Rounds will not chamber in new Savage 111 LRH .338 Lapua

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by lv2hunt, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. lv2hunt

    lv2hunt Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully, you guys can let me know if I am going in the right direction with this problem or give me some additional ideas of things to have my Gunsmith try; I am at my wits end. I purchased a new Savage 111 LRH chambered in .338 Lapua and have not been able to chamber a loaded round or empty shell since purchased. The bolt works fine with an empty chamber but when loaded the bolt will only close to about the three o' clock position. I started a long detailed thread about this problem in the reloading section because originally I thought it was a resizing problem with my Lapua brass, long story short I have tried everything to no avail. I have tried both factory ammunition and resizing my Lapua brass with my shellholder set to touch the ram plus an additional 1/8 turn, 1/4 turn, 3/8 turn, and even a 1/2 turn, nothing seems to work. I have been scouring the net for answers and have come up with a few things to try: (Please add to my list of things for my Gunsmith to try or give feedback, thanks).

    Apparently, Savages have common problems with either the front action screw and / or front factory scope rail screw being to long and interfering with the bolts closure.

    Proper chamber headspace with a headspace gauge. (Short chambered).

    Bolt assembly screw may be loose.

    Bolt locking lugs may be binding and need polished.

    Thanks for your time,
    Brandon
     

  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Have you called Savage?
    What did they say?

    If the bolt works fine on an empty chamber, then something is binding against your cartridge when attempting to close the bolt. (Or conversely, the cartridge is causing binding somewhere.)

    Coat the cartridge in Sharpie or Dykem (layout blue).

    Chamber the cartridge and work the bolt a few times so that you can identify where the Dykem is scraped away and where the pressure point(s) is/are.

    If you already did so, what did it reveal?

    -- richard
     

  3. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who just had the same issue he sent the rifle back and they said it was fine. We had factory ammo from 3 diffrent manufactures and none would chamber he ended up returning the rifle.
     
  4. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

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    If a new rifle won't chamber a factory loaded round I'd send it back. I may try one other make of ammo, after that it's not your problem. The quicker you start the process the better.
     
  5. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

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    Scope base screws too long and protruding deep?
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I've seen that one more than once! Pull the bolt, and see if you can put a loaded round in the chamber by hand. I went thru the screw issue with Leupold a year ago, and after they sent me three sets of screws; I finally gave up! One set was almost a quarter inch too long. Called Burris, and they had me a new set of bases and the correct screws in the mail that afternoon.

    If the round will fit the chamber without the bolt, you pretty well know you have a good chamber (still not always). They could have head spaced the gun with a "no go" gauge.
    gary
     
  7. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    He said the bolt works fine on an empty chamber.

    A new rifle shouldn't be giving problems with factory ammo.

    There seem to be a lot of people commenting on "tight" chambers with this rifle. Savage has messed up in the past. They've sent out crooked chambers and barrels with no rifling for the last few inches of the barrel.

    Let a gunsmith have a good look. Or, call Savage and send it back.

    And, please let us know what the final resolution is.

    Best of luck,
    -- richard
     
  8. lv2hunt

    lv2hunt Well-Known Member

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    I will definately let all of you know the problem or problems when found, thanks for your suggestions and comments. Had a closer look at everything before dropping it off with the Gunsmith; the bolt cycles fine with no round or shell in the chamber and everything looks good to my untrained eye (Hmm...). Dropped the rifle off with the local Gunsmith to check it out, hate to send this rifle back to Savage due to the long shipping distance and the fact that I already have my scope and accessories mounted.

    Thanks,
    Brandon
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    going back and rereading the first post, I think it's a headspace issue, and not by very much at that. When the tightened the jam nut I'd almost bet the barrel turned inwards about about one tenth of a turn. That'd be about .005", and with the bolt locking up at the three Oclock position, it sounds about right.
    If that's the case it's a very simple fix. Pull the firing pin, and loosen the barrel nut. Then take about .0025" of shim shock (I prefer plastic), and stick it on the base of the case. Now screw the barrel tight against the case shoulder. Tighten the nut without moving the barrel. Pull the round and remove the plastic shim stock from the case head. The round should chamber with about .003" clearence. If that's too loose than redo it with .001" shim stock or the cellophene fron a ciggeratte pack. The nut will pull the barrel a couple thousandths forward with 30 ft. lb. of torque. I'd bet the headspaced it with a no-go gauge instead of a go gauge. The main difference I've seen with Savage chambers is in the neck length. They usually are a little shorter than a Remington or Winchester chamber. Sometimes as much as seventy thousandths
    gary
     
  10. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    It's been over a week. What's the scoop on the problem?
     
  11. lv2hunt

    lv2hunt Well-Known Member

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    I checked with the Gunsmith and he asked me to be patient, as he is swamped with other work. He said it is definitely a gun problem most likely a chamber burr or head spacing problem. I did order Lapua brand factory ammo and came up with the same result as my hand loads (will not chamber). I will post the verdict when I get it back, thanks for your feedback and patience.

    Thanks,
    Brandon
     
  12. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    I missed this until today and just didn't want it to go off the first page and get lost in the shuffle.
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    probably a head space issue, and that it about a twenty minute fix. The barrel probably slipped as the nut was tightened
    gary
     
  14. lv2hunt

    lv2hunt Well-Known Member

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    The gun is fixed! Final verdict was that the scope rail screws were too long and needed shortened. Gunsmith wouldn't take any payment, thanks again for all of the feedback. I will post load data and groups when I get that far.

    Thanks,
    Brandon