|One Who Knows|
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 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.
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|One Who Knows|
Makes sense, thanks Arc.
|Hop head |
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,
|One Who Knows|
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.
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.
|Delusions of Adequacy|
They were sure to call out that myth during my armorer's class. The rings are gonna move on their own.
I have my own style of humor. I call it Snarkasm.
Many moons ago, I was a young lad in the USMC where we would occasionally fire our M16’s on full auto. Granted, most of this was done with blank ammo and BFA’s attached to the muzzles of the rifles, but we still fire a ton on full auto. No issues with gas rings.
Now, I mentioned the above because if anyone remembers the old days of “snapping in” for a week before going to the range to qualify, you know it was all dry fire. Getting into the various positions and dry firing the hell out of your rifle.
In my 4 years in the USMC, between full auto and dry fire, I do not ever recall anyone having an issue with the gas rings.
"The Marines I have seen around the world have, the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps." Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945
|One Who Knows|
Great comments, very reassuring, and thank you all!
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