5 Common Remington 742 Problems And How To Fix Them

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I’ve spent some serious time in the field testing out the Remington 742. However, I gotta say, as much as I admire its qualities, I couldn’t help but notice a handful of Remington 742 Problems that, well, just shouldn’t be there. 

First up, there’s the nagging extraction problem that seems to persist. Next, we’ve got ejection issues that don’t really make your day any better. 

.Then comes the jamming issue—oh boy, don’t even get me started on that. And if that wasn’t enough, the extractor itself can act up, and the magazine can give you grief. Yeah, it’s a lot.

Don’t fret! The aim of this article is to help you understand these common issues and offer some reliable solutions.

Overview of Remington 742 Problems & their Solutions

Extraction IssueSwitch ammo and adjust the forestock.
Ejection IssueClean the chamber and keep an eye on unburned powder.
Jamming IssueUse high-quality ammo and consider a gunsmith visit.
Extractor IssueReplace the extractor and keep the chamber clean.
Magazine ProblemClean the mag well and consider replacing with OEM mag.

Top 5 Remington 742 Problems & Solutions

1. Problem with the Extraction

While I was out testing the Remington 742, everything seemed fine and dandy—until it wasn’t. I pulled the trigger, and then, ugh, the extraction issue hit me. 

It felt like the firearm had let me down right when I needed it most. What’s happening is the spent cartridge doesn’t get properly removed from the chamber. 

This isn’t just frustrating; it disrupts the whole shooting experience, making it feel like you’re wrestling with the gun instead of harmoniously using it.


So, how did I tackle this? First things first, I switched out my ammo. You wouldn’t believe how much difference proper ammo can make. 

Seriously, I noticed an immediate change; the extraction was noticeably smoother. But the problem wasn’t totally gone. 

The forestock needed a look, too. After a bit of troubleshooting—tightening some screws and making sure everything was aligned—voila! The extraction problem took a backseat, letting me enjoy my time out in the field once again. 

If you’re facing the same issue, don’t underestimate the power of using the right ammo and a quick forestock adjustment. Simple as that!

2. Ejection Issue

Alright, next on our list is the ejection issue, and let me tell you, this one’s a doozy. Picture this: you pull the trigger, expecting the spent shell to be kicked out. 

But nope, it stays in. A chunk of the rim gets ripped off. It’s like the firearm can’t let go of the past, because it tries to chamber a new round while clinging to the old shell. 

It’s annoying to say the least, and in the moment, it feels like a betrayal by the gun you were hoping would be your reliable companion out in the field.


Now, for the fix. It all starts with cleanliness. Before you use the Remington 742, make sure the chamber is as clean as a whistle—no oil, no debris, nothing. Trust me, a clean chamber makes a world of difference. 

I also found out the root of the problem lies in the inertia block and the recoil spring tension. So, to mitigate the issue, make sure to keep an eye out for any unburned powder or flakes left in the chamber. A quick swab after firing can help immensely.

And remember, this is crucial because the tight chamber doesn’t help; it collects all sorts of junk.

3. Jamming Issue

So here’s another hiccup that I bet a lot of you have come across: jamming. Oh yes, the infamous rear bolt jam. 

Whether you’re using long cartridges like 30-06, .270, or even the shorter ones like .308 or .243, the jamming issue doesn’t discriminate. Even newer guns can display these problems, not just the well-worn ones.

This was a big letdown for me, as it just takes the joy out of using this firearm. One moment you’re in the zone, and the next, you’re struggling to unjam your rifle.


The Remington 742 is notoriously picky when it comes to ammo. During my tests, I switched to high-quality factory loads, and it was like the gun started behaving better. 

I also took the time to field strip and clean the rifle before firing and made sure to clean it at regular intervals. This made a noticeable difference. 

But what if the problem persists? In that case, your best bet is a trip to a Remington authorized gunsmith. Yeah, it’s an extra step, but hey, a smooth-operating firearm is worth it, right?

4. Extractor Issue

The extractor problem is another wrench in the works, folks. You fire a shot, expecting the brass case to be neatly ejected, but no dice. 

The case stays stubbornly in the chamber, even though the extractor does manage to nibble on the case rim. 

Now, the result is pretty frustrating—you can’t remove the spent case after each shot. Trust me, when this happened to me, I was left scratching my head. 

One moment you’re on target, and the next, you’re dealing with an extractor that just doesn’t want to do its job.


So, what to do? For starters, I realized these extractors are not as robust as those in bolt guns. So, let’s cut to the chase: it might be time to replace that extractor. 

Once I did that, things started looking up. Keeping the chamber dry and spotless is a must too. This can be a bit technical, as you’ll need to disassemble the gun to get to the bolt/ejector mechanism. 

If you’re not comfortable doing that, a trip to a qualified gunsmith is your best bet. They have the special tools and expertise to sort this out.

5. Magazine Problem 

Ah, the magazine issue, another pain point for Remington 742 users like me. Picture this: the bottom of the casing remains stuck in the magazine, and the bullet juts out at a weird angle from the top of the chamber. 

When I experienced this, I thought, “Well, this isn’t right.” It feels like the magazine itself is betraying you, doesn’t it? The spring deteriorates faster than you’d expect, and the lips can get bent out of shape. 

The end result? Potential jams or even damaged bullet noses.


So, what’s the way out? First, give the mag well a good cleaning. Brake cleaner did wonders for me. But don’t forget to lubricate afterward. 

Still having issues? Take a close look at your magazine. The stock magazines often have poor fits. 

I decided to replace mine with a new Remington OEM magazine, ensuring it had the right width between .600″ and .650″. It’s a bit tedious to get all these specifics right, but believe me, it makes a world of difference

Final Verdict

Alright, let’s wrap this up. The Remington 742 is a firearm that carries a legacy, but it’s not without its drawbacks. 

From extraction to ejection issues, from jamming to problems with the extractor and the magazine, there’s a laundry list of things that could go wrong. Each problem comes with its own solution that I’ve personally tried and tested. 

If you’re up for a bit of tinkering and regular maintenance, most of these issues can be mitigated. 

So, the verdict? The Remington 742 is like that old car you can’t help but love, flaws and all. It demands attention, but give it what it needs, and it won’t let you down.


Are Remington 742 reliable? 

Reliability varies; they have known issues but can be managed with care.

When did Remington stop making the 742? 

Its Production stopped in 1980.

What ammo does a Remington 742 use? 

Remington CoreLokt 150 grain PSPs often work well.

What is the difference between a Remington 740 and 742? 

The 742 has an improved bolt system with an internal latch.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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