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AR-15 Failure to feed issues

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ratt_finkel, May 7, 2012.

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  1. ratt_finkel

    ratt_finkel Member

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    Did a quick search and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.

    Went to the range on Saturday. Shot about 50 rounds through my AR. Near the end of that round count. GF said it was getting a F2Feed.

    Looked at it. Noticed the BCG wasn't going all the way forward. Yanked on the handle to eject the round. Next one loaded just fine. And then it would jam after that. And it kept doing that. So sat down and tried it myself. Finally had a round that would not load period. Yanked it out and noticed that the slug was lodged all the way down into the casing. (so glad that it didn't fire)

    Anyway, after looking at it with the range master. I noticed that the mag catch? had broken off. Not sure if that was effecting anything or not. Because the previous 4 mags (10rd limit) worked flawlessly.

    Also noticed that the round would not slide into the chamber. But kept getting caught up. In addition to the BCG only wanting to slide about 1/2 through it's motion.

    I admit it's been sometime since I cleaned it. Maybe 500 rounds.

    Is it just dirty or is there something else going on?
     
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    hard to say without seeing it. could be multiple problems.
    not following what part of the mag catch is broken. got a pic?

    aside from the mag catch, i'd start with

    make sure it's properly lubed
    put the ammo in a case gauge and/or try different ammo
    try a different magazine
    check the action spring. (shouldn't be a prob unless you have 5000+ rounds on the gun, but you never know)
     
  3. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Check those things mentioned by taliv. In my book, 500 rounds doesn't even come close to qualifying as "sometime."
     
  4. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    Make sure its lubed and it doesn't need to be clean. Does it happen with multiple mags? Did you try different ammo?
     
  5. ratt_finkel

    ratt_finkel Member

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    The range guy said the BCG looked a little dry. I just have a hard time believing it's just because of that. I'm not sure why I didn't try a different mag. I was kinda of in a hurry I guess since I had another rifle to shoot and pistols also.

    Anyway, the rifle has less than 1k rounds down the tube. It's an A3? style Bushmaster Carbine from the early 2000's. Never had a single malfunction. Always use high quality ammo. Never any reloads.

    When releasing the charging handle you could feel the BCG just cease to a halt. Almost like it was getting hung up on the mag (newer tapco). I'll try to take some pics shortly.
     
  6. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    believe it or not, dirty un-lubed bolts and bolt carriers will cause the rifle to malfunction. They like to be run wet.
     
  7. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I've never had good experiences with Tapco mags - try PMags or even GI steel or aluminum mags.
     
  8. Gtimothy

    Gtimothy Member

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    I had a FTF with my AR and it was because I wasn't using enough lubrication. :uhoh:
    The gun only had about 50 rounds through it and it was jammed to the point that the round had to be "pursuaded" out! I learned that ARs don't like to run lightly lubed! They run best when they are almost dripping!
     
  9. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    Yep, lube it generously. If its still causing jams or FTFeed, then there's something else causing the failure.
     
  10. animator

    animator Member

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    I guess I'm the exception then. I don't run mine dripping wet. Just a quick spray of remoil on the moving parts and I let it go. I know for a fact the gun has seen over 500 rounds between cleanings/lube, and sometimes that's all in the span of a couple weeks. I can't recall a single issue in any of my ARs that have been run this way, shooting everything from the cheapest steel-cased surplus to my own handloads.


    Something's causing it to malfunction, and lube would be last on my list of things to check.


    I'd start with the mags. Then check the feed ramps. Then check the bcg. Then check the lower receiver internals. The problem's bound to turn up in one of those areas.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    a quick spray of a good oil (i don't include remoil in that) should get an AR 500 rounds no prob. especially if slow fire, not mag dumps.

    however, all sorts of other things can happen and lube cures a lot of them, so the recommendation continues to be, lube them up
     
  12. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    You do NOT lube an AR to a point where it is dripping wet, nor do you lube liberally. If your AR needs to be dripping wet to run properly, you are treating a symptom and not the problem.

    To the OP. Does the bolt operate properly when the magazine is removed? With knowing nothing other than the fact that you were using a Tapco mag, my knee jerk reaction would be that it's the mag.

    As for the mag catch, I would imagine that if it had broken off, the mag wouldn't have stayed seated. If a part of the bolt release had broken off, that may have caused a problem, but it's hard to tell without seeing it, at least.
     
  13. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    Read this for AR-15 lubrication guidance.

    Run it wet. Oil on the bolt and carrier should be thick enough to be spread around with a finger. Drop or two into the carrier key. ARs will run wet and dirty just fine.
     
  14. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I vividly remember nearly every single one of the hundreds upon hundreds of pushups with our rifles resting on our knuckles that my BCT unit had to do whenever one of us recruits (we weren't soldiers yet) over-lubed his or her rifle.

    Those M-16's would see hundreds of rounds per DAY - and if we used more than a few drops of oil in/on the BCG, we'd be pushing the ground for 5 minutes every quarter mile of the formation run back to the barracks from the firing ranges.
     
  15. wingman

    wingman Member

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    Bingo, I will never understand how the myth begin that you don't need to clean and lube automatic firearms,any machine and an auto gun is a machine
    need to be cleaned and lubed,dirt wears & breaks parts.

    A clean gun is a happy gun.:D
     
  16. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I think that the term "wet" is subject to some interpretation. Running a rifle dry means running it with no lube. I'll agree that this is bad. I believe the term "wet" to mean that a rifle should be properly lubricated, not dripping with lube.

    What I sometimes wonder about is how clean does an AR have to be to keep running. As of this last weekend, my AR now has over 6K rounds through it since it's last cleaning, although I do lube it every 500 rounds or so, with Slip 2000. I am going to have to clean it soon, though. It's about time for a maintenance inspection.
     
  17. Beak50

    Beak50 Member

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    The only time My H-Bar ever miss fired was due to cheap 30rd. mags.
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The military is always fighting the last war. Every Vietnam Veteran I met was taught to run their weapons dry. This must have come out of the Korea Conflict. From books I read , in the extreme cold conditions of Korea, anything with lube was freezing up. It could not have come out of WW2 as Soldiers were taught to grease their Garands in hot/wet, though there were cautions about running totally dry in arctic conditions. Post Vietnam, the dogma became that weapons must be run totally dry.

    When you look at the mechanism, direct impingement blows so much residue back into the action you want lubricant washing/absorbing as much of that off as possible.

    In so far as the OP's problem, he needs to try with a different magazine. AR15 magazines are the greatest source of unreliability in that weapon. Once you start getting a pattern of mis feeds from a magazine, it is time to junk that and find another.
     
  19. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    You need to correct this to start. The most common AR stoppages are caused by MEAL. Mags, Extractor, Ammo, Lube.

    Get some quality Mags, usgi or Pmags. Give the tapco's away.

    I run my gas rings wet, a little Tetra grease on the bolt rails and the rest is pretty much dry. Five drops of oil should lube the rifle.
     
  20. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    Another vote for fixing the mag catch first (and it's very easy). If the mag is too far in the mag well or not far enough in, either way could cause a FTFeed. If you have a broken part, it is just good practice to fix that before you start treating symptoms.

    You mention that the round would not slide into the chamber; why not? If you point the muzzle down, a cartridge should simply drop into an empty chamber. If not, you need to check that chamber for carbon or an obstruction. Once a round drops in freely, you should be able to push the bolt release and have the bolt close completely on the round.
     
  21. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    They don't have to be clean at all to function, just well lubricated, and dripping wet is better than dry. Google "Fithy 14", it's a mid-length BCM rifle used by Pat Roger's company that last i heard was over 40,000 rounds, and has NEVER been cleaned, just lubricated.
     
  22. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    If you look at Pat's 40K rifle you well see he lubes the inside of the BCG and the rest is relatively dry. You want the piston/gas ring area wet, that's all. The oil spray from this when fired well lube the rest.

    Watch some of his video, funny guy.
     
  23. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    Here is an AR-15 troubleshooting guide that I put together for the armorers course I teach. It is a fairly comprehensive list of possible problems and solutions. Sorry for the long post.

    Zero bolt movement when round discharges:

    Missing gas tube roll pin
    Upside down gas tube
    Missing or broken buffer tube retainer
    Obstruction in buffer tube

    Bolt short cycles when shot:

    Leaking gas key
    Bad gas rings
    Leaking gas block
    Recoil spring is too strong
    Wrong type of buffer installed
    Too many rounds in the magazine
    Action is not oiled enough
    Gas tube roll pin is missing
    Gas block is not properly oriented
    Carbon buildup causing sluggish movement
    Bad ammunition

    Rifle does not feed right when shot:

    Too many rounds in the magazine
    Magazine is not properly seated in lower
    Weak magazine spring
    Rifle may not have M-4 feed ramps
    Check for home gunsmithing of feed ramps


    Rifle does not lock open after last round:

    Weak magazine spring
    Damaged follower
    Bad ammunition (low pressure= cycle failure)
    Magazine is not fully seated
    Damaged bolt catch
    Carbon buildup around bolt catch


    Rifle does not fire when trigger is pulled (Click but no bang):

    Broken firing pin tip
    Carbon on back of firing pin = less protrusion
    Weak hammer spring
    Excessive headspace
    Bad ammunition (faulty primer)
    Missing firing pin
    Bolt is out of battery (check for bolt bounce)


    Rifle double fires or string fires:

    Improperly adjusted adjustable trigger
    Worn out military trigger
    Home gunsmithing stoning job
    Missing trigger spring
    Missing or worn disconnector
    Carbon build up on firing pin


    Round is jammed under charging handle:

    Worn magazine feed lips
    Worn magazine spring


    Rifle double feeds when shot:

    Bad magazine
    Broken extractor
    Worn extractor spring
    Carbon in chamber


    Trigger won’t move when pulled:

    Obstruction underneath (primer or rock)
    Safety selector is engaged
    Bolt is locked open

    Round doesn’t extract when shot:

    Broken extractor
    Worn extractor spring
    Dirty or corroded ammunition
    Case head separation
    Carbon in chamber
    Lacquer coated ammunition


    Round does not fully chamber:

    Dirty or corroded ammunition
    Improperly sized reloads
    Tight headspace (check proper bolt fit)
    Carbon in chamber

    Bullets keyholing on target:

    Improper bullet weight to rifle twist ratio
    Check for rifling in barrel

    Magazine inadvertently drops out of rifle:

    Improperly seated magazine
    Broken or faulty magazine catch
    Ambidextrous magazine catch
    Worn out polymer magazine
    Bargain quality polymer magazine

    Extractor breaks frequently:

    Discontinue use of steel case ammunition

    Bolt is frozen half way back:

    Buffer is lodged in buffer tube
    Check for rough machining of buffer tube

    Rifle won’t hit broad side of barn:

    Optic is not properly sighted in
    Poor quality ammunition
    Check for proper ammunition caliber
    Operator error, contact local instructor for training
     
  24. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    Magazines and Ammo are always my first suspects.

    Insufficient Lube, not so much, especially in a broken-in rifle, but some basic first maintenance is where I'd start before I even looked at mags and ammo. Strip it, check it, lube it.
     
  25. TxBobS

    TxBobS Member

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    This says it all. An AR needs to be lubed, but it only needs it in a few key places. The entire BCG does not need to be "wet'.
     
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