Opinions on this bolt face damage please

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by jimsako, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. jimsako

    jimsako Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a return window quickly closing on this rifle and there is some damage to the bolt face that looks much worse after cleaning. This bolt is from a varmint rifle, so I'm concerned about handloads or other wear that might have caused this bolt face pitting.

    What are your thoughts? Should I return this rifle or live with it?


    Thanks

    boltface2.jpg boltface3.jpg
     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    As it's a Varmint rifle, it looks like it could have shot a lot of rounds in a colony varmint type situation. Looks like a lot of reloads with worn out/loose primer pockets. About as bad as I've seen. The bolt face can be welded & refaced relatively inexpensively, but I would be more concerned about the barrel. Throat might be shot out as well. All depends on what you paid & what your intent with it is. If you want it original & to use it or if you bought it cheap enough to reface & rebarrel. If the guy abused the bolt face, who knows how he treated the barrel. BTW, what caliber?
     
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  3. jimsako

    jimsako Member

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    The rifle is a .243. I'm going to get a gunsmith to check the headspace and examine the bore more closely before my return window ends. The gun was advertised as nearly mint..
     
  4. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    hardly so. this advertisement, plus bolt face condition......I'd return it, that's what I'd do.

    DeerGoose
     
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  5. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Good plan! Let us know the verdict.
     
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  6. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    If the gun was advertised as nearly mint, return it. The erosion on the bolt face can either be ignored or corrected by welding and machining. However, the erosion is an indication of use and in this case abuse. The pitting is caused by hot gasses escaping around the primer causing erosion of the bolt face. With this much damage the condition of the rifle has been seriously overstated. Get a refund. Another rifle in better condition is bound to come along so be patient.

    rick
     
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  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    As paulson says, the concern is much more with the condition of the barrel than that of the bolt face. A rough bolt face won't affect how it functions and there is really nothing you need to do for it to perform mechanically the way it is supposed to.

    However, the bolt face damage is a sure sign that it has fired a lot of handloads which either had loose primer pockets or were loaded to excessive pressures, or both. I wouldn't worry too much about the headspace since the steel in a Sako bolt (and the receiver lug recesses) is among the strongest and will rarely suffer setback. But the barrel may very well show erosion from the volume of high pressure loads that have been through it.
     
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  8. CVCOBRA1

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

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    "Advertised as mint".....It could be a vault gun that only c0mes out two or three times a year for a PD hunt. Bluing perfect, crown great and wood "dingless". That bolt face shows too much wear and I would say the throat is just the same. Return and keep looking.....unless it is super cheap and you want to slap a new barrel on it.
     
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  9. marlin92

    marlin92 Well-Known Member

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    If it were me I would return it since it is not a rare caliber and 243s are always available for purchase. I wouldn't want to go through the hassle of taking it to a gunsmith to have the barrel scoped, head space checked and possibly bolt face repaired.
    good luck
     
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  10. jimsako

    jimsako Member

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    I ended up returning the rifle. The gunsmith found a decent amount of pitting in the bore and that was enough for me. Thanks for all the help.

    I'm looking forward to hunting for Sako at the gunshow this weekend.
     
  11. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Sometimes you can find some worthwhile deals at a gun show. But there's usually not an opportunity to get a refund if you find a problem after leaving the show. Dealers with brick-and-mortar stores like SakoSource.com, one of our sponsors, will take a gun back for any reason that you're not satisfied with it.
     
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  12. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    I'll step out of line here......as to the boltface.

    The three(maybe four) divots are not from the occasional loose primer leakage......but rather from a definite pinhole primer failure, at the primer outer corner/edge. An over-pressure load is not required......as it is a defective failure in the primer's metallurgy.

    First I've seen with large rifle primers.......as small rifle primers have had many bad lots produced, by all manufacturers, over the years. Just ask a few BR shooters.

    Years ago I "found" a bad lot of Fed 205M primers........three divots across two bolts. Had to unload/reload 300 pd rounds.......NO fun.
     
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  13. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Kevin

    I don't think your comments are out of line at all. Come to think of it the divots as you call them could very well be corresponding to the four (look closer and you will see the fourth mark just starting to come through) posts on the primers anvil. Nice catch as I never thought of a metallurgy defect being the reason. Ya learn something new everyday.

    rick
     
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