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Ok, so I've got some gas system issues here, most of them my own fault of course, but I definitely need some help now. I'll try to keep this short but it's kind of a long story.

When I first got my 153, it shot great after the break in. But of course, thinking I know more than the manufacturer, I decided to tighten up the gas system when duck season came around since I would be shooting higher powered loads. I think I adjusted it one full turn (yes, in the correct direction). It was cycling 3" high velocity steel perfectly. The problem came when I shot some 3 1/2" high velocity steel through it. After the second shot, the bolt became jammed back. After removing the foregrip, you could see that the recoil spring was all bunched up under the piston. I couldn't get the bolt to go back forward til later that morning with the assistance of a rubber mallet. The spring was a little warped, but not too bad so I continued using it. Thinking I had used too powerful of a load for where my gas system was set, I adjusted it again, this time till it was flush with the end, since the manual said that's as far as you should go with it. It continued to cycle 3" shells fine, and quite a few more 3 1/2" shells. Then it happened again, bolt jammed back, spring bunched up, had to be beaten into submission again. Then it started doing it even with the 3" shells. So now I'm thinking, "this spring has had it".

I just recently ordered and received a new recoil spring. Laying it next to the old one it is almost two full inches longer in this relaxed state, and seemed to be a bit heavier gauge material. With it installed, the action feels much more crisp, which is good...I think. I saw a different forum on here where a guy had pretty much the exact same problem and sent it back to the company and they replaced his recoil spring, so hopefully I'm on the right track.

So now the problem is, I want to break in this new spring and kind of get back to what I started with, but I have no idea where I should start with the gas system. I would just go right back to the line made by the factory, but here's the weird thing, the factory line is below the notch that the manual says you shouldn't go below! What am I supposed to do? I want to set it right, and I really don't want to destroy this spring or any other part of the gun. Any guidance you can give would be most appreciated as I am pretty much at a loss.
 

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I disregard the line. It is painted on but not precisely. Different guns have the line painted at different places, some in front of that little window (cutout) and some behind. Instead, use the end of the cutout itself as the factory position. Turn the adjustment nut until the front of the nut is flush with the rear edge of the cutout.

From that position, the adjustment range is two revolutions out (forward, into the window) and two revolutions in. You want to go out to shoot heavy loads. I think I have mine one revolution out as I have been shooting Rem HD - 1 3/8oz @ 1450 - and they were really getting tossed. This setting still cycles 3" fast steel for me, too, but does not throw them as far. I consider an 8 foot hull toss as perfect adjustment. If you are really worried with the new spring, dial the adjustment a full two turns out from that window. If you turn it too far eventually it will come off the threads, so don't go crazy. That may be what the manual says about not adjusting too far out.

As to why this happened in the first place...perhaps the spring was bad from the start, but when the spring does become overcompressed like yours did, it was stretched beyond its elastic range and was permanently weakened in certain spots. After that it is likely to return to that same overcompressed condition. Anytime a spring collapses over itself like that, it is time for a new spring.

Jeremiah
 

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BTW there are some pics of the gas collar in this thread by Tozman.
http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=112596

On the first pic that you can see the gas adjustment, it is set to shoot light loads - the nut is dialed down behind the cutout.

On the second, close-up pic, that gun is set to handle heavier loads - the front of the nut is about one revolution out from the cutout.

Jeremiah
 
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