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Dusty Sawyer, SASS #37154

Riverside SXS exposed hammer shotgun problem

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My nephew was shooting his Riverside S x S exposed hammer shotgun when suddenly it would not fire. Checking the shells revealed very light blows to the primer. 

First thing I noticed was that the hammer spring did not follow the hammer through total contact with the firing pin.  There is .25” hammer travel between when the spring is stopped and the hammer compresses the firing pin. This is unusual from what I’ve seen on other exposed hammer guns. Looking inside, I don’t see any broken pieces. The springs are stopped by the cross pin and the hammers are then free to complete the rotation. I feel the hammers do not have enough inertia to fire the primer. But why was it working earlier? I very curious to know if this hammer free travel is normal. 

 

If anyone has experience with this Riverside shotgun, I’d appreciate hearing from you. 

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How cold was it?  1 barrel or both?  try with a warm gun does it still have problems?

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Check to see if the receiver is closing all the way and not being held slightly open by dirt or other stuff under the barrels.

 

THen check to see if the firing pin retaining barrels are tight.

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Bet there is a piece of lead caught in the action keeping the barrels from fully closing..  It will be very hard to see as it will be mashed very thin and the same color as everything else but I bet that is the issue.

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Over time, the ends of the firing pins can become deformed so that the swell up and can’t go all the way forward.  When this happens you start to get light primer strikes.  Pull the pins and measure them to see if they are mushroomed.  If they are, it’s best to replace them, but failing that you can stone them to get rid of the swelling.  I have had to do this on several guns.  

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On 1/9/2020 at 4:35 PM, Dusty Sawyer, SASS #37154 said:

My nephew was shooting his Riverside S x S exposed hammer shotgun when suddenly it would not fire. Checking the shells revealed very light blows to the primer. 

First thing I noticed was that the hammer spring did not follow the hammer through total contact with the firing pin.  There is .25” hammer travel between when the spring is stopped and the hammer compresses the firing pin. This is unusual from what I’ve seen on other exposed hammer guns. Looking inside, I don’t see any broken pieces. The springs are stopped by the cross pin and the hammers are then free to complete the rotation. I feel the hammers do not have enough inertia to fire the primer. But why was it working earlier? I very curious to know if this hammer free travel is normal. 

 

If anyone has experience with this Riverside shotgun, I’d appreciate hearing from you. 

 

 

No, not unusual. Your gun has rebounding hammers. Very common on period hammer SXS's.  The design allows the hammers to go fully forward  as long as the trigger is pulled. But they do rebound back  to a safety notch once the trigger is released. If the hammers didn't rebound they would hold the firing pin into the primers binding the action from opening. 

You need to know if you have enough firing pin protrusion.  Action open/unloaded, while pulling the trigger lower the hammer and push it into the firing pin.  The pin should protrude from the breech face at least .040' to .050". If  they do, you may have loose barrels, IOW off face. 

 

Or, it could be your ammo. If you are reloading a common mistake is to over seat the primers con-caving the base of the hull. Now the primer sets too far from the pin. Same thing as off face or excessing headspace.

 

 

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OP, was the ammo factory or reloads?

If factory, what brand?

Hope you ain't using the all plastic hull brand.

OLG 

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I was having a problem with a double barrel I have. Took it to a gun smith , he told me to use only Winchester Primers.

I have done that and haven't had any problems.

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Thanks for all the ideas to check. I checked the action fitup and all looks good. Barrels are closing tightly. Ends of the firing pin have not mushroomed. Pins fit through the backstop with no binding. I measured the firing pin protrusion at .08” on both barrels. One thing I did notice is there is considerable play in the hammers with the firing spring fully extended and the hammer engaged against the safety notch. In other words I can freely rock the hammer back and forth between contact with the spring guide tip and the safety notch. I do not see this same play on my own Stevens SXS. Maybe the tips on the spring guide are just worn short?

 

I will look into the ammo which were reloads. Not sure which primer was used in the reloads. 
 

thanks again Pards

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22 hours ago, Dusty Sawyer, SASS #37154 said:

Thanks for all the ideas to check. I checked the action fitup and all looks good. Barrels are closing tightly. Ends of the firing pin have not mushroomed. Pins fit through the backstop with no binding. I measured the firing pin protrusion at .08” on both barrels. One thing I did notice is there is considerable play in the hammers with the firing spring fully extended and the hammer engaged against the safety notch. In other words I can freely rock the hammer back and forth between contact with the spring guide tip and the safety notch. I do not see this same play on my own Stevens SXS. Maybe the tips on the spring guide are just worn short?

 

I will look into the ammo which were reloads. Not sure which primer was used in the reloads. 
 

thanks again Pards

 

Get a couple bxs of factory Trap loads and give'em a try.

Anytime you have a FTF with reloads. Test with factory ammo.

OLG 

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