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model 700 misfire on black bear hunt

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  • model 700 misfire on black bear hunt

    i just got back from a wonderful trip to ak. my first. as i was unloading gear and reorganizing i found 6 rounds in a coat pocket. i just happened to notice that one of the rounds had a small dimple in it. ****! i dont know if i feel any better but here is what happend.
    we were black bear hunting in pws and i had just shot a really nice Black Bear. my first alaska big game animal. so exciting. we stalked within 50 yards or less and took the Bear. everything went perfect. we loaded the Bear in the skiff and shoved off. we went about 300 yds and see another Black Bear that was even bigger. i told my buddy he had to take it. what a great memory that will be. 3 friends all taking Bears in the same day. his brother took a black bear a couple of hours before me. so he dicided it was the Bear he wanted and we began the stalk. got within 100yds and setup for the shot. easy shot. he rested up on his pack and a rock. very comfortable. he shoots and the bear reaches back and bites its side and takes off. here is where my part comes in. we had an agreement to back each other. if the bear runs the other guy is supposed to take a shot as well. i felt very good, was ready and squeezed the shot off to hear "CLICK"... cuss! cuss! @#%^ by the time i racked another shell in the bear was in the bush. my buddy said he thought he hit the bear the second time as well. the bear was in his scope for the second shot so i am sure he did if he was on it. my buddy sayes what happened? i told him i thought i didnt rack a shell in the chamber after we left the skiff. well i had. when i picked up the cartridges off the ground i never realized or thought of a misfire. i was ready but my gun failed. i never tried to fire the gun again after that so i have no idea if it will. here is a pic of the shells.

    you can see the one dimple is small and the others are much deeper.

    so we didnt find his bear. we looked till dark and went back for 6 hours the next day. no blood, hair, nothing. i know it was hit in the chest. i cant believe we didnt find it. i felt so bad that i thought i let him down by not racking in a shell. it wasnt me it was my weapon that failed..... before i left ak i knew i was in the market for a 338. now i am positive. i have to choose what gun and in layaway it goes.

    another bit of info. it was suggested i use "winchester 30-06 springfield 180gr xp3's" when i shot my bear through the lungs the bullet never expanded. through and through was a 30 cal hole. my buddy shot my bear with his 300 mag with a plain deer round and the bullet had entrance and exit holes the size of a quarter. off to the gunsmith my 700 goes.

    another interesting bit was my mueller 4-16x50 scope got water in it. that will be going back to mueller. now that i have been to ak i have a far better understanding of gun/scope choice and with the help from you guys on this site i will be putting togther a very nice weather proof rifle for next season. i am so sorry that my equipment failed. i put alot of effort into getting ready for this hunt and i still cant believe this happened.

  • #2
    light strike

    Several things can cause a light firing pin strike.
    But, another thing is,,,, that a misfired round will always appear to have a lighter strike compared to a fired round. When fired, the higher the pressure the more the crater around the firing pin strike mark. If you shoot a belt fed M.G. alot you get bad rounds that don't go off. They look like light strikes. But then the gun shoots another 2,000 rounds without any problems...go figure...
    Gun solvents and penetrating gun oils will often ruin a primer.

    So you could have had.

    1. A bad round of ammo with a bad primer.
    2. Some grease or thick oil around your firing pin and firing pin spring that slowed the strike speed. Particularly if it was cold and your gun is a sunny beach type of gal.
    3. Junk in the firing pin slot, water, dirt, pieces of bushes.
    4. A busted firing pin. They work sometimes and sometimes not....

    I am sure there are other possiblities I am forgetting.

    Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
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    • #3
      Were those reloads??? If so, it could have been that the primer wasn't seated all the way. I had this happen to me at the range. I pulled the trigger....heard a click, and about a second later the gun went off. I talked to a guy that reloads a lot and he said that most likely the primer wasn't seated all the way. I had reloaded about 50-60 rounds for my gun (300RUM) and had no problems. This was my first time for using Rem 9 1/2 primers. I thought it was just a misfire on the primer. I have shot my gun several times since then and haven't had any more problems with those primers though.


      • #4
        I'm assuming a bolt action rifle.

        Usually, such misfires as you discribe are attributed to oil in the bolt, and cold weather, but that doesn't seem likely in your case.

        I can't prove this, but when the bolt is only part way back down after you cycle it, the bolt has to turn down the rest of the way when you pull the trigger. I think that will absorb part of the blow to the primer, and possibly give you a light strike of the firing pin on the primer. I'm not saying it will cause a misfire, everytime, but I believe it could.

        Smitty of the North
        Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
        Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
        You can't out-give God.


        • #5
          ob 1jr
          no sir. those were not reloads. factory winchester rounds. after being on the salt water for 3 days i was thinking maybe rust in the firing pin. but i did oil and wipe everyting down including pulling the bolt out. not sure if it was the ammo or gun. not sure if i feel better about that black bear either. very happy we put my bear down quickly.

          is there a preffered shot on black bears? my shot was through and through RIGHT behind the shoulders. someone had reccomended shooting them in the shoulders to keep them from running? i use the animals to the fullest extent. i salvaged all the meat i could from my black bear and was disappointed in the loss i had from the other 2 shots we put on the bear. maybe i should rethink that and take the more damaging shot?


          • #6
            When is the last time..

            you had the firing pin out of the bolt? A lot of times the spring gets rusted and sticks together. Also, had a friend who sent a box of rounds back to Winchester because of a misfire. If the spring and pin are clean I don't understand how the gun can misfire. Maybe it can I just don't know how.


            • #7
              Originally posted by lawdog View Post
              you had the firing pin out of the bolt? A lot of times the spring gets rusted and sticks together. Also, had a friend who sent a box of rounds back to Winchester because of a misfire. If the spring and pin are clean I don't understand how the gun can misfire. Maybe it can I just don't know how.

              you got it lawdog! i have never had the bolt apart in 15 years i have owned the gun. didnt know that i should have.

              i just got back from the gun shop. the guys were very interested in my hunt and when i showed them the ammo they thought for sure it was failure of the bolt. as we discussed it more i am really sure that it is failure due to the lack of maintenance on cleaning thebolt. my fault. they kept the box of ammo and are planning to send it to winchester. i dont think it is necessary now but i will leave that up to them.

              i now have to decide between the 338 and the 375 and i need to decide on the rem 700 or the ruger 77. looks like the ruger right now. then of course optics. leupold vari x 3.... etc


              • #8
                I might have to print

                out this page to prove that I have been right on at least one thing. I think the Ruger is a control feed which some prefer, especially in Alaska. Can't say enough about Leupold. 2.5x8 vxlll is my favorite. I got a .375 ultra mag 700 try-nyte (sic) with a vxlll 1.5x5 heavy duplex and I like it. Anyway good luck. Jesse


                • #9
                  Model 700 misfire

                  I'll pass on a helpful hint I revceived at the rifle range:
                  The forward stock screw of my Remington model 700 terminates into the bottom of the receiver at the point where the bolt lugs rotate and lock. If the screw is overtightened, or with time has migrated deeper into the seat, its thread end may protrude slightly into the receiver and can impinge on the bolt lug so that you may not complete the bolt rotation to fully lock it down. The little bit of space not taken up between the bolt and the cartridge primer can be enough to result in a "short' strike with a partially dented primer and misfire.

                  An indication of this problem is a shiny rub mark on the bolt lug where it contacts the protruding screw. A fix can be accomplished by turning out the screw slightly or filing down and polishing the end of the screw.


                  • #10

                    Check your bolt and clean it. I used a 8mm mag for years and had a batch of reloads do what you experienced. My bolt was gummed up and after soaking it, all those rounds fired. Firing pin was gummed up. My guns tend to get that way after de-greasing for winter, re-lubing in the spring. I try to soak my bolts in solvent once a year for a good cleaning.


                    • #11
                      bolt cleaning

                      Ditto the others on keeping the bolt clean. Unless it is a bent or broken or mis-fit part or contaminated primer I would imagine the culprit to be a gunky bolt. The Rem 700 bolt is relatively easy to strip down into two parts- that's the best way to clean one. The hollow bolt body in one part and the firing pin/spring/rear shroud is the other part. After unscrewing the firing pin assembly out of the bolt body brush the firing pin/spring/shroud assembly in a solvent. Then clean with solvent the inside of the bolt body as you would a barrel or chamber. Carburetor or brake cleaning solvent works well. After cleaning and drying very lightly coat the parts inside and out with a light weight, evaporating type lube like RemOil or LPS #1. Remove any excess. Heavier oils or grease tend gather gunk over time- one of the possible culprits in failure to fire. Also, as the temp drops to really really cold, any heavy oil in the bolt can slow the firing pin fall causing either poorer accuracy or failure to fire. The only grease that should be used on a bolt is a very tiny smear on the rear surfaces of the two locking lugs. This prevents galling between the lugs and the contact shoulders within the receiver ring and will not cause mis-fires.


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