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Problem with new AR15 upper

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Alex45ACP, Jul 14, 2010.

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  1. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    Bought a Spikes AR15 upper last month and while cleaning/oiling it noticed that the extractor seemed stuck in place, it didn't pivot back and forth like I thought it was supposed to... I wasn't sure though since I'm kind of new to ARs.

    I took it to the range today and it fired 1 round then jammed. The fired cartridge was stuck. I tried racking the bolt to extract it but it wouldn't budge. I didn't have my cleaning rod with me so I had no way to remove the cartridge so had to call it a day.

    Any idea what the problem is? I'm supposed to be able to move the extractor back and forth with my finger, right?
     
  2. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

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    One of the field expendant ways to clear the jam is to smack the solid/fixed rifle stock on the ground/dirt. should clear the jam. DO NOT try this with a collapsible stock...
    Do not force it, it should clear with little smacking.
     
  3. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    Well I have the collapsible stock so I don't want to slam it into the ground. I guess I'll have to use my cleaning rod to get it out of there.
     
  4. Quickstrike

    Quickstrike Member

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    So the extractor doesn't pivot towards the bolt face to hold the cartridge rim?

    You can pound the rifle/carbine stock to clear a malfunction if you have collapsed the retractable stock all the way (closed).

    Do this with a secured hold on the handguard with your support hand.

    And your firing hand pulling back hard on the charging handle.

    The idea is to use the momentum of the bump to help move the charging handle and bolt carrier backwards to eject the round.

    What ammo did you use?
     
  5. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    No, you probably can't move the extractor with your finger. The spring pressure and leverage are designed against it, meaning it's got a lot of advantage.

    A stuck case is exactly that, the case is stuck in the chamber. The fact the extractor hasn't let go yet shows it's doing it's job just fine. You don't want the spring pressure so weak it could have let go. Right now, the case being stuck is proving it works great. The bolt is stuck, too.

    The military solution is to "mortar" the gun sharply on the butt (while collapsed) to free the case. The extractor's firm grip will pull the case out using the inertia of the bolt carrier. Kicking the charging handle, not so much. As the empty case is stuck, using a cleaning rod to pound it out is possible, just not the best solution, as it will mess up the rifling at the muzzle and possibly reduce accuracy.

    Once the case is out, find out what caused it. Don't shoot more of that ammo until a clear reason is discovered. The M4 was designed to shoot military powered ammo, not everything is loaded correctly for them or should be used.
     
  6. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    The bolt carrier isn't stuck, I can move it back & forth with the charging handle fine. I tried this at the range to see if the extractor would pull the cartridge out but nothing happened. I think the extractor tore off part of the rim of the cartridge, so my only option is to use the cleaning rod to push it out. How likely am I to scratch the barrel doing this? Also how common is this type of failure? I was using Radway Green which I thought was decent ammo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  7. Quickstrike

    Quickstrike Member

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    Use a coated rod if you're that worried. And also try other ammo, before using Radway again.
     
  8. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    I got the round out with a cleaning rod and the extractor had ripped a piece off the rim... I took the o-ring off the extractor spring and tried again with different ammo and had the same problem, the round gets stuck in the chamber and the extractor rips a piece of the rim off.

    Does anyone know what causes this? Is the extractor spring too strong? Should I be able to move the extractor with my finger? I don't think it's the ammo because my friend and I put 300 rounds of the same ammo thru his AR15 without a single malfunction, and it happens on the 1st shot with 2 different types of ammo in mine.
     
  9. vanfunk

    vanfunk Member

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    It doesn't sound like an extractor problem - sounds like a too-tight-chamber problem. Are the barrel and chamber chrome lined?
     
  10. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    Exactly, its just a bump ... not a slam.

    .
     
  11. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    The extractor is not your problem here. I'd agree that it sounds like the chamber is too tight. What was the other ammunition you tried? Was it also 5.56?

    Try some cheap .223 marked ammo from the local Wal-Mart. If that works and 5.56 doesn't, I would guess the chamber is too tight.
     
  12. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    You could be right about the chamber being too tight. It was a bit difficult to get the stuck rounds out with the cleaning rod. It's a 5.56mm chamber, chrome-lined, and I was using 5.56mm Adcom ammo the 2nd time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  13. ThePunisher'sArmory

    ThePunisher'sArmory Member

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    You know this is yet another problem I have read about with Spikes products. Id call the company and have them make it right. I think I will stay away from their products. Stick with the good stuff, Stag, S&W, Colt, Bushmaster, etc.
     
  14. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    I've already contacted Spikes and they're sending me a new BCG, but now I'm thinking maybe it's not the extractor like Bartholomew says.

    Edit: I contacted the CEO of Spikes and he told me it's not possible the chamber is too tight because they check head spacing on every barrel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  15. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    Do a good thorough cleaning of everything in the chamber and the barrel. You never know if maybe there is something inside of there that you just cant see. New ar's are notorious for doing this kind of stuff. Also, make sure you have everything nice and lubed even if you think the problem is in the chamber.
     
  16. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    I cleaned the upper and lubed it both times before heading to the range, so I don't think that's the issue :(

    Other than an extractor problem or a too-tight chamber, what else could be causing this?
     
  17. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Is it possible that they checked it with a .223 gauge and it is a .223 chamber? Because what you describe is a classic symptom of what happens when a .223 chamber that is on the tight side of the gauge is fed 5.56 ammo.

    On the flip side; both Adcom and RG have reputations of having a pressure curve that isn't always friendly with ARs. I'd try some Winchester Q3131 or Q3131A or Federal XM193 and see how that works for you. If you continue to have problems with both of those, then I'd talk to Spike's since that seems like a pretty broad selection of 5.56 ammo to not work with a 5.56 chamber.
     
  18. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    Their web site says they have 5.56 chambers.

    My friend's rifle shoots the RG and Adcom ammo without a hitch, I feel that if Spikes stuff is of equal quality to the other major manufacturers I should be able to shoot the same ammo thru my rifle...
     
  19. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Extractors ripping off rims = brass sticking in the chamber - but that doesn't make it too tight. Long range shooters run tight chambers, it stretches the brass less and cases last longer. If the bolt is overgassed, it opens too soon in the cycle before barrel pressure has dropped enough to allow extraction. That is because the case is still swelled against the chamber wall with pressure in it. The high pressure gas impulse forces the bolt back and the case rim is the weak point, tearing off under the extractor.

    Some builders are opening up the gas port in the barrel to shoot under powered white box ammo, but with full power the gun is overgassed and works the bolt too well. AR's aren't really designed to shoot a wide variety of ammo, and carbines less so. What might be happening is either a big port or undersized chamber, neither of which is appropriate, or both.

    It would be interesting to know what the port diameter is (diffiicult,) what the chamber mikes at (easier,) and what Spike's might recommend (easiest.)
     
  20. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    Well I talked to the CEO of Spikes and he said he's going to send me a new BCG... I hope it works because I live an hour away from the range so every time I go there to "test" something else to see what the problem is it costs me hours of driving and range fees :(

    I am very disconcerted now that people here seem to think it's not an extractor problem as that means replacing the BCG won't help... I posted about this on AR15.com and it's like the Cult of Spikes over there, if you say anything negative about them you're branded a troll and your thread is locked. And I have nothing against any company and not trying to bash anyone, I just want my rifle to work, and I feel that if these types of ammo work in other rifles they should work in mine since Spikes is supposed to be a good company.
     
  21. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Tirod brings up a good point on the port diameter. What buffer are you running? If the port is a bit big, a heavier buffer may delay the cycling time enough to get you functional. Your friend's rifle is running the same lot of ammo ok?

    If you can convince him, you might try swapping parts between the rifles until you can isolate the problem - for example, throw his BCG in your rifle. If the problem is related to the extractor or other BCG part, that should show you real quick.
     
  22. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    I was running the buffer that Spikes sends out with their uppers: http://www.spikestactical.com/z/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24&products_id=201

    My friend & I bought almost 3,000 rds of this ammo together and split it between us so the problem shouldn't be the ammo. He lives in another state so I won't be able to try his BCG in my upper, but when I get the new Spikes BCG I'll try that and see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn't, what should my next step be, ask Spikes to exchange the entire upper?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  23. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I don't believe it is the extractor, a tight chamber, or a pressure problem (overgassing). It sounds like a misshapen or scratched chamber to me. I would use a right-angle pick to gently scrape at the chamber walls to "feel" for any machine marks or irregularities, and if something is discovered arrange to send the entire upper back to Spikes.

    :)
     
  24. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    If the BCG fails to correct the problem, it seems to me you are pretty much down to one of three things:

    1. Gas port
    2. Chamber
    3. Buffer

    Of those three, pretty much the only one that Spikes can easily replace is the buffer. I would describe the problem you are experiencing to Spikes (case stuck to chamber, rim ripped off) and then suggest you send back the rifle so that the problem can be corrected by them.
     
  25. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Alex, you're spending too much time worrying about this. Rest assured that Spike's is a reputable firm and will take care of you.

    Unfortunately, since you are new to ARs, diagnosing the problem via posts on this board are likely to get you no where. I don't mean any offense, only that there is the chance that you aren't articulating the problem correctly.

    In my experience, when an extractor rips the rim off of a case, it means that the extractor is doing its job. It didn't let go. Again, in my experience, when an extractor tears the rim off of a case or the case gets stuck in the chamber, it usually means that your rifle is over gassed. If you are shooting brass cased ammo, yours would be an extreme case. I usually see this problem associated with over gassing when people are shooting steel cased ammo.

    It's unfortunate that you have to drive a mile to get to the range. I'm in the same boat. Don't continue to tear your hair out. Get the new BCG and see if that works. If it doesn't, I'd send it to Spike's for inspection/replacement.
     
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