Bolt Action Grief

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Jan 18, 2008
I have been having some issues with one of my rifles. It fires ok, chambers and releases rounds, but something is wrong with the bolt itself. I'd fire off a round, release the shell and chamber another round, but then when I try to lock the bolt in positon, it won't go down. It jams up, and its not just when I chamber a round, it sometimes happens when I try to unlock the bolt before pulling it back.

The rifle in question is a model 91/30 Mosin.


NES Member
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Jan 14, 2006
South Eastern, MA
It could be poor machining in the receiver or left over crud inside.
Take barreled action out of the stock and using a small flashlight like the tiny flexible neck ones, check inside the receiver. Sometimes there will be left over cosmolene and debris stuck inside the lug recess area.

The last 91/30 I got from a seller had small bits of fiber stuck inside. I ended up soaking it down with Break Free, blasting as much out with compressed air as I could, and digging the rest out using a small steel pick set, kinda like the ones dentists use. I pulled out strands of what looked like bits of cleaning rags.[rolleyes]
Make sure the inside of the bolt is clean too.

If you do all that and still have a hard time with the bolt, run your finger around the inside of the chamber and check for burrs or sharp edges. Sometimes if I get a Mosin with poor machining inside, I'll take a shotgun brush on a section of cleaning rod, mount it in a cordless drill, and using some lapping compound (or even oil) and low speed, I'll scrub out the inside of the chamber. Just be sure to flush it well afterwards with cleaner and oil it well.

For more info on tough Mosin Bolts check out's section on 91/30 rifles. There is info on the right side of the page.
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