Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!
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Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

I never had a problem with my 153 until recently, and now after firing the first shell, the second cycles fine, but will not fire. I have checked the bolt, and it appears to be seated normally, exactly as it is before successfully firing the first round. I have also checked the firing pin, and it is reset after cycling the second shell into the chamber. I have checked the safety, and it is remaining in the off position as it should be (had an old 11-87 which used to flip the safe back on.) Any other thoughts? Don't know what else to look for, so any ideas would be helpful...not really sure even where to start with this one. Did try a thorough cleaning, but no dice. Everything looks fine, and very clean, but every time the first fires, the second cycles and then never fires. After racking the shells out and starting over, the first always fires...go figure. Other than this odd mishap, that gun has been amazing - 25000 rounds without a hiccup...outperformed 2 Berettas, an 11-87 and a Browning Gold over the past 2 seasons as far as misfires go.

thanks for any insight...with a week to go in our duck season, this I'm in dire straights here!

Author:  quack fiend [ Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Will the gun snap like on an empty chamber? Firing pin/spring issue. Will it not snap? Then bolt is not cycling fully, it's going rearward enough to cycle the shells but not enough to reset the hammer. Try cleaning the rear of the receiver area where the bolt travels, and clean your gas ports with pipe cleaner. Clean chamber with a power drill/cleaning rod/brush/oiled steel wool, really let 'er have it until that chamber is glass-smooth. If this doesn't help, adjust your gas system toward the lighter load setting, just 1/4 turn at a time until she starts acting right, and remember (write down) how far you've turned it from the factory setting. This should bleed more gas off to operate the action, and fully cycle the bolt. Hope this helps, I've had this issue myself.

Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Thanks so much for the help! I believe that it does "snap" like on an empty chamber, assuming I know what you mean. You just mean that there is little resistance and the bolt smacks into the chamber with good force, correct? It does appear to do that, but your series of suggestions are great, and I'll do these one at a time and see what the culprit is.

FYI, I did use a little of a new lubricant recently...seemed to make everything smooth, but maybe it was a bad choice? A gun nut buddy of mine suggested using 'air tool oil' for autoloaders. I think it's made by Marvel, in a black and red container. I just heard from a more trustable source that perhaps a dry lube, like graphite or teflon would actually be better? Never had an issue with the gun before, and always used Rem Oil aerosol.

thanks again...

Author:  Swampcollie [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Try dropping the trigger assembly out and clean it. It's got just enough dirt in it to make it a little stiff, and it's not fully cocking the hammer.

Author:  quack fiend [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

The snap i'm referring to is the hammer falling and striking the firing pin, like when you dry-fire it. Next time you shoot it and it malfunctions, see if the hammer will fall when you pull the trigger. If it won't snap when you pull the trigger, the hammer is already forward and resting on the firing pin, and the bolt didn't fully cycle. Be careful about dropping the trigger assembly, one small spring is easily lost. You can remove the bolt from the receiver and blast most of the crud out of the trigger assembly with gun-scrubber without disassembly (i've never taken mine apart, never needed to). As far as oils, rem-oil should be fine unless you hunt in really cold weather, and i use break-free clp with good results.

Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Ok, I'm a little worried about losing something out of the trigger assembly (or rather that I already lost something!) since I pulled that asembly out last week when I did the first overhaul cleaning, and it wasn't long after that when the failures started. Can you describe the location and appearance of the small spring that is prone to come free?

After the last description there, I would say that, no, my hammer definitely isn't falling or snapping on the second shell. The trigger pulls, but there is no sensation of the hammer firing, or any click of any sort. Sounds like a thorough cleaning of the trigger assembly (which I noticed did have some crud in there after adding the air tool oil) is in order. I'll also check to see if I lost the little spring. BTW, I do typically hunt in very cold conditions - 15 degrees and freezing rain/snow last time out - maybe my oil/gunk turned stiff?

thanks again for all the guys are a savior!

Author:  quack fiend [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:08 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

I'm not sure where that spring is, I just heard about one guy's problems with it on this website. I kinda doubt it's crud in the trigger mechanism causing the problem, again the gun-scrubber should fix that. If it's firing fine on the first shell every time, that kinda rules that out. Gummed-up oil could cause your bolt to not cycle fully, try recleaning and get some break-free or another good cold-weather lube, and use it sparingly. Your bolt should cycle freely by hand with little resistance at its rearmost travel, in fact I know it's time for a cleaning when it gets slow and gummy/gritty feeling. I still think you're not getting enough gas action to fully cycle it, what shells are you using and where is your gas system set now? Mine was doing the same thing intermittently, and all the above cleaning tips helped, but it still persisted occasionally, usually when mallards were in range, damn it. Mine had to be adjusted to fix the problem with the shells I use, win. xpert 3.5" 1550 fps.

Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:17 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

I use just about the same loads as you do - 3.5", ~1550 fps, 1 3/8 oz Estates. That's why I was hesitant adjusting the setting, since it always worked flawlessly with my 3" shells of similar velociy. Figured if anything it should be moved to the heavier setting with the 3.5"ers? Never touched the adjustment though. Maybe I will try going to a lighter setting if the problem persists after all my cleaning. Sure is strange that the bolt seems to cycle so smoothly and so well, but still can't get the 2nd to fire. Wonder if there's a part in the hammer assembly that is worn/in need of replacement.

Another question - can I check the little pin marker inside the trigger, which should tell me if the firing pin is cocked and ready? I mean after I have a failure (first firing, second not again.)

Author:  FullandFuller [ Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:20 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

The spring being referred to is on the right side, toward the rear, on the trigger assembly. The spring returns the silver tab that is at the right side front of the trigger guard on the gun. This tab is the exposed portion of the Carrier Stop Catch, used to lock the bolt open. If you load a shell in the mag and one in the chamber, then manually cycle the action, the gun will eject the chambered round but not load the one in the mag. If you depress the tab first, it will allow a round to feed from the magazine.

Anyway, if the gun when fired is feeding the shell from the magazine, I don't think that spring would be the problem. I may not be thinking of it right, though. It is called the #69 Carrier Stop Catch Spring, on this part list:

After the last description there, I would say that, no, my hammer definitely isn't falling or snapping on the second shell. The trigger pulls, but there is no sensation of the hammer firing, or any click of any sort.

That, I believe, is the problem I experienced with a few light loads when I first got the gun. Before the gun was "broken in", firing a light load would result in one of 3 scenarios.
1. It would cycle and fire the next shell.
2. It would not cycle the next shell completely into the chamber.
3. It would APPEAR to cycle, but the trigger did not seem to reset properly. That little silver cocking indicator would be in the position indicating a cocked, ready to fire gun. But the trigger, when pulled, would feel like mush and did not snap the hammer. I am no gunsmith and can't describe it better than that - I don't know if the hammer was cocked or not, but the trigger was definitely not reset.

My supposition on the matter was that the bolt was being cycled far enough back to eject, load, and cock the hammer (the cocking indicator displayed a cocked hammer) but not far enough to cock the trigger. I could shoot a light load and this would happen, then shoot a duck load and it would cycle fine. So, I don't think it was excess dirt, just that the bolt was not being pushed far enough back to reset the trigger.

The first time this happened, I carefully unloaded the gun, recocked it, and tried to dry fire. Recocked it multiple times, still nothing. I then dropped the trigger group, and tried to pull the trigger. No matter how hard I pulled, it would not make the hammer drop. I could see the hammer trying to release, slightly, but it would not move enough.. Finally I touched the hammer a little bit and it snapped forward. I wish I knew the proper names of the parts inside a trigger group, but I don't, so that is the best description I can give. The hammer needed to be nudged forward a bit, then it snapped on its own. I then cleaned the trigger group and oiled it.

After that first time, the other three or four other times this happened, I was able to simply re-cock manually, and the trigger reset again. I don't know if the cleaning did it, or what. I have not had that problem happen with ANY heavy loads, or any light loads now that the gun is "broken-in". These non-trigger reset incidents happened very soon after I got the gun, and had me worried. But since then, I must admit, flawless operation.

This issue happened a maximum of 5 times total, because I thought I knew what was causing it. To remedy it, I simply loaded one light shell at a time to shoot clays, instead of relying on the magazine. One hundred rounds or so later when I tried light loads again, the problem never reappeared.

How does this relate your problem? I'm not sure. It sounds as though your gun, well broken in and with heavy loads, is experiencing the same symptoms that my gun had with light loads before it was broken in. I thought what caused my problems, was simply not enough gases in the loads to fully, completely cycle the bolt all the way back to reset the trigger.

Sounds like a thorough cleaning of the trigger assembly (which I noticed did have some crud in there after adding the air tool oil) is in order. I'll also check to see if I lost the little spring. BTW, I do typically hunt in very cold conditions - 15 degrees and freezing rain/snow last time out - maybe my oil/gunk turned stiff?

Maybe your gun is experiencing the same result - bolt not traveling quite all the way back to reset the trigger - but due to that new lube not working as well as Rem-Oil did in the cold weather. Or, perhaps those Estate shells are not delivering the same amount of gas/pressure curve to the system in the cold weather as your other shells did (heck, it is possible those Estates are only really leaving the barrel at 1200 fps instead of their advertised 1550, while your old shells really did close to the stated 1550). If Rem-Oil was working, maybe go back to that? Or tune the gas system to a lighter setting.

I certainly would not hesitate to tune the gas system tighter (toward lighter loads, retaining more gas) in that type of weather condition. The shells that are firing, how far are they ejecting? I like to see 8 - 10 feet ejections. If they are only going 4-5, I would tune it tighter.

I hope this helps, and is semi-intelligible. Time for bed for me.


Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

What an insightful response! Thanks a million. The 3rd scenario you described so well, is EXACTLY what is going on with my gun. Odd that it never happened until now, likley something to do with the cold weather/air tool oil combo maybe. Who knows...the gun has just been so picture perfect for so long until this recent issue.

I did take your guys' advice and go 1/4 turn towards the lighter setting. I was getting maybe 5 feet on my empties, so it sounds like there is some room for dialing it up.

I did also call the EAA folks, and got kind of a know-it-all gunsmith to return my call. Not really friendly, but I finally got him to give some advice other than "Sir, I can't tell you anything until I see the gun in my hands..." All I wanted to know was IF the 'cocked and ready' indicator inside the trigger assembly is visible upon cycling the 2nd shell, doesn't that mean it SHOULD be ready to fire. Jeremiah answered that question just as the gunsmith did (better actually) - the indicator relates info on the hammer, not on the trigger assembly. So it is possible to see the indicator and have a no-go for firing...gunsmith finally suggested cleaning the trigger assembly and going back to the Rem Oil. Actually I pried that info out of him, what he really suggested was to send the gun in, only like 10-15 times. That will be a last resort since we have late goose season approaching.

Thanks again for all the help - it has helped me tremendously. I'll hopefully be able to give an update after tomorrow when I plan on getting back out in the 20 degree, 30 mph winds!

Author:  FullandFuller [ Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Good luck with it. The gunsmith I have talked to at EAA was similarly gruff...honestly, he is probably pretty overworked and is the type of person that wants to be sure of the situation before giving advice. Besides your issue and mine, I have read of this issue...I think three other times on the net. All seemed to be intermittent when the gun was new, other than this case.


Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Well had an eventful trip to the marsh to test the gun - hit 4 deer (at once) in the wee hours of the morning and rolled my trailblazer. Scary stuff. Anyway, pretty much 100% now, and I gave the gun a go after the 1/4 turn adjustment - first volley went well - all 3 shots, for the first time in quite a while. Second not so well as it was back to usual - first firing, second cycling, but trigger not reset. I guess I'm due for sending the gun in for happy-pants to work on. Maybe one more cleaning before that...didn't take the trigger assembly apart since the last adjustment.

Author:  FullandFuller [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Sorry to hear you hit the deer but glad you are okay. I hit my first deer on Thanksgiving morning on the way to a hunt, but nothing was seriously damaged except my passenger door creased. It still shook me up a little. Sounds like you got it much worse than me.


Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Yup, I'm a-ok now. Just some lasting images burned in my noggin'. Hit the first deer without much issue, just whacked her between the headlights, number 2 was the problem - the deer actually folded under the front right tire, lifted the right side up a few feet, came down and broke the front tire free...sent me fishtailing at 60 mph, and finally caught a portion of the recently-replaced soft shoulder. Sucked me in, flipped once back over front into the 12' drainage ditch, and then rolled side for side a few times. Freak accident as can be.

Anyway, actually had a duck land on the ice on my pond here on the last day of the season today. Went out to jump him (more to test the gun) and took 3 longer than I like shots at the greenhead without any gun issue. Dog eventually tracked him down. Then fired 3 more sacrificial shots at the pond with no problem. Maybe the trigger assembly cleaning did something (together with the gas adjustment). Sure would love to get the ole faithful operating at full capacity again. That gun has been simply perfect up till this point.

Author:  FullandFuller [ Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:05 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Well, I have good news and bad news, I think. Bad news is that MY SPR453 started doing this issue again today. With duck loads, Remington HD in fact. During a hunt. Multiple times. It had not happened since I first got the gun and shot it with light loads. The symptom is that the trigger being pulled does not release the hammer. The hammer is in fact cocked as indicated by the cocking indicator inside the trigger guard.

The first time it happened, with 5 ducks in the decoys, the gun shot once then the trigger was just slack, and I worked the bolt and a live shell ejected, I pulled the trigger again and *click*, the trigger worked this time but on an empty chamber because I did not hit the tab for the magazine cutoff release. I thought at the time the problem was only one shell in the chamber - in the heat of it I did not see the live shell eject, or the shell left in the magazine. I dropped one in the chamber as we were picking up the ducks and I reloaded the chamber, then the magazine, then got confused that I must have loaded a third already, because it was now full. So, it happened there and I did not realize it at first.

Five minutes later, I had another opportunity - and the trigger was slack again. Now I was pissed. I unloaded the gun, and pulled the trigger on an empty chamber - click. Recock - no click, dead trigger. Recock, no click. Recock, no click. Recock, click. I must have recocked and dry fired the gun now about 40 times, and the trigger only "worked" about 20 percent of the time.

Now, the good news. I know what is doing it. Here is the schematic:
After cleaning/degreasing the entire trigger group, which was really not that dirty, I can see that the #52 Trigger Bar (which connects the #47 Trigger to #51 Sear) is not re-engaging the top, beveled portion of the trigger properly. The #64 Disconnector lifts the Trigger Bar, but when the Disconnector drops the Trigger Bar does not fall into place in front of the Trigger; instead, the Trigger Bar sits atop the Trigger. The effect is, when the Trigger is pulled, the Trigger Bar moves only a small amount, and does not engage the Sear. Without the Sear being pulled back, the Hammer does not release, and stays cocked.

Why is the #52 Trigger Bar not engaging the #47 Trigger? I am not sure yet. With the trigger group out of the gun, I can manually cock the hammer and about 50% of the time, the Trigger Bar is not connecting engaging the Trigger properly. This can be easily tested by toggling the Disconnector; as the Trigger Bar drops, the sharp, square corner of the Trigger Bar that engages the chamfered portion of the Trigger, is catching/hanging on the very edge of the Trigger.

It looks like it could be a few things:
1. Maybe there is dirt down in there that is causing too much friction - I did degrease and clean before inspecting this, but I did not remove those parts of the trigger to individually clean.
2. Trigger Bar might be bent - it is an odd shaped piece and I can't say whether it is bent or not.
3. Trigger Bar might be broken - sheared off at the mating portion. It just occurred to me that the rear face of the Trigger Bar is not blued/anodized like every other face of every other part in the group.

Here is a picture of the Trigger Bar engaging the Trigger. Does that Trigger Bar look correct? That is the position where the Trigger Bar is "stuck" on the top of the trigger;since it will not engage the trigger it will not move the Sear.[email protected]/2092828856/

What I cannot explain is why the issue happened a few times to me when the gun was new, and now it is happening a lot. Perhaps it was an unrelated issue at that time. I am not sure what to think. It appears I was wrong about the trigger not "resetting". There is no separate action for the trigger to reset; the Hammer locks into the Sear and the Trigger Bar connects the Trigger to the Sear, with the Disconnector as a safety mechanism that temporarily lifts the Trigger Bar during that process. What I felt as the trigger not resetting, was the Trigger Bar not being engaged for some reason. My apologies on misguiding anyone about that.

Regardless, this issue with 50% Trigger/Trigger Bar engagement failure did not happen until now. The hunting conditions have been very cold lately, and the other day my gun had multiple parts freeze shut from ingested water turning to ice and blocking moving parts. The bolt froze shut, the carrier froze in the lower position; even the trigger froze at one point. It is possible that the Trigger Bar was damaged during firing in this cold weather, though the gun functioned fine when it was not frozen solid. It was not until today's 5th shot that this issue developed.

Hopefully I have fixed it now. I filed down the leading portion of the mating surface of the Trigger Bar just a little bit, so it does not catch on the top of the Trigger. I then re-lubed all the friction points I can see. I had WD40ed the water out of the trigger group the other day, then blew it out with air; perhaps I did not re-lube sufficiently after that.
After this slight filing and lubricating, I toggled the Disconnector about 50 times, and the Trigger Bar now seems to engage the Trigger flawlessly. I reassembled and cocked and dry fired the gun about 20 times. Whether the piece is broken or not, I cannot say, but it appears to be functioning adequately now. I plan to hunt it again tomorrow, but I guess will take a backup just in case.

For those comfortable with working on their 153/453, I would like to know if that Trigger Bar looks correct compared to those of other 153/453 owners. Specifically, the upper left portion of it on that picture, where it should be mating with the upper right of the trigger. Does there appear to be a piece of my Trigger Bar broken off? There is no need to disassemble anything to check that; one just needs to drop the trigger group. Please be careful if you do check it; I don't want anyone to lose a part over it.

I was really mad at this gun today..but I guess some ducks get lucky. Hopefully, never again.

EDIT: I found some pictures of the trigger group and specifically the Trigger Bar on Tozman's excellent Detail Thread here:
It appears my Trigger Bar is not broken - the one shown matches mine. The rear surface of mine was definitely rough, though. I guess the problem was the roughness and lack of good lube at the Trigger Bar and Sear Spring, caused by me cleaning all the water out and not re-lubing.


Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Well, if it's any consolation for the gun mishaps on ducks in the decoys, your diagnosis of the problem was music to my ears. My trigger bar looks just as yours is pictured. I'll be performing the same work on the trigger bar (filing/cleaning/lubing)...if a no go maybe I'll order a new one, maybe a new #47 also. Sounds like the trigger bar is the real culprit here though. Great detective work by the way...hopefully this will be the end of my issues thanks to you.

Author:  FullandFuller [ Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Hopefully that is the problem. Just be real, real light with the file, you don't want to really remove any of the surface metal, just clean the metal that is rough and sticking up.

Email sent.


Author:  WC87 [ Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Hello -

Was just curious if there was any update to this? My gun is not doing this, I'm just curious as to the resolution.


Author:  FullandFuller [ Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

I conversed with ShootSkyBusters via email and last I heard his problem was solved as of January 10. I am not certain what fixed it; best to let him answer since it is his gun.

I can say for my 453 it was most definitely that the trigger bar was improperly lubed and rough where it mates up to the trigger; because of this it was catching on and riding the top of the trigger instead of falling in front of it. Mine was fixed with a very light filing of the rear face of the trigger bar and lubing that surface with Rem Oil.

It was inconvenient that mine failed but it cost me only a few ducks and allowed me to really study and appreciate trigger groups on a few guns. I do not like the trigger design on this gun compared to the Remington triggers.


Author:  ShootSkybusters [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  re: Need help, MP 153 is now a single shot!

Yup, thanks to Jeremiah the problem appears to be solved. I did not have any noticeable 'burr' or rough edge to the trigger bar as he did, and I could not get mine to 'misfire' when dry firing as he did, but a cleaning of the trigger unit, especially the springs inside seemed to do the trick. Hate to say it, but I really never throughly cleaned the gun for the first several thousand shots, crazy as it sounds. Never ANY issue until this episode late in our duck season. I would just spray in copious amounts of rem oil and whipe it down a bit. But that was mostly to prove a point to my snobby SBE and Berretta owners. Plan to do at least occasional cleaning now.

I think what happened with my 153 was that with all the half-butt cleanings and heavy oiling, the gunk eventually settled down into the trigger assembly. I always stored the gun barrel up after a heavy dose of rem oil - won't do that anymore). Thanks for everyone's input!

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