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View Full Version : Broken AR Gas Ring. Is this common?


Capt Jack
10-16-2009, 5:39 PM
Hi all,

I am a new AR owner and while cleaning it today noticed that one of the gas rings looked like a piece had broken off near the gap.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa275/Gr8fuljack/CLnewstuff033.jpg

Its a CMMG Middy that I have about 250 rounds through, all PMC or Federal 55 gr fmj. I did not notice this while at the range last weekend and just now got to cleaning it. It did not have any malfunctions so I don't really know when this happened.

So, my questions are:
1. Is this common or at least not unheard of?
2. I found the rings at Midway, is the DPMS 1 piece ring a good upgrade or should I stick with the 3? Also, do I need any special tool to replace?
3. Is it unsafe to shoot like this until I get the new rings?
4. To prevent this in the future, should I lube the rings more or is there some other trick?

I tried the search and came up short. Thanks for any help!

technique
10-16-2009, 5:42 PM
If it isn't malfunctioning...don't fix it. While the gap looks larger than normal (obviously) does it look like something snapped off? Hard to tell from the pic.

Capt Jack
10-16-2009, 5:50 PM
If it isn't malfunctioning...don't fix it. While the gap looks larger than normal (obviously) does it look like something snapped off? Hard to tell from the pic.

Yes, on one edge of the ring it looks bent at the tip so it must have sheared off. I need a couple items from midway so I might just order another one, but again, I wonder if its a typical problem or something I should worry about.

It is only a battle rifle after all, it must be babied! :rolleyes:

Beelzy
10-16-2009, 5:51 PM
If you care, re-do the rings. Stay with the 3pc. setup.

If you don't care, shoot it till she malfunctions.

BTW, it happens.

technique
10-16-2009, 6:14 PM
If in fact it is sheered, those are easily found..
try Brownells or Midway.

Cyclepath
10-16-2009, 6:59 PM
Buy a new a new set. They are cheap. If it happens again, you may have some other problem that is causing this.

Josh3239
10-16-2009, 7:02 PM
Your rifle should function fine, as safe as before it got cut off. They are very very cheap anyways.

supersonic
10-16-2009, 7:14 PM
My advise would be to remove the remaining rings; scrub the entire bolt clean (and get that rust off too!); install one of these:http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=163933 ; coat bolt & BCG with this: http://www.militec1.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=militec1&Product_Code=4OZBOTTLE&Category_Code=1; reassemble rifle & fire 10 rounds quickly through 'er (to heat up internals); then pull your bolt & apply new coat of M1. You'll come back & thank me after. I promise.:cool:

pontiacpratt
10-16-2009, 8:07 PM
CMMG has a Lifetime warranty, or at least the one I bought, see if they'll send you a new one on their dime. all they can say is no.

dot429
10-16-2009, 9:23 PM
Clean off the carbon and any other gunk, oil it up with CLP or your favorite and keep running it.

There is a reason that the bolt arrangement was designed with three rings. I'd bet that it will run for a long time if it's cleaned and lubed at regular intervals.

supersonic
10-17-2009, 2:21 AM
There is a reason that the bolt arrangement was designed with three rings. I'd bet that it will run for a long time if it's cleaned and lubed at regular intervals.

Actually, you are right. It was designed based on the same principle as an engine's piston ring set-up. On an internal combustion engine's piston, the rings are 3 in number & set in a staggered arrangement to provide a very effective 'seal' which mitigates compression loss. However, this technology has proven to be unnecessary in AR-15 rifles in recent years. The rifle will run perfectly well with even one ring. The McFarland design is essentially a 'less moving parts=better' option that gives you convenience & simplicity as far as maintenance/performance goes. Personally, I immediately swap out the stock rings for a McF and add a D-Fender ring in every AR-15 I own. On customers' guns I always suggest these as a 'retrofit' and 99.9% of the time (if they don't already have them) they go for it without hesitation.

Capt Jack
10-17-2009, 7:34 AM
Actually, you are right. It was designed based on the same principle as an engine's piston ring set-up. On an internal combustion engine's piston, the rings are 3 in number & set in a staggered arrangement to provide a very effective 'seal' which mitigates compression loss. However, this technology has proven to be unnecessary in AR-15 rifles in recent years. The rifle will run perfectly well with even one ring. The McFarland design is essentially a 'less moving parts=better' option that gives you convenience & simplicity as far as maintenance/performance goes. Personally, I immediately swap out the stock rings for a McF and add a D-Fender ring in every AR-15 I own. On customers' guns I always suggest these as a 'retrofit' and 99.9% of the time (if they don't already have them) they go for it without hesitation.

So the 1 piece ring at Midway is a good replacement then? I almost wanted to buy another 3 piece set to see if it happens again, but I might just go with the 1 piece and be done with it.

I let the bolt sit in a plastic baggie full of CLP to see if I can clean it up a bit. Its fairly new but damn the AR bolt gets dirty fast and its not easy to clean!

supersonic
10-17-2009, 8:19 AM
So the 1 piece ring at Midway is a good replacement then? I almost wanted to buy another 3 piece set to see if it happens again, but I might just go with the 1 piece and be done with it.


Bingo! The McF is the way to go. That will likely be the last time you ever have to mess with your rings again. If you already have your bolt apart anyway, this is an invaluable investment: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=9949/Product/AR_15_M16_D_FENDER_D_RING This drop-in 'wedge ring' gives you positive, powerful extraction. You will never have extraction/ejection issues with this in your rifle. You will notice as soon as you go to the range the brass will fly forcefully to your 1-3:00. At $12, it seems a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for - the material this is made of is bulletproof & will last the lifetime of your bolt (maybe even longer).

I let the bolt sit in a plastic baggie full of CLP to see if I can clean it up a bit. Its fairly new but damn the AR bolt gets dirty fast and its not easy to clean!

That's why I recommended Militec-1. It is sooooo slick that it will not only cause mechanisms to run smoother, faster, BUT the slipperiness causes dirt/grime to simply disperse quickly (almost like a repellent). Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to stand behind CLP, as it has served the AR system well for many years. But there's another kid on the block that is outstanding!;)

dot429
10-17-2009, 9:02 AM
Actually, you are right.

Yup, I usually am.


JUST KIDDING!

I may have to try that Mil-Tec stuff. A buddy of mine who works for the gubba-ment and is a firearms instructor who shoots thousands and thousands of rounds, swears by Mil-Tec. Once my 55 gallon drum of CLP is gone, I may give it a try.

:D

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 12:34 PM
Staggering of the rings is a myth. I am pretty sure Pat Rogers put his Colt through one of his EAG classes without any gas rings and expeirenced no problems, if not then it was only one gas ring.