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Model 94 25-35 Action Locks up when fired
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May 20, 2022 - 2:17 am
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 Ken,

 What is your load: powder and weight, bullet weight, and diameter? T/R

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May 20, 2022 - 3:12 am
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steve004 said
I think I’m understanding why this carbine was offered for sale.

  

Bummer. Hopefully the seller was kind enough to include a coupe of gun hanger hooks. I hope Ken has a good gunsmith. Mine just got out of the hospital and best I can gather he’s one ornery rehab patient.

 

Mike

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May 20, 2022 - 4:13 am
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TR said
 Ken,

 What is your load: powder and weight, bullet weight, and diameter? T/R

  

Standard loads, Hornady and Winchester, using a 117 grain RN bullet, that I have been using for years in several different Model 94s.

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May 20, 2022 - 4:41 pm
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Something is causing your brass to over expand.  Usually this is too much powder.  Maybe you should cast your chamber?

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May 20, 2022 - 4:51 pm
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Chuck said
Something is causing your brass to over expand.  Usually this is too much powder.  Maybe you should cast your chamber?

  

Factory ammo?

I should do a chamber cast at it is probably a bit short. 

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May 21, 2022 - 9:05 pm
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Ken Windeler said

Chuck said

Something is causing your brass to over expand.  Usually this is too much powder.  Maybe you should cast your chamber?

  

Factory ammo?

I should do a chamber cast at it is probably a bit short. 

  

Well you should find out and if it is short move the shoulder back farther when sizing.  Measure what it is now with a caliper that has a case gauge body and the appropriate case comparator attached then move the shoulder back a few thousandths.  Remember these tools are just a comparison and won’t be the same as SAAMI but are used for comparison from one measurement to the next before and after sizing.  Make sure the overall length of the case is shorter than max too.

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ANSI-SAAMI-Z299.4-CFR-Approved-2015-12-14-Posting-Copy.pdf  Page 76.

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May 31, 2022 - 2:28 pm
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Chuck said

Ken Windeler said

Chuck said

Something is causing your brass to over expand.  Usually this is too much powder.  Maybe you should cast your chamber?

  

Factory ammo?

I should do a chamber cast at it is probably a bit short. 

  

Well you should find out and if it is short move the shoulder back farther when sizing.  Measure what it is now with a caliper that has a case gauge body and the appropriate case comparator attached then move the shoulder back a few thousandths.  Remember these tools are just a comparison and won’t be the same as SAAMI but are used for comparison from one measurement to the next before and after sizing.  Make sure the overall length of the case is shorter than max too.

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ANSI-SAAMI-Z299.4-CFR-Approved-2015-12-14-Posting-Copy.pdf  Page 76.

IMG_0656-1.jpgImage Enlarger

  

It would be hard to move the shoulder back especially when full length resizing, although I get different results with different dies.

Here’s a picture of a factory W-W round in the Wilson gauge.

https://i.imgur.com/fh5izJU.jpgImage Enlarger

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May 31, 2022 - 2:51 pm
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It is beginning to look like a headspace issue. Not knowing whether the chamber was short or having any kind of chamber gauge Midway had a finishing reamer, so I bought it. I figured that if the reamer shoulder hit the barrel the chamber was fine, except it did not. The reamer was up almost 0.20. 

So, I carefully reamed the chamber, put some Sharpie on the barrel and then removed the black, now I needed headspace gauges the only thing left to check. I managed to find a Forster Go gauge from Mid-South Shooters Supply and a Forster No-Go from Midway. 

Now I need a reference to work from so I disassembled the pre-64 30-30 and checked the headspace on it. No problem the locking bolt could be pushed in place and pushed out with my fingers. With the 25-35 problem child when the locking bolt was pushed in place it had to be tapped with a plastic hammer to pop loose. Now I used the reamer just enough for the locking bolt to be pushed in and out by my fingers. Put it back together went out back and fired one round, it worked. Using a factory round the action opened right up.

Due to the fact that our dog doesn’t like the noise I only fired the one round that is until Sunday afternoon when my rother and me drove down to the gun club for a test fire. Action is still hard to open sometimes whereas before it was locked up solid. With some reloads it worked just fine, but not so much with the factory rounds.

None of this makes any sense but it is a used carbine and I have no idea of the history of it or if it was ever right.

https://i.imgur.com/NwlcGTc.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 1, 2022 - 2:20 am
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It is not hard at all to move the shoulder back.  Just set up the die so the case is pushed in farther.  I do it every week.  I will do 50 cases tomorrow that I shot today.  The shoulders on my cases were blown out from .001″ to .002″ in a custom chamber.  At this point the shoulder is touching the chamber walls. I will push it back .002″.

The rim thickness sets the head space.  It is .063″ to .070″.  This is not your problem that is causing the case not to chamber.  It has to be case expansion or overall length.  You need to buy the correct tools and measure your cases before and after firing.  If not take the gun to a gunsmith and let him check it out.  Make sure you give him cases that have not been fired and some of the ones you shot that are now are a problem.

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June 1, 2022 - 3:26 am
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Chuck said
It is not hard at all to move the shoulder back.  Just set up the die so the case is pushed in farther.  I do it every week.  I will do 50 cases tomorrow that I shot today.  The shoulders on my cases were blown out from .001″ to .002″ in a custom chamber.  At this point the shoulder is touching the chamber walls. I will push it back .002″.

The rim thickness sets the head space.  It is .063″ to .070″.  This is not your problem that is causing the case not to chamber.  It has to be case expansion or overall length.  You need to buy the correct tools and measure your cases before and after firing.  If not take the gun to a gunsmith and let him check it out.  Make sure you give him cases that have not been fired and some of the ones you shot that are now are a problem.

  

When full length resizing the shellholder is making firm contact with the die there is no more moving any shoulder back. I do not have a chambering issue. And I will repeat one more time: the action was locking up using FACTORY AMMUNITION.

Did you even read through the thread or just comment?

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June 1, 2022 - 4:09 pm
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Yes I have read every post on this thread. You are having a clambering issue, with fired cases.  You never said the die is all the way down.  Before you ruin this gun take it to a gunsmith.  Maybe it’s ruined already and any more alterations will just make it worse ????  But one thing for sure if you would have taken my advise from the beginning and measured the cases before and after firing it would have answered what is happening to the cases.  See post #3.  They are obviously growing in some negative direction.

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June 2, 2022 - 3:13 pm
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Chuck said
Yes I have read every post on this thread. You are having a clambering issue, with fired cases.  You never said the die is all the way down.  Before you ruin this gun take it to a gunsmith.  Maybe it’s ruined already and any more alterations will just make it worse ????  But one thing for sure if you would have taken my advise from the beginning and measured the cases before and after firing it would have answered what is happening to the cases.  See post #3.  They are obviously growing in some negative direction.

  

Full length resizing is full length resizing.

What makes you think a local gunsmith knows more about guns then I do? That is if you can even find a real gunsmith anymore.

There is no case comparator compatible to the 25-35 case with a 11.34 degree shoulder, at least I couldn’t find one.

The L. E. Wilson 25-35 case gauge measures the case headspace between the shoulder and rim. I resized the brass to the smallest dimension possible using Hornady dies.

Are they?

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June 2, 2022 - 7:08 pm
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Full length resizing is full length resizing.

What makes you think a local gunsmith knows more about guns then I do? That is if you can even find a real gunsmith anymore.

There is no case comparator compatible to the 25-35 case with a 11.34 degree shoulder, at least I couldn’t find one.

The L. E. Wilson 25-35 case gauge measures the case headspace between the shoulder and rim. I resized the brass to the smallest dimension possible using Hornady dies.

Are they?

  

Usually when you set up the resizing die per the instructions you screw it in until it hits the shell holder and then back off some.  If you have the tools to measure your chamber and case you screw it in to the point you need it.  Nobody that shoots for extreme accuracy follows the directions.  We size so we have the minimum clearance so the brass doesn’t cause pressure problems and get stuck.  Our cases are more consistent, allow for more chamber volume and in the long run are part of the system to get the best accuracy.

I doubt any gunsmith would start reaming a chamber without taking measurements first.  “Measure twice cut once”.

Maybe not but you don’t have to have one with the exact shoulder angle.  All you need is one that will hit somewhere in the middle of the shoulder.  Not all comparators have the exact angle but the better ones do.  Remember these are called comparators and are used to compare.  They aren’t exact.  You get a measurement before you fire the brass and then one after.  This shows any changes and how much.

I don’t doubt that the Wilson tool is doing it’s job.  But the problem is most likely your chamber which you have not measured yet and compared it to the SAMII specs.

There are ways to F/L size more.  A shim in the shell holder below the case or removing material from the bottom of the die or the top of the shell holder.  But don’t do the second one until you have measured the cases.  Once fired brass that is stuck is most likely the exact size of your chamber.  You need to figure out how much resizing is needed to overcome the expansion that is occurring.  Call John Whidden and ask him what comparator will work with your caliber.  229) 686-1911.  https://www.whiddengunworks.com/product/shoulder-bump-gauge/  You will need a comparator body too.

Yes they are.  Something is causing over expansion.  Thus the stuck case.

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June 5, 2022 - 1:50 am
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I’ve been thinking about this and can’t claim to have a handle on it.  It would seem if the chamber is oversize, both handloads and factory ammunition are going to over-expand.  I’m not seeing why this would lock up the action.  Some may be aware of the Military MkII rifles used in WWI.  The Ross was built to very tight tolerances (including the chambers) and any bit of grit or poor quality ammunition would cause ammunition to not chamber, or the fired case to not extract.  This was a big problem and they ended up hogging out the chambers.  These rifles were marked, “O.C.” for oversized chamber.  I’ve had one of these rifles and fired it.  The fired brass comes out looking very odd.  But, they extracted easily enough – as they also did in the in the trenches.  Hence, I fail to see how an oversize chamber would lock the rifle up.  I also can’t get my head around how factory ammunition would produce too much pressure.  

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June 5, 2022 - 4:07 am
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steve004 said
I’ve been thinking about this and can’t claim to have a handle on it.  It would seem if the chamber is oversize, both handloads and factory ammunition are going to over-expand.  I’m not seeing why this would lock up the action.  Some may be aware of the Military MkII rifles used in WWI.  The Ross was built to very tight tolerances (including the chambers) and any bit of grit or poor quality ammunition would cause ammunition to not chamber, or the fired case to not extract.  This was a big problem and they ended up hogging out the chambers.  These rifles were marked, “O.C.” for oversized chamber.  I’ve had one of these rifles and fired it.  The fired brass comes out looking very odd.  But, they extracted easily enough – as they also did in the in the trenches.  Hence, I fail to see how an oversize chamber would lock the rifle up.  I also can’t get my head around how factory ammunition would produce too much pressure.  

  

Well, the carbine is 77 years old and I have no idea of its history. When we first got this Model 94 I noticed that it did not have the original lever in it as the wear marks did not match and the locking bolt was low in the receiver. I changed the lever and got the locking bolt flush with the top of the receiver where it is supposed to be. I can only wonder if someone got parts mixed up or if was there a problem since new.

The case fired in this 94 look just fine to me and when deprimed in a universal decapping dies chamber and eject just fine, so it is not a stuck case issue. When the brass is dropped into the case gauge they are a few thousands proud but not enough to be a concern. Most fired brass will not fit into a cartridge checker and some brass need a small base die to do so. Pistol brass will not re-chamber either.

I suspected the gun might have excessive headspace so I bought a Clymer 30-30 No-Go gauge but it wouldn’t go into the chamber. A 30-30 Go gauge was out of stock but I found one ordered it as well as a No-Go gauge, both are Forster gauges: 0.63 and 0.67. The Go gauge indicated tight headspace, so as I posted I had my 30-30 apart also, and cut just enough for the locking bolt to be pushed into place and out of place with my fingers, just like the 30-30. I fired one factory round and it worked like it should, but when we went to the range it was yes and no.

Factory ammunition is the key here. I fully understand problems with reloads, I’ve been reloading for 40 years.

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June 5, 2022 - 4:57 pm
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Ken-

I’m not a gunsmith, nor do I play one on TV, but based on your posts I think you need to continue your examination of the mechanical aspects of your 94. You may have been on the right track with your post on the extractor. Somewhere you may have a burr, slight bend or peened edge. Stay after it, I know you’ll figure it out.

 

Mike

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June 6, 2022 - 1:58 pm
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TXGunNut said
Ken-

I’m not a gunsmith, nor do I play one on TV, but based on your posts I think you need to continue your examination of the mechanical aspects of your 94. You may have been on the right track with your post on the extractor. Somewhere you may have a burr, slight bend or peened edge. Stay after it, I know you’ll figure it out.

 

Mike

  

Mike,

I’m not a gunsmith either, although I am a military trained armorer Infantry Weapons Repairman 2111. Thinking I was going to get into the gun business I also took a correspondence course on gun repair, and I have quite a bit of hands-on knowledge working on the family guns, fixing older guns and replacing parts etc.

The issue with this Model 94 defied logic because the problem was happening with factory ammo, Winchester ammunition no less. The fact that the headspace Go gauge indicated insufficient headspace also defied logic. Why would this 77-year-old 94 have insufficient headspace? No one has that answer. 

After some serious contemplation, and having fired brass, a case gauge, a finish reamer, and headspace gauges, the next step seemed to be to increase the headspace as the locking bolt was being jammed against the back of the breech-bolt with the Go gauge in the chamber and had to be tapped down to unlock. So, I did.

And I did it again but using the No-Go gauge as a guide and increased the headspace a bit more but not so much that I could push the locking bolt all the way into battery on the No-Go gauge, so I am still shy of the 0.67 Max that Forster recommends for headspace for these cartridges.

That worked. fired 6 W-W Factory 117 grain rounds, 2 Hornady Leverevolution 110 grain, 2 86 grain reloads, and several reloads loaded with 117 grain Hornady bullets using all three sizing dies I now have, RCBS, LEE, and Hornady. All fed fired and extracted.

I appreciated everyone’s input and as I posted, “none of this makes any sense.” The joys of loving old guns.

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I’m glad you got it figured out! Any indication whether she’s going to be a good shooter? All kidding aside I could tell you had some formal training but sometimes I just have to start over again to make sure I didn’t miss something. Toughest lesson (still learning) is to gather up all the pieces and walk away for awhile. I’ll never be a gunsmith or more than a passable armorer because I simply don’t have the patience. Old guns are special. We’ll never know what someone has done with them. 

 

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TXGunNut said
I’m glad you got it figured out! Any indication whether she’s going to be a good shooter? All kidding aside I could tell you had some formal training but sometimes I just have to start over again to make sure I didn’t miss something. Toughest lesson (still learning) is to gather up all the pieces and walk away for awhile. I’ll never be a gunsmith or more than a passable armorer because I simply don’t have the patience. Old guns are special. We’ll never know what someone has done with them. 

 

Mike

  

Well, it was perplexing because the situation didn’t make sense. I’ve owned my share of Model 94 Winchester’s most of them Pre-64 but never had any problem with them.

I’ve only shot this 94 as a test fire so far as it was giving me a headache from the get-go. This 25-35 has a good bore so I will see how it shoots next.

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June 14, 2022 - 10:37 pm
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Chuck said

Full length resizing is full length resizing.

What makes you think a local gunsmith knows more about guns then I do? That is if you can even find a real gunsmith anymore.

There is no case comparator compatible to the 25-35 case with a 11.34 degree shoulder, at least I couldn’t find one.

The L. E. Wilson 25-35 case gauge measures the case headspace between the shoulder and rim. I resized the brass to the smallest dimension possible using Hornady dies.

Are they?

  

Usually when you set up the resizing die per the instructions you screw it in until it hits the shell holder and then back off some.  If you have the tools to measure your chamber and case you screw it in to the point you need it.  Nobody that shoots for extreme accuracy follows the directions.  We size so we have the minimum clearance so the brass doesn’t cause pressure problems and get stuck.  Our cases are more consistent, allow for more chamber volume and in the long run are part of the system to get the best accuracy.

I doubt any gunsmith would start reaming a chamber without taking measurements first.  “Measure twice cut once”.

Maybe not but you don’t have to have one with the exact shoulder angle.  All you need is one that will hit somewhere in the middle of the shoulder.  Not all comparators have the exact angle but the better ones do.  Remember these are called comparators and are used to compare.  They aren’t exact.  You get a measurement before you fire the brass and then one after.  This shows any changes and how much.

I don’t doubt that the Wilson tool is doing it’s job.  But the problem is most likely your chamber which you have not measured yet and compared it to the SAMII specs.

There are ways to F/L size more.  A shim in the shell holder below the case or removing material from the bottom of the die or the top of the shell holder.  But don’t do the second one until you have measured the cases.  Once fired brass that is stuck is most likely the exact size of your chamber.  You need to figure out how much resizing is needed to overcome the expansion that is occurring.  Call John Whidden and ask him what comparator will work with your caliber.  229) 686-1911.  https://www.whiddengunworks.com/product/shoulder-bump-gauge/  You will need a comparator body too.

Yes they are.  Something is causing over expansion.  Thus the stuck case.

  

You’ve been telling me throughout this thread how I need to bump the shoulder back on my rounds. I’ve tried several times to inform you that the problem exists with, and I repeat my self one more time, FACTORY AMMO. Which is 0.035 short of min. headspace, I even provided a picture for you.

First off I used the reamer as a gauge and did not ream the chamber until I got the Go and No-Go gauges.

Why would I need a case comparator when the L. E. Wilson gauge does exactly the same thing and is probably more accurate. Certainly more so than a comparator with an incompatible shoulder angle.

Grinding on dies no, good grief.

No over expansion and there never was a stuck case issue, I could not unlock the action at all. The locking bolt on a Model 94, well any lever gun, has to move downward before the breech bolt can retract. It was jammed up solid.

I’m done here.

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