Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stoppage!

MGI QCB upper on a home-built Rock River lower that was assembled on a TV tray in the living room of Roseholme Cottage.
On Sunday afternoon, on the final magazine of the weekend, my beater AR finally failed to complete the cycle of operation once, for the first time since I built it in '08...

...because its tired owner didn't pull to ensure that she'd fully seated the mag and it fell out when she ran the charging handle. This is what happens when I don't load the gun right.

Between two 3 Gun matches in the high desert of Bend, OR and now one Blogorado, that thing's been exposed to plenty of dust, so it must have been malfunctioning left and right and I'm just blotting out the awful memories. The internet says so, and you can't put something on the internet if it's not true. 

Parenthetically, I really should clean the thing sometime, but I've crossed the point into superstition, where I'm afraid that a thorough cleaning will somehow jinx the gun and make it start malfing...

Props to the Aimpoint and the Larue mount and the MGI Quick Change Barrel upper. The optic is still pretty well zeroed despite the barrel being on and off the gun a couple times since the scope was dialed in, plus the tender ministrations of baggage handlers. I haven't benched it on a paper target with PMC green tip lately to see the actual amount of POI change, but it was still within minute of soda can on the 80 yard berm offhand, so I doubt it's moved much more than an inch at a hundred?

17 comments:

TJIC said...

> Stoppage!

Jeez. Now the shutdown is even impacting case extractors and magazines?!?!

Matt said...

Sorry to hear about the unreliability of your hand-assembled beater AR with lots of miles and rounds.
My experience with the basic AR platform has been similar. Only stoppages in 20 years of shooting various makes and models has been from bad ammo (sometimes you do get a dud) or most often, worn out magazines or operator error (yes, seat the magazine firmly).

Paul said...

I had one stop when the gas horn got loose on the bolt. No problems since. I a got one of those kits that was all bits and pieces. Not a name in the bunch.

Tam said...

Improperly-staked (or not staked at all) gas keys are endemic on lo-bujit AR-pattern guns, and will stop the thing in its tracks.

Tam said...

(Considering who I got the upper and BCG from, I feel comfortable that that part of the gun is put together right.)

Boat Guy said...

Seen one mechanical malfunction. In the 1980's.
Using another units weapons for quals, we had a hammer pin back out of the lower enough to stop the gun.
I have had "full" magazines walk out of the well when running through the boons so ... what Matt wrote above

TBeck said...

I'm building my first AR right now. Last night I was reading through ARF looking for some pointers and ran across an expert opinion that noobs have no business building ARs. It seems that gun stores can spot a home built AR from around the block and won't touch the rifles because they explode when a cheekbone touches the stock.

Apparently the mysteries of the roll pin, torque wrench, and headspace gauge are not for the uninitiated.

Tam said...

TBeck,

All things considered, it's probably simpler and just as cheap (if not cheaper) to buy a quality upper and BCG as it is to roll your own, but the lower is just a housing for the trigger group that dangles off the actual gun. Anybody can knock one together out of decent parts.

TBeck said...

I'm struggling with my inner gear whore on features. I'd like a mid-length nitrided carbine barrel, a boron-nickel treated BCG and a free-floated hand guard with a 12 o'clock rail and the option for short rails at the other three axes.

Don't know if I really NEED some of those features, hence the struggle.

The lower I purchased comes with a tensioning screw so that particular OCD issue is addressed. I was able to install the RRA NM lower parts kit without any trouble. As soon as the Midway box arrives I'll install the stock assembly (heavy buffer and extra power spring cuz Murrica!)

Steve Skubinna said...

Yeah, an operator caused stoppage is embarrassing, but at least you aren't one of those myriad of dead troops found on hilltops with jammed M-16s in their grip.

From what I hear, whole units are dying like that.

1911Man said...

I also have an Aimpoint (T1) on a Larue mount, and it stays absolutely zeroed no matter how many times I install and remove it. Super impressed with both pieces.

Drang said...

Drill Sergeant Dailey stated several times that he never cleaned his competition guns -- even while training us how to clean M16s.

So, yeah, I've got two decades+ of habit when it comes to cleaning the M4gery.

The Combat Commander, OOTH, often goes a bit longer than it showed between baths -- and had the closest it has ever come to a malf on the Steel Challenge at Gun Blogger Rendezvous, when the slide returned to battery kinds slow a couple of times. I lubed it, and it did fine the rest of the day.

TBeck: while teaching an NRA Home Firearms Safety class at the Fun Show this past Sunday, I did work "avoid Internet Commandos" into the syllabus a couple of times; later, one of the ARs we were using as a prop was showing some oddities, and I suggested "Well, if you can stand it, try ARFCOM...""

Al T. said...

Push/Pull.... Something about a Moose & an Irish cop comes to mind... :)

Roberta X said...

AR-15: the ballpoint pen of guns. No, make that the *quality* ballpoint pen: writes first time, (nearly) every time, doesn't have to cost much and if you can run one, you can run any. (Okay, expect for the horrible AR-13 eXXXtreme belt-fed or fat-caliber bolt-actions that have their own strange quirks.)

Anonymous said...

Your black rifle is still black, any thought to painting it? I've gone back and forth about mine (would probably just use good rattle cans), but since I'm not doing missions into Libya with the Unit, it seems like an affectation for mine.

Matt
St Paul
@1077idaho

Brian Miller said...

During both of my deployments to Iraq, I never cleaned my M4. The *only* time it failed to cycle was after some ham-fisted small arms repair guy replaced my "worn" barrel and screwed up the gas tube on reassembly.

Drang said...

Saw an oddity this weekend: Firing pin retaining pin was bent, looked like someone tried to spread the legs of a cotter pin. Owner said that all his ARs were like that. I'm not sure I was ever able to say "I've never seen such a thing in my life!" with not a bit of irony.