Author Topic: Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...  (Read 79 times)

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Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« on: August 13, 2020, 06:48:42 PM »
This was my first hand experence with the 1971 Remington 552 jam-O-matic.
Im posting this so others may learn from my novice mistakes.
I have no gunsmithing training.
Just a novice gun tinker.

I just got this older remington 552 speedmaster earlier today and its missing the rear sight, barrel stamped W 7
Quick Google check of Remington mfg letter stamps puts this mfg July 1971?
The Numrich parts schematic rear sights only shows two types, neither of which look like what Im looking at on this particular rifle.
The gun was given to a fellow (the local gun tinker) because it wont feed, and he robbed the sight off it and gave me the rifle, from the looks of it, was someones old camp gun (NW Alaska has quite a few of those beat to heck but not shot that much) that got a face lift, stock looks like itd been sanded and finished and metal all looks like was spray painted (esp where the sight used to be) there is powder residue (soot) inside the spent case deflector so it must have developed feeding issue not long after its face lift?
So have to figure out why it wont feed.

I just finished cleaning her out, the lube itd been lubed with mixed with spent powder residue and little glittering metallic crumbs that look allot like Remington Golden bullet plating.
Lots of crud on bolt and the ejector.
It function tested ok, rounds cycled through the action flawlessly.

Id been gone a week for work and finnaly had a chance to try out the old 552 Saturday afternoon.
That morning all the sight parts were in.
Who woudda thought a single sight screw was $6.90??
And Id had to buy two.

Well Im all jazzed to try it, my transp is down for mx so walked the 1.4 mi to a suitable place to try it and found it had issues.
Chambering the first round went without a hitch.
Pulled the trigger and click, cleared the round and checked it (had a good firing pin dent) chambered the second round and it shot as it should, the third round was a dud (striker dented as well) funny how the particular federal rounds I had were not firing.
The 2 rounds out of 7 went off.
the rest was clearing duds from the action.
The last dud round wouldnt eject after it wouldnt go off.
I brought it home and managed to eject the dud without resorting to a cleaning rod.
All the while we were out there, the mosquitos came out and chewed on us pretty good.
Next time I will bring a couple different brands of New ammo instead of a partial box of mixed rounds, I pulled it appart and looked for something that could be causing it to not fire, double load and jamb and stick a dud.

Weak extractor? Boogered chamber mouth from dry firing, and there are other things to look at but where to begin?

Then I got busy and it sat in the corner gathering dust since then, now its another summer has passed since Id looked inside the 552 Jam-A-Matic.

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2020, 07:00:06 PM »
Im positive it couldnt have been shot so much it could have been worn out, it was a camp gun, Id be surprised if it'd ever shot more than 2000 rounds in its whole life.
So Im thinking its gunk, burrs or something is not assembled correctly . . . just what that may be is the question.

Well everthing seemd to function ok when cycling live rounds through it, the thing is what happens during the firing cycle, acts diffrently, this rifle fireing .22 shorts should cycle the action, the rubber buffer is to soften the recoil of the long rifles.
Im thinking I'll have to study the hammer, sear, disconnector for something that just dont jibe.

All summer That free Remington 552 jam-a-matic had been sitting there in the corner gathering dust and I know to fix its ailemnts its going to involve using my brain, I could just buy new parts till it works but my father always stressed trouble shooting something before foolishy throwing money away.
So I did some googling of Remington 552 jam's and other cycling issues.
60% the forum threads discussed bad ammunition.
In my case I had a mixture different ages of Federal bulk, CCI blazer and Remington Golden.
So was it ammunition? I have my doubts.
For it to choke on almost all of them I suspect its something with the rifle, this ex-camp gun most likely had seen harsh environment but Im skeptical that its worn out, Id be surprised if it'd seen as much rounds through it as a run the mill 552 plinker that chewed thrugh several bricks would have , but what could its ailment be?
Quite a few posts on different forums about nicked up bolt guides , boogered firing pin's with burrs even on the on the hammer, some posts about wobbly hammer causing side binding, still others on dirty and worn sear notch fit, and then there was this one Odd post that seemed to jump out at me.
reguarding a misassembly that can cause all sorts of mayham.

Gun Hub forum post by nctorberson Feb 02, 2014 reply #4

Quote: 'disconnector is above the small lever that allows hammer to **** before the trigger resets. It must be below it'

That got my attention and now Im all fired up to tear that thing back open to check it again, according to Gun Hub, there was a posted photo but that is only viewable to Gun Hub members.
It'd cool to see that photo, but I think I will just forge ahead with that scant advice and check it out for myself.
I might have to check Brownells .22 rimfire iron to burnish the chamber as its possible dryfiring could have boogered up the rim of the chamber as live rounds cycle through just fine but to have a round stick after the firing pin strikes the case (stuck dud) it just might be one the other issues this rife has to work through.
In the past Ive used a taper punch to clear chamber boogers.

I think I might have to check out Ebay. has Remington service manuals for this model.
NOTE: For some reason they canceled the order and refunded my money.
Some noise about not shipping to NW Alaska.

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2020, 07:15:47 PM »
Well I dropped out that trigger group and gave it another checking, it was really clean, hardly any grunge at all, it looked like it had been torn down for a detailed cleaning.
So anyway Im sitting there looking it over and shifing it this way and that.
Till I felt something odd, a roughness on the tip of the disconnector that rides on the bolt, odd I thought and looked closer and noticed it was rough because the tip of the disconnector was gone!
So I did an image search on the internet and noticed about a quarter the disconnector was not there.
A net order to Numrich should soon fix the disconnector issue.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2020, 09:03:11 PM »
Well yesterday I dropped out the trigger group and replaced that disconnector.
Funny thing is that stepped pin that holds the disconnector in place is counterbored in a tube rivet fashion & staked in place.

Well using some selected shop tools I managed to drive it out that riveted pin.
Note: this stepped steel pin is staked into a aluminum housing, Remington uses a steel washer to stake the end of the pin against it.
Also noted the end of the disconnector is positioned below the sear.

'Quote: 'disconnector is above the small lever that allows hammer to set before the trigger resets. It must be below it''

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2020, 09:04:28 PM »
Well I took it out a couple days ago.
On loading it with 10 rounds it jammed when cycling the first round onto the chamber.
After clearing the first of many loading jamms, I did get it loaded and it clicked (very light firing pin strike)
It jammed 13 times (fail to feed, jam on entering chamber 45 angle) then had the fail to eject and double feed jam (being cheap Ireloaded the cartridges that jammed), in all 6 light striker-hits, and only two that didnt eventually fire because Id stuck them in a different pocket when unjamming the rounds that didnt want to load.
The bolt was dragging on something pretty bad, a couple rounds Id used my hand to force the bolt forward into battery, a 3 times the bolt did not fully travel back enough to re-set the hammer (lots of drag and burrs)
After I got home, It set for a bit before starting in on it.
I found the ejector was dragging on the bolt pretty bad, the fireing pin movement in the bolt seemed to not be crisp and responsive, it would only move if you pushed on it, you couldnt shake the bolt and get the pin to follow gravity, so I removed the fireing pin retainer pin and used a probe to clean out the ejector inlet on the bolt body, also the firing pin inlet on the bolt body.
I also noticed a ring of compacted carbon on the bolt body face where it butts up to the barrel.
In my hunt for compacted carbon I used a headlamp and looked inside the barrel where the bolt glides.
WOW . . . . WOW . . . . WOW!
Talk about what looks like a dremel tool wonderland!!
All those Remington milled swirls and diviots with their tool marks!
I got in there with my tooth picks and cotton swabs and cleaned the heck outta the dremel tool moguls and hoopties embossed into the inside back end of that barrel.
I did check movement of the firing pin thinking a carbon buildup eventually cause the firing pin to strike light, that in conjunction with sharp edges and mush bur's from the hammer banging on the fireing pin, I dropped out the fireing pin and cleaned the cut it rides in as well as stone off any burrs or high areas on the firing pin.
I did the same with the bolt body inlets that the ejector rides in.
I did stone off some tool marks on the hammer (no where close to the sear notch) just some cleaning till the hammer glid better than when Id started

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2020, 09:06:01 PM »
Just 4 days back I took it out to try it again.
Last month Id bought some aluminum .22Lr dummy rounds.
I'd cleaned and polished what I thought needed polishing.
Those rounds cycled through flawlessly by hand.
Once out at the range, the evil dark side surfaced and rubbed my nose in a big steaming ole pile of failure.
I shook 10 rounds of Federal .22r Std velocity, On chambering the first round, I grasped the bolt back and let fly, it hung up on loading.
The nose of the first cartridge didnt rise up and as the bolt came forward the round wedged in there nice n tite, it was no fun holding the bolt handle and using my slotted screw driver blade on my pocket knife, and managed to wriggle it out of there.
The next round took some coaxing to work its way up level in front of the bolt face.
For about 4 rounds it fungled along like that.
Then the 6 rounds cycled through without a hitch.
Reloading the rounds that were troublesome loading before gave me trouble a second time.
As the OTZ mosquitos were out in force, I spent more time swipeing bugs than spending time reloading to get a feel for the rounds not noseing up into the chamber as they should.
The cartridge lifter spring is really stiff.
So Im thinking of pulling the trigger group and studying the lifter closer for function and binding.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2020, 09:07:53 PM »
Well I pulled it appart tonight, looking for anything odd.
I was looking over the trigger group and did not see anything that should be causing the sort of issues Im encountering.
With the trigger group removed the bolt assembly glides really well when cycled
The bolt still seems like it glides but could be better when its working against the trigger group.
I have to imagine the bolt traveling like it would as its in a firing cycle.
One the things was polishing the bottom the bolt that must contact the hammer and push it down and lock when cocked.
I had some emery cloth and ran it over the surface, eventually the cloth started to glide better.
On a hunch I had my swiss files ready.
The ejector slots on the side of the bolt loked fine.
Yet when I ran one of my swiss files down the slot I immediately noticed a spot that was catching on my file.
A portion of the extractor spring seat was sticking out.
If the bolt is recoiling and the ejector was catching on that spring seat that might just slow things down and cause marginal performance?
Also the cartridge lifter has a nice sharp bur edge that Could possibly slow things down if it rub's on the bolt as it comes back over during recoil.
Its really hard so I stoned off that sharp edge.
One last thing would be to replace the magazine spring, for now I will use a cleaning rod with a patch and clean any old lube scum from the inner mag tube to reduce any drag on the follower, last option would be to give that old spring a little tensile stretch to boost the rounds down to the lifter.
Well I'll just study it some more

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 09:14:26 PM »
Well, I shot it again tonight.
Well . . . . Sorta.
When it shot it was accurate.
Loaded 10 rounds of CCI Blazer .22 Lr
I had some rounds that never went off and when they were ejected they didnt have a hint of a firing*pin strike.
Some the rounds that chambered and shot, some did not and had a healthy dent where the firing pin smacked it but didnt strike the edge as more to the inside.

One odd thing that happened was each time it fired smoke came from the action, like from the bottom where that dust cover is, even gun smoke came out from the opening where the trigger was, that had me wondering what the heck is this?!
Out of the 10 rounds loaded 7 went off, 3 came home in my pocket.
One wouldnt chamber and it messed the bullet some so it wouldnt chamber.
Everything stopped when I had that double firing pin struck case that jammed in the chamber, I had to use a cleaning rod to knock out that stuck case.
I may have to borebrush the chamber.
The only thing I hadnt done yet is put a full set of springs in it.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2020, 09:30:34 PM »
I shot it last weekend.
Id load 10 rounds and try it.
The first round would cycle and the second would drop the hammer on a empty chamber, then the round would jam and then double stack, after about 6 of those it actually fired 4 times as a semiautomatic .22 should!
Then it went back to the same old crap.
Im thinking its got to be old springs.
So Id orderd new bolt return spring and a new magazine spring.
The first and easist was the replacement of the bolt return spring, side by side, the new spring was 1.5" shorter than the old!
I hadnt gotten to replacing the mag spring yet.
I guess I should have set both old and new action springs next to a yard stick and took a photo (that hind sight kicking in I guess?)
I suspect the old gun tinker that refinished the gun before giving it to me must have gave that bolt return spring a good streching thinking it was old and tired.
That magazine spring could be really tiard (who knows?)

I just replaced the magazine
spring and there was really some difference.
The new mag spring was 14" longer than the old spring. So that would have accounted for slow feeding during the fireing cycle.
The old action spring that was 2" longer than the new one would have possibly not allowed the time for the magazine and lifter to feed a fresh round into the chamber accounting for the empty chamber after the inital shot.
Now all I have to do is try it out using live ammo.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2020, 09:34:30 PM »
Well It has been quite a winter.
In six weeks we had 17 blizzards.
I thought Id hop on my snowmobile and motor out a town to function test the 552.
After a couple detours and finding a out the way place to test the rifle.
I stoked it up with some CCI Blazers.
I Topped up the tube magazine and cycled the action chambering a round.
It fired as it should, the next trigger pull was a metallic click.
I cycled the action thinking it had not chambered a round and had a jam as the live round staydd in the chamber and the next one coming up caused some troubles.
(Extractor issue?)
Shook both out and chambered the next round, it fired, then another click and jam and chambering another it didnt fire either!
The dud rounds were not extracting and the next was plugging the works.
I did get it to fire 2 shots consecutively as a semi-auto should then it went back sometimes firing and jambing.
I picked up the fired rounds and the duds for further study at home.
All the while my daughter was shooting cartridges from the same box in her Keystone Arms Crickett rifle without any problems.

I took photos of the duds and the ones that functioned just fine.

First I think I will try getting it to fire every time a round is chambered.
The fired rounds eject fine, its problematic getting it to eject live rounds that didnt fire.

I dissembled the 552 and looked over the bolt, then removed the firing pin and noticed it had a wierd reverse bow to it.
After a google image search of Rem 552 firing pins I see that it was slightly bent (sorry no photo. forgot)
I got out a axe head to use as a flat metal anvil and a small ballpeen hammer after some tapping was able get the firing pin to look like the Google image. (Earmarked for replacement)
Im thinking how the bow on the fireing pin changed how the pin impacted the case rim, strikeing more away from the rim and its priming compound.
I used the hammer to dress up the fireing pin tip a little and draw it out some lengthing it a tad.
Then used the honeing stone to slick the sides a bit, and dress the tip just a bit.
Reassembled the .22 and drew back the bolt, to me seemed like the bolt didnt fully draw all the way back.
Dissembled and looked at the bolt buffer, the metal insert was.peened and had burrs.
I used a knife hone stone and stoned the burrs off the buffer insert and evened up the buffer surface.

Funny how Id assumed that wierd bend was just the way it was supposed to be.
I would never have imagined a .22 rifle fireing pin would be bent.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2020, 09:36:54 PM »
Well just back after another function test, rode the Ski Doo a mile out of town.
I shook out two rows from the Box of cartridges.
On chambering the first round I had trouble, the round would not fully rise up to seat on the bolt face.
Something was preventing the rounds from fully seating, I would free drop a round into the chamber and nudged the bolt closed.
Every round I chambered that way fired without a hitch, very round fed through the lifter to the bolt jammed.
I messed with the firing pin but stupidly never checked using my flashy new blue proving rounds.
But not this boy! No I had to hammer it straight and tweaked it out a bit longer, but I never checked if the firing pin fully retracted flush with the bolt face, the firing pin didnt, and as the bolt traveled forward to strip the round and chamber it was hanging up under the little bit of firing pin causing jams.
Well I fixed the problem.
The action proving dummy rounds cycle through now without a hitch.
Now all I have to do is try it with some live rounds.
Top photo shows how they kinked as they jammed on feeding.
The bottom photo shows the rounds that were drop fed and fired.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2020, 09:41:52 PM »
I figure to eventually get this 552 to work, It will take awhile, the Kazan method of fixing seems to be the way.
I trundled it along on my after supper walk.
Loaded it up and tried it out.
The first shot fired, the second clicked on a live round, on re-cocking the extractor didnt pull it from the chamber, it tried to double feed, so shook out the extra round and let the bolt close on the round that didnt fire, it fired and cycled a fresh round and it failed to fire as well and it double fed on cycling to reset the hammer.
That went on for the the whole magazine only a small percentage fired on the first try.
I was able to extract three rounds that failed to fire when struck once.
I pocketed them for later study
Same with another magazine full.
All in all it fired about a dozzen rounds.
I pocketed the empties.
I did get it to fire three consecutive times.
Back at the house the I had the empties out to study and the three that didnt fire but had very shallow fireing pin strikes.
The fired cases had decent firing pin strikes.
I pulled down the gun for study.
Im definately replacing the hammer strut spring,
And while at it will also replace the firing pin.
I tried fitting a live round on the bolt face while I had the bolt out of the gun.
A live round just barely fit under the extractor claw,
From the looks of it, the extractor seems to be in good shape as far as it fits the particular rounds I have on hand though the rounds seem rather fat.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2020, 09:45:21 PM »
About 10am today
I hauled her out last weekend.
It fired initally and then just started to lightly tap the firing pin just enough to Not set off the cartridge primer compound.
Just as annoying was its inability to extract the duds which resulted in double feed jam after jam.
It was so frustrating, it was approx 28F
The wind was picking up and Id walked about 1.3 mile on a icy road to get to a decent place to fire my weapon.
Now I had this stuck dud that wouldnt extract from the chamber (claw kept slipping off)
Using my pocket knife flat screwdriver & awl blades I was able to remove the barrel and drift out the trigger group
On removing the barrel and inverting it after removing the bolt.
The dud round that repeatedly would not extract fell from the chamber by gravity.

This morning I removed that troublesome trigger group after gathering tools needed to drift out the riveted Hammer/Disconnector pin.
After drifing it out I removed the hammer and was able to remove the hammer spring and plunger.
On removal it was noticed the plunger was sticky from varnish like old lube (at room temprature!!) If the hammer spring and plunger were this sticky at room temp's, what excessive resistance to a hammer fall would it have at tempratures below 25F?
Now was the time to replace the hammer spring I'd just bought from Numrich (used) now when replacing springs I love comparing Old and New spring lengths.
The Numrich used spring was shorter than the one removed from the 1972 era 552.
So figuring a shorter compression spring would most likely have a weaker hammer blow.
So after using solvent to remove the sticky gum and grime I reinstalled the original and staked the hammer/disconnector pin back in place.
Now to see about what that pesky extractor claw . . . .

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 09:50:18 PM »
Tonight after supper, I took the 552 Jam-O-Matic for another test run.
I loaded up 15 rounds and tried to make it go.
Of the 15 rounds in the magazine 5 rounds failed to fire.
Yet after ironing the chamber the FTF rounds extracted and ejected.
The next 15 rounds three rounds failed to fire.
The last 15 rounds only 4 rounds failed to fire.
I was unable to locate 9 spent casings.
I could try a different brand or see about what I could do about the firing pin strikes being kinda light.
The firing pin strikes still seem inconsistant.
But the positive thing about tonights test, NO Jams!!!
I think I broke it of that nasty tendency to jam.
Now its just the issue of failing to fire.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2020, 09:52:23 PM »
Some insight of one possible problem came to light on another gunsmithing forum.

For all I went through, I thought to pass along my findings. There were many things I went through and wierd encounters. I never thought about the primer mixture fracturing. And who would have thought the Fireing pin would have been bent. There were two or three times I felt like pitching that .22 into the willows or snow drift. But I love puzzles. I just Had to know why it was doing what It was. Varnish like lube. Tired springs. Bent firing pin Broken disconnector. Worn extractor claw. Boggered chamber sticking cases. Buffer peened badly. And Flakey ammo.

Quote: BobM1919
1 day ago post #9

'An interesting narrative on the trials and tribulations of bringing an old rifle back to life. Compounded by the low temps you must deal with.
It's those very same tempetures that might be causing the failure to fire. Pull one of the misfired rounds apart, dump the powder on a clean sheet of paper. Inspect the powder, looking for green or yellow specks or chunks mixed in. This is the priming compound, it shatters rather than lights under the blow of the FP. Inspect the case, sometimes all of the priming is gone, sometimes there is a bit left. I've seen this with almost all brands of ammo, if it is cold enough, but it seems to happen with Federal brand the most often'.

Thats some food for thought.

I had a couple boxes knocking around for ages in my snowmobile handlebar bag!

Now with thoughts of rough handling of a cartridge before it ever leaves the box is something I wont take for granted now.
Thinking of my own rough treatment that may have caused FTF.

I do remember a particular brand Remington both the green n yellah and the Thunder-Duds that averaged 4 to 9 duds per box.
I took it for granted that it was Remingtons making crappy cartridges and pitched the duds some after 2-4 firing pin marks.
It could easily have been in the shipping and handling after they left the factory, careless handling on the loading docks, transferring it at the distribution center, airtransport to bush Alaska, he tempratures at the time of transport.
What stands out in the particular case happened during the first term of Obama in Office, the Rural supply of rimfire cartridges was slowly drying up, till the last bunch to hit the OTZ Alaska Commercial Company shelves was just Remingtons averaging $6 a box of fifty.
So what I rwmember was lots of Dud's shortly before tbe shelves went dry for the next 5 years.
I dont blame Obama for the cartridges being dud's, but the lack of options in ammunition I had available was.

Tonight I had the inner magazine out and noticed it was kinda gritty like when pushing the follower in, in fact all along when loading cartridges the inner magazine was alwsys a hassle after loading to get it back in the outer housing.
I have other tube mag rimfires that way easier than this 552.
Earlier Id replaced the tube magazine spring, and I had ran a cleaning rod with a patch attachment.
Since then Id replaced the cotton patch and picked open some 3-M scotch brite to clear the insides of the inner magazine.
It certainly wouldnt hurt to polish out 48 years of grunge that accumulated in there.
After pulling it down the inner magazine and swabbing with generous dose of hoppes #9 did nothing to improve magazine follower, spinning a brass brush inside the magazine to slick it up its operation.
So will have to check it out tomorrow after work.
Suspect rust spots are causing dragging of follower.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2020, 09:58:42 PM »
Apr 12, 2019 
The gift went out for another try after replacing the extractor and firing pin, the Numrich hammer spring was used and a bit shorter than the one Id removed.
So cleaned it real good and reinstalled it and re-riveted the hammer pin a second time (first time was to R2 the disconnector)
Last nights test, being a tight wad I loaded the first 15 rounds with some from.the last outing.
Only 3 rounds in 15 discharged.
I opened a new box and loaded 15.
Six rounds in fifteen discharged.
Id brouht along a Chiappa M1-22
To test as well.
I loaded it with ten rounds from the same box.
The Chiappa chewed through the ten rounds without a hitch.
I kept the spent brass from both .22's (Chiappa m1-22 and Rem 552)
I pulled the bullets from a couple duds and found flakes of yellow priming compound mixed with the powder.

For the Gift (552) to fire 6 out of 15 with this ammount of case dent.
Was the firing pin still not hitting hard enough?
Or not wide enough, the Chiappa has a wider dent in the rim than the Gift is making.
So I pulled the 552 barrel and bolt, removed the new firing pin and ran the top bottom and sides on my knife hone block, smoothing any places that drag could deflect the hammer blow to less than it could.
Reinstalled new firing pin after stoneing off any drag risers.
Just a few minutes ago I placed a order for a brand new remington 552 hammer spring from Brownells (no more used springs from Numrich)
Will report more after parts arrive.

I think due to the nature of the firing mechanism of this particular 552,
it produces more Duds than any rimfire Ive encountered, duds can exist before loading, I think this particular rifle can damage the priming compound of the average .22 LR irreguardless of the batch, brand and era producing duds where none existed before.


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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2020, 10:00:49 PM »
Well the new hammer spring arrived Saturday,
I installed it last night.
Hadnt tried it yet.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2020, 10:07:05 PM »
This afternoon we went out, and tried the 552 (replacef the hammer spring), I stoked it with 10 rnds Federal silver box, cycled in the first round, which fired, the second didnt and neiter did the 7th & 9th rounds tried.
So 7 out of ten fired!
Then tried another six and only one fired, then I tried some really old CCI minimags and every one of them duded out on me.

After getting back to town, I removed the barrel/bolt unit.
While out, I noticed some battering on the side front left side of the hammer, its fresh from hitting something and killing off the hammer blow force.

Took a photo of the bolt and barrel pointed up so the firing pin was hanging down out of the bolt, then tipped it down so the firing pin gravity dropped into the fired position.
Then the odd dent on the forward Left corner of the hammer, had me wondering WTH.
Last couple photo of me trying to get a hammer side play deflection.

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2020, 10:10:55 PM »
As I was sitting there studying just what the heck was scuffing the hammer, I had it reassembled and was slowly working the bolt.
I noticed there is a pretty fair ammount of CCW torsional twist to the bolt as it closed the last half inch.
Trying to figure just how much movement is happening I added some post-it sticky pad over part the ejection port.

If the tolerances of the ejector and grooves on the side of the bolt that also act as a bolt guide are excessive this could allow the bolt to twist as it cycles, possibly twisting in such a way that causes the hammer to strike a glancing blow when fired instead of squarely striking the firing pin causing light hits?
I might try a new bolt guide/ejector before trying to locate a new bolt

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2020, 10:12:10 PM »
Last Sunday I studied the trigger group, as noted, there was scarring on the front edge of the hammer.
And I was looking at the bolt and its axial freeplay and the engagement in the Bolt guide/ejector.
Thinking this is one area I had yet to address.
So I removed the Bolt guide/
extractor and placed it on a anvil and adjusted it some using a hammer to square the engaugement slot better.
Then using a couple prybars spread open the bolt guide so it would better support the Bolt to remove some the excessive axial rotation of the bolt.
The reassembled the 552 for another function test.

*Last night the oldest daughter said she 'NEED'ed' some firearms therapy so we loaded up the snowmobiles and a couple .22's and some other "firearms with a high fun factor" and snowmobiled out to an secluded spot, to relax and have fun and for me the chance to test the 552 after tweaking the bolt guide/ejector.
It was about 8pm Alaska Time
Air temprature 40F
Using fresh CCI ammunition.
I loaded 5 rounds in the magazine and tried a couple shots.
What was surprising was It fired like it should!
The 552 shot all 5 rounds without a single FTF!
I did pick up some the spent brass for later study
I loaded another 15 rounds and tried it again and it shot all of them without a hitch.
Then I loaded another 15 rounds and let my son shoot.
Then another 15 for my daughter.
Thats when she encountered two FTF out of 15.
Then my son tried another 15 rounds and more FTF's started to crop up.
Then It just went to a steady stream of FTF's.
Well that gave me something to think about.
The other .22 rifle we brought along used the same box of ammunition and worked till it developed a safety issue and was cleard and put up for later inspection.

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2020, 10:19:04 PM »
Well I brought out "Dudley the Dud maker" a couple days back.
I was mostly firing some fresh ammo and dinging the others into duds with light firing pin strikes.
I had spent casings with healthy firing pin indentations, some spent casings with a dents that must have been 'just a nuff' to set it off, and some the firing pin dents fail to fire rounds with really light firing pin marks (some so light you really had to look for them).

Here is a 48 year old Alaskan camp Remington 552.
So far I found a broken disconnector and replaced it, then suspected burrs and galling on bolt and ejector so sanded, filed and stoned it, then replaced the bolt return spring with a new one that was 1.5" shorter than the old sping, then replaced the magazine spring, the new spring was over 14" longer than the old spring, then the 1971 era extractor claw, then the original firing pin?, then the 48 yro hammer spring, tweaked the ejector guide inlets on the bolt.
Dressd boogers on the bolt, on the hammer, even stoned off the spalled over steel buffer insert, just stoned it so it was even when the bolt recoiled into it.

Well Im sitting out in a willow patch, in a out the way corner of the tundra just outta town and Foggy as He**, and I decide to pull it appart on the spot on top of a open gun case and using my belt multi tool drifted the trigger group retaining pins, then a 1cent piece to pull loose the front hand guard and slide out the barrel & bolt.
Im sitting out there on a grassy patch on a small bowl looking at this hammer and bolt and am thinking.
The 552 hammer does deform from hitting stuff so its soft. The scars and burrs prove that.
I tried to imagine just how the hammer sits as it strikes the firing pin in the bolt.
The 552 hammer has a slight raised portion about the last quarter inch of the tip of the face side of hammer.

Is it possible that the hammer over time and repeated firing cycles battering away that little raised portion of the bolt face on the back end of the bolt can deform?
If that soft metal face were to be battered out of tolerance that could possibly cause light strikes on the firing pin, no matter how many firing pins you replace, itd be something to bear in mind?
And the 1/8" side to side play of hammer, if as its dropping with that excessive side play could bleed off the force of the hammer blow as it drop's and this accounts for the intermittant light and normal strikes of the fireing pin?
One question I have, Would my hammer rivet take another remove and restake cycle?
I dropped the trigger group in my brand new ultra sconic cleaner I bought off Amazon, and gave it a good warm solvent bath cleaning for a couple hours.
Then as I was fiddling with the trigger group thinking of how I was going to shim out the hammer wobble, I noticed something that escaped my attention before.
Something very obvious.
Something a trained gunsmith would have caught.
A cracked cartridge lifter?
Just what would cause a cartridge lifter crack like that???
Has anyone ever seen that happen on a 552?

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2020, 10:27:16 PM »
Well My first hammer shim was some plastic from a pop bottle, that was too tight a fit and bound up the hammer, then tried aluminum cut from the side of a aluminum pop can, three pop can shims removed close 85 -90% the side to side slop in the hammer.
To accentuate that raised face of the hammers firing pin striking surface, I ran a file over the relief portion of the hammer to allow the hammer that extra bit that was peened off since 1971.
So its all reassembled, lightly oiled and ready for my next try at that intermittant light / normal firing pin strikes.
And since I have a even worse shape 552 in pieces laying in storage, I went out and scavanged a serviceable cartridge lifter and installed on "Pinger" the 1971 "Dud Maker"
It pings the case enough to knock loose the priming compound in the case rim, creating a dud space on that cartridges rim, stick it in another rimfire with the dead space down, the pinged cartridge will still fire.
If I try to refire it in Pinger, its chances of firing ever again its really low.
Its saddining the ammount of ammunition that was junked because of this rimfire.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2020, 10:28:02 PM »
Well I took it out a couple weeks back, there was no improvement in its performance.
Out of 15 rounds loaded only 4 rounds discharged.
Im thinking its head space.
The discharged case's had a slight ballooning of the case base.
It should be flat Im pretty sure.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2020, 10:30:38 PM »
Well I have done all I can do to the bolt and the trigger group.
My best guess was the original firing pin was bent wierd was what chopped up the chamber seat.
I did manage to use a long thin taper punch to work down the offending burr that was catching the fired cases.
So I'm thinking the best way to close up some the head space is to stone off a thousandth or so of the back end of the barrel extension.
My last trip out pretty much confirmed bringing the bolt forward a couple thousandths should still be fine as far as firing pin protrusion (0.045") and head space demensions and should have plenty of clearance from firing pin's protrusion as its barely denting the cartridge as it is, might just be enough to gain that extra thousandth or so it needs to positively pinch the priming compound and set off the chambered cartridge.
Thats my main beef with this rifle now.

Its possible my old photos are still up on this sight.

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2020, 10:33:04 PM »

Well I kinda drifted off on a tangent and ended up lengthing the firing pin to strike the cartridge case deeper.
This did not work as well as Id hoped, the firing pin protrusion was now excessive.
I had to stop and think on this.
I bought another new factory firing pin.
Comparing my bolt assy with another 552 assy.
Both demensions were so close to be interchangeable.
And did swap them resulting in the same shallow strikes.
So we have a chamber that was ironed by myself one time.
How many attempts at ironing this chamber had this 1971 era rifle encountered before? Once? Twice? Four times?
So in order to shrink the distance from the erroded chamber to the bolt face I elected to remove a small ammount of metal from the butt end of the barrel extension that contacts the bolt assy.
Just buffing the butt end the barrel extension end that "small bit" was the tipping point of "just enuf" firing pin strike to reliably ignite every cartridge chambered.

View attachment 131510

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2020, 02:37:11 AM »
I've owned a grand total of one of those rifles. It was a very, very long time ago but my memories of it are not fond ones.

I do remember one day I took mine squirrel hunting. It was so bad I threw it as hard as I could away from me. I then went on and hunted with the High Standard pistol I had with me and killed several squirrels as I hunting along.

My path back to my vehicle took me past where I had thrown the rifle. I saw it when I came back from the hunt and picked it up. I had not actually intended to pick it back up with I threw it away. But I did, and I took it home, cleaned the dirt out of the barrel and traded it away the next time I went to the gun shop.

Bill aka the Graybeard
President, Graybeard Outdoor Enterprises

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life anyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life!

Offline Rex in OTZ

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Re: Remington 552 Autoloader Troubleshooting...
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2020, 07:15:45 AM »
As you may have noticed I'm not One of the Quickest of Cats when coming from determining what went wrong, I live quite a ways from a Remington Service Center, cost in shipping the 552 Jam-O-Matic would have been a deal killer, I looked at it like the puzzle it was and in the end kept me entertained for a few years, and did get it to function properly.
My original theory was wrong, it seems this 552 was dry fired to the point the chamber was battered out of Spec, possibly the camp folks knew of the taper punch iron method or they may simply filed material from the peened area.
Eventually the area was not supporting the cartridge cartridge rim well enough to fire the cartridge, To fix it in the end I slightly removed a little bit of material from the barrel extension closing headspace by a a couple thousandth's of a inch, enough to reliably fire the cartridge.

The real shop work required to fix would be to ream the chamber and set headspace, reset the bolt extractor cuts further forward (chamber set further forward)

The maddening thing was after fixing all the other tired, broken and worn parts, it was still dinging cartridge rims just enough to Not fire the cartridge.

There were a couple times I wanted to huck it out into the willows or over into a snow drift, but didnt, I'd be darned if I let a simple .22 get the better of me, and the question would never been answered.
What was worn?