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View Full Version : FTF with my AR-15 with Spikes 22lr conversion


AlliedArmory
01-31-2009, 4:28 PM
I just got back to the range. Trying to have some fun with my AR-15 with a Spike's Tactical 22lr conversion. I used Black Dog Mags and Federal Bulk Pack ammo. On EVERY single mag (i have 3) every other round would FTF. I take out the mag and try it again. Same thing. The bolt is oiled well enough. We even cleaned the entire area out very well. Same thing. It sorta seems like the spring in the bolt is too weak. See pic below from my cell phone to see what the bolt looks like when trying to load the initial round.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Very frustrating.

and BTW. Los Angeles Gun Club you CAN take a AR-15 with 22lr conversion...GSG5 etc


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3107/3241968423_093b36cf3c_b.jpg

double0b
01-31-2009, 4:54 PM
I have found my BDM mags to be quite tempermental. If my supporting arm puts any pressure (latteral/fore/aft) on the magazine, I get the same symptom of the cartridge failing to chamber.

Gregchico
01-31-2009, 7:20 PM
Don't use much oil with the kit, it can be used dry/almost. Your kit should have come with a different/full length recoil spring you could try if needed.
Have you cleaned the chamber? They get shot at the factory for testing.
Is the spring in the conversion about 8 inches long?
I know they recommend fed bulk pack, but CCI and Agulia (even the lean nose) work great also.

Jerkdog
01-31-2009, 7:35 PM
I'm having similar issues with my Spike's dedicated upper. See this thread for some discussion between a couple of us on this board. http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=145643

I received an email from Angela from Spike's and she said that I should try the items listed in this link from arf.com. http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=2&f=282&t=168048&page=1

I think I've narrowed it down to either a mag issue (my mag latch was maybe a little loose so I tightened it a couple of turns and the BDM mag seems to lock in tighter now) or an issue related to the charging handle spring being way too stiff (but now that I think about that I doubt that's the prob). If that doesn't work, then it's either got to be the recoil spring (they recommend that you trim 3 coils from the length) or maybe I'll install a lighter hammer spring in order to keep from messing with the recoil spring.

Haven't had a chance to get back to the range and troubleshoot my way thru the problem...

xxINKxx
01-31-2009, 7:39 PM
I had the same issues...Spikes had a run of bad bolts ( i was told this by the shop who i purchased my upper from who called spikes and shipped it to them for me)..They did some sorta warranty work on it for free...

It still sometimes jams up, but has gotten better the more i use it...Very dissapointed in that upper to be honest

i have 1 theory...I think maybe since the bolt they use is lighter then most .223 bolts, alot of us are probably using the same weight buffer as in our AR that shoots .223, the action is moving way to quick, and we might need a heavier buffer tube to slow things up a tad..This was an issue with a guy i know who builds gas piston uppers...A .223 upper he was testing, he had a lightened bolt and the action was moving too quick and closing befor the brass could eject...(which is the same exact thing going on with my spikes) and he added a heavier buffer tube and the brass never got jammed when ejecting

Dragon
01-31-2009, 7:54 PM
Why do you have to trim a spring ?It should work out of the box I would think!
I have a model 1 upper that came with a trigger ,and hammer spring i was not sure if needed but i put them in just in case.I have had 0 issues with my dedicated 22 ,and have put at least 1000 rounds down range in the three trips to the range.

I am also using BD mags and no issues ,but i don't support my rifle by the magwell either!

So far the ammo that i have used has been Federal.CCI mini mag.and winchester super-x. No feeding issues with these brands,

Dragon
01-31-2009, 7:56 PM
I had the same issues...Spikes had a run of bad bolts ( i was told this by the shop who i purchased my upper from who called spikes and shipped it to them for me)..They did some sorta warranty work on it for free...

It still sometimes jams up, but has gotten better the more i use it...Very dissapointed in that upper to be honest

i have 1 theory...I think maybe since the bolt they use is lighter then most .223 bolts, alot of us are probably using the same weight buffer as in our AR that shoots .223, the action is moving way to quick, and we might need a heavier buffer tube to slow things up a tad..This was an issue with a guy i know who builds gas piston uppers...A .223 upper he was testing, he had a lightened bolt and the action was moving too quick and closing befor the brass could eject...(which is the same exact thing going on with my spikes) and he added a heavier buffer tube and the brass never got jammed when ejecting

The 22 does not use the buffer spring from the 223 AR!

pacrimguru
01-31-2009, 8:47 PM
i've been working on FTE's (ejection problems) by cutting my spring down and i'm now down to an overall length of the minimum required 7.25" (started out at 8.5") and it's feeding better now, but there still are problems. i've replaced the hammer spring with a weaker JP one like they recommend too. i've been using 4 different kinds of ammo as well. tuning this thing has been frustrating, but once i get it down it will be a fun gun to play with.

i had FTF's too, but realized that the the chamber edge had a burr on it that was caused by dry firing. i filed it down and smoothed it out and it hasn't had a FTF since. take a look to see if your hammer made an indentation on the 12 o'clock position of the face of the chamber where the bolt meets up. that's where my FTF problem was.

oh, and yes, the buffer has nothing to do with how the .22lr works. it's simply a place holder and is not used in the action at all.

Jerkdog
01-31-2009, 8:57 PM
take a look to see if your hammer made an indentation on the 12 o'clock position of the face of the chamber where the bolt meets up. that's where my FTF problem was.
Can you take a pic of the location you're talking about?

I just measured my recoil spring - it's almost 8.75" long. I understand that the length may be the problem, but help me understand why? Is it because the bolt is coming forward too quickly and jamming the round?

Dragon
01-31-2009, 9:29 PM
Can you take a pic of the location you're talking about?

I just measured my recoil spring - it's almost 8.75" long. I understand that the length may be the problem, but help me understand why? Is it because the bolt is coming forward too quickly and jamming the round?

The 12oclock position of the chamber,just above where the rim of the 22 shell would be if you were looking down the barrel from the breach end

Jerkdog
01-31-2009, 9:36 PM
The 12oclock position of the chamber,just above where the rim of the 22 shell would be if you were looking down the barrel from the breach end

Oh crap. I must be retarded.

I think I was confused about what he said about the hammer leaving an indentation on the 12 o'clock position of the face of the chamber. Nevermind, he must have meant where the bolt face contacts the chamber after getting struck by the hammer.

Edit: I just pulled the bolt and there appears to be a burr at about 9 o'clock on the chamber. Interesting...

Dragon
01-31-2009, 11:05 PM
Deburr an try again!

pacrimguru
02-01-2009, 1:34 AM
Oh crap. I must be retarded.

I think I was confused about what he said about the hammer leaving an indentation on the 12 o'clock position of the face of the chamber. Nevermind, he must have meant where the bolt face contacts the chamber after getting struck by the hammer.

Edit: I just pulled the bolt and there appears to be a burr at about 9 o'clock on the chamber. Interesting...

oops! i meant firing pin.

pacrimguru
02-01-2009, 1:35 AM
I just measured my recoil spring - it's almost 8.75" long. I understand that the length may be the problem, but help me understand why? Is it because the bolt is coming forward too quickly and jamming the round?

if you read through the spike's thread about tuning the st22, they explain the spring length issue.

AlliedArmory
02-01-2009, 2:58 PM
i put in the other (longer) spring it came with. totally cleaned the entire bolt. seemed to feed fine so far. might go today after the SB and try it out

pacrimguru
02-01-2009, 8:37 PM
after hours of frustration, i finally got it to run right today. i had previously cut my original recoil spring down to the minimum 7.25" oal, replaced the hammer spring with the weaker jp spring and it was still having problems with mainly FTE's and FTF's too.

so today, i decided to start over with the recoil spring. (i left the weak hammer spring in.) i put in a replacement spring that i bought from spike's. the replacement started out well over 10" oal, so i cut it down to the spike's maximum recommended 9" so it would fit in the bolt carrier and started cutting it down from there.

i shot three 10 round mags (blackdog) with 3 different brands of ammo (federal value pack, american eagle, and blazer) in each mag beginning with the spring at 9". everytime it had a FTE, i went ahead and cut it down 1/4"... when i hit 7-3/4", it still was experiencing at least 1 FTE per mag with federal and american eagle... but it was rock solid with blazer. i shot another 50 rounds of blazer and it ran without any FTE's or FTF's. so i'm hoping i have solved my problems. i don't like how the ST-22 is so finicky about ammo, so i can't say that i'm completely convinced i solved the problem, but it seems as if i have so far.

i recommend this method for you to use when you are trying to tune your ST-22. oh, i used the same mag with every load of different ammo too. it was a drag having to shoot, disassemble, cut the spring, reassemble, shoot, then reload, shoot, then reload, then shoot again and start the process over again for every 1/4", but i figure that was the best way to rule out magazine and ammo brand variances. after about 300 rounds and a couple of hours i think i got it right. i hope!

Dragon
02-01-2009, 9:36 PM
MY model 1 upper ,so far has had no issues at all I wounder why u are having so much trouble .Have u tryed the federal ,CCI mini mag,and the Winchester-X? The Spikes and the Model 1 use the same BCG,I just don't understand why yours won't run!

pacrimguru
02-01-2009, 10:27 PM
yea, as spikes has stated every one has its own issues, don't know why. yea, i tried federal, winchester x, and winchester 333's. the cci blazers are the best for me at the moment, but i'll have to try the cci mini mags.

45R
02-01-2009, 10:47 PM
Had the same problem with a Ciener kit after shooting a few hundred rounds of Remington Golden Bullets. I fixed it by scrubbing out the chamber of wax build up. I also deburred and buffed out the area with a little polish just to make things run a little more slick. Took care of the problem. :)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v176/forty5r/1227986623.jpg

joelukehart
02-02-2009, 1:47 AM
And never dry fire a .22. You may break the firing pin because it is offset and hits the chamber face.

Jerkdog
02-08-2009, 3:19 PM
Well, I just got back from the range and am happy to say that I think I've finally got my dedicated upper running smoothly. Prior to the range trip, I deburred the chamber and then polished the area slightly to hopefully smooth things out a bit. I picked up another box of Federal Bulk Pack and some CCI Mini Mags and headed out to the range.

So I busted her out at the range and just like before, I would get the first round to fire, then the second would jam (bolt would look just like the pics above). So I took out my wire cutters and trimmed off 3 coils, then put the bolt back together and gave it another go. This time she ran pretty well, with about one FTF per mag. I ran another 50 or so rounds through her with pretty consistent FTF each mag, so I once again pulled the bolt and trimmed off another 3 coils. And I'll be damned, that seemed to do the trick.

After hours and hours of frustration, she finally ran pretty smooth for the rest of the trip. I'd get about one FTF every other mag or so, and I ran through probably 200 rounds or so. If wasn't so flipping cold and windy, I probably would have trimmed off another 3 coils. I switched to the Mini Mags towards the end and couldn't get them to feed properly, but that could have been because the bolt was pretty grimy by then. We'll see how they do with a clean bolt.

I can see that this will certainly become my favorite rifle for range use. One cool side note - there was an off-duty Sac County Sheriff there sighting in his 10/22 (he had a big old range bag with Sac County Sheriff embroidered on it). During one of the cease-fires he came over and we started talking about my AR. I was like "oh crap, here we go", but he asked a few questions (mostly about how to build one) and he said he thought it looked pretty cool and went back to tuning his 10/22. I thought that was pretty cool. :thumbsup:

Flying Bones
02-09-2009, 4:02 PM
I deburred the chamber and then polished the area slightly to hopefully smooth things out a bit.


Not trying to start a debate on gunsmithing 101 but what type of tools/materials should i use for said deburring and polishing? I have the 12 o'clock burr and lots of FTF problems. I'm new to the gunsmith game but i'm not an idiot, I would appreciate a couple of tips.

Jerkdog
02-09-2009, 6:10 PM
Not trying to start a debate on gunsmithing 101 but what type of tools/materials should i use for said deburring and polishing? I have the 12 o'clock burr and lots of FTF problems. I'm new to the gunsmith game but i'm not an idiot, I would appreciate a couple of tips.

I'm no gunsmith either, so I imagine some people may flame on me for what I ended up doing...I just used a really small curved file and very lightly filed away the burr until I couldn't tell the difference between where it was and the rest of the chamber by feel with my pinky.

As for "polishing", I wrapped some fine grit wet sandpaper around a small diameter wood dowel and slowly rotated the dowel in the chamber about 10 times. I then used a dremel with a small cotton buffer dipped in polishing compound and ran that in there for maybe 15 seconds. I didn't want to go overboard and you'll need to be careful not to go past the throat area and into the rifling. Once you think you have done some of the job, clean out any polishing compound and/or metal bits from the chamber. Good luck.

Black Majik
02-09-2009, 6:24 PM
I'm wondering why Spike's decided to go with the Nickel plated bolts. I've got to see ams30gts' Spikes at the range when he was shooting it, took a brief look at it. At the pistol side, there was another shooter with a Spike's running a nickel plated bolt. He was also having similiar issues with his. Comparing his, since it was a full .22 upper, the only thing we noticed off the bat was that the recoil rod on the nickel bolt uses a washer instead of my older rod which goes through the carrier. He also cut his spring and while he stated it ran better, when I shot it it had 3 FTE, and 2 FTF out of 8 rounds before we went back to inspecting.

I've seen xxINKxx's Spike's .22 upper as well. IIRC, swapping bolts helped in his upper.

Anyone know the difference between the new bolts and the old ones? Or why they chose to switch over?

arfan66
02-10-2009, 12:30 AM
Well, I just got back from the range and am happy to say that I think I've finally got my dedicated upper running smoothly. Prior to the range trip, I deburred the chamber and then polished the area slightly to hopefully smooth things out a bit. I picked up another box of Federal Bulk Pack and some CCI Mini Mags and headed out to the range.

So I busted her out at the range and just like before, I would get the first round to fire, then the second would jam (bolt would look just like the pics above). So I took out my wire cutters and trimmed off 3 coils, then put the bolt back together and gave it another go. This time she ran pretty well, with about one FTF per mag. I ran another 50 or so rounds through her with pretty consistent FTF each mag, so I once again pulled the bolt and trimmed off another 3 coils. And I'll be damned, that seemed to do the trick.

After hours and hours of frustration, she finally ran pretty smooth for the rest of the trip. I'd get about one FTF every other mag or so, and I ran through probably 200 rounds or so. If wasn't so flipping cold and windy, I probably would have trimmed off another 3 coils. I switched to the Mini Mags towards the end and couldn't get them to feed properly, but that could have been because the bolt was pretty grimy by then. We'll see how they do with a clean bolt.

I can see that this will certainly become my favorite rifle for range use. One cool side note - there was an off-duty Sac County Sheriff there sighting in his 10/22 (he had a big old range bag with Sac County Sheriff embroidered on it). During one of the cease-fires he came over and we started talking about my AR. I was like "oh crap, here we go", but he asked a few questions (mostly about how to build one) and he said he thought it looked pretty cool and went back to tuning his 10/22. I thought that was pretty cool. :thumbsup:

The other part of this equation is now that you've put 500-1k rds. downrange, things are starting to break in. I had the same issues with my Spike's dedicated upper and I'll be damned if she started running like a champ after the first 1000 rds. Of course, I did the same as you and replaced the hammer spring with a ligher one (for use with subsonic ammo)but found the regular GI spring worked best.

Also, after break in my carbine is less picky about what I feed her (absolutely hates Remington bulk pack ammo).

Seesm
02-10-2009, 2:11 AM
I am gonna wait to buy my spikes till thsi all is worked out...To say each one had there own issue is crazy... Each one should be ready to fire all the time IMHO anyway...

ENTHUSIAST
02-10-2009, 2:25 AM
My 1st Spikes upper FTE/FTF every other mag I called Spikes and Angela gave me permission to ship it back for warranty. They paid for UPS BOTH ways and I got a BRAND NEW upper they made sure ran PERFECT! Seriously dont play guessing games just have them take care of it.

The second upper runs GREAT they made it right!!! Now it eats the Fed 550rd Value boxes from Wal-Mart like a champ! :)

Give 'em a call they know their product and take care of business when they send out one that doesnt work right.