Misgivings About the AR15's Magazines


March 28, 2003, 10:11 PM

I was loading a new Bushmaster factory 10 round magazine for my Bushy AR15. Ten rounds right? Well, ten rounds do not work. I have a habit of always loading one round shy of full capacity in any magazine, but tonight I was feeling cocky and I loaded ten rounds.

First off, the magazine, to be seated properly with a full capacity, required a solid whack from the bottom. I mean get me a hammer. And then when I went to chamber a round the bolt jammed and the smell of fresh unburnt gun-powder reached my nose.

Try as I might, the magazine could not be removed, nor the bolt moved as well. Oh crap I thought, what is with this? The ammo is white box Win, no big deal. So I proceed to dismantle the rifle, but after pushing the rear pin back I can't separate the lower from the upper!!

With all my might I put pressure on the two parts and bang! I cut a chunk of skin out of my chin as the upper part of the rifle finally separated from the lower and whacked me in the face. Blood is everywhere.

Then I look at the jammed round. It is bent, deformed, and as you can see in this picture, dangerously damaged. This is making me re-think my fondness for the AR15. I never had this problem in a Mini-14.

Anybody else run into this problem? God my chin hurts!

Here is the deformed cartridge.

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March 28, 2003, 10:15 PM
No problem. Just chamber that baby into your SAR3 and fire away! :neener:

Funny you should mention this. I got an upper for my Bushy yesterday. I put it together last night and could not get an empty mag to seat unless I pulled back the bolt.

Navy joe
March 28, 2003, 10:28 PM
Yes, I saw a round nosedive at a match last week. The particular course of fire started with the bolt closed and mag in the strong hand, so weird loading was done, most likely causing the jam. Fix #1, buy USGI mags. #2, load correctly as in lock bolt back, insert mag and verify seated, hit bolt release. Most common loading jams come from mags not fully seated and people babying the bolt carrier fwd by hand. Operator error. Any reload mags should be downloaded a couple to aid seating on a closed bolt. I use 28 in my 30s. I give the mag a healthy whack too when seating and a tug if time.

If you do something like this check the bore. The one I saw littered the chamber with powder and subsequent rounds wouldn't fully chamber. Dangerous.

Did you try fwd assist to close the bolt fully before trying to seperate the recievers? If the bolt is out of battery and you want the gun apart you might as well start pulling off the buttstock and buffer tube, if you can't move the bolt fwd the recievers won't seperate. Sounds like you were a little too vigorous with that mag, get some real ones and try again.

March 28, 2003, 10:41 PM
I dunno. Seems to me that if a factory rifle won't work with the factory supplied magazine, you could call the factory and raise hell. Download your magazines? Why should you have to do that? A 30 round magazine should hold thirty rounds, no?

FWIW, I've never had the need to download magazines with my issue M16, but then, your mileage may vary. I certainly don't have to do it with my FAL.

I don't think that inserting the magazine then racking the charging handle is "weird" loading. The rifle OUGHT to function like that, I should think. Just make sure you pull the charging handle back all the way before you let it go.

March 28, 2003, 10:52 PM
The key to using the charging handle is to pull it all the way to the rear, and then just let it fly. If you ride it even a little of the way forward, it can prevent the round from chambering fully.

Although, I will say that I've never seen a round get as mangled as the one in the picture.

Personally, I'm in the habit of always locking the bolt to the rear, then loading the magazine and hitting the bolt release.

mark mcj
March 28, 2003, 11:04 PM
Older Bush mags have a really bad reputation, the newer ones are supposed to be better.

I never load my Ar mags to full capacity 18 in 20rd mags and 27 in 30 rd mags. I do this to avoid any of the hard mag inserts.

I've seen much worse in regards to your mangled round. I guess it just depends on how many rounds you shoot or see shot.

The mags Bush master makes are pretty tight. They don't wont anyone getting 11 rounds in there. Just another liability thing.

March 28, 2003, 11:36 PM
If a postban 10 round magazine can fit 11 rounds,
Bushmaster is gonna get no knocked by Janet Reno's shake down team

in order to avoid this, most 10 round mags are 9.5 round mags

i would get some USGI 20s & 30s

March 28, 2003, 11:47 PM
I tried my Bushmaster 10 round magazine once. The thing is just too tight to feed any more than 8 rounds. It is one of the 30 rounders that was cut and rivited together in the middle to be the same length as a 20 rounder. These are commonly known as Frankenmags, and are notoriously unreliable. Send it back to Bushmaster and they will send you a new model that works.

Personally, I kept my Frankenmag to use in slow fire events where I am only loading one round at a time. For rapid fire I use genine GI 20 rounders which have given me zero problems in a year of Highpower competition.

March 29, 2003, 12:20 AM
Bushy ten rounders: some work, some don't. My frankenmag has always worked from day one.

gun-fucious is right. If anyone manages to cram eleven rounds into a postban Bushy mag, then Bushmaster is guilty of a felony. They don't leave any room for that kind of error. I think Colt solved the problem by going to 9 round mags.

Load it to capacity and let it sit for a few days, it might loosen up. If it doesn't, and it's worth the bother to you, call Bushmaster for a replacement.

PS- never try to force apart the upper and lower of an AR if the bolt isn't fully forward. You could cut your chin. ;)

March 29, 2003, 01:54 PM
The round looks like it was the victim of a "Bolt over base" malfunction.

Translation the bolt passed over the base of the round still inside of the magazine but the front of the casing is high enough above the feed lips to be hit by the lowest locking lug of the bolt as it moves forward.

the other guys on this thread have the fix to this problem. Down load the mag or replace it. Try downloading first and see if it works.

One a side note, no problems with the 10 rounder my Bushy 16in V-match came with.

March 29, 2003, 02:06 PM
I have had the same problem with Bushmaster 10 round mags. The rifle would not function with them. Unfortunately I had ordered two extra bushmaster mags when I bought the rifle. Called Bushmaster because I thought something was wrong with the rifle. Asked about the ammo that I was using because I thought that maybe PMC ammo was the culprit. They told me that it was more than likely the magazines. He also stated that PMC was the ammo that they use at the factory to test fire the rifle before they ship. Customer service rep told me that they had to put very heavy duty springs in their 10 round mags to prevent anyone from being able to load that evil 11th round. He advised me to load them up and let them sit to weaken the springs. If that didn't work, he said to send them back and they would replace them. After talking to others with bushmaster rifles at the range, I have given up on the bushmaster 10 rounders. Everyone that I spoke with had the same tale of woe with the bushmaster 10 rounders. I have no problems with Orlite 30 rounders, or Colt 20 rounders.

March 29, 2003, 02:17 PM
Why even use a 10 rd mag? Its not surprising you had trouble separating the upper from the lower with the bolt not all the way home it was protruding from the upper receiver a bit, i'm surprised you could get it open at all!

March 29, 2003, 02:46 PM
I got a couple of the riveted mags with my Bushmaster. Although I've never used them (have always used 20s and 30s), I have loaded them up a couple of times to see if, from what I've read about them in the AR forum was true, you could only load 9 rounds in them. I could only load 9 rounds in mine. Not really of much use when there are high capcity mags out there for cheap unless you're shooting in some type of competition like CMP or varmint hunting from a flat surface with limited room under the gun.

March 29, 2003, 02:50 PM
The only malfunction I've ever had with my BM was due to that 10 round mag that came with the gun. The round jammed in the receiver over top of the bolt. Once I finally got it out, I trashed the mag and have only used USGI or Thermold ever since. Never had a problem with either one.

March 29, 2003, 06:01 PM
My dad and I have never had that problem, we both shoot Bushies and never download mags, pre or post ban.

March 29, 2003, 10:35 PM
I agree with all comments, and I also think it is the Bushmaster magazine. I did a complete check out of my AR and I saw no damage in the bolt or chamber. It just scared the crap out of me. I have never seen a round so violently deformed before, that is without a firing.

On a side note, I have had trouble with 10 round Glock mags seating as well. Consequently, I download them as well. Unlike ARs, good hi-cap Glock mags cost a fortune.

That whole 10 round magazine limit law has probably caused far more problems than allowing hi-caps. Next gun show in these parts I will buy up a bunch of good 20/30 round AR magazines.

March 29, 2003, 10:44 PM
get yourself a nice Colt 20 rounder..........stomp on the stupid PC factory 10 rounder a few times and toss it into the nearest trashcan, it will NEVER bother you again

March 30, 2003, 01:57 AM
I took a pair of pliers to mine and retrieved the anti tilt follower to put in a USGI mag that had an old follwer. Never even tried to load it.

Mr. Purple
March 30, 2003, 10:28 AM
The US GI mags get the best reviews. I prefer the 20 rounders over the 30, as its unlikely that every paper target at the range will try and over run my firing position on the line (and they have the added benefit of being easier to use when firing from a prone or benchrest position).

As far as 30 rounders go I've had very good experiences with Orlite mag (some Orlites if used in Bushmaster or Sendra lowers will need their over insertion prevention rib ground with a Dremmel to work). Lately the English steel SA80 mags are getting good reviews (do not confuse with other steel AR15 mags which are usually worthless).

March 30, 2003, 11:35 AM
I just bought 2 of the English SA80 mags but haven't had a chance to use them yet. Has anyone here used them? How were your results? They look and feel very nice and are very sturdy. If these turn out to be good performers I'm planning on stocking up on more.

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