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I inherited my uncle's JCHiggins model 10116 (Savage-Stevens 7) semi-auto 22 rifle. I'm kinda attached to it cuz it's the first gun I ever fired when my cousin & I were kids. Like to return it to shooting condition. Almost got it there.

It has trouble feeding the rounds from the magazine up to be chambered. The 22 shorts, especially, tilt upward & get 2 of them side-by-side. The longs & long rifles will often try to feed crooked. Sometimes it won't even cock until I push the next round forward with a screwdriver to clear the kicker.

I've put in new extractors & with some filing they "usually" work fine. About every 5th or 6th round has to be extracted with a pocket knife.

I've spent hours cleaning, scrubbing, polishing, oiling, wiping off the oil I just put on; only to have someone say "It's probly just dirty." I've sorted out the bullets (diameters) with micrometers & tried using only the small ones.

The local professional gunsmith has told me that 22 cal ammo has changed in the last decade or so and will probably never work right in such an old gun.

Dang! I've already bought scope mounts for it to see if it's as accurate at 300 yds as my cousin used to brag about.

Does anyone have any thoughts - what to look for? Is the smith right about changed ammo? Has anyone ever seen this before? What do I do? Should I just treat it like a single-shot? Is there no fix for it?

(Edited by Randy at 5:10 pm on April 4, 2001)
 

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Randy,

My experience with 22 Semi autos has been that they usually only feed long rifle rounds reliably and high velocity ones at that.

The shorts and longs never have fed for me with 100% reliability. This is just a function of the mechanisms inability to compensate for the different lengths and powder levels and yes bullet weights to a certain degree.

If it were my rifle, I would get it to feed a certain long rifle cartridge brand and stick with it. Just a thought.


FWIW


:cool:
 

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Hey there Randy,,

I have expirienced the same problem with my older marlin 22. I also tried everything and found the only solution to getting this gun to cycle properly was by using CCI .22 caliber "stingers" . they have a much higher velocity then most and have been working well for me now for several years.  


About that 300 yd accuracy,, I don't think I could afford the scope my eyes would need for that range,, but good luck and safe shooting. <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->

(Edited by Snowman at 5<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->7 pm on April 4, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, for your responses.
Contender:
"I would get it to feed a certain long rifle cartridge brand and stick with it. "
How does one get it to do that? I've been examining it without the stock attached, cycling the rounds while I can see teh mechanism, & haven't been able to figure out "what" to adjust.
 

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Randy,

Is it clip fed or a tube magazine?

In all likelihood these were mass marketed guns that were relatively cheaply made. Some can be a real drag to get to function right. As you can see. It sounds like you have tried every concievable way to get it to feed. Perhaps take it over to your gunsmith friend there and see what he thinks about it.

It's hard to tell you what's wrong without examining it in front of me. The extractor sounds like it doesn't have enough of a sharp lip on it to hook onto the shell and draw it out after firing. Make sure it is almost like a "hook" so to speak on it's inner surface that contacts the shell rim. Remember there is no extractor groove on 22 cases like the center fire ones. Also make sure the chamber is good and clean with no pitting or rough surfaces that can lock the case in the chamber after firing. Make sure the bolt spring is not weak which could cause failure to chamber a round fully. Also make sure there is no peening of the edge of the chamber from dry firing the gun and allowing the firing pin to slam into the edge of the chamber. This forms a lip that can stick the fired case into the chamber. Take a little fine file and carefully remove it if one is there.

Hope some of this helps.



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Randy,  I don't know how old your J. C. Higgins is, but I'm shooting a Winchester Model 74 .22 LR that my grandfather bought in the late 40s and that I learned to shoot with.  It handles LR just fine, almost any kind.  It won't cycle shorts because they won't blow the bolt back.  I think your gunsmith is full of it about .22 ammunition.  Why not try Savage and see what they say, or look for a diagram in a published book and make sure that everything is there and in the right place.  Also, the gun was made to cycle rounds when fired.  How does it work then, as opposed to when you simply move the action?

Keep working on it.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cont:
"Is it clip fed or a tube magazine?"
This one's a tubular magazine.

"...these were mass marketed guns that were relatively cheaply made..."
Good point; Higgins was a Savage-Stevens but it was marketed thru Sears-Roebuck. It even says "Sears-Roebuck" on the barrel.

"...peening of the edge of the chamber from dry firing..."
I hadn't even thought of that. As bad as my eyes are I may have to get out the microscope to find it, but I'll check for that.

R.B.:
"...Also, the gun was made to cycle rounds when fired.  How does it work then, as opposed to when you simply move the action?"
I haven't actually tried firing it yet. This old rifle hasn't been fired in nearly 20 years so I figured I better go thru it well.  First I put a new stock on it, then I mail-ordered the extractors, then I file-fit them & got them where they work most of the time, then I tried to get it to feed rounds consistently, then I had to go in for cataract surgery. Haven't been to the range with my new plastic eyes yet. Guess it's time to, and take along the tool kit to unjam, and plenty of 44Magnums to vent my frustration.

Thanks for the advice, gents.
 

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My Stevens Model 87 (same basic gun) had the same problem, first thing I discovered was that the action screws on the bottom of the reciever had started to come loose. I had to play with the allignment of these parts when tightened until it would feed properly.
Check to see if the feed lips and stop are bent or misalligned after all the prying.
Get some dummy rounds for this, the rifle is worth it.
Mine will go into 4" at 100Y with open sights.
As for changes in ammo since them, horsehockey.
The only changes are better powders and quality control.
Good shooting.
 

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Whirlibird; I'm not sure what you mean by "feed lips & stops". I haven't been able to find much in the way of helpful literature, like good drawings or maintainance instructions, and I'm not an experienced smith.

After trying several times at the range, and clearing many jams with the screwdrivers, having the extractors fallout repeatedly, I decided to retire the old soldier. It will cycle rounds in automatic mode only about 20% of the time, even with LR's. The rest of the time, I'm picking the empty case out with tweezers.

I have realized that the carrier which lifts the round from the magazine wobbles around like it wants some thin shims on either side, but right now I don't feel like spending the time to machine a new carrier, which is what I think it really needs.

I went out & bought myself a Henry lever-action 22 that looks like a "lightweight" version of my Marlin 1894S. Great little rifle - lots of fun to shoot. I had the scope mounted on that 44Magnum Marlin & the front lense fell of & disappeared in the weeds, so I'm not concerned with scope shooting for now.

Thanks for trying, guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Whirlibird; I'm not sure what you mean by "feed lips & stops". I haven't been able to find much in the way of helpful literature, like good drawings or maintainance instructions, and I'm not an experienced smith.

After trying several times at the range, and clearing many jams with the screwdrivers, having the extractors fallout repeatedly, I decided to retire the old soldier. It will cycle rounds in automatic mode only about 20% of the time, even with LR's. The rest of the time, I'm picking the empty case out with tweezers.

I have realized that the carrier which lifts the round from the magazine wobbles around like it wants some thin shims on either side, but right now I don't feel like spending the time to machine a new carrier, which is what I think it really needs.

I went out & bought myself a Henry lever-action 22 that looks like a "lightweight" version of my Marlin 1894S. Great little rifle - lots of fun to shoot. I had the scope mounted on that 44Magnum Marlin & the front lense fell of & disappeared in the weeds, so I'm not concerned with scope shooting for now.

Thanks for trying, guys.
 

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Whirlibird; I'm not sure what you mean by "feed lips & stops". I haven't been able to find much in the way of helpful literature, like good drawings or maintainance instructions, and I'm not an experienced smith.

After trying several times at the range, and clearing many jams with the screwdrivers, having the extractors fallout repeatedly, I decided to retire the old soldier. It will cycle rounds in automatic mode only about 20% of the time, even with LR's. The rest of the time, I'm picking the empty case out with tweezers.

I have realized that the carrier which lifts the round from the magazine wobbles around like it wants some thin shims on either side, but right now I don't feel like spending the time to machine a new carrier, which is what I think it really needs.

I went out & bought myself a Henry lever-action 22 that looks like a "lightweight" version of my Marlin 1894S. Great little rifle - lots of fun to shoot. I had the scope mounted on that 44Magnum Marlin & the front lense fell of & disappeared in the weeds, so I'm not concerned with scope shooting for now.

Thanks for trying, guys.
 

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The feed lips and lifter (carrier) are directly underthe ejection port inside the stock. Pull the stock and look below the port.There should be the lifter (carrier), it runs in between the feed lips. There should be a small music wire spring that goes around and into the feed lips for allignment and control  of the rounds coming out of the magazine. Quite a few of these rifles are missing this spring, people take the rifle apart and cant figure out where it goes again and just leave it out.
If I can scrounge up a digital camera I'll try posting a pic of this area.
 

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OK, I know what you mean now. The spring is still there. Maybe it just needs some shims to keep it straight. It moves left-right easily.

It was my uncle's rifle and I doubt he ever took it apart for anything, much less cleaning. Heaven forbid that Uncle Jack should ever clean anything.
 

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Probably doesn't need shims, probably isn't as compressed as it needs to be. take it off and make the circular area smaller in diameter and try it then.
 
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