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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 1/19/2002 12:40:19 PM EST
Hello all,

I am a long time reader, but new to posting on this board. I am from N. Ark., age 43, male, and love to shoot and hunt.

I have a problem that I can not seem to get worked out, and want to see what my best route to go might be, and this might be the place to get an honest answer.

I have an Essential Arms lower that I built in '93 with a collapsable stock. The upper is a pre-ban 16 inch HB that was bought from a company called Nessard in '93. Ever since I put this rifle together, it has a FTF problem. The bolt will ride up over the round in the mag, and push it up to where it hits the feedramp, and then it jams. It does this from both sides of the mag. I can't hardly shoot a 20 round mag without jams. The mags are Colt 20 and Adventureline 30 rounders. All of these mags work fine in my pre ban Colt R6700 flat top, as well as the same loads.

The load is 27.0 gr Win 748, 55 gr fmjbt, win primers, OAL 2.23, mil. brass. I also shoot Remington factory loaded 55 gr fmj's (not UMC) and get the same problem. I am not an AR expert, and have checked and double checked everything I know of. The bolt and all are clean and lubed, the chamber is clean, the rings are not lined up on the bolt, etc. I have lost all confidence in this rifle. Where the bolt carrier key goes over the end of the gas tube, it all looks OK to my untrained eyes. The collapsable stock doesn't seem to be screwed in too far. (These are all things that I was told to check). I have had this problem since I built the rifle, and it has set in the safe for years. My Colt is 100% reliable. I have decided to either get it running right, or get rid of it. It probably hasn't had more than a few hundred rounds through it.

I took it to a couple of local shops on Friday to see what they would give me for it. Both offered $750 toward anything in the shop. One had an Armalite .223 20" flattop (A4 style) and a 16" Bushy flattop (XM15A2 M3 I think) that I liked that I could get for about $100 difference. The other shop had a 20" A2 Bushy that he would go even trade on, and a AR10 A4 that I fell in love with, and would go $700 difference. I am thinking about trading, because I feel that if I get one of the "factory" guns, it would probably be 100% reliable. But at the same time, I don't want to get ripped off on my preban. Being that it is a "parts" gun, I am not sure what it is worth. That is the excuse the gun shops are giving for the $750 price, compared to maybe double that for a matching preban.

Any suggestions? What would you do if it was yours? Keep it and try to get it working and rebuild confidence in it, trade it for a factory gun, or get the new gun and keep this one for a while? As I said, I already have a R6700 and a Mini-14 in .223 also, but I am wanting another flattop. If you got the new gun, what would be the best of the 3 .223's above? I like the flattop, but could put the handle mounted scope on the A2. I have about $1000 to spend, and that puts the AR10 just a little out of range. But, OHHHHH, it is SO SWEET!!!! I know mags are a little expensive, but I shoot Glocks and know about high priced mags.

I am going to post a couple of pics to let you see what the FTF problem looks like. The lighting wasn't the best, maybe you can see enough to tell what is happening.

Thanks all for any replies.



Link Posted: 1/19/2002 1:05:16 PM EST
Have you tried the pictured upper on another lower?
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 1:19:49 PM EST
Try heavier buffer/weaker recoil spring....
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 1:28:57 PM EST
If you do try and sell it, sell them seperately, I bet you can get 700 bucks just for the lower alone.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 4:33:08 PM EST
I have not tried this upper on another lower, do not know anyone else that has one I can try it on. I didn't think it would fit my Colt, might give it a try and see what happens. I might check around and see if I can find someone that has a lower I can try it on.

Link Posted: 1/19/2002 5:41:36 PM EST
Does it FTF when the charging handle is pulled and released too or just when it cycles after a fired round?
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 6:24:32 PM EST

It has FTF everyonce in a while on manual charging, but not very often. 99% of the FTF's are in live fire.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 6:37:22 PM EST
When my Olympic was doing that it was because of crappy gunshow reloads. I found accumulated carbon on the mating surfaces of the bolt assembley that added up to several thousandths of an inch. The tube on the top of the bolt that matches up with the gas tube was loose and out of alignment also. Fixed the loose part at the same time that I changed ammo so it could have been a combination of the two. I am no expert either so good luck.
Link Posted: 1/20/2002 1:15:19 AM EST
Just a guess, but maybe things are a little out of spec and the magazine is sitting a smidgen too low. Thus the bolt sometimes jumps over a round.

Try comparing where the bolt is relative to the magazine in this rifle compared to your Colt. Specifically, look at where the bolt first touches the base of the top-most cartridge in the mag in the two guns.

I’d be real reluctant to sell a pre-ban - just on principle.
Link Posted: 1/20/2002 8:04:47 AM EST
I've been reading a lot on this site over the last couple of days about this type of FTF. I am going to take it out to the range today and see if I can spot some tof the things that were mentioned (feedramp, mag problem etc). Going to look it over REAL close and see if something really stands out. One thing that caught my eye was the posts about the M4 feed ramp type cut (modification). Maybe the feed ramp needs to be checked out where the bullet hits it.

If anything stands out, I'll check back in this afternoon.

Thanks for the replies so far.

Link Posted: 1/20/2002 9:31:04 AM EST
Bob, in 1991-1992, I used to build a lot of AR-15s on Olympic/PWA lowers using Nessard parts kits for a local FFL (Aside to general public: if you bought one of these I'm really sorry since we really did think we knew what we were doing at the time).

The Nessard kits are just a big grab bag of parts and range from decent stuff to stuff that is out of spec. My bet is that the problem is with your upper and not with your pre-ban lower. You'd be better off buying a pre-assembled complete upper from a reputable manufacturer than selling that rifle for $750.

However, if you decide you've just got to get rid of it, drop me a line at chuangtzu2@hotmail.com first. I'll definitely beat $750 on that rifle if just the lower is in good condition.
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