Wednesday, September 18, 2013

AR15 Functioning- the ins and outs of feeding your AR15

“Hey Blog Sarge, you sure tried to make short barrels sound as good as long ones in your last blog. You a little defensive about short barrels, or what?”

On my last blog, I made a strong case, or at least I hope I did, of why a short barrel is just as good for most normal shooting as a long barrel. 

Still, I will press on and probe the issue of AR15 reliability, or, as I like to call it, the ins and outs of feeding your AR.

Bear in mind that the gun only needs to do two basic types of actions once the round has gone pop, it needs to; 1)extract and eject the spent case then 2)feed and chamber a new round from the magazine.

Basically, if your AR15 is fed good ammo and is maintained well, failures will be as common as short songs by Phish; it will pretty much not fail you. If it does, either due to failing to extract/eject or failing to feed/chamber, here are some questions to ponder. While not a definitive list of causes, these are the ones I have seen the most and will get you started.

-Are your magazine lips deformed, possibly from a hard drop?
-Is the magazine follower sticking?
-Is the bolt clean? (Be honest, is it really clean? Even on the rear of it?)
-Is your chamber clean?
-Do you have the right amount of lube, neither too much nor too little? (ARs often like to run wet but too much can also gum up things)
-Is your gas tube clean?
-Is your gas key clean?

Let’s talk about the last two, the gas system. An obstructed gas tube and/or gas key can lead to failures and the gun will look fine. I have seen nice, clean guns that would neither reliably eject nor feed. The cause was an obstructed gas system. The original AR platform relies on the gases flowing through the tube, into the gas key and into the bolt carrier. If that gets compromised it will render the weapon unreliable

How to go about correcting the above issues is often obvious, (clean the darn thing) so I will not go further into it here. But, if you have a problem you can’t figure out, feel free to stop in and chat. Bring your rifle and we can look it over. Case it and we will clear it at the counter then see if we can spot anything.

If your rifle needs a good cleaning we can do that. We also offer ultrasonic cleaning for hard to reach areas. We’re happy to help diagnose problems.  If you want us to clean it, ask for an estimate on shop time rates and we’ll have it spiffed up nicely when you pick it up.

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