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Old August 11, 2021, 02:59 PM   #76
Metal god
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Maybe not , a lot of time when you are over gassed the bolt is trying to extract the case before pressure has dropped enough to allow the case to shrink a bit to allow for extraction. You often can see damage to the rim by the extractor because it’s trying to yank the case out but the case is still fully expanded and stuck to the chamber wall .

To be clear I’m not saying it isn’t the ammo , only that it might not be the ammo . Do you have a rifle buffer and buffer spring in the buffer tube or did you put the carbine buffer and spring in there ?

I will add a fully closed gas block should not produce a stuck case . It should work as if it were a bolt gun and extract manually with minimal effort . So that does indicate an ammo or ammo in chamber issue . Tight neck or bullet jammed into the lands do to short leade could spike pressure . How much larger diameter is the fired neck compared to the factory new loaded round
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Old August 11, 2021, 03:07 PM   #77
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I also contacted McGowen, who responded:
Quote:
Brian,

Seems like a step was missed. Dori will email you a call tag to pick it up and correct this short-coming.

Dan
They are *always* short on details, so I responded asking for clarification, to whit (his all caps, not mine):
Quote:
THE CHAMBER WASN”T POLISHED
So now I have to send back a barrel that's already been 19 weeks because apparently they "forgot" to polish it.
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Old August 11, 2021, 03:18 PM   #78
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Dang, Brian. Didn't think you'd be taking the plunge on an AR, moreless building one. I understand your sentiment after catching up on reading your thread. You know I'm not a big fan, although I have 2 in my stable and have a couple of parts for my own build someday. Still figured I would have mine built before you would. Yet, here we are. I need to stop throwing money on my Beetle restoration and catch up with the Times.

Back to some old comments: I'm trying to wrap my head around how a fixed stock is more accurate.
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Old August 11, 2021, 03:35 PM   #79
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Shane!
Hey brother, welcome to the drama!

I'm not sure I'd count on me getting mine done before you at this point.

You might be better off fixing the Beetle

Regarding the fixed/collapsible stock, I can only assume that the issue would be more related to consistent position of the shooter relative to the sight. I don't see any actual physics reason, as in somehow if the gun were bolted in a rest it would still shoot better with a fixed stock hanging off it... but I hadn't put a whole lot of thought into it either.
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Old August 11, 2021, 03:37 PM   #80
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I was thinking of the spring/buffer tube arrangement.

I'm pretty uneducated on ARs. So, I ask pretty odd questions.
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Old August 11, 2021, 03:46 PM   #81
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My guess is they are correct and something was missed but more likely they rush the barrel out to you because of your emails expressing your desire to refund your money . May be a distinction without a difference but that would be my guess .
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Old August 11, 2021, 07:32 PM   #82
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I just had a barrel delivered that had a similar problem though not as bad as your's. Judging from the photo of your brass, my guess is the chamber cut has "bellied" the profile in the chamber wall such that the taper doesn't follow uniformly the case profile taper--so the case can't snap back enough after firing to release from the chamber wall. I doubt there's any real pressure danger resulting from Hornady's ammo. McGowen has always made good barrels and stood behind them for me; maybe it's a "pandemic overload" thing. I think what they mean by polishing is making the taper profile more uniform--not actually give the wall a mirror smooth finish. What I can tell you is chances are very good it will be an excellent shooter once you get the issues sorted out.

Regardless of what people say--you DID headspace check when assembling I assume?
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Old August 11, 2021, 08:29 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
My guess is they are correct and something was missed but more likely they rush the barrel out to you because of your emails expressing your desire to refund your money . May be a distinction without a difference but that would be my guess .
Not that I would doubt that sort of thing, but the threatening email was my first contact with them in over 3 weeks and they replied in less than 5 minutes that it had been done for 2 days and I supposedly missed their email (I didn't)... but who knows, I certainly don't trust them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Tuttle
I was thinking of the spring/buffer tube arrangement.
As Metal god mentioned it too, I am using a carbine setup, an Armaspec Stealth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
I think what they mean by polishing is making the taper profile more uniform--not actually give the wall a mirror smooth finish. What I can tell you is chances are very good it will be an excellent shooter once you get the issues sorted out.
Maybe, but it'll be the last one they make for me.
I don't mind the wait, but I do mind;
1)Showing 10 weeks and then changing it to 12-16 *after* I order
2)Telling me it said 12-16 when I ordered
3)Not communicating *at all*
4)Lying about sending an email 2 days prior
5)Not even the slightest hint of an apology after the barrel is screwed up and/or
6)Not even the slightest hint of recognition or apology that a barrel I ordered with a 10 week (or even call it 12-16!) timeline, is now going to be well over 20 weeks before I see it functional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
Regardless of what people say--you DID headspace check when assembling I assume?
Nope.
Call me crazy, wrong or stupid (I'd still do the same thing), I planned to "check" the headspace by closing off the gas block, firing a round and checking the dimensions.
"Headspace" really only tells me the gun will chamber factory ammo... which I found out when it did, indeed, chamber factory ammo.
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Old August 11, 2021, 11:21 PM   #84
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If a competent smith uses a good ,sharp,undamaged reamer, the chamber does not have flaws to polish out. Particularly "rings"

The most common cause of rings is laziness or carelessness or not knowing better when the reamer is pulled out to clear chips then put back in the chamber without meticulous cleaning of the reamer and chamber each and every time.
All it takes is one of those slivers of a chip to straddle the cutting edge of a cutting flute and the chip will gouge a ring in the chamber.

That ring will be missing metal that is outside the dimensional envelope of the chamber. No amount of rubbing with Flitz or any other magic paste will put the missing steel back.
All you are doing is "polishing" the correct steel chamber away till it goes oversize enough to wash out the gouges.
Worse,this is typically done with a bore mop or felt or a ragwad that has no shape or definition to preserve the geometry ground into the reamer.

Yes,a polish can be a beneficial step to improve a good reamer finish but its not a way to fix a ringed chamber. A toolmarked chamber is a fubar chamber.

Pizzaman,I'm not saying your chamber is fubar. I don't know. The longitudinal scratches I would guess were contamination,grit,from who knows where between the brass and the chamber.
I have no doubt you cleaned it before you fired it
For myself,no shade on those who use Shaw,McGowen,Green Mountain,,etc barrels,Many happy people have had that work out.but assuming you want an accurate rifle,I'd at least get a Criterion, White Oak,maybe Aero, Wilson,Douglas,etc, Lilja makes darn good barrels .

For as much as it costs to build the rifle,if I want a gnat nutter, I can up my odds of being happy by just getting a Kreiger,.

On the accuracy of collapsable vs rigid stocks.. A rifle being fired is a dynamic thing. Its dancing. A rigid stock with no rattle will dance less and potentially give better accuracy,particularly with position shooting.

A collapsable stock CAN deliver,like shooting with a bipod,if the shooter preloads all the rattle out of the system.

"Headspace", in addition to assuring reliable battery with factory ammo,controls head clearance,and therefore case stretch and brass failure.

I headspace check EVERY rifle I build

Last edited by HiBC; August 11, 2021 at 11:36 PM.
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Old August 12, 2021, 12:45 AM   #85
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After all this time--there are still type 1 and type 2 bolts and chambers cut for them floating around out there. Also, resizing grendel brass to ARC isn't as straightforward as simply slapping the brass in the press and making a swipe and you're done.

I'm not making excuses for McGowen, but nobody I've done any kind of gunsmithing business with has had my order ready on time during the pandemic. I've felt exactly the way you do when something is goofed--I doubt there's not a barrel maker in the business that doesn't think "Oh no--not him again" when I call. I forget the chief engineer's name at McGowen, but he's been pretty reasonable when I've called about an issue, and if there really is something inherently wrong with the way they made the barrel, I'd say the odds are they'll just replace it altogether with one that's made correctly.

Just make sure you get it shipped by fedex if possible--I've had a very high attrition rate using UPS and USPS during the pandemic. I've picked up a barrel that was outside the box it was shipped in! On the other hand, I recently received a barrel from Shilen that was packed in a bomb-proof very heavy cardboard tube. It amazes me that some manufacturers don't understand that these things are going to go through the abuse Olympics once they are picked up for shipping.
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Old August 12, 2021, 04:48 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
Just make sure you get it shipped by fedex if possible--I've had a very high attrition rate using UPS and USPS during the pandemic. I've picked up a barrel that was outside the box it was shipped in! On the other hand, I recently received a barrel from Shilen that was packed in a bomb-proof very heavy cardboard tube. It amazes me that some manufacturers don't understand that these things are going to go through the abuse Olympics once they are picked up for shipping.
I was given no options. Only told that "a label will be sent", and it was... for UPS Ground. So, earliest delivery to McGowen is next Tuesday, late in the day no doubt, which means earliest shipping back is Wednesday, meaning that the earliest I will have a functional barrel is, Mon/Tues following, 21 weeks from ordering a barrel on a 10 week timeframe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
nobody I've done any kind of gunsmithing business with has had my order ready on time during the pandemic.
Which I really don't understand. So they say it's 8 weeks, I understand it might be 9, maybe even 10... but tell me 10 and then it's 20? No, you better update your system. It's not that hard. If you can do 10 barrels a day and you've got 500 on order, you're 50 days out, add 20% for a fudge-factor... the customer will be a lot happier if you say 60 days and deliver in 55 that if you say 50 and deliver in 65.

Besides which, as I mentioned above, my grief with McGowen goes way beyond the missed delivery estimate. Their previous update (at the 14 week mark) was, "It went to gunsmithing last week." What does that mean to me? What stage is gunsmithing? How long does it take AFTER gunsmithing? Is that another 3 days or 3 months?... and then silence, including ignoring and email, for almost 4 weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC
For myself,no shade on those who use Shaw,McGowen,Green Mountain,,etc barrels,Many happy people have had that work out.but assuming you want an accurate rifle,I'd at least get a Criterion, White Oak,maybe Aero, Wilson,Douglas,etc, Lilja makes darn good barrels
I hear ya... I guess I'm naive but I would have thought McGowen was closer to the later group than the former.
Lilja would have only been about $100 more for same barrel, minus the muzzle brake I guess because I don't see that option there. They're showing 8-10 weeks.
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Old August 12, 2021, 07:32 PM   #87
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Sure the top tier manufacturers are going to be more realistic--count on a half to a full year! Not trying to be snarky, but the "rip-off dishonesty factor" is sort of relative to whoever else is going to offer you a better deal. for better or worse, these are the pandemic times, and everyone is over-running their estimates. I've found that I've come out ahead if I bite my tongue and show I'm willing to bend--if not, you're going to run out of barrel manufacturers that meet their promises pretty quickly.

Keep your eye on the prize--a good shooting gun. If what you have doesn't do that--then burn them a new orifice. Give them a chance to make good. Nobody is perfect all the time.
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Old August 13, 2021, 08:48 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
Keep your eye on the prize--a good shooting gun. If what you have doesn't do that--then burn them a new orifice. Give them a chance to make good. Nobody is perfect all the time.
Yeah... you're not wrong. I just have a bit of a vendetta against feces covered customer service.

Anyhow, back on the gun itself, I guess I never updated this part but I hemmed and hawed about whether or not that M4E1 upper should be lapped. I finally went ahead and ordered a lapping tool from G&G Rifleworks and went ahead with it. Good thing I did... unless of course it's the tool that's off and not the upper? I mean how would you know?!

Anyway, after 5 turns, it looked like this:


It really does have some sort of a "ring" around the center of the shoulder there, you can feel it with your fingernail.

I did 10 more passes and it looked like this:


Very obviously still not contacting around 9-1 o'clock there relative to the pin slot.

Somehow, I managed not to get a picture of the finished product but I took it down until there was only the slightest hint of black still remain at about 11 and figured that was probably pretty even. Didn't want to go crazy. I guess it's one more thing to consider if it doesn't shoot.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Upper_1.JPG (29.1 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg Upper_2.JPG (19.2 KB, 81 views)
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Old August 13, 2021, 11:49 PM   #89
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haha , wait until you tighten the barrel nut next time , It won't index the same and you might actually have to lap more off just to get the barrel nut in the right place . That is of course if your barrel nut needs to be indexed to a specific place to allow for the gas tube , If not ..... never mind
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Old August 14, 2021, 06:01 AM   #90
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No offense--but it might be time to consider getting another upper and starting over. I wouldn't mess with that ring where the extension seats unless you have all the equipment necessary to ensure proper concentricity and headspace. That lapping tool is mostly for putting a right angle on the face of the upper's barrel collar and to add some concentricity to the "bore" of the upper. It looks like you're using it as a cutter which is changing how the extension will seat.
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Old August 14, 2021, 09:17 AM   #91
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What actually determines which direction the barrel is pointed? The mateoff of the rear shoulder surface of the barrel extension ,held flat against the forward face of the upper receiver.
Thats it. Thats the foundation the barrel stands on.

The barrel nut provides a clamping load,but its not the datum.

Out of flatness or squareness can allow the barrel's vibrations during firing to go wonky.

I always face the front receiver ring on a bolt gun true using a mandrel.In his book "Building the Competitive AR-15", Glenn Zedicker (as I recall from some years back) recommends using the lapping tool as Brian has shown us.

While I confess I have not bought or used the lapping tool, It makes perfect sense to me.Seeing Brian's results,I may just order one.

I'm not a scoffer,Brian. Looks like attention to detail to me. Seems like sound theory.

The face of the receiver ring( where the lapping takes place ) plays no part dimensionally in headspace. Thats all in the barrel extension,bolt,and chamber.

Quote:
wait until you tighten the barrel nut next time , It won't index the same and you might actually have to lap more off just to get the barrel nut in the right place . That is of course if your barrel nut needs to be indexed to a specific place to allow for the gas tube , If not ..... never mind
Not so. I don't have my armorers manual handy,but roughly it says moly grease the threads,preliminarily torque the barrel nut to about 24 foot lbs and then apply additional torque till the gas tube notch aligns,up to a max torque of something like 65 ft lbs.(Check that number,it may be off)

The point is lapping will have no effect on indexing the barrel nut,other than maybe 00.03 white knuckle of barrel nut torque. So what?

Last edited by HiBC; August 14, 2021 at 09:44 AM.
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Old August 14, 2021, 09:30 AM   #92
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Stag I was wondering what I was looking at there and still not sure after looking again . I thought that might be what I saw but thought no , why would he be doing that I must not be looking at the pics right . I think the threads are confusing me , Brian is that the barrel nut on the receiver or part of the lapping tool ? When using mine I’m very careful to get as little as possible of the lapping compound inside the upper to avoid that very issue . Not sure lapping the inside is a good idea , I understood the tighter the fit the better , I've heard a light press fit is desired ?

Quote:
Not so. I don't have my armorers manual handy,but roughly it says moly grease the threads,preliminarily torque the barrel nut to about 24 foot lbs and then apply additional torque till the gas tube notch aligns,up to a max torque of something like 65 ft lbs.(Check that number,it may be off)

The point is lapping will have no effect on indexing the barrel nut,other than maybe 00.03 white knuckle of barrel nut torque. So what?
I find that to be inaccurate , I've torqued a several/all as you describe and was unable to have the nut indexed correctly on a couple . Yes you can keep tightening but that puts undo stress on the receiver threads and stretches them out for lack of a better word . Keeping in mind you are using a steel barrel nut that is tightening onto the aluminum receiver threads , one will give much sooner then the other . Loosening and re-tightening a few times often resolves the issue but I have had to lap the face of the receiver a tad more to get the barrel nut into the sweet spot on two of my builds .
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Old August 14, 2021, 10:34 AM   #93
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I'm confused too--I think what it is a picture of the receiver's barrel collar face with what I assume is either a hand-turn alignment tool of some sort that holds the tool straight (in addition to the portion that goes inside the receiver itself) or a barrel nut. I use the lapping tools on both AR 15 and AR 10 receivers, though I've never seen a collar face that has an actual ridge/ring in it.

Quote:
The face of the receiver ring( where the lapping takes place ) plays no part dimensionally in headspace. Thats all in the barrel extension,bolt,and chamber.
In absolute terms--yeah--but if your extension is seated long/short/crooked/out of time with the port etc. those problems can cascade to other issues that can effect how well the bolt's lugs and the extension's lugs can lock up.
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Old August 14, 2021, 10:47 AM   #94
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I use the same type

Like this but mine has a flexible end where the drill attaches .
https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...prod20220.aspx

Brian do you have a link or a pic of the tool you are using ?
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Old August 14, 2021, 03:56 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
haha , wait until you tighten the barrel nut next time , It won't index the same and you might actually have to lap more off just to get the barrel nut in the right place . That is of course if your barrel nut needs to be indexed to a specific place to allow for the gas tube , If not ..... never mind
M4E1 upper, is not dependent on indexing. Gas tube inserts through fixed handguard extension. Actually, the hole for which can be seen in the first picture above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC
Not so. I don't have my armorers manual handy,but roughly it says moly grease the threads,preliminarily torque the barrel nut to about 24 foot lbs and then apply additional torque till the gas tube notch aligns,up to a max torque of something like 65 ft lbs.(Check that number,it may be off)
As I recall from reading, the manual indicates 35-85 ft-lbs but the only reason to "choose" any particular number is to line up the barrel nut and gas tube. That torque range is literally "anywhere in here that lines up". Since the M4E1 upper has no such interference issue, the torque can literally be chosen at will. I chose 35 ft-lbs because extensive research indicates to me that it simply does not matter and there is no reason to prefer one number over another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
No offense--but it might be time to consider getting another upper and starting over. I wouldn't mess with that ring where the extension seats unless you have all the equipment necessary to ensure proper concentricity and headspace. That lapping tool is mostly for putting a right angle on the face of the upper's barrel collar and to add some concentricity to the "bore" of the upper. It looks like you're using it as a cutter which is changing how the extension will seat.
I think that's a bit of a leap. I don't see anything (other than that the "ridge" is odd) that I haven't seen in a few dozen videos of people lapping their uppers. That "ring" is most assuredly *not* supposed to be there. That surface is supposed to be flat. Like, flat-flat. Also note that factory ammo chambered just fine, so there is no reason to be concerned about headspace. (At least that it's too short)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
Brian do you have a link or a pic of the tool you are using ?
Looks exactly like yours, except the dimensions are different for the M4E1 upper. Pics are here:
http://www.gandgrifleworks.com/AR10-...-p/m4e1lap.htm
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Old August 14, 2021, 04:15 PM   #96
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Ok yeah mine is not designed to lap the interior of the upper , only designed to face off the very front/face of the receiver . You/I lube the section that inserts into the receiver and apply the compound only where it contacts the face of the receiver . See video in Brownells link I posted .
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Old August 14, 2021, 04:15 PM   #97
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Ah yes--I just remembered that's an aero enhanced upper--has the internal barrel nut and extended collar for precision alignment of the handguard--I have a few of those. It sounds counterintuitive, but the tighter the fit of the extension to the upper, the better IMO. Maybe the groove was inadvertently cut when the internal thread of the collar was cut. It sounds counter-intuitive--but I personally like a very tight fit of a barrel's extension to the upper.

You should be OK : )
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Old August 14, 2021, 06:37 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
Ok yeah mine is not designed to lap the interior of the upper , only designed to face off the very front/face of the receiver . You/I lube the section that inserts into the receiver and apply the compound only where it contacts the face of the receiver .
Yeah, it's exactly the same surface, it just seems like it's "inside" the upper because the handguard extension sticks out in front of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
It sounds counter-intuitive--but I personally like a very tight fit of a barrel's extension to the upper.
What sort of torque do you use?
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Old August 14, 2021, 08:02 PM   #99
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Quote:
What sort of torque do you use?
You mean how many ftlbs? I'd go by whatever Aero recommends--keep in mind you're not going to need anything up in the super-torque range (in the old days of delta ring barrel nut assembly "rule of thumb" was 65 lbs+) because you won't need to align nut to get the gas tube to clear the gas tube opening in the receiver.

When I say tight fit--I don't mean high torque of the barrel nut--I mean a tight fit of the extension into the receiver.

Scratch that--I just found it--they say 55 ftlbs so I'd go with that. Mine might be a bit less--it's been years since I did them.
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Last edited by stagpanther; August 14, 2021 at 08:10 PM.
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Old August 15, 2021, 11:16 PM   #100
rickyrick
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Join Date: March 15, 2010
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Having some barrel nut shims around can be a work saver, (in a way)(ok scratch that, stress saver)

I’ve only needed them once, but sure helps when you need them.
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