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A fella bought one,what could possibly be going on here?Beautiful stock,no rust,.223 over 20 guage,with a chunk of wood missing from near the triggerguard. ???
Helpful advice needed PLEASE!
 

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If someone fired a hot handload in it, the .223 primer may be crattered back into the firing pin hole. That could act more or less as an additional lug preventing the action from opening. You could probably tell if there is a fired cartridge in the chamber by putting a cleaning rod down the muzzle end of the barrel. I guess the end of a cleaning rod would be about 1/8th inch short of touching the breech face. Also, maybe the problem is a crattered primer in a cartridge case the shotgun barrel.
 

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I'd pull the butt stock and be certain the locking block is retracting. The extruded primer is a very real possibility.. They plague all break action guns, even the big double rifles.
 
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