My rifle won't cycle reliably
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Thread: My rifle won't cycle reliably

  1. #1
    Carbineman The Newbie's Avatar
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    My rifle won't cycle reliably

    Just took my XCR for it's second range session yesterday, and I suffered horrible cycling issues for a second time. FYI, I have the old gas system, and I have not lowered the setting from "4" yet.

    The first time I shot it a few weeks back, I put about 200 rounds through it with some Remington ammo, using the mag that came with the rifle and 2 brand new Brownells. From about midway through the first mag, I was getting stove-pipes and weak ejection. About halfway through the session, I opened the rifle up, checked the ejector (tight as a drum), and added some lube. After the lube, the problems seemed to get better, and toward the end were much rarer.

    Yesterday, I went to a different range to fire the XCR for second time. Before I went, I lubed the bolt and carrier thoroughly. This indoor range required the use of frangible ammo, which I purchased there. This is the same ammo they sell to anyone firing .223. My buddy also came along with his new S&W AR. From the first mag, I started getting the same problems as before almost every other round. Stove-pipes, FTFs, and weak ejection. I tried a Brownell mag again, the one that came with the XCR, and the one that came with my buddy's S&W. All suffered problems, although the S&W mag was a little better.

    After about 100 rounds or so (total count 300), I asked one of the range workers there to see if he could notice anything out of the ordinary. He loaded up a P-mag up with a different brand of ammo and fired it rapidly without a malfunction. The brass seemed to be throwing a decent distance in all but maybe 1 shot that I noticed. His advice to me, "Get new mags".

    For the final 100 rounds or so I went back to using my brownells, with the same result as before. So my total round count in the gun is now about 400 and no improvement with the problems.

    Also of note, the mag that came with my XCR cycled fine in my friend's AR. The ejector was still tight as a drum when I checked it.

    Please help point me in the right direction. I appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    XCR Guru dont_tread_on_me's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    It sounds to me that even though you have the gas on setting four,you're still not getting enough to properly cycle the rifle.The only thing I can think of right off is that your gas block may be positioned incorrectly.In other words the holes in the block and barrel aren't lining up completely.I'm not that familiar with the old gas system,but I'm almost certain that it indexes the same way as the new gas systems.
    Since it is the old gas system,did you buy the rifle new or used? Since I would think used,did you talk with the original owner(if possible) about how the rifle performed before you purchased it etc? If you can talk to the original owner,ask him if the gas block was ever removed.It might not have been replaced properly.I'm just trying to determine if these problems are new or have always happened with this particular rifle.The gas block could have became loose as well allowing it to move some.Either way I believe it's a gas pressure issue.From what I gather your using descent ammo,so I don't think that's it.It also seems to be giving problems with different magazine too.The XCR usually isn't really finicky about magazines anyway and Brownells are better than most an U.S,G,I. magazine that I've seen.
    If you look at the gas block check to make sure it is flush against the shoulder on the barrel.If not use an Allen wrench and loosen it,then slide it all the way down against that shoulder and re-tighten.Lastly take the gas adjustment knob out and see if the inside of the block is extremely dirty,that might cause this issue as well.If it is soak is in some bore cleaner(Hoppes) and also use some action cleaner inside the gas block.A toothpick is also handy as well as q-tips to get all the powder residue.Try these and get back.
    Ok on the FTF.By that you mean that the new round fully chambers and when you pull the trigger you get a click and no boom? If so,have you tried re-chambering and firing them again,and if so did it fire.If so have you ever had a trigger job,and by whom.You may just need a new hammer spring,which is a really easy fix.



    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse.... A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.----John Stuart Mill

  3. #3
    Carbineman The Newbie's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    tread, Thank you again. I really appreciate the response.

    I am the only owner of the rifle. I bought it new, ordered direct from RA through my local shop. I just haven't had the chance to shoot it until recently.

    I have not adjusted anything on the gas block so far. Right now as far as I can tell, everything looks like it's supposed to be. The only movement I see is a small amount of "play" in the gas tube only, but I don't think that's the problem. However, I will do what you suggested as far as trying to loosen it and re-tighten.

    Here are some pics of the gas block right now. (Sorry they aren't very good, I had to use my phone)




    On the FTFs, I may have used that term erroneously. It might actually be a "short stroke". It seems the bolt does not come back hard enough to eject the spent casing and thus can't feed a new one in. When I pull the trigger on a live round, chambered properly, it goes bang every time. It's just that they aren't getting a chance to get into the chamber. Thus, I am manually clearing the spent case still in there, or the stove-pipe, sometimes that includes ejecting the live round in there that didn't get a chance to be fired.

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  5. #4
    XCR Guru dont_tread_on_me's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    If you can remove your gas valve and check for burrs inside.If there are try to clean them out with a properly sized drill bit just using your hand,don't do it with a drill attached!! If the rifle hasn't been fired much,it won't be dirty enough to cause what your experiencing.I still contend it's not enough gas getting into the system,but from the pics your looks like it's exactly where it's supposed to be.Worst case scenario send it back to Terra and she will sort you out in short order.The gas valve holes may be out of spec a touch or something.I'm not familiar with some of the minor issues with the earlier XCR's,but she will be able to square you away.



    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse.... A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.----John Stuart Mill

  6. #5
    Expert MrSmitty's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    Yup send it into Terra for fixing.
    "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

  7. #6
    XCR Guru TerraShrewsbury's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    bad gas block. Send me your upper (with the internals) and I will turn it around most speedily.
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  8. #7
    Carbineman The Newbie's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    Quote Originally Posted by TerraShrewsbury View Post
    bad gas block. Send me your upper (with the internals) and I will turn it around most speedily.
    Thanks for the prompt response, Terra. On a Sunday, no less.

    By internals, do you mean that you want the bolt/carrier, operating rod and assembly as well?


  9. #8
    XCR Guru TerraShrewsbury's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    yes please.
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  10. #9
    Carbineman The Newbie's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    that was fast. just got my upper back, and its looking good! can't wait to take it to the range!

    thanks Terra!

  11. #10
    XCR Guru TerraShrewsbury's Avatar
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    Re: My rifle won't cycle reliably

    they call me rápidamente mujer. ;D
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