AR-15 Bolt Catch failing to catch?

AR-15 Bolt Catch failing to catch?

This is a discussion on AR-15 Bolt Catch failing to catch? within the DIY forums, part of the Sniping Related category; Hey all, as some of you may know I recently built two AR-15 lowers. While I was doing mine my cousin built one as well. ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member CaliforniaCowboy's Avatar
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    AR-15 Bolt Catch failing to catch?

    Hey all, as some of you may know I recently built two AR-15 lowers. While I was doing mine my cousin built one as well. He'd did the exact same lower build setup as I did.

    The issue is, his bolt is not catching on an empty mag. He's tried various magazine brands. As I can't check it out personally (350 miles away)
    I'm curious whether this is bolt catch related or Upper related (DPMS) problem; maybe something else?

    He has noted his upper (M4 Pre-ban 16") is a bit loose on his lower. I was surprised to hear this as my DPMS upper fit exceptionally well on my Stag lower. I do not know if this suggests the upper may be responsible.

    We are both anxious for some suggestions from those more experienced with AR-15s. Thanks guys for the help! Cheers!
    "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
    Sir Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Senior Member localfiend's Avatar
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    Can he lock the bolt open manually?

  3. #3
    Senior Member CaliforniaCowboy's Avatar
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    Yes temporarily, but a shake or an impact will release the bolt.
    "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
    Sir Winston Churchill

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  5. #4
    Senior Member localfiend's Avatar
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    Is the bolt catch spring and/or plunger not installed? Does it flop around or does it look to be more of a problem with where the catch meets the bolt? If he only installed the spring it could cause the problem. Other than that guess I don't really know. I imagine that if the fit was incredibly loose between the upper and lower it might cause a problem, but it would need to be bad. Someone with more experience than me might have some ideas.

  6. #5
    Senior Member CaliforniaCowboy's Avatar
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    Sounds like it catches for a moment when he pushes the mag up into the receiver and holds it with a bit of force, however, when ceases to exert force the bolt closes again.

    Thinking about it, the loose fit is appearing to be increasingly likely. He's to call DPMS today and see what they suggest.

    Thanks for the suggestions thus far!
    "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
    Sir Winston Churchill

  7. #6
    Senior Member SemperFi's Avatar
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    I had this same problem on my Colt Match Target when it was new. It would not catch on cheaper grade ammo until I got it broken in. Now it shoots anything just fine!

    I would say get some more rounds through it and it should begin to work better. Also, you could polish everyone of the magazine followers (if they are metal like the original colt mags that I have).

  8. #7
    Senior Member CaliforniaCowboy's Avatar
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    This firearm is not even loading. He's trying to get the bolt to catch when actioned on an empty mag. It wont stay open with an empty mag in...
    "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
    Sir Winston Churchill

  9. #8
    Junior Member Holling's Avatar
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    Swap out the bolt carrier with another rifle and see if that fixes the problem.
    If it isn't the mag's my guess is it must be the BC.
    I'm sure all your Northern Kali neighbors have AR's that you can swap parts with. :roll:
    Holling
    Don't vote for Obama, Osama or Chelsea's Momma!

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