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Follower or receiver wear?

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    Follower or receiver wear?

    I'm looking at a Winchester to buy and when it arrived I opened the bolt and I thought the follower was gonna pop out the top of the receiver! It's very loose up there, as you might imagine. I have a gunsmith checking it out for me but while I'm waiting for his report I thought I'd bounce it off you guys here. How common is this? Do receivers get worn enough to cause this or just the follower? Or both? The gun is in the 1.25M range. Thanks.

    #2
    Winchester tolerances run from the low side to the high side. If the part was with in the tolerance allowed it passed inspection. Followers do wear. A new follower on the high side of the spec. may take some of the slop out.

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      #3
      OK thanks RDS. Replacing the follower is easy enough and wouldn't stop buying the gun. If the receiver is worn though, that'd be a show-stopper. I hope to find out today. I don't have a known, good follower to switch out and see, but the shop handling the transfer might. I appreciate the info.

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        #4
        I got the follower problem sorted out. It's apparently the follower rod. I temporarily switched one from another rifle and the Winchester then worked fine and the problem moved to the other gun. The Winchester rod stops farther back, pushing the follower arm farther and lifting the follower higher. Apparently some dimensional issue between the accelerator and the follower rod, I guess. The parts now back where they came from, I'll start looking for another rod. Attachment is the Winchester on top with the Springfield rod. Bottom shows Springfield with the follower now out the top with the WRA rod.
        Attached Files

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          #5
          I think you are looking for a problem that doesnt exist. The WRA follower rod in your rifle is a valuable part

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            #6
            Thanks Orlando. I need to find out why it's pushing the arm so far to the rear in both guns while another rod works fine in both guns. I'll let you know what I find out.
            Last edited by olddog; 09-16-2020, 11:54 AM.

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              #7
              Follower rod or follower arm? It could be the op rod spring is worn out and collapsed.
              Jon

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                #8
                Follower rod. Regardless of which arm, catch or bullet guide is used in either gun, the problem follows the WRA rod. I'm thinking the rod may be slightly worn where it contacts the accelerator, letting the fork move farther to the rear. Because of the geometry of the follower arm, a very small difference on the follower rod fork end would make a pretty significant difference on the upper follower end.

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                  #9
                  Got it. Accumulated tolerance, or slop, whichever you prefer. Lol

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                    #10
                    I finally got other real-life fires put out and had some time to get back on this issue. I ordered an NOS 1953-vintage SA follower rod and the gun works perfectly with it. I measured the fork angles of both rods and it turns out the WRA rod is at about 11.5 degrees, whereas the SA rod is about 15 degrees. Being flatter, the WRA fork would not pull the follower arm as far down and that's what was leaving the follower farther up in the receiver.

                    How common is it for these to be bent? The follower rod seems to be a pretty tough heat treat, almost like a spring. Can this expensive WRA rod be repaired? I'm reluctant to try to just bend it back for fear of breaking it and I'm thinking maybe it needs to be sent to someone who can heat it, straighten it and re-heat treat it. For the going prices of these rods, would it be worth doing? Plus, I hate to scrap an original rod if it can be feasibly fixed.

                    What do you guys think?
                    Last edited by olddog; 10-02-2020, 05:04 AM.

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                      #11
                      Well after replacing the WRA follower rod and cleaning, oiling and greasing the gun, I got the li'l feller out yesterday for the first time since I bought it and it ran like a watch! I hope to be able to repair the the WRA rod and return it to the gun. If not, I'll put it in a drawer and just leave the SA rod in it. Shoots great. Now to wear it out!

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                        #12
                        I heated and bent the WRA follower rod back to its correct angle of 15 degrees and now it works fine in the rifle. Now I need to get the part heat treated and they'll need to know what steel it's made from and a Rockwell number. Does anyone have that info or know where I can get it? Thanks.

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