Scott Volquartsen: Simple Fixes for Troubleshooting Firearms

A special thanks goes to Scott Volquartsen, president of Volquartsen Firearms, for this post on simple fixes for troubleshooting firearms.

Do you over complicate things that are sometimes simple? If so, we have a lot in common as I will over analyze the simplest things.

As I get older though I am finding it doesn’t always have to be so complicated. This also applies to troubleshooting firearms.


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There are a few questions we ask to help isolate the issue with a malfunctioning firearm.

Is it magazine specific?

Both failure to fire and failure to extract can be magazine related. On the Ruger 10/22, for example, the round ejects off the magazine feed lips so we will always check this first on a rifle. You’ll see a lot of competitive shooters number their magazines. This allows easy identification of problem magazines.

Have you tried different ammo?

As many of you know, rimfire ammo can be finicky. Eliminating ammo as a variable helps is always key when isolating the source of the problem. Even if it is a brand of ammo that has always worked in the past, it’s possible that the lot of ammo you’re currently shooting is the culprit. One thing I’ve never understood is how some shooters will go to great lengths to store centerfire ammo properly, but don’t do the same for rimfire ammo. They have that one ammo box with 20 different types of ammo from the past 20 years, all stored together, so they aren’t always 100% sure what they were shooting.

Cheyenne Scorpion FTV

Have you checked the trigger adjustment screws?

In an effort to completely remove both pretravel and overtravel it’s possible you have adjusted it too far (or it’s possible the screws have moved over time). This may cause the trigger to not reset. These adjustments are available on our complete firearms or one with an Accurizing Kits or TG2000s installed. Check these videos to make sure you have them adjusted properly. This video works for both our Scorpion pistols as well as any of our Accurizing Kits that have been installed in a Ruger MK series pistol. If you have any of our rimfire rifles or have installed our TG2000 into your Ruger 10/22, you can see how to make the adjustments here  .

These simple checks for troubleshooting firearms can save you a trip to the gunsmith. Unfortunately this doesn’t cover all possible issues but you would be surprised how many times it will get you back to the range faster.

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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


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