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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Ruger American in .308 Win. and I have had this gun for going on 5 years now. Up until last year, it was an awesome gun and harvested some deer with it no problem. I was sighting it in after putting a new scope on it, and the bolt locked up, not allowing me to eject the spent casing. I have cleaned the gun up and down, and side to side numerous times. I usually shoot 180 grain Remington Core-Lokt round nose, but I have also tried a “less hot” load like federal 150 grain with no success, as it does the same thing. Anybody ever run into this same problem or have any tricks or advice for me?
 

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Question, when you put a new scope on, did you do anything with the mount? Wondering if a screw is going down into the action and tying things up. Try taking the screws out of the front of the mount and see if that frees things up.
 

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In what way is the bolt locking up? Will the handle not move at all or will the bolt open with the empty stuck in the chamber?

What is the safety like on those, does the safety lock the bolt? If so, I'd disassemble the bolt and strip the action and safety (tang safety?) out of the stock and clean and check them for problems.
 

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In what way is the bolt locking up? Will the handle not move at all or will the bolt open with the empty stuck in the chamber?

What is the safety like on those, does the safety lock the bolt? If so, I'd disassemble the bolt and strip the action and safety (tang safety?) out of the stock and clean and check them for problems.
After the shot, the bolt handle will come up, but it will not come back to eject the spent casing. After a little persuasion with a cleaning rod down the bore and a small rubber mallet, the bolt will eventually “unstick” itself and I am ready for the next shot. The safety seems to operating fine, but I will look into it.
 

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Ok, stupid question, when was the last time the chamber was cleaned and is it clean and dry (no solvent, no oil) when you shoot?
 

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Ok, stupid question, when was the last time the chamber was cleaned and is it clean and dry (no solvent, no oil) when you shoot?
No question is a stupid question my friend.
I clean the chamber pretty throughly after shooting, wether it be just one shot or 15 shots. The gun is well maintained, not a spot of rust anywhere to be seen
 

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Clean and maintained I am sure. However, if there is oil or solvent in the chamber when fired (even small amounts), it will cause hydraulic lock of the case in the chamber. Make sure it is solvent and oil free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Clean and maintained I am sure. However, if there is oil or solvent in the chamber when fired (even small amounts), it will cause hydraulic lock of the case in the chamber. Make sure it is solvent and oil free.
That is good to know. I always run a couple dry patches through the barrel after every cleaning, but I will definitely look into this, as I have it up on my gun vice right now.
 

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Do the cartridges chamber without any excess pressure needed? Do unfired ones extract ok?

Any weird marks on the fired case like chewed up heads, excess powder burn, scratches?

Have you tried dropping the magazine when they stick and see if it helps extraction?

Sure sounds like a chamber issue of some sort. See anything in the chamber when shining a bright light in it?
 

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That is good to know. I always run a couple dry patches through the barrel after every cleaning, but I will definitely look into this, as I have it up on my gun vice right now.
Try running a large slightly oversized copper brush inside the chamber (like a shotgun one: not sure what one for 308 chamber) with some solvent on it. Best if you can twist it. A drill carefully attached to a segment of one of those take-apart shotgun rods works for me.

Had an SKS that came loaded with grease. Gave it a normal cleaning with patches. Still had extraction problems. Then I scoured the chamber with the above procedure and problem solved.
 

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A 45 cal. brass brush should be about right for 308 chamber body .
If you have a brush that is close ... wrap a layer of 0000 steel wool around it to make a snug fit ...
Acetone or Brake Cleaner are great De Greasers ... they will leave the chamber clean and dry .
Gary
 

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Is the firing pin cocked when you opened the bolt? I know that may sound weird, but I've seen RPR's (same action as the American) firing pin retainers get rotated if not reassembled just right, causing them to slip through the hole in the bolt handle that holds them in place. This causes all kinds of binding and is pretty tricky to get it reset. My RPR 338 Lapua did it a while back.
 

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I’d like to see a fired cartridge. There’s a lot things that can be going on here, the ammo is the best place to start.
 

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I vote with chamber problem. Give the chamber and throat a good scrubbing. Are there any scratches or other marks on the fired brass? Are there any bulges in the fired brass? It might pay to have the chamber and bore scoped.
 

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That is the reason why I asked the questions I did; many years ago I fired some Norma factory ammo that was way over pressure for my Ruger chamber. The bolt would raise but not pull the brass, it was tight in the chamber and I had to use a cleaning rod to tap it out. The primer and cartridge base were flat just like the severe overpressure pictures in books.

So your chamber may be dirty or that ammo may be too hot for your rifle. You need to inspect the brass to see why it might have stuck, even factory ammo can be too hot for one particular rifle.
 

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What did your cases and primer look like Are you shooting a new lot of the ammo. I'd consider calling the ammo maker. Would it help to give Ruger a call? Hanging up for what ever reason should catch attention of both companies..
 

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I'm confused. On my American in 308 there is a primary extraction cam designed in the action. The bolt handle ,in effect, rides up against the receiver. As the handle as lifted the bolt moves back. Look to the extractor. I don't understand how the bolt will open moving back then it sticks. The case would show if the extractor pulled through the rim. I'd call Ruger. With a stuck case it's not unknown to use a mallet on the bolt handle. Some Remington 700 owners can tell you all about this. I'm holding my American as a write this post.
 
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