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  #1  
Old 05-18-2021, 02:01 PM
Av1at0r

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M4-22 Charging Handle Problem



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Over the past three or four months, I've been searching for an AR-style .22LR firearm that is reliable and relatively malfunction free. A few weeks ago, I thought I had accomplished that goal with the M4. But last weekend, imagine my surprise when both the pistol and rifle proved my assessment to be false.

During my first match with the weapons, all five stages ended with a live round in the chamber. In each case, I safed the weapon, released the magazine, and attempted to extract and eject the live round with the charging handle. The first time it happened, I cycled the handle multiple times to no effect. Unable to leave the last position in the stage with a live round in the chamber, and with RSO concurrence, I fired the round into the berm.

I originally started this thread in another forum on this site and received three troubleshooting suggestions. Prior to shooting this morning, with the bolt removed and a fired case, I tested to see if a live round could be inserted under the extractor with minimal effort; that with a round in the chamber that the rim extends over the extractor cut, and that the extractor cut is clean and free of debris. I also loaded five snap caps into a magazine, closed the bolt to chamber the first one, and extracted all five with the charging handle.

Troubleshooting continues, and I welcome any suggestions.

W.H. Mcintosh
LtCol USAF (Ret)
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2021, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Av1at0r View Post
I cycled the handle multiple times to no effect. Unable to leave the last position in the stage with a live round in the chamber, and with RSO concurrence, I fired the round into the berm.
Wish I didn't know how this feels. Happened to me on another firearm. And, the other day on this Tippmann as well. The cartridge seems to not want to get pulled out of the chamber.

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Originally Posted by Av1at0r View Post
I also loaded five snap caps into a magazine, closed the bolt to chamber the first one, and extracted all five with the charging handle.
I did that, too.

From the other firearm experience, either the chamber is just the tiniest bit tight, the cartridge case is just the tiniest bit dimpled, or, the rifling at the very edge of the chamber (the leade) has 'grabbed' the bullet. or some combination of these.

This is why your 'drop' test worked, the bolt retention test worked, and your dummy round test worked. But the problem still happened!

I imagine when you fired the round into the berm, the action cycled fine. Is that right?
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Old 05-18-2021, 04:08 PM
zukiphile
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Originally Posted by mostly22lately View Post
From the other firearm experience, either the chamber is just the tiniest bit tight, the cartridge case is just the tiniest bit dimpled, or, the rifling at the very edge of the chamber (the leade) has 'grabbed' the bullet. or some combination of these.
And
-your barrel gets crud in it as you use it and the crud keeps the round from coming out, and
-your extractor stinks.

My CMMG extractors chip, and even when they are whole, they aren't great. I often need to press the forward part of the extractor to get it grab an unfired round.

I don't know how the Tippman bolt is put together. For CMMG/Ceiner pattern bolts, there are heavy duty extractor springs.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
And
-your barrel gets crud in it as you use it and the crud keeps the round from coming out, and
-your extractor stinks.

My CMMG extractors chip, and even when they are whole, they aren't great. I often need to press the forward part of the extractor to get it grab an unfired round.

I don't know how the Tippman bolt is put together. For CMMG/Ceiner pattern bolts, there are heavy duty extractor springs.
I have one better for you:

The M&P 15-22 rifle threw the extractor, keeper, and spring twice in two days.

Does anyone from Tippmann ever monitor and comment on this forum? I realize that it's a rare occurrence on most forums, but I hope they check their voicemail once in a while...

Last edited by Av1at0r; 05-19-2021 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Add a question
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:09 PM
mostly22lately is online now

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Originally Posted by Av1at0r View Post
Does anyone from Tippmann ever monitor and comment on this forum? I realize that it's a rare occurrence on most forums, but I hope they check their voicemail once in a while...
I wonder the same thing. I have not been able to get to anybody 'live' at the plant, nor a return call, although I have not pestered them. I can say that a warranty claim for a replacement part (minor cosmetic problem) was handled VERY fast, via their email form.

Back to your issue. What is it about the combination of your chamber and the cartridge that makes 'em stick so? I mean, you (I am supposing) passed the 'plop' test without issue.
Do you have access to a borescope? I found one to be very enlightening (wow, that's what that looks like to the bullet!) and educational (wow, I learned how to clean this area more effectively!).

Last edited by mostly22lately; 05-19-2021 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mostly22lately View Post

Back to your issue. What is it about the combination of your chamber and the cartridge that makes 'em stick so? I mean, you (I am supposing) passed the 'plop' test without issue. Do you have access to a borescope? I found one to be very enlightening (wow, that's what that looks like to the bullet!) and educational (wow, I learned how to clean this area more effectively!).
Can't confirm whether I've passed a plop test, because I don't know what that is.

Don't have access to a borescope. After cleaning both firearms, I plan to repeat the extraction of a live round with the charging handle test, but with a slight difference.

If (when?) the charging handle fails to extract a live round, I'm going to lock the bolt open and check to see how tight the round is in the chamber. I've also queried a gunsmith who helped me with the M&P 15-22 rifle and pistol, and I'll update this thread with the results.
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2021, 12:49 PM
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I imagine when you fired the round into the berm, the action cycled fine. Is that right?
Absolutely. I've had none of the FTE's that plagued my M&P 15-22 rifle and pistol.
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