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View Full Version : Problem with New Frontier Lower / PMAG magazine


drummag
06-26-2012, 2:49 AM
Hi-

Just picked up my first rifle and while it shoots great (no FTF's nor FTE's), I am having a problem with the bolt catch and my pmag. (Both were purchased new and have under 100 rounds through them). The bolt catch will sometimes slip past the top of the pmag follower on get wedged behind it. This causes the bolt to go past the catch and run into the follower.

While I understand the problem, I'm not sure what's the best solution. Don't buy PMAGS? Get a metal bolt catch/parts kit?

Thanks in advance!
Mike

156183

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jsipe007
06-26-2012, 8:14 AM
Isn't the bolt catch already metal?

First thing I would do is try a new magazine. The 20RD Pmags had a recent batch that were out of spec. I got 2 mags (both 10/20 rd pmags) and both were out of spec. I would first try a 10/30 PMAG or another reliable magazine.

If that doesnt resolve the issue, you might try a different bolt catch.

I've never seen or used a NFA poly lower, but if all else fails it could be the lower out of spec. If you cant get anything to fix the problem I would think about calling NFA to hear what they have to say.

Good luck and I hope you get this issue resolved!!

SocomM4
06-26-2012, 8:35 AM
Almost looks like a knock-off pmag.
Id blame the lower or the bolt catch before Id blame the mag tho,
but that's just because I have total faith in Pmags.

jsipe007
06-26-2012, 9:16 AM
Yeah I understand where you are coming from. My personal experience has led me to believe that the 10/20 and 20 round PMags really arent as solid as the 30 rounders unfortunately. Im definitely not bashing Magpul, but I did have 2 out of spec 20 round magazines. I returned them for 30 rounders and they have worked flawlessly so far. (the two out of spec mags I had just required way more force than necessary to seat the magazine. they still fed perfectly I just didnt like how much force was required to seat that magazine. The 30rd magazines I have seat much easier and I like the fit much better)

I figure the OP will want a second magazine anyways... so buying another mag will help him determine if the magazine is faulty or if its the bolt release/lower. Im with ya, I dont think the PMag is at fault here but suggested he test it since its fairly cheap, easy to do, and he will have another magazine for when he gets this issue resolved :)

jsipe007
06-26-2012, 9:17 AM
Where did you buy the PMag? Socom has a point... I dont think my 20RD PMag has a notch on the follower like that

drummag
06-26-2012, 11:16 AM
Potentially counterfeit.....interesting. I purchased both from a local forum sponsor ; I'd hate to wrongly start any nasty rumors, so I won't post the specifics unless I can confirm they are indeed copies. In the meantime I'll email Magpul to see if these are genuine. I'd really hate to think a forum sponsor is up to no good.

jsipe007: The bolt catch is also polymer on the New Frontier lower, infact I think the only metal parts are the springs. Trigger, hammer, pins, safety selector are all poly.

jsipe007
06-26-2012, 11:33 AM
Very interesting! I was under the impression the NFA poly lowers used metal guts... I remember Plum Crazy used all poly lowers and I heard a few complaints about all poly guts.

That being the case, I would definitely try a metal bolt catch. Sometimes the shape of the poly parts is changed because the parts must be manufactured differently to retain equal force/strength (for example the Polymer hammer). I think a metal bolt release is a good investment in your case.

And as far as the 20rd PMag goes, let me check on that when I get home. I dont use my 20 RD mag much but I got it from cabellas and am sure its authentic. I find it quite odd how the follower is showing signs of wear since the bolt catch is polymer as well.

wsmc27
06-26-2012, 11:39 AM
Is that a LW-15 lower? Is it the stock bolt catch?

Cucv
06-26-2012, 11:40 AM
I converted my lw15's mag catch to metal. It works way better with My radlock now.

wsmc27
06-26-2012, 11:51 AM
I converted my lw15's mag catch to metal. It works way better with My radlock now.

What prob did you have with the stock parts??

How does the bolt catch interact with your mag release and Raddlock?

wsmc27
06-26-2012, 12:04 PM
Might want to replace the follower?

Have run 8 or 9 different pmag 30's with the green follower (http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/MAG111.aspx) thru a couple lowers on featureless assemblies, incl a LW-15. No probs at all.

We did note our older CA 10/30 (blocked modded that came from RG a couple years ago) pmags seemed reluctant to drop clear from the LW...thinking it had to do more with how the magazine was modded/blocked then anything to do with the lower. Also ran several older GI 30's and a couple Troy BattleMags with the LW and no probs noted.

Reason I ask OP if the bolt catch is stock is ours on the LW is plastic and black, though the shine in the pic could just be from the flash? edit to add...clearly the other pic has a more uniform look to the finish.

Just wondering if changes were already made to the stock set-up. :)

drummag
06-26-2012, 12:40 PM
jsipe007: one definite thought I had was the tolerances of polymer just isn't as good in this case. I'm considering a full parts kit, I'm kind of regretting cheaping out.

wsmc27: yes, stock lw15, just the flash. Unfortunately, doesn't like that follower fits their 20 round magazines.

Cucv: We're you having similar problems?

rero360
06-26-2012, 12:48 PM
I would replace all the lower guts with quality metal parts. I just simply don't trust plastic enough to be small pins and other parts that experience cyclic stress.

jsipe007
06-26-2012, 1:16 PM
^^^Second This.

Get a LPK from Palmetto state armory for 55 bucks and if youre worried about wear on the poly from the trigger/hammer pins, some KNS Anti-roll pins :)

If youre really that worried about it, you could always dedicate it as a .22lr lower.

I totally understand about going for that lower though. 100 bucks for a complete lower is a steal, even if its polymer. Honestly youre probably ok for at least a while. Plenty of people run NFA's poly lowers on an ar-15 without problems. I was quite tempted to go that route as well... but I managed to catch a sale at Palmetto State Armory and built a quality complete lower for around $215 (but since then I have added all the Magpul furniture so I guess you could say the playing field is back to being level. LOL)

Speedpower
06-26-2012, 1:43 PM
Bolt Catch is metal on a NFA polymer lower!

jsipe007
06-26-2012, 3:41 PM
Can you post more pics of the PMag? Does the follower have any play forward and backward? When the mag is empty, the follower shouldnt be able to move forward/backward

Cucv
06-26-2012, 4:08 PM
My mag release was to long on the threaded side. So when i tigned down the raddlock the screw was to far down to use a bullet to release the mag. Also since the mag relase was plastic the raddlock came loose a lot. I have zero issues with new mag release.

jsipe007
06-27-2012, 7:24 AM
If the mag follower feels solid, then my next suggestion would be trying a new metal bolt catch (from a fairly reputable company) and new bolt catch spring. My 20rd PMag looks virtually the same as yours but has absolutely no wear on the follower.

Could the spring in your NFA bolt catch assembly be incorrect? It seems unlikely but possible

Don29palms
06-27-2012, 9:34 AM
Quit buying plasic junk that should be made out of metal.

Thordo
06-27-2012, 9:35 AM
Hi-

Just picked up my first rifle and while it shoots great (no FTF's nor FTE's), I am having a problem with the bolt catch and my pmag. (Both were purchased new and have under 100 rounds through them). The bolt catch will sometimes slip past the top of the pmag follower on get wedged behind it. This causes the bolt to go past the catch and run into the follower.

While I understand the problem, I'm not sure what's the best solution. Don't buy PMAGS? Get a metal bolt catch/parts kit?

Thanks in advance!
Mike


156185



This pic tells the whole story 156185. We have seen this dozens upon dozens of times with PMAGs. The flat area on the PMAG follower is about .03 to .04 further into the magazine compared to a metal mag. There's not enough purchase for the finger on the bolt catch to stay on it. The problem can be compounded by other factors.

1. The follower having a little bit of slop front to back.
2. The bolt catch slot being out of tolerance.
3. A weak spring in the mag.

Advise:
Your particular setup doesn't like PMAGs. Try a metal mag before you start replacing everything.

We'll be testing the new Lancer polymer mags with the sheet metal feed lips this week. They may be superior to the PMAG. I'll post our findings after testing.

Thordo

drummag
06-27-2012, 10:24 AM
I stand corrected. I just checked at the bolt catch is metal. Metal parts include butstock, the trigger and hammer pins, springs and of course the bolt catch. Polymer parts include the hammer, trigger, upper pins and safety switch.

After comparing with dozens of pictures online I am fairly confident my PMAG is genuine.


Very interesting! I was under the impression the NFA poly lowers used metal guts... I remember Plum Crazy used all poly lowers and I heard a few complaints about all poly guts.

That being the case, I would definitely try a metal bolt catch. Sometimes the shape of the poly parts is changed because the parts must be manufactured differently to retain equal force/strength (for example the Polymer hammer). I think a metal bolt release is a good investment in your case.

And as far as the 20rd PMag goes, let me check on that when I get home. I dont use my 20 RD mag much but I got it from cabellas and am sure its authentic. I find it quite odd how the follower is showing signs of wear since the bolt catch is polymer as well.

drummag
06-27-2012, 10:26 AM
No noticeable forward back movement to the naked eye. Moves side to side about 1/16th of an inch.

Can you post more pics of the PMag? Does the follower have any play forward and backward? When the mag is empty, the follower shouldnt be able to move forward/backward

drummag
06-27-2012, 10:31 AM
I was thinking just this, even now knowing the catch is metal.

I would replace all the lower guts with quality metal parts. I just simply don't trust plastic enough to be small pins and other parts that experience cyclic stress.

bonesurf
06-27-2012, 12:06 PM
.

We'll be testing the new Lancer polymer mags with the sheet metal feed lips this week. They may be superior to the PMAG. I'll post our findings after testing.

Thordo

The lancer mags are nice. I got some of the ten round ones.

Thordo
06-27-2012, 12:14 PM
The lancer mags are nice. I got some of the ten round ones.

We ordered a couple of all capacities and colors to test our blocks, pinning, endurance and, and UBBT compatibility.

Thordo

jsipe007
06-27-2012, 1:19 PM
Please post the results of those Lancer Mags! :) I've been looking for a while now for a decent CA mag that is 10 rounds (i dont care for the 10/30Pmags much since it sticks out of the magwell so far).

OP, my 20 round magazing has absolutely no play in the follower, when the magazing is empty the follower cannot move at all (even 1/16in). Id suggest trying another Mag. Even a buddies mag just to see.

Im hoping the mag or release is the issue here... The first thought that came to my mind when I saw your problem is that the lower is slightly out of spec. Im hoping that is not the case, but I think NFA is usually pretty good about warranties. If that turns out to be the case, it could be a fine time to upgrade to an aluminum lower (NFA makes a g-15 aluminum lower for 100 bucks) if you so desire. Palmetto State Armory occasionally has a sale on their lower build kits... $85 bucks for everything (LPK, stock, buffer tube, buffer). Im running one on my rifle right now and I really like the trigger. Its nicer than my friend's S&W m&p Sport.

drummag
06-27-2012, 2:39 PM
Ugh, spoke to local/forum vendor and they told me to go through New Frontier Armory. Not real happy since I only picked this up 2-3 weeks ago (I just checked the receipt and I'm literally still within the DROS window) and found this at the first time out. Makes me want to just buy everything from the lowest bidder on eBay vs spending a few extra bucks and helping out local brick and mortar shops.

apbrian112
06-27-2012, 3:36 PM
So you haven't contacted NF Armory yet?

Plus, wasn't aware that eBay conducted DROS's... when did they get their FFL?

Thordo
06-27-2012, 3:53 PM
Ugh, spoke to local/forum vendor and they told me to go through New Frontier Armory. Not real happy since I only picked this up 2-3 weeks ago (I just checked the receipt and I'm literally still within the DROS window) and found this at the first time out. Makes me want to just buy everything from the lowest bidder on eBay vs spending a few extra bucks and helping out local brick and mortar shops.

I just measured one of our NFA lowers against our master print. The position of the slot is out of tolerance by only .004" which really isn't far enough out to cause your problem.

Have you tried a metal mag in it yet? 80+% of the time that has solved the problem in our experience.

Thordo

jsipe007
06-28-2012, 7:04 AM
Try another magazine and a new bolt catch release and spring. Based on all the provided info and your feedback, one of those seems to be the culprit. Magpul openly admitted they had a batch of 20rd magazines not made to their own specs. Trying another magazine would tell us if it is the PMag or the Bolt release/lower.

drummag
06-28-2012, 7:34 PM
^^ Yup, pretty much my conclusion as well. Thanks everyone!

PolishMike
06-28-2012, 7:37 PM
Get a real lower.

sgvxdave
06-28-2012, 7:45 PM
Get a real lower.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb287/david71383/JagsFanWTF.gif
yea get a real one, does the that lower even shoot?:rolleyes:

drummag
06-28-2012, 10:57 PM
Dear Keyboard Warrior,

Learn to read.

Regards,
Drummag

PS: Hint: First post, first sentence, words 10 and 11.


yea get a real one, does the that lower even shoot?:rolleyes:

drifter2be
06-28-2012, 11:53 PM
Get a real lower.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb287/david71383/JagsFanWTF.gif
yea get a real one, does the that lower even shoot?:rolleyes:

Dear Keyboard Warrior,

Learn to read.

Regards,
Drummag

PS: Hint: First post, first sentence, words 10 and 11.

Dear oblivious OP,

Learn to identify sarcasm.

Regards,
Drifter2be

PS: Hint He obviously was making a sarcastic reply to PolishMike's comment about the lower.

:thumbsup:

drummag
06-29-2012, 12:18 AM
Duh....palm...face. My apologies sgvxdave, I feel like a dumbass.

drummag
06-29-2012, 12:24 AM
On the bright side.... very nice timing for Palmetto to advertise a sale on AR LPK's

sgvxdave
06-29-2012, 1:07 AM
Duh....palm...face. My apologies sgvxdave, I feel like a dumbass.

all good buddy i literately went back and counted word 10 and 11 just b/c haha:D

jsipe007
06-29-2012, 9:16 AM
Yep, I myself am not a big fan of Poly lowers... but hey im not a glock fan and many people are happy with em. I've heard of many people being happy with their NFA Poly lowers once a metal LPK was installed...

I personally would just buy an aluminum lower (4th of July is comin up and PSA sometimes has their lowers for $49 bucks, pretty sure theyll go on sale this 4th) and dedicate that NFA lower as a .22 LR gun :)

Hibs
06-30-2012, 11:57 AM
I've got a NFA lower, with all it's factory plastic guys inside. I love it.

drummag
06-30-2012, 10:52 PM
Update for you guys, I brought it back to the store, they tried a number of different PMAG's including 30 rounders ; same problem with my specific lower, no such problem with other NFA units they had in stock. My New Frontier polymer lower is defective and will have to go back to the manufacturer. I'm doubting there's much they will be able to do outside of replacing it entirely.

Thordo
07-01-2012, 6:52 AM
That sucks!!

Thordo

jsipe007
07-01-2012, 8:57 PM
Bummer! Well at least its there problem now and hopefully it'll get all fixed up nice for ya. I'm hoping they don't need to replace it though man! That 10 day waiting period sucks :(

Best6 of luck to you!

STROLLER
07-02-2012, 7:50 AM
I also have a similar problem with 20 pmag and lw-15 however my 10/30 pmags work flawless in regards to the bolt catch.

jsipe007
07-02-2012, 9:32 AM
Yeah the 20RD PMags (i feel) can be finnicky. Not bashing Magpul here though... I love their stuff and somehow started with only a MOE handguard... now its got MOE grip, CTR stock, MOE RVG, ASAP Plate, MS2 sling... LOL

I just have never found a perfect 20RD Pmag.

Annex138
07-02-2012, 11:33 AM
I have 2 lw-15 lowers and 4 10/20 pmags. Everything works good. Sounds like you got a lemon lower.

drummag
07-02-2012, 9:16 PM
Well, **** happens ; I just hope their customer service lives up to their reputation.

edraven
03-26-2013, 8:04 AM
Well, **** happens ; I just hope their customer service lives up to their reputation.

I have the exact same problem with my LW-15 and PMAG 20's, how did this end for you?