Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Shooter and Lube Fail

This past Thanksgiving, I visited my sister and her family. Dinner was an amazing meal of deep-fried turkey, stuffing, various casseroles and all of the traditional "fixin's" with outstanding homemade pie for dessert.

As part of the weekend, I had promised to take my brother-in-law, nieces and nephews, and my kids to the range. So, I lugged some of my guns down to her house and on Friday we went shooting.

Friday morning began with a complete discussion on the Four Rules, as well as a discussion on range status and safety procedures. Since my BIL and nephew haven't done much (if any) shooting, I wanted to ensure that the time there would be fun. So, in addition to paper targets, we brought along some plastic bottles and a box of clay pigeons.

Arriving at the range, we set up the gear at several tables and reviewed safety one last time. There were some people already there, and it looked like we might have an issue as there was nobody obviously managing safety. I had a brief discussion with the other shooters, let them know that I had neophytes with me and that I would jump into the RSO role to control the range for our group. They agreed and so I did.

After setting up targets and picking out which gun each person was going to start out with, I confirmed our ready status with the line, got thumbs up all the way down, and called "Range Hot". Our experienced shooters got to get some fun time plinking and target shooting, but the real joy was to have my nephew and BIL each get these HUGE grins on their faces after shooting the guns for the first time. I had started out the nephew on the AR, and he did very well, even hitting some clays set up at 100 yds from the offhand position. The boy is a natural.

Brother-in-Law got to start out on the 45, and his form was good. Next he got to shoot the LR-308 and was doing an incredible job of putting the bullet right on target. I watched as he picked out a clay on the berm, lined up, and turned it to powder. I thought the grin he had was going to strain something! It was HUGE! New shooters are more fun than puling the trigger myself sometimes. :)

After we had been shooting for a while, both of the rifles began to malfunction. They would eject just fine, but would fail-to-feed with a bolt over-ride. As it was nearing the end of the session, we agreed to pack up (it was also 35F with a strong wind so we were COLD!), and I would check the guns out when I got back home.

Upon breaking down the rifles, it was obvious that I had experienced a lube failure. Both guns had been throughly cleaned with Hoppes prior to shooting, then lubricated with Break Free CLP (per the manual). Clearly this was inadequate. Below you can see the bolt from the AR, and as you can see, there is no lube residue left on the bolt or carrier.

I did a complete tear-down of the rifles looking for any damage (none found) and commenced to cleaning. After cleaning the rifles, I used a hi-temp grease instead of CLP for the bolts and carriers. I plan to shoot again this Saturday to see if it fares better. The forecast is for similar conditions as we had over Thanksgiving (cold and windy, possible precipitation) so I should be able to determine if this is a better approach for these conditions.

I hope you had as good a Thanksgiving weekend as I did. I look forward to meeting up with you at the NoVa Blogmeet this Saturday



FTC Disclosure: I am not affiliated with, nor do I derive compensation from, any manufacturers or vendors of any of the products listed. If I use it, it is because I like it. Now, go pull the wings off of some flies or something.


Mike W. said...

Hey, I hadn't shot at all either!

Also, the shotgun was a ton of fun. My favorite out of all of the guns I shot that day.

Newbius said...


I apologize. I thought we had gone shooting before.

Maybe next time we can do some Trap or Skeet.

Old NFO said...

Good way to handle the situation, and good diagnosis and fix. See you Saturday!

Rumson said...

I've read articles on using grease but haven't tried it myself yet. I'm curious as to the results as I may use a grease on my pistol's slide rails as well

- Rumson