Taming the Wild Ejector
The ejector mechanism on an AR-15 is designed to throw the fired case out of the receiver quickly. With most rifles, it throws the cases over a wide area and rather far away. Often, you wind up bombarding the shooter to your right with hot cases. Itís quite simple to modify the AR-15ís ejector, resulting in all of the fired cases landing in a small circle at your 1:00 oíclock position. Not only will it make finding your fired cases a bit easier, youíll be kinder to your fellow shooters.
It will be necessary to field strip the rifle and remove the bolt from the bolt carrier assembly. The ejector and ejector spring are held in position by a small pin. The spring is under considerable compression so itís important to be careful and to wear safety glasses. It will be necessary to press the ejector into the bolt body while tapping the pin out with a pin punch and hammer. I find use a fired case to press the ejector into the bolt. Hook the case rim under the extractor and pivot against the ejector, compressing the spring. While holding the case in position, drive the pin out of the bolt. Youíll need either an extra set of hands or the clever use of a vise. After the pin is driven out, slowly release the pressure on the ejector.
With the ejector spring relaxed, youíll note that the tip of the ejector sticks out from the front of the bolt lugs. You will want to trim the spring until, uncompressed, the tip of the ejector protrudes about .005Ē in front of the lugs. The spring is hard and difficult to cut and youíll need to use a grinder or an abrasive cut-off wheel. A Dremel tool is ideal. You cannot cut the spring with a wire cutter. After you have trimmed the spring to the correct length, place the spring back in the ejector hole with the trimmed end first. Place the ejector in position, making sure that the cutout is in the proper position so that the pin can be driven back into place. Compress the spring with the fired case and gently tap the pin back into its correct position. Reassemble the rifle and you are finished.