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Thread: FM 9: Brand New upper, Bolt Wear/Damage?

  1. #1
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    FM 9: Brand New upper, Bolt Wear/Damage?

    Just purchased a Foxtrot Mike FM9 10” upper and a lower receiver from Brownells for a PCC pistol build. Picked them both up yesterday.

    During disassembly, in order to clean, lube & remove the corrosion inhibitor on the internals, I noticed some odd wear marks and apparent damage on the bolt/key/bolt carrier.

    This concerned me. Especially the nick in the metal along the bottom of the bolt near the (breach?).

    The wear marks on the top/sides of the brand new bolt (Key?) are also concerning as the wear is on opposite sides of the bolt/carrier both in side to side orientation AND front to back.

    It’s As tho maybe the bolt is traveling in a cocked or crooked fashion as it cycles. (Weapon has Not yet been fired. I have only worked the charging handle a few times to check the bolts action.)

    I will include a quote of the response I received from FM Products at the end of this post. But first I wanted some other, more experienced opinions than my own as to whether or not this would be considered “NORMAL” markings to see on a new bolt.

    (… i’m aware this is an $800 rifle and not some $3000 Daniel defense or SOL high end item, but still,… This doesn’t seem quite right to me!)

    Here are some images of the damage/wear I am talking about:

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    The bottom L arrow is pointing to rough looking tooling marks in bolts channel.

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    I have NO prior experience with this sort of thing and Im absolutely no sort of expert. So I’m very much hoping somebody here can inform me, educate me, advise me, etc…. Is this OK? Am I making a bigger deal out of this than his necessary? Or should I be absolutely insisting on getting a new replacement bolt/ bolt carrier group?

    Here is the response I received from FM products this afternoon:

    :quote:
    Hi Craig, thanks for racing out!

    The marks on the key are from the staking process where a machine will grip the key and make indentations on it. It is a tight fixture and will have some marks on the key.

    As for the tooling marks yes this will happen from time to time however It should not affect the function of your firearm.

    If you like I can see if I can find one with less tooling marks and key wear.

    Have you test fired the firearm?

    Please let us know how we can serve you best.”
    :end quote:

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chomps View Post
    Just purchased a Foxtrot Mike FM9 10” upper and a lower receiver from Brownells for a PCC pistol build. Picked them both up yesterday.

    During disassembly, in order to clean, lube & remove the corrosion inhibitor on the internals, I noticed some odd wear marks and apparent damage on the bolt/key/bolt carrier.

    This concerned me. Especially the nick in the metal along the bottom of the bolt near the (breach?).

    The wear marks on the top/sides of the brand new bolt (Key?) are also concerning as the wear is on opposite sides of the bolt/carrier both in side to side orientation AND front to back.

    It’s As tho maybe the bolt is traveling in a cocked or crooked fashion as it cycles. (Weapon has Not yet been fired. I have only worked the charging handle a few times to check the bolts action.)

    I will include a quote of the response I received from FM Products at the end of this post. But first I wanted some other, more experienced opinions than my own as to whether or not this would be considered “NORMAL” markings to see on a new bolt.

    (… i’m aware this is an $800 rifle and not some $3000 Daniel defense or SOL high end item, but still,… This doesn’t seem quite right to me!)

    Here are some images of the damage/wear I am talking about:

    Name:  7839A4B4-1680-471B-9BAD-B1DF7DC2A7C9.jpg
Views: 94
Size:  77.6 KB
    The bottom L arrow is pointing to rough looking tooling marks in bolts channel.

    Name:  5F1E66E2-EBA1-45C6-9181-669A8B9A7D0C.jpg
Views: 91
Size:  78.1 KB

    Name:  EDC2E6C6-5AEA-4DF9-97BC-AF21F37B932C.jpg
Views: 92
Size:  83.9 KB

    Name:  034870D0-FC65-418D-B9C1-F97881F3A325.jpg
Views: 93
Size:  43.6 KB

    Name:  70B3007D-73E7-4144-A973-6CA293DCE894.jpg
Views: 91
Size:  49.5 KB



    I have NO prior experience with this sort of thing and Im absolutely no sort of expert. So I’m very much hoping somebody here can inform me, educate me, advise me, etc…. Is this OK? Am I making a bigger deal out of this than his necessary? Or should I be absolutely insisting on getting a new replacement bolt/ bolt carrier group?

    Here is the response I received from FM products this afternoon:

    :quote:
    Hi Craig, thanks for racing out!

    The marks on the key are from the staking process where a machine will grip the key and make indentations on it. It is a tight fixture and will have some marks on the key.

    As for the tooling marks yes this will happen from time to time however It should not affect the function of your firearm.

    If you like I can see if I can find one with less tooling marks and key wear.

    Have you test fired the firearm?

    Please let us know how we can serve you best.”
    :end quote:
    Tool marks would normally be present prior to the part being finished. The fact that you’re seeing silver in the Knicks and the wear marks indicates this is something else. Are there corresponding where marks inside the upper receiver?

  3. #3
    Does Not Work For You TGS's Avatar
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    FMs answer seems reasonable to me.

    Does it work fine? If so, don't worry about it.
    "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll."- Last words of Todd Beamer

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TGS View Post
    FMs answer seems reasonable to me.

    Does it work fine? If so, don't worry about it.
    For reasons, I recently picked up a 4” upper (Primary Arms) and a Fm-9 lower (Brownells). I didn’t have that lower rail Nick, but had some abrasion on the “carrier” key area. The FM Products charging handle was pretty cheap and soft feeling too, but figured I would try it out.

    I have other AR-9 pattern guns and since it is blowback gun, the bolt is mostly mass. I wasn’t worried and it runs like a raped ape.
    Last edited by DrkBlue; 09-18-2022 at 09:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    Tool marks would normally be present prior to the part being finished. The fact that you’re seeing silver in the Knicks and the wear marks indicates this is something else. Are there corresponding where marks inside the upper receiver?
    @HCM, Hard to see clearly,.. but there does appear to be some slight marks inside the upper where the bolt moves. Not obvious like on the bolt,.. but maybe just a thin scrape looking mark along a portion of one side of the channel.

    @TGS, dunno yet if it works fine or not. Haven’t tried firing g it yet. Don’t have the brace yet and frankly, I Was more than a little leery to try until I got more info regarding the bolt’s condition. (Safety Wise.). Last AR anything I disassembled was over 45 years ago. So Im not going to assume Anything regarding safety or, runabilty of the firearm without checking first!

  6. #6
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkBlue View Post
    For reasons, I recently picked up a 4” upper (Primary Arms) and a Fm-9 lower (Brownells). I didn’t have that lower rail Nick, but had some abrasion on the “carrier” key area. The FM Products charging handle was pretty cheap and soft feeling too, but figured I would try it out.

    I have other AR-9 pattern guns and since it is blowback gun, the bolt is mostly mass. I wasn’t worried and it runs like a raped ape.
    Yeah, if I understand what the guys @ FM were telling me regarding those abraded areas,.. something on the BCG get staked. And the jig, machine, apparatus whatever that holds the bolt during the process is very snug and is what caused the marks?

    As it stands,.. they’re willing to usps me a new bolt. One that they said they “Blacked over” the bolt key abrasion marks with a sharpie? 🤷. (…that didn’t feel patronizing at all to me.) . . But hey,.. their CS response was Fast and positive towards wanting to make things right, so I’m satisfied.

    In the photo he sent, I can still see those same curved tooling marks in the channel of the new bolt, so it would appear that is common to their manufacture/tooling process for the bolt.

  7. #7
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    Pic of the “New Hottness!!” 💕

    Figured since I’m awaiting arrival of my new BCG, I thought I’d drop a pic of the new hotness fully kitted!

    FM9 10” upper, FM9 Lower receiver, SBA4 Pistol Brace, Holosun AEMS sight, Magpul D50 drum mag. (…+5 fun sticks not pictured.) 😎😁

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    Can’t WAIT to get this sukkah to the range. Hope to be shooting steel wit it by this weekend.

  8. #8
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    New bolt was delivered today. Looks good.

    Being mostly ignorant of AR’s, If nothing else,.. freaking out & researching these issues has taught me more about WTF I’m trying to do, wth I’m looking at in the receiver’s innards and what all the parts nomenclature is. 🤦

    So,.. in than vein,.. apologies for not knowing the diff between the “Bolt” & Bolt carrier. It’s the carrier that was damaged/dinged not the bolt. Additionally,.. the “Key” is what got staked and abraded. And now I understand why. 🤷 I’ve also learned how to disassemble & modify an annoyingly thick selector switch in order to keep it from rubbing my trigger finger. 🤣😎
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    (…little rough looking but it works!)

    Next, is installing the CMC Flat faced trigger.

    Fun, fun! Can’t wait for Pew Pew!!! 🤣

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Chomps View Post
    New bolt was delivered today. Looks good.

    Being mostly ignorant of AR’s, If nothing else,.. freaking out & researching these issues has taught me more about WTF I’m trying to do, wth I’m looking at in the receiver’s innards and what all the parts nomenclature is. 🤦

    So,.. in than vein,.. apologies for not knowing the diff between the “Bolt” & Bolt carrier. It’s the carrier that was damaged/dinged not the bolt. Additionally,.. the “Key” is what got staked and abraded. And now I understand why. 🤷 I’ve also learned how to disassemble & modify an annoyingly thick selector switch in order to keep it from rubbing my trigger finger. 🤣😎
    Fun, fun! Can’t wait for Pew Pew!!! 🤣
    The nomenclature on the AR-9 is a challenge - it is the same, but different. I am following your thought pattern.

    I found the safety/selector lever on my FM lower was functional, but a bit mushy. There was too much dried lube on the spring and in the hole that provides pressure upwards on the selector via a detent. No biggie, but difficult to clean out. Not convinced I did a 100% job.

    And interested in what you experience is on the range, as 9mm’s used to be a niche gun to get running at 99.999%. They still run a little a little dirty, but reasonable cleaning keeps them highly reliable these days.

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