So I'm down at the funstore this afternoon, hanging over the counter jaw-jacking with other customers and a couple of the counter guys. In the midst of our conversation, one of the counter guys grabs an AR slathered in Magpul stuff.
While I'm chatting, I see he's having problems getting the rifle back into battery. After a few seconds of watching him struggle, I motion for him to come over and volunteer to see what's wrong with the rifle.
So he hands me the gun, I see the bolt's not all the way forward. So I pull the charging handle to the rear and check the chamber. It's all clear. Not seeing anything in the chamber, I let the bolt go. Because the only way to take down an AR with a bolt not in battery is to get it into battery before you take take it down.
Fortunately, not a bang, but a noise nonetheless. Have you ever had that happen? Where something that wasn't supposed to happen did? I've had the reverse happen a couple of times, both in the field with a nice muley or whitetail doe in my cross hairs. Pull the trigger, expect a bang and get a click.
This sound scared the crap out of me because I'd followed all the rules. I checked the chamber. I didn't have my finger on the trigger. I had the rifle pointed away from the others at the floor.
So what caused the POP?
After taking the rifle all the way down in a detailed strip, it was discovered that a primer had somehow become lodged in the upper. Not sure where, exactly, but it was found in the lower beside the hammer. It had been pinched when the BCG rammed home.
All we knew was something was obstructing the BCG from going into battery, and the only way to get it apart to see what it was was to get the BCG back into battery. Who thinks a loose primer is roaming around the insides of a rifle? From now on, I'm adding that to my mental checklist on clearing obstructions from rifles.
I will tell you, hearing that pop and seeing the smoke coming from the ejection port, I bade my friends good day, came home, and promptly changed my shorts.
Let this be a lesson. Even when you're sure the weapon is cleared, there could be something else that causes a problem.