Fixing the most common AR-15 failures does not have to be difficult. But, first off, shit happens regardless of the trigger you’re pulling. Everything fails — be it levers, handguns, bolt-actions & even almighty revolvers.
Today though, we’re focusing on the AR-15.
The ArmaLite is one of the most innovative firearms in the world. But this doesn’t make it immune to malfunction. Fortunately, these deficiencies are easily diagnosed & corrected.
As we’ll see below.
However, here’s what to note first: be familiar with your safety tips. It is foolhardy to dive into platform shooting without any understanding of safety.
Fixing the Most Common AR-15 Failures — Top 3
Failure to Feed
This is by far the most familiar failure you’ll be facing as a firearm owner. It happens when the round is not loaded into your AR’s chamber from the magazine when it’s supposed to.
The most annoying part of failure to feed is that it could happen at any time — it could be your first shots at 7 am or could be in the middle of target shooting. Whatever, the issue remains that the most common part of failure in guns is the magazine. So, assess your mag first.
The quick cure is to tap, rack & reassess, and this drill may be all that you need in some cases — especially with luck on your side.
Otherwise, you’ll have to make a more detailed diagnosis.
What comes next is to take out the mag & check for any damage (let’s hope it doesn’t happen when you’re shooting at some bad guys). Count the number of loaded cartridges too. You may have a 30-round mag that cannot 30 rounds anymore due to consecutive years of abuse.
Failure to Extract/Eject
This refers to the failure of a just-fired cartridge to leave the chamber or the rifle. This means that the cartridge may be ejected out of the chamber and remain in the gym. Whichever — the next round won’t be fed to the chamber.
This is ideally resolved with a simple tilt of your gun or a quick jiggle.
However, it can be more difficult sometimes. This usually happens when the bullet is shorts-stroked. That is, it went halfway before stopping.
Fortunately, this is easily fixed.
The first step is to check if the bolt locked itself back. If it didn’t, lock it manually & then drop the mag. After this, pull the trigger to see if the bullet drops. You may give the gun a slight shake too.
While you’re doing this, please ensure that the muzzle is pointed away from you.
Failure to Fire
There’s always the tendency for a click no bang once in a while. This is typically the result of an ammunition mishap, or it may be that the bolt didn’t complete its forward leap before stopping.
If it’s a case of the bolt not traveling forward, you can follow the steps advised for failure to feed.
But when it’s an ammo failure, simply eject your round & examine it. There should be a mark on the primer where it was struck by the firing pin. If you can’t find any mark here, it means there was a light strike.
At this point, chill, homie: don’t disassemble your AR baby. This is usually an ammo problem, so you may have to discontinue usage of the bullets you’re using. But only if the failure happens repeatedly.
Final Lines on Fixing the Most Common AR-15 Failures
Fixing the most common AR-15 failures can be easily done. I’m sure none of the solutions you’ve read above appears too difficult to follow. Do you use an AR-15? What’s an error you’ve been facing? Let’s help you sort it.