Ejection, Extraction & Feeding Issues

Proper ejection, feeding, and extraction are essential for the reliable operation of your firearm. These functions ensure that spent cases are removed, new rounds are chambered, and the firearm operates smoothly. Malfunctions in these areas can lead to issues such as failure to extract, failure to eject, and double feeds. This guide provides a step-by-step approach to troubleshoot and resolve common problems related to these functions.

Extraction Issues

A failure to extract occurs when a spent case is not removed from the chamber.

  1. Inspect the Bolt Carrier
    • Clean and Lubricate: Ensure your bolt carrier is clean and properly lubricated. Dirt and debris can interfere with the extractor's ability to grip and remove the spent case.
    • Check Extractor Claw Tension: Ensure the claw has proper tension; a loose or weak extractor claw will not grip the case firmly enough to extract it.
    • Examine for Damage: Inspect the extractor for any chips, wear, or damage as a damaged extractor cannot effectively engage the cartridge rim to pull it from the chamber.
  2. Inspect the Ammunition
    • Use Factory Ammunition: Reloaded or re-manufactured ammunition might have damaged cases that affect extraction.
    • Check for Case Sticking: Look for scratches or signs that the case is sticking to burrs or damaged sections in the chamber as rough or damaged chamber surfaces can cause cases to get stuck.
  3. Inspect Your Barrel and Chamber
    • Check for Burrs or Damage: Burrs or damage in the chamber can cause cases to stick during extraction. Physical imperfections in the chamber can impede the smooth extraction of spent cases.
  4. Inspect the Recoil System
    • Buffer and Spring: Ensure you are using the recommended buffer weight and buffer spring for your specific setup. An incorrect buffer or spring can affect the cycling action, leading to extraction failures. For buffer and buffer spring recommendations, click here.

Ejection Issues

A failure to eject occurs when a spent case is not ejected from the action, often preventing the bolt from cycling.

  1. Inspect the Ejector
    • Check for Damage: Make sure the ejector is not bent or damaged. Some movement in the ejector is normal. A damaged ejector cannot effectively push the spent case out of the action.
    • Verify Roll Pins: Ensure the roll pins for the ejector are properly seated, just below the surface of the receiver and spanning both sides of the ejector. Misaligned or loose roll pins can prevent the ejector from functioning properly.
  2. Inspect the Recoil System
    • Buffer and Spring: Confirm you are using the recommended buffer weight and buffer spring for your setup. Incorrect buffer or spring can disrupt the timing and force needed for proper ejection. For buffer and buffer spring guidance, click here.
  3. Inspect the Bolt Carrier
    • Clean and Lubricate: Debris buildup can cause the ejector to malfunction. Ensure the bolt carrier is clean and lubricated.
    • Check Extractor Claw Tension: A damaged extractor may not hold the spent case firmly, affecting ejection.

Feeding Issues

A feeding issue occurs when rounds fail to enter the chamber correctly.

  1. Inspect the Magazines
    • Test Multiple Magazines: Use different magazines to determine if one is causing the issue as faulty magazines can lead to inconsistent feeding.
    • Check Spring Tension: Press down on the follower; the spring should resist your pressure. Weak springs can fail to push rounds into the feeding position correctly.
    • Avoid Magazine Interference: Ensure you are not holding or resting on the magazine while shooting, as improper handling can impact the feeding mechanism
  2. Inspect the Barrel
    • Check Feed Cone to Chamber Transition: Look for hard transitions. Some third-party barrels may need to be honed by a qualified gunsmith. Angstadt barrels are properly honed before leaving the factory.

General Maintenance Tips

  • Keep Your Firearm Clean and Lubricated: Regular maintenance is crucial for reliable operation.
  • Consistent Issue Verification: Ensure the problem is not specific to a certain brand, type, or lot of ammunition, or a specific magazine brand or capacity.

Understanding and maintaining your firearm's ejection, feeding, and extraction systems are essential for optimal performance. Regular inspections, proper cleaning, and using high-quality components will help prevent and resolve most issues. By following this troubleshooting guide, you can ensure your firearm operates reliably and safely. Happy shooting!

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