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View Full Version : Stag AR FTF?!?


battlehatch
03-04-2007, 6:50 PM
My mom and her bf were out shooting his Stag AR just outside of Vegas. They called because they were having problems with it. He cleaned it and greased it with CLP last night. Today, he took it out, it shot one mag fine then the next mag, he started having problems. He would charge it, then fire one round. The action would return to battery, but without stripping a round. He would then charge it again and fire one round, again it wouldn't feed. He tried three different mags and no change. I couldn't really be of much help as I am no AR expert and I am really better at figuring things out when they are right in front of me to see. Just wondering if anyone can offer any insight. It's a brand spankin new Stag M4gery. Thx.

nosewitdot
03-04-2007, 7:39 PM
perhaps it just needs to be broken in

Prc329
03-04-2007, 7:43 PM
What ammo were they using? I had a similar issue but it was caused by my buffer and tube. Not sure exactly what was wrong but after I switched it the gun performed flawlessly. I also had the issue with another AR and the ammo. I was using wolf steel case and wolf m193 and it did not like it at all. The wolf would either FTF or double feed. Federal and wolf gold would work great.

mxpatriot51
03-04-2007, 7:45 PM
Are the magazines brand new also? He's not using goofy 40 round magazines, right?

It really sounds like a magazine issue to me.

If it isn't that, the rifle could be short stroking. This means the bolt travels back far enough to eject the empty, but not far enough to allow the new round to pop up from the magazine and get slammed into the chamber by the bolt. Basically, the bolt may not be coming back far enough. This can be due to too light of loads or too stiff springs.

If he's using factory ammo, I'd bet his springs to be broken in. But, I have yet to hear of an AR that needed significant break in to function properly.

Hope this helps.

SnWnMe
03-04-2007, 7:47 PM
Break in?

What, Kimber makes ARs now?:confused:

battlehatch
03-04-2007, 8:47 PM
One thing he did note when he was cleaning it was that the buffer had a thick grease on it, he cleaned everything but the buffer, spring, and tube. What makes me wonder is that it shot the first mag just fine. Everything he's using is new, 20 rd. factory mags. He's using decent ammo too, surplus but decent stuff.

Prc329
03-04-2007, 8:49 PM
Maybe that grease was causing the buffer to stick and make the rifle short stroke.

double_action
03-04-2007, 8:51 PM
If it isn't that, the rifle could be short stroking. This means the bolt travels back far enough to eject the empty, but not far enough to allow the new round to pop up from the magazine and get slammed into the chamber by the bolt. Basically, the bolt may not be coming back far enough. This can be due to too light of loads or too stiff springs.

Could be a lose gas key making it short stroke too. Might have gotten lose after the first mag.

battlehatch
03-04-2007, 8:51 PM
That's what I'm thinking too. Hopefully he'll either figure it out and it'll work, or he'll think it's a POS and transfer it to ME!!!:)

Paratus et Vigilans
03-04-2007, 11:14 PM
Check to see that the three rings on the bolt have their gaps spaced out and are not all in a row, which would let too much gas through them and cause it to short stroke, which is what the problem sounds like to me.

Also, check out the gas tube to be sure it's clear and not gunked up, or kinked. (I use one of those cans of compressed air for cleaning computer keyboards to do this - I put the "straw" into the gas tube through the ejection port and, looking down the bore from behind - with the upper off the lower, of course - I give it a quick blast and watch to see what comes out the other end where the gas tube port in the barrel is, and then clean the barrel.) While you're at it, blow out the key on top of the bolt carrier too.

Finally, if the gas block is put on with screws rather than pins, check to see that the screws are all tight. They can work loose after a mag or two - happned to me on a YHM flip up front sight/gas block attached with screws. Put 'em back on tight with some Locktite.

Doesn't sound like a mag problem to me. Sounds like a gas problem. Urp. 'scuse me! :D

battlehatch
03-05-2007, 9:17 AM
What's a good cleaning tool for clearing that gas tube other than just blowing it out. Like I said before, I haven't seen this thing in person, but from he described, there was alot of thick grease everywhere. Maybe a long pipe cleaner? Also, is that normal to have that much grease everwhere?

Paratus et Vigilans
03-05-2007, 9:30 AM
What's a good cleaning tool for clearing that gas tube other than just blowing it out. Like I said before, I haven't seen this thing in person, but from he described, there was alot of thick grease everywhere. Maybe a long pipe cleaner? Also, is that normal to have that much grease everwhere?

Yeah, you can get extra-long pipe cleaners, or those long one-ended q-tip like thingys, to clean it, and no, there should never be "thick grease" in it, it ain't a Garand!

battlehatch
03-05-2007, 9:34 AM
Thanks, I'll let him know. It funny actually. He's terrible with reading directions so the other night I actually talked him through the fieldstripping, cleaning, and reassembly. I don't even own one of these things! I plan on getting one soon. I guess I am just a gun dork, I am so familiar with a rifle I have never even shot. I handled an AR once at the gun shop near our house when I lived in Vegas, that's about it. The guy in the shop asked if I was in the military since I handled it so well. I told him that was the first time I had touched one in person! I am visiting my parents in a couple weeks, so I'll get to actually try it out. It's just tough to diagnose something I can't see or touch, especially without having live experience with it...

stator
03-05-2007, 9:44 AM
Yep, sounds like it is short-stroking to me. Work through troubleshooting from the back towards the front. So start with the buffer tube, buffer spring, and the buffer. End up with the gas tube, front site, and barrel last (and in that order) as those are a pain in the arse to fix.

Do not forget the ammo, btw. Have him shoot some quality ammo first and in moderate temperature/weather.

Paratus et Vigilans
03-05-2007, 9:45 AM
No problem. I hope it works out for him. It's no fun when the gun doesn't work right!

One of the great things about the AR platform is its simplicity of design. The longer you work with it, the more you appreciate it. At least that's how it's been for me. I got my first one last fall, and with the how-to sitckys on AR-15.com, Sweeney's book "The AR-15," some hands-on training at Wes' gun metal grey desk in Taft, and a lot of take downs and re-assemblies for cleaning and modifications, I feel pretty comfortable that I could handle pretty much any issue that might crop up with my AR's.

Go get yourself one, and soon! :D

Paratus et Vigilans
03-05-2007, 9:56 AM
I just went back and re-read your original posts about this problem, and want to amend my replies in one particular ~~ there's a school of thought that greasing up the buffer spring will cut down on the "sproing" noise that bugs some AR shooters. That noise is more noticable in some buffer assemblies and less so in others. Some folks notice it, others never do. However, if the grease was ONLY in the buffer tube and on the buffer spring, then that's not completely out of the ordinary. However, I suppose that if you overdid the greasing of that assembly, it could cause some problems. You might also have him clean out the little vent in the screw at the closed end of the buffer - the one that holds on the buttstock in an A2 configuration. It's like a pinhole, and allows some air into and out of the buffer from that end so you don't get too much resistance on the backstroke of the bolt/buffer and don't create a vacuum in there either. You'll notice that the head of the buffer has some flat spots around its perimeter. Same issue - allowing air into and out of the buffer tube. If that thing was totally greased up, it could have created enough resistance on the back stroke to cause the gun to short stroke.

Sorry I didn't mention that earlier.

Personally, I keep the buffer assembly grease-free and just give it a little squirt of CLP now and then to keep it lubed up enough to cycle smoothly.

battlehatch
03-05-2007, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the info, I relayed that to him and he's going to clean it up and shoot again this weekend. He's upset because he gave up his Arsenal AK for it and that thing was a no brainer. I have shot that AK alot and it's almost as if you can't get the thing to malfunction. I told him that once he gets the bugs worked out on the AR, he'll like it even more than the AK. For now, he's a little frustrated.

battlehatch
03-12-2007, 9:54 AM
Ok, so he cleaned out the thick grease in the buffer tube, cleaned the gas system out, tightened the key. He took it out yesterday and it's still having problems. He also noted that the failure is only on the rounds that feed from the right side of the magazine. He used different ammo, and he tried a couple different magazines. He took the rifle to American Gun Club in Vegas and they told him that the rifle looked like it was well used, it supposed to be brand new...

Centurion_D
03-12-2007, 10:15 AM
I experieneced exactly the same problem's you described. I have a colt sporter and it never gave me any problems..that is until I used some crappy ammo..the brand was SS109 Olympia Greek surplus. I had constant short stroke/FTF failures..that ammo was crap. Also left a lot of fouling. I would suggest you first try different ammo. Use some U.S. mil-spec stuff like federal xm193 or some m855. That might be the cause of all your issues.

savage1
03-12-2007, 10:53 AM
Does the gun have the right buffer spring? ie, an A2 buffer spring in a CAR stock? That will also cause it to short stroke

battlehatch
03-12-2007, 10:55 AM
This thing is a box stock Stag M4gery.

bwiese
03-12-2007, 10:59 AM
Does the gun have the right buffer spring? ie, an A2 buffer spring in a CAR stock? That will also cause it to short stroke

An A2 screw in a shorter A1 buttstock can also cause problems.

I do notice that there's a continued discussion of 'grease'. NEVER USE GREASE ON AN AR!

Clean all that crap out and then relube everything w/CLP, BreakFree, etc.

Most AR failures are caused by underlubrcation, poor mags, or crap ammo (or a combination thereof).

Also: Gas tube should NOT be cleaned with pipe cleaner (or anything!). Lint/debris gets in there and accumulates or redistributes into a 'lump' blocking gas flow.

Paratus et Vigilans
03-12-2007, 11:11 AM
Ok, so he cleaned out the thick grease in the buffer tube, cleaned the gas system out, tightened the key. He took it out yesterday and it's still having problems. He also noted that the failure is only on the rounds that feed from the right side of the magazine. He used different ammo, and he tried a couple different magazines. He took the rifle to American Gun Club in Vegas and they told him that the rifle looked like it was well used, it supposed to be brand new...

Are the rounds that FTF still staying in the mag like they were before he cleaned it, or are they now getting jammed on the feed ramp? It could be two separate issues, and no longer a short stroke issue if its a jamming FTF. That would make me think maybe there's an abnormality on the right side's feed ramp, some kind of burr or other obstruction.

Also, one more thing to look at would be the lug on the bolt that runs through the right side of the mag, which should be engaging the rim and rear face of the cartridge case and shoving it forward up the feed ramp and into the chamber. Is that lug dinged or bent or otherwise not true? If it's damaged, he may need to replace the bolt.

When he changed ammo, what did he start with, what did he go to, and what kind of projectiles is he putting in there? 55GR? Heavier, longer bullets? If it's a jamming FTF I would look at that issue, too.

I wouldn't worry too much about the counter guy's opinion of the rifle's appearance.

Good luck! Keep us posted with his mystery miseries!

battlehatch
03-12-2007, 11:16 AM
He's using some cheap surplus stuff he bought with the rifle. I told him to change ammo, but when he went shopping at 3 shops in vegas, NO ONE had any .223 in stock!

Paratus et Vigilans
03-12-2007, 11:21 AM
He's using some cheap surplus stuff he bought with the rifle. I told him to change ammo, but when he went shopping at 3 shops in vegas, NO ONE had any .223 in stock!

Occam's Razor. I'd start there, with the ammo. That's likely his problem. Odd that it's only every other round that's a problem, but changing ammo is usually the cure all.

Vegas, dry on .223??? Hard to believe!

Tell him to get in his car and drive out to Henderson. Lots of gun shops over there. One place on the right hand side of the road, I forget how far out, maybe half way to Lake Las Vegas, it has a van with an AR painted on its side as a billboard, parked in the parking lot - they've probably got some ammo!

bwiese
03-12-2007, 11:32 AM
Always debug a rifle with quality standard ammo. Stay away from cheap ammo, foreign milsurp, or special hunting ammo with soft points and a loading that may be designed more for a bolt-action rifle (and thus not great for an AR's gas cycling).

You should be able to find some Fed American Eagle, Winchester White Box (try Q3131A instead of Q3131) or Remington/UMC 'Yellow box' 55gr FMJ ammo.

swhatb
03-12-2007, 8:48 PM
Always debug a rifle with quality standard ammo. Stay away from cheap ammo, foreign milsurp, or special hunting ammo with soft points and a loading that may be designed more for a bolt-action rifle (and thus not great for an AR's gas cycling).

You should be able to find some Fed American Eagle, Winchester White Box (try Q3131A instead of Q3131) or Remington/UMC 'Yellow box' 55gr FMJ ammo.

Where :confused: I've checked many places and they're out of stock for that ammo. Any ideas???? I think the military is using up all our ammo :eek:

swift
03-12-2007, 9:34 PM
If they were using stag 10-round mags, I think that was the problem. My stag 10-rounder doesn't feed well. Use bushmaster.

battlehatch
03-12-2007, 10:12 PM
Well, mystery solved. After all the hubbub about clean this, lube that, check this... it turned out to be the ammo. You guys all had great input and he and I thank you. All the other things like lubrication were if anything, good for the rifle and good for him to learn about cleaning and takedown. He took it to a local shop and mentioned the problems. The proprietor didn't even take it down, he simply loaded up a full mag of Wolf .223 and fired away. My mom's bf asked him to fire another mag full and it worked flawlessly. The man at the shop was even kind enough to buy back all the bad ammo and sell him the Wolf at a discount. My mom's bf is ecstatic and has a new love for his new toy. It's really nice to hear about a business stepping up to the plate in a world where integrity and accountability are second to profitability.

thmpr
03-12-2007, 10:38 PM
Great to hear it was not the rifle! It would have been awful if it was.

:D

battlehatch
03-13-2007, 8:55 AM
I like to give credit where it's due. The shop was called Accuracy Gun Shop in Boulder Hwy. I have been in there, it's a little store crammed with all the goodies we'd love to have in CA but can't. Very nice fella owns it, very helpful. My folks bought from him because he was courteous, knowledgeable, and helpful. Very unlike the The Gun Store nearby. If I move back out to Vegas, that's who'll get my money.

Paratus et Vigilans
03-13-2007, 9:06 AM
I like to give credit where it's due. The shop was called Accuracy Gun Shop in Boulder Hwy. I have been in there, it's a little store crammed with all the goodies we'd love to have in CA but can't. Very nice fella owns it, very helpful. My folks bought from him because he was courteous, knowledgeable, and helpful. Very unlike the The Gun Store nearby. If I move back out to Vegas, that's who'll get my money.

Thanks for the info. I'll be out there next week, and will check him out!

6172crew
03-13-2007, 9:21 AM
Yep, sounds like it is short-stroking to me. Work through troubleshooting from the back towards the front. So start with the buffer tube, buffer spring, and the buffer. End up with the gas tube, front site, and barrel last (and in that order) as those are a pain in the arse to fix.

Do not forget the ammo, btw. Have him shoot some quality ammo first and in moderate temperature/weather.


+1, you can tell if she is short stroking if you leave 1 round in the mag and see if your bolt is staying back when teh mag is empty or you can push on the bolt catch and see if its going back far enough to catch.

If its not then Id check to see if you have something in teh gas system or maybe your chamber is too tight, does it change after the chamber warms up? And as other have suggested check and make sure the bolt rings are not lined up, Ive heard that that wont cause issues but it happened to me in the military were I lined them up and it wouldnt cycle properly.

Let us know.