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Replace the U-bolt on your shotgun

The gun featured is a Beretta 682 Gold E – worth somewhere around the £1,500 mark.

I noticed there was a slight degree of movement between the barrels and the face of the action.

The movement was noticeable, but not excessive, and I told the owner that it would probably need looking at sooner than later.

The customer, however, decided to postpone this extra repair for a while and have the work done later as part of a routine service.

This made a lot of sense really, as the action would have to be stripped down to its components.
Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
The fore end and barrels are removed from the stock. The ejectors and springs are then removed from the barrels.

Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
We then refit the barrels onto the action and do our flexing test again.

In this way we get a better idea of the gap between the faces. (This is because the strength of the springs on the ejectors can hide, or mask, the amount of ‘wobble’ between the faces).

Experience tells me that the small amount of movement, the wobble, is a result of wear on the u-bolt.

Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
To replace this item the action has to be completely stripped. This coincides with the service where everything needs cleaning and lubricating anyway.

First the trigger plate is removed, followed by the auto-safe, the firing pins and the cocking levers.

Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
Then comes a tricky three-handed job, that is removing the cam that works the top-lever bolt.

Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
At this point the U-bolt simply drops out of the action. We now
degrease and clean the remnants of the action.

This done, we squirt everything with WD-40. This washes off all the de-greaser and also leaves all the metal surfaces with
a nice oily film.

The action is then given a thorough blast with the airline, leaving it completely clean. The same cleaning procedure is used on the barrels.

Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
Nowadays, ‘off the peg’ U-bolts are used as replacements and there are various sizes available. This was fitted as easily as the old blot was removed.

(In the good old days a gunsmith would have to make these individually – before fitting them individually!)

Replacing a U-bolt on your shotgun
The action is then rebuilt, with the exception of the springs, and the barrels refitted for our flexing test.

The action was then re-assembled properly, with a light smear of grease placed on any moving parts. Loc-tite was used on any retaining screws.