Keep Your Bolt Running Right

Sinclair International’s bolt maintenance kit.

Sinclair International’s bolt maintenance kit.

One of the most overlooked areas of the bolt-action rifle is the bolt itself. We clean the rifle chamber and bore with care and diligence but many times the bolt is never taken apart until it doesn’t work. This is unacceptable for any rifle let alone a precision or professional rifle. Most of this is attributed to unfamiliarity with the bolt and lack of tools to take them apart.

I have used a vise and some elbow grease for years to get the bolt apart and the spring out. The hard part is holding the spring tension while trying to get the stay pin lined up and in. Then there is the sending the ejector spring into orbit when trying to get it out. There must be an easier way.

Disassembled bolt and tools.

Disassembled bolt and tools.

I decided to give Sinclair International’s bolt disassembly tool a try. It comes with all the tools to easily take apart the bolt for routine maintenance. It can also be used in the field because it doesn’t require a vise or tools other than a punch and small hammer to get the spring retaining pin out. The tools are stored in a neatly divided plastic box to keep them all together and organized.

The tools can be purchased all together in a kit or separately if you want to put it together to suit your needs. The tools include a firing pin removal tool, which replaces the vise as a holding device. This tool holds the spring tension pushing the upper part of the firing pin assembly out so the bolt shroud and firing pin assembly can be screwed apart. The mainspring disassembly can be done with the disassembly tool, and there is a tool to hold the ejector in place while removing and replacing the ejector-retaining pin. Also with the kit is a plastic block for holding the bolt while tapping out pins.

The firing pin removal tool fits over the Remington bolt shroud and has a hook that reaches over the bolt block. By screwing the hook tight the shroud is pulled back and can be unscrewed from the bolt housing because the spring tension is relieved. The firing pin assembly is easily removed by unscrewing the shroud from the housing. There is no chance of damage to the block sear edges because it is not clamped into a vise like most guys do without the tool. The bolt housing can then be cleaned out with a brush of any residual solvents and dried and coated with a light lube. My housing was wet with residual lube and only had to be wiped out. Sometimes this oil over time will harden and grit will stick to it causing build up.

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