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Thread: problems with 5.45x39 Upper

  1. #1
    Gunco Member fishinfool34's Avatar
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    Default problems with 5.45x39 Upper

    About 4 mos ago I purchased a Smith and Wesson M&P 5.45x39 AR upper.Installed the supplied x heavy hammer spring. From the beginning, I had light primer strikes/failures to fire on military surplus ammo both Bulgarian and Russian. It fired about 80% on comercial ammo.I ordered a wolf extra power hammer spring with no change in result. Took it to a local gunsmith and he sugested the chamber was cut too deep. I called customer service and sent it back to S&W with a letter outlining the failure to fire issue. It was sent back to me with a used scratched and scribed on(with no of rnds and lines) shop mag stating the failure to feed issue was resolved new mag........Hmmmm So I called Customer service again a shipping label was sent and off it went again on nov 4.after 2+ weeks of leaving messages for the customer service rep i've been dealing with, I recieved a return call from S&W today....They now state they test fired it and there is nothing wrong with the upper I must have an issue with my lower??? Really?? It functions flawlessly with two different 5.56mm uppers,a 7.62x39 upper and 6.8 upper but not thiers. anyone else had issues with S&W service any suggestions??? I'm likely replacing the barrel unless someone here has a better idea...Anybody got anything?
    Last edited by fishinfool34; 12-16-2011 at 12:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Gunco Member fishinfool34's Avatar
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    For what it's worth the lower is a Spikes tactical lower with standard internals except for the hammer spring replacements: wolf extra power and the supplied S&W extra heavy.

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    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    something is bad amiss with it. 5.45s are normally a very easy conversion. i wold have the smith take the specs of the chamber.

  4. #4
    Gunco Member fishinfool34's Avatar
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    I understand there is something amiss but i guess if it's not blowing up in my face it's my problem not Smith and Wesson's. I'm waiting to hear from a customer service supervisor will post when i hear something. I have never heard of anyone having this much trouble with a 5.45x39 upper especially S&W but if it would happen to anyone it would be me!!!

  5. #5
    Citizen, Patriot, Ranger bellson's Avatar
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    My thought is Geometry, Geometry, Geometry.

    My first suspicion would be clearances between hammer fall, and bolt carrier; look for irregular wear that might indicate side-to-side variance in the upper to lower geometry.

    Second would be to check head space.

    Third would be to check the firing pin, and the firing pin hole in the actual bolt.

    Did your upper include a "new" bolt? Did you then assemble that bolt into an existing bolt carrier and existing firing pin? It is a stretch, but I have run into each of these issues in the past in solely 5.56 applications.

    These issues are clearly the exception to the rule. They are caused by something, you need to determine what is causing the light strike condition. Take a couple of pics of the primer end of the shell, and tell us if it was a fire or fail.

    Just my $0.02....
    Imagine whirled peas

    Peace, Love, And Superior Firepower






    Bellson

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    Gunco Member fishinfool34's Avatar
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    It was a complete upper assembly including BCG. If i had assembled it i would be investigating where I screwed up. When i get it back if the problem persists i will look into geometry but i used 3 other lowers with the same result on that upper. unfortunately i do not have 5.45x39 go/nogo guages but i will bet you a dollar the bolt closes on a no go guage. i will be buying guages if S&W sends back the upper without addressing the problem......Next step will be buy a replacement barrel. I checked the S&W website it seems the M&P 15 line up has quietly removed the 5.45x39. hmmm me thinks there may have been problems a plenty with the 5.45x39 platform....
    Last edited by fishinfool34; 12-16-2011 at 08:35 AM.

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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    I sure wouldn't mess around with a new barrel!! I'd get the head space checked at your local smith and go from there. Didn't you already pay enough for that upper to at least expect that it would function??? If it dosn't space I'd tell them where to stuff it!!! Just me though.

  8. #8
    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    the primers arn't set deep on the 5.45 ammo like they are on the 7.62x39 --

    the 7.62x39 system in the AR can have light strikes and the fix is a trimmed bolt,slightly longer firing pin and/ or stronger hammer spring.

    i have never had to do any of the extras on a 5.45 i do install the wolf XP hammer spring in the 5.45 conversion --not a have to by any means and it is only a $3 part.

    my thinking is the head space is off--YMMV--!!!

  9. #9
    Gunco Member fishinfool34's Avatar
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    I called my 7.62x39 ar "Problem child" until i bought an extended firing pin and the wolf hammer spring.I decided to spend the extra money on a S&W to avoid having to tinker with it to make it work. When I first had the problem i ASSumed it would be addressed. well the second time it went in i wasn't so confident. I am so thoroughly torqued off at smith and wesson i can't see straight. Lifetime service my arse. I sent the upper back 2nd time nov 4th. Left messages for my cust service rep every 3 days for the last 2+ weeks and finally get a return call last night.After telling me there is nothing wrong with my upper and i firmly disagreed, he said "i see my supervisor let me discuss this with her i'll call you back in a couple minutes". 15 hours later I'm Steaming !!!

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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    Are you using a standard hammer or one of the lighter quicker lock time hammers? I'd also sure try taking your longer firing pin and swaping it out with the one in the 5.45 upper. I'd think a chamber with headspace excessive enough to cause misfiring would also be caught fairly easy with a headspace guage. You'd also think the extractor would hold the round close enough to the bolt face for it to fire even if the headspace was excessive. Is S&W using the same exact type ammo you're using, if not the primers in yours might be harder and causing the problems. Their customer service does suck though. I sent a pistol in years ago for some damage. It took about two months for what they said was 10 days to two weeks for turn around time.

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