Bolt lug galling - new rifle

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Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 26 May 2021, 2:53 pm

Recently purchased a Howa 1500. Took it to the range for the first time and on the 8th reload felt a bit of resistance closing bolt. Removed bolt and inspected and noted galling on one of the lugs. Using factory ammo. Bolt lugs had been greased prior. What do you think? Is it a warranty job?
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by on_one_wheel » 26 May 2021, 3:08 pm

If it were mine and warranty was out of the question, id clean and polished with wet n dry to remove the high spots lubricate with molybdenum disulphide grease and keep a close eye on it.

Definitely worth asking your supplier about it.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by deye243 » 26 May 2021, 8:38 pm

Take it back for warranty if not just remove the barrel and lapp lugs in simple job and you'll end up with proper contact between bolt lugs and recesses
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Larry » 26 May 2021, 10:15 pm

To me it just looks like brand new wear marks in the not so smooth bluing. I would be more concerned with the lack of engagement on the other lug. Notice the wrinkle in the bluing on the other lug.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by straightshooter » 27 May 2021, 7:25 am

The picture is not too clear and there seems to be plenty of grease in evidence but is in the picture is not 'galling'.
Galling of locking lugs generally occurs over repeated use in the absence of lubricant. Even the oil trapped in the bluing would be enough to prevent galling at so early in the life of your action.
I would not be surprised if you have picked up a particle of sand or grit which may have left that mark.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 27 May 2021, 8:49 am

Thanks all. Difficult to get a good photo. Damage to the lug is grooves with lump of metal at end. Not just 1 groove but at least 2. I thought either galling, left over swarf or machine marks left on the action. I used a high content moly grease so yeh maybe not galling. I don’t know. Not happy about it.
I’ve sent an email to supplier and am awaiting a reply.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Bill » 27 May 2021, 9:08 am

I know you state you had grease on the lugs but that looks like there was some crap in the action and it was run dry. give the gun a good clean and make you own Graphite paste ( grab some Graphite powder from Bunnings and mixed with some gun oil so its almost a dry paste) smear on the lugs and other bolt wear marks and let things settle down. most of those marks will dissappear over time and clear what ever was on that lugs ( in might still be in the action) and prevented the other lug from bearing.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by No1_49er » 27 May 2021, 9:59 am

Looking at the galling that has taken place on that locking lug (can't see the other one), I'd be inclined to return it to the vendor and ask for a replacement. In a new rifle, that failure is entirely unacceptable. If the problem is more apparent or only exists on one lug then clearly there is incorrect lock-up, which indicates a defective product.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 27 May 2021, 5:34 pm

Bill, never run dry in my possession and there were no marks when I received it. I use a high content moly grease that I have for air rifle seals and it works well on my other rifle lugs.

No 1, the other lug doesn’t have a mark on it. Hopefully dealer is willing to help. Will follow up email with a call tomorrow. Haven’t heard back from them yet.

Larry, lugs were wiped down for photo and wrinkle is just some left over grease and oil.

Thanks all for your input
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Bill » 27 May 2021, 5:39 pm

good luck with the Dealer Husky243
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by No1_49er » 27 May 2021, 9:06 pm

Husky243 wrote:No 1, the other lug doesn’t have a mark on it. Hopefully dealer is willing to help. Will follow up email with a call tomorrow. Haven’t heard back from them yet.

Might seem like a silly question, but, does the serial number on the bolt match the rifle action?
If the other lug doesn't have a mark on it, then there seems to be a serious mismatch between the lugs and the receiver recess. One making contact and the other not. Bad, bad, bad.
New rifle needs to be replaced.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Oldbloke » 28 May 2021, 12:14 am

No1_49er wrote:
Husky243 wrote:No 1, the other lug doesn’t have a mark on it. Hopefully dealer is willing to help. Will follow up email with a call tomorrow. Haven’t heard back from them yet.

Might seem like a silly question, but, does the serial number on the bolt match the rifle action?
If the other lug doesn't have a mark on it, then there seems to be a serious mismatch between the lugs and the receiver recess. One making contact and the other not. Bad, bad, bad.
New rifle needs to be replaced.


Inclined to agree.

1 lug fully contacting and other only say 50% is not unusual. But only one contacting isn't right.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by ZaineB » 28 May 2021, 1:41 am

its a new gun, go enjoy your warranty and buyer protection laws.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 31 May 2021, 6:33 pm

No1_49er, was a good point and checked that after seeing your post but they are matching.

Took it in today and the bloke behind the counter was helpful. He took it out the back to who I assume was a gunsmith. Gunsmith seemed to think I was using reloads with too much powder based on the brass left on the back of the bolt. I don’t and have yet to ever reload. I was using PPU factory ammo while I ran it in. I also didn’t think the brass on the face of bolt was that bad but I am no expert. Anyway, the expert out the back said because the “reloads” were running so hot it was solidifying the moly grease I used on the back of the lugs and causing the scratches.

I left it with them to have a proper inspection. I want to first know if there is anything in the action that is still causing issues.

Keen on your thoughts
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Wm.Traynor » 31 May 2021, 7:02 pm

So, the moly grease solidified, causing............blah, blah, blah :crazy:

I hate to say it but I would be looking for an
Independent, "Expert". Others might be able to say whether or not the Importer is to be trusted with a recommendation or whether you should be looking elsewhere.
Best of luck mate :thumbsup:
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Oldbloke » 31 May 2021, 7:28 pm

They are full of BS and trying to fob you off.
Suggest you contact the importers direct.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by ZaineB » 31 May 2021, 8:05 pm

like OB and Traynor are saying mate they are absolutely full of s**t, go in there tell them that you are going to be speaking to consumer affairs if they dont just plain replace the rifle. brass on a brand new boltface is normal, my 270 still does it 1500 rounds later.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Lsfan » 31 May 2021, 8:10 pm

Hi guys. I’m VERY new to this sport/ hobby so excuse me for my lack of knowledge. I have a howa 1500 .223 which I ordered from interstate. My first ever centrefire. In fact I haven’t even used it yet. It was shipped with the barreled action separate from the stock. When I pulled it out of the box, the first thing I did was try to operate the bolt and found it would lift but wouldn’t slide back. I then realised the screws which hold the stock on were wound in and the rear one was preventing the bolt from moving back. After removing the screws it worked fine and after also fitting the stock, still ok. Just a thought and probably a stupid question, but if the screws were overtightened, could it be that the rear screw is actually slightly touching the bolt?
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by ZaineB » 31 May 2021, 8:13 pm

Lsfan wrote:Hi guys. I’m VERY new to this sport/ hobby so excuse me for my lack of knowledge. I have a howa 1500 .223 which I ordered from interstate. My first ever centrefire. In fact I haven’t even used it yet. It was shipped with the barreled action separate from the stock. When I pulled it out of the box, the first thing I did was try to operate the bolt and found it would lift but wouldn’t slide back. I then realised the screws which hold the stock on were wound in and the rear one was preventing the bolt from moving back. After removing the screws it worked fine and after also fitting the stock, still ok. Just a thought and probably a stupid question, but if the screws were overtightened, could it be that the rear screw is actually slightly touching the bolt?



I have a 1500 in a boyds laminate stock, never had this issue and im a typical bushy that just tightened the #unt up until it felt right, and mine shoots clover leaves all day, so I dare say you'll be perfectly fine provided whatever stock you use is inletted properly
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Lsfan » 31 May 2021, 8:22 pm

ZaineB wrote:
Lsfan wrote:Hi guys. I’m VERY new to this sport/ hobby so excuse me for my lack of knowledge. I have a howa 1500 .223 which I ordered from interstate. My first ever centrefire. In fact I haven’t even used it yet. It was shipped with the barreled action separate from the stock. When I pulled it out of the box, the first thing I did was try to operate the bolt and found it would lift but wouldn’t slide back. I then realised the screws which hold the stock on were wound in and the rear one was preventing the bolt from moving back. After removing the screws it worked fine and after also fitting the stock, still ok. Just a thought and probably a stupid question, but if the screws were overtightened, could it be that the rear screw is actually slightly touching the bolt?



I have a 1500 in a boyds laminate stock, never had this issue and im a typical bushy that just tightened the #unt up until it felt right, and mine shoots clover leaves all day, so I dare say you'll be perfectly fine provided whatever stock you use is inletted properly

I don’t have a problem with mine, just a thought for the OP in case the screw somehow was the cause of the marks on the bolt. Now that you mention it though, I’ve seen many comments about the importance of the screw torque. I just did mine up snug with a 1/4” ratchet only applying medium force with one hand.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by ZaineB » 31 May 2021, 8:25 pm

Lsfan wrote:
ZaineB wrote:
Lsfan wrote:Hi guys. I’m VERY new to this sport/ hobby so excuse me for my lack of knowledge. I have a howa 1500 .223 which I ordered from interstate. My first ever centrefire. In fact I haven’t even used it yet. It was shipped with the barreled action separate from the stock. When I pulled it out of the box, the first thing I did was try to operate the bolt and found it would lift but wouldn’t slide back. I then realised the screws which hold the stock on were wound in and the rear one was preventing the bolt from moving back. After removing the screws it worked fine and after also fitting the stock, still ok. Just a thought and probably a stupid question, but if the screws were overtightened, could it be that the rear screw is actually slightly touching the bolt?



I have a 1500 in a boyds laminate stock, never had this issue and im a typical bushy that just tightened the #unt up until it felt right, and mine shoots clover leaves all day, so I dare say you'll be perfectly fine provided whatever stock you use is inletted properly

I don’t have a problem with mine, just a thought for the OP in case the screw somehow was the cause of the marks on the bolt. Now that you mention it though, I’ve seen many comments about the importance of the screw torque. I just did mine up snug with a 1/4” ratchet only applying medium force with one hand.



same all my rifles are snugged up by hand and 0 accuracy issues. same with the attachments on my compound bows, never an issue, people have a habit of being over pedantic, that or they are just trying to make something mundane more interesting.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by No1_49er » 31 May 2021, 9:30 pm

Husky243 wrote:No1_49er, was a good point and checked that after seeing your post but they are matching.

Took it in today and the bloke behind the counter was helpful. He took it out the back to who I assume was a gunsmith. Gunsmith seemed to think I was using reloads with too much powder based on the brass left on the back of the bolt. I don’t and have yet to ever reload. I was using PPU factory ammo while I ran it in. I also didn’t think the brass on the face of bolt was that bad but I am no expert. Anyway, the expert out the back said because the “reloads” were running so hot it was solidifying the moly grease I used on the back of the lugs and causing the scratches.

I left it with them to have a proper inspection. I want to first know if there is anything in the action that is still causing issues.

Keen on your thoughts

Did you happen to see or speak with the "expert out the back"?
Wasn't wearing a blue workshop apron that had white stripes on it, was he?
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 01 Jun 2021, 6:59 am

Thought as much. No, didn’t get to speak to expert. He was far too busy with all that knowledge he holds. Thankfully the guy I was directly dealing with was helpful and has booked it in to be inspected (by a different expert). He explained if I wasn’t happy with the outcome they’ll send it to OSA to inspect.

LsFan, reasonable point but screws aren’t too tight or long. No damage to side of lugs.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by straightshooter » 01 Jun 2021, 7:53 am

"Anyway, the expert out the back said because the “reloads” were running so hot it was solidifying the moly grease I used on the back of the lugs and causing the scratches."
Unfortunately this is a prime example of the types of explanations for simple physical phenomena that are handed to shooters from various sources. In this particular bit of technical gobbledegook the explainer was suggesting the cause was a dilatant grease without any comprehension of how that effect works. Shooters quite often due to lack of general knowledge, lack of specific experience, lack of critical thinking skills and thus their theretofore gullibility allow themselves to be fobbed off or even dazzled with such technical sounding explanations.
Also bear in mind the big importers didn't get to be so big by being free and easy with a warranty claim unless the source manufacturer readily, and profitably for the dealer, funds it and quite often small dealers will try to avoid the pain of trying to get a favourable response from the importer.

Husky243
Although one can easily be mistaken in "forum diagnosis", I suspect your problem is only cosmetic and superficial and will be obscured by wear from subsequent use.
In the likely event of no joy arising from your warranty claim the first thing I would suggest is a thorough clean of the bolt and most importantly the locking lug recess and abutments inside the receiver.
Thereafter only put the lightest possible smear of grease on the forward camming surface of the locking lugs and a little on the primary extraction cam at the root of the bolt handle
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 11 Aug 2021, 6:40 pm

Took a bit of convincing to have dealer send it back for inspection but I was advised warranty has been honoured and getting new barrelled action thanks to Aus distributor.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Bill » 11 Aug 2021, 8:35 pm

Hey good result, hopefully you get what you expect the 2nd time round. :thumbsup:
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Oldbloke » 11 Aug 2021, 8:39 pm

:thumbsup: Great result
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by deye243 » 12 Aug 2021, 3:18 am

Great result and good on osa :thumbsup:
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by Husky243 » 20 Aug 2021, 6:36 pm

Yep, great service from OSA :thumbsup:

I’m just hoping I don’t have to go through the process again. Got it home gave it a clean/oil/grease and cycled the action and not as stiff as the first one. Woot! But, I started to notice superficial marks on the top lug concentrated in same area as last time. Small indent on back of lug. Probably nothing to worry about. But figured it might be something I’m doing so took it to gunsmith for inspection. He shared same concern with marks but didn’t think it had anything to do with operator and likely something inside action. Will use a grease recommended by gunsmith on back of lugs and take it to the range and see how this one performs and hope I don’t see same damage as last time.
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Re: Bolt lug galling - new rifle

Post by straightshooter » 21 Aug 2021, 7:40 am

Well it looks like the real problem is with the locking lug abutment, either a piece of grit or chip from machining or a burr. Or just floating rubbish in the locking lug cavity.
A competent gunsmith can remove the barrel and deal with the problem as found.
Personally I wouldn't be too concerned with the marks after the repair, especially so if they are only superficial.
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