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Discussion Starter #1
For the last 2 years I've kept track of the number of Failures to Fire/eject/feed/etc. with 4 of my builds.
Lately I've been shooting only three HD guns; an 11.5" "Pistol", 14.5" P/W and a 16" gun.
All have standard Buffer Tubes, run Sprinco Blue Buffer Springs and H2 Buffers.
All run ToolCraft c158 Bolts and Nitride BCGs with BCM extractor springs.
The 16" gun being the oldest has just under 4K rds downrange, the other two half that number.
None of these thre HD guns has ever choked.

The last FTF I experienced was 2 Summers back, in a match (of course) in a competition gun.
I "tap/rack/banged" and kept going. I found the loaded round after the stage and saw it did, in fact, show a primer indentation.
I loaded that rd. and fired gun, it went BANG that time.

The point; I have experienced one FTF in 2 yrs., with several thousand rds. downrange from 4 or 5 guns.
That is an absurdly low failure rate.
I can't help but come to the conclusion- using quality parts, in a gun that is properly set up and OILED/Lubed properly, using AMMO that is quality- the AR platform is exceptionally reliable.

Curious what others experiences have been. Stay safe!
 

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In over 30 years running ARs of one form or another, all Colt, my handful of malfunctions were all due to bad ammo. I'm down to one, Colt 6920 of recent production and it's been 100% reliable. Outside of sighting it in with roughly 60 rounds I did a one day carbine course of 300 rounds it ran flawlessly with a variety of factory quality ammo.
 

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Dremel jockey
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I have 3 AR's I use on a somewhat regular basis, a few more I rarely use.
Of the 3 that get real use, one is a Colt 16" pencil barrel. Most all internals are Colt.
I've had it for well over a decade. Rarely cleaned, lubed heavy before each use.
Maybe 7000rds of mostly Wolf 55gr Polyformance steel case. I can not remember the last malf, there have been very few over the years.
The other 2 are cheap PSA bolt togethers. Much lower rd counts, but equally reliable.
As with all things........quality mags are key.
 

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The only failures I have had with all of mine (Early Bushmaster's, KAC SR15 and a POF) was the very 1st one I bought years ago during the Clinton Ban years. It was then a Pre Ban Bushmaster That they had at the LGS from an Estate someone had wanted sold off.

I just couldn't get more than one or two rounds off without issue and I was a little miff'ed after what I had paid.....

Took it back and the owner came out to look at it....he said it had a SA Bolt and Carrier....Took it is the back and came back out with a new B/C/CH and said he was sorry.....Never had a problem after that in all these years.

So I am thinking somewhere in that guys collection he most have had a FA M4 or M16 to have messed up the Carriers.

Karsten
 

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The Tinker
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You're probably talking about 223s, but aside from early teething issues after I built it, (adjustable gas block sorted things out) I've had no trouble with it since. My best running 308 was a PTR-91. That thing chewed up ammo and then spit the brass about 20-25' or so. :)

I was really stupid to let that thing go.
 

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الواحد
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I haven’t bought a full factory AR in over 6years except for a few colt 6920s that I use for trade fodder. I’ve probably built over 50 in that time and really can’t remember having a malfunction worth noting in that time. The only failure I can think of was the trigger pin walked out of my brand new DD when I was in a class in 2013.
 

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M16A1 and A2
M4
Several personal ARs
A gazillion rounds fired under crazy to great conditions.
1 failure with the A2 (extractor spring) / Corrected w/ field-expedient bolt swap.
1 failure with 300blk pistol (extractor spring) / Corrected w/ BCG swap and later spring replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep.
Extractor spring is a recurring issue.
Unless BCG is BCM/Colt/similar vetted quality- its the first thing done; change out extractor spring.
 

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The only malfs that I've experienced are one with my primary gun in a class a few weeks ago. Seemed like a double feed but in retrospect I think that the gun just hung up. I hadn't cleaned it in months and it was definitely insufficiently lubed. BCM 14.5" upper on a home built lower. All other issues have been with the .50 Beo that I built and haven't adjusted the gas block. This is all completely my fault. As with all guns/tools, use quality parts, assemble correctly, and keep em properly cleaned and lubed. Honestly I'm impressed with how dirty and dry a quality AR platform gun can be and still run reliably.
 

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I go to the local range and sometimes see some younger types ( and please, nobody take this as an insult or slander) pulling the charging handle back, looking in the chamber,removing the mag and everything else they can every few shots and eventually put their ar away. Personally I'm like most here and vant honestly remember the last time I had a malfunction of any kind.

I really believe it comes down to using quality parts and following procedures, paying attention to torque values, using the best lubricants, oils or grease, maybe doing a few little preps to some select components and above all using compatible components that are all known to be part of a proven system known to function together.
 

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ARs built to spec should have minimal issues.
I bought a beater AR...one that was going to be the range beater, loaner, mag dump , cheap ammo eating abused step child.
Stag 16" carbine. Bare bones mil spec. It ate nothing but steel cased cheap ammo with a few rounds of M193 or 855 that found their way to the bottom of the bag.
3000 plus rounds with nothing more than a wipe down and bore snake when I felt like it. The few malfunctions where from magazine issues. I used a handful of plastic mags in this rifle. Sold it to a friend who loved it. Hes put another 2k rounds through it and its had zero issues.
Last summer he gave it a super deep clean , found a few primers in the lower and rebuilt the bolt. He said the copper in the bore was heavy but cleaned up quickly.
My other ARs dont see much use, cmp and NRA matches when I can. All good ammo. Have not had a rifle issue yet.
 

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Like the "venerable" 1911, AR failures seem to follow human behavior:
Improper operational protocols
Improper maintenance routine and inspection
Quality of parts
Quality of ammo
Quality of magazines

Shoot safely have fun!
 

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Like the "venerable" 1911, AR failures seem to follow human behavior:
Improper operational protocols
Improper maintenance routine and inspection
Quality of parts
Quality of ammo
Quality of magazines

Shoot safely have fun!
I agree quality is directly related to performance and inversely proportional to failures.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium
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My Colts have been perfect, including those I was issued. I even finished top 5 in the Governor's Twenty with a M16E1 that had seen a few zillion rounds through it.

My Armalites have been perfect.

My LaRue OBR 556 was the single worst purchase I have ever made bar none. It could not feed a full mag without a failure.

With the exception of the single Colt M4A1 that I have, I left ARs behind and went with Bulgarian and Russian AKs. Accuracy out to 300 yards is damn good, and I like .30 rounds much better. Call me old school.
 

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Fun O' Meter on FULL
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Ammo. That’s it. Only time I’ve had issues were with out of spec ammo causing me to mortar the gun.
My blasted out M16A2- never a hitch running thousands through it when I was a driver.
My M4 equally as good. This is with Army issue XM855 ammo which in reality is crap.
You can shoot em dirty, you just can’t shoot em dry.
 

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99 percent of my experience with these weapons is in the military context. The M16/AR15 is a proven combat weapon. If properly maintained, it is completely reliable, but that assumes a trained, motivated user. The only times I have seen any problems with these rifles is when carried by slovenly troops who do not keep their rifles "clean and ready" per The Creed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifleman's_Creed
 

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Your experience is spot-on, for the reasons you mention. The AR's "dubious reputation for reliability" to some is based largely on early teething issues, one tragic ammo fubar in Vietnam, and otherwise ignorance.

Quality builds kept wet will run and run in a variety of conditions.

Here's two older but still overall relevant reads on this:

https://www.defensereview.com/the-b...pingement-gas-system-makes-the-m4-unreliable/

http://www.slip2000.com/blog/s-w-a-t-magazine-filthy-14/
Were you there for that ONE tragic ammo fubar? Hundreds of young men/boys lost their lives due to a POS issued to field troops. And it was certainly many more than ONE tragic incident. And of course the folks responsible blamed it on the troops not cleaning their weapons. I can tell you with certainty I personally never served with, or met, a Grunt who did not keep their weapon clean. Many of those same Grunts were found with their m16 disassembled trying to clear a cartridge case stuck in the defective chamber with the cartridge case head ripped off. Most of those 19 year olds were shot in the back of the head.

Is today's AR a better rifle? Yes, without doubt it is. There is no doubt back in the mid/late 60's it was a POS. The NVA did not cause the death of so many 19 year olds, their own government caused them to die. Hey!, I've got a good idea, lets issue a brand new, untested rifle to Line Units and see how it performs. What happened back then was not a tragic incident, it was a criminal act and someone should still be in jail over it, but in reality the criminals got promoted, elected and lived out their fat cat lives, and some are still amongst us. I wish them ill.

Sorry for the rant, but this is a touchy subject for me.
 

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I agree with your anger at what happened when the rifle was first deployed. However, at this point that rifle has performed good service for over 50 years. Almost as long as the 1911. Not minimizing how the troops got screwed at the start.

When I think about the M16 as a combat weapon, it often is compared to the AK, but I think if maintained by disciplined troops the M16 is a better rifle. All the AKs I have shot were POS but then again they were all captured enemy weapons.
 

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Were you there for that ONE tragic ammo fubar? Hundreds of young men/boys lost their lives due to a POS issued to field troops. And it was certainly many more than ONE tragic incident. And of course the folks responsible blamed it on the troops not cleaning their weapons. I can tell you with certainty I personally never served with, or met, a Grunt who did not keep their weapon clean. Many of those same Grunts were found with their m16 disassembled trying to clear a cartridge case stuck in the defective chamber with the cartridge case head ripped off. Most of those 19 year olds were shot in the back of the head.

Is today's AR a better rifle? Yes, without doubt it is. There is no doubt back in the mid/late 60's it was a POS. The NVA did not cause the death of so many 19 year olds, their own government caused them to die. Hey!, I've got a good idea, lets issue a brand new, untested rifle to Line Units and see how it performs. What happened back then was not a tragic incident, it was a criminal act and someone should still be in jail over it, but in reality the criminals got promoted, elected and lived out their fat cat lives, and some are still amongst us. I wish them ill.

Sorry for the rant, but this is a touchy subject for me.
Technically it was one ammo FUBAR. The military issued 5.56 ammo that used recommissioned artillery gunpowder from WWII and Korea. It was highly corrosive and not at all geared towards small arms use. This in turn created massive issues with what was a reliable firearm. Lack of cleaning supplies, high humidity and a firearm the grunts really weren’t given good training on how to maintain meant it became prone to breakage and many men lost their lives because of this. Epic failure on the government’s part and an even bigger failure on training on just how the rifle worked just compounded it.
 
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