Root cause help, Ruger Mark III FTF

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Post by inthebeech on 1/11/2019, 9:37 am

I bought a used Mark III which already had the Volquartsen accuracy package installed.
If any alterations were done to any OEM components I wouldn't be able to tell unless it were drastic.
Shooting exclusively CCI Standard.

Photo shows exactly what I see when I get a failure; spent case is not out yet and the bolt picks up a new round and is headed in to battery.

I did a small amount of polishing of sharp edges on the magazine slots that the button rides in as well as putting a small (.030 inch) radius on the front corners of the rear feed lips (I call them the "retaining" lips) as suggested in the Tandemcross videos.  This helped but did not eliminate the failures.  Another sign that it is not the mags is that it is happenng equally among the two OEM Ruger mags that came with the gun and the additional two OEM Ruger mags that I bought.

It may be helpful to you guys to be aware of this recent discovery.  Until last night, these failures were always happening on either round one or two of a full (10) magazine.  Last night I got this failure for the first time in the middle of a five round string (five in the mag).  When another competitor brought me over a bottle of oil I noticed that I completely forgot to put any oil on anything after the cleaning.  Since the cleaning was just before the match, I can say that this happened in the last string of rapid in a sixty round match, so between 55 and sixty rounds fired through a bone dry gun.

If the dirty secret with Mark III's is that they have to always be well-lubed, then I'll sit tight and see what happens next practice session in a couple days now that I intend to be vigilant with lubrication.  If there are other things that I could check to try to find the smoking gun, I appreciate the input guys.
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Post by james r chapman on 1/11/2019, 9:39 am

I have no issues with my mkIII but maybe check your extractor?
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Post by chopper on 1/11/2019, 10:18 am

Like Jim says. 
 I like to tune all my 22 extractors to contact on the rim, as close to the side of the casing as possible, not touching the side. Making the angle more positive than neutral.
 Make sure it still has a good grip on cartridge when in battery, the nose of extractor may need a little filing to make sure it fits in extractor groove to accomplish this.
 Maybe a burr or just cleaning the chamber good also.
 Just my $.02 worth, you'll find out the answer, I'm positive.
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Post by Stewswanson on 1/11/2019, 10:25 am

james r chapman wrote:I have no issues with my mkIII but maybe check your extractor?
Stovepipes happen, but I seem to get fewer with a VQ extractor installed. I also seem to get more if the chamber is not really clean. Have had only one stovepipe in a match so far this season on last match after 15 matches with none. I clean before each match and after cleaning use a last patch with 2A gun oil on ramp, bore and chamber.

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Post by 285wannab on 1/11/2019, 10:33 am

You might want to check to see if you have a carbon ring in your chamber.  That would slow things down a little.

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Post by willnewton on 1/11/2019, 10:52 am

Have you tried a reduced power recoil spring? That took care of many feed issues for me.
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Post by expendable on 1/11/2019, 11:54 am

Do you still have the Loaded Chamber Indicator (LCI) installed?

I get the same malfunctions with my Mark III, my suspicion is that it is the LCI causing the problem.

On mine it mainly happens when the gun gets dirty, the extracted round seems like it is getting caught or slowed down by the LCI and then gets pinched between the recoil spring guide rod and the new cartridge feeding in.

I've ordered a LCI filler from Brownell's but have not received it yet.
 
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Post by inthebeech on 1/11/2019, 2:18 pm

I will scrub the chamber.  It's worth a try since I generally don't do it.  I looked closely for burrs around the chamber mouth and did not see anything that looked suspicious.
I have a blank coming from Volquartsen to get rid of the LCI.
It is good to hear that there is such a thing as a lower rate recoil spring.  I wonder if there is also such a thing as an extra power recoils spring, did the previous owner install one of these? 
I'll see if I can dig up some close up images of what proper extractor contact is supposed to look like and compare the next time I have the bolt out.
I just thought of a possibly bent recoil spring guide so what the heck I may as well check that as well.  Manual operation of the bolt is smooth but who knows.
I just noticed on the Volquartsen site that their accuracy package does not include an extractor so this is (yet another) place to spend money on what was originally a very good Gunbroker deal.  pirat
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Post by Dr.Don on 1/11/2019, 2:38 pm

Stovepipes are often the result of the bolt not going back far enough and hard enough to eject cleanly.  This could be dirt, lack of lubricant, or too much recoil spring strength for the load.  A magazine with 10 rounds in it exerts more spring pressure on the bolt than one with only 5 rounds and slows things down also.  Clean it, lube it, and only load 5 rounds.  If it still stovepipes, try a box of high velocity rounds.  If it cycles those cleanly try a lighter recoil spring.
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Post by inthebeech on 1/11/2019, 4:51 pm

I did not want to lead folks down this path Don but this is exactly what I was thinking.  Extractor is doing its job but the bolt is just not going back all the way to kick it out.  So there is extra resistance somewhere; maybe just the excessive friction from a dry gun, made worse when the bolt is dragging itself over the heavy force of the top round in a full magazine.  Pursuing this further I am going to look at the removed bolt for scratch/wear marks which might point to a burr somewhere inside the receiver maybe.  Other than this I'll pay extra attention to lubrication on the next practice or match and see what we see.  Thanks.
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Post by Sc0 on 1/11/2019, 6:42 pm

Tried different ammo?  Someone recently had some CCI STD that seemed to be of lower velocity and caused issues...

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Post by 243winxb on 1/11/2019, 9:43 pm

Make sure the recoil spring assemble is installed correctly, and not riding or dragging on the top of the receiver.Root cause help, Ruger Mark III FTF 20190110

Another thing to check.   Check fired brass to see if the case head is still flat.  Some may bulge and push its self off the bolt face, stove pipe.

But first, maybe try a different lot of ammo.
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Post by Jack H on 1/11/2019, 11:52 pm

I had Ruger stovepiping.  I lubed the bolt and cleaned everything.  Volquartsen extractor too.  What finally fixed it was relieving the front corner of the rear mag lips.  That fix is on the net somewhere. 

Bullseye  maybe?    http://guntalk-online.com/Model41maintenance.htm#fieldstrip

No not there. 

Here:  http://www.1bad69.com/ruger/stovepipe.htm

Lot of Ruger stuff:  http://www.1bad69.com/ruger/index.htm
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Post by inthebeech on 1/12/2019, 3:15 am

Jack, the "relieving" that you're talking about is the same as the radius that I described though I did not remove nearly as much as others in those videos.  I may remove more on one sacrificial mag if the other ideas (vigilant lube, removing LCI)do not solve the issue.  I haven't tried other ammo but have definitely been using multiple lots.  I have quite a bit of Federal target (orange box) and Federal blue box and this is also a good and simple idea to try before spending any more money.
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Post by willnewton on 1/12/2019, 6:58 am

inthebeech wrote:It is good to hear that there is such a thing as a lower rate recoil spring.  I wonder if there is also such a thing as an extra power recoils spring, did the previous owner install one of these? 

Here you go.  https://volquartsen.com/inventory_configurations/1086

Ruger must assume every knucklehead is shooting HV ammo.  (For maximum accuracy at 15 feet Rolling Eyes ). Indeed, you have no idea what the previous owner may have done or installed.

Installing the lightest recoil spring made a big difference in the function. Some folks will cut a few coils off the stock spring, but cutting down springs is always a bad idea.

Here is an excerpt from an old post of mine battling the Ruger.  This did not include the lightened spring which I ordered after, but which took me to full reliability.  I know you have done most of this, but check step 4d too.  I do not think you should need the chamber iron in step 5, but take a look at your chamber edge for dings, just in case.

willnewton wrote: have a Ruger Mark III 22/45 that gave me absolute fits with FTE, FTF, and stovepipes.  It was so bad with some ammo, I could not make it through five shots without an alibi, at times it would have a problem every other shot.

This gun had feeding problems from Day One and is kept VERY clean, so let's just get the "your gun is old and dirty" argument out of the way.  

It took a multi-part cure.

1.  Found the most reliable ammo that would cycle, in my case it was CCI SV.  I tried Federal 325 bulk .22 and it was OK as well, but CCI was the best feeder/cycler.  Aguila .22 was not that great, but the Winchester Super X was laughably bad.   I measured the cases and the Super X were a couple thousandths oversized if I recall.
2.  Replaced the extractor with a Volquartsen.  Nice and well machined compared to the stamped Ruger part, works great.
3.  Replaced the LCI indicator with a blank filler.
4.  Got to work on the magazines.  This almost more about making all the magazines identical, as they each needed their own tweaking a bit this way and that.  I think TandemKross had a Youtube video about some of mag polishing work.
 a.  Gave the 2nd set magazine lips a slight rounding at the front.
 b.  Finely sanded and polished the mag follower button shaft and groove.  Also sanded the flashing fom the follower and lubed everything lightly.  The mag action went from gritty to slick as a whistle.  I recommend doing this, just as a general improvement overall.
 c.  Adjusted the rear mag lips for parallel, then opened the front of the rear lips just slightly and polished them inside and out.
 d.  Did some VERY LIGHT passes on the bottom of the stamped out magazine catch area.  This lowered the magazine just a hair in the gun.  Don't just do this last mod for fun, you can make a good magazine useless quickly. Your particular magazine may not need this and some may need more than others.  Insert your mag and check to see if there is a small gap (couple sheets of paper thick) under the extractor.  I had a couple mags that sat high and did a few light passes with a file so they all sat at the same height in the gun.
5.  Bought a .22 chamber iron from Brownell's and put it to use.  I was worried that the extractor had dinged the chamber edge causing issues.
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Post by inthebeech on 1/13/2019, 12:54 pm

Well I believe I have found the cause.  With the bolt closed on a fired case in the chamber and either an empty mag or a mag with any number of new rounds in it (I don't think it matters), I slowly pulled the bolt back (after a bit I figured out that I could do this much easier with no recoil spring in the bolt), and with my magnifying headgear on, watched how the empty case behaved as I drug it rearward through the feed lips of the magazine.  The case sprung free because of interference with those retaining (rearward) lips on the mag.  The small radius that I polished in here definitely helped I am sure now that I am seeing how the case rim is affected by the lips, but there needs to be more relief cut.  I was thrilled to see this happen right in front of me.  I checked all four mags and there was one that was marginally acceptable.  I also noticed that it was the lip on the left side of the mag only which makes perfect sense since this is where the case, due to a loose fit in the recess in the bolt face, is  pushed. The good news is that I can remove a little at a time and keep repeating this until the case makes it all the way back to the ejector under control of the extractor/bolt face.  
Maybe the design features within the gun on this particular one just happen to be machined to position the mags slightly out of spec higher.  This seems likely given that so many dudes don't have this issue.  I could manually position the mag slightly shy of locked in and the problem disappeared; just had to be careful not to exaggerate this and start getting failure to strip a round.
Forward plan is to still install the LCI blank when it shows up and go get some practice in with  one of the four mags modified.
Another curious thing was that I felt a sticking point as I was manually inserting the empty case while doing this experiment.  Every single time there was a spot about halfway in to the chamber where the case needed a little help going in.  I hesitate to go get the lapping compound without knowing more, so for now I am soaking it and will scrub it out in a couple hours and see what I can feel then.  Any experience with this symptom?
Thanks,
Ed
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Post by Stewswanson on 1/13/2019, 2:05 pm

It is unlikely you would have to do that but as a check, after cleaning bore and chamber you should be able to take a round and with the barrel pointed straight down let it drop into the breech. A clean chamber will let it drop fully in.inthebeech wrote:Well I believe I have found the cause.  With the bolt closed on a fired case in the chamber and either an empty mag or a mag with any number of new rounds in it (I don't think it matters), I slowly pulled the bolt back (after a bit I figured out that I could do this much easier with no recoil spring in the bolt), and with my magnifying headgear on, watched how the empty case behaved as I drug it rearward through the feed lips of the magazine.  The case sprung free because of interference with those retaining (rearward) lips on the mag.  The small radius that I polished in here definitely helped I am sure now that I am seeing how the case rim is affected by the lips, but there needs to be more relief cut.  I was thrilled to see this happen right in front of me.  I checked all four mags and there was one that was marginally acceptable.  I also noticed that it was the lip on the left side of the mag only which makes perfect sense since this is where the case, due to a loose fit in the recess in the bolt face, is  pushed. The good news is that I can remove a little at a time and keep repeating this until the case makes it all the way back to the ejector under control of the extractor/bolt face.  
Maybe the design features within the gun on this particular one just happen to be machined to position the mags slightly out of spec higher.  This seems likely given that so many dudes don't have this issue.  I could manually position the mag slightly shy of locked in and the problem disappeared; just had to be careful not to exaggerate this and start getting failure to strip a round.
Forward plan is to still install the LCI blank when it shows up and go get some practice in with  one of the four mags modified.
Another curious thing was that I felt a sticking point as I was manually inserting the empty case while doing this experiment.  Every single time there was a spot about halfway in to the chamber where the case needed a little help going in.  I hesitate to go get the lapping compound without knowing more, so for now I am soaking it and will scrub it out in a couple hours and see what I can feel then.  Any experience with this symptom?
Thanks,
Ed

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Post by Sc0 on 1/13/2019, 8:22 pm

One note, a fired case has already expanded and should fit tight in the chamber.  Sounds normal.

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Post by Stewswanson on 1/13/2019, 8:39 pm

I meant an unfired round. Should have been more exact.Sc0 wrote:One note, a fired case has already expanded and should fit tight in the chamber.  Sounds normal.

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Post by inthebeech on 1/14/2019, 6:17 am

Good point.  i will pull a bullet and see if an unfired case drops in.
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Post by 285wannab on 1/14/2019, 10:43 am

I think what you are feeling is a carbon ring.  And it should be easy enough to clean up.

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Post by inthebeech on 1/15/2019, 6:03 am

I am such an idiot.  The resistance to smooth insertion of a fired (or unfired) case is the damn LCI making contact !!!  Not a thing wrong with the chamber.  Stupid !!!  The chamber has never been cleaner though Laughing

Anyway, one sacrafical mag has had its retaining (rear) lips polished with a slight ramp so the extracted case completely clears it now and it is yanked properly all the way to the ejector blade.  Weather permitting I will head to the club today to try it.
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Post by inthebeech on 1/15/2019, 6:39 pm

The mod is obvious and reliability is 100% with all ammo, full and half full mags and everywhere in between.  It wouldn't jam once.  After two hundred rounds I went back to work.  Just FYI so anyone down the road having the same issues has a pretty detailed story here and photo of how it was eventually solved. Thanks all for your help.
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Root cause help, Ruger Mark III FTF Empty Nice job on documenting your problem and solution

Post by Stewswanson on 1/15/2019, 10:24 pm

Now he can go back to hunting waterfowl with his Ruger. Must be a great shot to get those birds on the wing with his pistol.inthebeech wrote:The mod is obvious and reliability is 100% with all ammo, full and half full mags and everywhere in between.  It wouldn't jam once.  After two hundred rounds I went back to work.  Just FYI so anyone down the road having the same issues has a pretty detailed story here and photo of how it was eventually solved. Thanks all for your help.

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Post by inthebeech on 1/16/2019, 5:54 am

I'm not really much of a BE shooter Stew. I'm actually from your area where I have many years worth of great memories duck and grouse hunting.  I intend to move back when I retire.
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