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‘73 lever won’t close


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Shot a whole match yesterday with no problem. Get to the unloading table after the last stage and my rifle won’t cycle. When I try to close the lever the bolt hits the carrier. I have to press the carrier down with my finger first then I can close the lever. I assume that means I somehow bent the lifter arm. Is there someway to definitively troubleshoot this? And if it does turn out to be a bent lifter arm, is that a drop in part or is fitting required? 

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When this happened to me I had bent the lever. I sent it to the gunsmith and he bent it back. Not sure this applies to your situation? My advice is to have cowboy gunsmith take a look at it. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't know a darn thing about 73's, but I'd start with a disassembly and cleaning. The issue may become apparent. Good Luck 

 

Read below and above for experienced info.

 

 

Edited by Eyesa Horg
Added text, otto
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Probably a bent or more likely a broken lifter arm.  You can weld them but it would not be reliable in the future.  It is best to just replace it.  I haven't bought one in a long time but the last time I did it was $20.  They are easy and quick to replace.  I have taken apart a lot of 1860 Henry rifles and they are just about the same.

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Two Quick questions SB. 
Q1. let me see if I understand the problem.  Last shot, empty ejected, carrier fully up, bolt completely retracted, lever open. When closing lever to return bolt to “ in battery” carrier still up unless manually pushed into place and bolt hits back of carrier? Disassemble and look. Any damage that severe should be pretty obvious. If as LEP said it is really dirty that should be apparent as well. Check lever against a known good one to be sure it is okay. 
Q2. whose short stroke?

if it is the lifter arm that is damaged it will require fitting to get the timing back to correct. Better to get a new lifter rather than fighting an unknown amount of bending. If the kit is PGW or C&I they both are pretty simple with good instructions on their web site. Don’t know about SGB as don’t have any of them. Cut and weld, get back to whoever built it. 
Seems weird that the lifter or lever could be so badly bent that the carrier has to be pushed into position to allow the bolt to not hit without an obvious cause. 
Good Luck and let us know what you find
:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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This was the first match after a thorough cleaning. Nothing is dirty all is well lubed. Dry fired perfectly after cleaning and performed perfectly during the match. 

 

It’s a Shotgun Boogie rifle with his short stroke kit in it. I do have an identical rifle. Will compare lifter arms and levers between the two. Will report back. (Probably tomorrow.)

 

Gateway Kid Q1: Yes, you understand the problem.

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Didja get the right sideplate all the way flush to the frame in the rear when you reassembled?  If not the end of the carrier spring can slip off the lifter cam.

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12 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Didja get the right sideplate all the way flush to the frame in the rear when you reassembled?  If not the end of the carrier spring can slip off the lifter cam.

 

Yep. Everything was buttoned up nice and tight.

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48 minutes ago, Hells Comin said:

I have a idea call SGB !

 

Today’s Sunday and tomorrow’s a holiday. I plan on calling him on Tuesday. I’ve got a spare and am not shooting any matches for a few weeks so it’s not an emergency. 

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Easy cause right after a reassembly, and an easy fix -

 

Could be you didn't get the lifter spring back in right, including getting the tab on the forward end flat into the frame, and screw tightened enough to make spring have tension, but not fully tight.  Tighten screw just to the point of having carrier move correctly, and a smidge more.

 

If you end up replacing the lifter arm on a short stroked rifle, you will have to have the arm fitted.  And if SGB did the original work of short stroking the gun, you didn't get much for instructions to be able to find out how to tune the new arm.  So, that means get the gun back to SGB for fitting a new arm (if it's not just a reassembly glitch).

 

good luck, GJ

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I'd say the right side lifter spring has turned slightly and not sitting 90 degrees to the arm and not making a positive contact on the lifter arm. Seems strange all of a sudden happening, and I have found with the some slixsprings the wire arm can get loose and turn in the block, thus not keeping it 90 degrees to the arm. 

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Well . . . . You Broke it.  It's Broken.  OK, my first look based on your description is the Lever Side Spring that powers and holds the Carrier Block Arm in the "up" position has somehow failed.  Pull the side plates and look inside.  I have never used a Shotgun Boogie SS Kit so I don't know if the carrier arm is set up for Positive Slam Down although I suspect it is and I believe he uses an adjustable set screw.

 

Regardless, you need to pull the side plates and peek inside.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:


It’s a Shotgun Boogie rifle with his short stroke kit in it.

 One of the Allen screws came out and is gumming up the works?

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4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Lever Side Spring

Make that the Lifter side spring, and I'd agree.

good luck, GJ

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HI GJ :)

 

I tend to over-simplify.  To me, the retired Gunplumber, There are TWO "Lever Side Springs.  One to retain the lever "up" and one to hold the Carrier Block "up" and power the Carrier Block "down."   If the Lever Spring for the Carrier is Fungu, the carrier can jam from an abundance of "spooge."  If the gun has been set up with "Positive Slam Down" all the spring does is hold the carrier block up while the bolt strips the cartridge and the lever powers it down.  Properly set up, the lever should power the Carrier Block down in any case.

 

I'd prefer to be able to peek inside myself, as with most Short Stroke having Positive Slam Down built into the Carrier Block Arm, something is amiss (well yea, He Broke it).  If a set screw is all that provided Slam Down, it may have simply backed out leaving the spring to power the carrier block thru the Spooge.

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Semantics won't fix gun, but getting eyeballs on the working of the action is worth a million words.  :lol: However, we can't get that, normally.  Bull, hope it shows you the problem, or you can get it worked on to keep it from being a "long pole in the tent"

 

Like said, would be real useful to see pictures of how a SGB short stroke is set up.

good luck, GJ

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Took both rifles apart and compared parts.  I can't see any difference between the levers and the lifter arms.  Also, the lifter spring seems to be sitting on top of the lifter lobe (Is that the correct term?) correctly.  Not gonna mess with it anymore and potentially screw it up even more.  Will send it back to Boogie to see what he says.

 

Thanks for all the help.  Much appreciated.

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7 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

Took both rifles apart and compared parts.  I can't see any difference between the levers and the lifter arms.  Also, the lifter spring seems to be sitting on top of the lifter lobe (Is that the correct term?) correctly.  Not gonna mess with it anymore and potentially screw it up even more.  Will send it back to Boogie to see what he says.

 

Thanks for all the help.  Much appreciated.

Can you do the parts switch deal and see what happens? 

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On 7/3/2022 at 6:43 PM, Shooting Bull said:

Shot a whole match yesterday with no problem. Get to the unloading table after the last stage and my rifle won’t cycle. When I try to close the lever the bolt hits the carrier. I have to press the carrier down with my finger first then I can close the lever. I assume that means I somehow bent the lifter arm. Is there someway to definitively troubleshoot this? And if it does turn out to be a bent lifter arm, is that a drop in part or is fitting required? 

Happened to my wife a few years ago. In comparing it to another rifle, I found it to be a bent lever. That surprised me because she's not strong enough to bend it, & she didn't notice any out of battery or anything. I used another lever as a pattern & bent it back, which fixed it. But, then just for insurance, I bought a Cowboys & Indians heat-treated lever & installed it. It's been fine since, & I keep the original in the parts box, just in case.

 

Also, in the past it's been hard to just buy a lifter arm. C & I wouldn't sell just the arm, you had to buy the whole short stroke kit. This may have changed since then. You might be able to buy one from Shotgun Boogie, & it has an adjustment screw to set the timing, so you don't have to go thru the disassemble, file, & reassemble hassle multiple times. I also once got just the lifter arm from Lefty Wheeler when I broke one. Of course, you'll have to redial the timing (disassemble, file, assemble - repeat).

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Make sure toggle isn't dragging on the loading gate.

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Thanks for all the info everybody.  I've already talked to Boogie and have it all boxed up ready to ship.  WHEN this happens again I'll keep all the above suggestions in mind.  Especially the mail from Beaver.  Thank you my friend. 

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I had a problem similar to, or maybe the same as, you a few years ago.
When pulling the lever down and forward, the lifter would lift the carrier
just a little too high such that it, the carrier, was in the way of
the bolt and the bolt would hit the carrier and lock up the rifle action.
If I pushed the carrier down about 1/32" then I could complete the cycle.
I bought the used rifle about 9 years ago and it had a lot of work done
including a short stroke. I used it consistantly and reliably for 5 years,
6 months and 5 1/2 stages. Then it just locked up.

The lifter resides half in the chamber with the linkage and the
other half in the chamber that the carrier rides in. When you pull the
lever down and forward you are slamming the top of the lifter into
the top of the slot of the frame between the two chambers. That is 
what stops the lifter from going up higher. This hammers a grove in the
top of the lifter so now the lifter can push the carrier up too high.
If you have this situation like mine, put a piece of tape on (covering)
the grove. Your rifle will now cycle. At least until you wear through the
tape. 
Below is a picture of my lifter after Rancho Roy welded a little bit of metal
filling in the grove. He ground much of the top flat and I had to grind
more a little at at time until it fit correctly. I wish I had a picture of the

grove in the lifter before the metal was welded on.

I didn't want to buy a new lifter because of the precision filing I 
would have had to do like when I installed a short stroke kit in 
my other '73.

.image.thumb.jpeg.6020f2fe28a66049be47ab559dd16367.jpeg

Just my $0.02

 

IMG_20200303_094337.jpg

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Mystery solved. Tab on the bottom of the bolt was bent. Bolt is being replaced with the new style that has a replaceable tab made of spring steel. New tab will be less likely to bend in the first place and easy to replace if it ever does bend or break. 

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