New to ARs and question.


January 6, 2011, 03:28 PM
Hey, I am new here but I've been lurking for a while (sound familiar?).

I have a noob question on ARs, please be gentle.

Years ago I bought a bushmaster, not knowing a whole lot about ARs but I had the itch so I decided to pick one up. I took it to the range and fired 100 rounds. I found that the gases were escaping somewhere near the back of the gun and blowing right into my face. My eyes were watering not 15 rounds into the session and I couldn't really aim very well. I had to take a break every 5 rounds. This is at the NRA HQ range, so well ventillated, state of the art, etc.

I sold the gun and stuck to hand guns and bolt guns. Now I have the AR itch again. I was considering a bolt gun in .223 but figured an AR will give me good accuracy and be more fun.

So is this gas experience normal or did I have some sort of problem going on?

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January 6, 2011, 03:37 PM
Some gas will escape from the top of the charging handle but what you describe sounds abnormal. If I'm running a suppressor I get a fair amount of gas in the eyes, but without one I don't get any. If you get a new one and it also spews gas in your face, you can seal up the gap between the upper and the charging handle with RTV sealant.

January 6, 2011, 03:39 PM
You should always wear shooting glasses as well as use ear protection. with the AR as well as any semiauto pistol, gas escapes out the action. I smell troll.

January 6, 2011, 03:40 PM
If the tolerances on the gun are good you should not be getting any noticeable gas back through the charging handle unless you are running suppressed. Sounds like there may have been issues with that gun.

ETA: If you are really worried about it pick up a Gasbuster charging handle.
It is made for suppressed guns and does a very good job.

January 6, 2011, 03:47 PM
It was not supressed.
It did happen the way I described.
I was and always do wear glasses.
I am not a troll, but thanks for the warm welcome.

I think I will give the AR another shot. Reading up on a good starter now, there's plenty of reading material that's for sure.

January 6, 2011, 05:38 PM
Ok, sorry. Is the gas key ok? Carbine? If your rifle checks out ok a heavier buffer might help. That's pretty much what I recommend for all things AR.

January 6, 2011, 05:46 PM
Sounds like you probably had a bunch of lube in your gas tube.

Once it burns off, it won't pump nearly so much smoke back in your face unless you put a suppressor on the gun.

Suppressors are awful about gas-back-in-the-face on AR's if you are firing multiple shots from a stationary position in calm-air conditions.

Watch the rearward gas-blast in this suppressor vid.

January 6, 2011, 06:06 PM
Consider putting some silicon in the little u-shaped cut on top of the charging handle. That should help to keep gas from escaping.

January 6, 2011, 06:08 PM
While I haven't experienced the issues that you bring up, I have seen this product:

It's the gas buster charging handle, which is designed to minimize gas coming back at you by venting it to the side.

However, I don't think that it's normal for so much gas to be blowing back to you. If you do purchase another AR, if it's a quality AR, I'm guessing that it won't have that issue.

January 6, 2011, 06:36 PM
I have a PRI Gas-Buster on my suppressed SBR.

The PRI handle is well made, but its ability to keep gas out of the shooter's face is over-stated.
I still get plenty of gas in my face when running a suppressor, it just takes three or four more shots before the gas makes its way into my eyes.
After all, the PRI handle only has a channel that tries to divert the gas to the right - as opposed to straight-back and all around the ass-end of the handle.
Unless you are on the move, and walking to your left, the gas is still going to find a way into your eyes.

Now then, that latch on the PRI Gas-Buster handle.
I really dislike it.
It is slightly larger than the "OEM" latch, but it focuses all the contact on one tiny spot on my thumb when I operate the handle.
I find it MUCH MORE UNCOMFORTABLE to operate than the OEM latch.

Better yet, I prefer a broad-faced latch that distributes the contact area so it doesn't "dig in" to one tiny spot on my finger when I operate it.

If you don't like a big latch sticking off the side of the charging handle, and if you have no NEED for "power stroking" the charging handle, the OEM version is your best choice.

Jon Coppenbarger
January 6, 2011, 06:40 PM
you should do what most highpower shooters do and that is use the black atv.
here is how you do it so you do not mess up your rifle. always give all the info as we do not want to mess someones rifle up.

#1 remember the most important thing is to make sure you use a release type of compound on anything close to the area you do not want the atv to dry to! vaseline or something along those lines. apply the release compound to the upper part of the reciever that the charging handle comes in contact with that will touch where the atv is to be placed.

Then put the release compound on the charging handle around where your atv will be at so it does not come in contact where the atv is supposed to be applied.

Then insert the charging handle into the upper reciever and pull it to the rear and put the atv on the inside circular area of the rear of the charging handle (part that will contact the rear of the upper reciever).

then latch the charging handle in place in the upper reciever and the best result is to take a rubber band to hold the charging handle back slightly so that it does not constrict into the reciever as when everything dries it will make a nice tight seal.
set it aside for at least 3 days or so to make sure everything is completely set up and dry.

When finished remove the charging handle and clean up all of the release compound and then use a razzor blade to trim the atv away that has gotten to where it does not belong.

You will find it to work very well and if you use it alot you will know when to redo it. Another make safe tip is alot of guys will take black electrical tape and do like two wraps around where the stock contacts the reciever.

January 6, 2011, 11:37 PM
Thanks guys, i appreciate the advice. Im doing my research now and plan on acquiring a quality rifle. I'm sure I wont have problem and I'll know what to expect.

January 7, 2011, 06:27 AM
That doesn't sound normal, but the rifle is gone now so we will just say it was defective;). For your new selection, minimize lube in areas that will come in direct contact with the hot gas. It is just going to burn off and increase any smoke in they eye. Of my 3 past ARs (1 rifle, 2 mid-gassed carbines) and various M16s, I have only had this problem when there was fresh lube in the gas ring area.
January 7, 2011, 06:36 AM
As has been stated.. what you had was not normal... either there was a problem with the rifle or something was seriously burning off on it...

I have two ARs and have never experienced what you described... but I only shoot them outdoors, so that could make a difference.... besides that I like a little burning powder smell.

Get your new AR.... I think you will be pleased. They are fun and totally politically incorrect these days.

January 7, 2011, 07:48 AM
Man. Never have I known of a rifle to be so problematic. So many quirks and foibles.

January 7, 2011, 08:16 AM
shot numerous ar's and no gas problems. sounds like you had a 'lemon' if there is such a thing in the ar world.

January 7, 2011, 08:36 AM
Man. Never have I known of a rifle to be so problematic. So many quirks and foibles.

If you choose to look at it that way. That's really more like trolling.

The Win 94 lever in .30-30 can't use SPBT ammo, is top eject, won't easily mount a scope, has a magazine screw holding the tube on that contacts the barrel and shifts the POI everytime it's retightened, and has an exposed hammer with half cock notch that can and will slip if it hits a hard object. The blued receiver, barrel, and fittings must be wiped down repeatedly in wet weather and rust is still a guarantee, the loading port can jam if manhandled, a sling tightened on the arm will move the POI because it's attached to a barrel band, and the sights are so far down the barrel on such a short radius it's a laugh.

Should I then note the AK-47 shares many similar problems and others, too?

Problematic and quirky are in the eye of the informed beholder.

Pump too much lube in the action and the M16 will spit it in your face for a few shots. A car engine could literally break a piston or blow a seal. I prefer the M16's method of self adjustment. It shows that the designer gave some thought about what to do when the operator is abusive in maintenance.

It's a soldier's weapon, not Great White Hunter's custom double carried by his native bearer.

January 7, 2011, 10:26 AM
Bushmaster, and a few other makers, have been well known for not having the proper size gas vent holes, leading to under-gassing or over-gassing issues. I suspect this might have been a problem with your old BM; it was an issue with both of mine.

For top notch rifles with almost unlimited options, check out Bravo Company, Daniel Defense, or Spikes. LMT has been known to build top notch rifles, but as of late I have heard a few QC complaints; I'm sure they'll work it out.

For a basic carbine, Colt is the standard. But all of the makers above build a great basic carbine that can save you money as well.

Right now is a great time for beginners to get into the AR market, or for others to return to it. You can get a top tier rifle for the price of what a basic "recreation" AR cost just over a year ago.

January 7, 2011, 04:39 PM
I've never had any experience like that personally. That said bushmaster is not known for the highest quality ars.

January 9, 2011, 02:43 PM
We had an M4 that did something like that, a good test is putting some extra lubricant on the bolt (we used CLP) and wherever it comes out differently (it looked like it was blown out fairly hard near the rear take down pin) is where the "leak" is.

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