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Ruger GSR problems right out of the box

This is a discussion on Ruger GSR problems right out of the box within the Ruger Bolt Action forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I have a GSR and it is currently one of my favorite guns. In many ways it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense ...

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Old April 9th, 2013, 03:24 PM   #1
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Ruger GSR problems right out of the box

I have a GSR and it is currently one of my favorite guns. In many ways it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense why, the short 16 1/2" barrel makes the gun loud, the muzzle blast is stiff, and the fireball unleashed at dusk is almost enough to make the BATF classify it a flame thrower. I don't think mine will ever shoot under an inch as advertised and being one of the early guns its action was a rough as a cob out of the box. However, with time the gun has smoothed up, has proved decently accurate enough within 250-300 yards and is just plain fun to knock steel down with. It hits with an authority that an AR15 just can't match on poppers and brings a big grin every time it works its magic. The gun carries well, fits me well, has iron sights, and just has some kind of apeal to it that I cannot explain. Though I know that many of us GSR owners seem to suffer the same attraction I feel.

Several of my friends have also bought GSRs and all had been happy with their guns so far, but every so often a lemon slips through the cracks and one of us ended up wth one

Here she is fresh out of the box, serial number in the range of 680-17xxx. She was ordered from a wholesaler and shipped to the favorite local gun store.

Right out of the box the rear sight was wiggly loose and the angled action screw was not real snug, so we tightened them up. Loose screws seemed to be a common place issue with the first GSRs that shipped out so we always check those first. Also the rear peep portion of the sight had been adjusted to the far right, but we hoped that the sight might have been that way because it was sighted in at the factory.

The bolt sleeve had some machine marks on it which were not attractive, but were simply a minor cosmetic flaw.

On the positive side of things the bolt cycled very smoothly right out of the box where others had been a bit stiff or rough. The trigger was the heaviest of any GSR I have shot, but it was also more crisp with less creep. We took the new gun out to break her in with some fresh ammunition from Cabela's. We had finally found some brass cased, factory new 308 Win ammo on the shelf! I don't want to tell you what the cost was per round, but it was well over a dollar.

Well the gun shot well to the left and it did not look like there would be enough adjustment left in the rear sight to fix it at 100 yards, but worst of all the bolt stuck on the first round. We had cleaned and inspected the gun before shooting and hadn't seen anything wrong, but the bolt had to be palm pounded up and was almost impossible to get open at the end of the lift. It was the same for the next 20 rounds we fired. There was no damage to the fired brass that we could see. The gun acted the same with or without a magazine in the gun. It would cycle rounds through the gun easily if the cartridge was unfired, but as soon as the cartridge was fired the bolt would be tight as a drum and hard to operate.

We then noticed that the bolt could not be closed on the spent brass once the bolt had been lifted. It seemed there was no way the gun could have been test fired like this. Inspecting the gun we found the following.

The ejector had a burr as sharp as a chisel on it.

In the chamber entrance at about 4 o'clock there was some kind of deformation.

On the claw of the bolt there was a lip, but I am not sure this had anything to do with the problems we were having.

Here are some close ups on the bolt.

Needless to say, we were bummed out. Ruger was called and immediately offered to send us a shipping label for the gun for return to the repair center in NH. As others have mentioned Ruger was very friendly and helpful and made the process easy, though i felt like we were creating a national gun registery with the amount of information they needed. =)

I am wondering what the hive mind thinks:

I am wondering if the barrel was threaded into the receiver at an angle thus causing the sights to be so far off?

What would cause this issue?

Do you think it was just a lemon that slipped past QC or did ithis happen from firing?

Have you guys ever seen anything like that?

Have your GSR sights been adjusted hard to one side like that out of the box?

I will update this thread when Ruger sends it back. In the mean time one of us will not be taking this GSR pig hunting at the end of this month.

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Old April 9th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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haste to get the GSR on the dealers shelves....has created a downward spiral of quality control
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Old April 9th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #3
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I haven't shot mine yet, but now I worry. Everything seems fine, and I have cycled rounds through it to make sure it works well, but can't get to the range till this weekend ( I've had it since early March). I intend to sight in with the sights, then put the scope on and sight in with it. Can't wait!!!
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Old April 9th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #4
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It will be very interesting to see what Ruger does to rectify the situation. Mention of the expended brass not coming out after the shot seems to suggest obstruction in the chamber or possibly the chamber was cut to wrong specifications.
Pretty sure Ruger will make it right.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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I would be interested to see what the fired brass looked like after extraction. The flaw almost looks as if there may have been a void in the casting that ruptured after firing your first round. Would also be interesting to know the PSI or cup of the rounds you were using.

I hardly believe if this occurred at the factory it would have ever left. Definitely needs to be sent back.

EDIT on second look at the pics it almost seems as if the damage was caused by something striking the face of the chamber? Very odd; not sure what to think now?
Good luck with the return.



Last edited by rodteague; April 9th, 2013 at 06:36 PM.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 06:50 PM   #6
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After the first couple shots I realized my iron sites were off considerably. The gun was shooting considerably to the right. No problem... I adjusted and was able to start hitting the gong at 200 yards with the irons. Then the next problem arose....The bolt was stiff out of the box but I hoped it would free up after shooting it. No such luck. It actually froze up like you explained in the OP and took some force to cycle the bolt. Currently I have shot 50 rounds through the GSR and I intend to send it back to Ruger for proper adjustments...Very disappointing as I love the everything else about the gun
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Old April 9th, 2013, 09:20 PM   #7
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I'm wondering about the headspace or the dimension of one of the lugs. Looking at the short lug in this photo center, It looks galded, sorta ragged to me. It should be smooth.

Could this lug be dragging in there? If this corresponds with the burr you see in the chamber, that may be the problem. Why, I don't know, but I'd bet Ruger will take care of it.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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Hate to rub salt in your wound, but my GSR was great right out of the box. Bolt cycled easily, trigger was surprisingly good, and the iron sights were dead on at 100 yards. Granted, I have only run 40 rounds through it because of the cost of the available ammo, but after I got it zeroed in with the Leupold I like it even more. Waiting for my 400 rounds from the CMP to come in before taking it out again.

I have no doubt that Ruger will take car of your problems and will be curious to hear what they do to correct it. Hopefully they will tell you.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #9
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I had a chance to inspect my GSR that functions well. The bolt is smooth where this one is rough all over. It's only a couple hundred serial numbers earlier than the one that doesn't work right, but you can really see where it looks like the milling tools were getting worn out or something. The one that functions well has the rear sight adjusted noticeably to the left, but nothing like the bad one.

I have spent a fair amount of time working the bolt and dry firing it. For those of you worried about the GSR that is a little rough, don't worry once they get worked in they are great.

Every once in a while you get lucky. I bought the cheapest M1A model around. It's head spacing was almost perfect, I never touched the sights and with the standard GI barrel it out shoots National Match M1A's.

Last edited by GSR Fan; April 11th, 2013 at 07:34 AM.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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I'm glad I got mine before The Great Panic. That looks like completely substandard workmanship to the point that you'd have to try real hard to f a rifle up that bad. If that is where Ruger is headed, maybe they are trying to clear everything out before the possible change in gun laws forces them out of business. Terrible work, sorry to see it. I saw two brand new ones in the LGS today and opened up the chamber on them and they looked real good. These pictures look like somebody used the hell out of that gun before it came to you.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #11
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Just got a message that the rifle is being shipped back and should be here 05-22-13.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #12
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I have heard nothing but good about the gun.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #13
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I finally got to the range last weekend. I did not sight in with the iron sights, just with the Hi Lux scope. It took a little more time to sight in as both of my sons had to work, but it zeroed pretty well at 100 - about 1.5" groups. No issues at all such as the OP had. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the gun.
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Old May 27th, 2013, 06:28 PM   #14
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The Scout turned back up on a doorstep yesterday. First thing I noticed was that the sight was centered, I haven't shot it yet so I am hoping they have it regulated. I thought they must have put a new barrel on the gun but it was the same barrel, the chamber look buffed and the imperfection was ground out. The bolt had been polished and some of the metal was removed on one of the lugs. I will say I have the smoothest GSR bolt throw this side of the Mississippi. It is so easy to lift the bolt now that I hope it doesn't get any easier or it might be a problem in field conditions.

There was one gouge in the top of the bolt and some peeling of the stocks finish coat from around where the checkering was on the pistol grip. I had asked a new extractor and firing pin assembly be fitted at the factory and to my surprise they did that for me free of charge! One thing though the firing pin assembly was blued finish. It did not have a the matte black finish of the GSR receiver. Part of me wonders if this piece is stainless for the new SS version of the GSR and is merely blackened so they can reduce work by having to manufacture the part out if two different metals.

I will do a range report as soon as I can get away to test fire it.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 03:33 PM   #15
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So how did it come out? I know Customer Service is top priority with Ruger.
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