So no joy but I did find out some additional information.
I swapped the trigger assembly from one of my M44's where the bolt moves smoothly without the snap. I then tried the bolt in the troublesome rifle. Same effect. So I can eliminate that variable.
So out of 4 rifles I have 2 that are very smooth when closing and opening the bolt. I have 1 that snaps but not super bad. Then of course I have the one I initially said I was having trouble with. Where it snaps quite a bit when closing.
The only thing I can come up with at this point which would unfortunately jive with what the gunsmith relayed to me this morning is barrel wear. While I don't really understand how it seems to be a a legitimate possibility.
IF 2 of my 4 rifles have some level of wear in the barrel for whatever reason which is causing the snap when closing the bolt I am left with I figure 2 possibilities.
1) Do nothing and live with it.
2) Correct it.
Ideally I would like to pass the rifles down to my girls when they are older. Thus I would like to correct it.
Again assuming what I have has been hard used to the point of wear impacting the bolt moving forward without resistance I figure again few things could potentially work out.
1) Enlarge the extractor cutouts? While it seems improbable perhaps I got two rifles that were not totally up to snuff quality control wise. If I have the extractor cutouts enlarged in the barrel will that mess anything else up?
2) Again somehow the indexing of the barrel is just slightly off.
3) Have the barrel cut back a small amount, re-chambered, and new extractor cuts made. Figure that should be a simple job for a competent gunsmith, machinist? If I have that completed would I have essentially a new barrel minus any existing wear in the riffling?
What am I missing in the puzzle? Though it seems at this point at least the corners are identified.
Yes I took the picture at an odd angle. Wanted to show I had cleaned out the grooves completely for the extractors. It still seems like perhaps the barrels are so slightly out of index.
I was thinking the same thing, the barrel looks like it is rotated counter clockwise, just like Rosscoe said. Its possible that the hole in the bottom of the barrel that the hold-down stud locates in was drilled out of position. This assumes that the hold-down stud threaded hole in the bottom of the receiver is correctly located. With the barreled action snugged down in the stock is the trigger centered in its slot in the stock??? If it is I would guess that the hold-down stud threaded hole in the bottom of the receiver is correctly located. Which would point the the hole/dimple in the bottom of the barrel as the problem. But this is all guess work without the rifle in question in hand. Any chance that you can take some pictures of the barrel removed from the receiver!!! That could be very helpful!!! To bad you aren't in No. Virginia... you could just pop over!!!
God Bless, Frank.
Yes Minnesota is a bit of a stretch. When I removed the hold down stud it seemed as if everything was as it should be. Though I could have been seeing things I wanted to see instead of what was there. If i was super picky I would said the dimple was ever so slightly off to one side on the barrel. I could snap a photo of that with my macro lens and post it.
I am "game" to try and remove the barrel myself. When I removed the hold down stud unfortunately the barrel did not just slide out. I suspect it is in there pretty good. Though I worry while I might be able to get it out I am worried I won't be able to get it back in or index it correctly.
I really appreciate all of the feedback given. I hope that I have been helpful in describing the things I have tried and not been completely clueless unable to articulate the problem correctly.
I'm late to the game. It looks like the barrels is slightly off alignment and the bolt is being pushed into place and snapping into alignment. As mentioned the barrel is only held in by the barrel stud. It's a slip fit. Spray some Liquid Wrench or Kriol on the joint. The barrel will knock out easy with a dowel. Then check for alignment. Once the barrel free I'd put the bolt in and align with the barrel then tighten the stud. See how that works. Mossbergs are very simple. Good luck.
I'm late to the game. It looks like the barrels is slightly off alignment and the bolt is being pushed into place and snapping into alignment. As mentioned the barrel is only held in by the barrel stud. It's a slip fit. Spray some Liquid Wrench or Kriol on the joint. The barrel will knock out easy with a dowel. Then check for alignment. Once the barrel free I'd put the bolt in and align with the barrel then tighten the stud. See how that works. Mossbergs are very simple.Good luck.
Like Scooter says,just knock it out with a 5/8th" wood dowel.
Call me crazy but I did some additional measurements and testing. Perhaps a breakthrough! Well maybe.
I measured the extractors (rounded side) on all 4 of my rifles. Low and behold there was some correlation between the rifle that had zero snap when closing the bolt to the one I have referenced here with way too many posts perhaps.
Here are my measurements... I measured the thickness of the extractor near the end where it would interface with the extractor groove in the left side of the barrel.
1) .105 (Problematic bolt I have been referencing)
2) .110 (Snappy but not quite as bad)
3) .117 (Maybe a small click)
4) .119 (No snap or click)
Does it seem reasonable that my hypothesis is correct that worn extractors are the issue with my bolts?
I did not take the time to measure the hook extractors on each bolt. My logic suggests that the other hook extractor may exhibit a similar pattern of wear at least generically from 1-4.
If someone that has a smooth functioning m44 could measure their extractor perhaps that would confirm my suspicion.
I doubt there is a source for "new" extractors anymore. It seems a bit grim if worn extractors are the root of my issues. I would like to believe the issue of my barrel being not indexed correctly is fading fast as I now have this extractor data.
The numbers look interesting, however as we tend to over think most problem. Don't get hasty. That is interesting and could be the problem, maybe not? Sounds and acts like an alignment problem? Look for any wear on the bolt handle itself. Also have you looked at the trigger? Compared to the other 44's!