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Old March 7, 2013, 03:00 PM   #1
Skans
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Bullet-Proofing an AR15, good money vs. wasted money

I like things that are "over-engineered". So, I want to know if any of you have invested in parts, receivers, etc. to "bullet-proof" your AR. For example, heavier charging handles, buffer tubes, stocks, heavy barrels, anti-walk pin kits, chrome or NiB bolt carrier groups, cam pins, stainless steel parts, etc.

What is good overkill and what is stupid overkill? Thoughts?
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Old March 7, 2013, 03:26 PM   #2
DnPRK
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Rifle length gas system to eliminate sensitivity to ammo chamber pressure variations.

Geissele SSA trigger.

Free floated handguard.
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Old March 7, 2013, 03:40 PM   #3
RonR6
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FA bolt carrier, more mass to strip off a new round and firmly chamber it. Also helps when round is fired to slightly slow down the recoil speed of the bolt, especially in a carbine with a 7" gas tube. Free floating barrel. I also fully tap my front FSB and run a 8-36 set screw up from the bottom to firmly lock the front sight post in place after it is zeroed. Heavy duty sling.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:01 PM   #4
Revoliver
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Forged upper reciever.
Medium contour barrel.
Full auto bolt carrier.
Mid length gas system on a 16" barrel.
Chrome lined barrel.
ST-T2 buffer.
HP/MP tested bolt and barrel.
4150 CMV barrel.
5.56 chambering.
1:7 twist.
M4 feed ramps.


ETA: Saw this awhile ago, and it is a nice quick reference.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?...=5&output=html

Last edited by Revoliver; March 7, 2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:59 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Honestly, I went through the same phase with my AR... What has worked best for me is just using mil-spec parts. A lot of the time changing one aspect of the system has a suprise consequence to another part of the system (example: an extended latch lets you shear the roll pin or bend an extruded T6061 charging handle due to extra leverage). Sometimes the "improvement" is very specific and actually decreases reliability in many systems (example: LMTs 3-port BCG for 10.5" ARs, MGI's hydraulic buffer). Sometimes the improvement causes more problems and lightens your wallet considerably.

Even where the improvement performs as advertised, is it cost effective? I remember someone making a barrel that claimed to give match accuracy with chrome-lined longevity. However, the cost was 4-5x what a regular match barrel cost - you would have gotten more service life for the same amount of money by just buying a bunch of regular match barrels.

Generally, if I am not fixing a specific problem I've identified in my own use of the rifle, I don't mess with it now.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:18 PM   #6
RonR6
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quote:
What has worked best for me is just using mil-spec parts

Yes, I would also recommend mil-spec parts, just stay away from all that cheap crap and really think about what you are putting on your rifle. Alot of after market parts are made, but you have to think are they really better or needed and do they really work better.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:33 PM   #7
K1500
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Hmmm..if it works for the military and has been improved by them for over 40 years I kind of doubt you can substantially increase the "bullet proofness" of one with aftermarket stuff.
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Old March 7, 2013, 06:26 PM   #8
Revoliver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1500
Hmmm..if it works for the military and has been improved by them for over 40 years I kind of doubt you can substantially increase the "bullet proofness" of one with aftermarket stuff.
I think you are confusing improved by them with slowly adopting improvements made by others.

Last edited by Revoliver; March 7, 2013 at 06:35 PM.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:15 AM   #9
Auto426
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There's not a whole lot in the AR world that can really be described as overkill. Real mil-spec parts are about as bullet-proof as it gets, since they are designed to withstand heavy use in combat. The M4 chart mentioned earlier covers many of the important things to look for when trying to select parts.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:30 AM   #10
Justice06RR
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I would say just go with/buy an AR and parts from a good reputable manufacturer like BCM/Colt/DD/Noveske if you can.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:40 AM   #11
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
What is good overkill and what is stupid overkill? Thoughts?
It's your money, do what YOU want to do with it.

I have replaced the non mil-spec bolt and RE in my old M4gery Bushmaster with mil-spec parts. I use mil-spec for all builds 95% of the time. I know guys with non mil-spec AR's that run great and are high round count guns. In excess of 10K rounds. You can't say that a commercial quality AR well fail at X amount of rounds, it may run as long as a mil-spec counterpart. The ODDS are a mil-spec well be more reliable.

I've seen Colt BCG's and bolts fail at a low round count and DPMS/Bushmaster run over 10K rounds. It's difficult to find a poorly made commercial AR anymore.
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