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Friend's new Am. Tactical AR won't chamber. No trigger reset.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ignition Override, Jun 8, 2017.

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  1. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    He retired years ago from the Army over fifteen years ago and has never owned any AR, maybe used one just a few times.

    Brand-new 'M4': straight from the gun store box. He knew that at the very low price the quality might need be very good, so he is Not bothered by it. But the constant problems seem so strange. My recent, former S&W AR had a perfect operation.

    We were shooting about two-three boxes of US-made ammo, and trying to adjust the sights.
    Suddenly the gun suffered frequent problems where the brass extracted well, but the next round only went part way into the chamber. And at least twice the trigger was fully aft, not resetting.

    Could it be a stuck spring in the buffer tube? Just a Wild guess.....otherwise this 'thread' would not be here. He really enjoyed my solid Maadi (ARM) and AMD-65 (TGI) AKs after giving up on his brand-new rifle;
    maybe This ;) will motivate some educated guesses.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  2. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    brand new gun, id take it back to the shop. If he ends up keeping it a full tear down and some pictures would help. Most likely somebody got something in backwards, or improperly, when they were installing stuff, but possibly a part failure.
    Again a teardown would likely give you the cause.
     
  3. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Roger that.
    The large gun shop, about ten miles east of Bolivar TN had a sign: "All sales final", which he noticed before he bought the gun.
    He's doing ok financially, but it would be nice if the well-known gun store gives him credit (the Am. Tactical priced about $480) towards another gun, such as a Ruger or S&W 'AR'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Wish I was there to trouble shoot it. I've never even heard of that company.
     
  5. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    During break-in, some AR's like to be run wet. I would soak the bcg in oil or even WD40, and try again. Are there any scuffs in the upper where the bcg is dragging?
     
  6. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Thanks, I will ask him.

    My first advice (after these consistent malfunctions) was to leave the gun alone, in case the store policy somehow offers to ship it free, to the factory.
    But in case the store "All Sales Final" sign means that he's stuck with the gun, I will then offer to help him disassemble to check.

    FL-NC: "American Tactical". The fact that possibly many serious AR guys are unfamiliar with the brand might Say Something about the quality, out of the box?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  7. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    AR's are simple and modular...and pretty easy to fix. Open it up and take a look to see what's going on. Firearms are a combination of many parts...not a single entity. Yes, when shooting it...it IS an 'it'...but when 'it' goes down, you need to then start to think of 'it' as a bunch of parts all working together. Something in there is not participating the way it should, and will be pretty easy to find once you start looking. Could even be a magazine problem and nothing to do with the rifle itself especially if the bolt cycles and hammer drops the way it should if you aren't trying to feed from the mag.
     
  8. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    While your post says "American Tactical" is this a factory built gun or a backroom parts build using an American Tactical receiver?

    Many gunshops have all sales are final policy as they have no control over what the owner does to the gun after it leaves the store.

    Most reputable firearm companies warranty their products so returning it to the manufacturer may be the best solution.

    p.s. If your friend doesn't want to send it back to the factory youtube is your friend.

    AHA! A clue.

    The first two things to check are the magazines and the ammunition.

    What brand of US-made ammo?

    Commercial ammunition made by big manufacturers like Federal, Winchester and PMC?

    Or remanufactured ammunition from a small less known outfit or brought at a gunshow.

    His problem may be the ammunition as I have the same problem with ammo I reloaded myself. I have some .223 that I reloaded a long time ago for a Ruger Mini-14. They function fine in the Mini when I owned it and function fine in a Saiga Sport that I now have.

    However they create the same problem your friend is having. They will either stop just shy of fully chambering or jamming partway into the chamber. What I have determined the "problem " is my AR has tight chamber. It chambers and functions fine with factory ammunition.

    My solution is very simple. I full length resize my cases and pay attention to the o.a.l. when I seat the bullets. The rounds now feed fine in the AR. My old reloads are getting shot up in the Saiga which seems to gobble up everything I feed it after which I will full length resize all of my .223 brass.
     
  9. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    In my experience, even with an All Sales Final policy, most LGS will at least field strip the rifle and see if there is anything obviously wrong. And the problem with the trigger could be something as simple as a foreign object in the trigger group. Was way to keep the customer coming back.
     
  10. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Ignition, if you mean the trigger isn't reset when round hasn't fully chambered, that's normal. If you mean the trigger doesn't reset when the round is full chambered, that's a problem. Check to see if all the trigger springs are properly installed. The disconnector spring is often the culprit when it is installed upside down.

    The problem you describe cannot be caused by magazines. It sounds like short stroking. To check for short stroking, do the following-
    -Clean the rifle thoroughly to remove any and all factory preservative. Lube and reassemble
    -Place an empty mag in the mag well. Makes sure it's a known good magazine
    -Pull back the charging handle and make sure the carrier locks to the rear
    -Remove the mag and load a single round in the mag
    -Insert the mag in the rifle and load it
    -Fire the round

    If the carrier does not lock back, the rifle is short stroking. Check for gas leaks. The first place to check is the gas key. Often, the gas key screws will work loose on "economy" ARs. Take an Allen key and try to tighten the gas key screws. If they turn, the screws were loose. If they were loose, it's possible the key will need to be removed, the surfaces cleaned, the screws re-installed and re-staked. Make sure the screws have the correct head. Some screws have heads that are too small, or have a larger radius at the top and are difficult, or even impossible, to stake properly.

    Another source for the problem described is a bad recoil spring. It might have collapsed or is too weak. One way "economy" ARs save money is by using cheap springs. That means it's just a matter of time before the rifle exhibits extraction issues- that is, the rifle will start leaving an empty in the action as it tries to feed the next round from the mag.

    To avoid this problem, replace the factory extractor spring now with a Colt extractor spring. The Colt spring has a black insert. Install it with the black insert. Some will advise using an O ring. Ignore this advice. The black O ring was a temporary fix until Colt could re-design the spring. If your extractor spring needs an O ring, replace it with a Colt spring. If an O ring is used with a good spring, it puts too much tension on the extractor and will cause problems. O rings also deteriorate and fall apart. The pieces will cause failures to extract.

    Check the buffer supplied with the rifle. Chances are, it's a carbine weight buffer which is too light. The M4 style AR is designed to use either the H buffer or the H2. H buffers will have an H stamped on it's face. The H2 will have an H2. I think I'd just go ahead and get the H2 buffer.

    My guess is the AR in question developed a gas leak at the gas key. Do the short stroke check and tighten the gas key screws. Keep in mind that if the gas key screws are loose, tightening them may not fix the leak. The surface of the key and the carrier must both be clean and flat to get a good seal

    PS- Contact the manufacturer and explain the problem
     
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  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I will bet he never lubricated the rifle, as it came right out of the gun box. At the range, I have run into a number of shooters who never lubricated their semi auto firearms, new or otherwise, and the things would not cycle until sprayed all over with oil. Worked fine afterwards. New firearms are particularly tight and need to be lubricated before firing and cleaned and lubricated after firing.

    What your bud needs to do is clean his AR15, then lubricate the heck out of it. As mentioned earlier, AR's need to be run wet. Wipe the entire carrier with an dripping wet oily patch, same for the bolt, cam pin and firing pin. Then, once the bolt is assembled, dribble oil down the gas tube, to ensure the rings are well lubricated,. Wipe the interior of the upper with a dripping wet oily patch, especially the locking recesses. I ensure the charging handle is wet, particularly where the gas tube touches. The chamber needs to be cleaned with a chamber brush, and then wiped with a slightly oily patch. Occasionally I blow out the gas tube with carburetor cleaner and wipe the gunk which was blown in the barrel with a dry patch.

    I would remove the buffer and spring and wipe down with a dripping oily patch.

    Never hurts to put a couple of drops on the hammer mechanism.

    Take a spray oil can out to the range and if the weapon starts jamming, hose it. I don't like WD40 as the stuff is primarily a light evaporative oil that leaves a silicon deposit. It is better to find a spray can of light oil, basically any light oil, the type of oil is not as important as keeping the mechanism wet.

    Have him wear shooting glasses. My AR's blow enough oil out the gas ports, first couple of shots, they look like steam engines. They function perfectly because I keep them clean and oiled.
     
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  12. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    I'm sure this is a typo, but to be clear, don't put oil in the gas tube. The gas ring area does require lubrication, so dribble the oil through the carrier exhaust ports, not the gas tube.

    In the over the beach tests, it was water in the gas tube that caused problems with the AR
     
  13. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Thanks very much.
    I suggested that he read this thread.

    Can't imagine anybody putting oil in a gas tube, used for pneumatic operations.
     
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    You are correct, it should be the carrier key. I always blew out the gas tube and never experimented with substances in the tube. My 1985 Operator's manual is a bit different from the later ones I examined. Later manuals recommended drops of CLP down the carrier key tube. The 1985 manual recommends light oiling. Once the AR15 got into the hands of civilians, and run heavily in public, it became obvious that the mechanism preferred to be run very oily. Vietnam veterans were told to run their weapons dry. I think the oil phobia came out of Korea, when oil froze. Still, for decades after Vietnam, the military advice was to lightly oil the M16, which is better than running it dry, but the mechanism should be run wet.
     
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I had a .458 SOCOM AR that did the same thing. We were goofing with different hand loads. Changed the spring and buffer. Finally got ticked off and soaked the BCG with gel teflon spray. Worked great after that
     
  16. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    We put a bit of CLP around the bolt carrier today, and in both 'carrier exhaust ports' on the side of the carrier, before testing it.
    Ammo was normal commercial (not retail reloads), different brands on both days, the brand-new Pmag was from the package.

    Exact same problems today as yesterday.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Figured this out the hard way.
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Diagnosing without an examination of the rifle is impossible. At this point, it will take gauging to figure out where the problem is, as a simple lube job and magazine change did not fix the malfunction. I recommend your bud call the manufacturer and tell them what ammunition he has been firing, that the rifle is new, and it does not function correctly. I would not recommend doing anything else at this point because this rifle should be under warranty. If the weapon was built by a reputable manufacturer, they should fix it.
     
  19. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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    Take it apart and clean and LUBE LUBE LUBE. Including the buffer spring and buffer and of course the bolt and bolt carrier. (it looks like you have done the bolt carrier but it's not the only moving part) DO NOT use grease on the buffer spring. Gun oil only. (Some folks use 10 wt. synthetic) This slows down the buffer and the spring. Once you have eliminated the lack of lube from the equation you can move onto ammo, gas block or anything else that has yet to be mentioned.

    Last but not least, I suggest you take a bore snake with you especially if the gun is new and clean the chamber several times while shooting.
    kwg
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I will tell you from personal experience a 'wet' M16A1 will malfunction in cold weather in short order. In warm/hot weather, it is hard to over oil an AR, as long as oil is kept out of the gas tube. There is a happy medium of lubrication in there somewhere; enough to keep it firing, but not to where you get an oil shower when you fire it. There is a reason I kept a bottle of CLP in my first aid /compass pouch on my LBE.
     
  21. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    American Tactical.
    https://www.americantactical.us/

    They import their rifle from a foreign country. Who knows where. they are assembled in SC. Their lowers are made in the US. The rest of the parts are probably imported. China is a big manufacturer of AR parts.

    Try taking it down and completely clean the chamber with a chamber brush and then clean the bore. Take apart the bolt and clean it. Check the gas tube on the BCG and make sure it's tight and staked.
     
  22. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Thanks to all.
    I've told him about this thread, and the name "TheHighRoad", but whether he has checked this helpful advice, don't now

    When I'm back in the US, will ask him whether the shop offered to send it in for a free repair.
    Any positive news will be added to this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
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