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Old September 2, 2009, 07:17 PM   #1
Dave R
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Help! LIVE round stuck in chamber...

Hoo, boy. I've got a tough one. Was shooting my new AR, 2nd time. Shot a few NATO surplus to get sighted in. Then went to try a handload. Pushed in mag, released bolt, went to fire, click. No bang.

Hmmm, I have this forward assist thing. Pushed on that. Nothing. Tried trigger again, would not cycle because it had not been reset. Tried charging handle, and stuck. Pulled pretty hard, but no movement.

My guess--handload is not full-length resized. My bad. Did not fully chamber. With the forward assist, I guess I got it stuck worse. Now, how is best way to get it un-stuck?

My plan is to remove lower from upper, try squirting lube up into chamber, past bolt. Then try charging handle again.

Then, may try a wood dowel in the bore, pushing toward breech on the bullet. But that kinda scares me with a live round.

Any other suggestions?
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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I have done it once myself.... would rather push back from the front of the rd rather than messing around with the charging handle near the primer... just m.o.
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:24 PM   #3
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if you go with a dowel to tap out the round do so with extreme caution I recommend that if you do so do it somewhere you don't mind a live round going (like a berm) in a worse case senerio, The dowel is about all I can think of at the moment but im sure someone will have a much better idea then me here shortly
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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use a super really awesome good penetrant like areokroil or something like that and spray down the area around the bolt really well, hopefully it will creep in and kill the primer.
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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Update: the bolt is NOT fully in battery. I discovered this when I went to disassemble. Pulling the rear pin would not allow the upper to pivot forward. The bolt was holding in place--very slightly. Pulling the front pin got it to disassemble, and I can see the bolt sticking out of the receiver by a millimeter or two.

Another idea--put duct tape on the end of a screwdriver or other pry bar (to pad it) and try prying the bolt back. Good idea? Bad idea?
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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Nothing I can think of will get past the crimp and the wax seal... But a dowel, a soft wooden dowel and your face fully protected, outside behind the barn with the action open... Very gently push it back out pointing it at the ground withe the ejection port away from you.

Sounds like a plan to me...
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:37 PM   #7
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Nope, can't think of anything better, get that bolt out of the way, clamp it in a vise, insert rod and start whacking it with a dead hammer or rubber mallet. Primer is at the other end and unless you have an explosive bullet loaded in that thing you aren't going to set it off. might want a piece of leather or hard rubber on the end of the dowel to stop the rod from splitting, if that happens you will say a naughty word and then think "Gee the fun is just starting." Good luck, I hope it comes out easy for you.
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:38 PM   #8
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..except I can't open the action. The extractor is probably caught on the rim.

Had this happen with a 9mm pistol before...it had an external extractor, and I could push it off the rim and retract the slide. Won't work with the extractor covered by the receiver.
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
.except I can't open the action. The extractor is probably caught on the rim.
See ya got it apart , sort of . I dont think your being tough enough on it , smak the charging handle with a soft hammer or

drive a cleaning rod down the barrel ( muzzle to breach ) your going to screw up the threads unless you use a junky rod . , POP , out drops the round . Set up something soft to catch the bolt etc.

NEVER USE THE FORWARD ASSIST

EVER , NEVER .
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:47 PM   #10
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Success! I used the padded screwdriver to pry the bolt back, using the receiver for purchase. Not too hard. Popped out. No marks on receiver or bolt.

And I heard ya, Cloverbuster. No forward assist.
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Old September 2, 2009, 07:49 PM   #11
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BTW, I tried the offending round in my NEF single shot, probably the last rifle that shot that round. Dropped in the chamber. So if the brass was fat, it wasn't 'very' fat.

Maybe I'll mic it with the micrometer....

But it's suppertime. That'll have to wait.

Thanks for all the real-time help, folks. It means a lot to have a knowledgeable resource available.
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Old September 3, 2009, 02:27 PM   #12
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Glad prying on the bolt carrier worked, that is the best way.

But if that fails, DO NOT REPEAT NOT use a wooden dowel. NEVER use a dowel to try to remove a stuck case (or an obstruction in the barrel). The dowel will split and wedge itself in and the situation will be even worse. Use a brass or steel rod with a flat tip (NOT a slotted tip, it will also wedge in) and tap the case out, while pushing rearward on the charging handle. Even if the bullet is pushed down on the powder, nothing will happen.

The forward assist is also known as the jam maker. There is no substitute for a good solid bolt/carrier handle that will take the application of a boot.

Jim
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Old September 3, 2009, 09:46 PM   #13
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Make for double sure the chamber is clean- like scrubbed clean on a fairly reg'lar basis.

Also, before the jam gets compounded further by further action (such as running the wrong objects down the bbl) simply smack the butt on the ground. I know- sounds ugly, but smack the daylights out of it and it'll usually turn loose for ya.
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Old September 3, 2009, 11:34 PM   #14
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I ran into the same problem for the first time at a match. Worked up a new batch of loads, while testing them for a good one, i did notice they seemed kinda tight to pull a live round out, I just thought it was getting dirty and went on my way, after i found the load i wanted, i loaded up 400 rounds, and went to sight in, we have a cold range so no loaded guns, again i noticed they were kinda tight and had to pull pretty good on the charge handle to get them out. After a good cleaning befor the match i thought i was good to go.... nope after the first stage i had a stuck one and it was stuck good, the RO saw what was going on and told me to pull on the charge handle and bang the stock on the ground, i was like huh do what??? so he showed me, poped right out and I didnt bang it even that hard, i was shocked. Well during the rest of the shoot i had to clear this way about 3 or 4 more times on the clock. After i got home i got out the tools and found the shoulders wernt set back far enough on some of them, the ones that were sticking were 2 thousanths to long, i couldnt belive 2 thou was enough to make the gun not go into battery. So now ive got a mess, as last winter i prepped 3500 brass, sized, trimmed, polished and primed. all ready to load, up untill this point all has been great, something on my die or press must have moved or changed during the resize process, as over 1/2 of what i prepped is good to go. so i get to go though this all again and check it out.... stupid 2 thousanths......
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Old September 4, 2009, 03:42 AM   #15
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I'll bite, why not use the FA? I have shot M4's to the point where they were so dirty that you could not pull the charging handle back because the chamber was beyond dirty. I have used the FA to fully seat the round into battery because of a dirty chamber. I do understand that if the pin breaks on the FA your in all sorts of trouble but the FA is there for a reason and it works.

BTW I did this just to prove to my brother that my M4 will function filthy as all get out just like his AK will.
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Old September 4, 2009, 03:08 PM   #16
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I'll bite, why not use the FA? I have shot M4's to the point where they were so dirty that you could not pull the charging handle back because the chamber was beyond dirty. I have used the FA to fully seat the round into battery because of a dirty chamber. I do understand that if the pin breaks on the FA your in all sorts of trouble but the FA is there for a reason and it works.

BTW I did this just to prove to my brother that my M4 will function filthy as all get out just like his AK will.
Saying my Grandpa used to tell me all the time and was a good thing to follow as a maintenance mechanic. "If it don't go in easy it don't belong." He was a mechanic at the Rhinelander Wisconsin paper mill from the time it opened up till he retired 35 years later. If it was hard getting it into the chamber and then doesn't come back out you have a problem. I have an old cleaning rod with a pad on the end and tapped heavily for a quarter of its length I use for cartridges that don't want to come out.

First time I used a wood dowel to get out a stuck but unfired round it was an unmitigated disaster and won't go into details but a few pieces of shoe leather placed on the tip of the dowel and some electrical tape finally cleared the problem without anymore splitting. After that I made a dedicated cleaning rod just for that kind of silliness. Don't need it often but worth its weight in gold when I do.
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Old September 4, 2009, 06:54 PM   #17
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The FA will not just get the bolt closed when the chamber is dirty, it will force the bolt carrier forward on a bent, corroded, or oversize round. There may be times in combat when desperation requires forcing a round into the chamber, but there is no guarantee that in such a case the round will actually fire or that if it does it will extract.

The FA was added as a face saving effort by Army Ordnance. They had tested the AR-15 and rejected it. Ordered by JFK to "reconsider", Ordnance looked around for something that could be changed so they could claim the rifle had been "improved" enough to make it suitable for issue. It took a while to get the FA on line, but the rifle was adopted as the M16 and went on to the "glory" of multitudinous failures in Vietnam. Most were, in fact, due to the ammo and lack of care, not the gun, but a whole generation of GI's learned to distrust it.

Jim
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Old September 4, 2009, 10:10 PM   #18
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I'm glad you got it out, but I'm wondering if anyone ever "butt strokes" their rifles anymore.

When I was wearing BDU's we learned how to stroke the butt of the rifle against the ground or firm object while pushing down on the charging handle to persuade a stubborn round out of the chamber. You can do this on a standard AR-15 or even one with a collapsible stock, as long as you shorten it all the way first.

Is this practice not taught anymore?
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Old September 5, 2009, 12:48 AM   #19
Dave R
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Its taught here are TFL!

And thanks to you all for the combined experience. I'll pack a padded rod, but will use the butt stroke/charge handle first.

BTW, I think it was just that one batch of neck-sized reloads that were fat. I tried a different batch at the range yesterday, and got sub-MOA performance from them. 45 grain Sierra over 26 grains of H335. Its a pet varmit load.

This AR also shoots Wolf ammo to about 1.5-2MOA, and I find that pretty impressive. This is not the lacquered Wolf, its the gray-cased Wolf.

Oh, yeah, the rifle is a DPMS bull 20.
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Old September 6, 2009, 01:47 AM   #20
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Seen this more a few times, the NATO 5.56 is seated further forward to that of the 223 Rem round, common mistake to consider both the same, they are not.

Although you can fire 223 in a NATO chambered rifle NP, just not advised the other way, it will at least give excessive high pressure.
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Old September 13, 2009, 07:21 PM   #21
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If you are shooting handloads..
Some folks do not know that a 223 seater die may have a crimp function built in,and if you run the die in the press to touch off on the shellholder,you may be applying a maximum amount of crimp to your round
This can increase the dia at the shoulder as the case collapses a bit.It can also increase the dia at the neck.

As the bumped up dia's are forced into a tapered chamber,things can get stuck.

Try measuring these dia's against the drawings in your loading manual.Also,try backing your seater die out about the thickness of a penny.
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Old September 14, 2009, 10:38 PM   #22
Dave R
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I'm glad you got it out, but I'm wondering if anyone ever "butt strokes" their rifles anymore.
Had the opportunity to do that at the range today, on another of my handloads.

Quote:
.Also,try backing your seater die out about the thickness of a penny.
Won't that cause the cases to be neck-sized, only, and cause the shoulder to lengthen? I'm not opposed to trying it, but I had heard that was the way to adjust dies to neck size, only. I'm about 99% sure there's no crimping going on, because I adjusted the die for a bolt gun. But I'll double check.
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Old September 15, 2009, 01:14 AM   #23
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You have 2 dies,I expect?
One is the sizer.That is the one that I think you are concerned about.
I am talking about the seater die.That is the one to back up a bit.
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Old September 15, 2009, 11:27 PM   #24
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D'oh. I should've realized that.

Yes, my seater is adjusted for no crimp, but I'll check it again. Its possible that yesterday's stuck case was long, and therefore picked up some crimp.
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Old September 16, 2009, 05:41 PM   #25
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I'll bite, why not use the FA?
Let me relay an experience. When I was a youngster, a friend got his 2-wheel drive truck stuck. He had it towed out, then went and traded it in on a four-wheel drive truck. Then he told us all "Now I'll never get stuck!" A wise elder smiled and told him, "Nah, 4WD just gets you stuck a whole lot deeper."

Didn't take too long to find out that he was right

I would use the forward assist if someone was shooting at me, I was down to my last round and it wouldn't chamber. Absent all of those conditions, I'd eject that round and try another.

Because I've seen the forward assist work just like 4WD. And I think the OP knows exactly what I mean
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