Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 12/16/2005 12:34:14 PM EDT
I live near Portland and I am pretty sure that my rifle short strokes. It happens periodically and with little regard to whether it is clean or if I have fired a few mags through it. However, it is really frustrating to have spent big money on a new rifle that is not 100% reliable. I have purchased new mags thinking that the mags might be the problem but the last time I took it out, it still was giving me hell and it was clean with new mags.

I'm using Wolf 55 JHP and I've read several threads with people indicating that the ammo is loaded to lighter PSIs in the chamber, but I want this rifle to shoot anything that I run through it. I agree with one author that stated that most troubled rifles might cycle match ammo fairly reliably but Wolf is within the AR-15 parameters and I want to resolve any problems that I have with my gun before the next PR match at TCGC.

I am hoping that there is some expert out there nearby that can diagnose my rifle's problem so that I can get back to shooting instead of cycling my rifle by hand. Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 12:44:19 PM EDT
I built one AR that won't cycle AT ALL with Wolf! You need to remove the front sight and enlarge the gas port, I just haven't done it yet on mine.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 1:06:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 1:07:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 1:08:22 PM EDT by NoAim]
Dave,

How many rounds do you have through your rifle. The gas port will enlarge on it's own after time.

So you're sure it short strokes. In other words, it goes back far enough to reset the hammer, but not enough to strip a round out of the mag?

If that's the case, you either need more gas, or less buffer/spring. Or make sure the gas tube and bolt are marrying well.

Otherwise, I'm out of ideas.

Also, if you can't figure it out, or don't want to do amateur gunsmithing, you can either contact the manufacturer to fix it, or try Shane at Phoenix Armory.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 2:43:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 2:52:35 PM EDT by davesmith74]
First off, thanks for your replys.

My AR is Colt Sporter with a 20" HBAR barrel. I believe from my reading that it is an A2 model with a fixed handrail. (Since I'm new to AR's, it seemed to me from reading the troubleshooting section that the A1s and A2 function differently)

I've also tried different ammo and certainly other ammo works pretty good but still it does tend to short stroke. However, if it is testy with ammo then I will always doubt its reliability and that is not what I want to be doing at a match. My cousin and I were out shooting our ARs a few weeks ago and he was shooting the same ammo with no reliability problems at all. In fact, his rifle (also a Colt Sporter) threw the brass about 5 feet farther. After a brief inspection, our bolts and actions appear to be identical yet his rifle functioned a lot better.

To reply to noaim's response, I believe that it is short stroking although I have not done the excercise that Tweek listed on the main troubleshooting page. I plan to do that next week. So I can't be sure, but from the other problems that people identify elsewhere, it seems to me that my rifle is acting like it is short stroking.

What happens is that my rifle ejects the spent case and the bolt does not retract far enough to catch the next round. So, I sqeeze the trigger and the hammer drops on an empty chamber. I have to rack the action and a few rounds later it happens again. It gets substantially worse if it is cold out or if I do not clean it about every 4 magazines. If I clean it every 4 magazines it works okay but if it's cold it then it happens about every 5 rounds. I purchased new magazines thinking that older springs might be misplacing the round so that the bolt misses it. But even with new magazines it still happens fairly regularly. It also happens throughout a magazine regardless of how full the magazine still is. Meaning, it doesn't matter if it is the first few rounds out or the last few, it still does not cycle right.

The bolt key and their screws appear to be tight. There does not appear that there is any fouling along the length of the bolt indicating that there may be some kind of obstruction. Also I have shot probably a thousand rounds or more through it.

I did notice that the last time I took off my front hand guard that at the point where the gas tube meets the FSB there was some powder residue on the barrel. There wasn't very much so, I'm wondering if that is normal or if there might be a problem there?

Lastly, there is powder residue around the bolt inside the action. It is my understanding that gas travels through the key, into the carrier forcing the bolt to unlock, cycle, and then bleed out the ports on the ejection port side. If that is the case, should there be residue around the bolt?

Thanks for your suggestions.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 3:06:12 PM EDT
Well, I think it sounds like it's not getting enough gas.

If the rifle was bought new, I would first contact Colt about it. They may fix it under warranty.

If that's not an option, try Shane at Phoenix Armory.

And with an AR...residue gets EVERYWHERE.

I am unfortunately not as familiar with the internals of an AR as I should be.

- Gas Key
- Gas Rings
- Front Sight Block

Are the buzzwords here.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 3:42:43 PM EDT

Is this a NIB rifle?
A modified (in any way) rifle?
A used (and possibly modified) rifle?


Link Posted: 12/16/2005 4:13:21 PM EDT
Check the gas rings first, make sure the gaps aren't lined up......this has happened twice to me with "new" out of the box rifles.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:11:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 9:43:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 9:44:47 PM EDT by Q-Man]
My first AR15 did the same thing when it was new. (It was a Bushmaster). Now it works perfectly. All I needed was better ammo while I was in the break-in period.

1) Get GOOD ammo.

1a) Wolf is crappy ammo unless your rifle is already broken in and you don't care about accuracy.

1b) Try not to get the under-loaded weak commercial ammo. I've seen a few new AR15's that don't like some of the commercial stuff. You're short stroking, so try to get the Full Strength stuff that comes off a military production line such as the Federal XM193 (comes from Lake City) or the Winchester Q3131A (made by IMI in Israel). This stuff may shoot 100-200 fps faster than the stuff that you pick up at Bi-Mart.

2) Make sure you have good magazines. USGI magazines are good. Other magazines are questionable.

3) Shoot 200 rounds or more before starting to think it's broke in.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 9:51:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Q-Man:
1) Get GOOD ammo.

1a) Wolf is crappy ammo unless your rifle is already broken in and you don't care about accuracy.



There you go - fixed it for you.

Nice colt rifle and you skimp on ammo? Tisk, Tisk, Tisk.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 10:23:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 10:29:10 PM EDT by GackMan]

Originally Posted By Unka-Boo:
Check the gas rings first, make sure the gaps aren't lined up......this has happened twice to me with "new" out of the box rifles.



YES!

also, lube the bolt (inside the bolt carrier) really well. I've seen some that are very tight when new... so tight that the bolt doesn't always want to rotate in the carrier. it binds... but just a little. causing a similar symptom to short stroking.

Before you dump a gallon of CLP into the bolt carrier, test it by removing the bolt carrier from your rifle and hold it in your hand across your palm. Push the bolt into the carrier (as if it is locked in the chamber) and 'flick' it forward. the bolt should travel freely. do this 3-5 times and see of the bolt is reluctant to travel forward in the carrier. Might just need to be broken in... GO SHOOT IT MORE if that is the case.



Link Posted: 12/16/2005 10:24:57 PM EDT
Wolf isn't that bad. Mine eats it all day.. but then I spend the next two days cleaning it.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 10:38:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 11:01:37 PM EDT by BILLBO]
yeh thats a alfully nice rifle to be putting wolf through hey i got a nice wolf eaten non colt id trade you fer
that colt

but good suggestions above

1 check gas rings
2 make sure key it tight
3 check for front sight cant
4 check gas tube its rare but they do can pluged
5 were you using older wolf with laquer coating browish color or the new gray cased stuff if its the laquer
coated i bet thats the problem higher quality (tighter tolerance ) rifles if they gum up with laquer with do
exacly what yours is doing even if you follow up with another kind of ammo since the laquer is still in the
chamber. certain rifles such as model 1 barrels and eat wolf with no problems . also if your cousins rifle is
older it will tolerate crap ammo better than a new one

6 put a light coat of lithum grease on the buffer

7 some new barrels can be sticky



Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:37:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By double_trouble_2003:

Originally Posted By Q-Man:
1) Get GOOD ammo.

1a) Wolf is crappy ammo unless your rifle is already broken in and you don't care about accuracy.



There you go - fixed it for you.

Nice colt rifle and you skimp on ammo? Tisk, Tisk, Tisk.



I agree, but I was trying to avoid flames because some people shoot it without problems (when accuracy isn't a factor). It is interesting to hear someone at a practical rifle match shoot this ammo: boom, boom, ping, pop, pop, boom, boom, pop, pop, pop, boom... Very inconsistent stuff.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 11:34:22 AM EDT
There's no doubt in my mind that better ammo shoots better. 2 Factors. I shoot on a budget and I would be able to shoot less if I purchase higher end ammo.

However, I am concerned that there is a systemic problem with my rifle that becomes apparent with lighter loads like Wolf ammo. A really good rifle should be able to shoot reliably and accurate in all kinds of conditions with many different kinds of tolerances and loads. I am not a dolt. I do know that match ammo will most like kick Wolf in the but, but it's also 2x as expensive. I appreciate all of the advice.

My rings are not aligned and I have staggered them as far apart from each other. Next week, I am going to try the short stroking experiment and try several other brands of ammo in order to illiminate that as a possible problem. If it short strokes with better ammo then I'll know that there are more serious problems with my rifle. I'm also going to try to see if the gas tube is clogged. Is there another way to clean the tube other than aerosol sprays?

Thanks
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 12:49:30 PM EDT
One experiment worth trying is to take the bolt and carrier from your friend's rifle and try it in yours. If it works ok, then you need to spend some time lubricating the bolt/carrier and probably running more rounds through the rifle to bed in the bolt/carrier.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:11:47 PM EDT
Load one round in a magazine and see if it locks back when fired. If it does not then it is short stroking.

As far as aligning the rings goes, it doesn't matter. The rings compress when the bolt is inserted into the carrier eliminating any gap for gas to pass by.

Grease works better in the carrier because oil simply heats up and blows out or evaporates. I prefer Hi temp marine grease like what is recommended by several suppressor manufacturers.

If the problem persists I would call Colt since they made it. However, they will probably tell you to quit shooting wolf ammunition.

I personally think Wolf is the bench mark for reliability. It is so dirty and so underpowered that if your rifle will reliably shoot it then you should be fine with ANYTHING else.

Link Posted: 12/18/2005 8:37:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 3:20:33 PM EDT by Eyegun]
I have an 11.5" SBR that's doing the same thing using Wolf ammo. I tried different bolt carriers, lube, mags, and even put on an ACE clubfoot stock. (I thought the tube was a little longer than the regular AR telestock). None of this worked.

Yesterday at the gunshow I splurged and bought some SS109 and will try it out at the range this morning. Nobody at the couch commandos selling SBR uppers at the show had any better ideas.

If I have to remove the gasblock, that would give me the excuse to replace the stupid 4 rail block with something more respectable.

BTW it's a DPMS 11.5" factory upper.

ETA: Went out and test fired before the snow hit. 50 rounds flawless with ss109 ammo. Now I don't know if it was the ammo or the slightly longer buffer tube. I'm banking on the ammo being the problem at least until I have a couple hundred rounds through this upper.

My project tonight is to remove the crush washer and index the FH using a peel washer so I can mount my HALO.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 4:36:17 PM EDT
again were you using the older laquer coated brown color ammo or the newer gray color ?
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 5:05:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ian187:


I personally think Wolf is the bench mark for reliability. It is so dirty and so underpowered that if your rifle will reliably shoot it then you should be fine with ANYTHING else.




Doubleplus good. That's why I keep Wolf around. BSW
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 5:16:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 5:30:38 PM EDT by davesmith74]
As far as ammo, I'm using the newer gray Wolf ammo. These are great ideas. I'm definately going to put lube in it since I noticed that my normal oil dries up and the bolt gets sticky. I going to do the 1 round test with Wolf and with another brand of ammo to see if its just Wolf that is short stroking.

Mainly, I'm truly interested to read your experiences with this brand of ammo and how many of you have overcome them. I read elsewhere that a Colt AR should be able to reliably shoot 1000 rounds between cleanings. That is not to say that I suggest a lack of cleaning. But if the rifle fouls up after 4 or 5 mags then its not working right or I'm doing something wrong.

Lastly, I liked ian187's comments about Wolf being a good benchmark for reliabity. There is no doubt that some readers are horrified that I would feed Wolf through my rifle. Eventually, I'll start stalking up on higher end ammo but whose to know that at some future time, Wolf may be all that I have at my disposal. I just want my defensive weapon to be capable of operating in all conditions that I may be faced with in the future.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 8:02:48 PM EDT
I personally agree with the Wolf statement...

if my rifles cant shoot a preticular kind of ammo *unless their bench target rifles* i am going to mod it in whatever way i can think of to make it shoot reliabliy with all kinds of ammo..

if the rifle cant shoot wolf.. its the rifles fault not the ammo..

by no means do i know much about ARs but the first things that poped into my mind was gas system and recoil spring being too strong...

like others have stated call up colt and tell them whats going on.. if they say quit using wolf then tell them their rifles should be able to cycle any type of ammo espessally considering they are saposed to be the Best of the Best when it comes to ARs..

anouther reason why i love my AK... *but still want to bulid an AR...*

Jess
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 6:51:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 7:00:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By davesmith74:


I'm using Wolf 55 JHP and I've read several threads with people indicating that the ammo is loaded to lighter PSIs in the chamber,



Yes they are a weaker load and in my Bushy BullPup i can shoot 3 round bursts with Wolf FMJ. Also the wolf primer seems to be very week because my Firing Pin on the bullpup would catch it on loading the chamber and the round would fire. I notice that my Ping will leave a small strike mark on XM193 and also on AE and Remi's.. If it only happens in wolf then it's Wolf.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:26:01 PM EDT
I went out to the range today and performed the short stroke troubleshooting procedure. It is certainly short-stoking with Wolf ammo. I loaded in one round and the action would not lock back. Even depressing the bolt lock button, the bolt ejected the spent case but did not have enough energy to retact fully and engage the bolt stop. I then loaded some cheap Walmart Winchester 55 FMJ and it performed flawlessly. It worked fine even though I decided not to clean it before I took it out so that it would perform as it did on my previous shoot. Since I had only shot through 4 mags previously, the book states that it should still be able to cycle reliably. With the Winchester ammo, I had no problems cycling. With one round in the mag, the bolt locked back as it should have and it had no problem rapid firing. After firing a few mags without one short stroke, I loaded one round of Wolf ammo back in and it short stroked. So my rifle is fussy.

I even tried a high quality, hi-temp lube and it still short-stroked on Wolf. I had hoped that I wouldn't have to eat the money I spent purchasing 1000 rds of Wolf, but evidently, my Colt is an ammo snob. (What can I say?) Since I don't want to alter the gas port because if I ever use hot ammo, it will over cycle, which can be damaging to the rifle, I am going to be stuck with having to purchase better ammo.

Last question:????

If there happens to be any buildup of powder in the gas tube is there any way to clean it other than spraying CLP down the tube or taking off the FSB?

In conclusion, Wolf is loaded to lightly to cycle my rifle properly. Thanks for all your assistance.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:17:44 PM EDT
You can clean the gas tube, but it's not advised.

If your case of Wolf doesn't work, sell the remainder off to a local member.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:31:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 3:34:29 PM EDT by GackMan]

Originally Posted By davesmith74:
If there happens to be any buildup of powder in the gas tube is there any way to clean it other than spraying CLP down the tube or taking off the FSB?



They sell crazy long pipe cleaners you can use for that. They work pretty good.

Don't be too aggressive on the gas tube cleaning... you kind of want to be careful spraying flammable liquid down a tube that is designed to direct hot flaming gas... or vapor locking said tube with liquid.

DO NOT (I can't stress this enough) PUT A Q-TIP IN YOUR GAS TUBE IN AN ATTEMPT TO CLEAN IT!!! you can be propper fucked by that.

Also, you might want to lightly lube your buffer spring, reduce friction from that which is working against the bolt is pushing the buffer assembly back.

edit: found a link to the cleaners at brownells. www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=1544&title=AR-15+GAS+TUBE+CLEANERS
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:32:33 PM EDT
also as mentioned befor in time things will loosen up and eventully may be able to eat wolf ammo

Link Posted: 12/21/2005 12:44:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:39:28 PM EDT
I'm happy that it works fine with other better ammo. I had only hoped that it would shoot Wolf so that I could shoot it more and you never know if in the future that might be all that I have to defend my life and those of my family members. However, I'm not heart broken about this and I hope that the higher PSI created by other ammo manufacturers will result in near flawless operation.

Thanks for all of the advice. For those wishing to purchase my rifle, I'm not interested in selling it only trying to get it 100% functional. Every now and then, I'll run some Wolf through it to see if it works for kicks and giggles. Wolf is sure cheap to feed my gun but it's not the end of the world if I have to step up a little.

Who knows? Maybe my groupings will get a little tighter with different ammo.

Thanks to all.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 2:25:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 8:15:49 AM EDT

An AR that won't run on Wolf is defective.

I don't normally run Wolf in ARs, but do use it for low power function checks. I would not own an AR that did not run on it. I'd either fix it or get rid of it.

Higher powered ammo may work now, but it will stop working when the rifle gets dirty, it's cold outside, or the defect magnifies its effects.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 10:16:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 10:34:58 PM EDT
It may shoot Wolf later, after the parts are worn in and the recoil spring has weakened a little.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:35:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 3:31:06 PM EDT
My carbon 15 likes WOLF. no problems at all. IM me on what you have for how much?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:13:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By davesmith74:
I'm happy that it works fine with other better ammo. I had only hoped that it would shoot Wolf so that I could shoot it more and you never know if in the future that might be all that I have to defend my life and those of my family members. However, I'm not heart broken about this and I hope that the higher PSI created by other ammo manufacturers will result in near flawless operation.

Thanks for all of the advice. For those wishing to purchase my rifle, I'm not interested in selling it only trying to get it 100% functional. Every now and then, I'll run some Wolf through it to see if it works for kicks and giggles. Wolf is sure cheap to feed my gun but it's not the end of the world if I have to step up a little.

Who knows? Maybe my groupings will get a little tighter with different ammo.

Thanks to all.



Shoot a few hundred rounds of the good stuff, then try wolf again. I bet your gun just needs a little break in. If not, it would be good to compare your parts to someone else's to see if, for example, your action spring is too strong or your gas port is too small.

I never shoot wolf, myself, so that would be no big loss to me. I shoot my own reloads mostly, also XM193 or Q3131A.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:16:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 2:17:46 PM EDT by Q-Man]
Another thought: You may want to try a different lot number of Wolf. Perhaps you got an under-loaded lot.

I remember I got one of the bad lots of Q3131 in 2000/2001 that caused jams in my Bushmaster.
Top Top