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Thread: Cool AR-15 tool

  1. #1
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    Default Cool AR-15 tool

    This tool is not my idea but I certainly have a need for one of these. A guy at the gun range had one of these because his 300 blackout always had a stuck bolt after every shot. Rifle is new so I think he has a defective barrel. But rather than take the rifle back to the gun shop he bought one of these tools.

    Brownels has these tools but they are pretty expensive. https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...rod103522.aspx

    I had some A-2 tool steel on hand so I made 2 of these and heat treated them.

    How they work. When the bolt gets stuck because a shell is stuck in the firing chamber remove the magazine and use the tool to access the bolt up through the magazine opening then pry the bolt back. Just to clarify only one tool is required. Hope I never need it but probably will. I have seen how other people cope with a stuck bolt and it ain't pretty.

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    Last edited by jim Glass; 08-17-2018 at 04:26 AM.


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The very reason for the existence of that tool is why most people should own an AK!
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  3. #3
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    Well, the people at the gun range shooting bolt action rifles never seem to have these problems. I have thought more than once about going in that direction. The guys I hunt wild hogs with all shoot bolt action rifles. Besides, a second shot will be at a hog running at 35 mph.
    Last edited by jim Glass; 08-14-2018 at 12:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    No need to leave the AR system Jim, you just have to understand the nature of the beast and deal with it.

    A "stuck bolt" is usually caused by dirt in the system and lack of proper maintenance.

    Most bolt action shooters, shotgun shooters or .22 plinkers view "proper maintenance" as brushing the action with Hopes #9, running a patch down the bore and calling it done.

    Due to the nature of the AR it requires more. That is because the AR craps where it eats.

    You pull the trigger on an AR and half of Hades breaks lose. Gas sprays down the barrel behind the bullet and instantly bakes in its own trail. Part of it goes up the gas port and bakes its way down a 10" long gas tube and slams the bolt rearward and as soon as the bolt starts to move some of that gas spray showers the bolt locking lugs and instantly bakes onto the surfaces, then enters the chamber area and does the same to the locking recesses and also the chamber area.

    Now the next time you pull the trigger the last baked on carbon is pushed up the bore and sent outside, but the gas system is not self cleaning and neither is the bolt and chamber area.

    Diligent cleaners will scrub the baked crud from the bolt and chamber and locking recesses, but virtually no one cleans the inside of the gas tube, nor the gas port.

    When enough crud builds up the gas flow is not enough to force the bolt and carrier to the rear, and if the shooter has not been cleaning properly there will be baked on crud in the locking recesses and chamber and the whole action will seize up like a engine run without oil. The delicate balance that keeps the AR running goes out of clockwork balance and the world stops turning.

    This is the reason for the existence of the forward assist knob and also the steel cleaning rod that used to be carried by each squad leader while on patrol. The soldier pulled on the charging handle while the squad leader hammered on the steel cleaning rod to force the action open. This usually happened immediately after the forward assist knob had been smacked to seat a cartridge in the well fouled chamber.

    Meaning that if a shell does not chamber full do not smack that assist knob, just pull the charging handle back and see of the next round will chamber before you get the whole shooting match locked up tight.

    While you are dealing with a hog hunt, and possibly a few rounds at a range session, a fire fight might include expending 500-1000 rounds at full auto speed and each and every soldier KNEW that crud was baking into his rifle with each shot. He knew that because soldiers are required to clean those bolts, bolt carriers and the front and back of the locking lug recesses. Not brushing them off with Hopes #9, but scraping them with toothpicks, bits of wire and their fingernails.

    That soldier also knew that he was burning up his rifle with each full auto burst. If you burn 500-1000k rounds each firefight, and the life of an AR was considered 5k rounds before the gas tube melted and the barrel burned out ahead of the chamber you can do the math.

    If a trooper went through more than 10 engagements and did not trade in his rifle for a new one, which never happened, he was due for a system failure with the next shot. Now just think about being issued an old and well worn AR and wondering how many thousand rounds had gone through it.

    The reason I said what I did about the AK is due to that system being piston driven, having larger tolerances and not suffering from the milady of precision engineering.

    Proper maintenance of the AR includes special cleaning processes, some odd lubes, and replacement of certain parts, like the gas tube and sometimes the barrel, every 4k-5k rounds.

    Those that buy their ammo by the crate and not the box have to remember all this and thank God that gas tubes are only $15 and a new barrel can be had for $75.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 08-14-2018 at 10:38 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Well, I learned a great deal about AR's and shooting this summer. I'll try to summarize. You remember the shells I posted pictures of that came from my 300 Blackout. You suggested switching from the H1110 powder to IMR 4227 and installing an adjustable gas block on the blackout. I ordered a gas block and gas tube. I decided to delay installing the gas block but test the IMR 4227 powder. The IMR 4227 powder nearly fills the 300 blackout casing. What I discovered was the Ideal powder measure can deliver short on one casing then overfill on the next. Now, if that was happening with the H1110 powder I loaded some over charged shells. So now if the casing doesn't look right I empty the shell casing back into the powder measurer and reload again and test the amount of powder delivery. Result is, no more shell blowups. But, still had primers blowing out of the shell case. Someone at the shooting range told me the shells had been reloaded to many times, 5 is about max. So I scrapped out most of my blackout casings and bought new ones.

    Never have been satisfied with the way the 300 blackout shot. I was so mad after leaving the range I figured the barrel must be damaged so I ordered a new stainless barrel on sale for $65. Before installing the new barrel I went to great pains to qualify the old barrel. Installed a Bushnell 3-12X scope so see what the rifle could or could not do. I went to the range and test fired shells from different manufactures and different reloads. Got the scope zeroed at 50 yards then moved to 100 yards and zeroed again. The 300 blackout shot much better than I thought. Shot a bulls eye every 3 or 4 shots, thinking this is fun. Know doubt some store bought ammo shot better than others. Sometimes it was a mater of how may "flyers" a certain ammo would shoot. Same with my reloads except for one in particular that would hit the paper target next to the one I was actually shooting at. With the new ammo and reloads of fairly new cases fired without any shell jambs or primers ejections. My reloads with quality Hornady 150 grn bullets shot pretty darn consistent.

    Never have used that scope at the 100 yard range before and I don't know why but I had a good time. Then bought an Alpen Klondike scope for the 223 off Craigslist for $50.

    In conclusion I learned to not subject to many variables in testing a rifle. Learn the maximum capability of a rifle then introduce variables that either enhance or hinder the known capability. My powder measurer is inconsistent. Don't reload shells to many times, I'm keeping track of how many times shell cases have been fired. Some ammunition has drastic variations.
    Last edited by jim Glass; 08-15-2018 at 09:05 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    If you are using a powder measure to throw charges you will never get real accuracy from your rifle cases. All powder dumps will have some variation from charge to charge and that percentage increases as the charge weight increases due to the difference between powder weight and powder volume. A 2% variation charge to charge in a moderate 38 or 9mm reload of 2-5 grains of pistol powder is vastly different than a 2% variation in a rifle charge of 25-50 grains, where one might be pushing a max or top of the chart load.

    Most of us reload to get better accuracy, especially at the price of components today, and that only comes from the ultimate in consistency in charge to charge weight, and that means weighing each and every charge.

    I know that sounds ridiculous for a semi auto firearm, and it is, but it is the only path to real accuracy.

    It is also the reason I own bolt action rifles in .223 and 7.62x39. I use those bolt action rifles to establish the accuracy standard the cartridge is capable of in factory, surplus and precision reload form.

    I then compare what the semi-auto is doing compared to that bolt action standard. And amazingly the average AR rifle will shoot surplus ammo just as well as a bolt action rifle.

    I also compare the ammo from various places to the top accuracy level of my best reloaded product and make some decisions.

    What I have discovered is that the cheap Russian ammo in both .223 and 7.62x39 shoots just as well as most factory ammo. That standard is about 1 1/2" @ 100 yards. It does that at twenty cents per shot instead of fifty cents a shot.

    My precision reloads will normally shoot into less than 1" in either caliber in the bolt action rifles, not as to the same standard in the semi-autos, but they cost me twice to 5x what the surplus ammo costs (some good .30 caliber bullets cost $1 each and most of the .30 caliber slugs now cost more than a loaded surplus round!) and take me many hours to produce. I can not reload for .223 or 7.62x39 as cheaply as I can buy surplus if I include any value of my time at all, even if I use the cheapest components on the market.

    (the reason I have not plunged into the .300BO user group. My AK will do anything the .300 does, better than the .300)

    I would rather shoot 1 1/2" ammo from my semi-autos at the cheaper rate and use my time and money to produce really good ammo for other calibers that have no source of decently performing cheap surplus ammo.

    But that is just me.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 08-14-2018 at 10:43 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I have dies, but have never loaded 7.62x39. No need. I shoot it from an SKS and an AR. Same goes for 9mm. It's not cost effective for me to reload. I reload for my .223 bolt rifles only. The only rounds I use a dump on are 38 spl, 357 mag and 45 acp and then only if I'm loading more than 50 at a time.

    A number of years ago I got an RCBS Chargemaster. It has paid for itself in throwing as near perfectly consistent charges as I could do any other way. It's relatively fast too. I don't use it to near its potential. I calibrate it at each session, enter the charge, and set it on auto dispense. I can't say enough good things about it. It's a worthwhile investment for any reloader.

    Alan

  8. #8
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I have gone a slightly different route.

    I use a Lee Turrant Press for pistol calibers and I have a separate die plate for each caliber with a Lee Autodump powder measure on each disk plate. The measure is preset for my favored load in each caliber and requires zero adjustment or maintenance.

    That is for the same reasons Alan noted, I seldom reload fewer than 50-100 cases at a time. More like half a bucket at a time due to the bucket going half empty and needing a refill.

    Rifle cases, and top load magnum pistol reloads, get individually weighed charges. No digital scales either, they are prone to inaccuracy and failures. They were designed to weight dope, not gunpowder.

    It takes only a few seconds to weigh my charges since I use a dump measure to throw a charge slightly under weight, usually a half grain, and a powder trickler to bring the scale to balance. I would not care about the few seconds anyway since I spend a good deal of time processing the cases through tumbler, cleaning primer pockets, trimming and such. Just the case inspection takes longer than weighing a charge.

    Lots of trouble, but those reloads give me the exact bullet I selected for a specific job and accuracy beyond what a factory load can offer by sometimes as much as 6 inches better group size. I have one .308 that shoots a 6" group on a good day using Federal factory 150 grain ammo. That same rifle shoots into 3/8" center to center with my reloads.

    All this talk about accuracy has me wanting to go to the range! Anybody want to drive to Kentucky and spend the day sweating and shooting?
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 08-15-2018 at 09:04 AM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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