads came after I switched to an RCBS small base size die. Most all of my .308 ammunition was based from once fired (through an M60) GI Lake City 64-68 brass, and it would NOT chamber until I ran it through the small base die.

  3. #3
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    Default BLR troubles...

    AKtinbender,

    I'm with DW. Something isn't right. You didn't say what ammo if factory or handload, but first guess is a little warm. All of what DW said can apply. But I have seen this several times with handloaded ammo even mild loads. The levers and pumps with the rotating locking lugs don't have very strong extraction. Once the ammo is fired once, the case expands at the base and needs to be sized down more than regular dies can do. That's where the small base dies come in. The Browning BAR's need small base, too. There is a die available to resize this base to "small base" dimensions that can be used to size down even loaded ammo. The Redding small base body die, will size just the body and base enough to chamber in any auto, pump or lever. These are a little cheaper than buying a new set of small base dies.

    If you're using factory ammo and the gun is clean around the lockup and lugs, there may be another problem with the lever rack and pinion. Clean it and check for burrs on the mechanism. Good luck with it.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default

    Thanx for the info guys. I just went out and shot 5 rounds of factory loaded PMC .308 win. The primers look seated well with no bulges or deformation on the cases. It still neded that hard JERK to get the spent case to eject. I will look for burrs on the rack and pinion and see what happens.
    The gun is a Belgium that I picked up about 10 years ago in Wasilla.

    Regards,

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Default

    I wonder if your headspacing is off? Or the chamber is oversized. This will require a gunsmith to examine it

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    Default

    Head spacing seems fine and the chamber looks great.
    I cant find any obvious burrs or deformations in the rack and pinion system.
    I used a Manson "go" gauge, bolt closes fine and with the "no go" the bolt wont lock up.

    Regards,

    Jim

  7. #7
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Also check...

    If you do a detail cleaning by completely disassembling the action, you'll notice that the rotating bolt head receives torque from two pins that protrude into slots milled in the small diameter of the rotating bolt head. Those pins can get flat spots, old lube can coagulate and act more like tar, the assembly can get full of dust, which when mixed with oil turns into mud, or you can get rust in there. Being mild steel in a really wet climate, I'd bet that's an ongoing problem! In any event, clean the bejeebers out of the locking lugs on the bolt and especially in the receiver.
    Cleaning mine did away with the same problem. By the way, I always tried to have some Lubriplate, or those little tubs that we used to get to lubricate the bolt roller on M14's with. Good grease, and is what I'd recommend in the cam slots and pins in the bolt assembly.
    Hope you get 'er sorted out! My first one, a .308 was a Christmas present from my folks, new in the box, when I turned 18. That particular BLR was an amazingly accurate rifle. I recall a fella I used to run with in Great Falls, who came up with a High Wall Winchester, freshly rebarreled to .219 Zipper, and it really DID shoot well. He shot a group, it went around an inch or so at a hundred yards, and wanted to know what I'd brought to shoot. I pulled out the BLR .308, with 130 gr. Speer hollow points and 45 gr of IMR 4895, my 'gopher load', and asked him what he wanted me to hit with it. He said to take the tack in the upper left hand corner of the target holding it to the target board. At the shot, the tack disappeard, and left in it's place a dandy little .30 caliber hole.....one of those shots that I knew to not comment, keep my mouth shut, put the gun back in the case and act like that happened every time!!! I heard about that shot for five years.........

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    Default

    Great info Darreld. Thanx much.
    I will clean and check out those pins tonight.
    Great story as well, the key is when to keep those lips zipped......

    Regards,

    Jim

  9. #9

    Default Browning lever action frustration

    Clean the chamber with Hopps solvent and a brass chamber brush.

  10. #10
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    Browning is supposedly coming out with a take-down BLR next year.
    It will be offered in 325 WSM and 450 Marlin. (plus a couple other cartridges) I talked with the guy who was test firing the prototypes and he said that the 450 marlin in the take-down lightweight BLR was a little annoying to shoot after a while.

    I think I would pass on the .325,

    Although I have a hankering for a .358 win.

  11. #11
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Default BLR

    If you need to sell it or trade .....I am interested?

    I have a Marlin 45-70 and a older Rem 760 in 30-06 I will trade!
    Alaska

  12. #12

    Default

    Hi.I'm new to this forum and new to the BLR,got one this summer in 7.08 . It's the newer lightweight model.


    I've been really curious about what makes them tick and have been searching the internet for info on taking them down. So far I've only found info on the older models.
    What I'm really need to know is how the headspace is adjusted on the newer models. The bolt has been redesigned on these models. The older models states that when the action is properly timed,cocking the hammer will allow the breech bold slide to move to the rear a maximum of .015.acceptable tolerances are between .001 to .015.

    Does anyone have any info on the newer models?

  13. #13
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Frame

    You should have got the steel version!
    Alaska

  14. #14

    Default

    I thought about looking for a good used steel action version but then I decided on the lightweight model. It intrigued me. I haven't really heard any bad reports on it . It'll be interesting to see just how well they hold up.
    I also like the flush mount magazine and the folding hammer. Time will tell.
    They also redesigned the bolt sometime around 1997 it has a firing pin inertia system. Whatever that is. I wish I could find the tech info on it. All I have is the parts schematics to compare the old and new versions.

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