Just as good as…


No not everyone can build an AR. Stick with a known quantity.

Today I had a student who’s carbine was experiencing both timing issues and failures to eject (stove pipes) consistently. It was a tell tale over gassed carbine with a weak extractor.

I passed him my SBR to let him finish the day and went to work on his carbine.

Now to his rifle. The extractor was weeeak. I could fully depress the tail with finger pressure. The claw was sharp so I upgraded the springs, functions checked it, and went to test fire.

Bang Bang Bang Choke….

The gun still ejected at 1-130 and eventually the round wouldn’t clear the port on the back stroke. The bolt velocity being high, would catch the case head and trap it in the forward edge of the ejection port, with a partially striped live round.

I went back to the bench and pulled the buffer. The 16″ gun came with a std carbine buffer. I pull it and compare it to a spare H buffer in my kit. His buffer was noticeably lighter, so I installed the H buffer. Test fire.

The gun cycled nearly through an entire mag of m855, ejecting at 130-2. So there was a noticeable effect.

I went back and gutted his bolt so I could add weight….holy shit. His “OEM” buffer was light, but dayum…

I notice the roll pin was bent as I drove it out. I pulled the nylon buffer and prepared to dump the weight stack in front of the owner, as I explained what he should see. I lifted the body off of the stack and was astonished. One weight, no nylon spacers. This buffer was not only exceedingly light, it was in full deadblow effect, so much so that it was a shake weight. The weight itself was beating the shit out of the roll pin. Which the pin is at the verge of breaking.

No, not all ARs are created equal. Go with a known contender. This was bush league shit.

-Chad Mercer


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