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can an AR-15 fire out of battery?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SSN Vet, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Is there a definitive answer to this question?

    or os the jury still out?
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    If there's some kind of manufacturing defect or malfunction with the firing pin being stuck, I'm sure it can happen, just like with any other semi automatic.


    Can't say I've ever seen it happen though.
     
  3. SDC

    SDC Member

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    If you have a high primer, the primer could theoretically be fired by the bolt face before the lugs are engaged, but the firing-pin can't extend far enough forward to contact the primer unless the bolt-head is locked into the barrel extension (the bolt and bolt carrier compress to a shorter overall length as the bolt-head cams to lock).
     
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i've had a 22lr upper fire out of battery twice
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    But that's not an AR-15.

    As noted by SDC, the extended unlocked bolt & carrier are longer then the firing pin, so it cannot possibly contact the primer until it is collapsed and the bolt is locked.

    Only if the firing pin broke, and stuck very tightly, with the tip sticking out of the bolt face, could it fire out of battery.

    That is not to say a primer with a hair trigger / short fuse couldn't go off during the feed process, but it is so rare as to be almost unheard of.

    rcmodel
     
  6. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Yes, yes it can. It has a free-floating firing pin. If the firing pin gets dirty and gets stuck forward or you get a jam and inertia causes it to slide forward of its own accord, it can, in fact, fire out of battery. This is a problem inherent to free-floating firing pins without sprung springs.
     
  7. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    mike, if you have an ar15, take the BCG out, pull the bolt to a partially-extended position and report back when you get that free floating firing pin to protrude where it could come in contact with a primer.

    rcmodel, yeah, i know. another theoretical would be a primer from previous round popping out and somehow sticking to the bolt face.

    another theoretical would be ammo related hang-fires (pull trigger, no bang, immediate action yank on the charging handle and it goes bang halfway out of the chamber.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, it can't!

    Not when they are mechanically retracted and held back short of the bolt-face by the bolt carrier as they are in the AR-15 design.

    rcmodel
     
  9. MT GUNNY

    MT GUNNY Member

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    Even if the firing pin was to get sticky or stuck, When the Carrier move rearward it pulls the Firing pin back away from bolt (essentially reseting the firing pin). upon forward movement of carrier the only thing that can move the pin forward is Inertia (which isn't enough to ignite the primer) and the Hammer. So If you get 2 rounds per trigger pull you have a trigger group problem.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well, yes & no.

    FP inertia can set off a sensitive primer and cause a double. I have had it happen on more then one occasion early in my reloading of the .223.

    But the bolt is not out-of-battery when it does.

    So the answer is still:
    No, an AR cannot fire out of battery unless something breaks.

    rcmodel
     
  11. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Member

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    Thankyou guys!! I have said this for years to myself, not wanting to be the first person to make the claim! In order for the firing pin to be even close enough to strike the primer, the bolt and ejector would need to be over the cartridge base. In my mind this is so close to completely "locked up", that the AR can't fire out of battery in my mind. Hope that made since:confused:!

    Still 2 Many Choices!?
     
  12. MisterPX

    MisterPX Member

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    It can fire OOB if you forget to reinstall the cam pin ;)
     
  13. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    All right. I was not aware that the AR's bolt actually pulled the firing pin back.

    So the answer is effectively: Yes it can slam-fire, but it will always be in battery if it does it and won't damage the gun.
     
  14. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    Not sure, but the laws of probability say that it can. The mechanical features that others have mentioned make it hard to do, though. There'd have to be something wrong with the rifle other than the fact that it fired out of battery.
     
  15. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    The only way for it to happen is for the FP to break and for the tip to wedge in place, while protruding, in the FP channel in the bolt. I imagine this could happen with any gun, in about the same probability (read: you're more likely to be struck by lightning twice while holding the winning Powerball ticket).
    It's not so much that, more that the bolt itself moves forward when unlocked and back when locked (edit: ...or did I get that backwards? Now I'm confused). The bolt does the moving, in reference to the bolt carrier, not the pin.

    Mike
     
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