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Old 03-03-2021, 04:59 PM
NickV02

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SA22 failure to feed & eject



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I have an older Belgian Browning SA-22 (22 long rifle) rifle that is having issues with feeding and ejecting. It was handed down to me, with an unknown history, many years ago but never used by me until now.

Before I took it to the range, I disassembled it, cleaned it as best I could, lubed and re-assembled.

Using Winchester 36 grain bulk-box 22lr ammo. I do not have any other .22 to try out, can't even find a box for sale.

When I load a round in, and cycle the breech block, it will cycle 3/4 of the way and hang where it would pick up the cartridge and load it in the chamber. The round is sitting in the cartridge guide, but will not get picked up. I try to cycle it again, and it still hangs about 3/4 of the way from fully closed. You can cycle it over and over, and it will hang over and over. I got it to close once, and once it is closed, it will fire the round, but then it will not eject the casing. You have to cycle the breech block again to get the casing to fall out.

I had these problems, researched the issue, and concluded there could be some worn out parts and it needed a deeper cleaning, seeing as how it is an unknown-to-me, older rifle. So I replaced the recoil spring, firing pin spring, extractor spring, cartridge guide spring, cartridge stop, and the actual magazine assembly with spring. All were Browning parts purchased from Midwest Gun Works%https://www.midwestgunworks.com/brow...22/parts.html%. I also cleaned the cartridge guide (but did not replace) very well.

Replaced all of these parts, cleaned it again, lubed it again, took it out, and had the exact same issues. The block would hang, and then I could get one round to load after a lot of struggle. Again, when it did fire, it did not eject the casing. With the new recoil spring, the block cycles much stronger, but still will not grab the round.

Any ideas on what to look at next, before I take it in to a shop? I really want to get this to work, I want it to be my son's first rifle one day.

Thank you in advance.
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2021, 05:07 PM
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With the trigger group out of the rifle try running some wet patches with bore cleaner down the cartridge tube and then a few dry ones. Also check to see if the inner tube spring and follower are operating freely.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:21 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Nick.

I've not had any ejection issues with my two older Belgians.
But I did have a slight hanging up of the bolt when feeding a round from the magazine with the '69.
The other, older SA that I bought in January had a very bad hang up of the bolt when feeding from the mag.
The bolt would stick bad when 3/4 closed, and would need some force to finish chambering a round.

I cleaned the outer mag tube, checked the function of the inner mag tube, no burrs on cartridge stop or bolt, etc. And asked a lot of questions here from the more knowledgeable members.
I replaced the whole inner mag tube assembly with a spare I had on hand and the bolt now closes nicely when chambering a round.
Both tubes measured the same length, and I can't see any difference between the two.

As far as extraction, you replaced the extractor spring, but not the extractor ?
How does the extractor look ? No chips ?
The extractor on the SA can be damaged when removing the barrel if the bolt is not retracted slightly.
The extractor "claws" fit into the notches on either side of the chamber, if you try to twist the barrel off and the bolt is not held back slightly, the claws on the extractor can chip or break.

I'd also make sure the chamber is clean, and there is no damage to the edge of the chamber.

And while your barrel might be adjusted properly, many are not.
Turn the rifle upside down and draw back the bolt. Is the end of the barrel tight against the cartridge guide ?
If it isn't, your bolt is going to have a harder time reaching a rim to extract it.
Both of these Belgians I bought came with barrels loose, and both had a big gap between the end of barrel and cartridge guide.

Last edited by sandog; 03-04-2021 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:21 AM
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Check out page 7 of the SA-22 Field Service Manual. It may give you some ideas of things to check.


https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum...d.php?t=826906
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:00 AM
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I did not replace the extractor itself, no. But under visual inspection, it looked undamaged compared to the examples I have seen online and on videos. But I definitely will re-assess the condition. Same with the cartridge guide, it looked "used", but not damaged.

I will double check the tightness of the barrel. It did not seem off, but it was not something I was specifically looking for, so that is a great suggestion to verify as well.

Thank you as well for the link to the manual. It appears that there is a multitude of items under the "Cartridges do not feed properly" that I need to check out also. A good possibility looks like checking the cartridge guide spring protruded end. "If it is too long, it will catch and hold the cartridge, not allowing the Breechblock to go forward." I assume in this case, it would just mean very gently filing the end for compliance.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:06 PM
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I'd blame the ammo.

If you're using Winchester's 222/333/525/555 36 gr. cooper coated flat nosed hollowpoint bulk rounds, you'll only get constant failures to feed & extract.
My '60s FN SA-22 which I got unusued from an uncle wil run with any kind/brand but current or recent production Winchesters. Tried it with 40gr. LRN Wildcat bulk from some 10 years ago and no problems though.

Seems like the ammo making machinery is worn, tolerances a tad out of spec, or quality control poor since I have the same problems in a Higgins 31, Henry H001, Zastava and others.

Same issues with assorted weights/bullet types Winchester SuperX, so before tapering with parts I'd try ty find a box of any other brand and test it. In fact even the usually poorly considered Remington Thunderbolt bulk ammo from current production ran perfectly without any failures.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio View Post
I'd blame the ammo.

If you're using Winchester's 222/333/525/555 36 gr. cooper coated flat nosed hollowpoint bulk rounds, you'll only get constant failures to feed & extract.
My '60s FN SA-22 which I got unusued from an uncle wil run with any kind/brand but current or recent production Winchesters. Tried it with 40gr. LRN Wildcat bulk from some 10 years ago and no problems though.
That is the exact ammo that I have. My local range has some different 22 for sale, so I will give that a go when I head back out. Thanks for the response.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:36 AM
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A few weeks ago I had swapped scopes on my 2 Belgians.
I had some Winchester 333 bulk pack ammo with me that I've been wanting to use up, so I thought I'd use it first to get re-zeroed close to the bullseye, then switch over to better ammo.

Anything is better than Winchester bulk, as it wasn't even cycling the two SA's.
Another box of 333 that I had a couple years ago would not eject from my Winchester 9422 or my Winchester 77. They'd fire, but then I'd have to pick the brass from the chamber.

I'd have to be pretty hard up to ever buy any more Winchester rimfire ammo.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandog View Post
I'd have to be pretty hard up to ever buy any more Winchester rimfire ammo.
Ive got several 1000 rounds of the stuff. Christmas presents from well meaning friends and family.
Im gonna list it on Armslist and sell it in the Parking lot!

It does come in neat little wooden boxes , that make excellent parakeet coffins!
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:50 AM
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Well, found some 22LR CCI Mini Mags to try out. Had to order them, but will report back when I get to try them out.

The extractor isn't chipped and the barrel is tight. So hopefully it's an ammo issue and I can get back to plinking.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:44 PM
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If you call browning they will tell you not to shoot 36gr. in the SA.22. They say itís cause when the gun was designed 36gr. wasnít made.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:48 PM
Antonio

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickV02 View Post
That is the exact ammo that I have. My local range has some different 22 for sale, so I will give that a go when I head back out. Thanks for the response.
You're welcomed.

That ammo will work/perform accordingly to what you would expect from cheap bulk rounds. In my Ruger 10/22 Takedown, CZ-455FS, CZ-452 Trainer, Ruger MkIII Target and Ruger Single Six they'd do as expected, usually needing to readjust scopes due to a different P.O.I. than other similar bulk rounds (Usually they hit 1" lower and 1" to the sides) and settle for the eventual "flyer". Have pretty much left them as plinking ammo with iron sights or red dots.

Good luck with your ammo test; hope the rifle will work fine with other brands. Just to be sure give it a chamber & bore cleaning since it seems that because bullets are apparently a bit out of spec they might have left some lead shavings in the chamber that might keep affecting feeding & extracting.

Last edited by Antonio; 03-08-2021 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 03-14-2021, 09:03 AM
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Got the CCI Mini Mags in, and tried it out. Loaded a round in, and the block still hung on the round. But I only had to cycle it again once to get it to pick the round up and chamber. It fired the round and ejected it just fine. So it was somewhat of a success. Going to give everything another once over and check the cartridge guide and then try again. Slowly but surely!
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  #14  
Old 03-14-2021, 11:39 AM
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I’ve had a cartridge guide spring cause that problem. The spring holds the round back until bumped by the bolt when moving forward. It needs to stick through the guide about .050 or so.
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