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  1. #1
    Senior Member harbl_the_cat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Stuck case in a bolt gun: What Not To Do To Clear A Stuck Bolt (in a Mossberg MVP)

    Before the backdoor non-res registry came in, I bought a second Mossberg MVP (I really like that rifle).

    The first time I took it to the range, I got a piece of brass where something goofy happened and the bolt wouldn't open when I (thought) I had cycled it open (after firing it).

    I had some guys on the range try to help muscle it open with slings, I banged on it a bit with a piece of wood, but nothing would give.

    Before I did that I did something you should NEVER do with a bolt gun:

    Stick a steel military cleaning rod down the barrel and try to hammer the brass out.

    The cleaning rod bent when I tapped it and as I tried to pull it out - it left a deep gouge all along the rifling from the chamber right to the muzzle.

    I spent a good hour on the range after trying to figure out how to get the case out and, by freak accident, after I had completely disassembled the rifle and removed the trigger group, the bolt came open and out came the piece of brass.

    It was a perfectly normal looking piece of brass, RP headstamp, 55 grain FMJ-BDX bullets with 25.5 grains of Accurate 2230, with a Federal standard small rifle primer, trimmed to 1.755 (+/- 0.04), with an OAL of 2.255.

    I've loaded and fired about 1k of these in the past year, with 2-3k in deep storage - loaded in 2010, and another 2-3k in deep storage, loaded during the COVID lockdowns.

    Funny thing is that the latest load data from Hodgdon says max load for a A2230 with a 55 gn Nosler Boat Tail is 24.5gn (and the revised Lee's Modern Reloader says that's max load for 55 gn FMJ).

    When I started loading this load back in 2010, however, the Lee's Modern Reloader manual said max load was 26.0 gn, and I've been using 25.5 gn as my max load ever since.

    I've cumulatively shot about 2k-3k of these loads (roughly half through AR's, half through bolt guns) and haven't had any issue with this load over the past 12 years - so maybe it was just a weird fluke... or maybe the next time I get my hands on some A2230, I'll load to the revised max load (which would suck, because I have so much ballistic data and charts with a 25.5gn load)... but God only knows when that will be, seeing as I have 24 lbs of IMR-4198 and 15 lbs of CFE-223 to load.

    As to the stuck case, it seemed perfectly normal, although the dent in the primer was a bit deeper and more pronounced than usual, and the case looked perfectly fireformed after (I still have it sitting on my reloading bench).

    The primer wasn't flattened or cratered, as I've seen with some of the much hotter loads I've run.

    After, I cleared the round, I re-assembled the rifle and fired 30-40 rounds through it.

    With those loads I CAN get 1-1.5 MOA groups (even though it averages to about 2 MOA most of the time) through my other 2x.223 bolt rifles, but the tightest group I could land was 2 MOA (with an average of about 2.5 MOA).

    While it may not have been a big deal, the depth of the gouge in the barrel after I got home and cleaned it was pretty disheartening to see.

    Suffice to say I was a bit heart broken, especially by my stupidity in trying to clear it with a steel rod (don't do that).

    I sent it to Wolverine (the Canadian Mossberg Distributor) for Warranty, and they originally said they wouldn't replace the barrel under warranty when they inspected it, and I'd be out of pocket to fix it.

    My bolt guns are going to be my grandkid's guns someday, so I opted to have it fixed.

    That was 4 months ago.

    Today I got an e-mail Wolverine them saying they had replaced the barrel, test fired it with a 1.25" group at 100 yards, and that Mossberg had agreed to cover the warranty.

    It was shipped out today.

    That really cheered me up to hear, because it looked like it was going to be $300-400 to have it re-barreled (with the gun itself only being $800 or so, IIRC). The past few months have been pretty tough, and I told the rep how touched and grateful I was that they had been able to fix it under warranty for me. Honestly, I almost felt like tearing up when I got her e-mail.

    I really like the MVP, especially doing custom load development and "fast" bolt gun shooting (I try to shoot 10 shot groups as quickly as I can to land 2" groups at 100 yards).

    It's a nice shooter and just feels good to put AR mags into (my other .223 bolt gun is a Ruger American Predator, which I like even more, especially out to 500m).

    So the morale of the story is, when you get a stuck case in a bolt gun (especially a Mossberg MVP) that won't allow you to cycle it, remove the stock and trigger group, and if you ram anything down the barrel to try to tap it out, make sure it's brass, aluminum, or wood and NOT a steel, military style cleaning rod.

    Also, huge shoutout to Mossberg and Wolverine for absolutely stellar customer support!
    Last edited by harbl_the_cat; 11-02-2022 at 05:05 PM.
    While you were living through COVID, I was living through lockdowns.

  2. The Following 6 Users Like This Post By harbl_the_cat

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  3. #2
    One Mile Mentor tigrr's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Horsefly BC
    Bow down to Wolverine. THEY ARE VERY GOOD.
    The challenge of retirement is how to spend time without spending money.
    There is no place in an anti's head where reason can enter. from a Napoleon saying with a tweak.
    Look around is there someone you can introduce to shooting because that’s the only way we will buck the anti gun trend sweeping Canada! "tigrr 2006"

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Camo tung's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Did Mossberg/Wolverine offer an opinion as the reason for the failure? Was it a QC issue with the rifle or a failure of your brass?
    "It is an absolute truism that law-abiding, armed citizens pose no threat to other law-abiding citizens."

    Ammo, camo and things that go "blammo".

    “That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” ― George Orwell

  6. #4
    Senior Member Grimlock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Max load is 24.5. There's your issue. Lee doesn't do any testing, they're the old version of getting load data off the internet.

  7. The Following User Liked This Post By Grimlock

    Rory McCanuck (11-03-2022)

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