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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 5/10/2002 6:39:54 AM EDT
Hey, everyone.

I bought a Bushmaster AR-15 a week ago. It's the first gun I've ever owned, and the first time I had fired a gun was two weeks before I got it (a 12-gauge shotgun, a German 8-mm Mouser and a .22 rifle). I've fired a lot of air rifles and air pistols throughout my 20-year life, but they aren't really the same. Needless to say, I don't know all that much about guns (Yes, I know about gun safety, and do not treat guns like toys or anything, don't worry. I may be a newbie, but I'm not stupid). So here's the first newbie question:

1) How many shots should a Bushmaster AR-15 be good for if kept well cleaned/oiled, etc? Since that's a rather unclear question, I'll put it this way: How many shots did you guys fire before some part of your gun went kaput? It may sound like a silly question, but I'm kind of overprotective of my new piece of technology.

2) I've been curious - the inside of the barrel is rifled and chrome-plated. Why don't bullets rub it all away? Those things are moving really fast - I'd think they would do some damage. My guess is that the pressure behind the bullet rushes past the bullet a bit, creating a coushin of air around the bullet, thereby keeping the bullet from touching the barrel. Am I close?

3) What is the best .223 ammo for the best price, and where can I get it? I don't want crap that'll damage my gun, and I don't want expensive stuff. The stuff I'm getting right now is $5.29/20.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:02:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2002 7:06:38 AM EDT by lurker]
the rifle as a whole should be good for many thousands of rounds. i hear with proper care the barrels can last 30-to 40,000 rounds. then you replace the barrel. as far as normal wear and tear, yes, parts (springs, pins, etc)will wear out and break over time. this is normal.

the barrel does wear away eventually. the bullets are softer than the barrel, however (except some steel jacketed ammo, see below) so barrel wear is slow. as for the air cushion, NO. the bullet is actually a bit larger than the lands of the rifling, to get a good grip to induce spin.

good cheap ammo can be had for under $4 a box of 20, or you can buy in bulk for even less. buy commercial ammo (win q3131a, or pmc or pmp), or mil-surplus (guatemalan or south african) or the like. thee are plenty of good manufacturers. be wary of cheap russian ammo, some of it has steel jackets on the bullets and will use up your barrel faster.

oops, forgot. welcome to the forum. it can be a wild place, enjoy!
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:07:03 AM EDT
Greenhorn,

1. Your BM should fire many thousands of rounds before you have to change anything, if you keep it clean and well lubricated. IIRC, Troy, one of our moderators, did a torture test a couple of years ago to test BM reliability and fired somewhere in the neighborhood of 7K rounds without cleaning, and just a spritz of CLP now and then. He had little or no problems with failure. Keep your rifle cleaned and well lubricated according to the manual, found here old.ar15.com/books/. Take care of the rifle and it will take care of you.

2. The bullet is ALWAYS in contact with the barrel. The intense pressure, about 50,000 PSI, forces the bullet into the lands and grooves of the barrel. The bullet spins according to the rifling twist rate, which stabilizes it in flight.

3. For ammunition go to www.ammoman.com. Q3131A, Israeli manufactured for Winchester, is superb ammunition and meets military specifications. It is hot, accurate and reliable. There are many other brands out there, surplus and new, that are good products. Others will present different options. The above is my personal preference.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 8:38:31 AM EDT
Greenhorn,

First off, welcome to the board! I agree with the others. You're Bushy should give you lots of service with minimal problems. If you manage to wear out any parts, they are readily available anyway, so it's nothing to worry about.

My ammo recommendation is also Winchester Q3131A available at ammoman.com for about $199 per case of 1,000 rounds delivered. It is good stuff. And unlike most calibers where FMJ isn't as effective as softpoints and hollow points...there is a design aspect in M193 bullets that allow them to explode when penetrating a soft target....somewhat like you see in varmint ammo. And of course it can also be used as target ammo.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 10:26:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greenhorn:
1) How many shots should a Bushmaster AR-15 be good for if kept well cleaned/oiled, etc?


I'm not sure if you are looking for life expectancy or Reliabilty info here.

Life expectancy - with a Chrome lined barrel firing semi-auto only, you can easily expect a life of 10,000 to 20,000 rounds - actually I'd expect more - but I'll assume you might be rough on the barrel now an again.

As for realiability - Me and a couple of my buddies have gone over 1000 rounds between cleanings - sometimes in one day - other times spread out over a few months. Troy (a moderator here) went over 7,000 before he broke down and cleaned the rifle (still had no problems). This story can be found in the FAQ at communities.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite As you are a newbie I highly recommend you go visit the site.



2) I've been curious - the inside of the barrel is rifled and chrome-plated. Why don't bullets rub it all away?


Because the Chrome is MUCH hader than the the copper or steel jacketing of the bullets. Yes eventually (after 10's of thousands of rounds it will start to wear - a bit sooner if you use lots of full-auto fire)



3) What is the best .223 ammo for the best price, and where can I get it? .


Define Best?
Most Accurate?, Most Reliable? Most like Military? What do you intend on using it for?

IMHO the 'Best' all around ammo is either Winchester Q3131A, IMI M193, or Federal XM193. These are recent production Military spec 55gr ammo. Usually you will find the Winchester is the cheapest - I find it at gunshows for less than $160 per case, online expect to pay closer to $200 delivered (still better than most stores). If you have a Gaylans near you - they usually have a good deal on it also.

I suggest a visit to the above mentioned site will also help to answer these and other questions (particularly in the FAQs).
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 10:59:53 AM EDT
Welcome to the addiction... The guys have already covered your questions pretty well.. So I'll suggest that maybe you should join a local chapter of "ARA" (AR Anonymous)before you get beyond help.. Which Bushy did you get??
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 11:01:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greenhorn:
Hey, everyone.
.
.
1) How many shots should a Bushmaster AR-15 be good for if kept well cleaned/oiled, etc? Since that's a rather unclear question, I'll put it this way: How many shots did you guys fire before some part of your gun went kaput? It may sound like a silly question, but I'm kind of overprotective of my new piece of technology.

2) I've been curious - the inside of the barrel is rifled and chrome-plated. Why don't bullets rub it all away? Those things are moving really fast - I'd think they would do some damage. My guess is that the pressure behind the bullet rushes past the bullet a bit, creating a coushin of air around the bullet, thereby keeping the bullet from touching the barrel. Am I close?
.
.


First a great big WELCOME! Congrads on being a new AR owner. It is a terrific rifle. With a little care you should be able to pass it down to your grandchildren with no problem, of course not with the original barrel though.

I know some guys don't clean their ARs until it doesn't work anymore(not a recommended practice), and that is after a bunch of range sessions.

I went thru 5,000 rounds on my Oly before there was wear into the fire control parts, when it started to double or triple on a single trigger pull. Its was fun at first, but kinda dangerous because you never quite know when it would stop firing when you take your finger off the trigger. BATF takes a rather dim view of this situation, ie machine gun mode. I ended up replacing the trigger and other parts with some from Quality Parts Co/Bushmaster.

You will know when your barrel is worn out when your shot groups start to spread out because the rifling won't be able to stabilize the bullet. Awhile back(~1985) I spoke with Tom Barr at Bushmaster, and he says that they have a M16 with a chromed barrel that has gone 20,000 rounds and the barrel was still good.

OT: also some people are concerned about overheater their barrels, Tom said that in semi-auto you can't pull the trigger fast enough to overheat their ARs. Of course in machine gun, that is a different story.

The hard chrome plating on a barrel, is different from chrome plating on the older car bumpers where you can sometimes peel it off with your fingers. I think this type of chrome plating is where the chrome molecule is actually part of the steel.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 11:03:34 AM EDT
Incidentally, the chrome is there because it has better lubricity. Extends barrel life.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 2:19:10 PM EDT
I buy all of my ammo at gunshows. I usually get 1000rds for about $125 or so. Plus you can eyeball other brands/nations of origin, etc.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 9:46:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2002 9:49:32 PM EDT by Greenhorn]
- "Most Accurate?, Most Reliable? Most like Military? What do you intend on using it for?"

I'm mostly looking for ammo that won't be bad for the gun (such as steel-plated). I'm looking for accuracy too, but mostly just gun-friendly ammo. It'll be used for target practice.

- "Which Bushy did you get??"

I got a A2 shorty. 14.5" inch barrel (I think) plus the muzzle brake, and a solid stock. Maybe I'll post a pic of it when I'm able to.

- "I buy all of my ammo at gunshows. I usually get 1000rds for about $125 or so. Plus you can eyeball other brands/nations of origin, etc."

Anyone know where I can find out where gunshows are?
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 10:01:28 PM EDT
Oh yeah, and thanks for all your responses, everone
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 10:18:33 PM EDT
Greenhorn, Welcome !! You will have a great time and find some long term friends here. Great rifle/carbine you have. Keep it clean(this site has a ton of info)and you will be shootin' for years. Stay safe and practice, practice! Wecome again.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 9:27:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greenhorn:
Oh yeah, and thanks for all your responses, everone



Shotgun news has a listing of gunshows as does American Rifleman magazine. You ARE a NRA member, yes?????
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 12:34:49 PM EDT
Greenhorn,
just noticed you are in Ohio, drop me an email

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