Troubleshooting Common AR-15 Part Issues

AR-15 rifles are known for their reliability, but like any mechanical system, they can experience issues from time to time. Here are some common AR15 Parts part issues and troubleshooting steps to address them:

1. Failure to Feed (FTF):

  • Cause: This issue occurs when the next round fails to enter the chamber during the firing cycle.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Check the magazine for proper seating and condition.
    • Ensure the ammunition is of good quality and not damaged.
    • Inspect the feed ramp for fouling or damage.
    • Lubricate the bolt carrier group (BCG) and magazine feed lips.
    • Consider upgrading to a polished feed ramp or improved magazine.

2. Failure to Eject (FTE):

  • Cause: This issue happens when the spent casing is not ejected from the chamber and may result in a jam.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Inspect the extractor for wear or damage.
    • Clean and lubricate the BCG, paying attention to the extractor and ejector.
    • Check the gas system for proper functioning.
    • Ensure that the ammunition is appropriate for your rifle’s gas system.
    • Replace or upgrade the extractor or ejector as needed.

3. Stovepipe Jam:

  • Cause: Stovepipes occur when an empty casing is partially extracted and becomes trapped in the ejection port.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Inspect the extractor and ejector for proper function and cleanliness.
    • Ensure the BCG is properly lubricated.
    • Check the recoil spring and buffer for wear or damage.
    • Verify that the gas system is functioning correctly.
    • Consider using higher-quality ammunition.

4. Double Feeding or Bolt Override:

  • Cause: This issue happens when two rounds are trying to enter the chamber simultaneously or when the bolt overrides a live round in the chamber.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Check the magazine for damage or wear.
    • Ensure the BCG is clean and well-lubricated.
    • Examine the buffer and buffer spring for damage.
    • Inspect the gas system for proper function.
    • Review your grip and shooting technique to prevent inadvertent contact with the bolt release.

5. Trigger Issues (e.g., Light Strikes, Failure to Reset):

  • Cause: Trigger-related problems can affect firing, reset, or pull.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Ensure the trigger group components are clean and lubricated.
    • Check for worn or damaged trigger components.
    • Verify the hammer spring is properly tensioned.
    • Consider upgrading to a higher-quality trigger group if issues persist.

6. Gas System Problems (e.g., Short-Stroke):

  • Cause: Gas system issues can lead to cycling problems, such as short-stroking.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Inspect the gas tube for obstructions or damage.
    • Check the gas block alignment and security.
    • Ensure the gas key on the BCG is staked correctly.
    • Adjust the gas system as needed for proper cycling.
    • Clean and lubricate the BCG and gas system components.

7. Accuracy Decline:

  • Cause: Over time, accuracy can decrease due to fouling, wear, or barrel issues.
  • Troubleshooting:
    • Clean the barrel thoroughly, paying attention to the crown and chamber.
    • Check for signs of barrel wear, erosion, or damage.
    • Ensure your optics and mounts are secure and properly zeroed.
    • Experiment with different ammunition types to find the most accurate load.

For persistent issues or those requiring in-depth diagnosis, consult with a qualified gunsmith or firearm technician. Regular maintenance and proper cleaning can help prevent many of these common AR-15 part issues.

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