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  #1  
Old 11-17-2019, 05:50 PM
cabin22
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JWH Competitor Bolt Installation Issue



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A couple years back, shortly after buying my first 10/22 - a basic wood-stocked carbine - I saw notice here on RFC of a sale JWH was running for their Competitor Bolt Kit, and not knowing any better I bought it. I didn't plan on using it right away, but being new to the 10/22 cult, I figured I might want to do some mods in the future and the sale price was too good to pass up.

The kit arrived and promptly went into the Parts box for later use. In the interim, I worked the 10/22 into the shooting rotation, and had a Brimstone Tier 3 trigger job done, which made a significant difference in my shooting results. I was happy, and more or less forgot about that JWH kit sitting in the box. Until today, when I got bored watching the two NFL blowout games being broadcast in my area.

I took the 10/22 to the work area, removed the factory bolt, etc., and got the new JWH bolt out, handle, guide rod, and spring out. This version of the JWH bolt has the pop-in charging handle. I dropped the new bolt in, and it instantly stuck in place right where I put it. I mean, stuck right there, right now. Literally, I had to pry the thing out. Being what some would call stubborn, I tried it again, this time with the JWH guide rod & spring just in case magically it would cycle the second time around. Nope, tighter than you know what. Although, I could get it to move back & forth twice, with considerable force. At that point, I decided perhaps this was a project best saved for another day.

So I put the old bolt, charging handle, guide rod/spring back in, and it cycles smoothly. I need to get it back to the range soon to make sure I didn't inadvertently upset the delicate balance of the factory action so painstakingly achieved over the past two years of plinking & informal target shooting.

Maybe the tolerances in the factory bolt/receiver interface are designed to be loose and provide easy cycling whereas the JWH bolt tolerances are set to be used in perfectly machined and rigidly spec'd receivers. I don't know, but I do know the bolt I received is in no way a drop in replacement part.

I've done a search on this forum for this issue, but no particular problem or solution leapt off my monitor. I saw lots of mixed reviews on it too, so maybe I just got unlucky. Anyone have any ideas on why my bolt jammed in place when I dropped it in, and how I might fix that? It almost seems like the bolt is just a shade too wide since it got stuck so quick. Although there is some of the usual factory overspray on the inside of the receiver, that doesn't seem to cause any problems with the factory bolt, and there are only a couple faint rub lines from the factory bolt, so it doesn't appear the problem is with the receiver itself.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:42 PM
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I've got a half dozen of the old style of JWH Competitor bolt and not had any problems with any of them, but I am using the Tactical Innovations billet receivers not the cast Ruger

I will say that a Ruger bolt will rattle a bit when placed into the TI receiver, and the JWH bolt just slides back and forth nicely

I think you've run into a case of tolerance stacking (or the typical Ruger QC)...I'd scochbrite all of the overspray from the inside of the receiver till it's nice and slick and shiny then give the JWH another shot
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:56 PM
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On the adverse of that, I had to remove my standard (not competitor) JWH from my Tactical Inc receiver and swap in a factory bolt. Tolerances were too tight and for whatever reason the JWH stuck down too far in that receiver and would hang up on the back of a magazine. Any magazine (basically all of my 10rd factory mags). It became problematic with jams, and sometimes would just hang up back there. All of the magazines had scoring marks on them where the bolt was shaving.

Once swapped around, no issues with the factory CPC rework bolt in the Tactical Inc receiver, and no issues with the JWH bolt in another gun with a Ruger receiver. Finicky one gun to the next stuff, that one person will see and another person will have no issue with.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:34 AM
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JWH Competitor bolt installation issue.

I had the problem with my Competitor bolt, as it would hit the top of mag with the lower part of bolt face. This was one of the older versions, and I had never installed into a build. I had decided to try as I had read of others having trouble with this bolt. I would check the rod that goes thru the bolt that it is in correct placement at rear of receiver, as a bind could occur. Don't let the rod slip out of the rear placement in receiver, as you let the bolt go forward --- it is a horror to remove the bolt, as it will bind for sure. The spring will bind, and it may have to be cut out. I prefer the other versions of the JWH bolts, that the rod does not go thru the bolt. The notch in the lower rear that holds the rod in place may have to be touched with the tip of a Dremel tool. This indent has been off center on other receivers as well.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:55 AM
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I bought the same model bolt in the same sale. It is slightly longer than the OEM bolt. I had to file a little bit off the end of the guide shelf in the receiver to make it go in. You can do that without fear, as the bolt when cycling doesn't go far enough back to fall off.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:47 AM
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Is the pin that retains the firing pin flush or less to both sides of the bolt? I bought one and the pin was probably 1/6" proud of the bolt but I caught it before I installed it. It works fine in an 80s vintage receiver.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:15 PM
cabin22
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Thought I had it but I didn't. Based on all the helpful hints above, I tried installing the JWH Competitor bolt again this afternoon. First step was to do the Scotchbrite trick, using the maroon 3M sanding pads. I saw a bit of improvement, at least the bolt would move back & forth when dropped in, so a bit more work with the pad and a bit more improvement. Then I figured, what the heck, and took the 3M pad to the contact points on the bolt itself. More test fitting, more sanding to get to the point where there were no rub marks showing at all when sliding the bolt. I thought when I got to the point that the bolt would slide based on gravity all would be good. Not so fast....

I then installed the guide rod, spring, and bolt, a bit of a trick itself, and while of course the bolt no longer slid quite so easily due to tension on it, it would nonetheless cycle by hand. I figure from that point it would smooth out and break in via shooting sessions. Again, not so fast...

I popped in one of the four charge handle that came with the kit, and that's where the real issues began. It was immediately much harder to cycle the action, although you could do it if you held your tongue just right. I reinstalled the trigger group, and simply couldn't get the bolt to cycle using the charge handle - well, I did get it to pull back so I could release it once, but that was it. I pulled the trigger group back off to investigate, and basically the bolt is difficult to impossible to cycle using any of the four charge handles. I think the charge handle design, with the short post popping into the bolt and held there by spring tension, puts just enough sideways pressure on the bolt to jam it rather than pulling straight back when you grab the handle and pull back on it. Perhaps with a looser bolt-to-receiver interface this wouldn't be a problem, but my JWH bolt and Ruger factory receiver are closely fitted now, and apparently the extra sideways leverage is just enough to disrupt function.

I don't think that pop-in charge handle is a good design; a good concept maybe, but not well executed in production. Three of the four handles JWH sent at least popped into place, but even those were a bit loose. The fourth handle never did actually pop into place, so there was no chance of using that one anyway.

At this point, I simply removed the JWH bolt and reinstalled my Ruger factory bolt. Cycles like a champ.

Frankly, I didn't feel like taking the rifle to the range with no confidence it would cycle using the new JWH Competitor bolt, and certainly didn't want to take a gun rest and extra tools with me so I could tear it apart for more troubleshooting while there. I am disappointed to say the least with the JWH Competitor bolt kit.

I haven't completely given up on it, but right now my frustration with it exceeds my analytical interest in determining what the problem really is and how to fix it. The only positive aspect to this afternoon's session is now the inside of the receiver is clean and the factory bolt is clean too.

Last edited by cabin22; 11-18-2019 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:33 PM
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the charging handle being spring loaded should have no bearing on how the bolt fits into the receiver

perhaps the leverage from pulling the handle skews the bolt in the receiver..maybe stick to the shortest handle to check that theory

..and you can adjust the tension on the handle's retaining detent by turning the little set screw that is in the bolt face (shown to the left of the firing pin in this pic)


did you check the length of the firing pin retaining pin as GH41 suggested? if it's too long it may be binding up the recoil spring against the wall of the receiver
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:37 PM
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If you get tired of fooling with it, you could sell it to me.just sayin’!!
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackedcornish View Post
the charging handle being spring loaded should have no bearing on how the bolt fits into the receiver

perhaps the leverage from pulling the handle skews the bolt in the receiver..maybe stick to the shortest handle to check that theory

..and you can adjust the tension on the handle's retaining detent by turning the little set screw that is in the bolt face (shown to the left of the firing pin in this pic)


did you check the length of the firing pin retaining pin as GH41 suggested? if it's too long it may be binding up the recoil spring against the wall of the receiver
I'm betting the set screw for the CH detent bottoms out on a shoulder in the bore. Being adjustable would be a serious liability without red loctite. It would no longer be adjustable with red without putting enough heat on it to kill the detent spring. If it isn't the FP ret pin running interference something is wrong with either the bolt, receiver or trigger group. I don't see how the CH could affect anything.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GH41 View Post
I'm betting the set screw for the CH detent bottoms out on a shoulder in the bore. Being adjustable would be a serious liability without red loctite. It would no longer be adjustable with red without putting enough heat on it to kill the detent spring. If it isn't the FP ret pin running interference something is wrong with either the bolt, receiver or trigger group. I don't see how the CH could affect anything.
There are two set screws in that hole. You have to remove the one that you can see in Crackedcornish’s photo to access the one that tensions the detent. The first one is a “lock” screw.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:05 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, I know how hard it is to diagnose something without lots of pictures or having it in hand. For the record, the firing pin retaining pin does protrude ever so slightly, as in you can feel it with your fingernail but barely with your finger, and that's when you know about it. It is essentially flush on the right side and recessed on the left side.

I still think the sideways leverage from pulling the charging handle is what causes the problem; you're trying to pull the bolt back from one side vs evenly across the entire face. But I could be wrong.

The recoil rod guide is properly seated at the rear of the receiver (not that easy to get in place on the first try), so I doubt the binding is exacerbated by that. It did cycle when just the bolt, spring and guide rod were in place.

I like the idea of easy change charging handles, although it really isn't that hard to swap out the stock Ruger handles, I just think JWH went for conceptual elegance (with the Competitor bolt that I have) rather than proven KISS engineering.

Haven't given up yet, but this was not a good introduction to my first "mod."

Thanks again for all the responses. I appreciate it.

Last edited by cabin22; 11-19-2019 at 06:52 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2019, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cabin22 View Post
I just think JWH went for conceptual elegance (with the Competitor bolt that I have) rather than proven KISS engineering.
nope, not really... just stole the idea from Volquartsen's Competition Bolt
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:22 PM
cabin22
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Originally Posted by crackedcornish View Post
nope, not really... just stole the idea from Volquartsen's Competition Bolt[/URL]
I learn something every day. Maybe VQ executed it better.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:19 PM
cabin22
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OK, I finally got it to work. Being persistent, I went at it again this morning. All I did was drive the firing pin retainer pin out far enough so I could take a fine file to it and remove enough metal so that it would sit perfectly flush to the side of the bolt - no more "I can feel it with my fingernail." I'm sure I took a few microns off of it, but not much.

I reinstalled everything, and Voila!, I got it to manually cycle 5-6 times and figured that was good enough to take it shooting. I was holding my breath on the first group, just waiting for it to jam, but it didn't. I ended up shooting thirty 5-round groups with no failures to extract or eject, and only one failure to fire. That occurred somewhere around shot #115, on an Aguila SV round. It had a firing pin indent, and when I popped it back in to the magazine it fired the second time around. Other than that, no problems. The bolt still feels a bit gritty when I pull it to lock it back, but it does work.

The firing pin retainer pin that was catching my fingernail was probably a few thousands of an inch above the bolt's side surface, and its hard to believe my little bit of filing solved the problem, but that was the sequence of events. Didn't manually cycle before, did cycle after. I'm glad it functions now.

However, across the three types of ammo I shot - CCI SV, Aguila SV, and Tac 22 - I noticed no difference in accuracy with the new bolt. The CCI SV shot almost identical, while the Aguila SV and Tac 22 shot slightly worse. It isn't a very big sample size, but maybe that will improve as the new bolt wears in and more groups are fired.

I do appreciate all the suggestions you all have provided. I'm glad it is done and working.
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