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Stoeger SxS Opening When Fired


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Would appreciate input on what to check, and how to repair.

 

Had a click in competition on the second barrel Saturday. I shucked the fired and unfired round, reloaded, and went on with the match.

 

Cleaning up today and inspected the recovered unfired round, no primer strike...

 

After some thought, grabbed some shells and went out in the driveway. Threw some rounds (almost a box) at my berm.  And after a bit, got a click on the second barrel!

 

Stop. Inspect. The gun unlocked, slightly open.

 

Found these two threads (are there other possibilities I have missed?):

 

The gun is a used double-trigger, and has been slicked. Have about 150 rounds through it since I bought it (half of those yesterday). Since it was sitting stored for a few months, I cleaned and oiled it a week before the competition. Not a full teardown.

 

I need to fix this before the next match. And since it does not happen every time, that presents me a bit of a challenge. So I call on the collective wisdom here.

 

On edit: I will look at some youtube videos for teardown and inspection, and I put all my "smithing" tools in storage last week. I'll recover the tools later this week and plan to dig into this problem next weekend.

Edited by John Kloehr
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The spring on the opening lever is too light. I used to see it all the time when I would be TO'ing. They would fire first barrel and you see the gun turn into a hump back whale. but most of the time the shooter has some upward pressure on the forearm and this closes the gun before the next trigger pull. Replace that spring and I think your problem will go away.

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Very common problem, there are videos out there advising people to cut the top lever spring to lighten opening effort. DON'T DO IT! If you want lighter opening pressure send Long Hunter $5.00 for their lighter, but still full length spring. Shortening that spring takes pressure off the wedge that keeps the gun locked.  

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Next time it happens try opening, don’t shuck the shells, re-close it and see if it fires.  

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8 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Next time it happens try opening, don’t shuck the shells, re-close it and see if it fires.  

I bet it would, but I'm not going to compete (play under time pressure) with a "bad" gun. I can do that in my driveway at my own berm.

 

I did not recognize the failure as such during the meet; I regret my error.

 

Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but I am wondering what would have happened if the gun was not locked shut and the firing pin did set off the primer. Could I have had a breach blowout of some sort?

 

I suspect it likely would not have been worse than needing to maybe change my underwear, but for now the gun is down (for competition) until I (re)establish confidence in it.

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The lug on the barrels that engages the locking slide (operated by the opening lever) wears. Needs welded to build up then filed down to ensure proper engagement.  

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John,

With the gun closed feel how far you can move the locking lever before it engages and starts to withdraw the locking lug. If it moves a good bit before you feel the lug start to move, the lug is unable to seat deep enough. Break it down and polish that lug until it will travel forward more. A bit of machinists dye on both mating surfaces will help reveal where it's binding & how far it is actually travelling. Almost all Stoegers require work on that lug to lock up securely and have the lever spring light enough to open the gun easily. Stoeger installs an excessively heavy lever spring to compensate for that poor fit & finish. Once these parts are properly mating the gun will open better, and stay locked during firing. 

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Just now, Chickamauga Slim said:

John,

With the gun closed feel how far you can move the locking lever before it engages and starts to withdraw the locking lug. If it moves a good bit before you feel the lug start to move, the lug is unable to seat deep enough. Break it down and polish that lug until it will travel forward more. A bit of machinists dye on both mating surfaces will help reveal where it's binding & how far it is actually travelling. Almost all Stoegers require work on that lug to lock up securely and have the lever spring light enough to open the gun easily. Stoeger installs an excessively heavy lever spring to compensate for that poor fit & finish. Once these parts are properly mating the gun will open better, and stay locked during firing. 

 

PS: Bring it to Wartrace this Saturday, I'll show you what I'm referring to.

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1 hour ago, John Kloehr said:

but I am wondering what would have happened if the gun was not locked shut and the firing pin did set off the primer. Could I have had a breach blowout of some sort?

 

Folks have already found that out.  You get an auto-ejecting shotgun.   Breech opens, shotgun shell "blows" out the back, but at pretty low speed. 

 

But you do want to get the gun fixed so it stays locked.

 

good luck, GJ

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Just to beat this dead horse a bit more, I'm with several others on here that it's 1 of 2 things: The spring or the lug. Check the spring first, since it's easiest to remedy. If there is any slop in that spring with the barrels closed, replace it. I bought my stoeger new and modified the spring a bit, but not so much that it freely moves about. if that spring is good, then the lug needs to be fixed. granted I'm not a gunsmith in any sense of the word so take my advice with a large grain of salt.

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Changing the LENGTH of a spring doesn't change the STRENGTH of a spring. It will cause other problems!

 

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Better than going BANG when you just close it, like my daughter's does! :angry:

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My first match was with a borrowed Stoeger. I was told to hold it closed! 

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23 hours ago, Johnny Meadows,SASS#28485L said:

This is common in Stoegers. A little file work on the locking lug is the resolution.

Johnny Meadows

Pay heed to what Johnny says- he has fixed many of them for the same issue. 

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I'll post pics of what I find this weekend (Sunday).

 

Besides my machinists screwdriver set, looks like I need an 11mm socket and a long extension (or a 3" plus a 6"). That should get it apart.

 

That is after the pre-disassembly checks outlined above. And watching a few more videos on youtube.

 

Diagnosis with certainty before any modification.

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4 hours ago, Hoss said:

My first match was with a borrowed Stoeger. I was told to hold it closed! 

I'm definitely my dad's son, I would do that in a pinch now that I figured out is is happening.

 

My dad was a true cowboy, rode horses, drove cattle, shot straight, talked straight.

 

But in this sport, the rules state "The firearms must operate as intended." Thinking about it, my dad might say "I intended to hold it shut."

 

What really bugs me is that I invited my lady to this shoot, and she shot this gun the entire match. I thank God she did not experience a single glitch.

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I remember watching a video where a lady was shooting a double and it would visibly come open on every shot. 

 

I seem to remember some driven to gain every advantage eliminating the locking feature all together thus no need to operate the top snap lever.  I thank that was outlawed. 

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30 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

I remember watching a video where a lady was shooting a double and it would visibly come open on every shot. 

 

I seem to remember some driven to gain every advantage eliminating the locking feature all together thus no need to operate the top snap lever.  I thank that was outlawed. 

Mine locks just fine as long as I don't shoot it. Agree such a mod would not fit safe rules.

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On 6/13/2021 at 6:24 PM, Johnny Meadows,SASS#28485L said:

This is common in Stoegers. A little file work on the locking lug is the resolution.

Johnny Meadows

While I can't make the problem happen on the bench, this looks probable.

 

Did some mild cleaning for pictures, did not find any big or hard chunks. There was plenty of oil.

 

First, looking at the locking spring, it appears to be factory and uncut (to my non-professional eye). By appearance, I think this can be ruled out as a cause. But I did do a crude measurement, the lever just starts to move with about 2.5 pounds of pressure applied at the tip:

 

IMG_1432.jpeg.cd46ee872c2ef4d2750357d0f942fb61.jpeg

 

I can't see the bottom of the locking wedges in the action, but it does seem these display some crude engineering:

 

IMG_1422.jpeg.a34d346960ca36b12be53518082bf46b.jpeg

 

Now looking at the lugs on the barrel, the forward lug looks rough but nothing sticks out at me:

 

IMG_1434.jpeg.942060dc63721a4cd3f4951ac8b237e9.jpeg

 

But the rear one? The dark line is a low spot running across the lug. Could the wedge be hanging on this sometimes?

 

IMG_1433.jpeg.47f57399c70b698899461e428f25b938.jpeg

 

Before I get out the gunsmith's favorite customer-owned tools (dremel, files), I'll pause for advice.

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The front locking lug has a ridge built up about half way back. You can see it in the last picture as the dark line.

From there to be back of the lug needs to be filed so that the bolt will extend past where the black line is.

The bolt is closing and stopping at the black line, giving it 25 to 30% contact. This is not enough contact to keep recoil from

sliding the bolt out of enganement when firing.  You can make this adjustment, but it would be better if you had someone familiar with the problem

fix it. J.M.

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3 minutes ago, Johnny Meadows,SASS#28485L said:

The front locking lug has a ridge built up about half way back. You can see it in the last picture as the dark line.

I'm the one probably using the wrong words. Thank you for looking over my shoulder!

 

The last picture is what I am calling the rear lug, just because it is at the back end of the barrel. The dark line is a low spot (valley), not a ridge. But we both seem to see it as the most likely cause. On the bench, I have not been able to reproduce the problem, the lugs fully engage every time. But the mating wedge in the action could maybe hang on the "far side" of the valley.

 

So with that being a low spot... Can I remove that much material without causing a problem? Or asked differently, how much material can be removed before the lugs no longer engage tightly... I get the feeling there is not much extra material.

 

Also, I can see the lug not only has the front to rear wedge, it also slopes side to side. This side-to-side slope matches the slope of the mating part in the action. Or at least matches the side-to-side slope of the shiny section of the lug in the last picture.

 

In any filing work, I suspect I need to not change these slopes.

 

I'm wondering if I should pull the mating lock part out of the action to see what the lug mating surface looks like. It may have a ridge or other problem which matches the lug? And go find my micrometer.

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Posted (edited)

Took the mating part out so I could see the underside of it. Mostly was a fear of sending the spring and pin flying, but just wrapped everything in a towel and actually had no problem. Here is the under surface (on edit: The ramps are pretty shiny, picture looks rusty for some reason):

 

IMG_1438.jpeg.d4e4bdb6b82cdbdc9e0f8da217657fc0.jpeg

 

Then test fit it to the barrel feeling for any catches. With very careful positioning, I can feel the valley on the rear lug (where screwdriver points).

 

IMG_1437.jpeg.fd4638fcd8e2e20b6658b85c5cff52fc.jpeg

 

But the front lug on the barrel is completely gritty and catches at almost any angle (where screwdriver points):

 

IMG_1436.jpeg.44ab37d765dba72d7014d8d096732f0a.jpeg

 

My diamond hones are probably too big to get in there, but I may be able to glue some 1,000 grit sandpaper to a popsicle stick. Sound like a plan? I'll try to get a picture of the inner surface of that lug.

Edited by John Kloehr
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Closeup referenced in the previous post:

 

IMG_1439.jpeg.0f0c87ae24d4cff6370234e198ab307f.jpeg

 

The camera adds a lot of color I do not see by eye, and shows more roughness the I can see. I just see the grooves running across the lug. And it is not covered in mud/sand.

 

Played with the parts some more, and actually got the parts to stick with a combination of both the front and rear lugs at the same time. Careful rocking/lifting showed each lug grabs at the same position of the action part.

 

Need to smooth both of them. Going to pick up my caliper, sandpaper, stones, and the dremel and polishing compounds (may not use the dremel). And I don't have a popsicle stick... probably have something I can use.

 

 

 

 

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No matter how careful you think you are with a Dremel, 5 seconds will ruin the lugs.

I never take material off the lock plate in the receiver.

I do not think I have every take the receivers a part when working on the lugs.

I only use a fine file on the lugs.

Getting the right angle and depth is something that took me a bit of learning.

I now put a black marker on the lug tops and open and close the gun several times.

Then I look at the marker on top both lugs.

It shows where to file and will keep the lug and lock angles the same.

Slowly file and test often.

Test means look at the marks not shoot.

 

I also round of the back edge of the lugs so they are not sharp and make sort of a starting ramp for the lock plate.

 

 

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I looked to see if I still had any DyChem (IIRC), blue machinists marking coating. No got. I will figure out something for marking the surface.

 

I'm looking at using 1,000 grit or finer rather than a file; even my pin files are too coarse to risk using them. I am after the absolute minimum removal of material.

 

I just got back with my gun tool boxes, I want to make some measurements to make sure I have at least some material to work with.

 

This gun is very used and has been slicked. I do want to make sure I have material to work with before I remove any; I don't want to end up with a loose lockup.

 

My DMT stone is too wide to get into the front lug, what do you think of the idea of using popsicle sticks spray-glued with 3M wet-or-dry sandpaper?

 

Generally agreeing not to mess with the lock plate in the receiver. I see it has had some polishing, and many of the original machining marks are still visible. From what I can figure out as to how it work, as long as the leading edge of each ramp has polish (break in) from use and no burrs, it should not need additional work.

 

I am a bit surprised at the "crudeness" (for lack of a better word) of the factory parts. but I can say the same for AKs and those work fine. I was surprised to see the side-to-side angles on the lugs and mating lock plate. Not sure that sideways slope is by design or just rough tolerance. If rough tolerance, that could affect getting parts from other guns to fit. If by design, I have no clue why. But since these are now "fitted" parts, I do not want to change any geometry without good cause.

 

As to timeline... I'll figure out tooling and strategy maybe a bit tomorrow, but this project will likely get kicked to next Sunday for actually touching tool to metal.

 

And my Dremel comment is more joke than serious. I am skilled with a Dremel, but rarely use it. And 5 seconds is a very long time! Even for a buffing wheel with fine rouge in one spot can cause a "burn" on a surface.

 

And I'll post pics of what I do, and if I screw up... Well, it will be here in this thread so others do not repeat my mistake.

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I would not recommend that you remove any material from the top of the locking lugs on the barrel. My Stoeger did this same thing. Popping open after the first shot and then not firing the second barrel. My issue was that the sliding locking lug was not traveling far enough into the barrel lugs. 
 

Please read this posting before you go any farther. It is tough to understand what they are saying, until at a point you will have an AHA moment. 

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Stoeger2.html

 

The fix for mine was to remove material from the front of the top of the sliding locking bar. (The part that rides against the opening lever shaft) This is the point where it rides on the vertical stem attached to and actuated by the top external locking lever that you hit with your thumb, causing the sliding locking bar to move rearward. This allows the bottom locking bar to slide farther forward and engage deeper into the barrel lugs. Take some off, put it all back together and try to open the gun. If it opens, take it back apart and take more material off. At some point, you may find that it will not open when you push the release lever. Then it’s time to work on the barrel lugs. Don’t take anything off the TOP of the barrel lugs. This will just loosen up your gun. Take some material off of the REAR of the barrel lugs. Mine only needed material removed from the front barrel lug. Keep blackening the top of the barrel lugs each time you reassemble and try the fit. You should see the sliding lug moving farther up onto the barrel lugs as you progress. You will reach a point that you have a tiny bit of play when you push the release lever. That’s the time to stop. 
Once you have done this, you can actually lighten the spring on the lever lock and the gun will stay closed during firing.

 

Again,  read the Marauder page first. What I have written is what I understood from the verbiage there. Please take this with a grain of doubt. I am not a gunsmith, just a guy who is handy with tools and dumb enough to try. This worked for me, hopefully it will for you. 
 

 

Edited by Sam Sackett
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Brownells and Midway both have some abrasive stone sets that are made for trigger and action work.   Very fine, thin, fragile, but the ONLY way I know of to control and polish the desired flat and super smooth surfaces in an action.   Highly recommended.

 

That locking bar looks like it needs welding up and dressing back down to original profile.  The front lug and rear lug both need dressing, but both appear to be so far from right currently, that they may need some TIG weld metal added before dressing to final tight-fitting shape.

 

I'd recommend Lassiter or Boomstick Jay weld this up and recut both lugs and locking bolt.  You are located about halfway between these two fine gentlemen.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I've been having the same problem with my Stoeger Supreme. I would like Johnny Meadows to remedy this problem but I don't know how to get in touch with him. I only live 3 hours north of him and would gladly drive down to Sahuarita with my Stoeger if I could call him and set up a time to drive down. How can I get in touch with him.

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2 hours ago, Arizona Gunfighter said:

I've been having the same problem with my Stoeger Supreme. I would like Johnny Meadows to remedy this problem but I don't know how to get in touch with him. I only live 3 hours north of him and would gladly drive down to Sahuarita with my Stoeger if I could call him and set up a time to drive down. How can I get in touch with him.

 

Send him a PM. He's commented a couple times on this thread.

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I tried to PM him, it says he cannot receive messages. 

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