Savage 12 bolt lift.

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Savage 12 bolt lift.

#1 Postby ben_g » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:14 pm

G’day guys.

My dad has an entry level F-open rifle built on a Model 12 Rt bolt left port. It has a Krieger 8twist chambered in 6.5x47L with the same reamer I have had two other 6.5barrels chambered on my Barnard.

The issue we are having is the bolt is getting heavy to open with what I consider to be relatively mild loads. 123gr Scenar s running around 2900fps. There are no other obvious pressure signs on the cases, primers still round, no cratering ect.

From a bit of reading it appears that the problem of heavy bolt lift is relatively common, in the states there are ‘kits’ which compromise a revised bolt assembly screw and a bit of polishing of the cocking ramp to lighten the bolt lift.

Is there any such kit available here in Aus, is there anyone here who can work on my dads bolt to lighten the effort required to open. He has a relatively weak hand so it is important it is easy to open, don’t want to have to run a light load in order to make the action cycle if we don’t have to.



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Re: Savage 12 bolt lift.

#2 Postby John23 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:29 pm

Some years ago I made one for mine
A round aluminium disk with a single ball bearing sunk and glued into the disk.
I also made a spacer to cover the exposed threads as I chose to not shorten the rear screw .

It made a good improvement although it was still the stiffest action I have had to open .

I did consider fitting a small thrust bearing although I believe most of the force in in the cocking ramp and is due to design .

Long story short
It made a good improvement but was far from perfect

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Re: Savage 12 bolt lift.

#3 Postby Cutanything » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:46 pm

did you start with new brass if not you may need to shoulder bump the cases may sound silly but i had similar problems with omarks
Last edited by Cutanything on Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Savage 12 bolt lift.

#4 Postby ben_g » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:32 pm

Yes this is new brass out of the box, all I have done is run an expander through it to ease neck tension a little.

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Re: Savage 12 bolt lift.

#5 Postby scott/r » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:34 am

I've had a model 12 in 223 for a quite a while now and the biggest difference I've found in loosening up the bolt lift is making sure that you get some lube in between the the floating bolt head and the fixed locking lugs on the bolt body. I use a bee's dick of high impact grease and it surprises no end how much difference it makes.

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Re: Savage 12 bolt lift.

#6 Postby ben_g » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:35 am

Thanks for the tip Scott.

I disassembled the bolt last night, it already has the small ball bearing mod where the assembly screw contacts the firing pin assembly. (There’s the case head of a 38special shell with a ball bearing glued in)

But there was no grease at all on the floating bolt lugs (duh) not having owned a savage before I had not really paid a lot of attention to it until last night, we had overlooked exactly where to apply grease on the lugs.

So I have lightly greased the cocking ramp as well as between the floating bolt head and the lugs, hoping to get a few shots through it tonight and see what difference that makes, just dry firing it it does feel easier to cock so fingers crossed.

Chris S
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Re: Savage 12 bolt lift.

#7 Postby Chris S » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:24 pm

Hi Ben,

Pacific Tool & Gauge sell a Savage bolt lift kit and will
happily post it to you. Comes with detailed instructions
on how to fit and what to polish/grind if you choose to.
Nice feature of this kit is that allows you to adjust the firing pin
tension externally.
I fitted the kit to my Savage M12 and felt the improved bolt lift

You can never carry too much ammo...
unless you are drowning or on fire.

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