View Full Version : AR-15 Bolt Assembly Issues

August 11, 2010, 11:42 PM
I've got a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 and I am having an issue with the Bolt Assembly. The Extractor Pin is a lot harder than it should be to remove and replace when disassembling/reassembling. I thought that it was an issue that would resolve itself over time, but after about 3 or so months of owning this rifle, and about 500 rounds through it, it has not.

I remember my M4/M16 in the service to not be this difficult, and my M&P requires pliers to hold the Extractor down in place to start it, and something to tap the Extractor Pin back in place. Disassembling requires the same amount of effort.

Any insight into this issue would be greatly appreciated.

August 12, 2010, 12:32 AM
Do you have a D-Fender or Crane O-ring? That can make the extractor real stiff.

August 12, 2010, 12:40 AM
Honestly, I am not sure. How can I tell the difference?

August 12, 2010, 09:51 AM
The spring and rubber insert inside the extractor is all you should find there. If there is any o rings or other nonsense on the outside of the extractor spring, remove it and throw it away.

Old service M-16s should have had all of those weaker springs and soft inserts upgraded by now. There is just one spring and insert for M16s and M4s now... (the black insert). You should still be able to squeeze the back of the extractor with your fingers to release the pin... even with the new, stiffer spring/insert combo.

August 12, 2010, 11:48 AM
There was an O ring present in the setup. It was part of the cause of the issue, it now seats easier than before but it still a little stiff. I can live with that though.

Thank you.

August 12, 2010, 12:52 PM
Why are you removing the extractor for regular cleaning? I have AR's that I've shot for years w/o total disassembly of the extractor/ejector. Just a soak in Hoppes and a squirt of CLP once in a while. SIL did two tours in Iraq and they weren't even allowed to strip the bolt unless there was a malfunction and then the weapon had to go to the armorer.

August 12, 2010, 01:02 PM
The way I was taught to clean a weapon and the way I became accustomed to. During inspection of our rifles when we would finish cleaning them, that was an area they would check. I no longer clean it every time I take it out to shoot, but I clean it once a month as I do with my other firearms, regardless of how ofter I fire them. I do a general cleaning after use, and then a monthly cleaning.

August 12, 2010, 01:11 PM
There's no question that you should remove and inspect the extractor every cleaining.... Not that the gun won't run for thousands of rounds without cleaining... as mentioned, you can inspect parts and catch problems before they turn into breakage.