Help - AR15 jammed up tight


June 30, 2003, 10:26 AM
Took the AR shooting this weekend. Went through a couple magazines without problem. Fired the first round out of the next mag, seemed fine. Pulled trigger on the next and it was apparently a dud. Bolt carrier was all the way in battery and the firing pin fell, but it didn't go off. When I tried to cycle it manually, I found it's jammed solid. I dropped the magazine and hauled really hard on the charging handle but just cannot get it to move. I assume there's a round in the chamber since it's stuck.

SO...anything particular I ought to try to unjam it? I'm thinking of putting a rope on the charging handle and looping the other over my vice to just draw it back. Any other ideas?

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June 30, 2003, 10:55 AM
One way to open them is, grasp charging handle with strong hand, forend with weak hand. Coordinate a bump of the butt on a hard surface with attempting to retract the charging handle. Usually works.

June 30, 2003, 12:06 PM
The method I have used, and seen in common use, at least on US Army ranges, is: (I know, I know, Muzzle awarenes please.) Set the butt on the ground, with the heel of the boot, hit the charging handle lock, and drive the charging handle to the rear. Crude, but, if you're careful with the muzzle, effective.

June 30, 2003, 12:15 PM
If BigG's suggestion doesn't work, out comes the penetrating oil. Spray some around the action and down the muzzle. Set muzzle up for a day or so and then give it another try. You'll need to strip it down for a good cleaning after this.

As there's a hot round in there, use extreme caution.

June 30, 2003, 01:49 PM
I don't know about kicking the charging handle cause there ain't a lot of meat there and you could bugger up your CH, plus there's the fact that you have a malfunctioning gun and kicking it would put the muzzle close to your body.

I would try the pogo manuver that BigG suggested.

Bottom Gun
June 30, 2003, 05:38 PM
I've had to kick my charging handle open on several occasions. It hasn't damaged it.
I've also used the edge of my workbench, which works a little better.

June 30, 2003, 07:07 PM
I don't think I would kick my charging handle, but if it works for you, great.

I had that same problem with some of my handloads. It only occured when the gun was hot and I was trying to clear the gun of a loaded round. The way to clear it was taught to me at Gunsite. You kneel down on one knee. You point the weapon at an approx. 45 degree angle down range. You make sure that the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. Hold the charging handle in one hand and the other hand on the handguard. Slam the butt of the rifle into the ground while pulling back on the charging handle. Works like a charm.

June 30, 2003, 11:03 PM
Use hydraulics. With the rifle butt on the ground, muzzle up, fill the bore with Hoppes, (or whatever cleaning fluid you have), to just the length of a cleaning jag from the muzzle, full. Then take a tight patched cleaning jag with a short section of cleaning rod attached and insert into the muzzle. Take a light hammer, and rap the rod firmly, being careful to hold it as straight as possible in the muzzle. One or two good taps and it ought to come loose, then you'll have to clean up the mess...but it works.

July 1, 2003, 08:48 AM
BB93YJ - it seems like it would work, except in my opinion you are working exactly like a cartridge does, putting pressure against the locked bolt. If you shear the locking lugs off, it would move the bolt back. What he needs to do is move the bolt carrier so it will make the bolt unlock.

There is also the matter of the gas port that would relieve the pressure you are trying to develop in the bore.

Bump the butt while retracting the handle.

July 1, 2003, 09:11 AM
Thanks all, and particularly worked like a charm.

When I looked at the round there was only a VERY small scratch on the primer, not nearly deep enough to have been a full strike. I'll have to get to the range again this weekend and see if I've got a problem with the firing pin. Interesting...

Thanks again folks.

July 1, 2003, 01:20 PM
...only a VERY small scratch on the primer

That's not unusual in an AR. The firing pin floats and can leave marks on you primer after dropping the bolt.

I think the real question is why didn't a non-fired round just slide on out of the chamber without all the banging and bumping? Take a good look at that chamber and your bolt, carrier and charging handle before you shoot that gun again.

Steve Smith
July 1, 2003, 01:46 PM
BB93YJ, I agree with BigG, you'll just simulate the case head thrust and fill the gas tube with fluid. Neither will do what you want.

Now, if you could pressurize the gas system alone, THAT would work.

All of this is acedemic, as the "strike the but on ground" method works well.

July 1, 2003, 09:37 PM
Yup, ya'll are right, I wasn't paying the attention I should have been. I was thinking it was a stuck cartridge in the barrel, and in my rush to render aid to a stuck shooter, shot myself in the foot, so to speak....

Learned a good trick myself though. I just got my first AR15 three months ago and the advice given, (other than mine, that is), will be filed in the old grey cells for use later if I come upon the same situation.

July 1, 2003, 09:40 PM
I thought I had scanned the thread prior to posting, but it looks like I posted the same thing you had said earlier. Oh, well, drove the point home I guess.

July 3, 2003, 01:17 AM
The hydraulics approach is perfectly fine as long as the bolt is unlocked first and it's a fired case*. Be familiar with your firearm so you know how far back the carrier is for full unlock.

Or use an M1/M1A/Mini-14 so you can see what's up...

No real push until it's past the gas port.

* There's a sad story about a benchrester killing himself (or his wife with the case "fired" out of the action?) while banging a stuck round out of his bolt-action with a cleaning rod. Open bolt doesn't help much if you bang a case full of powder into ignition and you're right in front of the danger zone.

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