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The Rattler

Misfires

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My 2 year old Montefeltro has misfired a shell twice in the last 250 rounds. I have had duds before, but there is something very different about these last two times.

 

On on both of these recent misfires, there was no dent, whatsoever, on the shells primers. There was no evidence indicating the firing pin touched the primer. An employee of the gun range said he has seen this before, & that it is caused by the bolt failing to go far enough for the firing pin to strike the primer. Does this sound plausible?

 

If this is the cause of the misfire, how is the problem resolved?

 

I shot around 3,000 with this gun. My gunsmith once said that the "spring" is the first thing to wear out on Benellis. Could that be the case here? If so, what "spring" was he referring to, the one in the bolt?

 

Any ideas will be appreciated.

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Google "Benelli click". Tons of stuff out there. Essentially it happens when the bolt goes forward but the locking head doesn't rotate completely into battery. This results in the firing pin not being able to go forward completely when hit by the hammer and the shell not firing. Plenty of possible causes, and many are plausible: weak recoil spring (forget about the spring in the bolt - that doesn't have anything to do with it); dirty gun; low power ammo resulting in a slower bolt return; not getting a good shoulder on the gun (similar to limp-wristing a handgun), are probably the most common things cited. If it has just started with yours I'd check the recoil spring (the one in the butt of the gun - that's the one your gunsmith was talking about). You should be able to take it apart and clean/lube it. It's possible a new spring will fix the problem. Also make sure the gun itself is clean, especially at the barrel extension where the locking head rotates into battery. I once fixed the problem with one of my M1's by switching the locking heads between guns. No further problems. Go figure.

There will probably be others who chime in here. It's not an unknown problem on some guns. The one I had the problem with was practically new but yours is obviously broken in.

 

Quick addition: When loading the chamber, make sure you're not riding the bolt forward. That will also cause the locking head to only rotate partially into battery. Let the bolt go forward under the full power of the recoil spring.

Edited by truckcop

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Thank you very much for this fine reply & the time it took to do it.

 

Permit it me to ramble. I am just short of obsessive about keeping my gun clean. Except on rare occasions, I thoroughly clean my gun after each use. I even use Q-tips of varying sizes for nooks & crannies. While I could be wrong, I doubt uncleanliness of the gun is the cause of the problem.

 

350 rounds ago, my gunsmith performed a complete disassembly & lube. He said it included everything inside the buttstock. Lack of adequate lube there should not be the problem. Now that I think about it, however, this issue arose after that was done. Perhaps there was an an error in the reassembly, but I doubt it. I do not interfere with with the automatic closing of the bolt.

 

I have been holding my butt higher than before to better align my eye with the end of the barrel. I certainly hope that's not the problem because it improves my performance. I use 1 ounce to 1 1/8 ounce loads with 1200 to 1290 fps. Mabey these are too light, but these are the loads I've always used.

 

The recoil spring is a possibility, but one would think it would not wear out with 3,000 rounds.

 

I will do the Google search that you suggest. Thanks again for the help.

Edited by The Rattler
Correct typos.

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Two other things I would check. 1. Make sure the channel in the locking head is free of debris/fouling. With the bolt apart, just put the firing pin through the locking head and see if it protrudes freely. Many people clean the gun but forget this important area. It should protrude almost 1/4 inch and the locking head spin freely on it. 2. Some barrels develop a burr on the extractor cut from the extractor hitting it. This can be removed with a small file. The burr can catch the extractor and stop the locking head from turning into battery and cause a misfire. Also, a little more liberal oiling may help.

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Update: Since my last post, I thoroughly cleaned the Montefeltro, & I found an unusual amount of gunk around the locking head. After cleaning it off with CLP, I used MPro 7 gun lube around the locking head area and the area of the barrel into which it rotates & locks (is that called "forcing cone?"). However I tried not to over do the lube.

 

I bought 3 boxes of Winchester AAs just like the shells in my original post (1 1/8 oz. loads, etc.). The intent was to avoid "dirty" firing shells. I fired them at the trap range and it "clicked" once in the same way as described in my original post. I tried to make sure the butt of the stock was well on my shoulder so that there would be enough resistance for the recoil spring to do its job.

 

During my cleaning beforehand, I did not check the protrusion of the firing pin. Please explain how to do that. However, during the cleaning beforehand, I broke down the bolt & cleaned the channel used by the firing pin from the rear through the locking head using a small Q-tip. It was quite dirty.

 

If someone explains how to check the protrusion of the firing pin, I will do that. Assuming that checks out, doesn't all of this suggest the need to replace the recoil spring.? If so, I notice that there are 3 types of springs: light loads, factory specs, & heavy loads. Bad knees make the likelihood of hunting remote. It appears that clays will be my hunted game. Which spring should I buy: the one for lighter loads or factory?

 

All ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

Edit: I presume that to check firing pin protrusion, you remove the pin securing the firing pin & spring, and find an object small enough to push the firing to see how far it provides.

 

Query: to check for the burr on the barrel where the locking head enters the barrel, do you simply run your finger in that area to see if you feel a rough spot?

Edited by The Rattler

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The forcing cone is the area of the barrel immediately in front of the chamber. The barrel extension is the area where the lugs of the locking head rotate to lock up the action.

 

I'd stick with the factory spec recoil spring if you go that route. A lighter spring MAY exacerbate the "click" issue. After dealing with that issue a couple of times with my guns I'm still not certain just exactly WHY the locking head doesn't make that last tiny degree of full rotation. One time, as I noted above, I switched locking heads between guns. The other time, I bought a used chrome-plated locking head off gunbroker to replace the older style blued head. Both times the fix worked. I know WHAT's happening. I just don't know exactly WHY. Not enough recoil spring force (dirty/worn)? Dirty guns? Neither seemed to be the issue in my cases. Differing tolerances in parts? Maybe the issue with mine since switching/replacing parts cured my problems. Ammo? I've had it happen with heavy field loads and light target loads. It's happened with my 12's and my M1 20 ga. Bad karma? Nano-gremlins? Who knows?

 

Read Benelligunny's firing pin/locking head check carefully. That's one way to check it. Another way without taking the bolt assembly apart is to pull the locking head back into the bolt body as if it's in battery and push on the end of the firing pin. It should protrude from the firing pin hole in the head. There's no need to take the retaining pin out.

 

Look closely at the area in the barrel extension where the extractor comes into contact. Unless you've got tiny little fingers the finger-check is probably a no-go.

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Truckcop & Benelligunny:

 

I certainly appreciate the advice & time you devoted to helping me with this issue. Thanks a lot. This is an interesting problem.

 

Any by other comments will also be appreciated.

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Another option is to try flushing whatever lubricant the gunsmith applied inside the receiver extension. Often times if a grease or oil is too thick, it can retard the motion of the bolt and cause these kind of failures you described.

 

ben-montef.gif

Parts 110 and 112 should be cleaned thoroughly. If the firearm has a high round count, you might want to consider replacing the recoil spring (110.)

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Forgive my lack of sophistication, but is the "receiver extension" area that is referenced mean the items behind the receiver itself that includes the recoil spring and its tube?

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