Howa 1500 Extraction Trouble

Punctilious1

Private
Minuteman
Jun 27, 2017
9
3
Hi Everyone -

I'm a first-time poster, looking for some advice. I have a new Howa 1500 in 7mm RM. The rifle has up until now (i.e., the last two range sessions) been functioning ok with acceptable accuracy. I have fired approximately 50 rounds through it.

During this "break in" period, I cleaned the bore using Bore Tech and Wipe Out bore solvents (more or less alternating) to minimize copper and other fouling.

The action did have some grittiness to it when cycling, so to smooth it out I put small dabs of jeweler's rouge on the bolt and cycled it a few times. I cleaned it all off well immediately after and noticed some improvement in cycling smoothness.

During my next trip to the range, I experienced problems extracting fired casings. Specifically, I can feed/chamber/lock without issue, but extraction is VERY sticky. So much so that I need to pull back on the bolt with both hands, sometimes after giving it a solid whack forward. I was thinking it looked like an overpressure issue, but I am not shooting any hot handloads, only the same factory ammunition I was shooting before (Nosler Trophy Grade, and Federal Nontypical). I see no signs of excessive pressure at the primer. I see some extraction marks near the belt but it didn't look terrible to me (this is my first belted cartridge so maybe I'm wrong?). I've attached some photos showing some fired casings with the marks near the belts.

7mm casings 1.jpg
7mm casing 2.jpg


Only fired casings are difficult to extract; I can easily feed/chamber/lock/extract/eject unfired rounds without issue.

Also, and I'm feeling kind of silly asking this, but I noticed a second "hitch" in the bolt when unlocking it that I don't recall before. Maybe it was and I'm just now taking notice as I am scrutinizing it. I am attaching a video showing what I'm talking about - kind of a "two stage" unlocking before I can pull the bolt back. Is this normal for the Howa? Or is something off with the bolt?


Could I have done any damage to the bolt or lugs when cycling with the jeweler's rouge that would cause the problematic extraction? I've cleaned the action and chamber out with an action cleaning tool (Sinclair?) and some Remington action cleaner w/ a chamber mop but that didn't seem to help (much). I haven't put any sort of lubricant in the chamber as I've heard that is a no no but let me know if you think it would help and not cause any problems. Any ideas are most welcome.

Thanks everyone!
 

spife7980

Luchador
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 10, 2017
11,325
11,590
Central TX
That secondary hitch is where the bolt handle is hitting the primers extraction cam of the action body, it’s the two angled surfaces in the left hand side.

When the bolt rotates open the first bit of travel is rotating around for the bolt lugs to clear the action body and unlock it. The second bit is it spinning but simultaneously sliding backwards along that angled action surface. That short travel distance of the bolt body back over a long travel arc of the bolt handle gives you magnified force in pulling a wedged case out of the chamber. That’s what you are seeing and feeling. The primary extraction forcing a wedged case out.

Your rounds are over pressure and wedging the brass into the chamber abnormally. Regardless of what was or was not before, they are now. It takes two hands for gods sake.
 

BigKev72

Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Minuteman
May 10, 2020
145
168
I would agree, looks like pressure. I would also have a good look inside the chamber to make sure it has been cut uniformly. With Howas I doubt that it’s the rifle but in all things there is a chance of error. If you end up seeing anything in the chamber contact legacy sports, they will make it right.
 

ShtrRdy

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Sep 17, 2011
    2,667
    624
    High Plains
    I would give the barrel AND the chamber a good cleaning and make sure the chamber is wiped out. Also clean the recoil lug abutment that the bolt recoil lugs lock into. Clean the bolt and lube the back of the recoil lugs with grease.
     
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    Punctilious1

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jun 27, 2017
    9
    3
    Thanks everyone for your replies! After a thorough cleaning of bore and chamber I had the rifle out to the range again yesterday. This time I brought a few different boxes of ammo to try. I learned that it is the Nosler Trophy Grade alone that is giving me the trouble. The others (HSM Trophy Gold and Winchester Expedition Long Range) cycled without issue.
     
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