I have been a Bushmaster fan for years, and some of the reasons for it is the fact that they actually offer a real company catalog that not only shows a good account of their offerings, but is also very informational. They have the best AR company website (IMO), and last but not least, they offer a Representative on a popular AR forum (this one) to answer customers/potential customers questions, and to release information on upcoming products.
With that said, it sure would not look very good if the Bushmaster Rep on this board were to decide to delete or close a thread over a valid and respectfully posed question. Yes, I could see them doing such a thing if the person asking the question was somehow attacking the firm, but in this case the question is nothing more than that, a question. All that is sought here is a bonafide answer from our bonafide Bushmaster Company Representative. An answer that will once and for all set the record straight on the Bushmaster procedure for Magnetic Particle testing of their civilian semi auto rifle components.
I don't want to assume (we know what that ends up doing) that the Bushmaster Rep has been avoiding this question. And though it's a possibility, it can just as well be that he has not seen, and therefore not read this thread.
I must admit though, it's becoming hard to believe that after a month of myself and others bringing this question back to the top, that the Bushmaster Rep has not seen it.
If that is the case (and I can't say that it is), then we may be looking at questions that they do not want to answer.
Lets look at just one component that we think we know a little about (the US military chrome lined M16/M4 barrel), and then try to guess why they would possibly want to ignore answering these questions:
*We believe that the DOD M16/M4 contracts require that the manufacturer perform Magnetic Particle testing on each and every barrel.
*We know that these barrels get stamped with markings to show that they indeed have been individually Magnetic Particle tested.
*We know that Bushmasters chrome lined semi auto barrels also receive these same markings.
Now, we know that if Bushmaster were MP testing every civilian barrel, that it would not be a negative in any way. Instead, it would be a big plus that they could boast about. They would not shy away from the fact that they do it, but instead make it a point to let everyone know that this is indeed a procedure that is not only mandated to be performed on their US Government slated barrels, but a procedure that they voluntarily perform on their civilian AR barrels.
This, my friends, would be a major feather in their cap, and the question should be answered with pride with a definite "YES, we magnetic particle inspect each and every chrome lined semi auto civilian barrel". If anything else is tested this way on their civilian AR's, they would add that info as well, since it would only add to their products desirability.
But.......... then we notice here what seems to be this lack of interest in answering these questions for us, and it makes us wonder.
Could it be that they don't Magnetic Particle inspect every single civilian barrel? Could it be that they instead only randomly perform Magnetic Particle inspections on civilian slated barrels? Or even that they almost never perform this type of test on their civilian barrels?
If this were to be the case, and if people were to find this out, it would probably have a negative effect on their respected name.
For them to stamp every military slated barrel with a Magnetic Particle tested mark, makes a lot of sense, especially since every one is indeed actually tested. But, it would be another matter if what they do with civilian guns is to mark every one, even though only some or none actually get tested.
While random types of inspections can be performed on many products, and even be very acceptable, the MP testing is quite a bit different.
It's best to look at Magnetic Particle testing as we look at proof load testing. When a gun barrel or barreled action gets proof load tested, the barrel oftentimes gets proof mark stamped to show that the barrel was indeed tested and passed.
Now, lets look at the Magnetic Particle testing. If a barrel is Magnetic Particle tested and passes, and then it receives a marking to show that it passed, that would make sense.
But, lets say that you test one out of however many with the Magnetic Particle procedure, but then decide to mark all the barrels with the Magnetic Particle tested marking (even the ones not tested with this procedure). It would seem that this would be misleading for sure, since one expects the markings to mean that the barrels marked as such would mean that they passed the Magnetic Particle testing.
We should again look at the proof load test example, would one not feel mislead if only certain barrels were proof load tested, but yet all received a proof load test marking?
Just because one barrel passes a Magnetic Particle test or Proof Load test, does not mean that the following barrel(s) will also pass. To believe that the next barrel or barrels would pass simply because the previous one did, is not the way magnetic particle and proof load testing works. Marking untested barrels with Magnetic Particle tested markings is useless, wrong, and misleading (IMO). If Magnetic Particle testing has not been performed on a component, it should not be marked as if it had been tested. Just because a neighbors house passes it's fire inspection codes, does not mean that your home will pass as well, therefore it too should be inspected.
As for any other possible Magnetic Particle inspected Bushmaster components, we don't know for sure which ones they would be. The Bushmaster firm does say that their bolt carriers are tested, but is this testing actually done to each and every one, or is random testing utilized? The bolts, are they inspected? Is it randomly done?
I don't know what Bushmaster Magnetic Particle inspects on their civilian guns, but they have reached the status as the number one selling AR firm in the country, and brushing off these questions can only do more harm than good.
Of course deleting or locking a thread such as this would raise serious suspicions as well.
My guess would be that by not answering the questions, most folks will believe it means that Bushmaster is not particularly proud of their civilian component Magnetic Particle inspection procedures. It would make us tend to lean towards believing that the testing is probably done randomly.
If we are lead to believe that "random" Magnetic Particle testing is common on civilian Bushmaster barrels, then the markings that Bushmaster places on its barrels will be looked at by many as misleading (at best).
The companies bolt carriers would also be looked at with more suspect. The bolts........ well folks would continue to be left totally in the dark on those. This may be what certain people want, for their customers to be in the dark. In this case we have a senerio where we are respectfully requesting that light be shed on the subject.
This is all just speculation at this point, but with this thread growing over a month old without an answer, speculation is all we have. I personally would rather have the Bushmaster Representative give us the solid truth on the Bushmaster Magnetic Particle testing procedures on civilian barrels and other civilian AR components.
The questions can be broken down to one simple sentence:
"What Bushmaster civilian AR components receive Magnetic Particle testing, and is it done to every single one of the components, or only randomly done?"
Please respond with an answer for us.
And again, thank you in advance