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Bolt catch plunger stuck

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All right, I put some oil in the bolt catch plunger hole and a bit on the plunger itself. I put the spring and plunger into the hole and they were kinda snug so I used a punch to cycle them until they felt decent, but apparently I didn't push them hard enough because the moment I tried to put the bolt catch in the plunger is stuck in the hole. I've tried the skinniest needle nose I've got to no avail. Does anyone know any miracle tricks of have any suggestions to save this thing? I can pickup a new plunger tomorrow if this one has to be destroyed to get it out of there, but I'm hoping there is an easier way. This is for my MA-TEN build, first time with a large frame AR, and I'd really hate to have to live without a bolt catch on this thing. :mad: :sad:

 

Thanks in Advance

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Yes I had this happen one time and I had to take it to a machine shop and they drilled the little sucker out without putting a mark on the lower.

 

Now you could drill it out, if you have a transfer punch that would allow you to center punch the top of the buffer then run the drill bit through it, once you get the bit started in the buffer it will pull out quite easily.

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Yes I had this happen one time and I had to take it to a machine shop and they drilled the little sucker out without putting a mark on the lower.

 

Now you could drill it out, if you have a transfer punch that would allow you to center punch the top of the buffer then run the drill bit through it, once you get the bit started in the buffer it will pull out quite easily.

 

 

Glad I'm not alone! I'm planning at this point to get a small burr for a dremel to dimple the top enough to run a small drill bit into. Now that I've calmed down some and backed away from the ledge I think its going to be a fairly easy fix and lesson learned. A very annoying lesson, but a learned one.

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Glad I'm not alone! I'm planning at this point to get a small burr for a dremel to dimple the top enough to run a small drill bit into. Now that I've calmed down some and backed away from the ledge I think its going to be a fairly easy fix and lesson learned. A very annoying lesson, but a learned one.

 

 

Be very care with the dremel, you are much better off with a transfer center punch, hit that little jewel dead center and the drill bit will start eating right on that mark.

I had to take mine to the machine shop since my stuff was not available to me at the time when this happened.

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I am new to ARs but not to guns, I had an issue with the buffer plunger and spring right out of the box. Is this a regular issue with these guns? It just seems like there could be a better design.

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I am new to ARs but not to guns, I had an issue with the buffer plunger and spring right out of the box. Is this a regular issue with these guns? It just seems like there could be a better design.

 

 

I have only had one issue, which LPK did you purchase?

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I am new to ARs but not to guns, I had an issue with the buffer plunger and spring right out of the box. Is this a regular issue with these guns? It just seems like there could be a better design.

 

 

One other thing to ask, you did not get the disconnector and bolt catch spring mixed up did ya?

They are very similar and it would be easy to do, I think mine came with two disconnector springs instead of one of each and that is what caused my issue.

After I had my bolt catch machined out, I took the lower home and removed the trigger to double check the disconnector spring, but it was the right spring in there so that was the only conclusion I could come up with.

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This is the first problem I've encountered in the dozen or so builds I've been party to. The plunger and spring I bought were directly from the small parts inventory at a local shop which I believe stocks DPMS parts. However, apparently the problem is common enough that the guy at the shop mentioned it. The blind hole design for the plunger pocket does not seem like the ideal design, but I'm not sure I could improve upon it. Any change I can think of would add manufacturing steps and could potentially be a cause of failure.

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One other thing to ask, you did not get the disconnector and bolt catch spring mixed up did ya?

They are very similar and it would be easy to do, I think mine came with two disconnector springs instead of one of each and that is what caused my issue.

After I had my bolt catch machined out, I took the lower home and removed the trigger to double check the disconnector spring, but it was the right spring in there so that was the only conclusion I could come up with.

 

Actually mine came out of the box messed up. I bought it from Turner's which I believe screwed with the gun. I just can't see Ruger messing it up and shipping it that way.

 

This is the first problem I've encountered in the dozen or so builds I've been party to. The plunger and spring I bought were directly from the small parts inventory at a local shop which I believe stocks DPMS parts. However, apparently the problem is common enough that the guy at the shop mentioned it. The blind hole design for the plunger pocket does not seem like the ideal design, but I'm not sure I could improve upon it. Any change I can think of would add manufacturing steps and could potentially be a cause of failure.

 

Yeah, I have had a couple of ideas but it would add some manufacturing changes.

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Actually mine came out of the box messed up. I bought it from Turner's which I believe screwed with the gun. I just can't see Ruger messing it up and shipping it that way.

 

Assuming you mean Turner's Outdoorsman in CA, I would have to put the blame on Ruger on this one. I don't think there is any lack on their end quality wise, but I don't think Turner's does any assembly work except for possibly installing the 10 round fixed mag. Was yours completely stuck or sticking sometimes? If it is sticking sometimes, it may well have passed a cursory inspection, and its probably such a basic seeming assembly that they don't check every rifle's bolt catch.

 

So far I've resorted to smacking the receiver against a book to knock it loose to no avail and heating the receiver with a heat gun both to no effect. I don't think I'm hitting it nearly hard enough to damage anything, and I'm only willing to heat it until its uncomfortable to hold rather than impossible, but I can't afford another $600 to replace this receiver if I damage it. I'm pretty good with a dremel, at least as far as being steady with it so I'm confident I won't damage anything that way. I have an automatic center punch, but its too wide to fit into the groove that the buffer hole is in.

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Good luck with the repair.

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Success, then failure, more limited success, then more failure, limited success, more serious failure and then finally a much battered and bruised success. I started off with the dremel to dimple the top of the plunger as planned then switched to a drill bit and drilled the first hole, all smooth and easy, no marks on the receiver, stage one success. Then I had a flash of "brilliance" and instead of just opening up the hole some more with a larger bit I grabbed a screw extractor, tapped it in and tried to twist the plunger out. Then the tip of the extractor snapped off in the plunger and now there was a hardened, undrillable piece of metal in the middle of the plunger. FAIL, much sobbing and gnashing of teeth followed. Broke out the diamond tipped dremmel bits and went to work on the screw extractor, slowly grinding it down and wearing out a few bits in the process), limited success. Finally got a new hole going and started to work the diamond bits into it when the tip of a cone shaped bit snapped off in the hole. FAIL, more sobbing and curling into fetal position. More diamond bits, worked my way through the tip of the last one, limited success. Got inspired again, ordered up some carbide bits from McMaster Carr (I work across the street from them, much too dangerous a place when I have my moments of "inspiration" and "brilliance") and got to work again. First bit snapped immediately and in the resulting jump I scarred the inside of the slot a bit. Some swearing, but I can live with that. Next bit, starts cutting and seems to be working well for the first couple minutes then takes too much of a bite and jumps out of the hole...through the top of the slot taking about 1/16" of sidewall with it and considerably more scarring. FAIL, No more tears at this point, just visions of driving my car into a bridge abutment or off a cliff or something like that. Finally, I went back to the diamond tipped bits and slowly worked my way down through the plunger before using the last, rounded tip carbide which finally got me through the screw extractor and past the bottom of the main part of the plunger. I used that carbide to continue to open up the hole in the plunger until the post off the bottom of it fell out. I was looking for a pen the next day and found an old carbide tool in my desk and decided to give it a shot and on the first spin the plunger broke loose and pulled out easily. success, wish I could be proud of it.

 

I was on my way to pick up a new plunger and spring Saturday evening when I got rear ended and now my back and neck are killing me and I have a miserable headache. I'm not sure at this point if God doesn't want me to have this rifle or if he just really means for me to earn it. New plunger and spring fit with no issues whatsoever, but I'm waiting to see if the cutout at the top of the hole will cause it to bind of something like that. So far, so good, but it hasn't had any kind of test under fire.

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Man talk about a hell of an experience with the lower and so sorry to hear about the neck, back, and headaches. I am dealing with all three myself now and have been since Dec but not from a car wreck.

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Man talk about a hell of an experience with the lower and so sorry to hear about the neck, back, and headaches. I am dealing with all three myself now and have been since Dec but not from a car wreck.

 

Thanks, these are definitely new pains I didn't need. How did you hurt yourself? I almost wish there were some outward symptoms or something obvious about back and neck injuries. At least if you are gashed or need surgery there is a scar, but people so often assume that you are just faking back and neck pain. I'd almost rather be cut open or break a bone, its less debilitating and painful, at least in the long term.

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The bolt catch plunger was stuck. It seemed to be a burr in the hole. After much messing around trying different tricks (I had previously put a drop of oil on it), I put a punch on the plunger and then kinda smacked it with a rubber mallet a few times and it popped up. The spring and the plunger looked fine so I’m assuming it was a burr.

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