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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Might be best to post at the gunsmithing site, but here goes... Yesterday, my Browning 16 ga Lightning Feather would not reliably fire the bottom barrel. Top barrel fired hull showed strong/deep firing pin indentation on the primer, bottom barrel would snap and make a very weak indentation on the primer. Moving the unfired case from the bottom barrel to the top barrel resulted in a positive fire - the problem was not the primer or ammo. A little "on site remedy" was attempted... we blasted compressed air down the firing pin holes in the face of the receiver, then dabbed a little Kroil over the pins, then dry-fired the bottom barrel a few times (ouch!) and everything worked fine (good strong indentation and postive fire) except for one snap about 2 rounds later. Then, It functioned fine after that until we finished our last round of psycho sheet... Any gurus out there who know what to attribute the malfunction to?? I can get a "go over" on the clays field for a malfunction, but my dogs don't forgive as easily - I want to address this. Any help always appreciated. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One other "left-out" tidbit... I tried the malfuntioning barrel as the first barrel to rule out the trapped trigger issue... Same problem.
 

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When was the last time you cleaned it? The first thing I'd do is scrub it down really good...maybe have a gunsmith check it out. If you know how to take it apart that's the first thing I'd do, though.

Matt
 

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JeffsVice said:
who know what to attribute the malfunction to?? I can get a "go over" on the clays field for a malfunction, .
It sounds like a bit of crud-- and, you fixed it. Don't know how you can "fix it more."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I probably can't, to borrow Mr. Wakeman's comment, "fix it more"... I suppose it's a confidence issue - in the back of my mind, I need the certainty that the gun will fire. Besides, I don't want to snap on a covey rise or a Pheasant rooster flush - I can't get 'em to "pull" those again. I had the butt-stock off 2 mos ago to drop the comb a little - cleaned it then - I guess I can pull it off and clean again. Just haven't had this problem before and 2 months and maybe 3 cases in this gun... seems a little overkill on "mechanical" cleaning

I like them to go "boom" when I pull the trigger - it messes up the whole day when they go "click" - and trust me on this one, I don't need any more handicaps.

Thanks all, the butt-stock is already off for a a major cleaning.
 

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JeffsVice,

This has happened to me with the same gun model and gauge, the 16 gauge Lightning Feather. It has also happened to several others. Check the 16ga.com forums and you will find quite a few posts regarding this same fail to fire with this same make, model, and gauge gun about 3 or 4 months ago. In my personal opinion, this has been happening way to often on this specific make, model, and gauge of relatively new guns for Browning not to know they have a problem. But Browning has here to fore refused to admit there is a problem with this model gun.

In my case I use this gun for upland bird hunting ONLY, as it is way too light for me to use on clay birds due to recoil issues. My gun is only about 4 years old, and I had just had the stock off and cleaned and lubed the internals before the first incident of fail to fire the bottom barrel, with a light primer hit on that shell. In fact I remove the stock to clean and lube the internals AT LEAST once annually, and everytime after I hunt the gun in wet conditions. My gun's internals are squeaky clean and lubed, yet after having experienced this fail to fire I again removed the stock, and cleaned and lubed the internals, then shot it again the next week and again had about 4 fail to fires out of one round of skeet.

Yes, I was shooting mostly Remington Game Loads. I have read some theories about these RGLs having hard primers and thus damaging firing pins. All I can state for a fact is that I took this gun to my gunsmith who replaced the lower firing pin and some internal springs. This lower firing pin did show some damage to the very tip of it. My gunsmith thought the firing pin was a tad short as well, and I have read that Brownings may have a reputation for short firing pins in their 16 gauge Citoris. Browning refused to provide the parts under warranty, thus I had the priviledge of paying for new overpriced parts for a well maintained relatively new gun that shouldn't be experiencing this problem in the first place. My smith felt so bad that he didn't even charge any labor costs for putting the parts in.

I have owned several Citoris in 12, 16, 20 and .410 bore and still do own four in these gauges. I have put many thousands of rounds through the 12, 20, and .410 bores with only one minor problem whatsoever. That one problem was with the almost new 12 gauge 425 Sporter, and my same gunsmith found a hunk of crud in one of the firing pin springs that caused the spring to remain compressed and act like a broken spring. My 16 gauge which I have only used for upland bird hunting for 4 years is not shot often, especially when compared to the guns I shoot on clay birds, yet this 16 gauge Lightning Feather has had the most often and most serious function issues of all of them.

Other than having this fail to fire issue, I shoot this 16 gauge Lightning Feather as well or perhaps better on live birds than I ever have with any other gun other than the Ithaca Model 37. I feel Browning is trying to avoid admitting having a problem with this model gun when they instead should be coming up with a fix for it at no expense to their customers.
 

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I had the same problem with my new White Lightning 16 ga using Remington Game Loads. A trip to the Browning facility and the lower firing pin was "sharpened". The next week it did the same thing, so it went to MidWest Guns(I live nearby both places). The sharpened firing pins were now piercing primers on Federal and Fiocchi factory loads. MGW replaced the lower firing pin, and it has worked fine on Fiocchi, Federal, Winchester, and Nobel Sport factory loads.

I can only presume(don't want to "assume" - we know were that leads) that my gun does not like Remington Game Loads for some reason(hard primers come to mind) so I don't use them. Now the gun works fine and I have restored my confidence in the gun.

If the gun doesn't work with Remington GLs, try something else.
Life is too short to shoot crappy ammo!

Midwest Guns also told me that they were seeing this problem due to hard primers on Remington ammo. I have used Remington primers for years on handgun, rifle, and shotgun reloads with no problems, but my misfire problem disappeared when I switched ammo. Might just be a bad lot of primers from the factory.

I was quick to blame Browning for my misfire problems after reading the problems about the 16 ga guns both here and at the 16 ga forum, but if the problem is with the ammo and not the gun, then obviously Browning can't fix the problem. Try a few boxes of ammo from one or two other manufactures, and if the problem persists, then it is a Browning problem, and they should fix it. My problem was resolved by switching ammo - hope your problem is as easy to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks... for all the comments...

I do in fact, shoot mostly the Remington field loads. Buy all I can every year when they go on sale at Dicks or Bass Pro. Have more than 12 cases in the garage right now - I suppose I can shoot them in the old Sptsman 58 (It's headed into its' third generation without failure)

The Lighting Feather is for hunting, but I often shoot clays with it during bird season. Just take 3 ibuprofen and don't think about the hard plastic butt-plate... I've found that an evening libation can help reduce the throbbing to a dull thud.

I've already cleaned everything, so if fails me again this Sunday, I guess I'll check the firing pins and limit it's diet to reloads or other brands of ammo... Thanks again.
 

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JeffsVice:

Good luck with your 16 gauge Lightning Feather. I also have one and it is a fine shooting gun in the field. I did have MidWest Gun Works upgrade my gun by adding a good recoil pad and one of the Browning adjustable position triggers. I haven't had the lower barrel problem yet but I have only put about 300 rounds through the gun. I can recommend MGW for any Browning work you may need done.
 

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JeffsVice,
Not sure if the lightning has the same firing pin configuration as the XS skeet, but I had a similar issue, turned out to be a rough firing pin. Cleaned it up, and haven't had a problem since. Check this http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=114951&highlight=

good luck, and let us know how you make out..

It's frustrating, but next time it happens, just recock, and see if the same shell fires in the same barrel. In my mind, that proves it's not a hard primer..

Zonk.............
 
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