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View Full Version : My experience shooting my AR for the first time


Buyos1717
09-14-2008, 1:43 AM
I wanted to start out by saying i had a TON of fun, as did my friend. After some skeet shooting i was afraid the AR would feel less interactive and less exciting. However, i definitely enjoyed the gun and can't wait to go back again. I only put about 65 rounds through it before it jammed which i will get into later. With just iron sights, i was shooting a pan about 250 feet away a majority of the time when in the prone position. I'm sure all you sharpshooters would be able to do much better, but it being my first time with HEAVY wind, i was not dissapointed.



I have several questions however.
I bought some Federal XM193 ammo from a fellow on the boards and decided thats the ammo i wanted to break in my gun. After 60 rounds of that, i decided to shoot some rounds from a pack that i bought from walmart. The hammer would not release (it was stuck in the pulled position) so i decided to pack it up. After fiddling with the castle nut that loosened up, i heard some rattling in the gun. To my amazement it was a primer that was all battered up. I quickly looked at the spent casings i picked up from shooting and was surprised to see some of the primers missing/loose. Is this normal?

Oh yea, i banged the butt of my gun with my hand and the hammer released and it functions fine. Well, i don't know if it functions totally fine because i don't have the opportunity to shoot it again soon. This was before i found the primer in the gun btw.

My questions:
Is it normal for primers to come loose/off on spent casings?
Is it normal for the primer to somehow get caught in the gun?
What might have been the culprit for the stuck trigger?
Anybody have any simple methods on tightening the stock castle nut without buying the spanner wrench?

Thanks for the help and sorry for the long read. I gotta say, my enthusiasm for the sport of shooting has definitely increased a lot. I might post up some pictures soon.

sloguy
09-14-2008, 1:57 AM
best way to get that wrench to use is ask for members who have the right tool and would be willing to meet you at a range and tighten it there. maybe offer to buy them a coffee or something in exchange for helping you.

primers are not supposed to come out unless your purposely removing them.

Mr. Joshua
09-14-2008, 2:12 AM
Loose primer's just happen every so often. And I've seen it happen with all different types of ammo quality too. It sucks too because it's the last thing you usually look for when your rifle is acting up.

WilliamAnderson
09-14-2008, 12:10 PM
I had a primer in my gas key 2 weeks ago. Would never had know what the heck happened if my fellow cal gunners handn't assisted me. Popped primers happen quite often for me as well.

technique
09-14-2008, 12:21 PM
Loose primers happen with Winchester white box stuff.

Mikeb
09-14-2008, 12:34 PM
I'm not an AR guru... but off hand I would think shot out pimers might be a matter of bad headspace or bad timing???
Mike

10RoundLimit
09-14-2008, 12:56 PM
where the primers popping off with both types of ammo? possibly a tight chamber.

ironcross
09-14-2008, 1:11 PM
Well like any tech support, We need the Specs of your Rifle.

beast556
09-14-2008, 1:18 PM
If you are popping lots of primers you have a problem. You probly have a 223 rem chamber and you are shooting federal XM193 witch is 5.56mm. Please post the specs of your rifle. Was the upper complete with the bolt?

Hk996
09-14-2008, 2:20 PM
I just put together a OLL lower to use with a colt upper and I've had some of the problems you mention also. But, the popped primers was with norinco .223 ammo that I bought in the 90's, so I figure that is the problem. I had the primer come off and seat in the chamber. The lower has locked in the fire position a few times and I'm still not sure why, but I did put it together myself so I figure I may have done something wrong. Each time I just open up the gun and mess with it till it comes loose, then seems to work without problems after that.

Buyos1717
09-14-2008, 3:46 PM
I have a CMMG 16" M10 Medcon Midlength upper. I bought the upper assembled. I put together my lower with a RRA 2 stage trigger. I would assume the upper is chambered for a 5.56 because that is what i ordered. Umm... the lower is from CMMG also. I don't know what else to say, im kind of a noob.

The primers on the wal mart ammo did not come off, but i only shot about 4-5 so it's hard to say.

Any other information needed? And for your help, here are some pictures.

Buyos1717
09-14-2008, 3:52 PM
These are of my girlfriend. Be nice please.

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee45/buyos1717/64-Judithshooting.jpg
http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee45/buyos1717/65-JudithShooting.jpg
http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee45/buyos1717/61-JudithshootingProne.jpg

Guntech
09-14-2008, 4:04 PM
Its normal they make things to help prevent the primers from causing jams or FTF.

MB260E
09-14-2008, 4:16 PM
Don't forget eye protection ;)

ocabj
09-14-2008, 5:49 PM
Popping primers is not normal.

The reason why some people think it's normal is because so many people are using ammunition of lower quality or ammunition not intended for the AR platform.

I shoot handloads that are medium to hot and I don't have an issue with primers popping out of the pockets. I did when I used Winchester SR primers, but shortly switched to CCI and Remington primers for the AR handloads. I've reloaded the same brass nearly a dozen times and the primer pockets were pretty loose judging from the feel when seating the primers. Yet, I never had a primer pop during firing.

ojisan
09-14-2008, 6:52 PM
Popped primers pierced by firing pin?

JBird33
09-14-2008, 7:04 PM
I put on my castle nut by tightening it as hard as I could by hand, then securing it by tapping it downwards a bit further with a brass hammer and punch. Hasn't worked loose yet.

ar15barrels
09-14-2008, 7:08 PM
My questions:
1. Is it normal for primers to come loose/off on spent casings?
2. Is it normal for the primer to somehow get caught in the gun?
3. What might have been the culprit for the stuck trigger?
4. Anybody have any simple methods on tightening the stock castle nut without buying the spanner wrench?

1. No. You might have a tight chamber and that's causing excessive pressures, which results in primers popping out.
Popping primers is a STOP sign.
2. Yes, popped primers get stuck in guns and wreak all sorts of havoc.
3. Popped primer.
4. A wrench followed by proper staking is the path you want to take.

ar15barrels
09-14-2008, 7:09 PM
I'm not an AR guru... but off hand I would think shot out pimers might be a matter of bad headspace or bad timing???

This much is true, but the rest is not.

ar15barrels
09-14-2008, 7:11 PM
These are of my girlfriend. Be nice please.

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee45/buyos1717/61-JudithshootingProne.jpg

Popping primers + no eye protection = bad juju...

Darklyte27
09-14-2008, 7:11 PM
yes eyewear is also a must.
any more pics? how you were shooting? enjoy!

Buyos1717
09-14-2008, 7:16 PM
I must admit, i forgot to take out the eye protection because it was so hot out and the targets seemed far enough away.

For clarification, i never noticed the primers were loose or missing till i got home and found the primer in my gun. I don't know if that changes anything but i figured i should mention it.

What kind of protocol should i follow to solve this problem? I was under the impression that the ammunition i am using was made with quality and would hate to see it go to waste.

Darklyte27
09-14-2008, 7:17 PM
lose primer only in 1 of the 2 types of ammo? or both?

Buyos1717
09-14-2008, 7:22 PM
Well the other ammo, was the value pack from walmart and i only shot 4-5 before it jammed. The primers on the 4-5 casings were fine and held in though.

Darklyte27
09-14-2008, 7:30 PM
the other stuff was federal american eagle black box right? no probs with that?
and the stuff that jammed was winchester white box?
Id suggest keep shooting unless you run into more jams. just my opinon, that stuff should shoot fine.

rtlltj
09-14-2008, 7:57 PM
I must admit, i forgot to take out the eye protection because it was so hot out and the targets seemed far enough away.

It's not only because you might have ricochets but who knows when something is going to fly into your eye from the gun.

nobs11
09-14-2008, 8:05 PM
It's not only because you might have ricochets but who knows when something is going to fly into your eye from the gun.

Or someone else's. The other day, a guy near me was shooting his Garand. Brass hit the roof (shooter area is covered) and hit my shooting glasses and almost cracked them. Left a large scratch. Could have been my eye. Various things get airborne at the range.

Eyes and ears always please.

EBR Works
09-14-2008, 8:15 PM
Eyes and ears always please.

Yep, it's your job to keep your girl safe!

In your photos, what are the rounded structures down range and to the left on the ridge? Any concerns with ricochets impacting these? Just wondering.

Buyos1717
09-14-2008, 8:50 PM
Darklyte - The ammo i was using came in 20 rnd boxes that was in a larger brown box for a total of about 500 rounds. The box says Federal XM193, 5.56mm M193 Ball. This was considered the "good" ammo but had the loose primers. The other ammo (the "cheap/bad") was the Federal 223 rem. of 100 rnds in a value pack i bought at walmart. i only shot 4-5 of the walmart pack and the primers seemed fine in that 4-5.

I am not trying to justify the fact that we weren't wearing safety glasses, but instead trying to explain the factors that didn't really remind me that i needed them. We were at Orosco shooting area when there weren't anybody there, we were shooting at a far target, it was hot, etc. But, regardless of my excuses i will wear eye protection next time. I'm new to the sport of shooting so i have much to learn.

impactco - the rounded structures were large rocks. They were fairly far from our target so i don't think we, or the ricochet would have hit them. Also due to the angle of where they were, i didn't even think about them. Are you concerned with ricochet or the bullets hitting them to make sparks? Im purely asking in curiosity because if i missed something i'll consider it next time i go.

EBR Works
09-14-2008, 9:02 PM
impactco - the rounded structures were large rocks. They were fairly far from our target so i don't think we, or the ricochet would have hit them. Also due to the angle of where they were, i didn't even think about them. Are you concerned with ricochet or the bullets hitting them to make sparks? Im purely asking in curiosity because if i missed something i'll consider it next time i go.

No worries, I thought they looked like man made structures but it's probably an optical illusion. Only an issue if they actually were structures so close to the line of fire. Rocks are not an issue unless you are shooting steel core or bi-metal jacketed bullets.

aplinker
09-14-2008, 10:53 PM
Federal XM193 is good ammo. If you're popping primers you need to have your chamber checked. I wouldn't shoot it again until you do.

The other green box Federal isn't bad ammo, it's just not as nice (nor 5.56, and thus lower pressure) as the XM193.

Call CMMG, who you bought it from, or go see Randall.

Darklyte - The ammo i was using came in 20 rnd boxes that was in a larger brown box for a total of about 500 rounds. The box says Federal XM193, 5.56mm M193 Ball. This was considered the "good" ammo but had the loose primers. The other ammo (the "cheap/bad") was the Federal 223 rem. of 100 rnds in a value pack i bought at walmart. i only shot 4-5 of the walmart pack and the primers seemed fine in that 4-5.

I am not trying to justify the fact that we weren't wearing safety glasses, but instead trying to explain the factors that didn't really remind me that i needed them. We were at Orosco shooting area when there weren't anybody there, we were shooting at a far target, it was hot, etc. But, regardless of my excuses i will wear eye protection next time. I'm new to the sport of shooting so i have much to learn.

impactco - the rounded structures were large rocks. They were fairly far from our target so i don't think we, or the ricochet would have hit them. Also due to the angle of where they were, i didn't even think about them. Are you concerned with ricochet or the bullets hitting them to make sparks? Im purely asking in curiosity because if i missed something i'll consider it next time i go.

aplinker
09-15-2008, 10:50 AM
check your lot #...

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=121002

Buyos1717
09-15-2008, 11:18 AM
Wow, nice find uclaplinker.

I just checked the box and it is the same thing. LOT-222. I went through the other casings and it turns out i have about 8 blown primers within 60 rounds.

Can i assume that my upper is fine then?

mrjones98
09-15-2008, 11:21 AM
I've sent an inquiry to Federal to see if they have any known issues. I've never contacted an ammo manufacturer before so I have no idea what to expect - if they will even respond or not.

The problem with my stats for Lot 222 is that I've been using it mostly for 3-gun matches. It's hard to check all the cases since there are so many other shooters and I'm oftentimes not the one picking up my own brass. I wonder if I've had a higher incident of blown primers since 8 in 60 is quite a few more than I thought I had.

aplinker
09-15-2008, 11:22 AM
Wow, nice find uclaplinker.

I just checked the box and it is the same thing. LOT-222. I went through the other casings and it turns out i have about 8 blown primers within 60 rounds.

Can i assume that my upper is fine then?

I would NOT assume that.

I would try shooting the WalMart ammo and see if it also blows primers.

Bimmer2
09-15-2008, 12:27 PM
I must admit, i forgot to take out the eye protection because it was so hot out and the targets seemed far enough away.


You ARE a noob. It's rarely a ricochet from the target, it's usually something from one's own gun that puts out eyes.
Unless you think eye-patches are cool, do yourself and your girlfriend a favor and wear eye protection whenever your shooting.

ocabj
09-15-2008, 1:23 PM
Even in a properly functioning AR, you are going to get gas blowback from between the top of the charging handle and the upper receiver. I've tried to shoot my rapid fire sitting without glasses, and the blowback is enough to make you shut your eyes after each shot and slow down sight picture reacquisition. And this isn't taking into the possibility that you may get metal particles in that gas blowback.

So yes, wear eye protection. I scratch lots of glasses shooting High Power, but I continue to buy replacements and continue to wear them.

Darklyte27
09-15-2008, 5:20 PM
Im not trying to bash here, glad that nothing bad happened. just keep it as a reminder from now on haha, keep the safety items in the same bag or can you carry ammo in etc.

As for the ammo, there you go.. Lot 222 ammo has a thread or two around this fourm.