Gas Ring Question on AR 15

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by HighSpeed, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. HighSpeed

    HighSpeed New Member

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    On the bolt itself there are 3 gas rings. The manual says to stagger the gaps 120 degrees, but has no specification as to how tight they should be around the bolt. When I was cleaning the bolt I noticed one of the rings crept up the bolt a little, so I pushed it back in place. Now I can't help but think I brushed them out of spec and need new ones.

    Does anybody have any insight to this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    I suspect that, unless they are worn, if the bolt slides back into the carrier and does not drop out freely you are ok. Someone will be along shortly to give a more expert analysis but I do not think those rings themselves require precise tolerances, as long as the gaps are staggered and do not provide an exit for the gases back through the carrier. If the rings are warped or bent out of spec you'll know it as the bolt may not seat properly in the carrier.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

  3. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    I have always been told that with the bolt and carrier group completely assembled if you tilt everything with the bolt facing straight towards the ceiling and the bolt retracts from the fully extended position that the rings are not exerting enough pressure on the sides of the carrier and they should be replaced. I have also been told they can with stand upwards of three thousand firing cycles, at the very least. Hope some of this helps.
     
  4. HighSpeed

    HighSpeed New Member

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    Thanks guys. I figured everything was ok, just wanted to make sure. Function check was good, everything seats properly, so it looks like it'll be ok. I'll find out for sure on Friday when I go back to the range; I'll ask the rangemaster to inspect but I'm pretty sure I'm g2g.
     
  5. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Highspeed,

    They are correct! If the gas rings are not damaged, dragging excessively, or overlapping. Extend the bolt to its farthest forward position in the bolt carrier. Set the bolt face face down on a flat surface with the bolt carrier in the full extended vertical position. If the weight of the bolt carrier alone closes down on the bolt you need new rings. If the rifle is a quality rifle and the gas rings are new we should stagger them as mentioned, as good practice. But the truth being even if they were lined up the rifle would function. The gas rings rotate all the time anyway. But with worn or damaged rings it could cause a malfunction if they were to be aligned.
    However the single gas ring systems that are sold may collapse when this test is performed?
     
  6. HighSpeed

    HighSpeed New Member

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    Performed this test and the bolt held up. Looks good.
     
  7. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Your good to go in that area!
     
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    this is a myth. it doesnt matter where the rings are aligned. line em up yourself and try it out at the range the rifle will cycle no different than if they are staggered. the purpose of the gas rings is to prevent excessive gas depositing carbon build up on the backside of the bolt locking lugs.

    an ar15 will function without gas rings. it will just build up carbon quickly and eventually have stoppages caused by carbon build up. they serve no other purpose. the carrier key is what keeps the bolt aligned with the locking lugs in the chamber. as the bolt carrier moves rearward the rotation of the carrier key un-aligns the bolt lugs with the chamber lugs. the position of the carrier key is the sole determiner of when the bolt unlocks from the chamber.

    worn rings should be replaced in order to ensure the least amount of fouling occurs. contrary to popular myth the ar15 does not poop where it eats. the gas rings keep that from happening.

    thats what i was taught in armourer class in the army.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  9. kenl

    kenl New Member

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    Well, not quite. We were taught, as a 10-level user by the Army (and Coast Guard), to space the rings breaks at 120 deg. But I agree that it doesn't matter, and the rest of your comments are spot on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    people have different ideas on it and it will vary from armorer to armorer. it really boils down to it not mattring one wit whether you rotate or not since it doesnt do any harm one way or the other :)