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Thread: Can you reduce the action release spring on a SXS?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    Can you reduce the action release spring on a SXS?

    Some time ago I picked up a Boito SXS shotgun, quite old and well used. Yes, I realize it's not the highest craftsmanship, but it's been working well and seem fairly bulletproof.

    One thing that always bothered me is that the action release seemed very heavy. I finally removed the stock so I could take a look at the guts. The springs and action were gunked over with old, very yellow waxy grease. A buddy of mine sonic cleaned it, I re-lubricated it. But dang, that action release is still heavy.

    I'm curious if anyone has cut a turn or two off of the spring to lighten it a little bit? I don't want it to fall open, but the amount of pressure required to operate it currently seems way too much.

    I'm about to look and see if I can find a replacement spring for it, and if it's not too expensive, pick it up so if I destroy this one I can put it back into operation.

    From a glance, the spring appears to be "open ended"-as if the spring was just cut from a larger spring. It doesn't appear to be closed, where the last turns terminate in a flat surface.
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

  2. #2
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    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'm not a SKS guy, but I have lightened up springs for other guns.
    I don't like hacking around on original parts, but will on commonly available replacement springs.
    Do a quickie search for 'SKS springs', a bunch of places that sell 'em pops right up.

    Various places sell spring kits to tune them up at what looks like a reasonable price.
    If a single new spring- which are also available is only a few bucks, I'd get a couple and chop on them.

    All sorts are available for a 1911 to tune them for different things.
    I chopped a little at a time on a couple for a AR so it would cycle my reloads
    for it that run along at about 3/4 horse power. It's no big deal in the scheme of things.

    Just be careful not to shoot your eye out kid.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-16-2024 at 04:04 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Yes
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I meant sxs as in side by side. It's an old 20ga double barrel
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

  5. #5
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    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Oppss, I mis-read the model.

    It might not be a issue with the spring.
    I had a new Japanese made double barrel Browning side by side that was hard to unlock.
    I polished the mating surfaces where they came together onto each other, as well as the latch contact areas.
    It slicked right up.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
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    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
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    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    jmho - it would depend on locking mechanism design - it might be a part that also helps keeps the breach locked under recoil on some designs -
    never pick a fight with an old man - if he is too old to fight he will just kill you -
    in this current crisis our government is not the solution , it is the problem ! -

    ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM

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  7. #7
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Don't mod the stock spring, mod the replacement, then you won't have to look for a new stock spring which will probably be harder to find?

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  8. #8
    Boolit Master schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=W.R.Buchanan;5716405]Don't mod the stock spring, mod the replacement, then you won't have to look for a new stock spring which will probably be harder to find?

    Randy[/QUOTE

    A+++ good point !
    never pick a fight with an old man - if he is too old to fight he will just kill you -
    in this current crisis our government is not the solution , it is the problem ! -

    ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM

    as they say in latin

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    You can thin, shorten or replace. Lat spring I changed I found a spring with the same diameter but the wire was .005 thinner. Winner! Ace Hardware if you can find one is a great source for screws and springs. Beware if you lighten the top lever spring the action can open slightly when you fire the first barrel but does not fire second. Good Luck GW

  10. #10
    Boolit Master schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    jmho - rather than alter spring tension, you might try polishing + lubricating all contact surfaces of spring + latch mechanism -

    i would definitely follow randy, W.R.Buchanan advice on not changing tension on the original spring irregardless if it is leaf or coil style -
    never pick a fight with an old man - if he is too old to fight he will just kill you -
    in this current crisis our government is not the solution , it is the problem ! -

    ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM

    as they say in latin

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    You could disassemble, remove the spring, then use Prussian blue on the mating surfaces to make sure you don’t have something hanging up. If everything is slick and easy, turn your attention to the spring. I generally use a belt grinder to shorten a coil spring because I have better control and can remove a small amount of material without going overboard.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking. I just sourced one from Numerich, and they go under $10. If I fiddle with anything, it's going to be a replacement, not the original.
    I actually removed the spring yesterday to get a better look at it, and in it's resting state it is actually under some serious compression. I didn't realize how much until I attempted to reinstall it.

    I realize it's not the highest end shotgun in the world, but operating the action release is a pretty labor intensive process. I don't want the thing falling open on it's own, obviously, but I can't see why it requires that much work to operate. Once it's latched, the spring only needs to hold the latch closed. It isn't the spring absorbing any recoil.

    In any case, I'm going to get probably 2 springs. It just might be that the replacement spring is already lighter, and would not need modification, or if it did need modification, at most I'm out $10 when I destroy it.

    These projects drive me nuts. Some day I will learn my dad's favorite saying "buy once, cry once". As opposed to my method "buy cheap, and spend 3x more and 2 years trying to figure out a solution". I'm not out much. It was I think $150. It's servicable, it's been reliable. Works fine. I like the trigger, I like the handling. If I could dial in the action release, I think I would like it quite a lot. The stock is currently having a recoil pad fitted (I took several inches off the stock), and stripped and refinished the wood with several layers of buffed out tung oil (finish, not raw). Looks pretty good, for a $150 shotgun.
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    I also found an Aussie company that makes lighter replacement springs for a Stoeger (the person had no idea if it would work in a Boito--and also, the shipping was many times the cost of the parts), but it was a short spring, with an assortment of spacers to exactly dial in spring. That might be another idea, should I shave too much off the spring during modification, I could install a small washer to increase the pressure a little bit. Although I'm sure it would be smarter to just carefully remove metal with a lot of testing. I'm going to have to wait until this work project is done, because that nightmare is taking 110% of my available patience! And patience is what I'm going to need, for these fiddly fit, dial, reassemble, test, fit, dial... projects.

    The wood turned out great. The recoil pad is being done by a local shop, that will look great. The little touch ups to the bluing look pretty good. It's actually not a bad firearms. It's a lot prettier than when I bought it, and has been 100% reliable so far. It's just this action lever...
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy alfadan's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I've got a Essex brand 20g spanish SxS that you practically have to break over your knee to open and the ejectors throw the shells about 20 feet!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    I have a cheapo Rossi single shot that literally falls open on it's own, but the first time I fired it, didn't realize it would also throw the hulls considerable distance. Unless your teeth happen to be in the way like mine were...
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check