First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

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Rifleman
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First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:42 pm

Hello to Forum: This past winter I bought a Rem 81 300 Savage caliber rifle. Very good shape, seller said he hadn't experienced any problems with the rifle.. Has been a busy summer and about a week ago I finally got around to shooting it. After buying rifle, I bought a set of die's, brass, and several other accessories. Plenty of .308 bullets and large primers on hand, have been reloading for various pistol and rifle calibers since '76.

Anyway, thought I'd load up a variety of powder loadings to see what was the most accurate in the rifle. Now the rifle seller gave me 100 rds of used brass that was for the most part one fired, all in excellent shape. Thought I'd use them instead of the brass I bought. Sized and trimmed 50 rds of brass and used three different powders loading up a equal number of three powders, two different weights of each powder. Used Varget, IMR 3031, and Win 748, for example 12 rds @ 34.0 g of 3031 and 12 rds @35.0 g of 3031. Winchester large primers., Speer 150 g Speer SP bullets. The brass were separated for each powder loadings, used Federal, R-P, and Winchester. Now I'm a fussy loader, taking time, no short cuts, pay attention to COL", careful weighing of powder, just attempt to get the highest quality of ammo reloads I can.

When I went to fire off the ammo I had about 3-4 where the round chambered, I pulled the trigger, and click. There was a round in the chamber, no apparent firing pin dent of any kind on the primer. reinserted the round in the magazine, released the bolt, round chambered, pulled trigger, and it would fire the 2nd time around. There was no apparent evidence that one brand of brass was guilty over the other and it seemed that it was always the 2nd or third round from a full magazine at fault. Unsure of the why of this. Any one have any suspicions. I only fired four rounds of each individual powder loadings. In the limited firings I did do, the 3031 powder had the best groupings shooting at approx. 40 yards. Another glitch was that after the last round fired in each loadings of four, the last round fired brass would 'stovepipe' facing up in the receiver, bolt holding it against the receiver. Any thoughts there? Any Rx greatly appreciated.

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81police
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by 81police » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:49 am

My initial thought, for the sake of eliminating variables, is feed it some factory ammo and see if you do or don't experience the same issues.
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Rifleman
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:13 am

81 police: Thought of that, but getting any 300 Savage ammo in my area is pretty much null and void. Will have to order on line to get it. I've looked in area stores and gun shops, in fact since getting the rifle haven't seen any at gun shows. Going to one this weekend in Rochester, Minn. It's a show known for older and military firearms. One thought I had was something in the works may need to be lubed. The gun was clean when I got it, cleaned bore and internals as much as possible. Lubed what I could with needle oiler. After watching the video on this site by the gent named Green, getting at all the internals for cleaning and lubing isn't a real simple process, but can be done. Have to take a close look before I shoot it again. I think besides getting some factory fodder, I may load up 10-20 rds using the new Hornady brass I bought and see what that does. My reloads were taken from info from newer load manuals (Speer and Hornady).

chas1949
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by chas1949 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:10 pm

Had a similar thing happen with a M81 I bought. Some rounds fire some wouldn't.
Found that who ever had it before me must have had it apart and did not tighten the main spring/trigger spring screw completely on reassembly. This caused light hammer strike on firing pin. After tightening screw all was good....

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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:07 pm

chas1949-Good thought, checked mine. Using a proper to fit screw driver, I couldn't turn it either way. Have to soak it with a little Kroil and see if it is as tight as it should be or age has set the screw some. Assume if previous owner had no problems with the main and trigger spring not tight enough the problem would have shown up before. I'll have to call him and see if he ever experienced any problems I'm having.

Another thought and to those in the forum who are experienced with the 8/81, another possibility may exist. you'll have to tell me if I'm all wet or not. I bought the rifle with four holes drilled on the left top side of the receiver, left of top for a Weaver style scope mount. If I had had my way, I'd had gotten one untouched and with no recoil pad. I bought the gun off of GunBroker and most of the offerings either had holes drilled in the receiver, recoil pad, or both. Had previously bid on other 81's that were clean, but as those of you who have used GB, ya win some, lose some. Rem 8/81's are pretty extinct around my area. Even the long time gun collectors say they are few if at all. This 81 came up for sale, very good shape, no recoil pad, but the holes. I never buy used from GB with out talking on the phone with the seller, at the minimum using the GB chat form. I talked on phone before and after winning the bid. The gun was in excellent shape, metal/wood and a really good price. It was one of those that falls through the cracks at times on GB that doesn't have a big bidding war. Anyway, tossed the dice, figured I could live with the holes, maybe even mount a scope on it. Rather live with the holes vs a recoil pad, it's around a 1950 vintage if I recall right.

The gun came with no plug screws in it. Previous owner advised he had no idea what may have happened to them. I bought some plug screws from Brownell's, the type with the enlarged lip that sets over the receiver giving it a cleaner look. All four were to long and had to by trial and error screw them in, work the bolt, take out, file some off, until the bolt would close and would go back and forth without binding. The two front ones were easy. The two rear ones were hard to see (with the gun unassembled). Had to use a small bore light to look through the narrow slot when the bolt was forward. Finally got the two back ones filed down enough where the bolt would go to the rear of the receiver without binding. When I just checked the main/trigger springs screw, the thought of maybe the bolt was binding on those two back plug screws. I looked in the slot with a bore light. When I installed the two rear plugs, the bottoms were flat. Now there is wear on the bottom half of each plug screw from the left side of the bolt rubbing on them. The front ones are fine. Could there just be enough contact when firing as the bolt recedes/advances that is hindering the bolt from operating as it should. Either not going back with enough force to fully eject a fired brass or not advancing far enough for the bolt face to make contact with the head of the cartridge. Wondering if the bolt has to be in complete contact with the receiver for the trigger to release the firing pin? Reminds me of a semi-auto 22 LR action when it gets dirty and the bolt doesn't operate as it should. Can't do it tomorrow, but if the weather cooperates Sunday afternoon (rain in forecast), I'm going to remove the two rear screws and see how it goes. Apologize for the length of my response. My wife says I'm windy-no truth to it at all. What do you 8/81 vets think of this as a possibility?

chas1949
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by chas1949 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:53 am

The same M81 I talked about with the screw not being tight also had scope mount screw holes. Plug screws short enough not to bind when flush with outside of receiver are non existent. So I drilled and tapped a hole for #8-40 thread in a piece of scrap .060 thick sheet steel. Run the plug screws in slightly more then flush and grind off flush on the back side. Install plug screws in receiver for test fit then just a very small drop of locktite and reinstall.

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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Phyrbird » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:17 pm

A couple thoughts:
The firing pins are prone to mushrooming & it's possible for the rear of the bolt carrier too. Remove bolt carrier to check; push the bolt back with the barrel off, pull out on the center pin of the bolt handle, slide it forward out of the carrier, then the carrier will slide out of the frame. One pin in the carrier frees the firing pin. Pay attention this pin is half round on one end & goes back only one way. :twisted: If the f/p is hammered it can be reshaped w/dremel tool, if it's not already too short. :cry: However NOS replacements are available & not that expensive. ;)
While you got it out clean the firing pin, f/p spring, & the cavity for the firing pin. Gunk in here can cause the same problem. :ugeek:
Note: pay attention to the cam pins in the carrier while it's out, they have been known to fall out of the carrier. :? Scotch tape is a preventative. :idea:
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:04 pm

Good idea's (Rx)! Got home to late from gun show and travelin to do anything. Thanks for the suggestions. Looked at getting a box of 300 Savage ammo. Number of table's had some older fodder ($33-35 for 20 rds-same at a Fleet Farm store for new). It wouldn't cause me any financial drain, but at $1.65-1.75 a pop-no thanks. That's why I reload-will look at any and all other avenue's before going down that road. Lo and behold, there were two Rems at the gun show I attended today. A Mod 8 in 35 Rem for $850 and a 81 in 300 savage for around $550. Mod 8 was clean if I recall. 81 had rear peep sight and recoil pad. Both were in very good shape. Didn't dicker with the owners to see what cash price they'd want (just out of curiosity) as both times I walked by they were in busy talking. First time I've seen 8/81's in a long time at any gun show in my area.

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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Phyrbird » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:09 pm

RMan,
You shoulda dickered on the 300, most tang sights are worth $100 at least. Were it the FBI sight that could triple. Plus the 300 is just a little less than the 308. HHAARRRGGGH :!: :!:
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:19 pm

It did cross my mind. Thought after seeing what the average GB price on the 81's usually go for it was a fair price. Not really in the hunt for another 81 right now, need to sort out the problems with the one I have. Except for the four scope mount holes mine has, mine has better wood and metal condition (wood grain too). I had $860 in hot twenty dollar bills in my bag, but sorta in the look out for another Mauser K98k. Didn't find anything there worth getting, do have one a private owner has 41 byf (not RC or import) very good shape, mostly all matching numbers except for the bolt, but need to get him down another $50 before I'll snag it. Rem 8 and 81's are pretty rare in my area. Rare to see at guns shows/gun shops. Iowa ya can't hunt deer with rifles except those calibered in certain straight wall pistol cartridges. Not to many southern Minnesota hunters use them either if at all as far as I know. Not like some of the New England states, Wis, Mich, N. Minn, western states where the rifles are more plentiful and in use. There's a repeat of the show this coming Jan, the dealer who had the gun is always at the Rochester show, maybe he'll still have it.

Update on my 300 Savage. Took out the two rear plug screws that looked like they were rubbing on the bolt and fired a dozen rds. Only had two where a round chambered and wouldn't fire. Would fire after reinserting in mag and chambering. Bolt still wouldn't lock back after last round fired casuing the spent brass to stovepipe bewteen the bolt and receiver. One of the front two plug screws (1st one) appears to be getting rubbed. Rain Tues, didn't get a chance to try, busy today in yard. May give it a go round in a bit to see what happens. Pulled stock off and looked at inards as best as I could, studied several schematics and watched a video three times on how the 8/81 works and cycles. Without pulling trigger unit off, can't see much, but what I could see looked ok (?).

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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:32 pm

HELP. SOS. HELP. OK I was hoping that by removing the four plug screws that my troubles would be over. Nope!!! After removing the two back ones several rds failed to fire, bolt would fail to lock back after last shot causing a stovepipe. Removed the front two and fired 8 rds. Things went bad to worse. Three rds fail to fire 1st time. Bolt still fail to lock back on last round causing stovepipes and had two rds after firing in where the brass jammed horizontally between the bolt and and top of receiver.

Removed barrel and stock. I took some pics with iPhone and will attempt to post. Questions??? # 1 The extractor is marked 35. Wondered if wrong-possibly for 35 Remington. Found a question on the High Road forum someone with 300 Savage questioning if wrong extractor in his gun. Someone posted back that both the 35 Rem and 300 Sav both used extractor with 35 on it. See on Numrich Parts that both calibers had same number for extractor. Is this correct?

#2 Looking at the ejector it is angled on the end. Wondered if worn. Looking at a picture on Numrich site it appears from the pic that this is normal. ?? Would this be correct also?

#3 There is a small ‘bar’ on the left inside of the receiver where I assume the left side of the bolt rides. It protrudes outward from the receiver. Wondering how much it is supposed to ‘stick’ out from the receiver. Looks like some wear, but there is maybe a 1/16” or so height from the receiver. Could excessive wear of this bar cause problems I’m having?

#4 This is the one that really concerns me and I’m not firing it any more until I know the answer and fix. On the bottom side of the link pin where it comes close to the action spring tube, looking at it with the rifle upside down (top of receiver down), the very end of the link looks as if a mouse with titanium teeth had been chewing on it. This is all fresh markings. It appears the link is slamming into the area where the action spring tube is connected to the back end of the receiver. Not good. Something amiss!!

I’ve read a lot of posts on this forum (and a few others) where the culprit could be anywhere from bolt carrier latch assembly, barrel lock, carrier latch spring, and/or the barrel springs not put in the right way. Just my thoughts with the link damage is the bolt is slamming back to far. Why??? The reloads I’m using are all midrange loadings taken from Hornadys 10th edition manual. Using 39 and 40 grains of Win 748. 34 and 35 grains of IMR 3031 and 36 and 38 grains of Hodg Varget. Win LR Primers and Speer 150 grain SP. Brass one fired-good shape. No signs of excessive pressure at primer or anywhere on brass.

I haven’t disassembled the receiver or barrel yet. I have a barrel tool on order from Robopump. Any thoughts from any of you. Tried calling seller. Will try again to see if barrel had been disassembled. The seller when bought had advised he had no problems with it. Not his only 8/81 model. Appreciate any thoughts/help. I’m going to try to post the pics I took. Thanks in advance.
Note: tried to post pics off of iPhone, no luck. transferred pics from phone to home computer, still no luck in posting on this thread. I can do alotta things, but computer wizardry is not one of them. How do you post pics on this forum? I clicked the insert image icon, but all it does is show (img) twice.


Edited 09/01 1134 hrs Central-rewrote position of receiver in question #4
Last edited by Rifleman on Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Roger
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Roger » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:48 am

Sir , I'm also from Iowa, although from the southern part. I've deer hunted with many of my M8/81s. We of course had a high power late January season for 7-8 years. On e time a few years ago, I experienced some ejection problems. It was January and cold as all get out. At first I thought that the issues were being caused by the cold. Cold weather will definitely cause issues with recoil automatic shotguns Auto /5 s in particular. It was an 81 --300 Savage too. After the weekend hunt I started looking at the 81 to figure out if it just needed more oil. Or lighter viscosity oil. Once again,that can be an issue with A5s, which I've hunted with and collected for nearly 40 years.
It was well oiled and I immediately became suspicious.I started removing parts .When I removed the barrel nut, I noticed that the recoil spring inside the barrel jacket had become wedged between the barrel jacket bushing and recoil spring washer, (end of the spring). I put in a different washer and it fixed the issues. I am not sure if it was a result of the increased recoil from 300 Savage,which by the way,is substantial no matter what anyone says. The washer was worn enough that the end of the spring would wedge between the two parts. Who knows if this could be your problem,but since this is a very rare problem that I experienced, I felt compelled to mention it here. ( Also you are a fellow Iowan who's interested in Remington model 8/81s and I felt sorry for you.)
Thanks for your time
Roger
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:37 am

????? Until I get my barrel tool, anybody have ANY thoughts on what the problem could be, anyone heard of or had similar problems?
Need assistance! Any thoughts, suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Phyrbird: In your comment reference taking the bolt out, if I'm reading it correct, your saying the bolt can be taken out of the receiver without taking off the trigger assembly and all of the other internals. From the two video's I've watched, the presentors always took everything else out and the bolt last. If what you say (as I understand it) the bolt can be taken out and reinserted without a complete disassembly. Be fine with me. Thank you for any help in advance. Rifleman

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Phyrbird
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Phyrbird » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:07 am

Rman,
thanks for your faith in me, :oops: Sometimes I wonder if it is deserved, but here goes. :)
I am sure I have pulled a bolt carrier with the trigger assy still in, yet it easier to install with the assy out. The bolt stop lever is raised when the barrel is out. It makes the carrier challenging at best to install. :o Once the buttstock is off, a single screw on the left & the hammer pin is all that holds the trigger assy. I do urge care in removing and installing the grip screw (the back one) It's the one that gets crossed most often. Some of the 81s are real tight getting this screw back in. The stocks sometimes are not drilled deep enough behind the action spring tube, making lining up the grip screw so hard they can cross thread. Another point to watch is the little flat spring on the top of the bolt release button assy. (on the left) This spring fits in a small groove in the receiver below the bolt carrier rails. It can end up above the rail. Three of the rifles with problems I have seen had the spring out of place. Make sure it's right. The magazine keeps it in place...
Be that as it may, pulling the trigger group will allow removal of lots of old oil varnish, checking the firing pin & return spring, Our ladies like a little polish at times.
A side note: one of the rifles i traded years ago NEEDED cleaning. It fired & ejected just fine, grouped about 2" at 100yds, & other than the metal finish was a good rifle. Inside the barrel sleeve the rust powder was so thick the springs would not slide out. I scrubbed & oiled & repeated many times. Still the action worked, fired, & shot well B4 the cleaning. After, it did better. Point is JMBrowning did good work.
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:34 am

Thank you for the info Phrybird. The stock screw on my rifle lines up 100% and reinstalling the screw goes very good. I'm hesitant in removing the trigger assembly or anything else until I can disassemble the barrel and see if all there is 'thumbs up'. With the barrel off the barrel moves back and forth ok (as far as I can see), there is some reddish oil on the back of the barrel itself, but it's not 'slathered' with it, just a light coating. After I can inspect the barrel assembly, if it is ok, then I'll go slow and remove the trigger group and see if anything is amiss and go from there. The whole interior looks pretty clean, no large amount of gunk, dried oil/grease, powder residue, weed/grass seeds/particles as I've seen in some guns that never had proper cleaning from time to time.

In regards to the four questions I posted the other day, ie. the 35 on the extractor, the angled ejector end, and the bar on the left side of the receiver, do you or anybody reading this have any comment on those. The metal 'chewing' on the end of the link connecting the bolt with the action spring plunger really concerns me. This is all fresh, no old evidence of it doing this prior to I having it-all shiny steel. What would be causing this? I'm thinking that what ever is causing the bolt not to lock back after last shot, improper ejection, and dead firing with a round in the chamber is the resident 'evil' within the rifle allowing the link to be damaged. If I would tear into the innards, I more than likely could see, but as before, the 81 is a new ball game with me. For some reason I suspect the bolt is slamming back to far, causing the link to hit the action spring tube-why, I hesitate to answer. (When I first typed this, the word causing got typed cussing, try to refrain from this, but just about there.). Anyway, any help is "GREATLY" appreciated. Thanks veddy much!!!

chas1949
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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by chas1949 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:26 am

Check the link and make sure it installed in bolt with the rounded corner facing up so no possibility of it binding when bolt is all the way back. Also check magazine indicator as that is what keeps bolt open after last round is fired.

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Re: First time shooting problems with 300 Savage 81

Post by Rifleman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:11 am

I just posted a question about lubing the 8/81's on LyingBastard's post about proper and needed lubing for the models. Indicated "I MAY" have found what my problem stemmed from. I disassembled my 81 over the weekend and believe I "MAY" have found what was causing the variety of problems I was having. Possibly had to do with the V shaped bolt carrier latch spring not in its proper place on the bolt carrier latch, which caused 'a train wreck' all up and down the line with the other parts that are all interconnected with each other for proper functioning. I need to do some stoning of rough parts (surprised a gun of this era-1947) was as rough as it was in the parts department. Remington must have still been in a WW2 military slam em' together mode yet. ?? Anyway, will stone, reassemble, lube, and try her out again and see what happens. Just received a copy of Henwoods book Monday the 10th, haven't had much time to absorb it yet. The 'why' the spring and latch may have been not properly functioning I'll advise ya later after I get all resasembled and test fire.

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