Mauser 98 bolt sticky

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by WFO, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. WFO

    WFO Member

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    Feb 26, 2011
    Hello all-

    My hunting rifle is a sporterized Mauser 98 30-06 that my Dad bought from a local store in the 60s. He passed it on to me when I was in hight school and when I returned from the service I had a local smith install a shilen #5 26" barrel, timney trigger and bed/float a bell&carlson stock.

    The rifle has been in this configuration for about 15 years and has always been accurate and reliable. This past year I let my brother take it to Idaho elk hunting. He experimented with some different loads,all various factory rounds.

    When he got back the bolt will not cycle smoothly any more. It pulls up and down about like it always did, but it's difficult to pull back for about the first inch. Likewise when you cycle it forward it's loose and smooth until the bolt is about 1/4" from the reciever and it comes up tight. You then have to give it a pretty good shove to get it to go the rest of the way into battery.

    I've cleaned and inspected everything I can and am at a loss on this one. Before I take it to a gunsmith I was hoping you guys could give me some insight as to what may have happened.

    Thanks,Sean
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 18, 2010
    From your explanation, I'd say that it's not inside the bolt itself.

    And, it occurs before you try to lift/close the handle. So, it's not the lug faces/abutments.

    That pretty much narrows it down to the fit between the bolt and the reciever.

    The front scope mount or bottom metal screws are often a culprit if they extend just a hair too deep.

    If you can't determine through inspection, then I would apply some layout blue to various parts of the bolt and run it in/out a few times to see where it scrapes off.

    You might even remove it from the stock just to be sure nothing's putting it in a bind.

    Good luck,
    Richard
     

  3. orwapitihunter

    orwapitihunter Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2004
    I agree with Richard. If you don't have any Dykem, just use a black marker. My guess is the retainer (the steel band that wraps around the bolt) for the extractor has been worn/bent and your extractor (the big bar on the side of the bolt that pulls the case from the chamber) is dragging. A shot of brake cleaner will wash off the marker. If you can't figure it out let me know. I'm in Cottage Grove about twice a month.
     
  4. WFO

    WFO Member

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    Feb 26, 2011
    Thanks for the replies.

    I had the bolt coated black when I had the rest of the work done so we should be able to determine where it's dragging on the reciever by the wear marks in the coating.

    The largest wear marks I can see that might affect the bolt dragging are on the sides of the front locking lug. There are wear marks in other places too. Let me get out to the shop with a camera and I'll post pics.

    I can get some Dykem from a friend after we narrow down the most likely areas.

    Thanks,Sean
     
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Sometimes, the coating itself can be a source of friction.

    A little grease in the right location can help.

    Binding is another story.