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Unread 01-31-2010, 12:50 PM   #1
Claircom
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How to polish a 5.56 Feed Ramp

Just like the title says.. What is the best way to polish a standard AR-style feed ramp? I have a 5.56 handgun (PLR-16) that jams on occassion. I would be okay with the typical 1 in 100 rounds not seating, but this gun tends to jam once per 20-round magazine. The only thing out-of-norm is how tight the magazine is when inserted in the gun. I adjusted the mag well last year, and (generally speaking) it's now 'snug'. I prefer the magazines to drop out when released, and this gun requires a pull.

I don't think the jamming is related to the 'snug magazine', but added that as a just-in-case. Regardless, I applied some gun grease to the feed ramp, and the next 20-rounds fired freely. Between magazines, I sprayed dry-lube on the feed ramp, and it worked flawlessly. I would prefer not to spray shit, or apply grease every 20-rounds, so possibly polishing the feed ramp is needed.

Assume a dremel tool with a small polishing tip (?). Should I apply a mild abrasive? High RPM or does that vary based upon type of tip or polish? I don't see any indications of a scored ramp, and it looks like it has been deburred. Not as shiny as my AR platforms, but not sure that's required.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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Just like the title says.. What is the best way to polish a standard AR-style feed ramp? I have a 5.56 handgun (PLR-16) that jams on occassion. I would be okay with the typical 1 in 100 rounds not seating, but this gun tends to jam once per 20-round magazine. The only thing out-of-norm is how tight the magazine is when inserted in the gun. I adjusted the mag well last year, and (generally speaking) it's now 'snug'. I prefer the magazines to drop out when released, and this gun requires a pull.

I don't think the jamming is related to the 'snug magazine', but added that as a just-in-case. Regardless, I applied some gun grease to the feed ramp, and the next 20-rounds fired freely. Between magazines, I sprayed dry-lube on the feed ramp, and it worked flawlessly. I would prefer not to spray shit, or apply grease every 20-rounds, so possibly polishing the feed ramp is needed.

Assume a dremel tool with a small polishing tip (?). Should I apply a mild abrasive? High RPM or does that vary based upon type of tip or polish? I don't see any indications of a scored ramp, and it looks like it has been deburred. Not as shiny as my AR platforms, but not sure that's required.
you need to start with a soft sanding pad on your dremel, make sure you don't over speed the bit and temper the metal though. First step in polishing is getting the metal smooth. Start with about a 400 grain pad, so you can make slow but good progress. Then, you can move to a cloth polishing pad with some mothers polish. Make sure once you're done to completely clean the gun free of metal shavings. I'm sure I have a picture of a gun I've done before.

edit: here is Yale's 1911, had similar occasional feed issues. This is after some light polishing.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
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A couple of things i would suggest; if your using steel mags change to the pmags(plastic). I have several pmags and steel mags. My pmags tend to feed better. As far as your mags not dropping, what you could do it adjust your mag catch. Push your mag release in, on the other side is your catch, when you see it come out a little, grab it and turn it couter clockwise 1 time.
This will make your catch a little looser. I tend to like mine tight. Just a few suggestions that might could help you out.

Dont loosen it too much or it could hender your feed issue's more.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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CJ - thanks. When you say use "Mother's Polish", is that like in the Mother's I use for the car? I have automotive polishing compound (rubbing compound, too).... Will see if Home Depot has the 400-grain pad.

Scotts.. I have tried both - pMags and standard steel case. I do get better results from the 20-round magazine as opposed to the 30-round. Same type of follower, so I am not sure why that would come into play. As for as my 'snug magazine' - I could remove the mag catch alltogether, and it would stay put. I can adjust the mag-well tension, but only to a certain point. Not overly concerned about the tight mag's, but do appreciate your input.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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CJ - thanks. When you say use "Mother's Polish", is that like in the Mother's I use for the car? I have automotive polishing compound (rubbing compound, too).... Will see if Home Depot has the 400-grain pad.

Scotts.. I have tried both - pMags and standard steel case. I do get better results from the 20-round magazine as opposed to the 30-round. Same type of follower, so I am not sure why that would come into play. As for as my 'snug magazine' - I could remove the mag catch alltogether, and it would stay put. I can adjust the mag-well tension, but only to a certain point. Not overly concerned about the tight mag's, but do appreciate your input.
yeah, just regular old metal polish will work fine. No real need for any rubbing compound or anything of the like. Usually, I go from 400 grit to 1500 for a few minutes by hand, and then polish it.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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yeah, just regular old metal polish will work fine. No real need for any rubbing compound or anything of the like. Usually, I go from 400 grit to 1500 for a few minutes by hand, and then polish it.
It did the trick, for sure. I have zero feeding issues now, unless it gets crazy dirty.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 09:42 AM   #7
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Fingernail file.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 10:12 AM   #8
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Fingernail file.
That's called an Emory board, and the better choice would be Emory cloth. Emory boards can't match the shape of the feed ramps.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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they make a bit for dremels which has hundreds of sheets of sandpaper strips attached to a center point, so instead of you applying a sanding wheel to it, it essentially slaps the hundreds of sheets against the surface - no direct contact, no marring, just smoothing the surface. I've found it to be the best solution when you can't get a roloc pad on something.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 10:47 PM   #10
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I'd check all my magazines before polishing, and I'd take the gun apart and thoroughly check for any burrs in the ramp and feed area.

I've seriously never seen an AR or M16 fail to feed a round. I've personally only shot about 2000 rounds out of these rifles, but I've been on shoots where 50 other people are shooting them the same day too.... every 6 months for 5 years. In that time I've seen near a 100K rounds shot out of M16s, and I've never seen one fail to feed.

I'd be interested to know magazine brand, what brand lower, who made the upper setup the headspacing on it etc. The thought of an AR failing to feed worries and baffles me.

The rifle is really designed to feed rounds no matter what. It's not AK tolerant, but it's not very picky either.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #11
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Almost all AR15 feeding problems are magazine related. I would get a couple of new in box or wrapper mags and try them. The PMag or a Mil Spec mag are the the only two I use and have never had any problems. The Brownells mags are really great pieces and should be a must have for metal mags.

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Unread 02-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #12
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I'd check all my magazines before polishing, and I'd take the gun apart and thoroughly check for any burrs in the ramp and feed area.

I've seriously never seen an AR or M16 fail to feed a round. I've personally only shot about 2000 rounds out of these rifles, but I've been on shoots where 50 other people are shooting them the same day too.... every 6 months for 5 years. In that time I've seen near a 100K rounds shot out of M16s, and I've never seen one fail to feed.

I'd be interested to know magazine brand, what brand lower, who made the upper setup the headspacing on it etc. The thought of an AR failing to feed worries and baffles me.

The rifle is really designed to feed rounds no matter what. It's not AK tolerant, but it's not very picky either.
AnthonyS - Agreed. I have three AR-15's, and none of them jam. If you read my initial post, the gun in question is a PLR-16. There is no lower & upper like an AR, but it does fire .223 rounds and has "an AR-style feed ramp". The brand is Kel-Tec, and the magazines I use are pMag's (I have quite a few steel mags, but prefer the plastic). They are completely interchangeable with any one of my AR's, and I don't experience the same jamming issue. With enough lube on the ramp, I don't have problems. Not the best situation IMHO, so polishing the feed ramp may prevent any future problems.

FWIW - I haven't had the time to range test, and will post a note when I have an hour, and 100-rounds to spare.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 08:44 PM   #13
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AnthonyS - Agreed. I have three AR-15's, and none of them jam. If you read my initial post, the gun in question is a PLR-16. There is no lower & upper like an AR, but it does fire .223 rounds and has "an AR-style feed ramp". The brand is Kel-Tec, and the magazines I use are pMag's (I have quite a few steel mags, but prefer the plastic). They are completely interchangeable with any one of my AR's, and I don't experience the same jamming issue. With enough lube on the ramp, I don't have problems. Not the best situation IMHO, so polishing the feed ramp may prevent any future problems.

FWIW - I haven't had the time to range test, and will post a note when I have an hour, and 100-rounds to spare.
Well, if you might bring it by, or go to one of the shoots I can take a look at it for you and tell you definitively, but sounds like you have a good grip on it.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 10:00 AM   #14
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Thanks CJ. When I pickup the shotgun, I will bring the PLR with me. Always nice to have a second set of eyes on the problem :-)
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