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Old February 28, 2008, 10:55 PM   #1
Cooter85
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AR-15 keeps jamming

I just bought my first AR yesterday. It's a S&W M&P 15. It came with two 30 round magazines, one BFI, and one that just says NHMTG S/42 and feels cheap and flimsy. I took it out shooting today, and the darn thing jams every few shots. I was really excited to shoot it, and then got more bummed out as I kept having to stop to clear jams. They were kicking sideways in the chamber, and not feeding the next cartridge.
I tried two brands of ammo, and two different clips. It is a brand new gun, and from what I was told, one of the better brands of AR 15's. I know it isn't broken in yet, but this is ridiculous. The clip was pushed in all the way, and I had no problems chambering the first round, but after I shot, it wouldn't chamber another. Any ideas to what the problem is?
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:05 PM   #2
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sounds like a stovepipe....

does the spent casing get caught in the action because the bgolt catches it before it can completely clear the rifle? If so you can try a few things
*Take your bolt out and clean out the lip of the extractor, to assume a new gun is a clean gun is false. Many firearms of mine were dirty when purchased from being tested at the factory or whathave you. clean er up! And dont lose that spring!
*Buy a D-fender extractor helper....these are pricy for an o-ring. Just go to AR15.com and look for what size o-ring it is that you place around the extractor spring to help it. Save you 15 bux! I beleive its a #6 oring BUT! dont hold me to it
*Stick it out, try cleaning it out and if you dont wana buy an o-ring or the "d-fender" scam instead of the o-ring then wait until the gun breaks in...shes brand new. Shoot it a little bit and let the parts get all luvy dovey...if you stil have problems consider further evaluation and let me know via P.M.

Hope this helps : D
Dave
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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The ammo is a little light for the recoil spring all being brand new.

Lock the bolt carrier to the rear by pushing the mag catck lock or by using an empty mag.

Let it stay locked to the rear for 2 days and then go try it out on the range..that should take enough set to cure that problem.
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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forgot to adress the FTF problem

As for your failure to feed problem check the magazines. Give the cartridges a smack to the back of the magazine after its loaded, then make sure ur magazine isnt diving when feeding the carteidges. Do you have the same problems with each mag? Did you try other brands of mags? if so.....

hmmmm maybe the problem is in the ammo....after all you said the rifle is FTE by stove piping, and FTF. Perhaps the rifle is short-stroking...This occurs when the bolt fails to cycle completely due to a lack of pressure. This can cause stovepipes(You have this) and it can also cause the bolt not to travel back enough to strip off, and feed a new catridge. Try different types of ammo....NOT WOLF! Let me know what ammo your using and lets see what happens : D
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:10 PM   #5
oldbillthundercheif
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What kind of ammo were you using?

If it's not an ammunition problem, try more magazines. AR mags vary wildly in quality.

If it isn't the ammo or the mags, I guess try cleaning your gas tube. It seems unlikely that S&W would ship a rifle in a filthy condition, but stranger thing have happened.

It could also be a lubrication issue. Break it down, clean the hell out of it, and apply a light coat of CLP. I've had bad luck with other lubes in ARs, but CLP works great.
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:12 PM   #6
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Ammo type?

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Old February 28, 2008, 11:13 PM   #7
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Buy a couple known good magazines such as Magpul's PMAG. Also use lots of lube on the bolt and bolt carrier during break in.
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:16 PM   #8
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Do you notice the bolt carrier group even moving after you fire the first shot? It sounds like you have a short stroking problem. This could be caused by gas leakages that you may have in your rifle.

If you bought the rifle new, this could be due to some shoddy manufacturing and parts. Possible leakage points are near the front sight, at the carrier key, gas rings, and where the bolt extends through the carrier by the firing pin.

A big part of gas leak trouble is gas tube and carrier key contact. You can check how well they mate by removing the bolt from the carrier, and removing the charging handle, slide the carrier in and see if there is any drag.

I don't know if that's what your problem is, but you can check it, or get someone to do it for you. If you have a gas leakage at the front sight, you'll notice black spots there. A new rifle shouldn't have these problems, and gas tubes are "self cleaning". You don't need to "clean" gas tubes, because the pressure from firing cleans it, that is what is meant by self cleaning, if you stuff things in it, all the stuff that falls off of patches or q tips will just end up back in your action area.
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Old February 28, 2008, 11:17 PM   #9
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As the others have said, clean it lube it and try a different magazine. While you're cleaning check the gas key for movement, a gas leak will cause it to short stroke, but I'm inclined to say it's a lubrication or magazine issue. Don't stick anything in the gas tube at around 30,000 psi they are self cleaning and all of the carbon ends up on the bolt where it's slowed down and cooled.


Edit: Steve beat me to the punch.
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Old February 29, 2008, 12:00 AM   #10
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New gun? Call S&W first thing. Do not replace any parts since they should be selling you a working rifle. Did they supply a magazine with the rifle?

The aluminum mags may feel flimsy - they are pretty durable. If you must go for more, I tried a CProducts Stainless Steel mag and it worked, and that is the one they drove over with some vehicle and it still worked.

And let us know what ammo.

Lee
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Old February 29, 2008, 12:18 AM   #11
Cooter85
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I appologize for not stating the brands of ammo. Wolf and Lellier & Bellot.
The gun was well lubricated
I had no problems with the spent cartridge clearing, it was chambering a new one that was the problem. The catridges were either turning sideways in the chamber, or not chambering at all. I do plan on trying other magazines, I hope that is the problem. Isn't BFI mags made by Bushmaster though?
Also, I thought Wolf was a better brand of ammo. What are some good brands of .223?
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Old February 29, 2008, 12:26 AM   #12
oldbillthundercheif
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Wolf is the bottom of the barrel. Some ARs will run it, some won't. S&B is a little better, but not the best.

From your extra information it sounds like a magazine problem. If the feed lips are not perfect you are likely to get feeding problems like you describe.

Try a few different high-quality mags and a few different types of ammo and I bet you will find a combination it likes.
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Old February 29, 2008, 12:26 AM   #13
DonR101395
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Quote:
Also, I thought Wolf was a better brand of ammo. What are some good brands of .223?
S&B can be weak, but it's still not bad ammo. Wolf should run in a properly functioning gun, but some guns do have problems with it.
FWIW, I'm on my 10th case of Wolf .223 since last July with no problems in my Colt, LMTs and and guns I've built. If you try another brand of ammo and mag and have no gas obvious gas leaks, call S&W.
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Old February 29, 2008, 12:31 AM   #14
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lmccrock, are you sure you aren't referring to Magpul's PMAGs? Because I know for sure they did the truck test with those.

Anyway, it sounds more of a mag problem cooter than a gas leakage problem. If it's not, I agree with the poster who said, send it back to them, since it is a brand new rifle.

As for mags, plain aluminum USGI mags work fine, someone will confirm this, but I don't remember which ones they were. I believe they were the ones with the green followers. You see, there are people who try to sell mags as being USGI, and aside from the follower and some other details, they are not. Don't be scammed at gunshows, shops, etc.

PMAGs also work fine, and seem to be the late great hype lately. They are relatively cheap at $15 retail.

Don't concern yourself with the ultra expensive H&K mags, they feel very sturdy, but under hard conditions, actually don't hold up as well as USGI or PMAGs. This is coming from numerous people I talked with who have attended tactical carbine classes taught by very knowledgeable folks, but it's still hearsay from me. Take it for what you will. However, I myself have used H&K mags (as they were issued to me) in some military classes, and they worked well for me. Although I think some of these private trainers run even more rounds than we did in a given course.

As for Wolf, I don't want to turn this guy's thread into a "don't use Wolf" thread, but I believe that a quality functioning rifle will feed any factory ammo just fine. Like DonR, I also have never had any problems feeding Wolf .223 in my Colt AR 15, or with any other caliber in other guns for that matter. And with prices the way they are, Wolf is affordable. Same with Sellier and Bellot.
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Old February 29, 2008, 12:35 AM   #15
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My Bushmaster M4 that I just got apparently does not like Wolf My gun had the exact problem yours is having when I shot Wolf. So far, every other brand has worked fine. I did go back to Wolf to give it one more try after breaking the gun in a bit, and I still had the same problem with it. No more Wolf for my AR, but my Saiga in 7.62x39mm sure does like it!
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Old February 29, 2008, 01:58 AM   #16
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Owwwwoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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Old February 29, 2008, 03:53 AM   #17
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Granted, I haven't bought just a whole lot of 'em- I have yet to lay hands on a brand new factory mag that hasn't given me headaches. The worst was Bushmaster and GI Okay Industries. The crappy part was the Okays were issued to us in Iraq. I spent a lot of time with a small file and pliers to get our 30 rounders to operate with at least 28 rnds. I just ordered some PRI mags for my 6.8 and I'm really hoping they aren't goobered up.

Is the S&W chambered for 5.56 or .223? Able Ammo has some 5.56 Federal Lake City for a decent price that ought to get you through your woes (maybe) until you get things running right. How many rounds are you putting into each mag? Try loading to half the capacity, lots of lube on the bolt, and call S&W if all else fails.
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Old February 29, 2008, 04:04 AM   #18
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I appreciate all this feedback.
I went ahead and ordered a couple magpul pmags a few minutes ago. I'll post the results when they come in.
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Old February 29, 2008, 09:23 AM   #19
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You might think about a Crane O-ring upgrade as well.
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Old February 29, 2008, 10:00 AM   #20
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NHMTG is a contractor for Colt. I have not had problems with a NHMTG mag. The only difference between a NHMTG and a Colt mag is the floor plate.

Define well Lubed. The bolt and bolt carrier?

Gas rings lined up? They should be spaced 90 degrees apart.

I have 2 White Oak service rifle uppers. Number 1 won't run on our beloved Black Hills remand. as it short strokes. But it does run on my reloads very well winning matches and money. I haven't tried Black Hill remand. in upper #2 and it wins matches and money.

No firearm I own has ever touched Wolf ammo. Ever.
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Old February 29, 2008, 10:22 PM   #21
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adjustable gas block?

I'm not familiar with the S & W AR (yet). Does it have an adjustable gas block? If so, maybe the manual tells you how to adjust it?
My AR's are Bushmaster & Rock River.
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Old March 1, 2008, 07:13 PM   #22
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Sounds like a mag problem

First. Any time you have any issues with feeding and functioning of any semi auto rifle or pistol, the first thing to do is try a different magazine, and if possible use one known to work properly in another gun.

Based on your description it sounds like what is happening is that the round is popping up out of the magazine as the bolt pushes it forward, before it is supposed to, and instead of being guided to the chamber by the feed lips it is bouncing around infront of the bolt, and is too far out of alignment to chamber when it gets there. It hits one of the lugs, bounces sideways, and is pinned by the bolt. Another posibility is the round is "nose diving", meaning that the nose of the round is moving down when the bolt pushes it forward, catching on the front of the magazine. Then either the whole thing stops (not what you described), or possibly the round pops out of the mag, and does what I previously described. Either way, a magazine problem.

First thing is try a diffferent mag. Second thing is try the original mag without loading it up full. Old soldiers learned back in Vietnam that M16s worked better if the mags were a couple of rounds short of stated capacity. Some work fine full up, others do not.

I see you have ordered new mags. Let us know how they work out. If you still have trouble, we can go from there. And for pete's sake, get some decent ammo. Once you know your gun is ok, shoot the cheap junk if you want (and if it works), but don't assume your rifle is bad unless you know for sure the ammo is good. There is a reason cheap ammo is cheap, and it usually ain't because they sell it in bulk!

Good Luck, and write if you get work!
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Old March 1, 2008, 07:20 PM   #23
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sell it and buy an ak
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Old March 1, 2008, 10:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
sell it and buy an ak
Better yet, keep it and buy an AK. Everyone should have at least one of each.
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Old March 1, 2008, 11:40 PM   #25
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agreed. I miss my ar
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