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Posted: 6/6/2002 9:44:07 AM EST
I was at the Buffalo Range in Ottawa today, blasting away at the pit, when I pull the trigger and nothing happens.  I'd been shooting some real cheap reloads I got a couple years ago, trying to get rid of them. An occasional dud, but mostly they go bang.

So I figured it was a dud, and I go to pull the charging handle to rack another round in, and it's STUCK.  It moves about 1/2 inch back and that's it.  I looked through the ejection port and I see the bolt carrier moved about 3/4" back from fully forward, the bolt is sticking out of the carrier, but not in battery.  I can see the locking lugs on the bolt, and they're in the lugs on the chamber, but not locked in. It's like the bolt started coming back (or going forward) and stopped.  

So I took the upper off, having to move it forward and off because the bolt carrier's sticking into the stock.  The carrier won't move. I can't get the charging handle out because it won't move back far enough.  Short of sticking a cleaning rod down the barrel and banging, any ideas?
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 9:55:13 AM EST
First off, carefully put a cleaning rod down the barrel to measure whether there is a live round in there or not.  If there's a live one in there, you need to be aware of it, and to be sure to exercise a lot more caution.

If there's no round in there, use the rod to try and knock the bolt/carrier loose.  Gently tap it, don't hammer on it.  I've had a similar problem with a 7.62 upper which had a stuck case because of roughness in the chamber which caused the case to stick.  A few short taps with a rod and it just came loose.

If you have a live one in there, point it in a safe direction, and turn the upper upside down.  Get a small hammer and maybe a screwdriver to the underside of the carrier - try tapping against the carrier shelf at the rear of the carrier.  Use a few light taps in a rearward direction to try and break it loose.  Its probably not stuck by much - I've seen similar problems, but it seems really stuck in there because you can't pull it out merely by the charging handle.  Just be extremely careful if there's a live one in there. Since the upper has been separated from the lower it should be fine, but don't take it for granted.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 10:27:13 AM EST
$10 you have a live round in the chamber.

I agree with the above...you're gonna have to do some tapping.

Link Posted: 6/6/2002 10:45:59 AM EST
Actually, I'm guessing it's an empty shell.  I don't think the bolt coming forward under pressure from the recoil spring would be enough to jam it up the way it is - I think it got jammed trying to kick the empty loose, not trying to chamber a new round.  

At least, that's what I'm desperately hoping.  
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 11:23:28 AM EST
It sounds like you have a round in there. Reason because you say "when I pull the trigger and nothing happens." Then you say " So I figured it was a dud."

So be very careful and try tapping from the bolt. Like every one said it doesn't sound like a real problem. If you stick something in the barrel I use a very long wooden Dowel rod I got at Home Depot. It works real good for things like that.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 11:30:48 AM EST
Well, we'll find out tonight.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 11:34:12 AM EST
Every time (twice) this has happened to me, where the bolt carrier will neither go forward or retract, it has been that the bolt cam thingy is binding in the channel.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 12:07:09 PM EST

Every time (twice) this has happened to me, where the bolt carrier will neither go forward or retract, it has been that the bolt cam thingy is binding in the channel.

How did you know it was that?  After you get it un-stuck, is there something to look for that would tell you that it had been stuck?  Maybe some brass shavings got in the channel and bound it up.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 12:26:38 PM EST
I've had this happen before...

The Cause:  A poped primer - the primer popped out of the previous round and was left in the upper.  Somehow it got stuck near the bolt carrier.  (I've had one stuck near the bolt carrier, and another get lodged in the fire-control parts.  The BC one is MUCH nastier).

Very difficult to remove without tools.  One thing you can try is to put the rifle in your trunk and drive around on rough rounds (not too rough) for 30 minutes or so. My rifle was locked up at the range - I mean I was SMASHING it on the cement pad to get the bolt back.  But a 30 minute drive home loosened it up so the rifle just slid open slick as CLP (and the mushed primer fell out)... I suspect the vibrations from the driver loosened the primer and it moved to a new location.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 12:28:01 PM EST
Addition to my last post: "....and this is why we don't use reloads...."

(though to be fair the ammo was a bad batch of factory ammo - I had several poped primers from it).
Link Posted: 6/7/2002 4:50:33 AM EST
Okay, it's fixed.  

edpmedic, there was a live round in there.  I checked with a cleaning rod before I messed with it.  I wasn't too worried about it going off, though, because the bolt wasn't in battery and the firing pin was moving freely.  

I ended up sticking a screwdriver in the back of the bolt carrier where it stuck out of the back of the upper.  I applied just a little pressure against the block containing the hole for the pin that holds on the back of the upper, and the carrier slid back, with the bolt, and pulled the round out with it.  

No evidence of a loose primer in there, and no indication of why it stuck in the first place.  Seems to be funcioning fine now.

Thanks to all who responded with their ideas.  
Link Posted: 6/7/2002 5:41:50 AM EST
I'm wondering why nobody suggested the field expedient method of clearing a stuck case? The one that should be used in a combat situation.
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