The Gift .22 . . . . . With issues. - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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This was my first hand experence with the 1971 Remington 552 jam-O-matic.
Im posting this so others may learn from my novice mistakes.
I have no gunsmithing training.
Just a novice gun tinker.

I just got this older remington 552 speedmaster earlier today and its missing the rear sight, barrel stamped W 7
Quick Google check of Remington mfg letter stamps puts this mfg July 1971?
The Numrich parts schematic rear sights only shows two types, neither of which look like what Im looking at on this particular rifle.
The gun was given to a fellow (the local gun tinker) because it wont feed, and he robbed the sight off it and gave me the rifle, from the looks of it, was someones old camp gun (NW Alaska has quite a few of those beat to heck but not shot that much) that got a face lift, stock looks like itd been sanded and finished and metal all looks like was spray painted (esp where the sight used to be) there is powder residue (soot) inside the spent case deflector so it must have developed feeding issue not long after its face lift?
So have to figure out why it wont feed.

I just finished cleaning her out, the lube itd been lubed with mixed with spent powder residue and little glittering metallic crumbs that look allot like Remington Golden bullet plating.
Lots of crud on bolt and the ejector.
It function tested ok, rounds cycled through the action flawlessly.

Id been gone a week for work and finnaly had a chance to try out the old 552 Saturday afternoon.
That morning all the sight parts were in.
Who woudda thought a single sight screw was $6.90??
And Id had to buy two.

Well Im all jazzed to try it, my transp is down for mx so walked the 1.4 mi to a suitable place to try it and found it had issues.
Chambering the first round went without a hitch.
Pulled the trigger and click, cleared the round and checked it (had a good firing pin dent) chambered the second round and it shot as it should, the third round was a dud (striker dented as well) funny how the particular federal rounds I had were not firing.
The 2 rounds out of 7 went off.
the rest was clearing duds from the action.
The last dud round wouldnt eject after it wouldnt go off.
I brought it home and managed to eject the dud without resorting to a cleaning rod.
All the while we were out there, the mosquitos came out and chewed on us pretty good.
Next time I will bring a couple different brands of New ammo instead of a partial box of mixed rounds, I pulled it appart and looked for something that could be causing it to not fire, double load and jamb and stick a dud.

Weak extractor? Boogered chamber mouth from dry firing, and there are other things to look at but where to begin?

Then I got busy and it sat in the corner gathering dust since then, now its another summer has passed since Id looked inside the 552 Jam-A-Matic.

Im positive it couldnt have been shot so much it could have been worn out, it was a camp gun, Id be surprised if it'd ever shot more than 2000 rounds in its whole life.
So Im thinking its gunk, burrs or something is not assembled correctly . . . just what that may be is the question.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well everthing seemd to function ok when cycling live rounds through it, the thing is what happens during the firing cycle, acts diffrently, this rifle fireing .22 shorts should cycle the action, the rubber buffer is to soften the recoil of the long rifles.
Im thinking I'll have to study the hammer, sear, disconnector for something that just dont jibe.

All summer That free Remington 552 jam-a-matic had been sitting there in the corner gathering dust and I know to fix its ailemnts its going to involve using my brain, I could just buy new parts till it works but my father always stressed trouble shooting something before foolishy throwing money away.
So I did some googling of Remington 552 jam's and other cycling issues.
60% the forum threads discussed bad ammunition.
In my case I had a mixture different ages of Federal bulk, CCI blazer and Remington Golden.
So was it ammunition? I have my doubts.
For it to choke on almost all of them I suspect its something with the rifle, this ex-camp gun most likely had seen harsh environment but Im skeptical that its worn out, Id be surprised if it'd seen as much rounds through it as a run the mill 552 plinker that chewed thrugh several bricks would have , but what could its ailment be?
Quite a few posts on different forums about nicked up bolt guides , boogered firing pin's with burrs even on the on the hammer, some posts about wobbly hammer causing side binding, still others on dirty and worn sear notch fit, and then there was this one Odd post that seemed to jump out at me.
reguarding a misassembly that can cause all sorts of mayham.

Gun Hub forum post by nctorberson Feb 02, 2014 reply #4

Quote: 'disconnector is above thesmall lever that allows hammer to **** before the trigger resets. It must be below it'

That got my attention and now Im all fired up to tear that thing back open to check it again, according to Gun Hub, there was a posted photo but that is only viewable to Gun Hub members.
It'd cool to see that photo, but I think I will just forge ahead with that scant advice and check it out for myself.
I might have to check Brownells .22 rimfire iron to burnish the chamber as its possible dryfiring could have boogered up the rim of the chamber as live rounds cycle through just fine but to have a round stick after the firing pin strikes the case (stuck dud) it just might be one the other issues this rife has to work through.
In the past Ive used a taper punch to clear chamber boogers.

I think I might have to check out Ebay. has Remington service manuals for this model.
NOTE: For some reason they canceled the order and refunded my money.
Some noise about not shipping to NW Alaska.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Well I dropped out that trigger group and gave it another checking, it was really clean, hardly any grunge at all, it looked like it had been torn down for a detailed cleaning.
So anyway Im sitting there looking it over and shifing it this way and that.
Till I felt something odd, a roughness on the tip of the disconnector that rides on the bolt, odd I thought and looked closer and noticed it was rough because the tip of the disconnector was gone!
So I did an image search on the internet and noticed about a quarter the disconnector was not there.
A net order to Numrich should soon fix the disconnector issue.

Last edited by Rex in OTZ; 04-02-2019 at 05:16 AM.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Well yesterday I dropped out the trigger group and replaced that disconnector.
Funny thing is that stepped pin that holds the disconnector in place is counterbored in a tube rivet fashion & staked in place.

Well using some selected shop tools I managed to drive it out that riveted pin.
Note: this stepped steel pin is staked into a aluminum housing, Remington uses a steel washer to stake the end of the pin against it.
Also noted the end of the disconnector is positioned below the sear.

'Quote: 'disconnector is above the small lever that allows hammer to set before the trigger resets. It must be below it''
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Well I took it out a couple days ago.
On loading it with 10 rounds it jammed when cycling the first round onto the chamber.
After clearing the first of many loading jamms, I did get it loaded and it clicked (very light firing pin strike)
It jammed 13 times (reloaded the cartridges that jammed), in all 6 light striker-hits, and only two that didnt eventually fire because Id stuck them in a different pocket when unjamming the rounds that didnt want to load.
The bolt was dragging on something pretty bad, a couple rounds Id used my hand to force the bolt forward into battery, a 3 times the bolt did not fully travel back enough to re-set the hammer (lots of drag and burrs)
After I got home, It set for a bit before staring in on it.
I found the ejector was dragging on the bolt pretty bad, the fireing pin movement seemed to not be crisp and responsive so removed the fireing pin retainer pin and used a probe to clean out the ejector inlet on the bolt body, also the firing pin inlet on the bolt body.
I also noticed a ring of compacted carbon on the bolt body face where it butts up to the barrel.
In my hunt for compacted carbon I used a headlamp and looked inside the barrel where the bolt glides.
WOW . . . . WOW . . . . WOW!
Talk about what looks like a dremel tool wonderland!!
All those Remington milled swirls and diviots with their tool marks!
I got in there with my tooth picks and cotton swabs and cleaned the heck outta the dremel tool moguls and hoopties embossed into the inside back end of that barrel.
I did check movement of the firing pin thinking a carbon buildup eventually cause the firing pin to strike light, that in conjunction with sharp edges and mush bur's from the hammer banging on the fireing pin, I dropped out the fireing pin and cleaned the cut it rides in as well as stone off any burrs or high areas on the firing pin.
I did the same with the bolt body inlets that the ejector rides in.
I did stone off some tool marks on the hammer (no where close to the sear notch) just some cleaning till the hammer glid better than when Id started.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Just 4 days back I took it out to try it again.
Last month Id bought some aluminum .22Lr dummy rounds.
I'd cleaned and polished what I thought needed polishing.
Those rounds cycled through flawlessly by hand.
Once out at the range, the evil dark side surfaced and rubbed my nose in a big steaming ole pile of failure.
I shook 10 rounds of Federal .22r Std velocity, On chambering the first round, I grasped the bolt back and let fly, it hung up on loading.
The nose of the first cartridge didnt rise up and as the bolt came forward the round wedged in there nice n tite, it was no fun holding the bolt handle and using my slotted screw driver blade on my pocket knife, and managed to wriggle it out of there.
The next round took some coaxing to work its way up level in front of the bolt face.
For about 4 rounds it fungled along like that.
Then the 6 rounds cycled through without a hitch.
Reloading the rounds that were troublesome loading before gave me trouble a second time.
As the OTZ mosquitos were out in force, I spent more time swipeing bugs than spending time reloading to get a feel for the rounds not noseing up into the chamber as they should.
The cartridge lifter spring is really stiff.
So Im thinking of pulling the trigger group and studying the lifter closer for function and binding.

Last edited by Rex in OTZ; 04-01-2019 at 12:28 PM.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Well I pulled it appart tonight, looking for anything odd.
I was looking over the trigger group and did not see anything that should be causing the sort of issues Im encountering.
With the trigger group removed the bolt assembly glides really well when cycled
The bolt still seems like it glides but could be better when its working against the trigger group.
I have to imagine the bolt traveling like it would as its in a firing cycle.
One the things was polishing the bottom the bolt that must contact the hammer and push it down and lock when cocked.
I had some emery cloth and ran it over the surface, eventually the cloth started to glide better.
On a hunch I had my swiss files ready.
The ejector slots on the side of the bolt loked fine.
Yet when I ran one of my swiss files down the slot I immediately noticed a spot that was catching on my file.
A portion of the extractor spring seat was sticking out.
If the bolt is recoiling and the ejector was catching on that spring seat that might just slow things down and cause marginal performance?
Also the cartridge lifter has a nice sharp bur edge that Could possibly slow things down if it rub's on the bolt as it comes back over during recoil.
Its really hard so I stoned off that sharp edge.
One last thing would be to replace the magazine spring, for now I will use a cleaning rod with a patch and clean any old lube scum from the inner mag tube to reduce any drag on the follower, last option would be to give that old spring a little tensile stretch to boost the rounds down to the lifter.
Well I'll just study it some more.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I shot it again tonight.
Well . . . . Sorta.
When it shot it was accurate.
Loaded 10 rounds of CCI Blazer .22 Lr
I had some rounds that never went off and when they were ejected they didnt have a hint of a firing*pin strike.
Some the rounds that chambered and shot, some did not and had a healthy dent where the firing pin smacked it but didnt strike the edge as more to the inside.

One odd thing that happened was each time it fired smoke came from the action, like from the bottom where that dust cover is, even gun smoke came out from the opening where the trigger was, that had me wondering what the heck is this?!
Out of the 10 rounds loaded 7 went off, 3 came home in my pocket.
One wouldnt chamber and it messed the bullet some so it wouldnt chamber.
Everything stopped when I had that double firing pin struck case that jammed in the chamber, I had to use a cleaning rod to knock out that stuck case.
I may have to borebrush the chamber.
The only thing I hadnt done yet is put a full set of springs in it.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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I shot it last weekend.
Id load 10 rounds and try it.
The first round would cycle and the second would drop the hammer on a empty chamber, then the round would jam and then double stack, after about 6 of those it actually fired 4 times as a semiautomatic .22 should!
Then it went back to the same old crap.
Im thinking its got to be old springs.
So Id orderd new bolt return spring and a new magazine spring.
The first and easist was the replacement of the bolt return spring, side by side, the new spring was 1.5" shorter than the old!
I hadnt gotten to replacing the mag spring yet.
I guess I should have set both old and new action springs next to a yard stick and took a photo (that hind sight kicking in I guess?)
I suspect the old gun tinker that refinished the gun before giving it to me must have gave that bolt return spring a good streching thinking it was old and tired.
That magazine spring could be really tiard (who knows?)

I just replaced the magazine
spring and there was really some difference.
The new mag spring was 14" longer than the old spring. So that would have accounted for slow feeding during the fireing cycle.
The old action spring that was 2" longer than the new one would have possibly not allowed the time for the magazine and lifter to feed a fresh round into the chamber accounting for the empty chamber after the inital shot.
Now all I have to do is try it out using live ammo.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Well It has been quite a winter.
In six weeks we had 17 blizzards.
I thought Id hop on my snowmobile and motor out a town to function test the 552.
After a couple detours and finding a out the way place to test the rifle.
I stoked it up with some CCI Blazers.
I Topped up the tube magazine and cycled the action chambering a round.
It fired as it should, the next trigger pull was a metallic click.
I cycled the action thinking it had not chambered a round and had a jam as the live round staydd in the chamber and the next one coming up caused some troubles.
(Extractor issue?)
Shook both out and chambered the next round, it fired, then another click and jam and chambering another it didnt fire either!
The dud rounds were not extracting and the next was plugging the works.
I did get it to fire 2 shots consecutively as a semi-auto should then it went back sometimes firing and jambing.
I picked up the fired rounds and the duds for further study at home.
All the while my daughter was shooting cartridges from the same box in her Keystone Arms Crickett rifle without any problems.

I took photos of the duds and the ones that functioned just fine.

First I think I will try getting it to fire every time a round is chambered.
The fired rounds eject fine, its problematic getting it to eject live rounds that didnt fire.

I dissembled the 552 and looked over the bolt, then removed the firing pin and noticed it had a wierd reverse bow to it.
After a google image search of Rem 552 firing pins I see that it was slightly bent (sorry no photo. forgot)
I got out a axe head to use as a flat metal anvil and a small ballpeen hammer after some tapping was able get the firing pin to look like the Google image. (Earmarked for replacement)
Im thinking how the bow on the fireing pin changed how the pin impacted the case rim, strikeing more away from the rim and its priming compound.
I used the hammer to dress up the fireing pin tip a little and draw it out some lengthing it a tad.
Then used the honeing stone to slick the sides a bit, and dress the tip just a bit.
Reassembled the .22 and drew back the bolt, to me seemed like the bolt didnt fully draw all the way back.
Dissembled and looked at the bolt buffer, the metal insert was.peened and had burrs.
I used a knife hone stone and stoned the burrs off the buffer insert and evened up the buffer surface.

Funny how Id assumed that wierd bend was just the way it was supposed to be.
I would never have imagined a .22 rifle fireing pin would be bent.
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Last edited by Rex in OTZ; 03-31-2019 at 01:21 AM.
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