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Ithaca Model 51 - Bolt won't lock open

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ScottnJax
Joined: December 2014
Posts: 0
Posted: December 12, 2014 10:35 AM
Just replaced both buffers and the spring on my Model 51. Was told the slide might break if the pring and buffers were not replaced. They were not cracked but were original to the gun, which I bought new in 1975. Everything went together perfectly. Now, the bolt will not lock open. It worked well before I changed the components. Any help troubleshooting is appreciated.
Ezequiel
Joined: August 2011
Posts: 7475
Posted: December 12, 2014 05:20 PM

A few things   First make sure you sequenced the reassembly of the components under the forend, Next the strut off the back of the bolt body  it is possible to install that upside down   and in the buttstock there is a tubemspring and plunger that controls bolt travel. This will accumulate every kind of crap known to man.....if you haven't had it apart and cleaned it well   do it  btw  when you reassemble it  use a dry film lube

andrew1041426
Joined: December 2014
Posts: 3
Posted: December 20, 2014 11:07 PM

im having the same issue as scottnjax after replacing buffers and spring. My bolt wont lock opened. Before I replaced the parts the gun would fire and eject the spent shell but the next in line wouldnt advance in to the chamber by itself, id have to hit the release button. Hoping the new spring cures that isue.

Could someone help me understand zekes reply alittle better? I think that i properly sequenced the reassembly  the foreend properly, but what specifically could go wrong there to cause the bolt not to lock opened?  Also would andy one be able to give me the part number for the strut off the bolt body he is refering to?

hoping to get this resolved asap so i can get out for some quail with my boys! thanks in advance.

andrew1041426
Joined: December 2014
Posts: 3
Posted: December 21, 2014 02:02 AM

im having the same issue as scottnjax after replacing buffers and spring. My bolt wont lock opened. Before I replaced the parts the gun would fire and eject the spent shell but the next in line wouldnt advance in to the chamber by itself, id have to hit the release button. Hoping the new spring cures that isue.

Could someone help me understand zekes reply alittle better? I think that i properly sequenced the reassembly  the foreend properly, but what specifically could go wrong there to cause the bolt not to lock opened?  Also would andy one be able to give me the part number for the strut off the bolt body he is refering to?

hoping to get this resolved asap so i can get out for some quail with my boys! thanks in advance.

Ezequiel
Joined: August 2011
Posts: 7475
Posted: December 21, 2014 09:42 AM

With many shotguns of this design, not only is the "stack" of the parts under the forend important, so is the clock position of any "slots" in the parts The parts also have a front and a back..in one direction the gun will function with light loads...while in the other, it will function with only magnum type loads.........Bear in mind that these parts are Braking device that "grab" the magazine tube to slow the rearward travel. The tube  has to be clean and dry  adding oil of grease screws up function...Take note that some of the parts are non-ferrous metals   meaning that products that dissolve barrel fouling left by jacketed bullets will have the same chemical reaction on gun parts  Do NOT use a solvent that says it will strip bore fouling. It will damage brass,bronze and aluminum parts

If you removed the bolt assy,which should be done periodically to clean it, there are things that can be installed in an improper manner...like the strut extending off the back of the bolt assy...it has a curve to it...if the strut is installed upside down, then its rearward travel is restricted as it will bind in the tube assy in the buttstock

BTW  that tube assy, which controls both travel and velocity of the bolt is a great collector of CRAP...it is a simple spring and plunger arrangement that the aforementioned bolt strut engages...as the action cycles  this controls and dampens rearward movement of the bolt assy and then, as it propels the bolt forward in the feed cycle  that spring and plunger supply the power to perform this act. It is simple to clean..Remove the buttstock and you will see a tube(approx. 3/8ths inch to a 1/2 inch in dia) At the rear of the tube there is a cross pin..it can be pushed out ,by hand with a pin punch...there is light spring pressure involved...so make sure you cup your hand over the end of the tube  Once this is done, remove the 3 parts   aft plug..spring and plunger and clean these and the inside of the tube as you would a gun barrel. This sure be lubed with a dry film lube that does not drawn dust etc

You should also remove and examine the trigger group. If anything is amiss in the group, then rearward travel of the bolt is affected  Any sticking part will cause added friction on the underside of the bolt assy and this can prevent full travel of the bolt

Some of Ithaca's  autoloaders were made in both recoil operated and gas operated(like the Model 900) and parts are serial number specific  Make sure your gun has no such restrictions

For a gas gun, the ports have to be cleaned on a regular basis..They are a SPECIFIC size and should NOT be enlarged or allowed to become smaller with burnt powder residue. I believe that for the Model 51 they are in the underside of the barrel inside that ring that slips over the mag tube and secures the bbl to the gun.  Take note that you will see residue  on the surrounding area   barrel..mag tube   forend etc  this residue has to be cleaned up

The current Ithaca Company in Sandusky Ohio does offer Tech help and support

www.ithacagun.com

andrew1041426
Joined: December 2014
Posts: 3
Posted: December 21, 2014 06:27 PM

thanks zeke for your reply.

turns out that the recil spring was indeed afew rings too long.

once i corrected the legenth, the bolt will once again lock open.

lynn.lantz
Joined: September 2022
Posts: 1
Posted: September 20, 2022 12:31 PM

Thanks Andrew, that was exactly my issue.  Once I cut an inch off the new spring everything is working great.