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Posted:  7/28/2012 11:31 PM #33001

Joined: 7/17/2012
Posts: 40
Last Post: 12/20/2012
Subject: older J.C. Higgins 22 Rifle Misfires
Hi folks.  Here's a question...eventually.  
A little over 50 years ago, my Dad was given a used J.C. Higgins single-shot, bolt action 22 rifle.  He used it from the day he got it.  For years, he has told me stories of camping trips where that rifle kept him from going hungry, and of hard times when it put food on the table.  Long story short, he loved that rifle, and has had it since he was about 8 years old.  Today, he's sixty.  The rifle started "spitting" several years ago, throwing back powder and gas in the shooter's face, so he put it away.
When my son expressed an interest in shooting, my Dad decided to fix that old rifle up and give it to him.  The first thing he did was locate a bolt (which took some doing) and replaced the old one.  That took care of the spitting problem.  Then he went through it, cleaning, polishing, etc.  He reconditioned the wood stock and had a gunsmith blue the barrel.  Then he gave it to my son.  Grandpa can now, even more than ever, do no wrong!
Today, I was the proud father of a very excited 8-year-old boy on his first shooting trip with Grandpa's old rifle.  The rifle worked great the first few shots, and my son was ridiculously accurate with it.  He didn't care that it was a single shot.  This was Grandpa's old rifle that he rebuiltespecially to give to him.  My son was honored, and I was thrilled that he was.  It was a great day.
The only bad part of the day is the gun began to malfunction.  With this rifle, you pull the bolt back, put the .22 lr in, close the bolt, pull this plunger-type thing at the rear of the receiver, and pull the trigger.  Well, it started not firing.  When I took the bullet out, you could see the mark where the firing pin hit, just no"bang". Also, we were using new ammo.  Anybody have an idea what might be wrong?  I can post pics if need be.
I know that was really long-winded, but it's just so cool to see my son shooting that rifle!  My parents are in Florida, but we live in Kentucky.  So, if I can find the problem without bringing it up to my Dad, I really don't see a reason to tell him anything went wrong.    

Posted:  7/29/2012 12:18 AM #33002

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
If the firing pin is hitting the primer rim, but the round is not firing, the firing pin spring may be weak. <<< Try saying that 5 times fast. 

Posted:  7/29/2012 12:38 AM #33005

Joined: 7/17/2012
Posts: 40
Last Post: 12/20/2012
OK, so change the firing pin spring.  Son of a...  I bet that's going to be harder to find than the bolt was! 

Posted:  7/30/2012 8:05 AM #33028
Colt Guy

Joined: 3/31/2009
Posts: 102
Last Post: 12/17/2012
The firing pin could be worn down. The replacement bolt may have excessive headspace. A gunsmith can check both of these.
Nothing beats the original!

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