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  #1  
Old 02-15-2019, 4:04 PM
MattyMX MattyMX is offline
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Default Howa 1500 Sticky Bolt

Hey all...

I've been looking through this site for years and I finally decided to join last month.

I have a Howa 1500 300WM that I bought new a few years ago and it has about 300 rounds through it.. Of those 300 rounds, 100 were factory Hornady and the rest were my own handloads. Nothing too hot and I came up with a load using the following:
74gr H4831
180gr Barnes TTSX
Full Length sizing
No Crimp
Winchester LR Mag primers
COAL 3.34"
MV 2935FPS
.40MOA


A few times with factory loads, I would get a sticky bolt. Nothing too often. During my last outing to the range, it was nearly every round sticking to where the bolt would be really tight to eject. I stopped after 5 rounds and took the rifle home and did a complete tear down of the bolt and firing pin.

Every part was sonic cleaned for 2 hours, lubed, and reassembled. Upon testing the bolt with an empty chamber and dry firing it, the blot was still sticking.

I ordered a new firing pin assembly and installed it and after testing that, it is still sticking. I'm lost. What else could this issue be caused by? I've owned and maintained a lot of bolt rifles and this is a first for me.

Any ideas are welcomed! Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2019, 5:20 PM
ar15barrels's Avatar
ar15barrels ar15barrels is offline
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Any changes in scope mounts?
A scope mount screw can hit the bolt and cause sticking where there otherwise would not be.
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2019, 6:06 PM
MattyMX MattyMX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Any changes in scope mounts?
A scope mount screw can hit the bolt and cause sticking where there otherwise would not be.

Thanks for that! I did check but that optic and mounts have been on it since new.

The bolt will cycle freely with no issues as long as you don't pull the trigger. Once the trigger is pulled, the bolt sticks. Much more so when firing a round, too.
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Old 02-15-2019, 6:08 PM
Sailormilan2 Sailormilan2 is online now
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Do the back of the bolt lugs appear to be galling against their lug recesses? Is there a scope mounting screw that is too long and catching the bolt?
I would ask about case trim to length, but since you said it was sticking with an empty chamber that wouldn't matter.
Have you lubed the cocking cam on the bolt?
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Old 02-15-2019, 6:35 PM
MattyMX MattyMX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormilan2 View Post
Do the back of the bolt lugs appear to be galling against their lug recesses? Is there a scope mounting screw that is too long and catching the bolt?
I would ask about case trim to length, but since you said it was sticking with an empty chamber that wouldn't matter.
Have you lubed the cocking cam on the bolt?

There are no marks at all on the lugs. They are all black.

I use Archoil AR4200 lube which is a nano tungsten disulfide lubricant. After cleaning everything in the bolt assembly, I covered everything in lube. Both the old firing pin assembly and the new one act exactly the same. I'll take everything apart and do it all again.
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2019, 9:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyMX View Post
The bolt will cycle freely with no issues as long as you don't pull the trigger.
Once the trigger is pulled, the bolt sticks.
Much more so when firing a round, too.
You have a cocking piece related problem.
During cocking, the cocking piece loads to one side until it is drawn fully back and in control of either the bolt body or the sear.
There must be something in the cocking piece track in the receiver causing the cocking piece to drag on the tensioned side.
I bet that your new firing pin assembly is somehow not compatible with the old one.

Fix whatever was wrong with the old one and move back to that.
If you are in the LA area, I could look at it, but this sort of thing is not likely to be figured out without a hands-on.
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Foreign Semi Autos: www.akbarrels.com
Glock, XD and M&P pistols, Benelli and Remington shotguns: barrel, sight, trigger and receiver work.
Most work performed while-you-wait, evening and weekend appointments available.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 02-15-2019 at 9:39 PM..
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Old 02-16-2019, 7:24 AM
MattyMX MattyMX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
You have a cocking piece related problem.
During cocking, the cocking piece loads to one side until it is drawn fully back and in control of either the bolt body or the sear.
There must be something in the cocking piece track in the receiver causing the cocking piece to drag on the tensioned side.
I bet that your new firing pin assembly is somehow not compatible with the old one.

Fix whatever was wrong with the old one and move back to that.
If you are in the LA area, I could look at it, but this sort of thing is not likely to be figured out without a hands-on.



Yeah it is likely something related to that. The new pin is factory new from Legacy, who distributes Howa in the USA. I'll take everything down and inspect it again and maybe I'll take it to you. I live in Big Bear but I work in the valley/Hollywood. Thanks for the offer!
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Old 02-16-2019, 8:51 AM
baih777 baih777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyMX View Post
Yeah it is likely something related to that. The new pin is factory new from Legacy, who distributes Howa in the USA. I'll take everything down and inspect it again and maybe I'll take it to you. I live in Big Bear but I work in the valley/Hollywood. Thanks for the offer!
That's one hell of a drive.
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Old 02-16-2019, 8:54 AM
MattyMX MattyMX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baih777 View Post
That's one hell of a drive.

For sure but I do not do it every day. I have a place in Glendale where I stay so it makes the commute far easier. I'll make the drive after work if I don't have work the following day.
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  #10  
Old 02-17-2019, 9:12 AM
Sailormilan2 Sailormilan2 is online now
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I'm not familiar with the trigger mechanism on the Howas, but is it in anyway similar to that on a commercial Mauser 98 style rifle?
A pivoting sear in the trigger mechanism that holds the firing pin back. That pivoting sear is held up by the trigger. When the trigger is pulled back, the top pivots forward out from under the sear. Which drops, and allows the firing pin to go forward.
I had a similar problem with my commercial Mauser trigger, and it turned out to be a misadjusted trigger over travel screw. One turn in of the screw fixed the problem.
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormilan2 View Post
I'm not familiar with the trigger mechanism on the Howas, but is it in anyway similar to that on a commercial Mauser 98 style rifle?
It's a unitized trigger that attaches to the reciever with a screw.



When the trigger is pulled, the sear drops down, allowing the striker to move forward like most bolt action rifles.
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AR work: www.ar15barrels.com
Bolt actions: www.700barrels.com
Foreign Semi Autos: www.akbarrels.com
Glock, XD and M&P pistols, Benelli and Remington shotguns: barrel, sight, trigger and receiver work.
Most work performed while-you-wait, evening and weekend appointments available.
Founding member of the CAPRC
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2019, 1:51 PM
Sailormilan2 Sailormilan2 is online now
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Looking through the hole in the side, you should be able to see the sear and it's relationship to the top of the trigger. When you look through the hole, is the sear hitting the top of the trigger as you lift the bolt handle?
It may just need the over travel screw behind the trigger adjusted. Failing that, the sear engagement screw in front of the trigger.
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  #13  
Old 02-17-2019, 2:11 PM
MattyMX MattyMX is offline
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Thanks! I'll pull the action from the stock again and take a look.
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