Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Stoeger finally melted down- A saga (edit- it was my fault)


openclassterror

Recommended Posts

In the interest of being totally forthcoming about the Stoeger M3000, I must give ALL news, not just good news. I work on these things for a living, so obviously everyone expects me to rave when they are fantastic. But how honest would it be if I didn't also report when it craps the bed? Here is the story-

3Gun Nation, Western Regionals (OF COURSE! IT HAD TO HAPPEN AT A MAJOR!)

First stage of the match, 40 round shotgun stage from a shoot house. Stage ran well until the very last reload. I had a short stroke one round prior to stuffing the speedloader without realizing it. Bolt cycled far enough to eject, but didn't activate the lifter. As I attempted to load, I was perplexed that the lifter was jammed. Took me a good 4-5 seconds to realize there was a round on it trapped underneath the bolt. Then I racked the bolt, stuffed the tube, and finished the stage. "No biggie" I thought. Once every thousand rounds or so I get an underpowered shell (cheapo Walmart Federal bulk pack stuff. Really, I have had like 6 malfunctions in 8,000 rounds). Gun ran again until the last stage of the day, then when I activated both aerial clays it did the same thing again (eject, but no lifter). I racked it in time to get a shot off, but missed the clay as it dropped out of sight. "OK, must be dirty. Haven't cleaned it since it was handled by 20,000 people at the SHOT booth"

At the hotel that night I stripped it and cleaned it, oiled it up and put it together. Not terribly dirty, but who knows.

Next morning, the trench stage. First 4 targets, no prob. Again double aerials. Short-stroke comes back! JEEZO, what the hell!?! Next two shots fine, then 2 poppers with clay activators. Hit the poppers and CLICK! Nothing for the first clay. AAAAHHHHHGGGGHHH!!!!!! Hyper-speed bolt rack to scrape second clay off the dirt. I decided I must be uptight and leaning into the gun too hard. ( I am 6'3" and 260 right now, so I can stall an inertia gun if I really lean into it). So, for the last 4 birdshot and 4 slugs, I soft shoulder the gun and it cycles. As I clear the guns after the stage, I notice that I stuffed the end of the mag tube into the trench wall and it is all full of goo. Great, I just cleaned it and NOW the follower is jammed!

Next stage is Times 12 classifier, shotgun only stage and I am the third shooter up. Mad scramble time. Pull the fore-end, barrel and mag tube. Use the spring to push a couple patches through, and re-assemble just in time to shoot. Just to be safe, I run Remington Heavy Dove (1-1/8 @ 1255) so it will cycle for sure. 3 SHORT STROKES!!!!!! 14 seconds on a stage I usually run in 9. Keith Garcia was on our squad, and came up after the stage. "how old is your mag spring?" he asks. One season, but I measured it right before I left, and it hasn't shortened since the initial set. He is sure it is the spring. I pull the endcap, he stretches it about a foot, and puts it back in. I am certain it isn't the problem, but you don't tell a Pro with many thousands more rounds of experience he is wrong without at least trying his solution. I got permission from the RO, loaded the mag, and speed dumped into the Berm. Flawless. Well, OK, maybe I was wrong. First time for everything, right? Load it again. BOOM BOOM Click. OK, now I'm getting pissed. Keith mentions that he has a brand new spring in his bag we could try. OK, put it in, rush to the next stage, sneak into an empty bay between shooters, and it runs. My turn to shoot.

Up to the start position, feeling no confidence. Still shooting heavies since all my tubes are loaded with them now. Shotgun is the last gun in the stage. At least 7 or 8 short strokes, including one on the last target, an aerial clay. I am getting REALLY good at racking the bolt while targets are in the air now. For the last half of the stage, after every shot I look at the lifter to see if the round is still there between targets. I am no longer having fun, and the rest of my shooting is suffering too.

Last stage of the match, 2 slugs, 14 bird. I am prepared for the worst. Buzzer goes, and I timidly head for the slug target. Bang. HIT! on to the bird targets. Bang (look). Bang (look) Bang (look). OK, maybe it will run. Bang, Bang, Bang. I finish the stage with no more problems. Huh?

Conclusion- I haven't had a chance to look at it since we got back, too busy building customer guns (Actually writing this on my lunch break). I don't want to change anything until I get to the range and confirm that the problem still exists. Then, I will replace one part at a time until I figure out what the cause was, and post the results here for the benefit of all Stoeger owners going forward.

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took it to the range today and noticed a glaring issue, right in my face the whole time. I loaded it up with the usual assortment of shells, and held loosely against my jacket (it is raining today) it ran 100%. Held against my shoulder, not even very tight, it did the same short stroke most of the time. To explain, first I have to back up.

When I went to SHOT, I revamped my shotgun to show every available option for an open gun. Including (pay close attention here), an XRAIL, and a lightened bolt carrier. During testing of the XRAIL, we took the advice offered by others using an xrail on an inertia gun, and used high base shells. It ran like a champ. Prior to this match, I had taken the XRAIL off, but only used the shotgun to fine tune the slug sight-in (1300fps) and ran some STS stuff through it because it was in my range bag. I was only able to take my shotgun to the range for one short trip between SHOT and the match because the shop was so busy. You all should be connecting the dots now. Buehller? Anyone?

You all remember my diatribe in the main Stoeger thread about what happens when you mess with the inertia variables, right? So, in this case, the super fancy gold coated lightened carrier that graced the gun at SHOT was lightened from 365 grams to 340. Hey, guess what? It ran great with high base stuff and the XRAIL. It ran great with slugs. It ran great with STS sporting clays loads. BUT I NEVER TESTED IT WITH THE LIGHT LOADS. So, like a moron, I went to a major match with (in essence) untested gear. And it failed me. So, guess what happened when I swapped the original carrier back in? 1 0 0 %. WHY AM I SO STUPID????!!!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took it to the range today and noticed a glaring issue, right in my face the whole time. I loaded it up with the usual assortment of shells, and held loosely against my jacket (it is raining today) it ran 100%. Held against my shoulder, not even very tight, it did the same short stroke most of the time. To explain, first I have to back up.

When I went to SHOT, I revamped my shotgun to show every available option for an open gun. Including (pay close attention here), an XRAIL, and a lightened bolt carrier. During testing of the XRAIL, we took the advice offered by others using an xrail on an inertia gun, and used high base shells. It ran like a champ. Prior to this match, I had taken the XRAIL off, but only used the shotgun to fine tune the slug sight-in (1300fps) and ran some STS stuff through it because it was in my range bag. I was only able to take my shotgun to the range for one short trip between SHOT and the match because the shop was so busy. You all should be connecting the dots now. Buehller? Anyone?

You all remember my diatribe in the main Stoeger thread about what happens when you mess with the inertia variables, right? So, in this case, the super fancy gold coated lightened carrier that graced the gun at SHOT was lightened from 365 grams to 340. Hey, guess what? It ran great with high base stuff and the XRAIL. It ran great with slugs. It ran great with STS sporting clays loads. BUT I NEVER TESTED IT WITH THE LIGHT LOADS. So, like a moron, I went to a major match with (in essence) untested gear. And it failed me. So, guess what happened when I swapped the original carrier back in? 1 0 0 %. WHY AM I SO STUPID????!!!!!!!!

My friend you are not stupid...I know that you have way too much going on and when juggling so many tasks it is easy to overlook your personal gear. The cool thing is you let us know the good and bad and after sorting it out give us the straight dope.

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea thanks tom! Had me worried for a second. That said, how about some reliabilty reports from you guys with 10's of thousands of rounds? Pat? Jesse?. Round counts before major stuff breaks? Ill start, i have exactly 2 cases 500 rounds of federal 1-1/8 oz 8 shot with zero malfunctions ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not entirely true. You can run a lightened bolt with a reduced power recoil spring, and regular loads. There are a number of ways to tune lightened carriers, but what you CAN'T do is run a lightened carrier with a stock recoil spring and light loads on an inertia gun with aggressive ports

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am just glad it didn't end up being a 3 week treasure hunt for an intermittent problem. Like car electrical stuff. For it to go well over 8,000 rounds with very few hiccups and then come completely unglued had me dumbfounded. And I found it, and it was dumb :blush:. Literally more malfunctions in this match than in the entire life of this shotgun. Glad it was me, sort of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would imagine that a front recoil spring around the tube narrows the window of operation a bit as well, as you have a lot more friction in the recoil spring/tube interface than a recoil spring set up in the stock. You also have a dynamic in the fact that you are pulling and pushing the bolt and carrier from the bottom instead of a more centered push in line with the frame rails. Glad you found it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd chalk it up to too many monkeys in the noggin Tom, not you or the gun. :) Since Outzen won HOA at that match, the loose monkey factor had to be pretty high. :)

Many of the "Pros" are great at adding a rambunctious monkey to the mix as well :roflol: that can really throw you off your normal diagnostic pattern.

That said, I do think there is a recoil and operational difference based on how offset of the force from the center of the carrier which Kurt stated. That difference results in a more severe change in the operational dynamics of the M3000 with a lightened bolt as compared to the M2. It is actually closer to the VM in terms of force analysis, which definitely should not have a lightened bolt.

Thanks for the OP, but sorry it had to be found at a big match. :goof:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a raw prototype part (that was purposely turned to 60% of the weight of the final version as an engineering test) that I had left in one of my 930s as a placeholder in order to get it in the safe for a trip out of town. I had lost track of it until my 930 puked in a night match weeks later.

I have a new rule and a new gun specifically for prototyping now. I've only run it in one match so far. Well, it's more of a guideline than a rule.

:blush:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...