Autoloader Rifles by Shane Hurkmans
I have been overwhelmed with people bringing in their autoloading rifles with the same problem or a combination of problems. The first one I see a lot is that people don’t shut the bolt all the way, and then they bring it in and yell at me that they missed a deer. You have to make sure that the bolt is closed. When operating an autoloader you have to treat it like it owes you money.
Most people that have problems, get to their stand and try to load it without making noise. They try to help the bolt so it doesn’t slam and scare all the deer from the woods. Well that’s not how they work, autoloaders where made to throw as much lead down range as they can. Autoloaders where designed to be used as a military weapon to over whelm the enemy with fire power. When they came out in a hunting rifle, most guys that came out of the armed forces bought them because that’s what they were used to in the service.
Nowadays people buy them because they think they are simple and easy to use. Yes they are easy to use but they don’t think about the cleaning and maintaining of the weapon. I have asked why they bought this type of gun, first and foremost is that they have a quick second shot. The next thing I hear is that they don’t have to fiddle around with trying to bolt or operate the gun while they are hunting.
If you have an autoloader, or you are going to be buying one, two things to consider, first is why are you buying it. Are you buying this gun because you think it’s easy to use? Yes, they are easy to use, but you have to think of cleaning it, can you take it apart to make sure that the gun works properly? Autoloaders have a lot of moving parts and the more parts you have working together, the more of a chance of that system failing.
The people that I see with these guns are people that have no idea how their gun works. They do not know how it works or how to take it apart to clean it. If you are one that likes these types of guns, learn to maintain them.
Rules to follow:
First, when loading, pull the charge handle back and let if fly forward. Theses guns are designed to take it. You are not going to hurt the gun by doing this.
Second, with the bolt in the charged position, push on the back of the charge handle to make sure that the bolt is all of the way forward. Most autoloaders have a clip, slam the clip into the gun to make sure that the clip is seated.
If you have a newer autoloader, from the 1970’s on up, do not use oil in the gun. They are to be used without oil. Oil can gel up in the cold weather and make the gun jam or lag when in operation. If you have to use something in your gun, I recommend a dry lube like Teflon or something similar.
If you have an autoloader and you don’t know how to clean it, take it to your local gun shop and have it cleaned after every hunting season.
Have fun out there and follow all the safety rules.