1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Upgrade AR-15 extractor?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ThusEver2Tyrants, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. My AR is a dpms lower with a Rock River mid-length upper. Nothing but perfect when using any type of brass and even steel cased wolf and bear ammo. However when using the Tula .223 (i know...its nasty) i sometimes get stuck casings in the chamber. I understand that steel is tougher to extract when it expands than brass and why, and am wondering if I upgrade my extractor can I eliminate this problem?

    I know steel case isn't good ammo to feed an AR but I like to know that i CAN, since I stock steel .223 for my Saiga (which eats it all day).

    Anyway that is the ONLY type of failure I have ever had with this rifle using this ammo.

    Would installing a better extractor solve this problem?
  2. smogmage

    smogmage Well-Known Member

    I've shot thousands and thousands of rounds of tula through my lwrci with an extremely strong extractor design. The improved extractor only leads to one thing when it encounters a stuck case: It will rip the rim off where the extractor contacts.

    The problem is the steel doesn't expand as fast or as well as brass to seal the chamber at the mouth, nor does it contract as much as brass would after the pressure drops. Combine this with dirty propellant and what happens is when the chamber gets dirty, the cases will get stuck when fired.

    If you clean your chamber every thousand rounds or so it helps. I just keep a coated bore rod handy and kick it out when it happens. The cost savings is more than worth the 4 stuck cases I've had.
  3. CLP

    CLP Well-Known Member

    Have you polished the chamber? I'd personally go with a flat wire chrome silicon buffer spring and heavier bolt carrier (either M16 or Tubb CWS). Actually, I would just simply use different ammo.
  4. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Well-Known Member

    Change ammo to brass. I personally don't use steel in any firearm. Some folks do and appear to never have problems. Your AR is telling you it doesn't like steel.
  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    out of curiosity, try a heavier buffer than the one you're using now.
  6. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    BCM makes a kit for increasing extractor tension.

    You could try an o-ring that just fits over the extractor spring for a little more tension and would be a small cost at your local hardware store.

    Adding too much tension can cause other issues so try a little at a time.
  7. you mean a heavier spring or the actual buffer tube???
  8. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    Same here. I upgraded my extractor to BCM's kit and found the same thing sometimes happened, the extractor ripped off part of the rim and the steelcase remained stuck in the chamber. I found I had to clean the chamber well after 250 rounds of steel to pretty much eliminate the problem.
  9. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Tula is cheap, pretty crappy ammo.

    It's gonna happen.

    Have a read:
  10. CLP

    CLP Well-Known Member

    He may mean the actual buffer. But if he means the buffer spring, then he's probably referring to one that's stiffer (like a flat wire chrome silicon one from Superior Shooting Systems). It keeps the bolt locked in place for a few milliseconds longer, allowing brass to retract more before it's extracted from the chamber. It's a nice addition to any AR-15, but I don't know what effect it would have in your rifle since you're shooting steel cases. Like another poster said, some rifles don't have any problem cycling that type of ammo. I've read of several reasons why they may fail to extract: especially fouling powder which dirties up the chamber, the steel doesn't retract enough when the bolt starts trying to extract it, the polymer coating on the cartridge starts to gum up and become sticky, or a combination of those.
    If you handload, then a stiffer buffer spring and/or heavier carrier allows for more reloadings. The chrome silicon ones are rated for at least 50K compressions...so it'll likely outlive the rifle. Do you have an AR-15 or M16 bolt carrier? The latter is an ounce or two heavier, but they go for a premium (if you can even find one right now).
  11. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    Make you a gallon full of Ed's Red solution . The thing does a good job of cleaning carbon fouling and lubricate the chamber and barrel .
  12. dodge

    dodge Well-Known Member

    With my Stag I upgraded the extractor and put in a "H" buffer never had any problems since. I haven't ever shot the Tula ammo but have used Wolf and Brown Bear with occasional problems with extraction until I did the upgrade.
  13. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    the actual buffer. you can buy them in different weights. standard, H, H2, H3. just try one step heavier than you're using now

Share This Page