M4 Charging Handle Question


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JQP
January 4, 2011, 02:01 AM
After inserting a PMAG full of 5.56, I find that a less than very robust pull and release of the charging handle does not get a round to chamber, and the bolt carrier group fails to go fully into 'battery,' so to speak.

Is this normal?

A robust pull and release of the charging handle? There are no such problems.

It's been a while since I used an M16A2, and to be honest, I don't recall whether this was normal or not.

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Dr.Rob
January 4, 2011, 02:05 AM
Is the rifle new?

JQP
January 4, 2011, 02:09 AM
Brand new rifle, doc.

Dr.Rob
January 4, 2011, 02:13 AM
You need to break it in. Lube it and shoot it, you'll find after a hudred rounds or so that shouldn't happen.

JQP
January 4, 2011, 02:16 AM
Roger that.

I appreciate it.

I was almost too reluctant to ask, as I had been pretty familiar with the A2 when I was married to it, so to speak.

But, alas, I must be getting old, because it wasn't that long ago, yet I literally forgot how the charging handle should 'feel,' for lack of a better term.

Thanks again.

Dr.Rob
January 4, 2011, 03:18 AM
Your issue rifle wasn't 'new' when you got it. It was probably well 'seated'. I had to use my forward assist twice loading mine in my first 40-60 rounds, not a hitch since.

HorseSoldier
January 4, 2011, 03:42 AM
Lock it to the rear and use the bolt release to send it forward, also, which will prevent any short stroking and such.

ChCx2744
January 4, 2011, 06:36 AM
Yeah, breaking it in may help, but regardless, that's what the forward assist is there for. If it doesn't go into full battery, that isn't a problem anymore because if the forward assist. It's there for a reason, use it!

If the FA doesn't work in putting the BCG in full battery, something may be wrong...Make sure you inspect the face of the bolt where the locking lugs are to check for marred edges and wear.

madcratebuilder
January 4, 2011, 08:06 AM
You may need to short load the Pmags, some have issues with full loads.

Zerodefect
January 4, 2011, 10:19 PM
At least wait until the BCG and CH smooth out form use. Every AR is kinda rough at first.

Then try it again. It should chamber a round and pull the CH back with no problems as long as your pulling the CH all the way to the rear.

JQP
January 5, 2011, 08:49 AM
Short loading the PMAGs makes no difference.

Pulling the charging handles all the way to the rear and letting it pretty much slam home with authority chambers a round and the bcg goes fully into battery.

I will say that I realize light weight was one of the criteria with the AR, and they succeeded, and those of us who spent time wedded to this rifle can fully appreciate the light weight when traversing long stretches of terrain with a ruck...but I do find that the charging handle on any AR feels toy-ish, almost.

Tirod
January 5, 2011, 09:08 AM
Combat Arms are taught to use the bolt hold open, insert magazine (easily,) and tap the release. Let it slam home. You have now got the memo and are in the loop.

When empty, it does it automatically. Just change the mag, tap the button, slam home, and fire.

It's a modern design to work with the shooter if they are aware of it. Don't practice C&R loading methods, use the bolt hold open.

Want to see a demonstration? Take ten mags with one round each, lay them out on a table with the AR. Do the same for any other gun with no bolt hold open.

At the sound of the beep, shoot both at a 50 yard target changing out mags. Not only will the AR be faster, it will be more accurate. You won't be loading against a closed bolt, and you won't have to also charge the gun. It will give you a few more seconds to settle down for a better shot.

If you can keep from laughing at the other guy struggling to keep up.

JQP
January 5, 2011, 09:20 AM
Horsesoldier & Tirod -

Thanks for the tip on locking the bolt to the rear when loading a new magazine.

Honestly, I do not remember what was protocol when I was in service. It's not like it is ancient history to me, and I used an A2.

One would assume it would be hard to forget these things, but the details do get sort of muddy.

Robert
January 5, 2011, 09:27 AM
I got my AR for Christmas and the same thing happened. If I rode the charging handle forward slowly or did not give it a full pull the bolt would not go all the way in battery. So I sat around working the action as I watched TV and in 20mins, even riding the handle, the bolt went all the way in battery. Just break her in good like Dr. Rob said.

Kwanger
January 5, 2011, 03:24 PM
Combat Arms are taught to use the bolt hold open, insert magazine (easily,) and tap the release. Let it slam home. You have now got the memo and are in the loop.

When empty, it does it automatically. Just change the mag, tap the button, slam home, and fire.

It's a modern design to work with the shooter if they are aware of it. Don't practice C&R loading methods, use the bolt hold open.

Want to see a demonstration? Take ten mags with one round each, lay them out on a table with the AR. Do the same for any other gun with no bolt hold open.

At the sound of the beep, shoot both at a 50 yard target changing out mags. Not only will the AR be faster, it will be more accurate. You won't be loading against a closed bolt, and you won't have to also charge the gun. It will give you a few more seconds to settle down for a better shot.

If you can keep from laughing at the other guy struggling to keep up.
I fully agree, but I'd still want to know I could charge my AR by using the other method....I can think of less than optimal situations where you might have to.

I should imagine once broken in it will be just fine...probably after your first range trip. In the meantime, if charging that way, I'd suggest giving it a real good pull to the rear and even holding there just a second, before letting it fly forward, and see what happens. Might be that things are just a bit slow to seat due to it all being new.

DoubleTapDrew
January 5, 2011, 03:30 PM
Pulling the charging handles all the way to the rear and letting it pretty much slam home with authority chambers a round and the bcg goes fully into battery.

That's how you are supposed to charge it anyway. Riding the handle forward is asking for FTFs. Be rough with her! It should loosen up with use though.
The charging handles are pretty flimsy. I'm thinking about trying out BCM's gunfighter charging handle.

benEzra
January 5, 2011, 07:57 PM
The charging handles are pretty flimsy. I'm thinking about trying out BCM's gunfighter charging handle.
Definitely. It feels much more substantial than the factory unit, and makes charging with the support hand much easier.

Combat Arms are taught to use the bolt hold open, insert magazine (easily,) and tap the release. Let it slam home. You have now got the memo and are in the loop.

When empty, it does it automatically. Just change the mag, tap the button, slam home, and fire.

It's a modern design to work with the shooter if they are aware of it. Don't practice C&R loading methods, use the bolt hold open.
I agree that this solves the problem and is probably the way to roll in a military context, but if you keep an AR in the safe (or transport one on patrol as a LEO) with the magazine loaded, bolt forward, empty chamber, there may be a time that you need to chamber a round in a hurry. IMO, the AR's bolt hold open isn't ideally suited to operating under pressure.

To the OP, if the rifle doesn't smooth up and work fine after a hundred rounds or so, you might want to check to see if your buffer spring is in spec, and of course make sure it is well lubricated after it is broken in.

Tirod
January 5, 2011, 07:58 PM
No doubt there is one situation when you load against a closed bolt, but it's a deliberate exception - the tactical reload inserting a full mag.

For most shooters, most of time, use the bolt hold back. That is the CORRECT procedure most of time, it prevents riding the bolt or having an unlocked mag falling out. It's a good habit that prevents bad things, and will chamber the round with much the same spring pressure as when it shoots - from a bolt returning from the rear.

The better habit is what you need for the thousands of times you need to do it right, not confusion about which unique method is currently the latest tactical fashion.

Lock the bolt, insert the mag, tap the release, put it on safe.

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