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how to fix a misfire problem?

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I've got a 5 year old remington 870 express that I've been using for deer season. Last year I had a misfire on a nice deer. It has since happened a handful of times. Each time there is a dimple in the primer, just doesn't hit hard enough to fire I beleive. Could it have to do with shell placement being sloppy in the chamber or maybe something wrong with the firing pin? Any advice is appreciated.

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That can happen when a firing pin or the bolt or receiver that houses it gets dirty. I'd take it apart and clean the pin and the housing. Does it always happen with the same batch of old shells? It might be time to throw those out as well. Some manufacturers have different depth primer settings, but an 870 in proper working order should work with all of them.

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Thanks for responding. I went to see a gun smith last night and he found the problem. Turns out the remmingont slug barrel I had on it wasn't fitting as it should. When I would pump in a shell sometimes the stop action lock wouldn't engage (the lever that allows you to kick out an unspent shell). I guess when that happens the firing pin only extends halfway. Anyway the gunsmith made a slight adjustment to the barrel and it is easier now. It's not a perfect fix, but if I make sure the stop action lock kicks out when I engage a shell I will be good to go. By the way, the gun smith I went to was at Gander Mtn in Rochester MN and the guy was great to work with.


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That "stop action lock" is called the action bar lock. This is part of a "safety assy". If the bolt does not fully close, the action bar lock will not rotate up behind the action bar. Because it cannot rotate up, it disconnects the trigger from the sear, preventing the gun from firing.

If your gun was not locking, and you were able to pull the trigger and have the hammer drop....that was not good.

By making the statement,"It's not a perfect fix, but if I make sure the stop action lock kicks out when I engage a shell I will be good to go", does not tell me it was corrected.

If indeed the bbl was fitting incorrectly, you should send it to Remington and they will replace it. Unless there are now file marks on it.

Shooting your gun without having the bolt in full "battery", is the same as shooting a bolt action gun with the bolt half engaged. It will not only cause premature wear, but could cause some damage or injury.

You should never have to check to see if the bar lock has engaged. I would have the 'smith look it over again, or find another and get a second opinion. Have the second gunsmith drop his headspace gauges into the chamber to be sure things are to spec.


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