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DeathFRB
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Posted: 9/24/2003 9:20:08 AM
[Last Edit: 9/28/2003 3:50:05 PM by DeathFRB]
The concept of a small, rifle caliber, pistol that could accomadate all the accesories and sighting systems of a full size AR-15 has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, as many of you know, all the previous attempts to make a functional/reliable AR-15 pistol have been hampered by technical difficulties and poor design choices.

I always thought the most promising design was the Professional Ordinance Carbon-15 series and was truly excited to see that Bushmaster had bought their assets and planned to re-introduce a revised and functional AR-15 pistol to live up to their level of quality and reliability. So I used my contacts at various shops in my area to ensure that when the first Bushmaster revised P97 became available, I would get it:)

A few days after bushmaster anounced on their site the new Carbon based firearms were available, I had one P97 in hand. The construction of the firearm is dead on. Everything is tight, the upper and lower are well fit even if they are held together by two very small takedown pins. The top of the upper features a flat surface tapped toward the front
for an optional pic. rail now shown on their website which will allow the mounting of various optics (Including my reflex II which while not the best optic I own will be ideal for this little gun when it works but I get ahead of myself.)The top of the reciever is plastic and threaded tap looks a little flimsy for the job it is intended for but the upper also has rails on each side which I believe are there to stabilize the mount further.

The recoil compensator attached at the end of the barrel is held on by a unique and well thought out three ball-bearing system held in place by tension created by a spring loaded ring. Just as in the photographs of the P97 on the BFI site, there is no dust cover, but the bolt carrier and various assemblies within are well made and offer a chromed finish.

The P97 comes in a white box (not a small black bushmaster box) and the instructions cover the field stripping of the Carbon-15 Rifles but surprisingly not the pistol!!!

I finally had an opportunity to take it to the range yesterday and here were my results:

BRACE YOURSELF

The P97 was tested using the 10 round post-clinton bushmaster magazing provided with the P97 and two Colt Manufactured 20 round LEO magazines and an LEO Beta c-mag. Rounds used were Winchester 55 grain and IMI M193. The rounds used came from the same lots used to test my Colt LE6920 which performed flawlessly with the same magazines sans the BFI 10 round that came with the P97.

Prior to firing at the range, the P97 was disassembled and cleaned. The P97 was lubricated using tetra-gun. All failures of the P97 :( were cleared by removing magazine and manipulating the bolt, some required the seperation of the lower reciever from the upper to dislodge spent casings :(.

First I fired Winchester 55 grain from the BFI 10 round magazine:
Rounds
1: Flawless
2: Failure to Extract
3: Failure to Extract, Bolt Locked
4: Flawless
5: Failure to Extract, next round wedged with spent casing in the feed ramp into the barrel extention
6: Failure to Extract, spent casing wedged in the ejection port actually embedded in the plastic upper!!

At this point I discontinued firing and changed a few things. I changed my handgrip to ensure I wasn't limp wristing the P97 (though I have never had that problem with other guns AND the gas system in the weapon should prevent that regardless). I also changed magazines to the Colt LEO 20 Round. I did not change ammunition.

Rounds:
1: Failure to extract, spent casing wedged into the inside of the upper reciever, the lip of the spent casing was actually molded around the GAS TUBE inside the Upper and required the disassembly of the upper to remove!!! :(
2: Flawless
3: Flawless
4: Failure to extract, spent casing and next round wedged in feed ramp to barrel extension.

At this point I decided to try the IMI M193, hoping, though pretty sure it wasn't the problem, that the ammunition was the problem.

Further I left the live range and removed the lubricant from the bolt carrier group, to try firing the weapon essentially dry.

Rounds:
1: Failure to extract/feed BOLT CARRIER LOCKED IN PLACE BY SPENT SHELL CASING!!
2: Flawless
3: Failure to extract, failure to feed,

I stopped at that point and rechecked everything I had done. I was not holding the P97 by the magazine as many do so I know that the problems were not caused by the magazine feeding incorrectly due to pressure. Further, I had fired the weapon both lubed and dry, with different ammunition, and different magazines.

I went back and tried feeding from a beta c-mag and had the same results wet and dry, with both ammunition types.

At that point the range people were looking at the P97 which their shop had brought in for me. They saw how frustrated I was and decided not to charge me for my use of their range that day. I can only assume (g-d help us, I am making an assumption) that the problem lies with the extractor/extractor spring or the ejector/ejector spring. Regardless of the cause, my P97 works only as a single shot firearm and will only do that if you are willing to roll it to the side after every shot to "roll" the spent casing out of the upper reciever.

I have contacted Bushmaster's Technical support yesterday and I am awaiting a reply. Historically, Bushmaster has had great customer service and I am sure they will stand by this product as well, but for right now I have spent $900 including tax and shipping on a firearm that should have never made it out of the manufacturing facility after being test fired. I look forward to posting about how Bushmaster fixes my P97. Feel free to post questions about the P97, I am still enthusiastic about the potential it has, but I am currently very frustrated as well.
hardcase
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Posted: 9/24/2003 10:39:38 AM
Geez, I saw one the other day for $671 + sales tax. Glad I didn't buy it.
The original HARDCASE
BookHound
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Posted: 9/24/2003 11:25:12 AM
First, welcome to the site.

Second, sucks about the P97. I saw one at a recent show and was curious how it performed. Bushy does have good service. I'm sure they'll work it out.

Third, got a picture of a Beta on that thing? That has got to be HEAVY!

Georgia members, don't forget to check out the Georgia Hometown forum.
bushmaster
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Posted: 9/24/2003 11:26:47 AM
DeathFRB,

Drop me an e-mail with your name & info & I'll follow up on this for you. We have shipped hundreds thus far with no issue, I would like to get this one back for evaluation ASAP.
Jarrod McDevitt
1-800-998-7928
Ext# .223

Bushmaster Firearms
Made With Pride In The U.S.A.
DeathFRB
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Posted: 9/24/2003 1:32:03 PM
[Last Edit: 9/24/2003 1:38:10 PM by DeathFRB]
First of all, I was really surprised, shocked, actually that a bushmaster didn't work right out of the box. But I think I just got the bad luck of the draw. I am sure out of 1000's of pistols, one or two are always going to have production issues.

I talked to Bushmaster this morning, and as always, there customer service was excellent. I will be shipping my pistol back for evaluation this afternoon, and they did the right thing and paid for the shipping and handling.

Without claiming to be an expert by any means, I think that it will be a simple matter of replacing the extractor spring, but I guess I will find out shortly, Thank you to Bushmaster for their helpful response, I only wish somebody else got the 1 in 1000, maybe I could switch it out with my buddies P97 that runs great.

P.S. That thing did look like a monster with a beta c-mag and a reflex site attached to it. Surprisingly the weight wasn't really an issue, my partners P97 is a ton of fun to shoot, with not nearly the recoil you would expect. In fact, the recoil is minimal, it is the heat you feel on your hands as you fire that reminds you of the velocity of the object making the BB sized hole in the target:)
chrism101
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Posted: 9/24/2003 2:44:24 PM
Hate to hear that, I hope Bushmaster makes it right for you. I was looking forward to buying one of the R97s rifles in the near future, but ill stand aside and see how this all works out. My 20' xm15a3 eats cheap ammo and has eaten a few thousand rounds of SA over the past year ive had it. NO FTE's but plenty of failures and jams feeding due only to crappy 30 rd mags. It runs flawlessly with factory 10 rd mags and 30 rd mags only loaded to 20 or so.
DeathFRB
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Posted: 9/24/2003 5:39:48 PM
[Last Edit: 9/24/2003 5:40:27 PM by DeathFRB]
Well, my P97 is off to Bushmaster as of this night. I did take a series of photos before I sent it. Sometimes I think my job has made me too paranoid. Am I the only one that feels uncomfortable leaving a firearm in a box at a UPS drop off? I will try to post some pictures later after I read up on how to do that properly.
DeathFRB
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Posted: 9/25/2003 5:32:32 PM
I just called Bushmaster this afternoon (Thursday 9/25/03) and inquired as to the status of my P97. Apparently the problem was centered around the bolt assembly, and once that was replaced my P97 was back in service. They will probably be shipping it tomorrow, which means I may get it back in time to take it to the range this weekend . . . and try again!
DeathFRB
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Posted: 9/27/2003 1:53:10 PM
[Last Edit: 9/28/2003 12:05:34 PM by DeathFRB]
Well, UPS did a great job on this one! Next-day air my REAR! They sent it to Atlanta and it arrived this morning (Saturday) but their delivery guy decided that he didn't recognize the address and cancelled the delivery attempt without even contacting me or trying to find it. I verified the address with UPS so I know they had the correct one. Further, they won't be able to deliver it till Monday at the earliest . . .if their regular driver who drops off packages at my address (ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE UPS STORE!!!!)can find it. Bushmaster should get their money back on that delivery! Ridiculous.

UPDATE: 09-28-03 I called UPS customer service twice, and to make the proverbial long story short, I have my P97 back and I will be firing it this afternoon.

Further information about the service done to it:
I disassembled the P97 when i got back to the house to clean and lubricate it for the range today and noted the following;
-The extractor spring on the new bolt is infitely stronger than the one it came with originally.
- The indentation near the ejection port caused by the wedged round appears to have been buffed out. That is fine by me since I had planned on using this "little" pistol as a tactical firearm once it was running one hundred percent so I imagine I will be adding all kinds of marks and scuffs to the thing:)
Range report will be following shortly . . . not to jinx myself but I really hope the bolt resolves this pistol's issues!
Dragracer_Art
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Posted: 9/27/2003 6:05:12 PM
[Last Edit: 9/27/2003 6:08:41 PM by Dragracer_Art]
I suspect the "Hundreds shipped without issue" have not yet been fired...

I've owned two of these weapons in the past, and they are absolute garbage.

If Bushmaster sits on their hands and does nothing to redesign this weapon, it will be the ultimate un-doing of the company.

Why the hell did Proffessional Ordnance go bankrupt ?

Because the guns they made and sold didn't work. PERIOD.

You would be hard pressed to find a large group of current or past owners of these guns that are happy with them.

They are without doubt the most unreliable guns I've EVER owned. Bar none.

The last one I had broke the bolt in half after only two shots from a brand new gun.
Eventually the gas tube broke off in the front site...
I finally gave up on the gun and sold it off...

I wouldn't own one again if it was given to me for free...

Sorry for the negative attitude, as it is not directed at Bushmaster, who otherwise makes a fine rifle. I just think aquiring Professional Ordnance was a major mistake, and will only hurt Bushmaster's otherwise good reputation...

The PO line of guns need to be completely redesigned from the bottom up...

In my opinion, they need:

1) Standard USGI barrel ext.
2) Standard USGI bolt
3) Standard USGI carrier or heavier.
4) Wider ejection port
5) Standard recoil / buffer system or something as reliable.
6) Looser tolerances in the upper
7) Tighter magwell


All the fancy lightweight stuff is great, but doesn't mean squat if the gun doesn't function...
C&R FFL & GLOCK CERTIFIED ARMORER

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.
maxell27
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Posted: 9/28/2003 10:30:14 AM
I guess I'll have to pass on the Carbon15 Pistol. I was looking at one the other day but this post has got me rethinking my next purchase.....

Max
DeathFRB
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Posted: 9/28/2003 3:49:22 PM
Dragracer_Art
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Posted: 9/28/2003 8:01:02 PM
No offense, but 100rds hardly qualifies it as "reliable".

If you can put 15-20 30rd mags downrange without failure, then I would say it's reliable...

If I remember correctly, 6 30rd mags was the most I was ever able to fire consecutively from a PO gun...
This was AFTER it broke several times on me already, and only after I had spent hours working on it...
After installing a USGI bolt/carrier assy, and USGI stock and buffer assy, it was more reliable, but still failed regularly...

It would take an act of God to convince me these guns are worth owning.
C&R FFL & GLOCK CERTIFIED ARMORER

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.
DeathFRB
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Posted: 10/4/2003 12:14:50 AM
unfortunately, Dragracer_Art, I am going to fall far short of the act of g-d required to meet your review needs:) And as for reliability, I agree wholeheartedly that 100 rounds is far short of the needed test . . .it was just an early review to give some information to those interested in learning more about the P97 than the Bushmaster site offers.
tpd42328
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Posted: 10/5/2003 8:18:28 PM
Thanks for the range report! I really appreciate your time and effort. I'm also glad to hear the pistol is running great now. I just got mine and haven't had a chance to fire it. I'm hoping it works as well as yours. If it doesn't, I'm confident Bushmaster will make it right. This is my second Bushmaster. I think they are a great company.
bushmaster
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Posted: 10/6/2003 8:47:03 AM
Dragracer_Art,


Bushmaster has changed the design and parts used to build the new Carbon 15 rifles and pistols.
They now have 5.56mm chambers rather than the tighter chambers used before which helps with the extraction problems that were experienced before. The gas ports have been changed as they were oversized causing the systems to run too hard leading to cycling problems and had too much felt recoil. Buffer recoil pad has been changed so the pads do not come off under fire causing cycling problems. The old barrel extensions would not allow the use of an AR15 bolt. They now use standard AR15 bolts and barrel extensions as they were producing bolts and extractors out of the wrong material which was prone to breakage. The lower receiver parts are now Bushmaster AR15 parts which are of a better quality than the aftermarket parts that were being used.
The upper and lower receivers will now interchange with AR15 receivers so there are more options available to shooters. It does require that the same bolt carrier and buffer system used with the lower receivers be used if interchanging upper or lower receivers. For example if you place an AR15 barreled upper on a Carbon 15 lower you must use the shorter bolt carrier and buffer system. If you place a Carbon 15 barreled upper on an AR15 lower you must use the AR15 bolt carrier.
Due to Federal Firearms Laws rifle uppers can not be installed on pistol lower receivers and pistol uppers can not be installed on rifle lower receivers.
Other upgrades and options are on the drawing board and will be announced when they are available.

I am avail to answer any questions any of you may have on our new Carbon 15's, give me a call.
Jarrod McDevitt
1-800-998-7928
Ext# .223

Bushmaster Firearms
Made With Pride In The U.S.A.
Dragracer_Art
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Posted: 10/6/2003 5:11:48 PM

Originally Posted By bushmaster:
Dragracer_Art,


Bushmaster has changed the design and parts used to build the new Carbon 15 rifles and pistols.
They now have 5.56mm chambers rather than the tighter chambers used before which helps with the extraction problems that were experienced before. The gas ports have been changed as they were oversized causing the systems to run too hard leading to cycling problems and had too much felt recoil. Buffer recoil pad has been changed so the pads do not come off under fire causing cycling problems. The old barrel extensions would not allow the use of an AR15 bolt. They now use standard AR15 bolts and barrel extensions as they were producing bolts and extractors out of the wrong material which was prone to breakage. The lower receiver parts are now Bushmaster AR15 parts which are of a better quality than the aftermarket parts that were being used.
The upper and lower receivers will now interchange with AR15 receivers so there are more options available to shooters. It does require that the same bolt carrier and buffer system used with the lower receivers be used if interchanging upper or lower receivers. For example if you place an AR15 barreled upper on a Carbon 15 lower you must use the shorter bolt carrier and buffer system. If you place a Carbon 15 barreled upper on an AR15 lower you must use the AR15 bolt carrier.
Due to Federal Firearms Laws rifle uppers can not be installed on pistol lower receivers and pistol uppers can not be installed on rifle lower receivers.
Other upgrades and options are on the drawing board and will be announced when they are available.

I am avail to answer any questions any of you may have on our new Carbon 15's, give me a call.




Sounds like you guys have your shit together.

I'd be happy to torture test one of your P97 pistols if you want to send me one.

I bet I can break it.
C&R FFL & GLOCK CERTIFIED ARMORER

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.
DeathFRB
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Posted: 10/6/2003 8:20:49 PM
I have asked several times, and several people, but never got an answer quite yet.

When is Bushmaster expecting to bring the rail and fluted barrel mounts shown on the website?

Thanks
Dawg180
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Posted: 10/7/2003 2:55:14 AM
Yeah, I second DeathFRB's questions, and have one of my own:

Is the buffer tube an integral part of the lower receiver (all one modled asembly) or does it screw in to the lower? The reason I ask is I am curious if a single point sling plate ala GG&G could be attached for a convenient method of carry?
...God gave us two shoulders one for the AR and one for the AK
And a round hip for...the good ol' 1911
Shadow_Warrior, 12/07/03
DeathFRB
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Posted: 10/7/2003 4:16:36 PM
That is hilarious!!! DAWG, that was the first thing I tried to attached was a wilderness sling with a GG&G single point plate...forget it! There is no rear receiver plate, and while it is not a one piece unit, it uses a hexagonal screw to hold the tube in place . . . a custom part could be fabricated. . . interesting idea.
Dawg180
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Posted: 10/7/2003 4:31:57 PM

Originally Posted By DeathFRB:
That is hilarious!!! DAWG, that was the first thing I tried to attached was a wilderness sling with a GG&G single point plate...forget it! There is no rear receiver plate, and while it is not a one piece unit, it uses a hexagonal screw to hold the tube in place . . . a custom part could be fabricated. . . interesting idea.



Does the tube have a flange that projects down as part of the tube kinda like a plate, and then the hex screw goes through that? Could you post a couple of pics? Maybe we can come up with a WESCOG solution here.

I would love to get one of these, but only if I can sling it i.e. MP5K style- porbably kinda hard to find a holster for the P97, eh?
...God gave us two shoulders one for the AR and one for the AK
And a round hip for...the good ol' 1911
Shadow_Warrior, 12/07/03
DeathFRB
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Posted: 10/7/2003 4:46:48 PM
The hex screw holds in a black plastic piece underneath the tube, which appears to twist into place, though I haven't tried to remove the buffer tube. If you go to my re-review of the P97 referenced above there are some pictures of the whole pistol and up close shots of the lower reciever that will shed some light on the piece in question. I would love to be able to sling it, especially after I have all my gear attached to it!
GackMan
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Posted: 10/7/2003 5:08:48 PM

Originally Posted By bushmaster:
The upper and lower receivers will now interchange with AR15 receivers so there are more options available to shooters. It does require that the same bolt carrier and buffer system used with the lower receivers be used if interchanging upper or lower receivers. For example if you place an AR15 barreled upper on a Carbon 15 lower you must use the shorter bolt carrier and buffer system. If you place a Carbon 15 barreled upper on an AR15 lower you must use the AR15 bolt carrier.




hmmm... carbon upper kits for assebmled lowers??
Gack

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato
DeathFRB
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Posted: 10/8/2003 3:48:46 PM
Well, BFI listed the carbon 15 accesories today, the optic mounting system is $99 and the flashlight mount is $49 . . . ouch. The P97 is a very expensive proposition . . .
mikabika
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Posted: 10/10/2003 9:31:34 AM
Yup, mines got the extraction problems too.. dammit!
FREEFALLE6
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Posted: 10/18/2003 9:10:51 PM
Tuppaware AR15?? no thanks
"There is nothing more exhilerating than being shot at and missed" Sir Winston Churchill

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