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Posted: 2/12/2006 11:39:25 AM EDT
I'm the proud owner of two of Bushmaster's now discontinued 308 rifles, a 16" carbine and a 20" model. The 16" is brand new, hasn't even been to the range yet, but I've put about 100 rounds downrange with the 20". I have only recently come to discover (through reading here and on GT) the inherent problems with bolt breakage on the 308 models. I've contacted technical support at Bushmaster, but my problem is, I couldn't translate what TS told me, so I've no idea what I'm looking for on these bolts - I was told that the older, defective ones have a 'U' shaped groove near the tail of the bolt, and the newer ones are 'L' shaped. Sorry to admit to being technically declined, but I've not the foggiest as to where I'm supposed to look for this stuff. I wish Bushmaster would post some helpful pics on their website for guys like me, but no dice. So, does anyone have a picture of either bolt design, or preferrably both? I'd be most grateful for any help.....

thanks!
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 11:49:51 AM EDT
sorry - as soon as I posted, I saw that there was another thread directly beneath mine that has a picture of a broken bolt - still, though, I can't see in that picture any sort of groove, be it U or L shaped. So, my apologies for not being able to see the obvious, but if anyone can post a pic or two, again, I'd appreciate it....
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 12:54:08 PM EDT
okay - going to try and post a pic of my bolts - they're identical, as far as I can tell, so I've either got two good ones, or two bad ones. To my eyes, they look like the pic that Idahodirt posted in a similar thread, so I may be getting new bolts soon. Let me see if this works....

http://images4.pictiger.com/images/5f/9e88f93e873bae94dd7ca87714f2e85f.jpg
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 4:54:05 PM EDT
HI Chill...

If you don't mind, could you post your SN? Not the full SN, just leave the last two digits blank.

I suspect .. but don't know for sure, that the first step you come to as you start at the tail of the bolt, and move to the right, is the place they're referring to. Maybe what they're trying to describe is the older 'U' shape, actually digs deeper into the metal .. in other words, there's a trough between the tail, and the first step (where the material gets thicker). Alternatively, maybe the "L" indicates that it simply steps up to the thicker material, without first getting deeper. So, the "L" shape would be a 90 degree angle at the meeting point, and the "U" shape would be a shallow groove cut into the material, at the step.

I'm just as clueless about this as you are, but yours is new info so I'm speculating .... I'l pull mine out tomorrow and check it out. Thanks for taking the time to post the pics and the info.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 5:52:06 AM EDT
Sure - happy to post them. The serial numbers are:
BAR0024XX on the carbine, and BAR0009XX on the 20" version. The picture that I posted in this thread has been sent to Techincal Support at BM as well - waiting for their response. For what it's worth, here's exactly what was sent to me upon my first inquiry:

********************
Since the rifles were not produced sequentially there is no cut off number on when bolts were changed. The original bolts have a "U" shaped groove at the step down in the tail of the bolt. The newer bolts still have an "L" step but no groove.
If the bolts have the "U" shaped groove in them then please return them for a replacement by calling our Customer Service people at 1-800-883-6229 for an RMA return number.

********************

Thanks - hope we can get to the bottom of this.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 7:27:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 12:08:34 PM EDT
Thanks, Sniperx -

I heard back from Bushmaster today, and they've agreed to replace both bolts. So, they appear to be willing to correct the problem. I'd encourage anyone else in a similar situation to contact them as well.

thanks for the help.....

will
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:39:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 7:07:45 PM EDT by Blue_Suiter]
I wanted to say thanks to all of you that have made
me aware of the bolt breakages and the process to
have them replaced.
I contacted BM this morning
and told them of my wish to have my bolt replaced.

The first guy I spoke to said that it may not break,
but when it does give us a call. I explained to him
that my rifle's warranty runs out in July (one year).
He said they would cover the replacement after one
year if it broke later. (nothing in writing)

I explained that since they discontinued this line of rifles,
(parts shortage and unwillingness to cover unwarranteed rifles)
I wanted the defective design replaced before any
damage was to potentially occur.

He didn't like my reasoning, I guess, so he
transferred me to another representitive that promptly
took care of me.

I sent the bolt back this morning.

FWIW: I have no reason to believe BM would not make good on any
promise to fix my rifle after the warranty expiration, but the thought of
having a $1500 broken rifle with a potentially-known bad bolt, coupled
with their not fully explaining the defect or enacting a product recall on the
bolts doesn't make me sleep any better at night.

I own two BM rifles and will most probably own more in the future, but I need to know that the company is willing to stand behind their product. This means a lot to me.


Thanks again!

B_S
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:54:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blue_Suiter:



The first guy I spoke to said that it may not break,
but when it does give us a call.


THIS IS EXCITING! YOU'VE JUST HIT ON BUSHMASTER'S NEW MOTTO: "IT MIGHT NOT BREAK"
sorry, couldn't resist. you'll know why if you read my other posts.



Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:24:15 PM EDT
tetoncounty,

I've read many of your posts on this subject, and to a certain degree, I agree with you.

I'm not going to give up on BM as a whole based on my one (not really) bad experience over the "bolt issue." I agree they should have explained, in detail the problems they've had with the bolts and should have taken a more active role in seeking out and replacing the "old style" versions.

I believe they have created a distrust among their faithful base and prospective buyers alike.

Having more and more choices in AR-15 style rifles, people are going to start shopping for support and customer service as well as a well-made product. IMHO. BM has been the best of the best when it has come to AR-15 rifles, but you can only ride your name just so long. BM needs to get back to its roots and continue making a top-notch product backed by superb customer service.

Remember: The Customer Is Always Right.

B_S


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