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Winchester SX3 Bolt Handle Problem


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I have a Winchester SX3 that is about 5 years old with many rounds thru it. Not sure how many, but it has been a great gun. It is set up for 3-gun with a Briley mag extension and I replaced the barrel with a 26" Browning. After getting the piston sealed by SRM it has been very reliable.

Any one else have this problem with their SX2 or3?

Here is the problem. From day one the bolt charging handle has been loose. Never really seemed to push in tight, Even the stock one was never really tight, you could always pull it out fairly easily. Replaced it with a Briley bolt handle and all was good for awhile, then that one loosened up and pulled out when charging it after running dry one time at a match and went flying. Found it and replaced it with a Nordic. Again all was good for awhile and it came out when racking it. Even went flying out while shooting. Replaced the detent, pin, and spring that puts pressure on the bolt and bought another Briley handle. Even worse, this one came out the first time I shot at the range and smacked me in the cheek leaving a good cut.

Not good. I made a heavier spring to push harder against the detent and wedged some soft steel wire against the back of the bolt handle when I drove it in and it seems tight now, but not a good solution. Checked on replacing the carrier completely and at almost $300 bucks kind of expensive. Thinking of welding or soldering a couple of small pieces of metal on the back of the handle then filing it down to put more tension on the bolt detent as the next step.

Going to shoot it this weekend and see how it works. Need to be able to trust it. Any ideas. I would be willing to send the handle and carrier to anyone that has an idea to repair it.

Thanks, gerritm

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Seems to be an issue with the design. Mine is the same way. One thing I noticed with mine was that when the bolt is closed, I can push the handle in a touch further than I can when the bolt is locked open/back. I had briley relieve the material on the bolt/carrier end of the handle so that it would clear the receiver a little better, and that seems to have helped keep the handle seated a bit better.

Seems that a slightly oversized stem with a bit more interference fit would be a great solution.

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