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Thread: Just got a rifle with bad head space issue

  1. #1
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    Just got a rifle with bad head space issue

    Hi guys, Im not exactly a newbie, but thought Id post here... not sure what I should do. I recently made a trade for a savage 11, took it out, fired one round. The primer blew out of the head and the gas etched the bolt face. So I figured it was the head space. I read some google, and found some tips on setting head space using tape as shims. I ended finding the headspace to be about .007. I asked the previous owner about it, and he told me he had fired 60 rounds out of it without any issues. Something is obviously not right. What should I do in this scenario? If I take it to a gun smith its gonna cost money. No idea how much, but its not something I look forward to. Im sure if I had the tools to do it myself I could, but thats just more money.
    Kinda stumped here. Any help or recommendations would be appreciated!
    Al.

  2. #2
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer buzzmagoo's Avatar
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    I am in no way a savvy savage guy but maybe find out who and where is your nearest savage Distributor it might be something they could fix on guarantee may be or point you to a service gun smith .

  3. #3
    CGN Regular ron hilchey's Avatar
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    I am not a Savage guy, nor a gun smith, however I think the model 11 has a floating bolt head similar to that found on a Sportco. I do know that if these are not properly adjusted very poor results may be had. I would definitely bring the rifle, and the ammo you were using to a competent smith.

  4. #4
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer just having some fun's Avatar
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    What Caliber ?

    .007 is not much ... Just ask any norinco M305 owner

    Was it hornady superperformance ammo ?

    are you using gauges or ammo to check headspace ?

    Ammo is normally under spec

  5. #5
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    It’s in 270wsm. I’m using ammo to check headspace. I took a once fired case and full length resized it. I was using federal fusion, 150gr bullet. A friend of mine mentioned that it could possibly just have been the one bullet I fired. If that’s the case I feel kinda lucky. Should go buy a lottery ticket!

  6. #6
    CGN frequent flyer Pr589's Avatar
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    What kind of ammo were you using, factory or reloads?

    Sounds like a primer pocket issue rather than headspace to me unless there was really excessive pressure and then you'd see other signs. Excessive headspace is rarely an issue with brass in reasonable shape. Even with well-used brass, the worst that should happen would be a separated case.
    The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. ― Plato

  7. #7
    CGN Regular Tokay444's Avatar
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    Crack the barrel nut loose and set the headspace.
    "Don't hate me because I'm black." - Black Rifles

  8. #8
    Uber Super GunNutz
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    So far as I know, the only way to verify whether the chamber is SAAMI or not, is to use SAAMI headspace gauges. Playing with tape, brass, etc. just tells you about the relative dimensions of those brass and that chamber to each other, but not whether the rifle is to standard or not. Most Savages have that barrel nut - easy enough to change headspace, if you have the gauges.

  9. #9
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    Alright thanks everyone! I’ll put it in the back of the safe til I decide what to do with it. Maybe I’ll buy a barrel but wrench and do it myself. Get the gauges too. Any idea where in Canada I can get them?

  10. #10
    GunNutz Sqr's Avatar
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    Use go/no-go gauges.
    CCFR NRA CSSA

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