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Creeker, SASS #43022

66 rifle is driving me nuts

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I recently purchased a rifle from a shooter getting out of the game.

A Uberti 66 with short stroke kit in it (not sure which gen, but shorter than my 3rd gen). 

If it matters; the rifle is running Pioneer Gun Works tension rod lifter and carrier springs.

The gun is a put together parts gun, but I have taken it apart and checked it over and everything looks pretty good inside.

 

Here are my issues...

The rifle would not fire consistently - hammer drop was light and slow.

 I adjusted the strain screw and retightened the mainspring. 

Most of my rounds are going off now - but I am still getting 1 out of 20 fail to fire.  

Perfectly loaded ammo that performs flaw less in every other rifle and pistol.  Not an ammo problem.

And the hammer drop still seems slow compared to my Miroku 73 and Codymatic.

But the lever effort to cycle with the mainspring cranked this tight is ridiculous.

The mainspring appears to be stock and I have no more adjustment available.

 

Seems if the spring had simply lost its oomph, lever effort would be nothing; so should I just order a new spring, swap the spring and see? 

or am I missing something?

 

2nd issue is (other than lever effort) the rifle cycles smoothly empty.

Cycles smoothly with ammo; except every 15-20 rounds - one will hang up and again, take a ridiculous amount of effort to eject and cycle.

I normally run my lever guns with a single finger in the lever; when this happens, I have to use significantly more effort to operate the lever.

Again, clean, sized ammo - not an ammo issue.

But if it were a chamber issue, seems it would occur every round.

Ideas?

 

I'm about to stuff the rifle in the gun safe and order something new.

 

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022

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The things I would suggest you have probably checked.  Does the firing pin extension move forward and spring back smoothly with thumb pressure?  Good FP protrusion from the bolt face?  With the main spring disconnected and the trigger pulled, does the hammer rotate forward and back freely?  Those Pioneer springs shouldn't affect ignition but could make it harder to lever if not adjusted right.  How deep are the primer hits on the ones that did go bang vs. the one that doesn't?  Primer type shouldn't matter with a stock spring.  Do you have another main spring you can try?

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The biggest problem I have had shooting a 66 is getting to the trigger to early and the hammer follows the firing pin extension down resulting in a light hammer strikes.

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See how much play you have in the bolt and firing pin extension.  That was causing binding in mine.  Replaced with new parts and took care of the problem.

The binding could also affect your firing pin strikes.

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check for a burr in the frame channel the hammer rides in 

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Does the FPE bind up due to a worn hole in the rear of frame (where hammer falls)?   Early Uberti toggle guns are hard on the frame at that point, especially if previous owner did not know to lightly grease the FPE every time it was cleaned.    Sometimes to fix that requires a bushing to be turned and fitted into the frame to bring an egg-shaped hole there back to round.

 

A test to find if the FPE is binding - cycle gun until you feel it bind.   Then press downward on the FPE as close to frame as you can when continuing to put  pressure on the lever. If "straightening out" the FPE removes the binding, you have an oversize, egg-shaped hole in the frame, or as Cheatin Charlie mentioned above, worn or damaged FPE, firing pin,  or connecting hardware.

 

Difficulty getting a setting on mainspring that is both easy to cycle and gives reliable primer hits - sounds like mainspring has lost most of it's tension.  Unless it breaks, the leaf spring will usually give some springiness even when worn out.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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3 hours ago, Ace Hanlon said:

The biggest problem I have had shooting a 66 is getting to the trigger to early and the hammer follows the firing pin extension down resulting in a light hammer strikes.

I think Ace has the answer. I have the same problem with my '66. Yesterday I had to re-cock the hammer on two different stages because I pulled the trigger too soon.

Lucky grin_zpsebe960c5.png

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Difficulty on opening the lever might be caused by the rim of the cartridge protruding from the magazine getting hung up on the carrier as the carrier rises.   The rim of the cartridge in the magazine should slide down the angled front surface of the carrier, which pushes the cartridge back into the magazine tube. To check:  load only one cartridge in the magazine and cycle the lever.  If the lever always opens easily with just one cartridge in there (no cartridge in the magazine) look for a burr on the front of the carrier that might catch a rim.  If the gun is difficult to open with just one cartridge on the carrier, then the rim may be catching behind the carrier. 

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With the parts out of the gun, assemble the bolt, firing pin and firing pin extension along with the firing pin spring.  The firing pin extension should be firmly in contact with the firing pin, and the tip of the firing pin should be even with the face of the bolt.  This (along with minimal excess headspace) will allow the impact of the hammer-fall to be transmitted directly to the primer.

 

Any break in contact along the way will result in energy loss and will require a heavier hammer-fall to get enough energy to ignite the primer.  You may have to get an extra-length firing pin to achieve this.  If you have excess headspace exceeding .006”, contact the manufacturer of the short-stroke links and see if you can trade them for longer links to decrease the excess headspace.  

 

The other posts about reducing friction bring up important points also.

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54 minutes ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

Difficulty on opening the lever might be caused by the rim of the cartridge protruding from the magazine getting hung up on the carrier as the carrier rises.   The rim of the cartridge in the magazine should slide down the angled front surface of the carrier, which pushes the cartridge back into the magazine tube. To check:  load only one cartridge in the magazine and cycle the lever.  If the lever always opens easily with just one cartridge in there (no cartridge in the magazine) look for a burr on the front of the carrier that might catch a rim.  If the gun is difficult to open with just one cartridge on the carrier, then the rim may be catching behind the carrier. 

On this...my son's 66 likes his OAL a little longer. If we crimp our 125 gn 38s on the crimp groove, it feeds in our 73s just fine, but his 66 has a hickup  to it.  We lengthened the OAL a bit and his now feeds just fine. 73s are still ok with the longer bullet. Someone said it may have to do with the ramp angle on the carrier. All I know is that it works!

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An item to check is the Firing Pin Return Spring.  If the return spring is OEM Uberti, It is WAY WAY too heavy and will cause problems with a lighter Main Spring.

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12 hours ago, Ace Hanlon said:

The biggest problem I have had shooting a 66 is getting to the trigger to early and the hammer follows the firing pin extension down resulting in a light hammer strikes.

This was the primary reason I switched to a 73. I got to the point where I was doing it at least once a match minimum. As for the other issues I regretfully have nothing of use to offer. the few things that I would suggest have already been said.  Please let us know when you figure it out though. i'm interested in knowing what the outcome is. 

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I had a similar problem with my 66.  I replaced the firing pin and spring.  When I compare the old to the new firing pin, I noticed the old firing pin was just a fraction shorter.  Not sure if the very tip was if it was just peened from use.  But the new pin and spring fixed it.

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On 9/15/2019 at 12:07 AM, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

I recently purchased a rifle from a shooter getting out of the game.

A Uberti 66 with short stroke kit in it (not sure which gen, but shorter than my 3rd gen). 

If it matters; the rifle is running Pioneer Gun Works tension rod lifter and carrier springs.

The gun is a put together parts gun, but I have taken it apart and checked it over and everything looks pretty good inside.

 

Here are my issues...

The rifle would not fire consistently - hammer drop was light and slow.

 I adjusted the strain screw and retightened the mainspring. 

Most of my rounds are going off now - but I am still getting 1 out of 20 fail to fire.  

Perfectly loaded ammo that performs flaw less in every other rifle and pistol.  Not an ammo problem.

And the hammer drop still seems slow compared to my Miroku 73 and Codymatic.

But the lever effort to cycle with the mainspring cranked this tight is ridiculous.

The mainspring appears to be stock and I have no more adjustment available.

 

Seems if the spring had simply lost its oomph, lever effort would be nothing; so should I just order a new spring, swap the spring and see? 

or am I missing something?

 

2nd issue is (other than lever effort) the rifle cycles smoothly empty.

Cycles smoothly with ammo; except every 15-20 rounds - one will hang up and again, take a ridiculous amount of effort to eject and cycle.

I normally run my lever guns with a single finger in the lever; when this happens, I have to use significantly more effort to operate the lever.

Again, clean, sized ammo - not an ammo issue.

But if it were a chamber issue, seems it would occur every round.

Ideas?

 

I'm about to stuff the rifle in the gun safe and order something new.

 

Instead of stuffing it in the safe why not sell it and use the money for something else?

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4 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Instead of stuffing it in the safe why not sell it and use the money for something else?

Even with full disclosure; I hate to sell a gun that doesn't work properly to someone else.

 

Too many folks will jump on a good deal and then feel slighted because of poor function.

 

Cowboy is already filled with horror stories of folks buying worn and broken headaches.

 

I'll figure it out eventually.

Or someone smarter will.

Until then; it doesn't eat much.

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Creeker - put a NEW STOCK HAMMER SPRING back in the rifle and see how many of the  smorgasbord issues  are eliminated :ph34r:

Edited by John Boy

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Can not come up with anything new on issue#1 but had a problem like #2- occasionally impossible to lever.  The loading gate developed an inward bow that would catch on the lower edge of the right link.. Yes the screw was tight       Hope you find something soon,     GW

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GW’s biggest problem is...GW...

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Somebody has to say it. From where you are now to crazy isn’t a drive, it’s a ridiculously short putt. :ph34r: 

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On 9/15/2019 at 7:50 AM, J-BAR #18287 said:

Difficulty on opening the lever might be caused by the rim of the cartridge protruding from the magazine getting hung up on the carrier as the carrier rises.  

You have several things going on.  With regard to the occasional round sticking in the chamber and not extracting properly,  it suggests either excessive propellant blow-by (carbon accumulation) or leading in the front of the chamber.   Have you seriously cleaned the chamber and ruled out lead accumulation?  I have found lead shards in the front of rifle chambers that are melted to the chamber wall by successive firings.  They often are quite thin -- not enough to prevent the bolt closing on a cartridge, but enough to impinge the front of a cartridge case so that the extractor slips off the case rim before it withdraws the case.   Melted on lead shards don't just wire brush out easily, and they can be quite hard to detect without a bore scope.  They usually require much elbow grease and some creativity to free up.   

Just something you might look into for that facet of your problem. 

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Creeker, I think the problem is all in your head.  Have you polished this thing?  If so, the glare off the top & sides of this thing are gettin' to ya.  :P  Let it gather some patina, and further use... don't try to correct it's issues... others in any match you're entered into will appreciate your troubles and be more than happy to acquire trophies you might otherwise have won.  {Tongue firmly planted in cheek}! :D

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When I got my 66, I too was having failures to fire.   Comparing it to my Henry, I could see that the hammer was falling visibly slower than on the other gun.  Also, the lever safety had been removed.  In other words, the gun had been given a rather poor action job to slick it up as much as possible.

I took it to a local smith and said, "Can you restore it to factory specs?"  He did.  Now it works flawlessly.

 

My guess is that the hammer is falling to slowly, giving you light hits on your primer that don't always go off.

 

Good luck

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On 9/16/2019 at 9:37 AM, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Even with full disclosure; I hate to sell a gun that doesn't work properly to someone else.

 

That is very decent of you.   I really hope you get the problems worked out and end up with a good working gun.  

 

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In my previous response I missed the part about the “ridiculous amount of effort to eject and cycle” every 15 to 20 rounds.

 

On 9/15/2019 at 12:07 AM, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

 

 

2nd issue is (other than lever effort) the rifle cycles smoothly empty.

Cycles smoothly with ammo; except every 15-20 rounds - one will hang up and again, take a ridiculous amount of effort to eject and cycle.

I normally run my lever guns with a single finger in the lever; when this happens, I have to use significantly more effort to operate the lever.

Again, clean, sized ammo - not an ammo issue.

But if it were a chamber issue, seems it would occur every round.

Ideas?

 

I'm about to stuff the rifle in the gun safe and order something new.

 

 

Back around the late 90’s, Uberti changed the lifters in their toggle link guns to have more angle on the face of the lifter in order to permit shorter overall length cartridges to work.  If your rifle has one of these older model lifters, you should be able to tell by loading up a few rounds to a slightly longer o.a.l.  If it still gives an intermittent hard cycle and you don’t have a telescoped round, it probably wasn’t that.

 

Just wondering, have you tried any of the other suggestions?

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