Originally Posted By WW-TechSupport:
There are indeed pre-ban M17s rifles out there. But not many. I saw a few come back for repairs when I worked there but they were rare and were the old split pin style receivers. Those were notoriously weak in the area where the pins went through the receiver would wear and bend fail after a while.
The later ones were better but only as good as the heat treat in the aluminum. A lot of them were heated to too high a temperature when they were teflon coated and the recievers were soft. Where the barrel is secured to the upper receiver with an allen screw the aluminum would bend after 60 rounds or less.
This was not caught on a lot of them in test fire because the factory test fire was only 10 rounds. We used to go through a lot of uppers in repair trying to find ones that weren't soft.
My suggestion to people that still have M17s is to hang them on the wall or sell them. If they break you probably won't be able to get any new replacement parts from Bushmaster as I've heard of people that have tried. A few people have called Bushmaster with M17 problems and they tell them to call us. We can't do anything for them since Bushmaster has all of the old inventory and the tools to fix them. (about $30,000 worth of inventory)
Oh and to answer the first question, if it didn't come with an A1 flash hider on it and has two spanner nuts on the end, it didn't leave as a pre-ban. All prebans left the factory with the short barrel sleeve and an A1 flash hider.
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But I disagree that the M17s needs to be relegated to wall hanger status.
So some of the uppers are soft from improper heat treating.
They can be successfully reinforced, and kept shooting.
Companies like K&M Aerospace have been doing it for years.
And the issue with parts availability is well known. In spite of that the M17s has been experiencing a resurgence of popularity.
Now companies like K&M are manufacturing some replacement parts as well.
So I would not count out the venerable M17s just yet.
Its a Must have for any Bullpup enthusiasts collection.
My M17s is actually a better shooter than my FS2000.