M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

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M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 9:26 am

After bombing another thread about 6.5x55 and 140gr projectiles I thought I throw up my own after picking up someone else's broken Swede this week.

Quick recap, I noticed a M96 swede with a decent looking stainless barrel on the rack of a local gunshop, curiosity got the better of me so I asked to have a look and quickly noticed that the bolt handle was no longer attached to the Bolt and the rifle had a stuck but fired case in the chamber. Now being a fan of the old Swede I couldn't pass on the opportunity of grabbing what appeared to be a fairly recently rebarreled VGC action and stock.

PTA arrived so I popped over to pick up the rifle and the stuck case was quickly removed with a single strike of a cleaning rod down the barrel and into the case, Bolt was removed and the case examined.

Image

Plenty of evidence of gas flow rearward down 1 side of the case, Primer flow into the firing pin hole, 10 thou case head expansion, the rim also had expanded somewhat. Case appears to be PMC.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Lazarus » 20 Nov 2022, 9:55 am

That's some serious weirdness Billo.

I'm just spitballing, but from my admittedly limited knowledge, I'd have thought that enough pressure to cause primer flow and other overpressure symptoms would have fire formed the case well enough to prevent gas flow backwards.
Gas flow down one side only, combined with the overpressure signs? Possibly a seriously compromised chamber?

Hope you didn't pay too much for it, sounds like expensive refurbishment in the future.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 10:16 am

Hey Lazarus no weirdness, but I think I know what occurred ;)

So my first thought was lets push some patched thru and see what they might reveal, now because the stainless barrel appeared new ? I started by pushing a single patch in from the muzzle, then I pushed a patch into the chamber to mop up any crap that may have been present. Now I also have no time line as to when the the incident occurred.

1st patch indicated copper in the barrel but no lube or oil as you would expect, the 2nd patch which hit the chamber picked up a heap of greasy crap and it was pushed on thru the barrel, 3rd patch wiped out the last of the copper and crap, last few patches had carbon and copper remover applied with neither found in the barrel....

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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 10:21 am

M96 1913, Ramline stock, Uncle Mikes recoil pad, unknown 26 inch Stainless with Military type step down profile. The rifle presents in almost mint condition with the trigger guard and bottom metal complete unmarked. :thumbsup:

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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by bladeracer » 20 Nov 2022, 10:46 am

Billo wrote:M96 1913, Ramline stock, Uncle Mikes recoil pad, unknown 26 inch Stainless with Military type step down profile. The rifle presents in almost mint condition with the trigger guard and bottom metal complete unmarked. :thumbsup:

Image


Aftermarket barrel with no markings? Maybe it's a DIY build? Might also explain why the bolt handle broke off and why somebody was whacking it so hard to begin with.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by No1Mk3 » 20 Nov 2022, 11:02 am

Bolt handle weakened by grinding scope bell clearance, stuck case and so handle breaks from hitting it. Seen this before, Replace bolt body and fire a factory round, check case dimensions, If you really want peace of mind before firing again then chamber cast and check headspace, but I would just fire a factory round and inspect it.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Lazarus » 20 Nov 2022, 11:04 am

What about the pressure and gas passage signs?
I've only ever had primer sign when I've been too enthusiastic with developing hot loads.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by ThatNewGuy » 20 Nov 2022, 11:10 am

Billo wrote:Plenty of evidence of gas flow rearward down 1 side of the case, Primer flow into the firing pin hole, 10 thou case head expansion, the rim also had expanded somewhat. Case appears to be PMC.


There have been a bunch of older forum posts on the internet that seem to hold the myth that the older boxes of PMC have a habit of wrecking Swedish Mausers.

Not overly sure of the truth of the myth but it might warrant some reading.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 11:15 am

So when the case first popped out what struck me when I picked it up was the greasy feeling it had ( I did wonder if oil had been poured down the barrel but none was present in the barrel), and the small amount of oily grime that came out of the chamber has me thinking that the owner had the rifle rebarreled and either failed to remove grease or oil left in the chamber by the gunsmith or had had put the gun away with plenty of gun oil and had only cleaned the barrel but not the chamber. :thumbsup:

FLS Lapua brass pops into the chamber nicely, there doesnt appear to be any damage done to lugs and the lack of wear in the raceways and on the bolt indicates SWFA use. I'll be getting the bolt handle Laser welded back on and I think Ill be hoping up to fire the Swede in the next week or so. Low rings dont give me bolt clearance with a Meopta so Ill have to dig around to find a slimmer scope or some Medium Hillver rings.

I believe the barrel has only had 1 bullet down the tube, it presents as new.

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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by bigrich » 20 Nov 2022, 12:15 pm

Billo wrote:So when the case first popped out what struck me when I picked it up was the greasy feeling it had ( I did wonder if oil had been poured down the barrel but none was present in the barrel), and the small amount of oily grime that came out of the chamber has me thinking that the owner had the rifle rebarreled and either failed to remove grease or oil left in the chamber by the gunsmith or had had put the gun away with plenty of gun oil and had only cleaned the barrel but not the chamber. :thumbsup:

FLS Lapua brass pops into the chamber nicely, there doesnt appear to be any damage done to lugs and the lack of wear in the raceways and on the bolt indicates SWFA use. I'll be getting the bolt handle Laser welded back on and I think Ill be hoping up to fire the Swede in the next week or so. Low rings dont give me bolt clearance with a Meopta so Ill have to dig around to find a slimmer scope or some Medium Hillver rings.

I believe the barrel has only had 1 bullet down the tube, it presents as new.

Image


loopy scopes are much slimmer with the eye peice than euro scopes . bushnell trophy second hand are good value for money :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 3:04 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Billo wrote:M96 1913, Ramline stock, Uncle Mikes recoil pad, unknown 26 inch Stainless with Military type step down profile. The rifle presents in almost mint condition with the trigger guard and bottom metal complete unmarked. :thumbsup:


Aftermarket barrel with no markings? Maybe it's a DIY build? Might also explain why the bolt handle broke off and why somebody was whacking it so hard to begin with.


yeah my first thought was maybe a it was one of those Pre fit Lothar Walther Barrels but in stainless, you would still expect some markings same for if it was gunsmith installed.

Anyway just bedded the front of the action and barrel and I lightened the trigger. :drinks:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 3:06 pm

Hey bigrich Ive got a few Japan made Tasco's lying around and they are a fair bit slimmer, one of them is an old 2-6 TV screen, still clear as a bell !!
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by bigrich » 20 Nov 2022, 3:46 pm

Billo wrote:Hey bigrich Ive got a few Japan made Tasco's lying around and they are a fair bit slimmer, one of them is an old 2-6 TV screen, still clear as a bell !!


yeah i've come across some of those old scopes. they made some of those for tikka back in the day as well . their not bad , but ,with my 4.5-14 x40 vx3 loopy i can make out 223 bullet holes at 200 yards in range targets . i'm 53 and wear glasses.

a lot of the time you get what you pay for :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Oldbloke » 20 Nov 2022, 4:31 pm

The original pic from the other post.

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20221108-100759.jpg (65.15 KiB) Viewed 3074 times
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Oldbloke » 20 Nov 2022, 4:32 pm

Bill can I ask what you paid?
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 4:48 pm

Oldbloke wrote:Bill can I ask what you paid?


Hey Oldbloke I paid just enough $300 :drinks:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by bigrich » 20 Nov 2022, 5:07 pm

Billo wrote:
Oldbloke wrote:Bill can I ask what you paid?


Hey Oldbloke I paid just enough $300 :drinks:


well done . parted out it's worth more :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 5:38 pm

bigrich wrote:
Billo wrote:
Oldbloke wrote:Bill can I ask what you paid?


Hey Oldbloke I paid just enough $300 :drinks:


well done . parted out it's worth more :thumbsup:


you're the 3rd bloke to suggest that in the last 24hr :shock: whats wrong with leaving it as ......

I think I'll leave it together shoot it once or twice and just recoup my money, Ive got too many project guns that dont get shot enough :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 20 Nov 2022, 5:43 pm

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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Oldbloke » 20 Nov 2022, 6:00 pm

Looks like get the bolt welded on and you have a bargin. :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Wm.Traynor » 20 Nov 2022, 7:06 pm

What are the chances that the locking lugs in the action have been set back and does it matter?
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by bigrich » 20 Nov 2022, 8:20 pm

Billo wrote:
bigrich wrote:
Billo wrote:
Oldbloke wrote:Bill can I ask what you paid?


Hey Oldbloke I paid just enough $300 :drinks:


well done . parted out it's worth more :thumbsup:


you're the 3rd bloke to suggest that in the last 24hr :shock: whats wrong with leaving it as ......

I think I'll leave it together shoot it once or twice and just recoup my money, Ive got too many project guns that dont get shot enough :thumbsup:


no, i mean you got a good deal. you paid less for it than what it's worth as parts :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 21 Nov 2022, 6:52 pm

Wm.Traynor wrote:What are the chances that the locking lugs in the action have been set back and does it matter?


So for the final instalment of what happened ??

Well I have no idea if the Lugs have set back but what I do know is the front of the action has let go on the right hand side :shock: :lol:

This is the left hand side, still straight

Image

and this would be the weaker right hand side.......

Image

looks like a lightly used Stainless barrel will be up for sale if It can be undone, now where is that plumbers wrench :drinks:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Wm.Traynor » 21 Nov 2022, 7:02 pm

Yep, I don't think I would trust that action. They are only so elastic and after that, who knows what it will do or when.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 21 Nov 2022, 7:12 pm

Wm.Traynor wrote:Yep, I don't think I would trust that action. They are only so elastic and after that, who knows what it will do or when.


yeap its going in the bin, just aint worth it :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by dnedative » 21 Nov 2022, 7:25 pm

Pre-98 mauser that's had a seriously high pressure event is a complete nope here, they are not strong actions by any stretch.
If the brass hadn't of held that probably would of blown the top of the receiver off.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 21 Nov 2022, 8:05 pm

dnedative wrote:Pre-98 mauser that's had a seriously high pressure event is a complete nope here, they are not strong actions by any stretch.
If the brass hadn't of held that probably would of blown the top of the receiver off.


the 96 actions dont handle over pressure situation well, one of the 2 very small gas ports is actually right where the action has bowed. If they have new gas ports drilled into the bolt body to direct it back into the left race way they are fine (mod below). The steel in swedes is every bit as strong as a 98s. If this action wasnt stuffed this mod was next on the list.

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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by dnedative » 21 Nov 2022, 9:07 pm

The sweedish steel being superior is really a myth, it was good stuff in the 1890's but they never changed it, they stuck with the 1896 mauser design and the steel used really is irrelevant with that. The poor gas handling blows the gun to bits. The Japanese and the Germans never bothered with anything beyond low carbon case hardened steel and by the time WWI rolled around the British and Americans were using nickle steels anyway - I'll back a M1903A3 or a P14 over a Sweede M96 every day of the week when it comes to what will yield first - both handle gas excellently, dont have to worry about it getting behind a locking lug or into the barrel threads.
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by Billo » 21 Nov 2022, 9:32 pm

I'd agree with you dnedative, M1903A3 and P14's have plenty of steel to keep things together. :thumbsup:
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Re: M96 6.5x55 broken Bolt handle, what happened ???

Post by in2anity » 22 Nov 2022, 11:21 am

i own a couple of small rings and an m17. The m17 always gets preference over the swede, partly due to the "no brainer" reloading. As an old timer once told me "the lugs on a p14 won't let go, it'll fail somehow else"
At what point does lack of maintenance become patina?
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