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My M4 loves 3" full octane loads, but hates the lightweight 2 3/4 birdshot stuff. Why

Gallo Pazzesco

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Why will this baby not allow me to practice with the less expensive wally word value pack stuff .... she just will not cycle reliably.


One of the pros on this forum recommended three hundred rounds of bird shot, prior to the the #7's or 8's. Followed his recommendation and now no issue with value pack ammo.

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yes run your m4 wet.. and break it in with a few hundred rounds of high power.. mine runs like a dream with crap 2 3/4 ammo




Yup these guys have the knowledge. I have about 2500K through my short barrel (10") and now it will cycle anything, even with 8.5" of pressure building barrel cut off (all legal and above board with a Form 4 and the blessing of my GOD, my Country, my Mom and the BATFE). But... ... . if you know my mom and she asks, kinda, like, change the subject or something, she wants me to find a wife and a bigger house and well, those things cost money you know?



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The bolt likes to be wet as others have said.

Mine required about 125 rounds of the cheap wally mart loads before it would cycle them

reliably (the federal bulk pack at least).

A firm grip/hold also helps with the weak stuff.

Last time out, mine only jammed when a small 16 year old boy didn't have it tight into his shoulder.


But really, just buy the cheap walmart or imported buckshot and blast away :)

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  • 9 years later...

To elaborate on lubrication... Run the bolt wet, but only ever use dry spray for the magazine tube. They will gunk up big time, especially if you are a hunter. I have bought a lot of shotguns from fellow hunters over the years that are "biggest jamming P.O.S ever created". Nearly all were resolved by cleaning out the mag tube. Hunting in the fall, all the foliage is dry. Drop a shell, it picks up grit, or lint in your pocket. It sticks to the oil in the tube. First it feeds too slow to function, and I've seen a few that started using their semi-auto as a single shot after it stops feeding all together.

I have to LOL a bit at the guys who have always said the M4's will feed anything and cycle 100% of the time. While it is safe to say my M4's aren't probably past the 500 round mark, so maybe not broke in, I have already had more feed issues with it than I did the last 25 years of my SBE 1. Both are fine gun models though and fully expect it to loosen up. Some of my 1911 10mm's wouldn't feed properly from the factory but a couple hundred rounds down the pipe and they are great; and accurate too. I think the close tolerances that caused it not to feed 100% at first, is also what contributes to the accuracy...

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On 4/21/2021 at 11:19 AM, bambihunter said:

Really? I hadn't heard that before.

This is a common misunderstanding, the either or, black or white answer. It's true that "recoil" and "inertia" are synonymous when describing the action of an autoloading shotgun. Gas is the other type. But there is an element of inertia involved in any gas operated system. This is why my brand new M4 won't reload anything, light or hot, unless I hold it tight to my shoulder.

The pistons push the bolt carrier back first, unlocking the bolt, and then assisting the gas pressure still inside the barrel in pushing the bolt back to eject the shell. If I try to hold the gun at my hip, this continuing recoil will push the receiver in the same direction the bolt is going and prevent the pistons from fully assisting the ejection.

Once it's broken in, I'm told, the bolt won't require as much assist from the pistons and then they will be powerful enough to do the job alone.

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