Problem with new AR15 upper


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Alex45ACP
July 14, 2010, 10:48 PM
Bought a Spikes AR15 upper last month and while cleaning/oiling it noticed that the extractor seemed stuck in place, it didn't pivot back and forth like I thought it was supposed to... I wasn't sure though since I'm kind of new to ARs.

I took it to the range today and it fired 1 round then jammed. The fired cartridge was stuck. I tried racking the bolt to extract it but it wouldn't budge. I didn't have my cleaning rod with me so I had no way to remove the cartridge so had to call it a day.

Any idea what the problem is? I'm supposed to be able to move the extractor back and forth with my finger, right?

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bfoosh006
July 14, 2010, 11:27 PM
One of the field expendant ways to clear the jam is to smack the solid/fixed rifle stock on the ground/dirt. should clear the jam. DO NOT try this with a collapsible stock...
Do not force it, it should clear with little smacking.

Alex45ACP
July 15, 2010, 01:14 AM
Well I have the collapsible stock so I don't want to slam it into the ground. I guess I'll have to use my cleaning rod to get it out of there.

Quickstrike
July 15, 2010, 03:22 AM
So the extractor doesn't pivot towards the bolt face to hold the cartridge rim?

You can pound the rifle/carbine stock to clear a malfunction if you have collapsed the retractable stock all the way (closed).

Do this with a secured hold on the handguard with your support hand.

And your firing hand pulling back hard on the charging handle.

The idea is to use the momentum of the bump to help move the charging handle and bolt carrier backwards to eject the round.

What ammo did you use?

Tirod
July 15, 2010, 08:48 AM
No, you probably can't move the extractor with your finger. The spring pressure and leverage are designed against it, meaning it's got a lot of advantage.

A stuck case is exactly that, the case is stuck in the chamber. The fact the extractor hasn't let go yet shows it's doing it's job just fine. You don't want the spring pressure so weak it could have let go. Right now, the case being stuck is proving it works great. The bolt is stuck, too.

The military solution is to "mortar" the gun sharply on the butt (while collapsed) to free the case. The extractor's firm grip will pull the case out using the inertia of the bolt carrier. Kicking the charging handle, not so much. As the empty case is stuck, using a cleaning rod to pound it out is possible, just not the best solution, as it will mess up the rifling at the muzzle and possibly reduce accuracy.

Once the case is out, find out what caused it. Don't shoot more of that ammo until a clear reason is discovered. The M4 was designed to shoot military powered ammo, not everything is loaded correctly for them or should be used.

Alex45ACP
July 15, 2010, 11:01 AM
The bolt carrier isn't stuck, I can move it back & forth with the charging handle fine. I tried this at the range to see if the extractor would pull the cartridge out but nothing happened. I think the extractor tore off part of the rim of the cartridge, so my only option is to use the cleaning rod to push it out. How likely am I to scratch the barrel doing this? Also how common is this type of failure? I was using Radway Green which I thought was decent ammo.

Quickstrike
July 15, 2010, 02:27 PM
Use a coated rod if you're that worried. And also try other ammo, before using Radway again.

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 02:02 AM
I got the round out with a cleaning rod and the extractor had ripped a piece off the rim... I took the o-ring off the extractor spring and tried again with different ammo and had the same problem, the round gets stuck in the chamber and the extractor rips a piece of the rim off.

Does anyone know what causes this? Is the extractor spring too strong? Should I be able to move the extractor with my finger? I don't think it's the ammo because my friend and I put 300 rounds of the same ammo thru his AR15 without a single malfunction, and it happens on the 1st shot with 2 different types of ammo in mine.

vanfunk
July 18, 2010, 05:58 AM
It doesn't sound like an extractor problem - sounds like a too-tight-chamber problem. Are the barrel and chamber chrome lined?

kimberkid
July 18, 2010, 07:13 AM
So the extractor doesn't pivot towards the bolt face to hold the cartridge rim?

You can pound the rifle/carbine stock to clear a malfunction if you have collapsed the retractable stock all the way (closed).

Do this with a secured hold on the handguard with your support hand.

And your firing hand pulling back hard on the charging handle.

The idea is to use the momentum of the bump to help move the charging handle and bolt carrier backwards to eject the round.

What ammo did you use?

Exactly, its just a bump ... not a slam.

.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 18, 2010, 09:20 AM
The extractor is not your problem here. I'd agree that it sounds like the chamber is too tight. What was the other ammunition you tried? Was it also 5.56?

Try some cheap .223 marked ammo from the local Wal-Mart. If that works and 5.56 doesn't, I would guess the chamber is too tight.

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 01:10 PM
You could be right about the chamber being too tight. It was a bit difficult to get the stuck rounds out with the cleaning rod. It's a 5.56mm chamber, chrome-lined, and I was using 5.56mm Adcom ammo the 2nd time.

ThePunisher'sArmory
July 18, 2010, 01:16 PM
You know this is yet another problem I have read about with Spikes products. Id call the company and have them make it right. I think I will stay away from their products. Stick with the good stuff, Stag, S&W, Colt, Bushmaster, etc.

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 01:28 PM
I've already contacted Spikes and they're sending me a new BCG, but now I'm thinking maybe it's not the extractor like Bartholomew says.

Edit: I contacted the CEO of Spikes and he told me it's not possible the chamber is too tight because they check head spacing on every barrel.

longdayjake
July 18, 2010, 02:39 PM
Do a good thorough cleaning of everything in the chamber and the barrel. You never know if maybe there is something inside of there that you just cant see. New ar's are notorious for doing this kind of stuff. Also, make sure you have everything nice and lubed even if you think the problem is in the chamber.

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 03:26 PM
I cleaned the upper and lubed it both times before heading to the range, so I don't think that's the issue :(

Other than an extractor problem or a too-tight chamber, what else could be causing this?

Bartholomew Roberts
July 18, 2010, 08:18 PM
Edit: I contacted the CEO of Spikes and he told me it's not possible the chamber is too tight because they check head spacing on every barrel.

Is it possible that they checked it with a .223 gauge and it is a .223 chamber? Because what you describe is a classic symptom of what happens when a .223 chamber that is on the tight side of the gauge is fed 5.56 ammo.

On the flip side; both Adcom and RG have reputations of having a pressure curve that isn't always friendly with ARs. I'd try some Winchester Q3131 or Q3131A or Federal XM193 and see how that works for you. If you continue to have problems with both of those, then I'd talk to Spike's since that seems like a pretty broad selection of 5.56 ammo to not work with a 5.56 chamber.

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 09:06 PM
Their web site says they have 5.56 chambers.

My friend's rifle shoots the RG and Adcom ammo without a hitch, I feel that if Spikes stuff is of equal quality to the other major manufacturers I should be able to shoot the same ammo thru my rifle...

Tirod
July 18, 2010, 09:29 PM
Extractors ripping off rims = brass sticking in the chamber - but that doesn't make it too tight. Long range shooters run tight chambers, it stretches the brass less and cases last longer. If the bolt is overgassed, it opens too soon in the cycle before barrel pressure has dropped enough to allow extraction. That is because the case is still swelled against the chamber wall with pressure in it. The high pressure gas impulse forces the bolt back and the case rim is the weak point, tearing off under the extractor.

Some builders are opening up the gas port in the barrel to shoot under powered white box ammo, but with full power the gun is overgassed and works the bolt too well. AR's aren't really designed to shoot a wide variety of ammo, and carbines less so. What might be happening is either a big port or undersized chamber, neither of which is appropriate, or both.

It would be interesting to know what the port diameter is (diffiicult,) what the chamber mikes at (easier,) and what Spike's might recommend (easiest.)

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 10:41 PM
Well I talked to the CEO of Spikes and he said he's going to send me a new BCG... I hope it works because I live an hour away from the range so every time I go there to "test" something else to see what the problem is it costs me hours of driving and range fees :(

I am very disconcerted now that people here seem to think it's not an extractor problem as that means replacing the BCG won't help... I posted about this on AR15.com and it's like the Cult of Spikes over there, if you say anything negative about them you're branded a troll and your thread is locked. And I have nothing against any company and not trying to bash anyone, I just want my rifle to work, and I feel that if these types of ammo work in other rifles they should work in mine since Spikes is supposed to be a good company.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 18, 2010, 10:50 PM
Tirod brings up a good point on the port diameter. What buffer are you running? If the port is a bit big, a heavier buffer may delay the cycling time enough to get you functional. Your friend's rifle is running the same lot of ammo ok?

If you can convince him, you might try swapping parts between the rifles until you can isolate the problem - for example, throw his BCG in your rifle. If the problem is related to the extractor or other BCG part, that should show you real quick.

Alex45ACP
July 18, 2010, 10:55 PM
I was running the buffer that Spikes sends out with their uppers: http://www.spikestactical.com/z/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24&products_id=201

My friend & I bought almost 3,000 rds of this ammo together and split it between us so the problem shouldn't be the ammo. He lives in another state so I won't be able to try his BCG in my upper, but when I get the new Spikes BCG I'll try that and see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn't, what should my next step be, ask Spikes to exchange the entire upper?

Maverick223
July 18, 2010, 11:21 PM
I don't believe it is the extractor, a tight chamber, or a pressure problem (overgassing). It sounds like a misshapen or scratched chamber to me. I would use a right-angle pick to gently scrape at the chamber walls to "feel" for any machine marks or irregularities, and if something is discovered arrange to send the entire upper back to Spikes.

:)

Bartholomew Roberts
July 19, 2010, 01:28 PM
If it doesn't, what should my next step be, ask Spikes to exchange the entire upper?

If the BCG fails to correct the problem, it seems to me you are pretty much down to one of three things:

1. Gas port
2. Chamber
3. Buffer

Of those three, pretty much the only one that Spikes can easily replace is the buffer. I would describe the problem you are experiencing to Spikes (case stuck to chamber, rim ripped off) and then suggest you send back the rifle so that the problem can be corrected by them.

TonyAngel
July 19, 2010, 03:06 PM
Alex, you're spending too much time worrying about this. Rest assured that Spike's is a reputable firm and will take care of you.

Unfortunately, since you are new to ARs, diagnosing the problem via posts on this board are likely to get you no where. I don't mean any offense, only that there is the chance that you aren't articulating the problem correctly.

In my experience, when an extractor rips the rim off of a case, it means that the extractor is doing its job. It didn't let go. Again, in my experience, when an extractor tears the rim off of a case or the case gets stuck in the chamber, it usually means that your rifle is over gassed. If you are shooting brass cased ammo, yours would be an extreme case. I usually see this problem associated with over gassing when people are shooting steel cased ammo.

It's unfortunate that you have to drive a mile to get to the range. I'm in the same boat. Don't continue to tear your hair out. Get the new BCG and see if that works. If it doesn't, I'd send it to Spike's for inspection/replacement.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 31, 2010, 02:21 PM
So any news on this? I'm curious how it turned out.

ricebasher302
July 31, 2010, 08:09 PM
Me too.

Alex45ACP
August 12, 2010, 11:37 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond to this. Spikes sent me a new BCG but I'm in the process of moving so I didn't have a chance to make it to the range until yesterday.

I put the new BCG in, lubed it up, went to the range and had the exact same problem. So it's obviously not the BCG or ammo. I called Spikes today and they told me to ship the upper back and they will take a look at it and either fix it or replace it.

I also noticed that I can't move the extractor on the new BCG with my finger either so I guess that's normal. I've seen AR15s where you could though so I wasn't sure.

killchain
August 12, 2010, 11:52 PM
Are you shooting steel and brass cased ammunition in the same range session?

Combining them will cause cases to stick. Brass and steel expand differently, and this can cause carbon to make cases stick in your chamber.

HGUNHNTR
August 13, 2010, 12:25 AM
I think I will stay away from their products. Stick with the good stuff, Stag, S&W, Colt, Bushmaster, etc.


Except for Colt, thats hilarious!

Alex45ACP
August 13, 2010, 03:16 AM
Are you shooting steel and brass cased ammunition in the same range session?

Combining them will cause cases to stick. Brass and steel expand differently, and this can cause carbon to make cases stick in your chamber.

No, brass only. I've put less than 10 rounds thru the upper because this problem occurs with every single round fired.

jsimmons
August 13, 2010, 06:12 AM
Well I talked to the CEO of Spikes and he said he's going to send me a new BCG... I hope it works because I live an hour away from the range so every time I go there to "test" something else to see what the problem is it costs me hours of driving and range fees :(

I am very disconcerted now that people here seem to think it's not an extractor problem as that means replacing the BCG won't help... I posted about this on AR15.com and it's like the Cult of Spikes over there, if you say anything negative about them you're branded a troll and your thread is locked. And I have nothing against any company and not trying to bash anyone, I just want my rifle to work, and I feel that if these types of ammo work in other rifles they should work in mine since Spikes is supposed to be a good company.

AR15.com is full of youngsters and wannabes who think they're l33t because they bought a lower and an upper, and pinned them together, and then spent way too much on optics and other bizarre attachments and accessories. They don't generally react well to people that buy pre-assembled rifles or that have unaccessorized weapons with any open rail positions, and automatically assume that if you just bought your first AR-15, you know nothing at all about shooting.

Also, like a lot of other forums, theirs is over-moderated. It ain't like it used to be where you could have - and display - a sardonic wit without fear of being moderated back to the stone-age.

It sounds like you did the right thing - contact Spikes and see what they say. If the BCG ain't the problem, you may end up with a completely new upper.

jsimmons
August 13, 2010, 06:17 AM
Why would that matter? It seems to me that you should be able to mix brass and steel in the same magazine without problems.

I haven't tried it yet, but if mine didn't, I'd surely be on the phone with S&W.

Juice Boxes
August 13, 2010, 05:02 PM
jsimmons - Ar's are not designed to shoot steel cased ammo. There's nothing wrong with doing so but if it doesn't work its not the mfg's problem.

lions
August 13, 2010, 05:19 PM
Why would that matter? It seems to me that you should be able to mix brass and steel in the same magazine without problems.

Here is a very clear description of the problems associated with shooting brass cased ammo after shooting steel cased ammo.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

Bartholomew Roberts
August 23, 2010, 04:37 PM
So Alex45ACP, did you get your rifle back from Spike's yet? I'm interested in hearing how they handle this and what they state caused the problem, so please update us when you hear from them.

Alex45ACP
September 20, 2010, 10:23 PM
Sorry it's been so long, I forgot about this thread. Spikes ended up sending me a whole new upper, but they did not tell me what the problem with the old one was.

FMJMIKE
September 21, 2010, 08:23 PM
Does the new one function with Radway Green ammo ???

FMJMIKE
September 21, 2010, 08:38 PM
I just got my new Spikes AR-15 16" Middy today. I also have Radway Green ammo. In my CMMG Bargain Bin AR-15 the case of the Radway would get ripped off the case too. So I sold the rifle. I just fired one round of Radway Green SS 109 ammo out of the new Spikes rifle and it worked fine. It extracted the fired case and fed the next round just fine. I think the chamber of the CMMG was too tight. Now to try some Silver Bear .223 in the Spikes. The CMMG ripped the rim off it too.
:D

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