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I hate crap ammo!!!

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  • I hate crap ammo!!!

    The title is a bit of a spoiler, but here is the story.

    This was our SWAT training week. We were at a local ANG facility for most of the week. Yesterday we started out the day by shooting the Army M9 Qualification course. If any of you have shot this, you know it's not that hard. I was in the zone and kept busting out a possible score with the G21. The only snag was when the weaponlight I was T&E'ing "shot off" of the pistol and was laying in the dirt at my feel at the end of the string.

    After some humbling fast paced pistol drills, we switched over to the carbines. This is something I had wanted to do for some time. Shooting the M9 course with an M4 is a little more in line with SWAT work than the Army's M16 qual course. So off we go. I am about half way through when I felt a "strange" recoil impulse. I knew I inserted a full magazine, so I shouldn't have run dry. No problem, I rolled the rifle to the left like I have trained for. Checked the ejection port and see that the bolt is just out of battery. I rip the charging handle, but it stops cold. Now I realize that it's a failure to extract and the case is REALLY in there. I dump the magazine, release the sling and drop to a knee. I then begin slamming the butt into the deck EXTREMELY hard while yanking on the charging handle. NO-GO. It came back far enough to eject the case, but then seized up in the rearward position.

    I ditch the rifle and finish out the drill with my pistol. When the string was over I took another look, but realized that the bolt wouldn't allow me to separate the upper and that the bolt was glued tight. Now realize that this is a rifle that has run 100% for THOUSANDS of rounds and is meticulously inspected. It may not be meticulously cleaned, but it is always cared for.

    These are the times you remember back to the last bad choice you made. Mine was looking at my full armorers tool kit and deciding not to take it on this out of town trip. (I am not a department AR "armorer") Inside that kit was the tool I needed to remove the buffer tube and separate the upper and lower. I packed the rifle up and forfeited the next days training (the M16 range) since I was lacking the appropriate weapon. Incidentally on the M16 range two other rifles went down. One had a broken extractor and the other had FCG pins walking out of the receiver.

    I get home today and after unloading my gear and thinking the issue over, I throw the rifle on the bench. After removing the buffer tube I was able to separate the upper and lower. Thankfully I had a good portion of bolt carrier hanging out of the back of the receiver. I clamped this into my big honking bench vice, grabbed the BFH and a block of wood and started swinging. With the assistance of my oldest boy (to catch the upper when it separated) I was able to drive it off of the bolt carrier group.

    Inspecting the upper, I couldn't see much in the way of damage. When I turned the bolt carrier over I saw a strange piece of metal in the cam pin slot. I slapped the bolt back and dumped the metal out to find that it was a spent primer from the second to last round I fired. It was crushed almost flat in the process, but jammed up the works nicely and prevented the cam pin from rotating all the way back to the "unlocked" position. I inspected the BCG and internals and didn't find any damage. I got the whole ball of wax back together and it function checked fine. I will run a live fire check on it tomorrow, but it appears good to go.

    Now you may ask what this has to do with ammo? I have put THOUSANDS of rounds through this rifle with the suppressor attached and NEVER had a malfunction. In fact the team as a whole rarely has any rifle malfunctions. So it was interesting to me that we had as many as we did. Then I realized that this was the first hot day we have had since we started using Federal XM193 bulk pack as our training fodder. As many of you know the "X" indicates that the ammo did not meat the requirements for the US Government Contract for M193 ball ammo. Now to be fair, this may mean it just wasn't shiny enough or that the bullets were .01 grain over or under limits. Usually it's not something to worry about. However this lot appears that it may be a tad on the "warm" side. I am hoping that I can chronograph some of the leftovers in that magazine and compare them to the Federal AE 55gr .223 that we usually use for training.

    The moral of the story is, if you don't have the time to strip a rifle...don't use "reject" ammo. If you have an armorer's toolbox at home, it doesn't do **** for you if you break a rifle at the range (or out of town). Finally, if you have XM193 loaded in your "SHTF" magazines, you may want to re-think that choice.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
    8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

  • #2
    I know that you must have been frustrated beyond belief. I'm glad that the lessons were learned during training and not in the real world. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Stay safe!
    ROLL TIDE!!!

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    • #3
      Well, at least your gun didnt' blow off and injure anyone.

      That's the same ammo I use for most of my practice session for quite some time and so far I've been lucky.

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      • #4
        Wow! Well, I suppose it's better to have something like that happen in training, rather then in the field when you REALLY want it to work.
        What brand of rifle were you using?

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        • #5
          The rifle is one I built about five years ago. It's mostly Rock River, but the barrel is a Bushmaster (RRA didn't make a CL 14.5" when I built this one). It has run with a SAS (originally CTS) 5.56mm Suppressor for most of it's life. It's a dirty, dirty little girl but always runs like a sewing machine. It's the only AR I have owned that will run bone dry.

          Regarding the training versus street issue. This is why we train on transition drills. The only reason I didn't immediately go to my pistol is that I wanted to finish the drill out with the rifle. I also don't get a lot of malfunction drills in with the rifle because it almost never malfunctions.
          "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
          8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

          Comment


          • #6
            Blown primer and bad gun handling gave me a surprise. Was at a shoot, renting to spectator, he dumped a 30rnd mag, bolt locked open on empty magazine. Dealer next to me had a renter ready to go. I removed magazine and handed him the rifle with the bolt locked open, he grabbed it by the buttstock tube vertical and slapped a magazne home which shook the bolt carrier loose chambered a round and dumped a full magazine straight up in the air.

            What had happend was blown bit up primer under the back of the trigger causing it to be pulled, load gun/chamer and zipp no stopping it. So it was a malfunction made worse by bad gun handling. On your rifle, I would put in extra power extractor spring, extra power buffer spring and 9mm 2 piece mechanical buffer. This keeps the chamber locked as long as possible when the extra gas from the silencer is trying to open that girl early.

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