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Posted: 4/5/2002 10:27:51 PM EDT
I noticed that all components in an AR that are in harsh working environments such as the bolt carriage, hammer and other internal components are made of steel, while the receiver is made of aluminum.

So I take it that aluminum alloy dose not fair well under constant pounding, being that it is a soft alloy. But aluminum fairs better against the elements, correct?
- Sulaco
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 10:48:28 PM EDT
pretty much the only thing going for aluminum is its plentyful, light weight and easy to machine.

It dosent take much to corrode aluminum.
Even if its treated a protective coating eventualy wears off.

Link Posted: 4/6/2002 9:08:32 AM EDT
Odd…
I would have thought that Aluminum would take more to corrode. What about the different finishes available for Aluminum, is anodizing a good finish against the elements?
- Sulaco
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 6:44:38 PM EDT
The whole philosophy behind the AR15 was to use Aircraft Grade Alluminums and Plastics.

But obviously the Bolt group and barrel would not do well if made of Alluminum.

Making receivers out of steel would be correcting a problem that does't exsist. The additional weight would also be a drawback.
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 7:17:48 PM EDT
Annodizing is corrosion. It is controlled oxidation. The oxide layer is harder than the actual aluminum so it is impossible to corrode an annodized aluminium part.
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 7:47:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Guncrazy223:
Annodizing is corrosion. It is controlled oxidation. The oxide layer is harder than the actual aluminum so it is impossible to corrode an annodized aluminium part.



This is true, same as bluing steel – controlled corrosion. Just from my experience with soda cans it was hard for me to tell if they were even effected from the weather <except for the ones that I found that looked more sun bleached than any thing else, but I guess that it was just that the can corroded over time.>

So how well dose anodizing hold up? All of bushmasters uppers and anodized so I guess it’s a good way to go, could be wrong though.
- Sulaco
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:22:29 AM EDT
The aluminum used in most ARs corrodes FAST when the anodizing wears off. You've got to protect it. It's not much of a problem in the US but it was a big problem in Viet Nam. It's written up in some of the AR books but I can't remember which right now.

Aluminum is used with M16s because a steel AR is very heavy. The barrel extension and bolt take the firing loads. All the aluminum does is hold everything together.
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