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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 4/13/2006 12:09:04 PM EST
What kind of failure have you had with your ARs and what were the causes?

I have 4 ARs in the safe now, and I have 2 more on the way. I have owned 4 others which I have traded away (I am a notorious horse trader). Of the ARs that I have, I only have one which I have never fired (scheduled for this Saturday). Of the others here is a list of problems that I have had:

1. Post Ban Bushmaster A3/AK break (traded): No failures. This gun worked flawlessly for over 3,000 rounds before I traded it. Hindsight:

2. No Ban Bushmaster M4 type (traded): No failures. I only put about 100 rounds through this one before I traded it. Didn't like the 6 pos telestock or the 14.5" barrel.

3. M4 build on an RRA lower: 2 failures. First the rubber stopper on the carbine buffer came out because it was not secured by a roll pin (this also caused the insert in the buffer to come out, making it impossible to cycle the action) and second gun was failing to extract due to fact that the insert for the extractor spring was missing. I replaced the buffer with a buffer that has the rubber stopper secured by a roll pin and I replaced the extractor spring. I fired another 60 rounds (before the range closed) and the gun did not have another problem.

4. A2 carbine on an RRA Lower with an FN refurbished upper (traded): 1 failure due to carrier key coming loose on a brand new bolt carrier. This was when I learned about staking the carrier keys.

5. A2 carbine on an Oly Lower with a Tromix upper: 1 failure to to the carrier key coming loose on a STAKED carrier. The bolt was a Colt bolt and the carrier key was staked. It still came loose though, so I replaced the bolt carrier. Need to retest.

6. Colt SP1 (traded): Got it in a trade and never fired it. I hear it is doing well with it's new owner though.

7. SP1 clone on an Oly lower with Colt SP1 upper: Haven't fired this one yet. Scheduled for this weekend.

8. .499 LWR upper on an Ameetec .458 SOCOM lower: I have fired this gun 3 times, 30 rounds each time (3 mags). For some reason this gun has 1 FTE every time I fire it, and then works flawlessly for the rest of the time. It may be due to the ammo being a little on the old side.

Of the guns that I have had problems with, they have all been someone else's builds and I have been able to resolve the problems myself with a couple of minor tweeks. However, in the future any thing that I pick up will be either a complete factory rifle or a complete factory upper. I currently have an all factory Bushmaster on the way and a Cavarms lower that I will be ordering a factory Bushmaster upper for.

I will say this though, the problems that I have had have taught me quite a bit about ARs and how they function.

I'll say this too...my HK SL8-1 has never given me a single problem and I have put at about 350 rounds through it since picking it up in trade. It may only hold 10 rounds, but I know that it will shoot 'em all!
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 12:45:16 PM EST
I had a double feed with a Colt Competition Lower and LE6520 upper. Was caused by a wore out Orlite mag I got for free that I was using for a range mag. Had +/- 2500rnds through that upper. Mostly Wolf with the exception of a few hundred rounds of WWB .223 40rnd packs.

I dont' care how much people put Wolf down. It's been nothing but reliable for me. I'll take the extra 2 mins cleaning time to get the extra carbon fouling.

My current AR...Colt factory LE6920 has 0 malfunctions. Only problem I've had is when bumpfiring from the shoulder the hammer sometimes follows the carrier down. No biggie as bumping is just a "fun" thing and it functions 100% any other time. It did have a bent gas tube from factory though. Flat head screwdriver and a little twist straightened it right out. Funny thing is it wasn't from the barrel extension or anything...must have just been a slightly out of spec tube...
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 12:46:33 PM EST
I have not had a failure YET, now that I say that I will probably have one pretty soon
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 12:55:58 PM EST
Failure to feed...... the ammo hungry thing enough

No AR failures yet other than a couple of old mag problems.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 12:57:19 PM EST
Not really a failure, but my rra 2-stage did a 2 round burst firing in the prone position...
All I remember was that I was sqeezing the trigger VERY slowly for that shot(s). Either it suprised me and bounced on my shoulder, or I hit a weird sweet spot in the trigger. I dunno.
Still works fine though, hasnt happened again.
at least 1k or 2k through it (estimate).
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:04:26 PM EST
A worn out extractor. This little POS had me stumped for weeks and I checked out and replaced all sorts of things before re-checking the extractor and concluding that it was in fact, a worn out extractor. Wouldn't grip the shell casing through ejection which led to all sorts of jams. It was such a simple fix, but was very frustrating to troubleshoot when I first concluded the extractor was OK. There were some replaced springs, a D-Fender and new gas rings installed before going back to the beginning all over again.

All the rest were attributable to ammo such as:

"Huh, my trigger is froze. WTF? I pay $150 for a 2-stage trigger & it's so damn finnicky?! What the hells the point in it?!"

Voice of reason says: "Oh, see that there? That'd be a piece of a primer stuck under your trigger, right there..."

"Well, I'll be a SOB! It works fine!"

Or mags such as:

"WTF! Why is this thing doublefeeding or not feeding at all! What a piece of crap!!! Why would a ~$1,000 weapon malf like such a worthless POS?!"

Voice of reason says: "Oh, you see that bargain magazine you either bought used? (or aftermarket) Yeah the one that cost you what, like $5? That is the reason your ~$1,000 rifle is more like a highly overpriced club. Your rifle is fine, it's you magazine that's a POS. Try a new or proven USGI mag..."

"Well, I'll be a SOB! It works fine!"

Luckily aside from the extractor, the rest was learned during my teen years.

Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:07:58 PM EST
my colt 20" when it had less than 200rds thru it short stroked on wolf ammo, it's at a lower impulse. It only short stroked 3 or 4 times and that was in 02, since then I've shot wolf and I've yet to have a short stroke since, I mainly shoot q3131 and 3131a and the only problem I have with them is they disappear out of my mag too fast
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:15:38 PM EST
Now that I read the title again, you state "Failures"... If broken includes failures I'll have to add:

Broken trigger guard. (Obviously the POS plastic sort from BFI)

Chipped firing pin tip.

Worn disconnectors. (One or two I guess)

And this one time, my Dad had a magazine dump 17 rounds out the bottom. Also the floor plate retaining ears spontaneously failed. Hell, the rounds fell out at such a rapid rate that a few of the shell cases even flattened. Upon further inspection, the ejector failed too. Along with a couple of bolt lugs, and another extractor. Worse was the gun was locked up solid cause the carrier nearly fell apart in halves lengthwise. Oh, that was all due to a catsrophic failure of the reloader nut which was connected to the trigger nut which was connected to a squib load which was obviously connected to the KB.

Like I said above, mostly I learned these tricks in my teen years, mostly. Luckily for me, the rifle didn't belong to me and the trigger nut was none other than my own Dad. He taught me best by example.

Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:19:02 PM EST
Absolutely Nothing.

Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:28:43 PM EST
compass lake cmp rifle-6400rds no fail , bushy dissy 1994 model 11000rds case failure twice
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:36:39 PM EST
Short stroking out of one of my uppers. I think there's a gas leak b/c there's a unhealthy amount of carbon etc. where the gas tube and gas block meet. Every other one has been fine as long as i feed it good ammo...
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:38:50 PM EST
Fail to Fire - Bad lot of ammo
Fail to Feed - Bad steel mags
Double Feed - "
Broken Bolt - High Round Count
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:52:44 PM EST
Armalite M15A2- Had some mag issues early on and a couple of Double Feeds

Bushmaster M4 type- During break in I had several problems, Double Feeds and Short Strokes, poped primer which jammed up my trigger all with xm193 and Q3131(not sure which, A or other)

Now they both run flawlessly...

...YES, even with Wolf
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 1:57:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2006 8:18:11 PM EST by Buck_Naked]
This one was interesting, although attributed to an ammo failure rather than an outright malfunction... it
definately required a transition to a secondary though...

Boxed XM-193, I believe lot #101, but not 100% sure on that.

I have also had some random failure to feeds during some high round count/high repetiton classes, and one failure to eject leading to a double feed a round being fed into the chamber while the unextracted fired casing is partially blocking the chamber. (ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=277653)
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 2:00:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2006 2:02:20 PM EST by ALPHAGHOST]
Mega 1 build, A1 upper (colt, bought used): 7 FTEs--confirmed problem w/ broken extractor
Mega 2 build, A3 upper (self build): 0 failures w/ gun; 1 FTE-- wolf failed to extract--caught in chamber
Bushmaster: 0 problems w/ gun; FTF w/ bushy 10rnd banned mags
Mega 3 build, A3 RRA middy upper: 0 problems

Total combined rounds: ~2K+, with most of it Wolf
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 3:08:56 PM EST
With the 4 Bushmasters I have, NONE!! Though they probably only have about 4,000 rounds through each one of them.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 3:20:52 PM EST
Rear take down pin detent cracked causing it to feel gritty and difficult to pop the pin. I fixes d it by removing it, turnign it around to use the other side of the detent. works fine now.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 3:54:01 PM EST
I had one upper with an out of spec gas tube that caused much short stroking. I am still waiting for my warranty replacement because the dealer wanted me to get a new one rather than giving me the repaired one.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 4:19:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 4:36:55 PM EST
I have only had one and it was ammo related not the Ar's fault.

I had 200rds of IMI M193 from 1982 and it was loaded extremely hot. After a few shots the whole B/BC would completely lock up. The cases where getting tears at their base and it would leave tiny pieces of brass inside the upper which after a few shots was enough to lock everything up. It was a real pain in the ass the the apart, definetly was not a fun range day. Never had a problem before or since (this all happened about a year ago)
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 4:46:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 5:24:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2006 5:27:39 PM EST by ruggerwterrets]
The only failure Ive had was a complete failure to feed caused by a bad magazine that should have been rebuilt ten years ago. The spring was really weak and the bolt would skip over the next round and the chamber would be left empty. I got really confused because I had just gone to burst when it happened, and I was like "wtf? I could have sworn I just went to burst!"

Btw this was with an M16 at drill, for all you Ban All The Fun agents who might think I have something I shouldnt. I'm kind of, you know, in the Army (National Guard). Sometimes, I'm ALLOWED to play with the cool stuff.

Of course, I havent been shooting these things very much or for very long, give me 20 years and Ill get back to you.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 5:40:10 PM EST
All of mine have been operator error.

Failure to fire. (safety on)

Failure to fire. (forgot to release bolt)

Failure to fire. (bolt locked back on empty magazine)

Failure to hit target. (improper sight alignment)

Rifle injures hand. (don’t grab a hot barrel.)

My AR is a lot more reliable than I am. (Seriously in about 1-2K rounds over the last 10 years I don’t remember a single hiccup from my AR-15.)
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 6:50:09 PM EST
2 failures to feed using cheap reloads on a well used SP1. Good to go for the last however many hundred rounds.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 7:39:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2006 7:44:31 PM EST by wrhk33]
Colt Govt. carbine lower. Colt flat top M-4 upper assembly. Colt bolt and carrier.
Less than 1000 rounds fired. Started to short stroke when 30+ rounds were fired starting with a cold weapon.
Checked carrier key first and it appeared fine. After many tries at finding the problem with no luck
I went to remove the key out of desperation. I went to unscrew the key screws and the head turned but the forward screw did not back out. The screw had sheared right where it goes into the carrier.
That was the problem. The rear screw held the key tight enough so the key did not move while checking it by hand. As the key would heat up it moved enough to allow gas to leak out and cause short stroke. My guess is that the silencer I used for about 100rds caused excessive pressure on the screw. If it was not that then I don't know why it broke.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 7:45:49 PM EST
I have an AR by Norinco... They call it a CQ311
Zero failure in ... I dunno how many rounds. I must have fired at least 5 thousand rounds of various brands of ammo thru it so far.
Oh, once the roll pin that holds the charging handle latch fell out and 'boing" i lost the spring... 'replaced it with a spring out of a ball point pen and installed a ew pin....
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 7:46:02 PM EST
Of the top of my head, two or three stuck bolts, two cases where the key mangled/stuck to the gas tube, more than a dozen incidents of short stroking, trigger failure.....thats all I can think of.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 7:47:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2006 7:47:48 PM EST by BenDover]
My most common is failure to extract from loose gas key. After I bought a torque wrench, the problem went away.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 7:55:24 PM EST
So it sounds like I've had an abnormal amount of problems.

I just hope that I don't have any more with my RRA M4 type. I think I've got them all worked out with that one though.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 8:15:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By Thuban:
All of mine have been operator error.

Failure to fire. (safety on)

Failure to fire. (forgot to release bolt)

Failure to fire. (bolt locked back on empty magazine)

Failure to hit target. (improper sight alignment)

Rifle injures hand. (don’t grab a hot barrel.)

My AR is a lot more reliable than I am. (Seriously in about 1-2K rounds over the last 10 years I
don’t remember a single hiccup from my AR-15.)

I am guilty of that one. It had been a long time since I shot and it was snowing. My mind was not on hot. My wife got a good laugh out of that one. It was good I had gloves on.

I have not had any problems with my Five ARs. My Bushmaster V.S. does not like the fancy tipped Tap ammo. Gets hung up, I quess becase there is no ramps?
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 8:19:13 PM EST
Oh yeah, my brother was shooting one of my rifles and had a rim ripped off of a round.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 8:20:21 PM EST
1. primer hole not drilled, jammed the bolt up pretty bad.

2. Broken bolt and FTE on the same round with wolf, I think this was due to ammo.

This is in about 1500 rounds of shooting.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:53:12 PM EST
The only malfunctions I get have been FTFs using Wolf. Less frewuent since I got a new hammer spring. No mechanical failures so far in ~10k rounds.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 11:27:23 PM EST
Bushmaster 20inch: no problems Over 3000 rds
Bushmaster lower with colt 16inch slim barrel upper : 0 problems 500 rds
Bushmaster LEO 16inch: 0 problems 200 rds

I am seeing a pattern
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 11:36:24 PM EST
Oh yeah, I have popped a few dozen primers due to bad frange too. Also caused failure to feed, failure to return to battery, etc.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 1:23:06 AM EST
My AR's have failed in many areas.

1. They have failed to get me laid.

2. They have failed to pay for themselves by making their own ammo.

3. They have failed to learn how to clean themselves properly.

4. They have failed to reach that peanut butter jar on the top shelf.

5. They have failed to warm up to Office Space, even though we watch it together weekly.

AR's really are a problematic rifle.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 1:23:29 AM EST
Had a castle nut on a collapsible stock that I put on myself come loose, out popped the detent pin spring. Failure was my part.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 3:18:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By swingset:
My AR's have failed in many areas.

1. They have failed to get me laid.

2. They have failed to pay for themselves by making their own ammo.

3. They have failed to learn how to clean themselves properly.

4. They have failed to reach that peanut butter jar on the top shelf.

5. They have failed to warm up to Office Space, even though we watch it together weekly.

AR's really are a problematic rifle.

all of my guns are mutts. i don't have a single "factory built" AR15, and i have had only one problem so far.

on my most recent build, i popped in a [brand new] loaded mag and hit the bolt release. round didn't chamber. hit the foreward assist, popped in, never had that "problem" again. besieds, i wouldn't even really classify that as a problem anyhow. it was just a bunch of new parts that heeded to be used a little.

Link Posted: 4/14/2006 4:48:27 AM EST
Here is my feedback...

Bought a brand new RRA NM rifle and it went through about 1400 rounds without a single failure of any kind. Only used Black Hills Blue box target ammunition.

Bought a Cruiser 16" from ADCO and so far it had 90 rounds without a singel failure of any kind. Also Black Hills Blue box ammo used.

Link Posted: 4/14/2006 4:50:37 AM EST
the only failures I have had were ammo related...
My MT6601 ran fine
my XM15E2S ran fine
my M4 Mutt runs fine
my SP2 runs fine
my DPMS runs fine
no issues to report that are not ammo related.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 4:51:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 5:02:59 AM EST
My Colt R6830 (7.62x39) has mag problems a lot - then again there are no good mags available except the now hard to find USA frankenmags. I almost got it to fire a complete 30rd mag with the upper on my mg lower once.

Also, My AR10 has issues, but I won't elaborate because I have yet to return it to Armalite (just haven't found the time to box it up and ship it). I need to get on that.

Otherwise, no failures that I can remember from any of my AR15's, over a period of about 25 years and many thousands of rounds, whether factory built or "gus" built. Avoiding crappy mags and cheap junk parts has worked out well for me.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 6:14:39 AM EST
I had a FTF due to out of spec ammo.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 6:34:15 AM EST
1. Bushmaster AK/A3, bought in mid 1990s when they came out: Had an improperly staked gas key and the barrel was not indexed right which equals sights with crazy windgage to get it sighted in. Bushmaster made it right but I later sold it.

2. Homebrew J&T post ban M4/A3 HB kit on DPMS receiver I built from parts. No malfunctions yet. Shot probably 1,000 rounds through it in this configuaration without issue.

3. Same lower as above but with CMMG MOD4 14.5" barrel with perm. flash supressor no-ban mode. No issues, only several hundred rounds through it. Sold upper and put back into post ban mode for trips to NY.

4. Colt 6920. Close to 5,000 rounds now. All issues are either ammo or magazine related. All but one failure occurred in a class because of either operator error (not seating the magazine the whole way) or from one case of Wolf stuck in the chamber causing a double feed. Otherwise this thing is 100%. Had one round of Black Hills where the case separated but it was no biggie.

5. Colt 6520. No problems, maybe 1,000 rounds at this time.

6. Homebrew M16A4 copy off of a Stag lower with Stag/CMT parts kit and a MOS 20" A4 upper M16 bolt carrier from G&R Tactical. Runs 100% on all ammo but Wolf. Does not like Wolf at all. Otherwise at 100% with any other ammo with maybe 2,000 rounds down the pipe.

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