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Ed209
January 14, 2000, 09:56 AM
I wanted to get some opinions on AR-15 aftermarket parts from all you vets out there. I am a newbie AR owner, recently bought a new Bushmaster, and was wondering if some of these parts were worth their sometimes considerable cost.

1) Hard chromed bolts and carriers. These seemed very expensive ($200 each). The only benefit I've been told was easy, quick cleaning. Worth it? I know I've got some carbon build up on my bolt, particularly on the face, that is extremely difficult to remove, would this chrome bolt help, or am I just not using the right cleaning product?

2) Titanium firing pins. Some say they improve accuracy by decreasing lock time, while others say that because they are so light, they may cause erractic ignition in some hard primers. I'm always looking for better accuracy, but is this the way to go?

3) I've got a Smith Muzzle Brake (set-screw type for post-ban rifle). Granted the recoil on an AR is pretty minimal, but would this accessory help? Is the installation of a set-screw brake reliable, assuming its done correctly (dimpling of barrel, lock-tite)? Or should I skip the muzzle brake and go for a flash suppressor instead? (my post-ban BM throws a HUGE flame)

Other than that, I'm not too interested in other aftermarket parts (that I know of) because my BM peforms excellently! It has a great trigger, I have a decent, reliable scope. Is there anything I'm missing out on that some of you swear by?

Thanks for helping a newbie!

Ed

k in AR
January 14, 2000, 10:49 AM
Ed,
Nothing wrong with a chrome bolt, looks good & easy to clean, but really won't improve the operation of the gun from what I have seen.

Titanium firing pins are usually more trouble than they are worth. Accuracy?, a trigger job will help a 1000 times more than lock time will.

Can't really answer about putting a flash supressor on it, but I do know that with post-ban that is a big "NO NO" according to Big Brother.
I have both Pre & Post Ban ARs and the flash isn't a big deal for me personally. My accuracy is actually better with my post ban (clean barrel with target crown), but then it does have a heavier barrel.
In my opinion, other than for looks, there isn't enough muzzle jump with a 223 for a brake to have much real effect.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. ARs are a funny breed & generate as many opinions as there are AR owners. Just enjoy it, and if you modify it just do what makes you feel good! k

AntiHero
January 14, 2000, 11:57 AM
1) Really not worth it. For $25 you can buy a carbon scraper for the AR that will easily remove the buildup on the bolt face.

2) Don't buy this! Titanium firing pins are more brittle and can cause unintended primer ignition by locking the bolt ("slamfire"). A trigger job is what the AR really needs.

3) The Smith break is an excellent muzzle comp. It will help in rapid fire and IMHO gives the rifle a better look. However, the break must be attached by set screws, if you thread the barrel then the break must be permanently attached (welded). A flash suppressor is a big no-no as this will add a third "evil feature" and make your AR an illegal "assault rifle".

If you want a lot of info about the AR I suggest you jump over to http://www.ar15.com . There is an incredible amount of info there! Have fun with you rifle (it's the one I shoot the most!) and remember to support the pro-rkba organizations (NRA, GOA, etc...). If we keep letting this unconstitutional legislation passed (like Kalifornia’s SB23) your AR may become illegal in the eyes of the government.

CMOS
January 14, 2000, 01:15 PM
1) Agree, don't waste your money.

2) SHkip this option too. he titanium pin is lighter and does not have the inertia needed to penetrate the harder primers. A few folks have experienced problems with these.

3) IMHO, muzzle brakes on an AR are useless. Your accuracy will be slightly better without it.

I really agree with ANTI HERO, the trigger job is the most effective and least expensive way to vastly improve your AR.

Good shooting.

CMOS


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GOA, TSRA, LEAA, NRA, SAF and I vote!

Ed209
January 14, 2000, 03:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AntiHero:
1) Really not worth it. For $25 you can buy a carbon scraper for the AR that will easily remove the buildup on the bolt face.

3) The Smith break is an excellent muzzle comp. It will help in rapid fire and IMHO gives the rifle a better look. However, the break must be attached by set screws, if you thread the barrel then the break must be permanently attached (welded). A flash suppressor is a big no-no as this will add a third "evil feature" and make your AR an illegal "assault rifle".[/quote]

I was under the impression that set-screw muzzle brakes and flash hiders did not count as one of the "evil features". Is this not true? I thought it was a "threaded barrel" that made you into homicidal maniac. Is it any sort of "end of barrel" accessory, no matter how it is mounted?

Ed

Ed209
January 14, 2000, 03:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AntiHero:
1) Really not worth it. For $25 you can buy a carbon scraper for the AR that will easily remove the buildup on the bolt face.
[/quote]

Where can I find one of these carbon scrapers? I've looked but to no avail.

Thanks!

Ed

dZ
January 14, 2000, 03:25 PM
threaded to accept a flash hider is the rule

there may be a way by threading in a pattern that no flash hider comes in
but how long would it take for one to appear in your unique pattern at your trial?

here is the scraper: http://www.ar15.com/products/cleaning/boltCarrierScraper/
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Versions of this tool can be found from different sources, and one of these is Brownells, of Montezuma,
Iowa. The tool is manufactured by Mark Brown Custom (Los Alamos, New Mexico) and distributed under
the Brownells, Inc name. Retailing for about $25, it is an indispensable part of AR maintenance. Brownells
offers friendly staff to take your order 24 hours a day, and it was delivered within 2 days. Brownells can be
reached at 515-623-5401 or at www.brownells.com. (http://www.brownells.com.) When you order, don't forget to request a free (almost
300 page) catalog - it is one of the best available for whatever your firearm needs.[/quote]

WalterGAII
January 14, 2000, 05:05 PM
Threading of the barrel has nothing to do with whether a flash hider is legal on a post-ban AR. No matter how you attach it, it's illegal.

I use the Smith brake; have installed two others for close friends. We all like'em. Just be sure to degrease end of barrel and inside of brake and use 640 Loctite, nothing else, to secure the brake to the muzzle.

Another bonus of the muzzle brake is that it protects the crown from damage.

I can't tell any difference in accuracy with the brake. My Bush Shorty is much more accurate than I ever expected for a weapon of AR design.

I did free-float the barrel with a DPMS tube, and I'm using the JP Trigger/hammer combo. Pull is clean, under 2#.

Bush recommends against using the chrome bolt and/or bolt carriers. Check out their FAQ on their website.

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Shoot to kill; they'll stop when they're dead!


[This message has been edited by WalterGAII (edited January 14, 2000).]

pbash
January 15, 2000, 07:15 AM
I have a titanium firing pin in my AR and have had zero problems with igniting primers.
The biggest claimed benefit is to reduce the possibility of slamfires when using benchrest primers. Since the firing pin in an AR is free-floating, inertia *could* cause the stock firing pin to ignite sensitive primers when the bolt locks up without pulling the trigger. The lighter titanium pins make this less likely. If you are shooting off-the-shelf ammo, you don't need a titanium firing pin.

The biggest problem with titanium, and one I haven't experienced yet, is that it burns. If you are shooting off-the-shelf ammo, this isn't normally a problem but if you are handloading rounds that are on the hot side and you get a pierced primer, the tip of the firing pin will be eroded quickly by the flame. Now you have a nice sharp, very expensive, nail that will pierce every primer from then on.

Again, I haven't experienced any of these problems but have read about people that have.

[This message has been edited by pbash (edited January 15, 2000).]

David Schmidbauer
January 15, 2000, 07:31 AM
I could be wrong here (as I don't keep up with post-ban AR things (I've got two pre-ban so why?) but I think that "Flash Suppressors" are a NoNo on post-ban's but "Muzzle Breaks" are OK.

Now, I don't know how ATF determins which is which, but they are different function wise. Though breaks will also reduce flash. Go figure.

Hmmmm.... can you thread the bbl of a post-ban so it will accept a Sound Suppressor? I've got one on my Pre-Ban AR and it is in effect actually a "Flash Eliminator". Granted there is cost/paperwork involved but my ? is would that be legal on a post-ban?

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

Johan762
January 15, 2000, 09:52 AM
In order for a muzzle break to be approved by the ATF, the manufacturor must prove that it does not reduce flash. Some muzzle breaks alter the patern of flash, instead of a fire ball, the flash would either look like a long, narrow flame, or scatterred toward the sides, but they're still visible, indeed.

Johannes