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Citori rebuild time?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by JD45, Oct 13, 2009.

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  1. JD45

    JD45 TS Member

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    Early this year the top lever on my Citori started flicking over while being fired, but it never opened. I was shooting sporting in the rain. It quit the next dry day I shot. So I replaced the top-lever spring and shot it all trap season(at least 3000rds).
    My question is should I go ahead and have it rebuilt this winter? The lever is in the center and maybe just a hair to the left. If you remove the forend, there is zero play when it locks.
  2. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    FWIW I have a Winchester 101 that I bought new. The lever was pretty well centered at that point. Through the years I have put about 20,000 rounds through it without it popping open. It has a very stout spring in it and I always return in to center upon takedown. I close it gently and actually let my thumb ride the lever back to the middle as opposed to letting in snap in place.

    I have used wheel bearing grease on both the pivot/iron and the locking bolt. It does not rattle when closed either.

    To my way of thinking the fact that the bolt is going full depth into the locking recess and the spring is good, I don't think it is going to pop open. You seemed to fix your problem with a new spring.

    I recently saw a BT99 that was very loose and rattled. It either had lots of rounds through it, or perhaps once they get loose enough to shake back and forth, recoil pounds them loose at a much faster rate.
  3. ronbo142

    ronbo142 TS Member

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    Sound like you have a locking lug problem, very common for this gun.

    Recomend that you have the gun serviced before next year.

    I have a Browning Gunsmith that can do this work if interested.

    Ronbo
  4. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Once the locking bolt get clearance..if you continue to shoot it alot..you'll pound the seat for the bolt and create larger problems.. A new or heavy return spring keeps the gun from opening..simply hiding the problem..not curing it.. A very simple check is to put magnetic dial indicator on the side of the receiver with the arm above the chamber portion of the barrel.. Fully closed and lock..when you pull on the front of the barrel.. you should have no movement.. if you do.. its time for a new locking bolt..
  5. GunDr

    GunDr Active Member

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    PBB has it right. You are very close to having the locking bolt no longer applying pressure to the lugs on the bbl. It is just sitting in the gap. During the shot, the locking bolt is jumping from the recoil just like an inertia block.

    A properly fitted locking bolt will lock itself to the bbl's lugs with the taper, ie "locking taper". AND, if fitted properly, a return spring is not even required to hold the gun shut during the shot.

    Replacing or rebuilding the locking bolt, and being sure it matches the bbl's lug will ensure it stays shut.

    An easy little test to see if any break-open gun's top lever is moving during a shot, is to place some modeling clay along the right side of the top lever...pack it tight. If it moves, you'll see how much the clay was pushed.

    Doug Braker
  6. JD45

    JD45 TS Member

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    Can someone tell me exactly what should be done to the locking block/barrel lug? I know you can have the whole thing rebuilt(which I'm considering), but a cheaper fix would be better since I might retire this gun for trap and get a combo.

    Is it better to have the barrel lug welded-up and fit, or will a locking block replacement suffice? Do gunsmiths order an oversized block? Also, could you order a factory sized locking block and drop it in yourself?

    I am really surprised to be dealing with this since the gun probably has less than 35,000rds. through it.
  7. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 TS Member

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    JD45, When you load the gun do you slam it closed or do you hold the top lever with your thumb, close the barrels and progressively let the top lever come into lock?
  8. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Active Member

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    Location:
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    I see a lot of people on the line that shut it so hard that it could be heard in the club house, then when they eject they seem to want to throw the shell as far as possible so the open it just as briskly. This creates wear fast
    [​IMG]
  9. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    <blockquote>"When you load the gun do you slam it closed or do you hold the top lever with your thumb, close the barrels and progressively let the top lever come into lock?"</blockquote>

    When we had our first older Citoris (1980s) rebuild several years ago by a Browning service center, we asked about easing the top lever closed. The smith doing the work offered that Browning's latch mechanism is intended to be closed like you would close a door... don't slam it but don't play with the latch either. He referrred to the practice as "much ado about very little".

    He indicated that most of the wear in this area is caused by accumulated dirt and grit that wears away at the barrel lug and the lock bolt. People who clean their guns only on New Year's Day and July 4th usually get rebuilds several times more often than those who clean them after each use. He suggested washing the barrel lug and the lock bolt with mineral spirits and an artist's brush (keep the stock uppermost when doing the bolt) drying them and applying a thin film of light oil to the barrel lugs.

    Carol Lister
  10. GunDr

    GunDr Active Member

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    Most times, the fitting of a new locking bolt (yes, they do need to be fitted, and properly), or rebuilding the existing one will do the trick. There are occassions when reworking or replacing the locking bolt will not be sufficient enough to get the top lever back over to the right.

    A gun that has been rebuilt several times or a gun that someone has attacked the locking bolt locks on the bbl with a file, may ALSO need the lugs welded. It's been such a long time since I replaced a locking bolt, that I do not remember if Browning even starts the angle. I've been rebuilding the existing bolts for over 20 yrs.

    During the rebuilding process, once the bolt has been welded and re-squared, I check the locking bolt fit to the bbl before grinding the angle. This will let me now if I'll still have enough material to remove from the bolt for a proper fit. If the top lever is at the "5:00" position or further left, the lug area on the bbl must be welded and recut, prior to the angle being ground back onto the locking bolt.

    Doug
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