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 Firing out of battery
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Advanced Member

177 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2017 :  7:24:13 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello: Once again, I'm new to the forum, but love and need the education.
I have a Universal Gen 2 carbine. I'm very happy with it and working through some of the known problems.
I'm trying to REALLY understand this out of battery problem and fear that comes with the Universal, and actually some of the USGI ones.
I have read a ton of other forums before finding this one.
So my interest is large, and any knowledge is greatly appreciated.
I now have some primed, cut to length, empty casing's to run the test.
But really want to know exactly what I'm trying to solve or answer?
What I understand is the whole problem is because the case is to long, the rifle may be dirty of lead, brass, crud, etc.
Causing the cartridge to not fit proper, hence the bolt does not close completely.
I don't see the fault as in the design. But maybe more caused by said above??
To me, it's simple math. If the bolt does not close and lock, you are going to have a serious problem. That to me is due to improper fit or a badly maintained rifle.
Now of course my big question is. Other than keeping the carbine well cleaned with good ammo. How can I reduce the fact that the rifle can still fire in such said problem of a incorrect fit?
To me, if the bolt is locked, it's good. If it's not, then other problems are on board.
Until I do the test, I guess I'm just spinning my wheels.
But will it be a proper test? Since I can't produce a cartridge that is not seated proper. By holding the slide back off the locked position, will the firing pin even be able to strike a proper seated casing? It makes my head spin trying to put two and two together.
I agree that no firearm should fire out of battery.
How do other weapons overcome this safety feature?
Or are they all actually capable of doing so if everything does not meet up correctly?
I'm learning, and do want to hear all. Even if it's a Duh!!! take your head out of you a__!
Thanks everyone...


3323 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2017 :  8:05:03 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any carbine can fire out of battery. Most often it's a case that is too long by a very small amount. That allows the hammer when fired to hit the firing pin and the carbine fires without the bolt full locked. This allows the bolt to slam back quite often breaking or at least cracking a lug. A very dirty carbine can do the same thing. It takes a lot of rounds fired with dirty powders to cause a case not to seat all the way and cause a discharge. The US military used to test carbines up to 15,000 rounds without stopping or cleaning. But many of the powders used in some reloading or Russian made ammo is very dirty.
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Advanced Member

177 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2017 :  9:04:55 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Tuna, any info is always good to know. That's why I'm here.
To learn.
I'm still kinda searching for my answer. You say any carbine can fire out of battery.
So I will assume I'm on track a little with the bad fit due to poor maintenance or most of all, a long casing?
Will my test run do any good with the primed empty cut to length case sitting as should?
If indeed I can't actually reproduce the true effect of a cartridge that is not seated proper.
If I pull the slide back to unlock the bolt. Will I get the true test?
Seems to me the distance will be greater with the bolt starting to move back, the casing seated proper, compared too one that is not?
I guess what I'm trying to serve out is.
My grandkids love to shoot this rifle.
I have no problems with it as safe, I just want to understand as much as I can for prevention later on.
It sure as heck seems to get deep in discussion.
Seems to me like long casings is the big factor to watch for.
I and family are more target shooters. Keep an eye on function.
Not the pull the trigger as fast as I can guy.
Thanks again Tuna. All input is grand.

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Veteran Member

1064 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2017 :  11:13:56 PM  Show Profile Send Jackp a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Read this for more info on Universal bolt/firing pin design:

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Advanced Member

368 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2017 :  08:09:50 AM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't overthink it. You indicated the gun has been well-fired, so tight head-space is likely no concern. The concerns for cleaning and inspection have already been mentioned. You need to keep an eye on the wear-surfaces of the bolt and slide. Bolt lugs will peen with use, as well as the battering at the rear skirt where it takes a pounding from the hammer. A stuck firing pin can turn it into a machine-gun, so keep an eye on that. You will need a good measuring tool to insure cases are not too long on any ammo, commercial or reloads. Testing primed-brass is not going to tell you much...unless you know exactly how long it is. Gauges are available to give you some ball-park results, but to accurately determine the exact head-space and what it may-or-may-not shoot, requires an accurate head-space measurement. The bolt must close and rotate on a case 1.29 in length. In reality, a well-fired gun will close on cases a bit longer. Personally, I have not found any commercially loaded ammo that exceeded 1.29 and the vast majority will be closer to 1.285-or-so. You can invest in a quality caliper from any hardware chain-store and measure the cases if so inclined, but I'd bet you won't find many (if any) that exceeded 1.29.
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