Range Report - M&P-10 Sport - Problems.

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john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: Astro14
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Thanks for the suggestions, advice, and info. Astro, your hypothesis seems very likely to me. The symptoms seem consistent with a short-stroking situation, and not a magazine issue. It could be the 7.62x51mm M80 ammo. If that's the case, I'd be disappointed, as I'd expect any semi-auto rifle chambered in either .308 (as this rifle is) or 7.62 NATO, to run Lake City ball ammo. (I also tried Aguila 150g 7.62, which is probably about the same as the Lake City.) But then there's also the issue where it "locked up" and I wasn't able to pull the charging handle back until I removed the magazine. At that time, the bolt was closed. I don't know what was hanging up. If it happens again, and I have to send it in, I'll definitely include a detailed written description of that issue, as well. I'm off tomorrow, so I'll clean and lube the rifle again, and take it back to the range and try that .308 180g Federal hunting ammo I have and see if that makes any difference. I called S&W yesterday, and the guy who answered the phone didn't really provide any specific or super-helpful information. All he said was, "It sounds like you have multiple issues going on; we'll email you a shipping label. Send it in and we'll get it fixed for you." He did agree that it would be reasonable to take the rifle back to the range and try some different ammo. So, we'll see what happens tomorrow.
Make certain that the gas tube is free of obstructions, I would just hose it out with gun scrubber and chase it with a pipe cleaner. Clean it and lube it (generously). Get a new magazine (even though I think it unlikely). Try the new ammo. But even if it works with the heavier ammo, I would still be unhappy. The rifle should work with M80 ball rounds. That's common (and relatively cheap) ammo in the market and it's about all that I shoot from my rifle. Please report back.
Will do. It had better work with the M80 ball. I just received 1000 rounds of it (half is for my cousin and his M1A Scout Squad)!
 

Astro14

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Bill made an excellent point in your ammo thread: After break in, the rifle may become a lot less picky. So, run a hundred rounds of the hotter stuff through it. Then clean/lube Repeat See how it's doing with the M80...
 
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john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: Astro14
Bill made an excellent point in your ammo thread: After break in, the rifle may become a lot less picky. So, run a hundred rounds of the hotter stuff through it. Then clean/lube Repeat See how it's doing with the M80...
That may be hard to do. Heck, at the range on Saturday, it wouldn’t go 5 rounds without a jam.
 

Astro14

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Yeah...I'm presuming that it runs with the hotter ammo. If it doesn't, well, back to S&W, I would say. As disappointing as that might be...
 

john_pifer

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Just returned home from my 2nd trip to the range with the M&P-10. Before I went back to the range, I thoroughly cleaned and lubricated the rifle (it wasn't that dirty; I'd only shot 30 or so rounds on the 1st trip). I also purchased a 2nd magazine (also a PMAG; this time, a 10-rounder). When I got to the range, wanting to eliminate the magazine and any cleanliness/lubrication issues, I started off with the same ammunition I'd used in my 1st trip - Federal XM80C 149g 7.62x51mm. I'd previously identified this as Lake City ball. That was incorrect; this ammo has "FC" stamped on the case instead of the "LC" of Lake City. I got exactly the same malfunctions as last time. The rifle made it through 6 or 7 rounds, then experienced a FTF jam with the round in the same position as in my photos earlier in the thread. The charging handle was also very hard to pull to the aft position after I removed the magazine. Having eliminated cleanliness/lubrication as a potential cause, my next step was to try a different magazine. I inserted the 10-rd PMAG and chambered a round. I fired a round, and the rifle jammed, again, with the round in the same orientation. I cleared that jam, chambered the next round, and pulled the trigger. Same result. Now it was clear that this was not magazine-related. Next, I loaded a full 20-round mag of the Federal PowerShok 180g .308 and chambered a round. The rifle fired all 20 rounds without a hiccup, and locked the bolt open after the last round. This was the first full magazine I've been able to get through with the M&P-10. Hoping that the rifle just needed some "breaking in", I next loaded 18 or 19 rounds of Aguila 150g 7.62x51mm (I'd fired a couple of rounds of it the other day), chambered a round, and pulled the trigger. The rifle fired but failed to chamber the next round. On removing the magazine and inspecting the next round, it had the same score marks across the top as before, indicating that the bolt had made contact with it, but failed to strip it from the magazine and load it. Tried a few more times with the Aguila, with similar results. Next, I decided to try the box of Tula steel-cased 150g .308 ammunition I'd bought. I loaded 10 rounds into the 10-round magazine, and the other 10 rounds into the 20-round magazine. The ammo worked flawlessly in the gun from both magazines, and the bolt locked open after I fired the last round from each mag. Incidentally, that Tula must not be flash-suppressed whatsoever, as every shot produced a giant fireball that completely obscured my view through the scope, momentarily! So, in summary, the rifle worked perfectly with both types (I did only have 40 rounds) of .308 ammunition, and has failed to work with any of the 3 different types (albeit similar) of 7.62x51mm ammo (Federal XM80C 149g, Lake City M80 ball 147g, Aguila 150g). On the way home from the range, I called Smith & Wesson again and talked to another rep, and asked what kind of ammo they used to test-fire the rifles at the factory. He responded that .308 ammo is used. So, that explains a lot. I asked if the rifle should fire both .308 and 7.62, and he replied that it should, in his opinion. The rifle is chambered in .308 Winchester, which is stamped on the barrel, but, in the owner's manual, 7.62x51mm is listed as an alternative caliber. So, I've decided to send the rifle back to the factory with a description of the problems, and ask that they do what it takes to get the rifle to run with 7.62x51mm ammo.
 
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Just me, but I would have kept it until I ran at least 200 rounds of hot .308 through it. Then gave it a good cleaning and lubing. I'll bet after a 200 or so round break in with hot loaded .308, the gun will run 7.62 Ball just fine. It's new and tight. If not, then send it back.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: billt460
Just me, but I would have kept it until I ran at least 200 rounds of hot .308 through it. Then gave it a good cleaning and lubing. I'll bet after a 200 or so round break in with hot loaded .308, the gun will run 7.62 Ball just fine. It's new and tight. If not, then send it back.
I probably should have done that. But it’s already dropped off at FedEx.
 

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Maybe the recoil spring it too stiff for some reason ... installed the wrong one at the factory? Or as already mentioned, leaking gas pressure somewhere.
 
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It amazes me that so many people would deal with a non functioning firearm to this extent. You paid a good amount of money for the rifle, it failed to perform as advertised since day one feeding it ammo it's designed to use........ DONE, it's going back. All this break in stuff is ridiculous. If a firearm doesn't run right outta the box then you bought the wrong gun.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: ROLEXrifleman
It amazes me that so many people would deal with a non functioning firearm to this extent. You paid a good amount of money for the rifle, it failed to perform as advertised since day one feeding it ammo it's designed to use........ DONE, it's going back. All this break in stuff is ridiculous. If a firearm doesn't run right outta the box then you bought the wrong gun.
Meh... It's not always that cut & dried.
 
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Originally Posted By: ROLEXrifleman
It amazes me that so many people would deal with a non functioning firearm to this extent. You paid a good amount of money for the rifle, it failed to perform as advertised since day one feeding it ammo it's designed to use........ DONE, it's going back. All this break in stuff is ridiculous. If a firearm doesn't run right outta the box then you bought the wrong gun.
It's not that simple. You're not buying a shovel. Especially in regards to magazine fed, semi automatic firearms. Look at semi auto .22 rimfires. Most all of them will run more dependably, and or more accurately on a specific type or brand of ammo. It's up to you to take the time to find it. Some won't run well on Standard Velocity. But they will on High Velocity. Some more accurately on one brand over another. It's the nature of the beast. Centerfire .30 caliber AR-10's are even more finicky. And yes, they require a break in. They are comprised of a lot of widely tolerance, mass produced moving parts. That because of their affordable cost, are not hand fit together. And even the one's that are require break in's. Such as a lot of high end semi auto pistols. Les Baer for example, recommends at least a 200 round break in with full velocity Ball ammo on all of their 1911 pistols, before they are expected to perform with 100% dependability. This is because they are purposely fit very tight at the factory. And need to be worn in by shooting them. And until they are, the owners of these guns can expect a few, if not several FTF's and FTE's. As always, some will, while some won't. Mass produced, affordable semi auto centerfire rifles are what they are. Many of them require a few hundred rounds to be put downrange before their functioning can be correctly judged. Or else Fed Ex is going to be handling your gun, and the factory is going to be shooting it more than you are. If that's unacceptable, there are always bolt actions and single shots..... And many of them recommend a break in as well. Per the owners manual.
 

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Stuck at home today waiting for FedEx to deliver the M&P-10 (requires a signature). I never received any kind of communication from S&W about what they did to it or anything. So, I'm assuming there will be a note in the box. Will be interesting to see if they were able to fix the problems. If not, it's going right back to Massachusetts.
 
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Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Stuck at home today waiting for FedEx to deliver the M&P-10 (requires a signature). I never received any kind of communication from S&W about what they did to it or anything. So, I'm assuming there will be a note in the box. Will be interesting to see if they were able to fix the problems. If not, it's going right back to Massachusetts.
Any report on what they found/ did?
 
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Good luck with S&W customer service, I had good experiences with them 5+ years ago however last year when I had issues with my new j-frame, customer service was an absolute pain to deal with. Minimal help, no communication about arrival/work done/return shipping, and overall a poor experience. Gave them another try with a M&P rebate, they completely messed that up as well, hence i do not buy from S&W anymore.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: umungus1122
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Stuck at home today waiting for FedEx to deliver the M&P-10 (requires a signature). I never received any kind of communication from S&W about what they did to it or anything. So, I'm assuming there will be a note in the box. Will be interesting to see if they were able to fix the problems. If not, it's going right back to Massachusetts.
Any report on what they found/ did?
I had to immediately leave town, so, I haven’t had the chance to really look it over. I have to say, though, I’m disappointed in the lack of detail in the repair slip. All it says is, “Repaired upper assembly” and “polished barrel/chamber”. You can see why I’m disappointed, as I provided them a very detailed, typewritten letter, explaining the problems. I was really hoping for a detailed explanation of the work they did. They also left polishing cloth residue stuck to the chamber lugs. Going by the repair slip, no parts were replaced. I’ll have to take it to the range to know for sure, but I’m not confident.
 
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I'm not at all surprised the gun "liked" heavier ammo. It's wonderful when a 308 can reliably use any ammo from 110g varmint barrel burner ammo to 180g round nosed partially jacketed stuff. But the reality is that any gas operated gun is a tuned system of calibrated orifices, tubes, seals, bolt weights, spring stiffnesses and mechanical action. My DPMS LR308 clearly "likes" 168g FGMM, and/or the 168g match alternatives by various companies. With stunningly better accuracy and 100% reliability. When I try to use surplus and/or cheap ammo, the results are not unlike yours. Sure, the 168g is expensive. However, I don't go through enough ammo for that to make much difference. My goal is not to shoot as cheaply as possible. It's to be accurate and effective.
 
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Originally Posted By: Cujet
I'm not at all surprised the gun "liked" heavier ammo. It's wonderful when a 308 can reliably use any ammo from 110g varmint barrel burner ammo to 180g round nosed partially jacketed stuff. But the reality is that any gas operated gun is a tuned system of calibrated orifices, tubes, seals, bolt weights, spring stiffnesses and mechanical action.
This is very true. And a lot of people don't understand that centerfire semi automatic rifles can be very ammo sensitive. Even semi auto rimfire .22's have certain brands and velocities of ammo they like, and run best on. The Springfield M1-A / M1 Garand is a good example of this. Most of the problems and parts failures in these guns have can be traced to using the wrong ammunition. While the AR-10 is less sensitive to ammo than the Garand action is because of it's direct impingement gas system, it still has it's preferences in regards to ammunition. If someone wants a .308 that runs on anything, a bolt gun is the only way to go, not a semi.
 
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Originally Posted By: john_pifer
You can see why I’m disappointed, as I provided them a very detailed, typewritten letter, explaining the problems. I was really hoping for a detailed explanation of the work they did. They also left polishing cloth residue stuck to the chamber lugs.
It's not at all surprising they didn't include one. You have to realize S&W is a very large company. They get scores of guns shipped to them every day for various warranty and repair work. If they wrote detailed letters of explanation to every customer, explaining every little thing they did, they would be spending more time composing letters, than they would fixing guns. You might get that kind of detailed personalized service on a $5K custom built rifle, but not from one of the largest gun companies in the country. That mass produces and ships hundreds, if not thousands of guns every day. I would give that gun a good cleaning and lubing, and head for the range with a LOT of different bullet weight ammo, and go from there.
 

Astro14

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John - I share your frustration. I would shoot it with hot .308, stopping to clean and lube (just a Bore snake and a couple drops of lube on the BCG) every few magazines. Get a couple hundred rounds through it with the hot stuff, then take it home, clean it well, carefully check and lube it, before going back to the 7.62. It may well have been machine marks left in the chamber that hampered extraction, and cause the problems. I know guys say "it shouldn't need break in" and I get that, but my .308 rifle (different brand, but identical operating system) had particular, specific break in instructions, while my 5.56 rifle did not. I find that contrast interesting.
 
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A budget .308 under $1000 is going to be shot mostly budget ammo. Wolf .308 and mil-surplus 7.62x51 147 grain. These guns SHOULD be tuned by the manufacturer for 147 grain loads. People are a lot more likely to buy $10 a box ammo than $20 a box Federal Gold Match.
 
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