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Beretta 391 actions 'locking up'

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by HSLDS, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    OK, in the last few weeks I have seen two Beretta 391's do the same thing...

    On loading shells the actions 'froze' - the loaded shell was part way into the chamber (one about 1/2 inch remaining exposed, the other about 1/8 inch). These were frozen tight - nothing would move them in or out.

    We removed the barrels from both guns and lubricated heavily. One gun finally 'broke free' and started working, the other ended up at two different gunsmiths before being returned to service.

    My question is more out of curiosity, but have any of you seen/dealt with this type of problem in the past - any idea what caused it?? Or how to easily clear and rectify it??

    David D
     
  2. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    Two possible causes from my personal experience: 1. "tight" and/or dirty chamber - my Beretta chamber was exceptionally tight as manufactured & dirt doesn't help; 2. reloaded shells not resized enough - particularly shells with steel heads - steel heads seem to spring back to the fired dimension after resizing. Yes, getting the action open was a REAL problem. I dumped the gun. Regards, Ed
     
  3. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Ed,

    Thanks for the idea - both were shooting factory shells.

    I know one was Estate 12 gauge 1 1/8 trap loads (this is the one that stayed frozen), the other was most likely Estates, but I do not know the load.

    The gun that stayed frozen hadn't been cleaned in a while - the barrel nut was frozen too.

    David D
     
  4. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a tight chamber and dirt...get out the steel wool, solvent, and "elbow grease". Best regard, Ed
     
  5. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Ed,

    Where I can't disagree with your thoughts, it just seems that these guns were SO locked up.

    I would suspect that even a tight chamber would compress the shell as you forcefully work the action, and while it would be tight, it could be moved in or out. These were both frozen solidly in place.

    I will pass on your idea to both owners.

    David D
     
  6. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    David wrote: "We removed the barrels from both guns and lubricated heavily. One gun finally 'broke free' and started working, the other ended up at two different gunsmiths before being returned to service."


    If you removed the barrel and the action was still "frozen", then obviously the problem had nothing to do with the shell being stuck in the chamber since the chamber is part of the barrel. The shell couldn't be stuck in the chamber if the barrel has been removed from the gun.

    Also, by removing the barrel, that eliminates the possibility of the piston being stuck in the gas cylinder since the cylinder is also attached to the barrel.

    That leaves several possibilities that I can think of. One, the bolt is stuck in the receiver, or two (and the most likely possibility, IMO) is that the recoil spring is stuck inside the recoil spring tube. It's also possible that the link (connecting rod) is broken and is jamming up the bolt. Finally, it's possible that something in the trigger assembly is broken and jamming up the action.

    The next time it happens, drop the trigger assembly out of the receiver and see if that frees up the action. Better yet, before shooting the gun again, remove the recoil spring and clean, lube, and inspect it and the tube it runs in. Also check the bolt for possible breakage of the "feet" which slide inside the receiver rails. And last, inspect the receiver rails for damage.

    Easystreet
     
  7. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Easystreet.


    I guess I was not clear, but once we got the barrel off, and both guns were 'safe' they were handed over to the owners so I am not 100% sure what happened next.

    Your logic makes sense here - It felt like the bolt was frozen in place.

    I don't think it was the recoil spring - just thinking out loud, but I would suspect there wold be SOME movement if this was the case, and there was none.

    Again, neither gun is mine, but I will pass your ideas along to the owners.

    Thank you (same to Old Goat)

    David D
     
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