Preserving the life of an AR lower reciever...any tips?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by EHL, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. EHL

    EHL Member

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    With the probabality of a new AWB looming, (yes, I've seen the other thread in General discussions that state that no AWB will be coming but I don't buy it) is there anything that those of us new to AR's ought to be aware of as far as preventative maintenance goes?

    I've read about certain items that will "extend" the life of the parts in an AR. The one that has me the most concerned is the lower reciever since if an AWB does come into play, those are the pieces most likely to go bye bye and those that are pre ban, would skyrocket in price. One of the parts that I have read about are the KNS anti walk pins that supposedly prevent reciever wear in the pin holes. Are these the holes for the trigger housing?? What about the regular reciever pins? Are there any "special" or oversize pins that will prevent reciever wear to those holes? Or is this amount of precaution too much? I've heard some guys say that these special pins aren't necessary because I won't be shooting full auto. On the other hand, I've heard a few gunsmiths relate stories to me about AR's that had so much reciever wear that they couldn't even reliably fire anymore. It was an AR rental at a range that he was referring to.

    I know there's another thread going on about the direct impingement versus gas piston, but I'll ask here too. Is it true that a gas piston system will extend bolt life by keeping most of the carbon off of it?

    Also, will cleaning it often also preserve the life of the AR? I clean my pistols only every so often because it takes so long, but should I be "babying" my AR by cleaning it after EVERY shooting session? I know I don't do that with my pistols, I just make sure they're lubed.

    Just curious to see if any of you guys have any advice on preserving the life of the often maligned black rifles. Anything helps, especially with the prospect of an AR famine in the future. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  2. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

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    If only thoes would had not voted for Obama we would not be here.
     
  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    I wouldn't worry about it. IF it ever happened, it's not a terrible job to put slightly larger pins in, but I've never seen a gun or heard a first-hand account of it happening.
     
  4. highorder

    highorder Member

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    Considering the source, that's very comforting.
     
  5. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    Just two minutes from sanity.
    If push came to shove, perhaps one might also drill out any worn pinholes and install bushings.
    A friend who used to play around with machine guns told me that that was one solution used to keep some of the limited number of civilian-legal mg's chugging along.
     
  6. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    If you ever manage to buy enough ammo to wear out a lower receiver, you can afford to pay to have your holes redrilled, re-anodized, and a few custom diameter FCG pins made.


    The gas piston systems may actually shorten the life of a gun. As I understand it, there is a phenomenon called bolt tilt that occurs because of the effect of having a physical push on the carrier instead of the gas pulse in a DI gun. It causes increased wear on either the upper reciever or the bolt carrier.

    Now I am NOT an expert on piston systems, so it is possible this issue has been addressed.

    You are worrying about a non-issue. If you want to hedge against parts wearing out, buy a spare bolt, firing pin, and all the springs in the lower receiver. Also a few spare extractors and springs, and gas rings. Those are the parts that will wear out, and you may eventually break a bolt at the cam pin hole if you shoot a LOT.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    KNS non rotating pins. Cheap insurance, but mostly recommended for full auto or 9MM. I put some on my 9MM AR.
     
  8. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    KNS Pins are definitely recommended for full-auto or 9mm use. Egging the reciever holes is a valid concern with many documented cases. You'll find services to resleeve the FCG holes using steel on at least one SOT/gunsmith's site (M60Joe), but the cost is focused on those with a $15k M16 reciever to repair rather than a $100 AR reciever.

    Kharn
     
  9. 45B@cav

    [email protected] Member

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    I have worked on M16/M4's in the Army that have had the snot shot out of them and only once have I seen a hammer pin walk. Most of the wear on the hammer and trigger pins happens when they are removed alot. which is not neccesary to do all the time. The anti walk pins are a good idea but not necessary. As a matter of fact the only thing I can say wears out on a regular basis is the gas rings. I change them once a year need it or not. Keep your chamber clean and maintian your magazines, lube as your conditions dictate and you will have a long lasting reliable rifle that your great grandkids will enjoy shooting as much as you do.
     
  10. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    I suggest that you continue writing your congressmen so that you can simply buy a new receiver instead of scavenging for pre-ban items and parts. Then, buy a set of replacement parts.
     
  11. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    They're not anti-walk pins, but anti-rotation. Every time the AR15 is fired the hammer causes the hammer pin to turn a small amount, which wears against the reciever. 9mm and full auto use (civilian continual magdump style, not military once-in-a-blue-moon full auto use) will hasten this wear to the point that it can cause failures.

    Kharn
     
  12. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    I would recommend having a good supply of trigger parts. That's the main thing. I strongly suspect the next AWB will restrict civilian sales of parts, so as to prevent maintenance of existing assault weapons. I believe they will take an attrition tack, and while not requiring they be registered, will instead prevent maintenance to ensure they eventually disappear.
     
  13. Bill2e

    Bill2e Member

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    If your worried anout your lower wearing out (unlikely) Buy an extra one & put it in the closet
     
  14. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't continually disassemble your lower. The only time I have ever seen a lower wear was when the owner continually disassembled and reassembled his lower so he could clean it. Keep pushing steel pins in and out of the aluminum receiver will eventually wear the holes out.

    There is no need to disassemble the lower. Don't do it. If you follow that simple advice you will probably never wear one out. There are plenty of lower receivers made in the early 1960s still in service.
     
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