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R1 FTF - common flaw for semiauto actions...


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On a black bear hunt with another dad and daughter, my daughter had a failure to fire at 79 yds. After spotting the bear walking a low bluff along the beach, we set up on the rocks ahead as the 5-6ft (my estimate) boar worked his way north. When he came out of the trees, he got broadside at 79 yds. I had my crosshairs on him as my daughter lined up her R1 in .270WSM.


"Click". I heard the misfire, a sound we'd heard at the range occasionally during the months of shooting leading up to this spring hunt. She cleared the gun quickly, but the bear slipped back into the woods as she did.


The R1 functioned perfectly in later testing when we anchored up. We then found we could replicate the FTF by loading a fresh magazine then charging the bolt handle, but easing it forward - as we did on the beach in an effort to keep silent. On subsequent hunts that trip, she chambered a round with a full (and noisy) release of the bolt handle. Unfortunately (after all those months of practice), another opportunity did not present itself.


It appeared to me that when the bolt was eased forward, even after bumping the bolt handle home, the rotating bolt head maybe doesn't fully lock up, leaving a small gap. The firing pin doesn't reach the primer (no dimple). All rounds fire normally when retested. Tom, the other dad on the hunt and former Marine, recounted a similar issue with M-16's. I thought the FTF problem might be common to semiautos, but at least wanted other R1 hunters to be aware of this possibility. Perhaps others will also have different thoughts/experiences too.


We're new hunters and chalked this all up to lessons learned. That won't erase an element of disappointment for my daughter after...about 10 months of shooting, working her way from .22LR to .243w to .270wsm - and shooting well too. But, these things happen. Other details of our hunt aren't pertinent, but we had a great field experience and would absolutely do the hunt again.



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