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Flat Broke
11-03-2008, 1:00 PM
This is going to be long, but I like to give everyone as clear a picture as possible when I ask for help or insight. My brother and I took our ARs out to Burro yesterday for a little range time. He runs a Stag 16" carbine gassed deal, and I have a CMMG 16" Midlength. We use an assortment of Pmags and C products magazines. The first time we had the riffles out to break them in, it was a quick shot of CLP into the BCG, and an uneventful day with no FTEs or FTFs. We went through a couple hundred rounds of Prvi Partizan 62gr FMJ and were both pretty happy with our rifles. Yesterday started off much the same, but we were running new ammo from Ammo to Go, this time the Centurion .223 Military contract stuff found here (http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/pName/500rds-223-centurion-military-contract-55gr-fmj-ammo/cName/223-556-fmj-ammo).

Prior to going to the range, we had noticed one cartridge that had a missing primer and subsequently no powder. A somewhat ominous sign, so we made a point to verify that each round going into a mag had its primer in place. The morning went pretty well, with us both running through 50-70 rounds without issue. We took a break for lunch, and then shot skeet for a while. After that, we got the ARs back out to plink some more. The only thing that changed between when we shot the ARs in the morning, and in the afternoon was the temperature. It had probably cooled down 10-15 degrees with the wind. It wasn't cold, just cooler than the morning.

The first problem happened when I was using a cut down Pmag that had worked fine throughout the previous trip and earlier in the day; my riffle FTF'd. I verified the chamber was clear, slapped the mag again, and let the bolt go, and all was fine. I'll chock that one up to the mag not being seated properly or something. Then my brother has what appears to be a FTF. When I get there, the BCG is halfway forward with the bolt lugs just visible. I tried the forward assist, but the BCG wasn't budging forward. So I pulled the bolt back, to find a round half chambered. It wasn't stove piped, it just wasn't all the way in. So I pulled the mag took out the rear pin, and pulled the BCG. When I tried looking down the bore (from the back) I couldn't see daylight. It appeared the bullet was lodged in the barrel. We found what was likely the case for that round, and noticed a hairline crack in the neck. The back of the case was fine, no bulging, etc. My brother is really lucky that the bullet stopped where it did and not an inch or so up the barrel as the next round would have seated fully, and that would have likely resulted in a catastrophic failure when the two bullets collided in the barrel. Any guesses on that particular issue? I'm thinking that there was no powder in the cartridge, and the primer provided just enough force to unseat the bullet and move it into the barrel; or perhaps the hairline crack in the neck allowed the charge to escape around the brass, again not pushing the bullet forward. There was more residue on the neck of that case than others, but I didnít get pics, and Iím sure that piece of brass ended up in the trash at some point. If it was the only issue, I'd call it a fluke, but I wasn't so lucky.

I went back to my rifle and decided to put some holes in his fresh target since he was done for the day :D Two rounds in, I pull the trigger and get a click but no boom. I pull the charging handle back, but it won't move the BCG back more than about a half inch. I call my brother over, and with the butt of the rifle against the bench, he pulled on one side of the charging handle, and I did the same on the other, and the BCG moved rearward and released the unspent cartridge. At that point, I checked my bore just to be safe, and it was clear, so I grabbed a loaded C products magazine, fired all 10 rounds without issue. The next mag was a C products unit and on the 2nd or 3rd round, I got a FTE. The same as the previous one, but it was stuck bad enough that I had to tap on the charging handle with a hammer to move the BCG rearward to eject the shell. At that point, we called it quits and packed up.
We cleared the lodged bullet in my brotherís upper with a piece of brass rod and the bore cleaned up fine. Both his bolt and mine werenít dripping wet this time as we had put a couple hundred rounds through the rifles the last outing and had no issues. I considered the rifles ďbroken inĒ and elected not to wet the BCG, which worked just fine for the first half of the day.
I want to be able to understand exactly what likely happened and why, so we can avoid it on our next outing. To rule out the riffles, is there anything I should be looking for in the BCG, inside the receiver, etc. that might cause these problems. Because we used multiple mags, each feeding a full load without incident except for the ones noted, I donít really feel the mags are an issue. To rule out the BCG, how easily should I be able to rotate the bolt in the carrier to mock lockup against the lugs? I can move em by hand with relative ease, but itís not like you can flip flop the carrier around by holding the bolt and twisting it.
Weíll be calling Ammo To Go to see what kind of recourse is available on the ammo. Considering the lodged bullet, and multiple FTEís Iím leaning toward the issue being related to the ammo as opposed to the rifles.
Any insight that anyone has is greatly welcomed. One of the many things I really love about Calguns is the diverse experience base that often ensures that even the weirdest of circumstances have been seen before and therefore have known resolutions.

Chris

Josh3239
11-03-2008, 1:22 PM
How you described it, it definetly sounds like the ammo is the problem. Also, you should run the bolt wet. It may not have fixed the problems you experienced but it can only make the rifle run better. One last thing, I wouldn't hit the forward assist. If there is a malfunction and you hit the FA all your doing is making the malfunction worse, your better off just ejecting the round and inspecting the cartridge later.

scubamark13
11-03-2008, 2:41 PM
Sounds like the ammo to me. Call the supplier and see if anyone else is having the same problem.

Good luck,

Flat Broke
11-03-2008, 2:55 PM
Thanks for the replies. My brother called the supplier and they haven't had any other complaints. I did a brief search on the web and didn't find anything bad right off the bat. Ammo To Go said they'd get back to my brother tomorrow to work something out. I'd be happy just to ship back what we have left over in exchange for credit based on cost/rd to be applied to some Prvi or something.

Josh,
I get what you're saying about the FA. And as far from battery as the bolt was, I shouldn't have thought that a quick tap on the FA would have been helpful.

If anyone else can come up with anything else to look at, please don't hesitate to post up. I guess next time I'll we'll run em a little wetter just in case.

Chris

1BigPea
11-03-2008, 3:41 PM
I shoot that exact ammo quite often and don't have problems with it. It sounds like ammo problem for your bro for sure though. That's definitely not the way it supposed to happen. :eek:

As for the FTE with your rifle, you might want to take a look at the extractor and make sure there's no odd wear marks on the lip of the extractor itself. Also you might want to think about an extractor upgrade like the BCM Extractor Spring Upgrade Kit. Its super easy to install and gives you great tension on the extractor to help extract when you have a dirty chamber.

Clean your rifle after shooting it as well, all that gunk in the chamber and a weak extractor could have something to do with it.

jb7706
11-03-2008, 3:55 PM
One last thing, I wouldn't hit the forward assist. If there is a malfunction and you hit the FA all your doing is making the malfunction worse...

Unless it has changed in the last decade since I have been out (it may well have) tapping the forward assist is exactly what you should be doing in a FTF situation. From the Army FM:

SPORTS
The word is a technique for assisting the Soldier in learning the proper procedures for applying immediate action to the M16A1 and M16A2 rifles. THINK First,then:

Slap up on the bottom of the magazine.

Pull the charging handle to the rear.

Observe the chamber for an ejection of the round.

Release the charging handle.

Tap the forward assist.

Squeeze the trigger again.

Flat Broke
11-03-2008, 4:19 PM
The fact that I couldn't find anything bad about the ammo puzzled me too. But we did find that one cartridge with no primer/powder in it, so who knows. All the stuff we shot and brass we recovered had primers but we haven't sifted through the rest of the ammo for other primerless cartridges.

If it was a weak extractor, would that be something that would develop after only a few hundred rounds? Total round count for each rifle is probably less than 350(need to count remaining ammo). The gun wasn't dirty, as it gets cleaned after every outing. I'll crack it open later tonight and take a look at the extractor again.

Chris

Josh3239
11-03-2008, 9:17 PM
Unless it has changed in the last decade since I have been out (it may well have) tapping the forward assist is exactly what you should be doing in a FTF situation.

He described the FTF as the BCG halfway forward with the bolt lugs just visible. That bad of FTF, I would have removed the round. If the bolt was somewhere between 95-99% closed, then the forward assist would have been more appropriate.

I was at the range Sat. shooting M193 and had 5 FTFs, 5 times I pulled back the charging handle and turned the rifle to the right, let the round fall out, release the charging handle and keep on firing. Granted I don't have a forward assist, it is quite easy to push the bolt forward with your finger. What I am trying to say is that I would prefer to loose 1 round then risk a bad jam.

1BigPea
11-04-2008, 8:41 AM
If it was a weak extractor, would that be something that would develop after only a few hundred rounds? Total round count for each rifle is probably less than 350(need to count remaining ammo). The gun wasn't dirty, as it gets cleaned after every outing. I'll crack it open later tonight and take a look at the extractor again.

Chris

2nd time out with my 1st Stag (Brand New) my Buffer Retainer Pin broke, so anything is possible. That is an easy fix and so is the extractor. I would honestly look at the extractor route first. Maybe you dont need the upgraded extractor spring, just new spring or insert. I would try it though, that's definitely a easy start for trouble shooting it and if that doesnt fix it you can rule out extractor issues and move on.

Enzyme
11-04-2008, 8:51 AM
The last time I experienced a FTF with a round halfway into the chamber, I found that my gas tube wasn't engaging the carrier key properly resulting in a short stroke.

Your case, however, really sounds like an issue with bad ammo.

Flat Broke
11-12-2008, 2:21 PM
And bad ammo it was. But not confirmed by the folks at Ammo to go. The suck deal there is that we were ready and willing to just swap out for something other than what we had. After mulitple phone calls, and "we'll get back to you tomorrow" routines (subsequently being well into the post-Obama ammo rush) their answer was finally, we'll swap you. Unfortunately, by that time, there really wasn't much left except for more of the same ammo.

They then handed my brother off to the distributor for Centurion. Unlike Ammo to go, the distributor called back ASAP, verified they had a copule bad pallets or soemthing to that effect and promptly offered to replace each returned round with new ammo. Hopefully the replacement stuff will be here by next weekend, and we'll take it back out to Burro and see what happens.

I went back through my BCG and everything is fine, so unless we have problems next weekend, I'll attribute this one to bunk ammo.

Chris