December 20th, 2008

Emergency Surgery — Stan Ware Fixes a 40X

Stan Ware SGR CustomMinnesotan Stan Ware is an extremely knowledgeable gunsmith, known for his precise machine work and attention to detail. When you have work done by Stan, you know he will “sweat the details” to ensure that everything is assembled to the correct, precise tolerances. Stan is also a successful benchrest competitor, shooting in score matches, and Hunter Benchrest matches using his innovative short-neck Wolf Pup wildcat.

Stan recently received a Remington 40X receiver from a customer on the West Coast. Supposedly, the action had been “trued” by a California gunsmith (who shall remain nameless), who also fitted (using the term loosely) a PT&G replacement bolt. To be brutally honest, the California gunsmith butchered the job, and Stan Ware was called in to “save the day.”

Stan looked over the 40X action carefully and was able to determine flaws in the truing work and serious problems with the way the replacement bolt was fitted and the bolt handle attached. Faulty work by the California smith resulted in a myriad of problems — the bolt timing was off, the bolt was headspacing on the handle (not the lugs), the bolt was not camming correctly, the lugs were lapped improperly and they were not bearing correctly inside the action. All in all, this action needed major surgery. In the videos below, Stan explains how he diagnosed the problems, and he illustrates the work he did to restore the 40X to a safe, functioning condition.

Moral of the story? When you have action work to do, go to a respected smith like Stan Ware (SGR Custom Rifles), rather than some local “gun plumber” who may mess up the action big-time, leaving it downright dangerous. Watch the videos below, and you’ll be amazed at the problems that Stan had to correct.

Part 1 — Diagnosing the Problems
Stan explains: “We recently received this action to be fixed. Because the bolt is such a good example of what the things you want to avoid, I put together this video. It’s a great example of what happens when the bolt is out of time or not in the correct position.”

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Part 2 — Fixing the Lugs
According to Stan, “We encountered some more problems after machining the bolt handle off and installing the new Kiff bolt. We found that the lugs were lapped at a angle and that we were loosing cam as we rotated the bolt. So, we decided to go back in and re-cut the integral lugs and true the bolt lugs.”

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Part 3 — Final Bolt Installation
Stan notes: “Here we show you what was done to correct the bolt that was not installed correctly. The Kiff bolt (Pacific Tool & Gauge) is a good system and laid out well. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to accurize his 700 Action.”

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