This is a rather lengthy question because I feel it necessary to provide some background.
I bought a featherweight Model 50 from a friends estate. He regularly used this gun for trap shooting but rarely cleaned any in his collection. One night the stock came loose, and I mean off, the gun being held together by the closing spring, the barrel extension having come loose. I corrected that, re-assembled the gun and we put it back into service until upon closing during a trap shoot the moving parts slammed together hard enough to force the barrel forward, as a wedge it seems, forcing the receiver to crack at the forward ring.
I swapped some of the choice parts into my old standard model but cannot get the closing spring adjusted. The Winchester manual states to lock the bolt open, screw in the closing spring plug enough to allow about 1/8″ rearward motion of the open bolt to prevent parts jamming. I cannot seem to get that movement. Whatever I do the bolt holds solid. My actual question is whether anyone has any information from Winchester to explain what is happening? I’d really appreciate an answer to this dilemma so the gun can be used.
For background my name is in my email address and I’m an Endowment Member of NRA.
Thanks for your time.
I have a Model 50 Featherweight, great shape, Winchester vent rib, 26 inch IC barrel…feeding trouble.
It is clean (very) , lubed, buffer plug backed off after contact with inertia rod…all done per tech manual instructions. Sometimes it will shoot maybe 5 or 6 shells OK…then inevitably a fired case will fail to eject, new shell from the magazine will jam against he empty at about a 30 degree angle, carrier jammed up, bolt jammed and frozen to the rear.
At that point I have to disassemble the gun to remove the spent shell case, which requires removing the floating chamber and most of the time dropping the trigger group.
I installed a new buffer / recoil / bolt return spring…I turned the buffer plug out 2 1/2 turns after contacting inertia rod with bolt locked open, tried less (2 turns), more (3 1/2 turns out – even 4 turns ) – I get pretty much the 1/8 rear bolt travel after lock open regardless of buffer plug position in tube…even to the point of last turn out on the buffer tube plug that will still allow inserting the teeny wire locking pin in place in those two little *&#@+#% holes (who designed that PITA system ?) …still get stove piping.
I have tried different ammo, 1 ounce, 1 1/8 ounce loads, 2 3/4 dram, 3 dram, no joy, same outcome. I don’t work for NASA, but I realize it might be resulting from :
1. Expended empty shell opens too long to clear ejection port (they don’t).
2. Bolt doesn’t come back far enough to eject empty shell (doubtful… seems to come back as far as it physically / mechanically can without leaving the receiver and ending up in my hat).
3. Process of feeding is either occurring too fast, not allowing ejection of fired case (my guess) or too slow…bolt / floating chamber not recoiling fast enough or far enough to the rear to allow ejecting the empty & cycling the second or third shell into battery.
Any ideas , suggestions or recommendations ( other than the suggestion I got from a pal…(“Sell it…Use you Remington 870 pump.” ) would be greatly appreciated !!!
Love the gun….but shooting ducks and doves with a single shot just makes a long day out there and aggravates my dog.
I had a Model 50 steel receiver gun years ago…26 inch ribbed skeet choked barrel, gun had been beat like a government mule, blue mostly worn off, dents all over it, never did anything to it as to adjustment…it ran like a Singer sewing machine, smooth as silk. Rarely missed with it…should have gone to the Olympics, and I should have kept it ! Shoulda coulda…. Thanks, KGM
And….I thought about taking it to a gunsmith, if I might find one old enough to have some real experience with the Model 50s (old), but have the feeling that what would happen would be I’d be without my gun for about 6 months, would get it back “running like a top!!” …and the same thing would happen out there when I start blasting away at incoming pintails.
Ask me why I have that feeling.
Kenneth, In my opinion,which isn’t worth much, some guns have a personality that can not be overcome by mere mechanical manipulation! Dad’s duck hunting buddy, Don Milby, had a Winchester gas operated shotgun with the glass barrel (and maybe an alloy receiver). It would work just great until a flock of mallards came in, at which point it became a single shot. Don fumed and fussed, tried many brands of ammo to the same effect (we used to have appreciable numbers of ducks back then). He sent in to either the factory or a Winchester authorized gunsmith who declared nothing wrong. He had a couple of “local” gunsmiths work on it. One increased the diameter of the gas ports, the next claimed that was the problem. Don still had it when he quit hunting soon before he died and it continued to be a mallard conserving shotgun. Bottom line, he never found a fix. The gun would run just fine for about any gunsmith who declared it fixed. It would work fine up until a flock of ducks came in. Singles or pairs, it worked fine. He would on occasion revert to his pump shotgun of some make, but he shot his autoloader better than any other gun. Plus he didn’t have money to buy a new gun all the time. I would take your buddy up on his recommendation.
Kenneth, Just had some more thoughts, which are cheap. Rather than trying to alter the extraction and ejection of the fired shell, can you investigate the parts that retard the release of the new shell from the magazine? Could it be the cam, likely on the trigger group, is worn and allowing the shell to be fed back and the carrier tripped upwards a tad early? Or its interface with the shell stop, etc? Now, the big question-how to determine the dimensions and all with those parts without buying replacements which may also be worn? Unless something is obvious, revert to my original suggestion. Good luck. Tim
Thanks Tim….I’ve seen blogs that suggest similar possibilities, some lean into engineering and re engineering, way beyond my expertise I’m afraid, even if I had the tools and machinery.
I’m hoping for the easy (cheap) fix…which probably isn’t there or I would have stumbled into it by now I suppose.
My next move might be to stretch that recoil spring out a tad….even though it’s new. The old spring measured out ok per specs, same as the new one, so maybe a little more resistance on set back might help. Some say that’s the fix for an old spring over compressed through wear, to avoid the expense of a new replacement spring, about $5.00 or so..
I’ll post my successful results or failing success , pictures of my Model 50 after I turn it into a floor lamp.