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Thread: Shotgun misfire

  1. #1

    Shotgun misfire

    I have an old wm Powell side by side box lock which i have owned without fault for 20years and it has been serviced regularly. Today I had a misfire in the first barrel whereby the cartridge primer had a light strike but did not go off. This happened again and I then fired the cartridge successfully in the second barrel. I do have a local gunsmith that I can use. Before I speak to him do you have any suggestions as to what the problem could be? Pin? Springs? This will help me ensure I get the best service locally.
    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Almost certainly a spring problem. Not a big issue for a gunsmith. If its a broken pin, you will see the pin is fractured. Was it a different brand / batch of cartridges - some primers can be tougher than others. If so short term fix is to go back to a brand that you know works.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    Almost certainly a spring problem. Not a big issue for a gunsmith. If its a broken pin, you will see the pin is fractured. Was it a different brand / batch of cartridges - some primers can be tougher than others. If so short term fix is to go back to a brand that you know works.
    Thanks, that's very helpful. Same brand of cartridges I have used all season, never had a problem before.

  4. #4
    Yes. Probably the pin or the spring....

    But you brought it on yourself, messing about with shotguns. Just asking for trouble, I tell you.~Muir

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Yes. Probably the pin or the spring....

    But you brought it on yourself, messing about with shotguns. Just asking for trouble, I tell you.~Muir
    Ha ha!

  6. #6
    It might be worth giving a quick squirt of cleaner/lubricant down the firing pin hole from an aerosol. There may be a bit of grit there.

    Also we used a rough and ready test to compare the two firing pin springs. With the gun dismantled and cocked, put a pound coin over the firing pin hold the stock vertical and pull that trigger, then repeat on the other. If there is a noticeable difference the spring is weak.

  7. #7
    Sometimes the primers are set a little low in the cases. Not uncommon I'm afraid.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by goathunter1 View Post
    Sometimes the primers are set a little low in the cases. Not uncommon I'm afraid.
    Strange that it happened twice in the space of an hour, but then again 2 duff shells from same box could be a Friday afternoon 'lemon' batch. Still, I now don't have the same confidence in the gun, even if the shells were at fault. So I need to get the ok from a gunsmith, I guess. Will try the pound coin trick and see what happens.

  9. #9
    As Wm Powell are still in business might it not be a good idea to contact them. I found them to be most helpful over the BSA sporting rifle they only retailed.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    As Wm Powell are still in business might it not be a good idea to contact them. I found them to be most helpful over the BSA sporting rifle they only retailed.
    I know they have recently been taken over by Osborne, and have moved to Oxford I think, but I guess they still have a few old boys there. I contacted them when I bought the rifle originally and they sent me a copy of the bill of sale.......from 1872 !!

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