My first 81 is broke!

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tfwoodie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:52 am

My first 81 is broke!

Post by tfwoodie » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:33 am

Hi,
I'm new to the 81 and the forum. I just purchased my 81 at a gun show here in Florida. I got what I think is a sweet deal because the bolt is stuck half way open and won't move. The safety is down a little ways and is also stuck. I don't see a follower or spring in the magazine. It is a standard model made in 1945 from the research I've done. I don't want to force anything and break it more than it is or might be. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm getting into some gunsmithing (very new and not much experience) and do have tools and have taken a few other guns totally apart.
I've read quite abit on this forum and you all seem very knowledgeable and helpful. I'm anxious to get this one up and shooting!
Thanks for your help!!

Behemotosh
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 11:44 am

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by Behemotosh » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:16 pm

tfwoodie,
Welcome to the forum. Funny things can happen on the way to the forum, but
if you own a Model 8 or Model 81, this is the place to be!

There are many very knowledgeable members with a passion for these old rifles. I do not know exactly what your bolt hang-up problem is for sure. I do know these rifles are very reliable once they are assembled correctly. One thing for sure, if the bolt is back, you cannot put the gun on safe because the bolt operating handle is where the safety lever should be when its on safe.

Shoot straight!
Behemotosh

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81police
Posts: 2351
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:12 pm
Location: TEXAS

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by 81police » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:14 am

tfwoodie,

post some pictures of what you're talking about, this will help us to better understand your dilemma.
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

tfwoodie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:52 am

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by tfwoodie » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:40 am

Here is a link to 5 pics I took of the stuck bolt and safety on my 81. I tried to upload them directly to this post but the files are too big and my knowledge too small to change them :oops: . http://www.sendpix.com/albums/10062209/ ... 843b61e42/

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81police
Posts: 2351
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Location: TEXAS

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by 81police » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:22 pm

If it were me I'd fix that magazine assembly first, and then go from there. You definitely need a follower and spring.
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

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imfuncity
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:44 am
Location: 2hrs N of Sac., Tehama Co. CA

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by imfuncity » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:25 pm

I have never been inside an 8 or 81 receiver, so take this for what it's worth - as a long shot. I have had two bolts hang up one from having the start to close while the barrel was off, which caused the bolt to twist and lock up. The other time was from a screw being too long going through the sidewall into the bolt (from a scope mount). Other then that, I'm sure the instructions and the experienced guys can help you out.

Cool last picture, of the receiver and bolt taken from the barrel's position.
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

ROBOPUMP
Posts: 254
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:05 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by ROBOPUMP » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:27 am

I do work on these rifles and can completely take one apart and get it back together. First, I agree you need all of the parts to expect it to function properly.

If I had the rifle, the first thing I would do is relieve the spring pressure on the bolt. Remove the butt stock. Unscrew the tang screw on the bottom of the trigger plate. This is the one closest to the butt stock. Remove the butt stock. You may have to tap it a bit with a rubber mallet if it has a tight fit and has been on there 50 plus years. Next, push in slightly on the main spring wooden plug and remove the pin. You may have to pull the pin with some needle nose pliers. Watch out! You have just released the main spring and when you release the wooden plug it will come out with some force. Not enough force to scatter parts all over the room. Just be careful and don't wind up with a spring in your eye.

Next, remove the trigger plate and magazine. Do this by removing the furthermost rear screw on the left side of the receiver and pushing out the trigger plate pin. This is the small pin in the lowest place on the receiver. You will need a small pin punch to do this. Now, pull the complete trigger plate out of the bottom of the receiver. Make sure the rifle is laying on it's left side or the "rail parts" may also fall out.

This alone should release the bolt and safety from their frozen postition. The bolt can now be removed after removing the bolt operating handle. Simply pull out on the small pin in the center and slide the handle forward.

If you feel confident, do this. Otherwise, maybe take this info to a gun smith. Remember most of them have never seen one of these rifles. You can print out the exploded parts list and the diagrams showing where all parts belong in the rifle.

Good Luck.

ROB

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imfuncity
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Location: 2hrs N of Sac., Tehama Co. CA

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by imfuncity » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:08 am

Rob,
I too appreciate your detailed help. I've been wanting to get inside one, now this covers several areas I was wondering about. Thanks.

And, you are right, most gunsmiths have no clue. Fortunately, one close to me admitted that and then went to "the book" before trying to fix the magazine on my first 81, he did a great job.
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

tfwoodie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:52 am

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by tfwoodie » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:56 pm

Rob,
Thanks so much for your advise. I took the return spring out and that freed up the bolt! :D I went ahead and tore the gun apart into assemblies. I don't think it was put together right the last time. I followed instructions and illustrations from Brownell's "Encyclepedia on Modern Guns and got it back together!! The small lever on the left side of the receiver does not hold the bolt open. I think the small spring is on the wrong side of the slide. Will work on it again tomorrow. Now to find the missing parts for the magazine (spring and follower and maybe more, I can't tell for sure). I plan to take it apart again including all the bolt and trigger group and clean it up good. I'm anxious to get the books I have ordered to see if they have better pics of the parts I need.
Thanks again for your help

ROBOPUMP
Posts: 254
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:05 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: My first 81 is broke!

Post by ROBOPUMP » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:29 pm

agh! At least we are making progress. I did aquire a rifle with a broken mag spring and was able to find one. I have not seen the follower offered for sale by itself. You may wind up buying a complete magazine assembly. Keep the current magazine and replace the missing parts. I think that without the magazine spring and follower, the magazine indicator will not work and the bolt will not stay open.

Regards,

ROB

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