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Discussion Starter #1
I bought me a Ruger AR556 last December on a whim, as they were on sale for pretty cheap at the local farm store. I traded my last one for a couple of WASR10's about ten years ago, and that was a much better deal.

But I made the mistake of putting some crappy mil dot scope I've had around for who knows how long on it, because it had a rail integrated in the scope. It wouldn't hold zero, groups wondered around everywhere, was doing good to shoot 3" at 100 yards with any ammo I put in it. I was highly disappointed, and finally conceded I needed a different scope. Decided on a Nikon 223 2-8x, and got it zeroed a few months ago. Hadn't really shot it any since, though. Grabbed it today, though, because I thought I'd run by the range after work and run some sub 50 yard drills. One of the mags was still half loaded with M855, and since I was headed to the range with 300 yards of space, I checked zero with the M855 and some Wolf I had along at 100 yards, and ran a silhouette out to 300.

It was zeroed initially for the M855 and Walmart special Federal 55 gr FMJ to hit minute of bad guy/minute of pie plate at 0 to 300, or that was the plan, but I hadn't shot any of the M855 at the longer range yet. Held aim right on the neck of the target in the event that it dropped five or six inches, but when it held pretty much where it was aimed, I left it up to put a few rounds of Wolf on paper, as well. It did just fine, although it groups somewhat lower than the Federal loads.

I'm super pleased. 12 rounds of M855 in just over 2 MOA at 315, and eight rounds of Wolf steel cased (calling the one shot a flier) in just under 2.5 MOA, with the rifle just draped over my range bag, not trying for any real precision is so much better that what it exhibited before.

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Yup. The importance of a decent optic paired with a quality mount - neither of which has to be expensive, necessarily - cannot be over-stated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Made another range trip out over the weekend. Shooting a bunch of different types of .223/5.56 at 100 yards for a base line, and then staking three of them out to the 315 yard berm.

Just a single seven round group at 100 yards sufficed. I was out for a good idea what each would provide for accuracy, as well as point of impact for longer range.
M855, American Eagle .223 55 gr FMJ, Federal 55 gr FMJ (WM special), Black Hills 52 gr HP, and Fiocchi 55 gr FMJ all ranged between just a tick over 2" to 2.6", which is very good. The Black Hills and Fiocchi loads landed right in the middle at 2.3" for both.

AE ran 2 1/2" high, Federal 1 1/2" high, and the M855 3" high.

Wolf steel cased was 3.3", zeroed centered, which would explain the 9" drop from the last trip out at 300. Group size quite good, IMO, for steel cased.

Aguila 55 gr FMJ and Armscor 62 gr FMJ didn't do anything spectacular. They will be relegated to short range stuff, I think. Aguila grouped 3.5" but shot right, Armscor was at adequate height above center for 300 shooting, but at 5", I wouldn't expect a decent group.

Took the three Federal loads to 315, 12 round group. With about an 8 mph cross wind, all three drifted about 5-6".
American Eagle grouped 9.6", shooting 7" low.
Federal 55 gr grouped 13.47", shooting 5" low. I'll shoot it some more, but either I just sucked, or it's not all that great an ammo. Either way, it shoots similar enough to the others that it'll be effective enough for what the gun is doing.
M855 did just what I expected. 6.45" group, and might have been 2" low. I've seen a lot of folks on the forums around who just don't like the old green tip ammo, but I think it's becoming my favorite load for this gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Question. I've gotten this sort of malfunction, of course with the bolt half closed on the stuck round. The other day I had one with steel cased and three back to back with brass cased. Today I had four of them in 50 rounds of Wolf I fired.

Gun just cleaned, and it shoots fine. I've got mostly GI mags that I had to have cabbaged onto when I was still enlisted. Then the one Pmag that came with the rifle. I don't think it's happened with the Pmag at all, I'm speculating it's weak mag springs. Figured I'd ask the powers that be here.


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I've got mostly GI mags that I had to have cabbaged onto when I was still enlisted. Then the one Pmag that came with the rifle. I don't think it's happened with the Pmag at all, I'm speculating it's weak mag springs.
* emphasis added :)

Magazine issues is one of the highest-probability causes - and lucky for all of us, it's also one of the easiest to troubleshoot.

Mark your mags in a conclusive and definitive manner, spence13e. "Sharpie," paint-pen, a distinct scratch, tape, etc.: whatever you do, just make sure that you can tell one mag from another, and that their unique identifier stays with that specific magazine "permanently."

Take a note-pad with you to the range, or just use the back of an expended target, and record down when you see the stoppages, and which magazine(s) they come from.

Work one troubleshooting variable at a time. And be certain of what you're observing (write it down ;)).

Right now, you're at the magazine. Use the same batch of ammo in all of your magazines so you can take that out of the equation, and start your troubleshooting matrix from there. :)
 

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Question. I've gotten this sort of malfunction, of course with the bolt half closed on the stuck round. The other day I had one with steel cased and three back to back with brass cased. Today I had four of them in 50 rounds of Wolf I fired.

Gun just cleaned, and it shoots fine. I've got mostly GI mags that I had to have cabbaged onto when I was still enlisted. Then the one Pmag that came with the rifle. I don't think it's happened with the Pmag at all, I'm speculating it's weak mag springs. Figured I'd ask the powers that be here.


View attachment 689359
In addition to what @TSiWRX said above...

Is that steel case?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
* emphasis added :)

Magazine issues is one of the highest-probability causes - and lucky for all of us, it's also one of the easiest to troubleshoot.

Mark your mags in a conclusive and definitive manner, spence13e. "Sharpie," paint-pen, a distinct scratch, tape, etc.: whatever you do, just make sure that you can tell one mag from another, and that their unique identifier stays with that specific magazine "permanently."

Take a note-pad with you to the range, or just use the back of an expended target, and record down when you see the stoppages, and which magazine(s) they come from.

Work one troubleshooting variable at a time. And be certain of what you're observing (write it down ;)).

Right now, you're at the magazine. Use the same batch of ammo in all of your magazines so you can take that out of the equation, and start your troubleshooting matrix from there. :)
Being as I was only at the range 20 or 30 minutes and 50 rounds yesterday, and had four malfunctions, on the second it dawned on me that the two GI mags I had brought were the ones with the problem. It occurred twice more after that, same mags.

The last time I went out I had three said malfunctions, one with the Wolf I was shooting yesterday and two with Armscorp ammo.

When my finances get ahead just a bit, I’m going to order me some new mags. I thought I had more of them than I do, but I remember I sold some off after I traded my last AR about ten years ago.

I’m with you on marking mags, though. I need to get a Dremel attachment to mark mags with. I bought a bunch of USGI M9 mags that required new springs, too, which was helpful in troubleshooting here because I just did this with my Beretta not long ago.

A couple of the mags I have are the older type with a black follower, so when I get springs for these, I’ll need some followers, too. I didn’t pay enough attention to say whether it was the black or green follower mags that caused the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In addition to what @TSiWRX said above...

Is that steel case?
Yes. I know it’s generally not as functional as brass, but I bought a half case when I bought the rifle simply to test compared to cheap brass case. I clean it more than normal if/when shooting it. There’s a good chance I ain’t going to buy any more of it.
 

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Being as I was only at the range 20 or 30 minutes and 50 rounds yesterday, and had four malfunctions, on the second it dawned on me that the two GI mags I had brought were the ones with the problem. It occurred twice more after that, same mags.

The last time I went out I had three said malfunctions, one with the Wolf I was shooting yesterday and two with Armscorp ammo.

When my finances get ahead just a bit, I’m going to order me some new mags. I thought I had more of them than I do, but I remember I sold some off after I traded my last AR about ten years ago.

I’m with you on marking mags, though. I need to get a Dremel attachment to mark mags with. I bought a bunch of USGI M9 mags that required new springs, too, which was helpful in troubleshooting here because I just did this with my Beretta not long ago.

A couple of the mags I have are the older type with a black follower, so when I get springs for these, I’ll need some followers, too. I didn’t pay enough attention to say whether it was the black or green follower mags that caused the issue.
Cool beans - it looks like you've really started to nail it down, much more than you had suggested in reading through your previous post. :)

Hopefully it's as simple as just magazine issues.

That's the thing with the metal mags: when they fail, it's not necessarily noticeable. Typically, with PMags, you'll see that there's a crack in the body/feed-lip area.

Springs/followers is a common issue to all magazines, of-course. Not really much that can be done, there, except to retrofit with new/latest when possible.

Magazines are supposed to be disposable, but none of us really have money to just burn. :)

In terms of steel/brass cased ammo -

Some guns seem more tolerant of steel case than others - that switching back-and-forth between steel and brass seem to not cause feed/extraction issues. Shooters thus often abide by the rule of not go back to shooting brass after shooting steel, until the chamber area's been cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Cool beans - it looks like you've really started to nail it down, much more than you had suggested in reading through your previous post. :)

Hopefully it's as simple as just magazine issues.

That's the thing with the metal mags: when they fail, it's not necessarily noticeable. Typically, with PMags, you'll see that there's a crack in the body/feed-lip area.

Springs/followers is a common issue to all magazines, of-course. Not really much that can be done, there, except to retrofit with new/latest when possible.

Magazines are supposed to be disposable, but none of us really have money to just burn. :)
LOL, well sometimes I don't quite have something worked out before I post, but through merely putting thoughts out in type makes the answer click. Somewhat the case here. Plus, I just did the same thing with a lot of M9 mags I bought. Next to new pistol with the slide not locking open. The fine folks at the Beretta Forum got me sorted out there, and some new Wolf extra power springs solved that problem.

I prefer the aluminum body mags personally. Pmags may be good, but reading on them they aren't quite as hardy long term. Maybe I'm wrong, but call it a case of I'll stick with what I know.

As for steel cased, I seem to remember reading some of the 'serious' AR guys shooting heaps of steel just fine, it just requires more cleaning, especially if switching back and forth, as you say. I shot a bit of Tula and it was far less than stellar, but the Wolf shoots surprisingly well.
 

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^ I only know that two of my ARs are not particular about the steel/brass intermix - although to be honest the round-count at each instance of intermix was rather low since their last cleaning. I can't say on the others in my possession as I've sadly simply never had the chance to try. :oops: As with you, I know plenty of more serious shooters who just dump steel-case through their ARs, and no-one really complains much, but at the same time, I also have shooters I trust who have maintained that one or another of their guns really does not do well with steel-case. I figure that if I am lucky enough to have a gun that doesn't care, then I've lucked out!

For the long-term cache (I'm a first generation immigrant, I really have no firearms "history," so part of my overall goalhas been to establish a legacy for my daughter and the coming generations), I divided AR mags between "aluminum USGI" and PMags. I figure that I should listen to the old-timers and guys like Larry Vickers, no matter how much I trust what Duane Liptak discloses of their testing regimen. :) My training mags are divided between PMags and Lancer L5/AWMs. I figure this has my bases covered in a decent way!
 

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The steel case isn't what you gotta worry about.

The bimetal jackets used by the Russian stuff is what will give you accelerated bore erosion.

It doesn't seem to have much effect in slower stuff like 7.62X39 but 5.56 will sometimes be moving fast enough to see signs.
 

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i wont own a ar15 that wont consistently eat tula steel. its the test. ill run a few hundred minimum to start and if its a pain i sell it to someone who doesnt care. usually my builds will chew up 500 to 1000 rounds before they start fail to extracting. then a quick thorough cleaning restores function. those cases gum up the chamber but easy to cleanout.
 
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