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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To start off, we/I are/am dealing with a 2022 production XCR-L in 5.56 caliber, 16 inch barrel. Shooting Winchester 55 grain 5.56 NATO.

I finally managed to take it down to the range and run some rounds through it.
It seems to have more recoil than I remember with the Norinco NHM-90 shooting .223 caliber ammo.
I specifically bought something other than another 5.56 AK, because the NHM-90 has always bent brass, and the Galil I was looking at had the same reputation. I believe the NHM-90 was bouncing the brass off the charging handle. I did some things to resolve that, might find out the next trip to the range. This trip I took only the XCR.

I run through the first magazine in the XCR, bend over to pick up the brass, and it's bent and dented. My first through: "Am I not allowed to have a rifle that will allow me to reuse brass?".
Bends on the mouth.
Dents in the shoulders.
Occasionally, both.

One thing I am wondering: This is an indoor range. The stalls might not be even as wide as a porta-potty. And the walls are made of diamond plate pattern aluminum sheet. I'm taking some pretty good brass hits in the side of the head and neck. I wonder if I am just too close to the wall, and the dents are coming from that.

Second thing, I have not adjusted the gas at all. When the rifle was complete, the telephone call was from Alex. He said he tested the rifle himself, with 5.56, and it should be good to break in on 5.56 on setting 4, where he left it. If I decided to use .223 later, I could/should adjust one setting position.
I am a car guy. We want adjustable everything on the suspension. The factory makes nothing adjustable, because people would hurt themselves. The most important thing about having adjustable everything, is knowing how to adjust it.
I don't think it's time to start screwing around with the gas setting, but this seems like another one of those things like the recoil spring, that is adjusted based on how far the brass is thrown, so I bring it up as a possibility, because it seems like the brass might be flying with a pretty high level of lethality.

Last thought, this thing is bouncing brass off the area around the ejection port. But I don't see any marks on the upper, left by the brass.

I may look into a brass catcher, or more likely, try to figure out how to hang a towel on the right wall to reduce the bounce.

It kind of ticks me off, because other places, I could usually find and retrieve most of my brass. But at this place, I lose a good 40+%, no matter what I am shooting.

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Additional thoughts:

The two gill muzzle break is too freaking loud.

This thing is supposed to be something like a half pound lighter than the Norinco NHM-90. I'm many years out of practice, and ended up with a pretty good left arm cramp. Should I be thinking about an angled fore grip?

Knock on wood, no problem with the firing pin, and no problems feeding or ejecting.

I ran 150 rounds through. Not exactly fast. Lots of pausing and running the target up and back to see how badly I was shooting. The barrel got HOT. I had read people comment the barrels do not get hot on these things. This was much hotter than the NHM-90 ever got. I waited at least ten minutes for it to cool before I could pack up to leave.
 

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Once you fire around 200rds of brass, do the following:
Insert a single round into the magazine, fire the gun. It should lock back on the bolt catch. Repeat and reduce the gas setting by 1 to determine the minimum gas setting for your ammo and conditions. LRBHO should be your benchmark, and healthy ejection should be around 10-15ft. Sometimes the gas adjustment can be enough for lrbho, but you can feel the bolt carrier running slow. I try to avoid that because it can cause stoppages. You'll eventually get a feel for it.
Gun is probably still wearing in, less of an issue now but I've still had some break in issues with some new conversions occasionally. Usually clears up around 200rds and you'll feel the gun run much smoother.
You can also inspect the ejector/nuts, they should be hand tight (don't over tighten them since the upper is aluminum, but they shouldn't be loose either). I witness mark these with paint so I can inspect while cleaning. I've never had them come loose on my rifles, but I have heard of a couple other people with this issue over the years.
I usually dump the muzzle brake and put an a2 flash hider or some kind of 3 prong. IMO a brake isn't necessary on intermediate.
 

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what do you think is wearing in on the new conversions? I’ve always thought it might be the recoil spring but you aren’t likely replacing that on your conversions.
On a new conversion it's the bbl to bolt interface.....and depending on the gas system....the piston head to gas block/dial interface.
 

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On a new conversion it's the bbl to bolt interface.....and depending on the gas system....the piston head to gas block/dial interface.
This. I think it's mostly bolt to barrel extension. I had a 12" 7.62x39 that was really sticky until around 200rds. I could feel a tiny burr on the inside of the barrel extension where the bolt mates up. Smooth now.
 
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