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Posted: 12/26/2003 8:37:48 AM EDT
This thread comes from several threads currently running- the "Pat Rogers" post, the "colt vs. bushmaster" and the "model 1 sales".  It occured to me that if you combine all of the experience of the members on this board, a lot of rounds have been fired through a lot of manufacturers' weapons.  This is an attempt to mine that experience, so here are the questions:

1. What part(s) have you broken or seen cause malfuntion.
    A. What brand was the part?
    B. How many rounds (approx) did the part have on it?

Please limit this to parts that you have specific knowledge of, not "I saw this picture once on this one site".  Also please do not turn this into a "Brand A" vs. "brand B" thread- I just want to know what parts you have personally seen break or malfuntion.  Oh, and lets leave magazines out of this.  Thanks for your experience.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 9:07:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 9:07:59 AM EDT by CJan_NH]
-When I was an AR newbie a gunstore commando had me convinced that I needed to replace the extractors in my two Colt ARs every 5000 rounds. I heeded his advice and replaced them. Immediately after that I had all kinds of extraction issues and ended up sending one of the rifles back to Colt for warranty repair. As it turned out the extractor I had purchased had an out of spec Bushmaster spring that was causing the problems. They replaced it for free and sent me a spare for free to install in my other rifle. I haven't had a problem since.

-My Bushy 20" XM15 went back to Bushmaster three times for warranty repair. The list of problems was long and included a canted fornt site, a barrel nut that wouldn't stay tight, and a bent gas tube. The most ominous problem was that the rifle doubled with alarming regularity. After the third trip back to Bushy the rifle still doubled so I sold it at a loss two weeks before the warranty expired. In retrospect I should have pushed for a new rifle, and reported them to the BATF for refusing to replace my "two round burst" AR.

-My DPMS rifle had extraction issues with milsurp 5.56, so I changed to 223 and the extraction issue vanished. I also fractured two chrome DPMS bolts at the cam pin hole.

Aside from that the DPMS was a sweet rig.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:37:49 AM EDT
When I first got my AR-15 (rra varminter), I field stripped it and broke the firing pin retaining pin trying to get it back in.  Luckily, a local arfcommer gave me a free replacement that has worked fine since.  Only problem I've ever had.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:55:07 PM EDT
This one time at band camp,

I was drunk in Saigon, on leave, with a hundred bucks in my pocket and forgot to bring condoms from the base.

Lets just stay that my gun was broken for a few weeks.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:25:20 PM EDT
You are lucky it was only for a few weeks, sometimes those things can last a lifetime.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:37:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:41:54 PM EDT
Good thread/question.

I broke the buffer retainer.  The "nipple" of the retainer sheared off.  The retainer and spring then went into the receiver - freezing up the trigger.  

You can actually run the rifle without the buffer retainer and pin, but Bushmaster sent me another one for free and I've had no problems since.

BTW - approx 12,000 rounds through my BM and this was the only problem that I've had.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:42:05 PM EDT
Only problem I ever had was a gas key that came loose (wasn't staked down properly) on a Bushmaster shorty. A little loctite and all was well with the world...
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:45:02 PM EDT
I had half a firing pin retaining pin break. Gun ran fine, noticed it while cleaning. Bushmaster is all I run.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 2:12:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 2:13:16 PM EDT by greco]
Several years ago, I built a shorty with a collapsibe stock.  It would run about 1 or 2 mags, then would turn into a single shot, and would jam at every shot. I looked in it, and the disconnector was peened down pretty hard.  I thought I had an out of spec hammer, so I trimmed back the head of the hammer.  Next trip, same thing.  And on top of that, the cam pin was beat real hard where the bolt contacts it.  Finally, I was looking at the recoil buffer and saw it had a crack in it, so I picked up a couple at the next show.  I took them home, and noticed they weighed WAY more than the piece of crap I had bought from some parts guru.  After inserting the correct part, it has run flawlessly for years.  So my tally of broken parts on that gun have been 2 disconnectors and a cam pin.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 2:21:01 PM EDT
I built an AR with a crome bolt and a m16 firing pin witch kept catching on the notches on the face of the hammer. I just ground them down some and it works just fine now.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 2:26:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Black-Lions:
I built an AR with a crome bolt and a m16 firing pin witch kept catching on the notches on the face of the hammer. I just ground them down some and it works just fine now.
View Quote

I heard the same problem with someone that had a RRA 2-stage trigger. He went back to the regular trigger and hammer, all problem is gone. But that same 2-stage works fine in his friends gun, even with the same bolt which he was having problems with in his Colt.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 3:01:23 PM EDT
as an armorer with an actual line unit, the most common thing i see broken, is by far the buffer retaining pin. it accounts for probably 60% percent of all the repairs i have to make. wether the tube losens up and it pops out and ends up in the trigger parts, or the top just shears off, im always fixin em.   does'nt seem to matter what manufacturer their from either.   thats just my 2 cents though.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 4:15:47 PM EDT
Nothing broken on my weapon,

Just my bank account
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 4:26:03 PM EDT
my nose, my wrist, a few fingers and knuckles...OH...wait...you meant..
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 5:34:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 5:06:17 AM EDT by Sinister]
Colt M16A2 Carbine (Model 723), bolt broken at cam pin hole around 5,000 rounds.  Would not extract/eject empty (as the front end of the bolt was still in the barrel extension).  Back end of bolt still in carrier.

M4s, many of them, barrels loose in uppers around 3,500 to 5,000 rounds.  Weapons sent to maintenance, barrel nuts torqued down tighter or barrels replaced.

Broken M16A2 extractor pin (right in the middle) around 3,500 rounds.  Replced the firing pin retaining pin at the same time.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 5:42:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By chp5:
Good thread/question.

I broke the buffer retainer.  The "nipple" of the retainer sheared off.  The retainer and spring then went into the receiver - freezing up the trigger.  
View Quote

My friends BM had the same problem. ( about 500rnds. )

We looked at it like WTF !! It can be a real bitch to open up once that's happened.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 5:50:59 PM EDT
I've broken two hammer pins in my RR Colt 9mm smg. I think both were colt pins, but I do not know for sure. Since then, I've put in colt stainless pins and had the bolt ramped, and had no more broken pins.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 6:04:46 PM EDT
I had a J-Pin fail one time and the hammer pin started walking out.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 12:40:51 PM EDT
Thanks for all the answers.  That was a lot more than I expected to see, as well as a wide variety of manufacturers.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 2:50:33 PM EDT
Bought in 1981 - New Colt Ar-15 Sp1

About 5000 rounds through her.



Link Posted: 12/27/2003 3:15:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2003 3:16:05 PM EDT by IronBalaclava]
Nice Weapon Mateo.


Never broke anything on any of my ARs.

11,500 rounds through the Bushy M4-gas key came loose once. Tightened it back and rock n' rolled.

1000 rds. Bushy XM15E2S-no malfs.

500 rds. RRA M4build- no malfs.

edited to add the Bushy Trigger is getting a bit gritt-tay.[:D]
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 4:17:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ChrisLe:
Only problem I ever had was a gas key that came loose (wasn't staked down properly) on a Bushmaster shorty. A little loctite and all was well with the world...
View Quote

Me three. Exact same problem. BM 11.5" upper. Loc-tite's been holding for 10 years now.

Also just had a Radio Shack alkaline N-cell battery fail in my Eotech. Recoil induced damage is assumed. One battery still at 1.4V. The damaged one at -150mV. It probably self-discharged since the last training evolution 2 weeks ago.

That's it in 10 years and 10K rounds or so.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 4:25:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2003 4:26:50 PM EDT by GunDraw]
That's funny, my wallet got broken too.  Is there any kind of warranty for that?? Because I was looking through the RRA website, and I just get this feeling I'm going to find it broken again.  [grenade]

Link Posted: 12/27/2003 4:44:28 PM EDT
The only thing that caused malfunctions was the factory extractor spring in an M4/LE6920, which was remedied with a SAW sales (yah, I know but it was free) extractor spring.  I don't know if its just the stronger Colt he sells, or it the part was "his own".   I got it 3rd party.

As far as broken parts I have photos of:
flying AK brakes (Bushmaster), flying MT6400C brakes (Colt), broken or flared out Vortexes, cheap CAR stocks, cheap receiver extension tubes, bent "Perma Pin", DPMS wrench, broken charging handle, and misc. hesse parts (doesn't deserve a capital "H").   Most of the photos I got from AR15.com, some are my own.  

I agree with Troy about cheap Chinese scopes! I've personally seen the mounts shoot loose, reticles go from " + " to " x " after a few rounds, Chinese bipods that fall apart (massive drift of assembly pins) at the barrel mount and at the leg-extension lock; and Chinese lasers that must have come from a mobile DJ (they seem like the DJ is still controlling the beam...)


I've also gone through two Galil firing pins and one Daewoo bolt, but they had a lot of use.
(No they weren't installed in an AR...)
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 4:56:52 PM EDT
Saw a guy at the range take three shots looking through a new BSA multi power optic before it went black. Now my friends, and I  refer to them as : Bull Sh%t Arms.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:39:41 PM EDT

I've Never broken anything. Losing parts and accessories is my big problem.

       Michael J
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 7:44:51 PM EDT
The gas key in my Bushmaster M4 type carbine came loose after 3K rounds. Fixed it and no problems since.

Bushmaster 20" rifle no single malfunctions yet.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 3:01:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2003 3:16:21 AM EDT by Combat_Diver]
Lets see if I get this right

H&R M16A1 during basic/AIT (83-84)no problems, less 1000 rds.

Colt XM16E1 at first unit (84-87)no problems after I put 10,000 rounds in it before turning it in.

Colt M16A2 (replacement above 87-88) no problems less than 5,000rds.  Edited to add smashed hand guards frist time out.  Jumped exposed weapon (no case) from C-130 and did PLF on left side smashing hand guards.  Zeroed and qualified with no hand guards after 12 mi ruck.

Second Colt M16A2 (changed units, 88-90)no problems-7,500 rounds

Thrid Colt M16A2 (changed uniT,91)with M203, barrel loose and had to be retorxed. No other problems in about 10,000 rounds and ground combat in Iraq

First Colt M4A1 (changed unit,95-00)First 20-30 rounds had to push trigger forward after shot.  No problems after first mag and next-15,000  rounds

Second Colt M4A1 (changed unit,00-01)no problems in 3,000 rounds

Thrid Colt M4A1 (changed jobs in Battalion,01-03) no problems in 2,000rds.

Forth Colt M4A1 (changed unit,03) Upon drawing weapon first time and going to zero, noticed selector rotating freely.  Armorer fixed upon returning from range.  No other malfunctions in 40 rounds.

Fifth Colt M4A1 (deployed same unit and issued in country,03-present) no problems yet in less than 100 rounds.

Personnal SGW reciever built into XM-177E1 (88-present) no problems in about 4,000 rounds.  That's my 20 years of working with the AR system.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 4:06:41 AM EDT
Armalite NM rifle had the 2-stage trigger to fail after only 1,050 rounds.  The cam pin hasn't failed but it has worn a notch where it rides in the bolt carrier.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 5:49:05 AM EDT
Snapped two JP hammers in half a few years ago when they put out a bad batch.

Had bunch of extraction problems (Oly 16" stainless 5.56). Turned out to be bullshit Winchester Q3131(not A).

Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:30:22 AM EDT
As a LE Armorer I have seen and/or repaired the following:

1. Broken bolt (snapped at the cam pin hole)on a personnally owned Oly carbine.

2. FTE on another personnally owned Oly carbine. Fixed with a SAW overpowered "green" extractor spring.

3. Broken extractor pins on two new (less than 3K rounds) Colt M4's.

4. Doubles on semi out of a Colt M16A2. Fixed by removing some of the metal on the underside of the disconector.

Thats it for the majors. I have had to replace the gas rings on some of our older M4's, but they had LOTS of rounds through them.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:54:25 AM EDT
I had to replace the extractor spring on a used Colt bolt I bought - does that count?
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 11:01:15 AM EDT
Extracter, once.  The coter pin for the firing pin on my Colt is out of wack but still usable.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 5:02:02 PM EDT
Colt M4 with 15,000+ rounds,
Nothing has ever broke.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 8:35:00 PM EDT
I've broken more stuff than I can list...

Some recent victims are:

1 SIR lower panel- 300 rounds of suppressed fire in short order, and my lower rail (with help from a TD VFG) sheared from the handguard.

1 POF "Predator" rail system- dropped the rifle while doing some shooting around barriers. Rifle fell about 5 feet, the handguard loosened itself from the upper and will not torque back down.

3 "Perma-Pins"- 2 broke during install after breaking original. Original lasted less than 60 rounds.

1 KAC Vert Grip- Melted the retainer nipple off. Slid right off the FFRAS.

We've also broken 2 or 3 DPMS chromed bolts at the cam pin, had a Bushmaster XM15 barrel untorque, a gas tube or two, and a few sets of gas rings...

Link Posted: 12/28/2003 8:40:53 PM EDT
I cracked a bolt on my DPMS rifle, of all places right on the flat under the extractor.  DPMS replaced under warranty.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 9:01:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Capn_Crunch:
1 SIR lower panel- 300 rounds of suppressed fire in short order, and my lower rail (with help from a TD VFG) sheared from the handguard.
View Quote

That was interesting.  I recently obtained my first SIR and put on the Arms #23 throw-lever VFG.   While the grip mounts rock-solid to the metal rail, the rail does easily flex side to side on the plastic lower handguard.  I'm afraid it will break in no time; it just feels weak.  

I remember reading here how everyone was praising how "solid" the SIRS where supposed to feel when compared to a KAC system... [>:/]
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 9:35:32 AM EDT
I had to replace the extractor on my ASA 20" at about 4000 rnds.  I went ahead and put a Wolf spring in it too.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 10:18:47 AM EDT
First Bushmaster 16" carbine - 13,000 rounds before rifle started double firing.  New hammer and disconnector fixed the problem.

Second Bushmaster 16" carbine - after 4,000 rounds the Colt "extra power" extractor spring broke in half.

First DPMS 20" rifle - after 10,000 rounds bolt lug cracked and broke off.  

These are the only malfunctions to date that I have had with the AR15 system.

The Azalin
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 10:25:39 AM EDT
Kisara, I just think that it needs a liner in the lower hanguard for the lower rail to screw into instead of recessed holes. The rifle was clearly being abused when it broke, but nonetheless... It shook my confidence a little.

I have to admit that it wasn't ARMS fault that it broke. The gun was so hot, the radiant heat from the barrel made it uncomfortable to hold, and the gastube and barrel were staring to glow red.

This particular SIR was from the first batch of #50s produced, so it's been getting that kind of treatment for over a year and has held up perfectly fine. The lower handguard is dinged all to hell from getting banged into walls, dropped, fallen on, etc. I'm pretty famous around these parts for being able to break nearly anything...

I'd just like to add that ARMS is shipping me another lower free of charge, even after being told why it broke. Now THAT is customer service.

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 10:32:33 AM EDT
On my RRA M4gery my Fwd. Asst. Pawl is rounded over like no other.  Will not engage the BC any more.  It was installed @ factory (RRA).  Other than that at 1000rds through this thing no problems.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 8:34:39 PM EDT
Hey, this is a great thread![list][*]Bought a nice used Bushy carbine from a guy on this board, and after about 1,500 rounds I had to replace extractor spring.  I have no way of knowing how much the prior owner fired it.[/*][*]One firing pin retaining pin replaced on a no-name "mil-spec" bolt in a home brew carbine.  It didn't actually fail, it just became a total pain-in-the-butt to put it back in, so I pitched it for a new one.[/*][/list]
And that's all.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 9:37:22 PM EDT
Broken ejector on a chromed DPMS bolt.  Not sure of round count.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 9:53:21 PM EDT
I scratched my delta ring really bad.

This is after about 4000 rounds.
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