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Old 07-14-2017, 06:46 PM
laitken laitken is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 6

I did the George Washington Birthday match several years ago
I hope it's held again in January 2018. If so, I'll shoot it.

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Old 07-14-2017, 06:49 PM
RedSpecial RedSpecial is online now
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: PBC, FL
Posts: 2,039

Off hand I want to say national match main springs are 21 coils, which is way shorter than the normal military spring
- Neil

My Feedback thread

Looking for SA M1 2417731 - its out there, the CMP sold it in 2012!
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:02 PM
ceresco ceresco is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7,034

Just cock the rifle after firing and see if the bolt opens easily.....simple test to see if it's the spring causing the problem. Good Shooting. ..
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:50 PM
NMC_EXP NMC_EXP is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 228

The force required to compress the spring is part but not all that affect bolt operation.

First - I apply a thin layer of grease on the locking lugs and cams on all my bolt guns. You ought to consider doing so even if the TM does not recommend it. Unlike an infantryman, we can clean our rifles when they need it.

Second and probably most important: Machined surfaces have a sawtooth profile. Polishing removes the peaks but does not change the basic dimensions of the part. Dragging two sawblades across each other means a lot of friction.

Col Crossman's "Book of the Springfield", chapter 11, page 298 section titled "Rough Working Rifles and Trigger Pulls" states that rough machined surfaces on the bolt and receiver are the cause of hard bolt operation. Training Regulation No. 320-10 defines how to smooth a M1903 action with the use of valve grinding compound. All these are done with the rifle stripped down to receiver, barrel and bolt. Trigger removed as well. The following is paraphrased.

1st operation smoothing extracting cam: Remove firing pin assembly, plug muzzle & chamber, clamp barreled receiver in a vise, apply abrasive compound to primary extracting cam (left rear of receiver), insert bolt, apply abrasive to bolt extractor cam. With forward pressure on bolt rotate it back and forth. Continue until a smooth regular surface is obtained.

2nd operation smoothing cocking cam: reassemble firing pin, apply abrasive to cocking cam surfaces of both bolt and cocking piece. Insert and close bolt. Tie trigger back and with forward pressure on bolt raise and lower bolt handle. Continue until a smooth regular surface is obtained.

3rd operation freeing extractor collar: This one requires special fixtures made of hardwood and brass. I will not attempt to paraphrase it here.

This is what competitors did back when the M1903 was the service rifle.

I've owned two M1903 National Match rifles and they both operating as slick as can be. All a result of polishing the moving parts and receiver raceways.

Crossman does not mention shortening the spring.
“After all is said and done, successful rifle shooting on the range is nothing more than first finding a rifle and lot of ammunition which will do precisely the same thing shot after shot, and then developing the same skill in the rifleman.” ~ Capt. E. C. Crossman (Book of the Springfield)

Last edited by NMC_EXP; 07-14-2017 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:58 PM
laitken laitken is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 6

Thank you all very much. Guess I have some fun work ahead of me.

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Old 07-14-2017, 10:03 PM
Kansasbobcat Kansasbobcat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 379

Have had the same problem on an 03A3 barrel from National Ord, 03A3. The chamber was scored as has been mentioned. I was able to see the marks on the brass. Polish the chamber as has been suggested and keep testing. It took me 3 times with 320 grit and 400 grit but it was better, You should be able to see marks on the brass getting less. Probably when reaming the reamer was not cleanened often enough and a chip scored the chamber.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:41 PM
m60gunner m60gunner is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 8

I had problems with a A3 and it was the extractor collar, after replacement it worked fine.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:06 PM
Randy A Randy A is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 675

I use (light) grease the threads on the bolt sleeve, the cocking ramp and extraction ramp. A drop of oil on the ramping surfaces of the sear and cocking piece also wouldn't hurt. These three all occur simultaneously so that usually helps quite a bit.
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