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3rd. trip with the AR-15 and question about bolt hold-open

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  • 3rd. trip with the AR-15 and question about bolt hold-open

    Ok, headed down to the range the other day with the new AR-15 and my steel case ammo. Just like the last time, I lubed up the gun well with Slip 2000 and I had NO issues with extractions what-so-ever. However, I did have a different problem. I was there to test out a Gen3 Magpul 30 round magazine I bought. I also had my Thermold 20 round magazine. Both magazines seemed to have the issue where several times, while firing, the bolt would hold open. I simply had to hit the release to chamber a round and keep shooting. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on this issue? Now, to be honest, I did not clean it after the last 100 rounds of Wolf ammo and I did not clean it on purpose because I wanted to see how the gun performed even when a little dirty. What triggers that bolt to stay open even when a round is presented? Thanks!
    Gun owners must unite in 2016 to defeat the Democratic agenda. ALL Gun Owners get out the vote!

  • #2
    There could be a number of reasons the bolt hold back engages before the magazine is empty. Anything from a weak bolt hold back spring (I have one if you need it) to a magazine problem. All you can do is try different things 'til you get it right.

    As one who HBTDT and has a closet full of tee shirts I would suggest again.... "there are different magazines and they all may work for somebody at any given time. The only magazines I have found that have never given me any kind of problem are the metal magazines from Bravo. They always work, are easy to maintain, and cost very little (you can get them under $10).". Stop buying different stuff for the gun and start borrowing stuff to try out until you find the right parts.

    dj and I will be at Dade City next Tuesday shooting an assortment of ARs.... we both have a couple we want to shoot for different reasons. If you can join us I will lend you some magazines, bring a new hold back spring, figure out what the problem is, and fix it before we leave.

    Don

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    • #3
      Never had that happen before.
      The usual complaint is the bolt won't stay open after the mag is empty.

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      • #4
        Thanks BangBang...I remembered you had mentioned these magazines. The only thing was that I really liked the look of the polymer type mags and how it looked with the New Frontier lower. So, that is why I was less interested in a metal magazine and wanted to give the Magpul a try first (I know, vanity!). Since the lower is new, I really never thought a spring would be an issue. I purchased two books by Walt Kuleck which are very detailed with plenty of pictures. These are good references for me! I see in one spot he actually mentions that the spring can be too strong. He mentions when testing a lower "PITFALL: The bolt stop spring can be too strong! It should be just strong enough to keep the bolt stop from lifting during firing, no more, no less." This sort of sounds like the issue I am seeing. So, it makes me wonder if this could be related to the issue?
        Gun owners must unite in 2016 to defeat the Democratic agenda. ALL Gun Owners get out the vote!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BangBang View Post
          There could be a number of reasons the bolt hold back engages before the magazine is empty. Anything from a weak bolt hold back spring (I have one if you need it) to a magazine problem. All you can do is try different things 'til you get it right.
          Agreed, Mag or hold open spring tension.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
            Now, to be honest, I did not clean it after the last 100 rounds of Wolf ammo and I did not clean it on purpose because I wanted to see how the gun performed even when a little dirty.
            I have read this in more than a few places over the past few years. And I'm still puzzled about it. Without trying it on my own, I'm going to guess that few guns, if any, perform BETTER when dirty, compared to when clean. With guns, sending bullets down a neglected, dirty barrel at often supersonic speeds makes me cringe a bit.
            Few of us decide to blow off oil changes in our vehicles to see how the vehicle's engine performs when dirty. Probably because we don't want to pay for a new engine. Why would we do this with our weapons, those things that may actually prevent our deaths at the hands of the bad guys ?
            I clean each of my guns the day that I use it, whenever practical, which is the far majority of the time. Never later than the next day.
            I understand that combat soldiers in the field do not have this luxury. I suspect that sometimes they pay for that. Most of us are not combat soldiers, at least anymore, and can take the time to care for our tools. Because no one likes a tool that doesn't do it's job when called upon.
            I'm absolutely not picking on you MM, just using this thread for a deeper discussion on gun cleaning practices.

            Bob K

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            • #7
              You may also have an out of spec bolt hold open catch..... it happens
              "It's Easier to Avoid Conflict than it is to Survive It" - SGB

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob_K View Post
                I'm absolutely not picking on you MM, just using this thread for a deeper discussion on gun cleaning practices.

                Bob K
                Don't worry Bob, not taking it that way! I understand what you are saying. Sometimes it depends on what you do with your guns. A decade or so ago, I was extremely active in plate and bowling pin matches. As a result, a co-worker and I were practicing a few times each week, weekends, and then running matches. There is just not enough time to clean these guns after every use if you are going that often. However, I would always clean it up after a few sessions or before a match. Same applies for my shotgun that I was shooting 3x a week...I just found you don't have to be that fussy. Now, with that said and that I have slowed down in my frequency of shooting, I like to clean them up after just one or two firings (except corrosively primed rounds obviously) since I am putting them up for a few weeks or months before I might fire a certain gun again.

                Now as far as the AR is concerned, I have read and been told how robust these guns were. Some have talked about extremes of rounds before cleaning. I met an Iraq Veteran the other day that told me how their guns went thru sand storms and still functioned. My goal is not to perform any cleaning stress tests but I figured a gun like this should be able to shoot a few hundred rounds, in a few sessions and not have to be treated with "kid gloves" as they say. I do think sometimes, people over clean their guns or at least more than they need to. However, I am probably just as much one of those people, because I enjoy cleaning my guns...it is as much apart of shooting as anything. Now, does excessive cleaning hurt the gun any more than excessive dirt? I really don't know but I guess just common sense is that a clean gun will wear down the parts less or keep things working smoothly.

                As far as the car engine analogy...I used to drive 120 miles each day to work round trip...I am sure some of you drive much more. It was all highway miles. I would always push the time between oil changes because putting that kind of mileage on the car, was just too big an expense...but I still did it regularly. I owned that car for a number of years and even paid it off and was enjoying no car payments...then my daughter got rear-ended by an uninsured guy with a criminal record....so would super-timely engine oil changes have changed my car getting totaled? NO! In fact, I have owned dozens of cars in my lifetime and not one ever had an engine go because of a lack of oil changes. Most people just don't keep their cars long enough for it to make a HUGE difference. Just my opinion.
                Gun owners must unite in 2016 to defeat the Democratic agenda. ALL Gun Owners get out the vote!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  Now as far as the AR is concerned, I have read and been told how robust these guns were. Some have talked about extremes of rounds before cleaning. I met an Iraq Veteran the other day that told me how their guns went thru sand storms and still functioned. My goal is not to perform any cleaning stress tests but I figured a gun like this should be able to shoot a few hundred rounds, in a few sessions and not have to be treated with "kid gloves" as they say. I do think sometimes, people over clean their guns or at least more than they need to. However, I am probably just as much one of those people, because I enjoy cleaning my guns...it is as much apart of shooting as anything.
                  I know what you're saying, and agree that a few hundred rounds shouldn't be an issue for any modern gun. But I have heard of people who say they are going to go thousands of rounds between cleanings, or even that they are going to not touch the weapon until it fails. I guess I don't get that concept. You're obviously not one of those.

                  Engine oil was probably a bad analogy. Seems oil and additives have been getting better and better, so that it is entirely possible to go 8 - 10 K between changes. But you'll notice the "recommended" change is as little as 3500. Maybe the dealers and oil change guys just like to see us more often :-)

                  Jet engine scheduled maintenance has also been given extended hours, they discovered that the engines were more reliable if they weren't serviced as often. Of course, you can take anything to an extreme. These guys probably should have considered a shorter schedule.
                  http://www.slipperybrick.com/2007/09...engine-straps/
                  Last edited by Bob_K; 11-17-2012, 07:44 PM.

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                  • #10
                    If you had the same issue with 2 different mag mfgs.. i wouldn't say its a mag issue. Although still possible.
                    NRA Life Member

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BShootin View Post
                      If you had the same issue with 2 different mag mfgs.. i wouldn't say its a mag issue. Although still possible.
                      From post #2, by BangBang: "The only magazines I have found that have never given me any kind of problem are the metal magazines from Bravo. They always work, are easy to maintain, and cost very little (you can get them under $10)."

                      This is the voice of experience talking. If BangBang says it, you can take it to the bank. I have known him for over 28 years, and he has NEVER told me anything that I have found to be wrong. If he doesn't know, or isn't sure, he will do the research. MOST of what he tells people is from personal experience.

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                      • #12
                        We (dj and I) will be at Dade City Tuesday morning.... I will also be there with BamBam on Friday.

                        If you join us we will figure it out and fix the problem.

                        Don

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