Ok guys, got them both apart and here's what I found:
Gun #1 : Nothing obviously broken. Gas ports open, piston rings on correctly, look kind of original/rusty, but look like they would seat up. O-ring not nicked. Trigger group could use a good spraying out. Buffer on aft end of bolt not cracked, but kind of mashed along top area around 10:00 to 2:00 area. Firing pin & spring ok. Question about the firing pin. There is no protrusion when I flush up the aft end of the firing pin with the buffer. The forward end of the pin is still buried approx .05 inside the bolt. If I take a punch and push the firing pin in from the aft end all the way, I get maybe .04 protrusion max out the front end of the bolt. Is this normal? Does this gun require the momentum of the firing pin to overcome the spring force and fly all the way forward to strike the primer? Also, it seems from observation that the locking bolt has to be in a certain position or it blocks the firing pin internally from going forward to strike the primer. Is this correct? The hammer seems to have some slop in it and about a .10 gap between it and the end of the bolt after the trigger is pulled when viewed through the slot on the right hand side. I can't get the stock off because I can't get the nut off the action spring tube with the screwdrivers that I have. It's tight. I guess there is some special tool I need to get to get that off? One more thing. Feed latch fell out when I pulled out the trigger group. Is this normal? So, reassembled the gun, cycled the action, tried to pull the trigger and thought the safety was on. Nope, safety not on, bumped the bolt handle a little forward, trigger pulled. Sounds to me like the bolt is not going into battery due to a weak action spring, therefore gun won't fire. What do you think?
Gun #2 : Same problems as Gun #1 with one exception: the piston rings on this gun are warped/wavy along with being rusty. I can't see any way that this could have happened through use. The end gap is widened up, the ends don't even like up. There is no way this could ever take any pressure to cycle the action, even if they weren't rusty too.
I'm thinking action springs for both guns and new piston rings for at least the one gun. What about buffers? Could they have anything to contribute to these problems? Would appreciate your advice. These are my first shotguns and I'm really new at this. thanks