Okay, You’re Well Lubricated, But Can You Still Perform?

Jul 01, 2013

So you’ve got that semi-auto firearm all properly lubed up and everything slides slick and smooth, like water off a duck’s back.  How come then, your firearm still isn’t performing the way you would like it to?

The problems with most semi-automatic firearms boil down to chambering, extracting and feeding issues.  If you follow a few simple steps, you will minimize the amount of problems of you have with your firearm.

Proper seating of the bullets in the magazine:   If you are a fan of war movies, you have undoubtedly seen a soldier take the magazine for his rifle and tap it on his helmet before inserting it into his rifle.  They do that to make sure the bullets are all seated to the very back of the magazine so they will feed properly and not bind.
Seeing how most of us don’t wear helmets when shooting these days (don’t tap the magazines on your head, it will lead to the targets looking blurry and a strange pounding in your temples), a good rap of the magazine into the palm of your hand or on your thigh will seat the bullets and make sure they are sitting where they are supposed to be.  Then FIRMLY insert the magazine into the firearm. Once it’s in an extra smack on the bottom of the magazine ensures it is in properly and latched.

Don’t use the bolt release:  The bolt release on semi-auto rifles really wasn’t designed to be used all the time.  Once the magazine has been inserted into the rifle, grab the bolt handle, pull it to the rear and let it go.  A lot of people will hold the bolt as it is going forward as they don’t think that the bolt slamming into battery is good for the rifle.  By doing this they stop the rifle from properly stripping a round from the magazine and having the momentum to chamber the round and properly lock up.  These firearms were not designed to be babied.  Treat that rifle like a rented mule and it will chamber and feed for you much better.
Pistols are a slightly different animal, where using the slide release isn’t as bad, but it is still far better to pull the slide back and let fly.

Magazine maintenance:    The magazine is an oft overlooked item.  Magazines that are dirty, rusty or have bent feed lips can be causes of major amounts of problems with the functioning of semi-auto firearms.  Taking your magazines apart regularly and cleaning them and in some cases a light polish of the follower ears can make a word of difference as to how your firearm functions.

Try these simple things and your rifle or pistol will perform all the better for it.  Don’t namby pamby them, treat them like they were designed to be treated and you’ll enjoy shooting these for years to come.

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