Saturday, January 7, 2012

Praxis: "What the hell?" Mossberg/Maverick 88 failure to fire.

Has anybody out there besides this guy and me had this problem with an 88?
Some months ago I got an inexpensive used Maverick 88 for my daughters' apartment at college. Having stripped the thing, the trigger group (indeed, the entire weapon) seems near new with little usage, but right now, even with a variety of ammo, it is failing to fire 3 times out of 20. If I remember right from my old Mossberg 500, the rear of the firing pin ought to be able to be depressed (using your thumb) by pressing on the back so that you can, without pain, make the business end of the firing pin peak out the front of the bolt face. Either the pin is binding or the spring is too stiff because I can't do it without pushing it against a solid object. Anybody else had this problem? What fix did you use?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

apolovPull the bolt apart. Probably a burr, or a piece of trash in the fp tunnel.

If there is no issue there, check the hammer spring and make sure the hammer is falling with all due speed.

Also, while you have the bolt, etc, in your hand, make sure there is no interference between the locking block and the FP, when it is in battery.

These are pretty shit simple designs and are usually fairly reliable.

If you still can't get it to work, advertise it on a LEO site, and do us all a favor :)

DH Pence said...

Check the trigger group to see if the roll pin that holds tension on the hammer spring has backed out a little.

1911A1 said...

#1 son has a 500 that he's put over 500 rounds through and not a single FTF.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=349570

This may help.

Torque said...

I bought a Remington 870...

Dedicated_Dad said...

Try some variant of "the pencil test" - drop a suitable object down the (EMPTY!) bbl and fire. When the hammer strikes the FP, said object should bounce out the top of the BBL, if not then you've got problems (obviously)...

Now...

The question becomes is the hammer hitting the FP with sufficient force, and is the FP hitting the "primer" (pencil, etc) with sufficient force.

IOW:
(1) is the hammer hanging up on something?
(2) is the hammer spring too weak?
(3) is the FP hanging on something?
(4) is the FP spring too STRONG?
(5) is the FP too short (thus not hitting the primer hard/deep enough) to consistently set off the round?

I don't know if the gun in question has any sort of firing-pin block, but I assume if you can push it with "an object" then it must not...

If it has no FP block and all is as it should be, you should be able to push the FP with your thumb/whatever.

If it takes an extreme amount of force (I assume that's what you mean when you say "an object") then my guess is that the FP is bent/hanging up or the spring is much too strong.

The ONLY purpose of a FP spring is to bring the FP to the rear to prevent it from firing the round under inertia from cycling (ie: bolt slams closed and inertia makes the FP hit the primer with enough force to set off the next round).

The spring therefore should - generally - be very little (if any) stronger than the weight of the FP...

HTH - PLEASE share what you find out!

Anonymous said...

Mike: The locking block might be the problem. Check the pin with the block up in the locked position. Sometimes the block does not go fully up into the square cut-out in the barrel extension..

You can see easily if this is happening. and fit the bolt to the barrel with a little work with a stone.

Dale

Gunny G said...

You may have to take it to a gunsmith and have them examine the firing pin assy. A chunk of gunk or cotton off of a swab may have been trapped in there and intermittantly interfering with the pin's action. Also, a slightly bent firing pin may also be the culprit.

TL671 said...

I never had that problem. I did however buy a brand new Mossberg 500E that would kick every shell out of the magazine when you worked the slide. I took it to gunsmiths, friends who "knew guns", and my father, none of them could fix it. So, it lay unused and useless for several years, until an internet search gave me the answer recently. Turns out about every third Mossberg does the same thing. I will never buy another Mossberg as long as I live. I'm sure with the total lack of quality control displayed by Mossberg, this is not an isolated incident. Do a search I'm sure you will find many other that had the same problem.

dakotas5 said...

If the mag tube isn't screwed in the right distance it will cycle but not fire. My 500 .410 drove me crazy trying to figure out what was wrong.

millerized said...

Anyone clean the thing? Lots of space inside the bolt for crap to stick. Dis-assembly is the easiest place to start.

Christian Patriot III said...

You might post a question over at gunandgame.com. Friendliest gun forum on the web. :-)

Anonymous said...

Back in 1968 (before serial numbers) I got a 20 gauge Mossberg 500. I think it was the first time I fired it, the firing pin broke in two. Wrote Mossberg and they sent me a new (and more beefed-up) firing pin. That one worked just fine for many firings. Gave it to my younger brother last year for Christmas for his home protection and he has used it on varmints several times with a 100% success rate. Three weeks ago today I used a 38 special on a burglar (3 shots with Hydroshocks) and if worked as designed. The burglar was so whacked out on Meth that if I had a misfire, I would be dead now. In my opinion, if there is even the slightest doubt of a misfire or a jam or any other malfunction, the BAD GUY will win. From first-hand experience, whatever firearm you use, if it is not 100 percent reliable than it should be used as a paperweight, not something to gamble your life on.

Anonymous said...

Got an 88 about a year ago, 8rd tube, and have had no problems with it. A caveat for anybody thinking about buying one....if you plan to accessorize or change out barrels (slug bbl, rifle/ghost ring sights, barrel shroud, bayonet mount, front sling swivel) get the one with the 6rd tube. The only barrel I can find for the longer magazine tube is a Mossberg 26" w/bead sight for birds.

BoarHawg

Dedicated_Dad said...

Anon (January 7, 2012 8:51 PM)
Seriously?!

(1) Glad You're OK!
(2) Did goblin achieve room-temperature?
(3) DETAILS (PLEASE?!) - SOME TIDBIT YOU LEARNED MAY SAVE *my* LIFE SOMEDAY!

Anonymous said...

Years ago, a friend who owns a small farm asked me to evaluate the merits of an AR-15 that would ride with him in the cabin of his tractor.

I was new to guns at the time and suspicious of jammo-matics but I agreed to inspect a Colt at the local gunshop (this was the triangular forearm era, which dates me some.) ;^)

As a recent convert to Christanity, I must have looked sufficiently respectable with my short hair, clean-shaven face and neatly pressed clothing to inspire the necessary confidence in the shop owner to share a secret with me.

"We had us a (black man) in here wantin' to buy a gun. I was real suspicious about his motives so I files down the firing pin on his Ruger revolver so as he couldn't shoot nobody.

"Ha, Ha...the stupid (black man) got hizzself robbed one night. When he went to use his gun, it didn't work!

Ha, ha, ha...he come back here in a fit of rage. "I was robbed" he yells, "and when I went to get my gun it goes 'click-click' and he goes 'bang-bang'."

I nodded my head and smiled as if to say that I got the joke and politely excusing myself, went shopping elsewhere.

Mike, forgive me for asking you this question but is your local gun store owned by a liberal?

MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

Replace the firing pin and spring.

Also test your ammo brands assuming you weren't shooting just one. If reloading, use brand new/different primers or a different supplier for your reloads.

That pin only has to be off by a couple of thousandths to render the thing useless other than to club someone. All primers are not the same, some are more sensitive than others as you can see.

The firing pin spring has two functions, one of returning the pin to the ready position after use and the other is to prevent the pin from striking the rear bolt with excessive force rendering the weapon inoperable due to damage over time.

Dedicated_Dad said...

I've been thinking on this...

I had a similar problem with a pistol, once.

In THAT case, it turned out that the "shoulder" on the FP was interfering with the cutout in the slide.

I had to file the shoulder back a little so the FP could reach out enough to get a solid hit on the primer...

She's run like a dream ever since, no matter what sort of garbage I've fed 'er!

HTH!

Anonymous said...

I had a 500 that did the same thing. turned out I was touching the very sensitive slide release button next to the trigger guard so the bolt was moving back a fraction of a mm and the firing pin wasn't striking the primer with enough force to set off the round.

Michael

Anonymous said...

That's what you get for buying junk made in Mexico.

Monty said...

I just picked up a Maverick 88 from a friend but my first attempt was FTF. Never having owned one of these, I'm leary of doing a full take down myself. Anyone have a good resource I can use to learn how? Also, aside from takedown, any other ideas on the cause?