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AR Gas Rings--Does Dry Fire Cycling Cause Wear? Login/Join 
One Who Knows
Picture of Brother
posted
I just changed the bolt gas rings in two of my ARs. Cheap and easy to do. They were visibly worn, plus would not hold the bolt in the carrier against gravity (thousands of rounds of wear). So I got to thinking, does hand-cycling for dry firing cause friction wear on the rings too, or just actual firing? Thank you for any input.



The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that one knows it. Unknown
 
Posts: 1391 | Location: Missouri | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Picture of arcwelder76
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The simple answer is no.

More specifically, sure, some small amount of wear, but not really, as they aren't functioning the same as they do when a case is fired, and they are forced against eachother.

If you dry fire and cycle, or even clean anything enough, you're wearing, or polishing it. In the case of the gas rings, they will travel loosely during hand cycling, so any wear is well, simply not a problem.


Arc.
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Posts: 26235 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
One Who Knows
Picture of Brother
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Makes sense, thanks Arc.



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Posts: 1391 | Location: Missouri | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
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I used to replace the gas rings on my Match Rifle each year, usually in the winter (good tear down, clean inspect etc)

got busy one year and just did a good cleaning, didn't even think to look at the rings,

fast forward the next winter, barrel was shot, so I replaced it, and gave the bolt carrier group a good once over,

the cam pin was a bit worn, so i tossed it and put in a new one,

new firing pin in for giggles, (had a few spares)

and pulled the bolt, every thing looked good from the outside, except I noticed a larger than normal gap on a couple,

pulled them and they looked like slivers, one actually cut me when I was taking it off,

gun still functioned fine when I decided to rebarrel,



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Posts: 7906 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
One Who Knows
Picture of Brother
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You raise a great point Lyman. Does it really matter, or can the three little rings go almost indefinitely, with no effect on function? I don't know, but I am superstitious enough to change them, about every two to three thousand rounds.



The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that one knows it. Unknown
 
Posts: 1391 | Location: Missouri | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Many moons ago I attended my first comprehensive carbine course, held at Rifles Only facilities. Our instructor covered an incredible variety of topics and techniques, including some of the long standing myths of ARs. One of the topics was gas rings.

From the old school gospels, we students heard that the 3 split gas rings must be oriented at 120 degrees from each other when installed. Of course there was the test of the rings, having the BCG standing on end.

By cycling the bolt by hand, we found that ring gap alignment went all over the place -- sometimes with only one hand cycle of the action. It was no different with cycling using live ammo. OK, one myth blown apart.

Next, we tried multiple ARs with all 3 rings, then 2 rings, then only 1 ring on the bolt. All cycled just fine, even with some brands of traditionally weak 223 ammo. Now the long-term effects on the rifle & parts with only 1 or 2 of the rings installed was unknown, but it showed us that our ARs cycled just fine. Furthermore, the 1 and 2 ring bolts would not support the weight of the BCG when placed on end.

On a couple of bolts, I replaced the split rings at roughly 4k rounds. The rings showed a little wear, but nothing serious. I replaced them with one-piece gas rings. Personally, I thing the one-piece rings wear a little better.

I have a couple of bolts that slide so easily that they won't support the weight of the BCG. One of those is in my most accurate AR15. I have a bolt that doesn't slide very well at all, and would support the weight of multiple BCGs. This is my second most accurate AR15. The other bolts support the BCG's weight, and they are all pretty darn accurate rifles.

None of my ARs have failed to cycle -- with the exception of forced failures by instructors, when they placed dummy rounds in magazines for training purposes. I don't get too excited about gas rings anymore.

I do dry fire my ARs, but not nearly as much as I could. Gas rings are cheap. If that's the only thing I wear out while owning ARs, I would be very happy. Replacing worn-out barrels -- plus the cost of ammo consumed in shooting out a barrel -- now that costs some money.
 
Posts: 6216 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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