Browning SA-22 Failure to Feed / Eject

TxAgZ28

Member
Mar 21, 2010
112
18
San Antonio, TX
I have an older Belgian Browning SA-22 rifle that is having issues with feeding and ejecting. It was handed down to me, with an unknown history, received from my father many years ago but never used by me until now.

Before I took it to the range, I disassembled it, cleaned it as best I could, lubed and re-assembled.

Using Winchester 40 grain bulk-box ammo. I do not have any other .22 to try out, can't even find a box for sale.

When I load a round in, and cycle the breech block, it will cycle 3/4 of the way and hang before it would pick up the cartridge and load it in the chamber. I try to cycle it again, and it still hangs about 3/4 of the way from fully closed. You can cycle it over and over, and it will hang over and over. I got it to close once, and once it is closed, it will fire the round, but then it will not eject the casing. You have to cycle the breech block again to get the casing to fall out.

I had these problems, researched the issue, and concluded there could be some worn out parts and it needed a deeper cleaning, seeing as how it is an unknown-to-me, older rifle. So I replaced the firing pin spring, recoil spring, extractor spring, cartridge guide spring, cartridge stop, and the actual magazine assembly with spring. All were Browning parts purchased from Midwest Gun Works https://www.midwestgunworks.com/browning-semi-auto-22/parts.html . I also cleaned the cartridge guide (but did not replace) very well.

Replaced all of these parts, cleaned it again, lubed it again, took it out, and had the exact same issues. The block would hang, and then I could get one round to load after a lot of struggle. Again, when it did fire, it did not eject the casing.

Any ideas on what to look at next, before I take it in to a shop? I really want to get this to work, I want it to be my son's first rifle one day.
 

Moonpie

Omnipotent Potentate for hire.
Lifetime Member
Oct 4, 2013
17,486
113
Gunz are icky.
1.) Ensure the chamber of the rifle is clean.
If your rifle has a lot of use on it the chamber probably has some gunk built up in it. Very common on old .22's.
Buy a couple of copper/bronze bore brushes and carefully brush out the chamber. If I remember correctly your rifle has a removable barrel right? Should make this chore real easy. DO NOT use a stainless steel bore brush. Fact is NEVER use a stainless steel brush on anything except a smoothbore gun.

2.) Try different ammunition.
That W-W .22lr ammo can be some really erratic stuff.
If you can find it try some CCI mini-mag. CCI is pretty much the Gold Standard for .22lr these days.
That's the first thing I'd do.

Sounds like the recoil spring may be your culprit.
It's lost power and not pushing the bolt fully into battery.
 

TxAgZ28

Member
Mar 21, 2010
112
18
San Antonio, TX
Appreciate the response. Yes the barrel separates quite easily.

I will see if I can find different ammo, my range might sell a small box if they have it in stock. Not sure of the brand, though.

The recoil spring was replaced with the other parts, and still had the same issue. I thought it might be the culprit as well, as it felt much stronger after I replaced it. But alas, same problems exist.
 

Moonpie

Omnipotent Potentate for hire.
Lifetime Member
Oct 4, 2013
17,486
113
Gunz are icky.
Are you able to push the bolt into full closed position?
Can you observe what the cartridge is hanging up on?
Maybe try to cycle a cartridge without the barrel attached?
There has to be something interfering with cartridge movement.
Does the bolt work back and forth smoothly while unloaded?
 

Dred

Active Member
Mar 12, 2012
568
43
Houston, TX
Love mine. But, I would surely recommend hitting the brain trusts at rimfire central's Browning sub forum, and the Browning forum.

I also agree with @Moonpie ... those Winchesters can be a challenge in any rifle. Check your Walmarts and Academys for Minimags.

And one cray cray question ... are you certain your SA22 isn't chambered for shorts? They can come chambered for either long rifles or shorts. No, they don't feed/cycle both.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

TxAgZ28

Member
Mar 21, 2010
112
18
San Antonio, TX
With a cartridge inserted, I cannot force the bolt closed. I am unable to view any obvious obstruction while the bolt is opened. Without a cartridge inserted, the bolt cycles smooth as can be, and with the new recoil spring, has great return power.

I will throw up a post on rimfire central, I think that was where I got the initial ideas about the springs and such. I'll have to find my bookmarks.

The rifle is marked for long.
 

Dred

Active Member
Mar 12, 2012
568
43
Houston, TX
With a cartridge inserted, I cannot force the bolt closed.

The rifle is marked for long.
I'm gonna step waaaay out on a limb and ask: Are you trying to close the bolt on a 22 long rifle in a 22 long chamber? I would not expect it to close safely. I also would not expect it to eject if a long rifle cartridge got jammed in there.

That said, I have not heard of a 22 long chambered SA22. Unfortunately 22 long IS hard to come by. Gave some to my pops but he would not come off it when I tried to help Moonpie (Pops believes he can shoot it in my grandmother's 22short gallery gun.)

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

AZ Refugee

TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2014
3,061
113
If it is indeed chambered for .22LR and the chamber is not obstructed, and the cartridge fully inserts, then it would seem to me the extractor is too long or not latching over the rim.
 

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