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Introduction & newbie questions

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First off, I want to let you guys know that I've lurked on this forum for a while, and I finally decided to pick up a M4 based off your reviews and friends reviews. So, since I'm still cutting my teeth on semi-autos, I've got a few questions (maybe some rudimentary ones so please entertain my questions).

 

First, is it bad to slam the bolt carrier group on an empty chamber? I know some 1911s do not like having the slide slammed on an empty chamber and this can eventually knock the sear out of alignment.

 

Second, to my understanding, the carrier button is used to help engage the cartridge drop lever. So, does it cause any damage to cycle the bolt w/out having the cartridge drop lever engaged (i.e. red-dot showing) and w/out depressing the carrier button?

 

Finally, I'm looking forward to getting outdoors to properly break mine in so any break-in procedures would be welcomed.

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Welcome to the forum! I know that cycling the bolt without a shell in the gun won't hurt it at all. If, however, you're concerned about it then you can always use snap caps/dummy rounds.

 

When you pull the bolt back and it locks you should not yet see red (if I read that right) until you press the carrier control button (the one on the side that releases the bolt into battery). At that point the red dot will show (indicating the hammer is cocked) until you pull the trigger and dry fire the weapon. At that point the red dot should disappear until you manually cycle the bolt again.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Mac

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Mr.Mac,

 

Thanks for responding back. I somewhat expected that there shouldn't be any harm with slamming the bolt carrier on an empty chamber, but I'd rather be cautious than sorry.

 

I think you answered my question regarding the function of the shotgun. I'm more concerned with any actions that may damage or hurt the bolt carrier group and internals be it through the improper cycling of the bolt, failure to engage the carrier button, etc. Btw, the manual that came with the shotgun leaves much to be desired.

 

Also, if I understand things correctly, I should be able to shoot either slugs or steel shot through the modified choke, but using a cylinder choke should give me better performance with slugs? Most of my experience with shotguns comes from an old 870 Remington pump - robust and idiot proof.

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Mr.Mac,

 

Thanks for responding back. I somewhat expected that there shouldn't be any harm with slamming the bolt carrier on an empty chamber, but I'd rather be cautious than sorry.

 

I think you answered my question regarding the function of the shotgun. I'm more concerned with any actions that may damage or hurt the bolt carrier group and internals be it through the improper cycling of the bolt, failure to engage the carrier button, etc. Btw, the manual that came with the shotgun leaves much to be desired.

 

Also, if I understand things correctly, I should be able to shoot either slugs or steel shot through the modified choke, but using a cylinder choke should give me better performance with slugs? Most of my experience with shotguns comes from an old 870 Remington pump - robust and idiot proof.

 

There is a USMC manual floating around on here that is much better than the factory manual, I suggest you read it all and take the advice given.

 

http://www.militec.com/firearms/manual.html

 

http://www.farrarsodfarm.com/nelli/USMC_M1014.pdf

 

As far as harming the BCG .. short of using dangerously overloaded ammo, the wrong gauge shells, or like ... taking a dremel to it, you will not be able to harm the BCG. It is incredibly robust.

 

As far as chokes go, you can shoot slugs through any constriction as the lead in the slug will deform way before the choke gets damaged ... but that's the problem, the deformed lead slug will not fly as true and thus your patterns will likely be wider than if you used a looser choke that did not deform the slug.

 

Steel shot ... no idea, I never use it. Don't they make special "steel shot ok" chokes just for steel shot? I think I have one, but I have never done any type of testing concerning steel shot or the effects it will have if used with regular chokes, so someone else will have to help you there.

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Duggan, thank you. Those links are exactly what I wanted. It's also good to know that I made a wise choice in picking this up.

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Steel shot ... no idea, I never use it. Don't they make special "steel shot ok" chokes just for steel shot? I think I have one, but I have never done any type of testing concerning steel shot or the effects it will have if used with regular chokes, so someone else will have to help you there.

 

Without question, taking your new shotgun out to the range and standing in front of a patterning board is the best way to determine how your shotgun performs with different types/brands of ammo and choke tubes.

 

Steel Shot

• As a general rule when switching from lead to steel shot you would use a choke with one full degree less constriction.

• If you want a full pattern with steel use a modified choke.

• If you want a modified pattern with steel use an improved cylinder choke.

• If you want an improved cylinder pattern with steel use a cylinder or skeet choke.

• Do not use any choke tighter than modified constriction with steel shot unless the choke is specifically marked for use with steel shot.

 

With all that said and done, your new shotgun should have been delivered with choke tubes capable of shooting steel shot. Your owners manual should have that info in it or, at the very least, the phone number to find out!

 

Last but not least, if you haven't done so already, make sure you get your warranty registration completed before you change anything! I doubt you'll ever have any problems with your M4 short of pure abuse, but you never know!

 

Mac

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Mr. MAC:

 

I use the A-ZOOM Snap Caps or Pachmayr Dummy Rounds in all of my weapons. I use them for dry firing, or just to check the weapon to make sure it is functioning correctly before live firing.

 

 

I recently purchased the Benelli SuperNova Tactical. I also installed the TacStar 7-Shot Mag Extension. I loaded the SNT with 6 Rounds. I used 4 of the Pachmayr Dummy Rounds and 2 of the A-Zoom snap caps to simulate loading alternate shells. One of the Pachmayr shells jammed in the magazine. I disassembled the magazine, and used my gun cleaning rod to dislodge the Pachmayr round. The end that simulates the Brass Head was misformed and had a cut-off burr. That probably caused the shell to jam.

 

I did notice one thing that concerned me. The SNT, the A-Zoom Snap Caps, and Pachmayr Dummy Rounds are all new. I am seeing witness marks (gouges) in both the A-Zoom Snap Caps, and Pachmayr Dummy Rounds. The gouges are on the outside diameter, and extend in toward the center of then shell about 1'8" to 1/4". The Gouges look like the are being caused by the Shell Carrier. The gouges are almost equal in distance to the front end of the Shell Carrier.

 

I do not plan on reloading ammo at this time. I am not that concerned about live fire shells. Do you think the gouges are in indication of a Faulty Shell Carrier? Should I contact Benelli and ask for their input.? I would appreciate your input.

 

captnkc

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