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Posted: 8/23/2004 5:13:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 5:43:21 AM EST by RavenVT100]
I have two questions regarding the installation of a float tube on a Bushmaster XM15 E2S with 20" NATO heavy barrel.

1. I'm looking to install a float tube on this thing so that I can get better groups and possibly compete with the rifle. Will the Bushmaster DCM free floater kit work with my existing upper and barrel, or will I have to replace the upper, barrel, or both? The reason for the tube is not for railmounting purposes (although that would be a bonus if I used a FF kit that had that feature) but rather so the sling won't flex the barrel. This means that whatever FF kit I use, it has to accomodate the sling.

2. Is this something I can do myself if I have the right tools? Is this something that I can risk hurting the rifle by doing?

Thanks.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 6:14:23 AM EST
1. Yes, the Bushmaster DCM float tube will work with your rifle, HOWEVER, there are other better float tubes on the market. Rock River and White Oak Precsion's float tubes are better and probably a bit cheaper. Check them out.

2. Yes, you can do it yourself IF you have the right tools and the know how. As with all things, it is better to watch it done or have someone who has done it to help you out the first time. I doubt you could damage the rifle, but you could make a mess of it and possibly have to have someone fix it for you. If I were you, I would ship it to John Holliger at WOP and have them do it and do it RIGHT the first time.

www.whiteoakprecision.com
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 6:25:43 AM EST
That's what someone on another forum had just suggested (John Holliger). I've been browsing AR15 and looking at the FF systems that people here use, and I had no idea there were so many! I'm going to have to do some extensive research on this to figure out which one I want.

I'm very interested in learning how to do things like barrel or gas block replacement on the AR15 on my own. I've been reading some of the threads on the subject both in the build-it-yourself forum and on this forum. What steps do you recommend I take to learn?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 8:18:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By RavenVT100:
That's what someone on another forum had just suggested (John Holliger). I've been browsing AR15 and looking at the FF systems that people here use, and I had no idea there were so many! I'm going to have to do some extensive research on this to figure out which one I want.

I'm very interested in learning how to do things like barrel or gas block replacement on the AR15 on my own. I've been reading some of the threads on the subject both in the build-it-yourself forum and on this forum. What steps do you recommend I take to learn?




First of all, if you are shooting CMP or NRA matches as a service rifle, you are limited as to which float tube to use. You will have to use a DCM/CMP style that makes the rifle look still as issued from the outside. There really is not much research required, use White Oak and don't look back. I have yet to find ANYONE who is not well pleased after using them. Right now, they are the best bang for the buck.


As for doing it yourself. Get the M16 USMC manual first of all and read it. It is not the end all be all, but it is a good start. At the very least you will need a bench vise, barrel or action blocks, spanner/barrel nut wrench, Dremel tool, punches of various sizes, hammer and some other tools I cannot think of right now, but that will get you close. The absolute best way to learn is to find someone who does this already and watch them.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 8:29:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 8:29:55 AM EST by RavenVT100]


As for doing it yourself. Get the M16 USMC manual first of all and read it. It is not the end all be all, but it is a good start. At the very least you will need a bench vise, barrel or action blocks, spanner/barrel nut wrench, Dremel tool, punches of various sizes, hammer and some other tools I cannot think of right now, but that will get you close. The absolute best way to learn is to find someone who does this already and watch them.


Okay, those tools I'm aware of and know what they're for in each stage of the tube install, except for the dremel tool. I'm guessing this is to cut down the ends of the factory A2 handguards so they'll fit with the tube on, am I right?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 8:57:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By RavenVT100:
I have two questions regarding the installation of a float tube on a Bushmaster XM15 E2S with 20" NATO heavy barrel.

1. I'm looking to install a float tube on this thing so that I can get better groups and possibly compete with the rifle. Will the Bushmaster DCM free floater kit work with my existing upper and barrel, or will I have to replace the upper, barrel, or both? The reason for the tube is not for railmounting purposes (although that would be a bonus if I used a FF kit that had that feature) but rather so the sling won't flex the barrel. This means that whatever FF kit I use, it has to accomodate the sling.

2. Is this something I can do myself if I have the right tools? Is this something that I can risk hurting the rifle by doing?

Thanks.




I started off with exactly the same rifle, which I built into a Highpower service rifle/ DCM rifle.

I did some research, and went with the Armalite float tube. However, the BM unit will work, but (at the time I did my research--not sure if this is still true) the BM was a two piece unit that was more difficult to install. The Armalite is a three piece unit, it is easy to install.

You want to apply dielectric grease between the barrel nut (steel) and reciever (aluminum) to eliminate corrosion. You will need a barrel wrench. You will also need a block to hold the upper reciever in place--I made one of wood on my first install, but the second time around I bought a unit from Brownells (I recommend the second approach). You also need a vise, and drift punches for removing the front sight base. You will probably need a Dremel tool to remove the sling from the front sight base and to make relief in the upper handguard for the new gas tube (you can buy new handguards from Armalite and BM IIRC that should drop in). When you reinstall the front sight base, make sure it is aligned so that your zero is with the rear sight centered with respect to windage.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 9:01:28 AM EST
The Rock River and WOP tube is all but identical to the Armalite. The WOP has been modified a bit to make up for any shortcomings of the other two. The Bushmaster tube does not utilize a locking ring and I have also seen a couple come apart during shooting. They can be fixed, but not during a match so as to stay put. The Armalite, Rock River and White Oak tubes are three of the best IMHO.

The Dremel tool is used to remove the tabs on the bottom of the front sight housing that held the front sling swivel and to relieve the tabs inside the handguards so as to fit the tube.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:08:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 10:09:37 AM EST by RavenVT100]


I started off with exactly the same rifle, which I built into a Highpower service rifle/ DCM rifle.

I did some research, and went with the Armalite float tube. However, the BM unit will work, but (at the time I did my research--not sure if this is still true) the BM was a two piece unit that was more difficult to install. The Armalite is a three piece unit, it is easy to install.

You want to apply dielectric grease between the barrel nut (steel) and reciever (aluminum) to eliminate corrosion. You will need a barrel wrench. You will also need a block to hold the upper reciever in place--I made one of wood on my first install, but the second time around I bought a unit from Brownells (I recommend the second approach). You also need a vise, and drift punches for removing the front sight base. You will probably need a Dremel tool to remove the sling from the front sight base and to make relief in the upper handguard for the new gas tube (you can buy new handguards from Armalite and BM IIRC that should drop in). When you reinstall the front sight base, make sure it is aligned so that your zero is with the rear sight centered with respect to windage.


Is there a reason why I cannot use the existing gas tube and handguards after adding the float tube, provided that relief is cut into the existing handguards?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:20:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By RavenVT100:
Is there a reason why I cannot use the existing gas tube and handguards after adding the float tube, provided that relief is cut into the existing handguards?




Yes, you can use the existing handguards, BUT, you have to modify them to fit the tube. You have to remove some of the inside of the very front of them so as to fit around the OD of the tube. Very little material is removed in "relieving" the handguards for the gas tube to fit, just a bit of grinding on the inside of the guards so as not to rub the tube.

You can also use the existing gas tube, but, you have to modify that as well. You have to remove the bends in it and then add some bends so as to fit around the tube. That is why I like the RR, WOP or Amalite as they all come with the modified gas tube ready to go.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:21:30 AM EST


You can also use the existing gas tube, but, you have to modify that as well. You have to remove the bends in it and then add some bends so as to fit around the tube. That is why I like the RR, WOP or Amalite as they all come with the modified gas tube ready to go.


Cool, I'll check that out then. Thanks.
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