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Thread: Damage To Bolt Face

  1. #1

    Damage To Bolt Face

    Hi All,

    I'm new to bolt action rifles, so please excuse my ignorance. Attached are a couple of photos that show some damage to the face of a bolt on a 22.250 Mauser 98.

    It takes the form of some light marking matching the point of contact with the percussion cap and in one spot of about 2 mm it is slightly deeper pitting.

    My questions are:

    Is this safe/normal on an older rifle?

    If I need to, is it possible to get a new bolt as the rest of the rifle is in lovely condition?

    As an aside there are no serial numbers stamped on the bolt, but every military rifle I've ever used had matching serial numbers on the rifle and working parts, and barrel.

    Many thanks,


    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Should be fine. Think it's called primer erosion. Have seen far worse so can't think that is unsafe!

  3. #3
    Doesn't look too bad yet. Would I be right in thinking that this is a rifle built on an old military action? If it is my guess would be that the damage was probably done some years ago when corrosive primers were in use. It's hard to judge from only a photograph but I would think that most gunsmiths who would look at it would say don't worry and just carry on enjoying the use of your rifle. None the less it may be worth getting a gunsmith to have a look at it sometime, a gunsmith not a RFD.

    There possibly is a number engraved on the bolt somewhere perhaps only the last three digits underneath the bolt handle perhaps. As regards matching the bolt to the rifle yes bolts need to be headspaced to the barrel so it's not normally of just sticking another bolt in the rifle.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  4. #4
    Its fine,its primer etching caused by gas leaking back past the primer and won't have any affect on it's use.

  5. #5
    I used an old sako as a donor once that was far worse. Norman Clarke had the pits tig welded then refaced the blot face
    Last edited by srvet; 21-02-2013 at 02:07.

  6. #6
    It's pretty normal and certainly nothing to be concerned about. ATB
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  7. #7
    Is it on a Parker-Hale ? They had a delivery of bolts /actions from India which were badly pitted and just refaced the bolt to clear off the pitting ,they had a depression in the middle of the bolt face the size of the base of the round ,just like yours .It's not a problem ,just shoot it .

  8. #8
    Thanks for all the info guys, it's good to know it's safe.

    Spent a cold but fun day out today and it shoots as well as I do 1 1/2" at a hundred and a few meters which will do for me, and yes it is a Parker Hale but I'm not sure if it's one of the ones that was refaced though, do you know what sort of year that might have been, I'm interested in finding out about Parker Hale now I own one.

    Also, out of interest I had a closer look at the bolt and could just make out 0406 (the last four digits of its serial number) etched onto the back of the lever as shown in the photo below. Does anyone know if this was likely to have been done during manufacture or has it been put on at a later date?

    Many thanks,


    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Jim that would have been engraved on the bolt at the time of manufacture/assembly.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

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