AI Bolt manipulation


Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 4, 2017
Asheville NC
Hey guys,

I'm getting ready for my second PRS match, I've identified some of the mistakes I made in the first match and have worked them out but, one of the things I'm trying to do is, disturb the rifle less with bolt manipulation and with a slower (smoother) manipulation of the bolt on my AIAX I'm getting a failure to feed occasionally with three different magazines. I can't identify any correlation between rounds in the magazine and failure to feed (the bolt isn't picking the round up out of the magazine). I do know the rifle feeds just fine when I'm aggressive with the bolt but when I slow down I'm getting the occasional failure to feed. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.


all the way live
Jun 14, 2017
Lebanon, NH
Been known to be wrong, but I don't necessarily think it's linked to bolt speed.

So I was shooting at Blue Steel Ranch last October and someone shooting the AXMC in Grendel for the course and had the exact same issue you're having if I recall correctly. In their case, it all came down to the magazines, which were all of AI make, but it seemed that spares that he picked up either with or after he bought the rifle were giving him failure to feed problems. The mags themselves accepted round fine, but there were small differences between the ones that worked fine and did not around the opening, I'm pretty sure they all even had the AI stamp on the bottom too. But they deffinitely had 2 out of 3 or 4 that just consistently worked every time and there was no difference in how the bolt was handled. I will say that shooting an AI AT, I kept my mags well labeled from then on!

Looking at your mags you use with the gun, is there any noticeable difference between them down to small details...? Maybe hold them on each face and aspect and see if anything works its way out to you.
Last edited:
Aug 21, 2007
Do you dry fire?

Point being, if you dry fire a lot and you have that manipulation down - you should / are much more likely to intuit the difference between a mechanical issue like carnageasada is saying and what you’re doing.

Like running a blaster, being able to understand how the gun is running simply by how it sounds and feels.
Nov 10, 2013
You can check the round presentation distance pretty easily and see if one or some of the mags are set a little lower. It's easy to tune the mag feed lips if they are a tad bit low. MPA even sells a tool to do it.


Swamp Rat
Sep 28, 2012
Central Florida
short stroking it ?
This is easy to do when slowing down your bolt throw. When you cycle it hard, you are more likely to be getting full bolt stroke. Pay distinct attention to your full stroke on each bolt manipulation while practicing, even when practicing positional or other odd situations. Once you know that you have eliminated short stroking as an issue for sure, then look to possible mechanical issues, like mag catch height, feed lips and worn/dragging follower springs.



Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 4, 2017
Asheville NC
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to measure the magazines to see if there is any variance and pay attention to bolt stroke to be sure I'm getting full travel.
Jan 27, 2013
So Cal Mountains
I run an AIAX short action with the creedmoor 6 & 6.5 I have the same issue. I've found when the spring works its way forward on the floor plate it doesn't put the proper pressure on the back of the case & will get a random override. I have used a small rubber spacer slipped over the end of the spring to take up the extra space has helped. ymmv
Nov 19, 2010
I’ve run a long action AI in competition for a while and the only times there has been a problem with feeding is when I short stroke the bolt.

The problem with short stroking is that you can get away with it for a while. It’s a bad habit.

Dry fire a bunch and get used to the feeling of that bolt coming all the way back.

Running the bolt fast or slow doesn’t make much of a difference on mine.

If you’re running the bolt right and still having problems, try another magazine.

A lot of issues can be resolved by dry firing.
Likes: tna9001
May 17, 2017
I’d be nice if these $90 magazines would work as well as the $20 Pmags.
Are you using AW/AW-X (identical to the AW but with a small "lip" at the front) mags? Any mag can be damaged, but from my experience, the AI magazines are the most reliable and rugged available.


Staff Sergeant
Feb 13, 2018
I’ve shot the AXMC and love the rifle, but running from a short action to a long action I have a tendency to short stroke while running a faster engagement type drill, the short stroke is so minor that it doesn’t missfeed the round but in a video I noticed I wasn’t getting metal to metal on those smaller caliber rounds. This may not be your issue but I believe a picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case a video. Often times I prefer to video basic functions, drills or positional work. I’d imagine that you will be able to identify your issues quickly. Good luck.


Mar 16, 2017
I am not shooting my AI in matches this year but if I have learned one thing about them.

If the gun isn't feeding normal rounds (as in not Br/Dasher/etc.) it is because of how you are running the bolt.

I agree with the above assessments about your short stroking it.


Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 14, 2017
Once in awhile I will have this issue on mine when running the 6x47 Lapua. I make sure my rounds are slid forward in the mags and it seem to prevent it all together.
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