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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 1/12/2006 3:47:53 PM EST
about a year ago I posted that my bushmaster .308 had broken its bolt after 500 rounds and galled the upper receiver. at that point the folks here were divided in their opinion on this gun- only one other broken bolt cropped up online.
i've checked in again, and the consensus seems to be that the bolts break because the lower barrel extension lugs were modified to work with the fal mags. bushmaster has, of course, discontinued this rifle.
my problem with bushmaster was eventually resolved when they took my used rifle and sent me a brand new gun in exchange. i put it in my gun safe and left it, to see how this would work out, and confined my trigger time to an elk rifle and varmit gun.
here's my question, a year later. who's got a broken bolt, or knows someone with one?
no need for insults, or gloating. i bought this thing because I am left handed and have spent 20 years working with right handed .308 guns, fals, m1as, g3s, galils,etc. also, i find a plentiful supply of cheap mags an attractive feature in a battle rifle. the mags worked flawlessly, and the thing was accurate. but the bolt broke. any feedback?thanks.
fyi- i have been contacting bushmaster about buying an extra bolt, and maybe a barrell, the last couple weeks. they don't seem in a hurry to get back to me.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:22:56 PM EST
I've had mine about seven months. Ran a little over 400 rds. All federal 168 bthp. Not one problem at all.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 2:46:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 3:09:50 AM EST
600 rounds of SA Battlepack through my 16" carbine with zero problems (knock on wood) - I love this rifle.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 4:52:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 4:54:42 AM EST by SP10]
200-600 rds is nothing Those rifles are still babies!

Here is an (in)famous early proponent of the BAR-10 who put several thousand rounds through his BAR-10 and reported the following:


Team Member
Joined :: February 2001
Post Number :: 622


I have approx. 6,000 rounds through mine with the following observations:

Zero Failures to Fire
Zero Failures to Feed
Zero Failures to Extract
Zero Failures to Eject
Still Sub-MOA with Aussie surplus ammo
In short, no functional problems at all - zero.

At approx. 3,500 rounds my extractor broke - BM sent me a new one overnight and it is still going strong.

At approx. 5,000 rounds, the "tail" of my bolt broke - again, BM sent me a new one overnight and it is still OK.

Both of the parts failures were identified by BM's Production Manager as heat treat problems which had been identified and fixed.

If I were to buy a Bushie 308, I'd buy some spare parts for peace of mind. And then shoot the poop out of it

Link Posted: 1/21/2006 3:22:31 PM EST
1,400 plus rounds in Aus, port, hand loads and even Indian ammo and not one burp or broken parts at all, no cleaning except the first and I added Brownells action lube to the bolt carrier and bolt.

No other cleaning has been done period.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 4:16:19 PM EST
600 rounds and going strong. Not a single problem.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 7:28:29 PM EST
1k or so through mine. My bolt tail broke at some point but kept running perfectly. I noticed the tail when cleaning. It was on the fireing pin. It took me a couple of double takes to figure out what looked funny. Bushy sent me a new one, but it took a few weeks because they were on back order. I have an A3 20" and wouldn't hesitate to pick up a 16" if I find one while I have a full pocket.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 8:49:41 PM EST
I have between 2000 and 2500 rnds sofar with no ill effects yet. and round count is going to increase by 700 to 1000 this weekend.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 2:10:52 AM EST
I also own a bushmaster 308, new rifle dec. 05, broke the tail of the bolt after 300+ rounds. I called bushmaster and they promptly sent a new improved bolt, they said the problem was something in the heat treatment. with new bolt in the weapon, it fires & ejects perfect, 1 moa groups at 100 yds. no problem. ive shot Indian & SA. surplus also remmington core lok sp, at 100yds I shot my 3/4pvc target carrier to shreads, to make a point to the guy shooting a FAL beside me . I love this fifle.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 3:20:36 PM EST
FWIW, before purchasing a .308 AR type rifle, I did some research, as well as shot two. I also contacted Bushmaster, asking about the "bolt problem." Don't know how this compares to what you've seen or been told, but it may be helpful to someone. Bushmaster's response was:

There was an issue with some bolts, with some braking at a step cut into the tail of the bolt. The step has been eliminated with a radius like the AR15 type bolts so there is no longer a weak point.
Thank you,
Tech Support

I made the purchase in Aug 05, have fired around 300 rnds, which includes some South African surplus, and some reloads. Can't complain at this point. It's very accurate, not FTEs or FTFs, no problems at all. I'm purchasing some extra parts for it now (as I've also done with my AR-15 which has also had no problems). And, a couple of weeks ago at a local gun show, I spoke with a dealer who was willing to pay my original purchase price to get his hands on one. I really don't know whether they'll go up or down in price, but I know what happened to my Kimber of Oregon rifles when they quit making 'em. Either way, I'm pleased and would do it all over again. I'd highly recommend the rifle to anyone considering a purchase.

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 1:15:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 1:18:27 PM EST by TwoRavens]
500 rnds, no probs yet.

Not a bad group for 5 shots at 100 yds:

Handloads of 43.2gr of Varget pushing a 178gr Hornady AMAX
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 2:44:17 AM EST
thats very nice, which barrel & sights, scope were you using
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 7:14:44 AM EST
20" Barrel, Leupold 4.5-14 LR/T scope. SWS free float tube.

Link Posted: 1/31/2006 5:25:40 PM EST
Nice - thanks for sharing - gives me hope after break in.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 10:51:34 PM EST
I only have about 200 rounds through mine without any problem. Sweet rifle.

Does anyone have a pic of where the bolts are breaking so I know what to look for? Or explain to this slow ol' boy where they're breaking? Is it the bottom lug or elsewhere? Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 4:30:34 AM EST
bolt breaks where " tail" meets main body. if you're looking at bolt, rear is relatively thin section which accepts firing pin. as you go forward toward muzzle you encounter main bolt body. bolt breaks at the shoulder.
the rifle can often still operate with bolt broken. in my case I believe I fired several rounds before I detected problem. others have indicated that they only found problem when cleaning. in my case inspection of upper receiver showed pronounced galling, damage to aluminum caused by the now damaged bolt wobbling when it reciprocates. if you have a broken bolt check the upper- bm will likely have to replace the upper receiver. in my case they did such a poor job that they eventually agreed to send me a brand new rifle, which I have just sold so that I can spend the money on a reliable .308. beware!
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 9:54:11 PM EST
Thanks, I'll check mine again tomorrow.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 12:47:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 12:47:41 PM EST by salaciouscrumb]
Just checked with Bushmaster, a spare bolt and carrier goes for $386 and some change.. Yikes. FWIW my bolt broke after about 200 rounds.

Link Posted: 2/6/2006 4:08:20 PM EST
For those of you who've experienced broken bolts, can you give an approximate date it occurred? I've got an e-mail from Bushmaster saying the problem was resolved .. maybe it wasn't?

Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:13:20 PM EST
we shouldn't have to try to figure all this out for ourselves. bushmaster should have posted complete information on this problem to their website: source of problem, extent of problem, and the serial numbers of the run of guns likely to experience problems, as well as the measures taken to correct the problem. none of this information was made available in this forthright fashion. why not?
here's my theory: nothing has been done to fix the bolt problem. they realize that most of the rifles sold in this country aren't shot very much. it could be seen as a good business decision just to reassure people and just replace the bolts that break for as long as necessary- discontinuing the rifle limits the extent of the problem, and it eventually goes away. very few shooters put even a few hundred rounds through a gun through the course of a year.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:51:45 PM EST
I agree, 100%. The details should be published. My reason for posting the request for approximate dates was because of your theory ...

here's my theory: nothing has been done to fix the bolt problem.

I specifically asked 'em about the "bolt problem" before I purchased, and they responded in writing to my question, that they did indeed find and fix the problem. So, it may be of interest to some (including me), if they have rifles manufacturered AFTER they supposedly fixed the problem. Or, maybe they got all the bad'uns (bolts) with good'uns. You're right .. serial numbers of before & after would be good.

I've put around 300 rnds through mine so far, including quite a few heavy rounds for deer hunting. You can bet you're arse I'm going to try to break it sooner rather than later.

Than again, if RRA starts making 'em, I may just prefer to give them my money.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:44:10 PM EST

Than again, if RRA starts making 'em, I may just prefer to give them my money.

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:40:06 AM EST
I think we who own these guns can all agree BM should have taken a more pro active approach to the bolt issues, posting sn# on the web site and notifying registered warranty card holders. In my case the rifle was purchased through Impact guns, delivered mid dec. 05 sn#BA4001387. broken bolt, repl. 1-12-06. appx 1k rounds since all ok, for now. I also feel it would be a big mistake for BM to have not fixed the problem and risk futher damage to their reputation, time will show if we can trust BM to deliver dependable arms. Lets get some sn# & dates of purchase posted.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:23:16 PM EST
Bootstrap; are you sure it's not "BAR0013xx?"

Mine is #BAR0021xx"; purchased in Aug05, and have about 300 rnds through it with the original bolt.

Do you recall the differences in the way the bolts looked? One e-mail BM sent me said that there was a "step cut" into the tail of the bolt, which weaked it, and now it's radiused like the .223 rifles. Then again, someone said there was a "heat treatment" problem, that's also been rectified.

If you can confirm (or deny) either of those statements, it might help. Did your old bolt look different than the new bolt, around the tail area? Mine looks EXACTLY like my Bushy AR-15 Bolt, just "supersized."

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:15:59 PM EST
rumors on this site concerning the bolt problem include:
- "bad heat treatment in some bolts"
- "design of original bolt was faulty, new bolt is radiused and eliminates weak point"
- "barrel extension was modified to handle fal mags, this caused stress which leads to bolt failure"
I've been following this issue since I bought one of these rifles a year and a half ago. It comes back to what I said in my post above- where is bushmaster on this? why isn't there a picture of the old and new bolts on their website if they have been redesigned? I'll tell you- it's because they haven't done a thing to correct the problem. they aren't going to be pinned down on this by saying anything if they can help it. they'll blow smoke at people who call them with a problem ("bad heat treat, blah,blah,blah"). they discontinued the rifle and they are waiting for the problem to go away. the problem here is not lack of proper heat treatment, it is lack of i-n-t-e-g-r-i-t-y.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 9:17:57 PM EST
Here's mine. Not sure when it broke, it was still running like a top until the next cleaning.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 2:58:59 AM EST
check your upper receiver for damage. when I discovered my broken bolt I also found damage to the upper receiver. I believe that the broken bolt does not reciprocate smoothly and chews up the softer metal of the upper receiver. bm should be prepared to replace upper receiver.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 7:55:19 AM EST
Idahodirt ..

Is that the bolt that eventually broke or is that the replacement? I'll try to get a pic of mine on here in the next day or so, but I don't think mine looks like that.

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:27:34 AM EST
I can't tell if we should posts our sn#s even if there were no problems, but here goes:

SN# BAR002xxx
bought 2/2005

1,000 rds so far, no breakage. Just cleaned it thoroughly last week and saw no signs of stress.

Low round count because it was in storage until I could reach Free America and shoot it more.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 4:40:08 PM EST
Thanks for the pictures, Idahodirt. Does your replacement have that step in it, or is it a smooth radius (like the .223 rifles)?

Hartmann, our rifles are fairly close in serial numbers. I checked today, and mine has that "step" cut into the tail of the bolt, as described by the BM tech .. and as shown in Idahodirt's pic. It looks like that's the exact spot that his bolt failed. Next time you clean it, if it's not too much trouble, I'd be interested in knowing if yours has that cut in it too.

Thanks gents,

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:49:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By tetoncounty:
check your upper receiver for damage. when I discovered my broken bolt I also found damage to the upper receiver. I believe that the broken bolt does not reciprocate smoothly and chews up the softer metal of the upper receiver. bm should be prepared to replace upper receiver.

I went over it pretty well and found no damage and very little "usual" wear.
Where was there damage? The bolt was still aligned in the carrier and the tail was still on the fireing pin. As far as I can see, the tail touches nothing other than provideing for a spacer and alignment for the fireing pin. The bolt rides on the gas rings and the front ridge.

The new bolt took many weeks to arrive. The new one steps down about where the old one seperated. I can't remember if the old one stepped down or had a groove, maybe some one with an early model and original bolt can look. I had to send this one back for warrenty. The new bolt surface on the stepped down portion is very smooth. like maybe they machined it down to not contact the carrier. The old bolt was ruff, but that just may be from errosion.

Serial is 0011xx.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:16:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 4:07:19 PM EST by tetoncounty]
damage occurred about an inch behind the barrel extension, opposite the ejection port and above. it consisted of a gouged out area about the size of a thumbnail with rough raw metal exposed, deepest gouges about 1/8th inch. my speculation about the cause is just that- bushmaster doesn't want to talk about it.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:14:01 PM EST
I checked my bolt today and everything looks OK. It has the cut in the bolt tail and my rifle is an early one 0004XX. As posted on page 1, it's only had about 200 rounds through it though.

For those with a broken bolt, did you need to send Bushmaster your broken bolt before they replaced it or did they just send you a replacement? Because mine has the cut, even though it hasn't broken yet, maybe I should order another before it breaks.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 3:55:58 AM EST
Yep, it doesn't look like the "rumour" about the smooth radius came to pass between your rifle and mine (0021xx). And, I'm one of the folks who spread that one, cause I've got an e-mail in my box from BM tech, stating it. That kind of moves me more toward the "hardening" issue. Something like that could have happened in certain batches in the beginning, end, or middle of the production run. I wonder if there's any way to find out just how many of these rifles were made?

I dunno, lots of questions, few answers.

A "positive" is the possibility of the RRA .308. From the pictures, it looks to be EXACTLY like the bushmaster. And, with rumours of one designer, the bolts could very well be interchangeable. So, rather than "purchase" a bolt from BM now, I'm going to shoot the heck out of it and make BM replace it. I'll then purchase my spare parts from RRA.

And, if it comes down to that, I'll put my "gun fun money" toward RRA. Normally, I'm the most loyal dude you can ever meet. Hell, I still trade at a full service station, JUST because I think it's the right thing to do to keep help that little place in business, even though gas is a nickel more a gallon. But, you shit in my hat, especially under circumstances like these, and I'm done.
They've had more than adequate opportunity to make this right ........ IF they wanted to.

That said, it's Saturday, and I'm going shoot'in. Wanna guess what gun I'll use? Ya'll have a good weekend.

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 9:57:06 AM EST
Car333, ive been out of town, however your correct, sn BAR001387. typo error. Also my original bolt had, as also the new one a step or groove at the tail. it seems as most of the sn. are low in production. Ive e-mailed bushmaster regarding posting info on their web site and notifying registered owners, asked for a response as to their position on 2-8-05 nothing yet. I also agree that at tail of the bolt , there shouldnt be much stress, and tend to agree it must have been a manufacturing defect. thanks for posting sn.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 3:58:06 PM EST
' Evening Bootstrap,

Be sure to check out the post above, which includes pics of two bolts. I'd like to hear your take on
BM's mention of "U" vs "L" shaped cuts in the bolt tail. I'm sure someone around here has a new bolt due to breakage, I'd love to see a pic of that.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 2:36:36 AM EST
car333, I have no clue as to the U or L groove on a bolt , sounds like bad info. I posted on the industry thread, lets see if jarrod will supply more info. ok. How is your 308 shooting? thats why we bought them right? Mine shoots very good, mostly shooting SA 147g. at the range i managed to hit a golfball at 100yd, open sights, blew a V right through. I love the power of the 308. ive shot over 1k rounds since replacing the bolt, I think its gonna be alright.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 3:03:08 AM EST
glad to hear that your rifle is performing well- mine was accurate also. I sold the new replacement they sent me for a big loss because I didn't want to be wondering every time I took up the slack on the trigger, " is this the shot where the bolt breaks again, or something else goes wrong?if it is, how long will it be in the shop in Maine and where am I going to get parts?"
we paid top dollar for these rifles and they should work. period. if there is a problem we should hear about it directly from bushmaster, we shouldn't be having to figure it out on this forum.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 3:39:59 AM EST
Tetoncounty, I agree with you and have read all the posts on both threads. BM should be more forthcomming in regards to our concerns & questions. AR-15 is a great forum, and I know Jarrod is reading these posts. so far as ive counted 16 people have responded 6 have had broken bolts, thats over 30% failures not good & there was, is clearely a problem. Thanks to you for starting this post and bringing it out. Maybe they will respond. The longer it goes on the more exposure itll get.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 12:11:15 PM EST
bootstrap: Mine shoots great. I've never had a FTF or FTE, and it generally hangs around 1 moa if I do my part. I've shot a bit over 300 rnds so far. I shoot mostly medium vel hand loads with 150 grn bullets, but best accuracy is with bullets at or over 165 grs. And, it LOVES the SA ammo you mentioned. Just picked up another case today.

tetoncounty; I think we all agree .. I certainly do .. BM should come completely clean. However, if they're NOT, then at least the post on the thread above this one (Broken Bolt Pics) sounds positive. At least if individuals call them, they'll swap the bolt. And, if RRA actually produces the bolts, then the supply chain will be fine & dandy. There was a "rumour" ... (nah .. not on these forums that RRA was instrumental in the original design. If that's so, it's likely the bolts will be the same, with the exception that they'll be the new ... ummm, ... field tested version.

Does that make everything good? Hell no ... it's much too little too late in my opinion. But, I don't want to get rid of my rifle, and if bolts are available through another source, there's no need to, IMO. That said, if BM expects me to go to RRA for .308 bolts for a BM rifle, then RRA will get my first look when it comes to other black rifle purchases.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:17:44 PM EST
Thanks guys for the heads-up with this bolt breakage problem. I own a BM DCM comp and love it. Traded a colt to get it and have never turned back. I was just about to work out a trade tomorrow for a BM .308. Was willing to take a couple hundred dollar loss on the trade just to get the Bushy. If any of the folks at BM are reading this thread you need to respond. You're loosing a customer with this rifle. I am just glad to find out before investing the time and the funds.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:04:53 AM EST
308 update. I just shot another 300 roynds of sa surplus, pulled the bolt & inspected it. no problems, 1300 rounds on the new bolt. In spite of the prior bolt breaking, I feel this is a very good rifle and will keep it.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:08:21 AM EST
"Bushmaster-It Might Not Break"
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:20:03 AM EST
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