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In field failures:
Pre-64 M70, trigger broke off just above the curved part of the trigger.
Mauser G33/40, the extractor broke off about .25” behind the front of the extractor (in front of the retention ring).

I have never had a failure of any sort with a M700.

Scope failures, Weaver 4x, Redfield 4x.

Never had a failure with any Leupold since I started using them in 1969.



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Only one - a scope failure. Took a beautiful 1970s left-handed Weatherby Mk V .257 given to me by Father in Law with a Leupold VX-III 3.5-10x deer hunting. It sighted in "just fine". Had a coyote wonder in to the deer stand around 30 yards. Aimed shoulder, hit it in the guts. At the range the next week I went through ~$100 in ammo before I came to the conclusion that the leaf springs on the scope gave up the ghost. New Leupolds I own don't have that problem.


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Scope failure. Bushnell Banner 3x9.

Somewhere around 1983. Opening morning of deer season. Large buck steps into an opening. I lift up my rifle (Ruger tang safety .270), but I can’t see through the damned scope - it is fogged over. To add insult to injury, about 30 minutes later a mountain lion steps out; exact same place; POS Bushnell is still fogged over.

By Tuesday, a 3.5x10 Vari-X 3 Leupold was sitting on top of the Ruger.

Bushnell - never again.


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Lots of these "rifle" failures read like scope failures to me. Yup, me too. A broken crosshair in a 10x Redfield and a condensation caused corroded battery compartment in a Bushnell. I did have a Winchester m100 trigger gunsmith adjusted such that it doubled, but it was readjusted better. A Remington m700 failure to feed from the magazine and my own ham fisted attempt to lighten another m700's Walker trigger too light so that it would go off when the safety was pushed off. A m700 weak extractor pulled over the top of a fired round. And a new Ruger RSI 77/22 that wouldn't eject. The only other failures I've seen from guys were lubrication gumming (don't use WD-40 or 3-in one oil) and the gun not going off or cycling. A bad one was out west with the snow falling on the back of a m700 in a scabbard and the heat from the horse melting it into the action where it froze. That cost my buddy a heck of a mule deer. I watched him build a fire and throw his bolt in like a piece of fire wood. Not recommended.


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Failure to aim in the correct spot.

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Have read this entire post, and despite differing opinions on what "hunting rifle failure" means, here's my list--which does NOT include "operator error":

1) Scope failure. Have mentioned this before, but at this point have had 20 different brands (not just individual scopes) fail to hold zero, or adjust properly, on a wide variety of hunting rifles.

2) Checking screw tightness, whether on scope mounts or stock-screws.


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Had forgotten this one.

A cousin was hunting with a Remington 700. After the first shot, the floor plate popped open and all his cartridges fell to the ground beneath his stand. His gun was probably manufactured around 1978-79


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On a deer hunt many years ago with a Ruger tanger. Took a shot at a grouse in a spruce tree.
The ejector cross-pin slipped enough on the shot into the lug recess to prevent opening the bolt.
Glad it wasn't a shot at a deer. Got the grouse though.

Replaced with a roll pin and it's never moved since.

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Ammunition error and it stung a bit. Was a chance for a quick shot at a small bull elk and my Ruger Hawkeye 35 Whelen just went "click". I'd fuggled the last few rounds of FL resizing session and one of those ended up in the chamber. Resulted in a light primer strike. In typical fashion I lost faith and sold that dandy rifle.


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The only rifle problem that sticks in my mind was with a Savage model 10 in 223 I bought shortly after they came out with the Accutrigger. After about 500 rounds if I worked the bolt anything but the most absolutely gently the trigger would trip with only the lever thing preventing an accidental discharge. When I took it apart to adjust the trigger I found that it had been shipped with the trigger adjusted to the absolute lightest. Only adjusting the trigger to the highest would prevent this.


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This thread could make one paranoid expecting stuff to break or fail at a critical moment!

Apart from operator error, I've had many scope failures, new rifles that were not finished in manufacture, a CZ550 in .458 Win Mag that went "BOOM!" when the safety was let off at the end of a hunting day (IT WAS POINTED AT AN EMBANKMENT A FEW FEET AWAY!), and the same rifle split the stock at the range from forend tip through the sling swivel stud, a new Rem 673 in .350 RM with an unfinished chamber that my "smith" finished, and dumped a magazine full of ammo during a bear hunt, an 1895 Marlin in .45-70 (my 4th) that had a bent follower that wouldn't lift cartridges into battery, etc.

But newly manufactured rifles that worked as expected/promised were from Savage, Sako & Tikka, and Ruger. Apart from those (several of each), I've owned Winchesters, Brownings, Remingtons, NEF and a custom plus a semi-custom.

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Only failure it have experienced is with an Interarms Whitworth 375 H&H Magnum. The trigger group has failed. Safety as non functioning and it will slam fire on closing the bolt. Luckily, I discovered this with the rifle unloaded.

This happened about 4 years ago and I talked with a gunsmith about it who is familiar with these rifles. Was going to bring it to him but unfortunately he got cancer shortly thereafter and fought a hard fight for over a year before he passed. RIP John.

It's just been taking up space in the safe since then. Don't know if another gunsmith in my area who I can trust to fix it correctly. It's a beautiful gun and I'll find the right person to fix it one day...


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AU338MAG,

I have had 3-position safeties, like those on Model 70 Winchesters, installed in several 98 Mausers, mostly commercial actions but some military. This bypasses the occasional problems with trigger safeties.

The safety I've used more than any is the Gentry: https://gentrycustom.com/


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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
AU338MAG,

I have had 3-position safeties, like those on Model 70 Winchesters, installed in several 98 Mausers, mostly commercial actions but some military. This bypasses the occasional problems with trigger safeties.

The safety I've used more than any is the Gentry: https://gentrycustom.com/
I have thought about that conversion but i prefer the look of the original bolt shroud. I think the Interarms actions are attractive and have a custom 35 Whelen AI built with one.

I know, that's silly.

I very fond of the Winchester 3 position safeties but i just want to keep this rifle original as it is one I inherited from my father. The wood is exceptional for a Whitworth and still has the original hard brown recoil pad. I don't need the rifle, but will not part with it for sentimental reasons. I've just shot it at the range and deer hunted with it occasionally.

The Gunsmiths in Alabama I know are out of their league with this issue. If it's not a Remington or clone they look puzzled. The late John Gallagher was a smith I trusted and he told me the trigger housing has to be disassembled to fix it properly. Far beyond my abilities.

I still may consider the Gentry option if I ever book a trip to Africa...


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In 55 plus years of hunting I have had one double feed in a bolt action rifle most likely operator error and I have had one scope loose the gas inside but It held zero fine. I get a kick how people get surprised when something breaks because even the most expensive optics and custom rifles are cheap.
Aircraft engines cost in the millions and have very good inspections but every so often one just blows up. S*** Happens

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Scope reticles and mounting bases coming loose is about all that comes to mind

A couple or more 22 misfeeds/jams. Shorts in a pump made for s,l,lr take a certain rhythm. And some others don’t like certain shape bullets it seems.

I don’t count a light strike because a bolt getting gummed up as a fail. But it’s happened.

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AUG338MAG,

I understand completely!

Will do some more thinking, and might be able to come up with a gunsmith who can do the job.

MD


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Does slipping, falling and breaking the stock count as operator failure or stock failure?! Lol! Unfortunately, was on a very remote NE Manitoba moose hunt. Put the rifle out of commission, but that was okay. Because my outfitter said the obsolete 30-06 cartridge I was using wouldn't work, here, use my 280 Remington! Haha!


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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
AUG338MAG,

I understand completely!

Will do some more thinking, and might be able to come up with a gunsmith who can do the job.

MD
That is very kind of you.

Thank you.

I just think the bolt shroud on the commercial Mauser actions is, dare I say it... Sexy.


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Originally Posted by DeanAnderson
Does slipping, falling and breaking the stock count as operator failure or stock failure?! Lol! Unfortunately, was on a very remote NE Manitoba moose hunt. Put the rifle out of commission, but that was okay. Because my outfitter said the obsolete 30-06 cartridge I was using wouldn't work, here, use my 280 Remington! Haha!


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