The contents of Righttobear.com are produced for informational purposes only and should be performed by competent gunsmiths only. Righttobear.com and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.
Any modifications made to a firearm should be made by a licensed gunsmith. Failure to do so may void warranties and result in an unsafe firearm and may cause injury or death.
Modifications to a firearm may result in personal injury or death, cause the firearm to not function properly, or malfunction, and cause the firearm to become unsafe.
Immediate Action: “Tap, Rack, and Reassess”
The first solution to remedy any malfunction of an AR-15 should be what the community calls Immediate Action: “Tap, Rack, and Reassess.”
“Tap” the bottom of your magazine to be sure it is properly seated
“Rack” pull the charging handle of your AR-15 back quickly and release it smoothly
“Reassess” This replaces the “Bang” part of the cycle many veterans were taught. Simply said, before firing, be sure that there is still a reason to do so and that it is still safe to fire. Once those conditions are established, feel free to give the “bang” portion a try.
The Tap, Rack, and Reassess cycle will resolve most AR-15 stoppages. In fact, it's estimated that 90 to 95 percent of all stoppages can be resolved with a quick run through of this process. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you may have a more complex stoppage.
Bolt Stuck Forward/ Live Round in Chamber: “Mortar the Rifle”
Follow these steps to help get that stuck round/case out:
Step 1: Remove the magazine from the rifle and flip on the safety if you are able to.
Step 2: Find a solid surface and put a piece of carpet or a floor mat on the surface so you do not mar up your butt stock / butt plate or even crack the buttplate. If there is a live round in chamber Treat the rifle as a loaded ready to fire rifle and make doubly sure that you are doing this in a safe area.
Step 3: If the round is partially out of chamber, apply some sort of lubricant down the barrel like CLP or even WD40. Give it about minute to go down the barrel and into the chamber.
Step 4: If your rifle has a collapsible stock, collapse it down all the way. Damage to the stock can occur if this is not done.
Step 5: Next, while the rifle is pointed up, raise the rifle approx. 6 inches from the ground and push the rifle down with a little force like you are hammering the carpet/mat with your AR. At the same time pull down on the charging handle. Don't hammer it down hard, just enough to help get the inertia going to help pull down the charging handle/bolt.
Step 6: Repeat if the round did not pop out the first time. Typically after the 2nd or 3rd attempt you will get movement and the round should pop out. If this does not work, try to go higher like 8-10 inches to create a stronger force/inertia, again while you are pulling down on the charging handle.
Step 7: Once you get the round/case clear from the chamber, Clean and Lubricate the rifle.
Bolt Over-ride: “Manual Bolt Manipulation”
Rarely you’ll see a bolt over-ride malfunction, which is when a case or live round gets lodged on top of the bolt group and wedged into the receiver. The charging handle will normally come back part way, without any spring tension on it, but will come to a sudden stop before it reaches its full extension. Remove the magazine, if you haven’t already.
The support hand goes up the magwell so the first finger can press and hold the bolt to the rear. The primary hand goes to the charging handle. Pull the charging handle back while at the same time pressing the bolt to the rear. Once the bolt is back hold it there with the finger on the support hand and work the charging handle back and forth. The charging handle will dislodge the round or brass so that it can drop out of the lower receiver through the magwell. Cycle the bolt three times to make sure the chamber is clear and load.
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