L579 bolt won’t cock

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by Mallard, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Mallard

    Mallard Member

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    I purchased a used L579 in .308 caliber. When I took it to the range to sight it in the bolt cocked fine and everything worked fine. I took the rifle hunting and once in the field the bolt would not cock no matter how many times I cycled it. Any suggestions. Thanks.

     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Most likely you have an issue with either the trigger sear engagement or the bolt sear engagement or your overtravel is not adjusted properly so the trigger doesn't return to engage the sear. Could also be something just broke. Can't tell you anything for sure sight unseen over the internet, so best you take it to a gunsmith.
     
  3. Mallard

    Mallard Member

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  4. Mallard

    Mallard Member

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    Thanks for the info. I will do some research and try to check the trigger and bolt
    Sear engagement. If I can’t figure it out I’ll take it to a gunsmith. Thanks again.
     
  5. Rogan Kinnear

    Rogan Kinnear Well-Known Member

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    Be interested to hear what it turns out to be.
     
  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    I'd be loose trigger..... Any takers?
     
  7. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    What Hawkeye said.....

    Also, the trigger pull weight screw/spring may be set too light.....or is loose.

    And, everything should be clean.....no gunk.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    That would be the first thing I would check, as well. It sure would cause the sear not to engage. I just don't feel comfortable telling anyone to turn any screws on a trigger over the web.
     
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  9. Mallard

    Mallard Member

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    I appreciate the responses and advice. More of the story. My deer hunt was in Arizona and getting any big game tag in Arizona can take years. After driving between 100 and 200 miles to the hunt area I started my first day hunting walking up a small mountain in the dark. Get to where I am going to hunt, chamber a round but the bolt won’t cock no matter how many times I cycle the bolt. Back to camp and spend the rest of the hunt as camp cook, dish washer, etc. Get back home find diagrams for the trigger on the internet that show which screws do what. Adjust different screws and the bolt now cocks like it should. I own two L579’s and one L61R. My concern is that this may happens again on any of the three sako’s. I want to be able to fix this in the field after I get to the top of the mountain. So, I’m going to keep trying to fix this myself. If I take it to a gunsmith and this happens again on another hunt, I still wouldn’t know what to do. The advice is much appreciated. Will try different screw adjustments and post the results. Thanks again.
     
    Rogan Kinnear likes this.
  10. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Your problem could have been caused by the previous owner. The Sako #4 trigger is not designed to go below about 2.5 # or so & lots of amateurs play with adjustment screws. If you go lower you can have safety function problems & sears can not engage properly. Pull weight & overtravel (or backlash as some like to call it) are the two adjustment screws. Sear engagement is not adjustable without removing the trigger. It is set at the factory & it should NOT be fiddled with. Once you get your trigger PROPERLY adjusted the adjustment screw lock nuts should be firmly tightened & a drop of fingernail polish should be applied to the threads to prevent the screws from moving. I still think you should take it to a gunsmith to confirm things are within spec. Just because your rifle "cocks" doesn't mean your trigger is "fixed" correctly. Your problem was an extremely unlikely event & for it to happen again on a PROPERLY adjusted trigger whose screws are locked in place is less than winning the lottery.
     
    Rogan Kinnear likes this.
  11. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I once bought an L579 which had several owner-induced problems that I had to cure. The most egregious was a trigger "adjusted" for bolt sear engagement by loosening the mounting screw! Jiminy Christmas, how could anyone do that?

    Fortunately, the fix was simple, so after attending to that; and adjusting the firing pin protrusion from sticking out past the locking lugs; and replacing the scope rings which were of two different heights -- I had a pretty nice rifle.

    The condition of this rifle illustrates that there really are some people who should not be allowed to own a gun.
     
  12. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Another possibility is accumulated gunk inside the trigger housing. I had a similar problem a couple of years ago with a very early L61R that wouldn't stay cocked. The problem was cured by taking the trigger mechanism apart and cleaning everything inside. I did not have to touch the sear engagement adjustment, but getting the thing back together was fiddly and I don't recommend this to anyone who is not confident and experienced in working with triggers. For everyone else, that's what gunsmiths are for. If you take your Sako to a smith, be sure he both cleans and adjusts the mechanism. Usually the cleaning can be done with spray cleaner, but mine had 0ver 50 years of crud in it and I had to take it apart.

    Another related experience. I recently bought a model 78 that had the opposite problem - trigger creep. The sear adjusting screw and its locknut were both loose. As Stonecreek and Paulson noted, this kind of situation is usually caused by an owner fiddling with something he doesn't understand.

    Maybe somebody who had only worked with old military triggers. The adjusting screw on some of these is in a similar location to the mounting screw on a Sako trigger.
     
  13. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    10-4 on that. Some Sako #4 triggers had cutouts in the body so that you could see the sear engagement. If you have one of those triggers a good washing with spray cleaner would probably take care of internal gum.
     
  14. Mallard

    Mallard Member

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    I appreciate the feedback. I do need to take this to a gunsmith. Does anyone know a gunsmith in Phoenix area that is knowledgeable about Sako’s?
     
  15. piper235b

    piper235b Well-Known Member

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    Also check your trigger blade is not touching / rubbing on anything. I had a intermittent 'fail to cock' problem recently and traced it to the blade just rubbing on the bottom metal slightly, and when pulled back to fire the rifle, it was slow to go forward to allow the cocking for the next round. Some butchering with a Dremel then deft work with cold blue to hide the evidence sorted that problem!

    Cheers
    Piper
     
  16. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    IceMan makes a good point.

    The vertically sliding trigger sear is closely fitted to the trigger housing. Whether from age, storage, improper rifle cleaning, etc. .......the fit can be gummed-up with varnish/gunk, and almost lock-up the trigger assembly.
    If I've seen one, I've seen..........sigh.
    As has been said, complete dis-assembly, cleaning, VERY light lube/oil, re-assembly, and adjustment is required.

    edit: I use FP-10 lube

    And as Stone mentioned.....the trigger assembly mounting screw/nut, in combination with the housing positioning top screw, can cause more problems.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  17. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Synthetic such as BreakFree CLP, or anhydrous graphite if you can stand the mess. Never ever any traditional petroleum-based oil.
     
  18. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I had that same issue with a 1960 vintage L579 I recently bought on Gunbroker. Luckily, I discovered the trigger was set at too light a setting. I reset the trigger to a reasonable pull weight and the problem disappeared.
     
  19. Mallard

    Mallard Member

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    It’s very frustrating have this happen at the start of a hunt. Even though I’m sorry to hear this happened to you, I am glad to hear this problem is not unique. I was starting to think I was the only Sako owner this ever happened to. I’ll post once I make adjustments and see if the problem is corrected. This site is the best!! I have heard from Sako owners from all over the U.S. Thanks to everyone!
     
  20. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    Hopefully yours is an easy fix as well.
     

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