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Posted: 8/19/2003 10:48:58 AM EDT
Lets put up some great stories of ancient ARs you have played with. I am quite curious as how long an AR15 can actually last with the proper maintenece. From what I understand, as your brand new AR begins its life wonderfull things happen inside. Inside the bolt locks and unlocks as it feeds that lovely gold brass into the chamber. It now begins the beautiful process of wearing itself to a point where it fits absolutely flush with the chamber and wear is reduced to near 0%. (Thus why headspacing issues can occur if you swap bolts... right?)

The bolt carrier begins its own process. As it slides back and forth in the receiver it begins to get to its own point of near zero wear. This rifles tightly built internals lead to a weapon that can last longer than almost any other military style firearm. (This correct?) Even the AK begins to break down after many many rounds because of the way its violent action slams into the back of the receiver. (Correct?)

Anywho if im wrong about what I have posted above please correct me. Now lets hear some stories of your long lasting AR and or ancient M16s in boot.

how long can these things really last with the proper care? 15,000 rnds? More? Lets hear it!
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 12:56:58 PM EDT
Another issue is metal fatigue in the receivers, which is more common with full-auto arms.
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 1:59:41 PM EDT
I have a couple of very low serial #'d DPMS and a Bushy from the Quality days. They seem to have hit their glory days as they shoot smoother than ever with no additional signs of wear. But like my boots, I have many and I dont shoot the same rifle over and over. I am sure that will contribute to their long life span. I have no way of knowing how many rounds we have put thru them. I built up a post ban for my son (10 yo)because he is a true "gunner" when he shoots these. Keep the brass in the air.
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 2:02:51 PM EDT
I believe that a lot of people would laugh at 15,000 rounds. I have heard of people with SP1s having 50,000 rounds through there guns on the original barrel and I think on the original bolt & carrier. All original I think. Of course this would depend on how fast you shot, and one persons shooter gun is another persons shot-out gun.
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 3:27:33 PM EDT
Have five of them here on base that still have the original flash hider! tried to figure out since we have had them (not including any war time use) they have seen close to 30k. once anything breaks or goes out of spec they too will go through upgrade, but, they still shoot well enough for qualifications
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 4:58:47 PM EDT
I consider a shooter a rifle that can still hold 3-4 moa at 100 yards. I love my rifles to death. I hope one day my AR can be silver from wear. As a blackbelt martial artist wears his belt, it eventually wears out so one can see the true color underneath. White. I am no master, but I want to get enough triggertime behind my AR that it becomes a silvery smooth. I want my rifle to become worn in, as one put it, like a pair of old boots. I love ARs, they just seem to get better with age. (Well - accuracy)
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 5:26:34 PM EDT
there is no such thing as zero wear in this situation. just thought i'd clear that up.
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 6:00:10 PM EDT
Near zero, as in rifle still good after 50,000 rounds later near zero wear. As in greatly reduced. As in reduced to an infinitesimal amount. As in its happening, but not much. So I hear.
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 6:30:19 PM EDT
Don’t know if it’s true, but I read somewhere or another that the most common reason for the military to scrap an M16 is worn pivot/takedown pin holes.
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 6:43:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2003 6:44:33 PM EDT by cmjohnson]
I'd imagine that a lot of the rifles used in basic training have shot maybe 100,000 rounds, but are not on their first barrel. As for the minimizing of wear, I'd imagine that's true, just as it's true that a new engine goes through a period of initial wear(break-in), and then with normal maintenance and proper lubrication it'll last a very long time before it starts to break down. Once the high spots rub off of the wearing surfaces, it's smooth sailing. CJ
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 7:39:47 PM EDT
Even on conventional rilfes the first thing to wear out is the barrel. On an AR' it's no different. The beauty of any rifle is you can just re-barrel when wear starts to affect function. The genious of Stoner's system is 2 fold. First it's easy to swap barrels. With barrel swapping comes bolt changes. The upper, which takes vertualy no stress, is the same as, or actualy better off, than any bolt action receiver, and has an almost indeffinate life with proper care. The barrel and barrel extension are the high stress components. These are usually bought as a single component. This brings up the second part of Stoners genious. The gas that is blown back into the carrier pushes the bolt forward as it pushes the the carrier backwards. This un-loads the stress on the bolt lugs as the bolt unlocks. This not only makes for a very robust and positive system, it also reduces stress and wear on the action.
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