Gas Rings -- Their Proper Care and Feeding.

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Shade, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Shade

    Shade New Member

    I wanted to bounce a few questions off the members here. I purchased a
    new Bushmaster Target AR about 2 years ago, between 3000-3500 round I
    had a failure to cycle (FTC) problem. The weapon would fire and short cycle
    leaving an empty chamber. Called Bushmaster and was told it was the gas
    rings, that they only last ~3000 rounds between replacement. But on
    removal and inspection that was the culprit, one had worn about 1/3 off and
    the other were nearly there.

    Replaced them and I was off to the races again. Well my round count is
    getting close to that 3000 mark and it is time to look at replacing them
    again. For one the bolt is "loose" in the carrier, by loose I mean it will not
    hold up the weight of the carrier.

    I did not replace them with the standard set of 3 rings but the helical wound
    ring sold by Brownells. The Bushmaster tech did not recommend it but I
    bought it an it has worked well so far. Generally, after I shoot I do a quick
    clean and wipe and take a swipe or two down the barrel with oil and oil every
    moving part with a drop or 2 of oil including the rings and a drop down the
    gas key. About every 1000 rounds I tear her down good and clean
    everything, since switching to Accurate 2230 for my reloading things are
    much cleaner.

    I searched and read and read and read and this is the only thread I could

    10,000 rounds on a single set of rings seems high given my experience but
    maybe I am missing something here.

    My questions are:

    1) How many rounds do you fire between changing gas rings?

    2) Is there a difference between different mfr's of gas rings or styles of gas
    rings? What do you recommend?

  2. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    Replacing gas rings at 3,000 rounds isn't unreasonable wear and at least gas rings are cheap. It's definitely time if the carrier now slides down on the bolt during your test.

    Is your carrier chrome lined? I'd expect that a nice slick carrier reduces wear better than high end gas rings. And maybe more oil in the BCG. Honestly I haven't tried anything but milspec rings you can get almost anywhere but a lot of guys swear by the McFarland one-piece gas ring.

  3. Shade

    Shade New Member

    In one of the older threads I read looking for information on gas rings.
    One of the member here made comment that some old DI probably
    told a bunch of recruit to make sure that the gas rings were 120
    degrees apart and that they move around alot in shoot and their
    alignment does not really matter.

    The second part I agree with just as with reciprocating engines
    compressors etc. everyone tells you to rotate the gaps but in
    real life this is fairly pointless as the rings rotate freely and as
    best as I can tell randomly in use.

    However I did find it in writing...

    Bushmaster owner's manual.

    Attached Files:

  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Staggering gas rings is an old DI's tale. They stagger themselves when the bolt is worked a few times. 3000 rounds on a set of rings? That is an early failure as far as I'm concerned. I have never had to change a set of rings, EVER! I changed mine out to the McFarlands just because I found them on sale. I saved the OEM rings just in case. If your rings will not pass the hanging carrier test, they are indeed bad. Why they went bad is had to day.

    Gas rings should be clean and DRY! Try Sentry Solutions powder lube on the rings.
  5. SecPro

    SecPro New Member

    I just learneded me something here today. Damn good info here.
  6. Shade

    Shade New Member

    Got a few more pages of the Owner's manual to post that clearly state to
    lubricate the gas rings and to put a drop down the bolt key. Next time I
    shoot the AR (likely this weekend since my 8 year old was complaining that
    he didn't get to shoot it this past trip to the range, my lovely wife said I
    need to reload some ammo and let him shoot nest trip and soon before it get
    too cold.... yes dear!) I will clean it completely and dry lube the rings and
    install a new set of gas rings I have both the set of three and the helical one
    peice unit.
  7. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    I've always oiled the gas rings when I clean the bolt, never gave it much thought...