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Discussion Starter #1
Excluding a gun used for military purposes, has anyone ever worn out a BC, bolt, or barrel of an AR-15 that was kept properly cleaned and lubed, and not abused or used for mag dumps and other stupid uses? I don't think I can afford to wear one out....especially at what ammo costs today. Just curious.
 

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I have not nor know of anyone personally.

I know you said "excluding military," but in my Army days I vaguely recall that the wearout periods for our M4s for barrel replacements was something in the 30,000 round range. That's not official, and from vague memory. I don't recall ever hearing of any bolt wear out periods.

Assuming 30k rounds, in today's ammo prices, that's around $25,000. Figure a barrel is maybe $100-200. I'd say any tool that wears out after such return on investment is pretty good.
 

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I have not nor know of anyone personally.

I know you said "excluding military," but in my Army days I vaguely recall that the wearout periods for our M4s for barrel replacements was something in the 30,000 round range. That's not official, and from vague memory. I don't recall ever hearing of any bolt wear out periods.

Assuming 30k rounds, in today's ammo prices, that's around $25,000. Figure a barrel is maybe $100-200. I'd say any tool that wears out after such return on investment is pretty good.
I've heard counts in that range and military use includes full auto fire. An AR-15 won't see automatic fire and mag dumps just make no sense to me. Heat is what dooms a barrel so I've read and heard. Nitrited barrels are allegedly very hard and wear resistant. Disclaimer, I don't know from first hand experience. Non-auto use won't generate tremendous amounts of heat if the shooter is concerned about accuracy at all.

I suspect there will be a lot of very good condition AR's on the market in years to come. I probably won't be around then. It would be interesting to know how many AR-15's there are out there. Many millions no doubt. I wonder what market saturation will be. I don't think they will be confiscated or bought back either. Just my opinion. The communists will wear out their welcome soon at the rate they're going. They re-define stupid everyday. Meanwhile, interested in hearing about a worn out AR.
 

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I don't think I can honestly wear out any of my guns in my lifetime, assuming they were a quality brand and not abused/neglected.

Slightly OT, but related:

I am trying to think of ANY gun I've broken or observed actually damaged or breaking (outside of ammo related causes or user errors, which is different) I can think of only two.

1. While at the range, probably now 20+ years ago, a friend had a new polymer Smith and Wesson striker pistol (the SV9 or whatever series). The frame was defective and broke into many pieces while he was shooting. It just crumbled. The gun was obviously ruined. SW gave it a brand new one as a replacement.

2. About 5 years ago, I bought a Ruger Security Six made in the mid-1970s. So at that point the revolver was 4 decades old, and looked every bit of it. It was not a safe queen and clearly a used revolver, although not abused. While repeatedly working the trigger and hammer (not dry firing per se, just repeatedly cocking and releasing the hammer) the trigger spring broke.

For overwhelming number/% of guns, I think the things that go wrong are probably the little springs and guts. Or neglect, abuse, user error. I don't think I've ever seen a worn out barrel from shooting too much.
 

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I've worn out parts - Extractor's, Ejector's, Spring's etc.. Broke several Bolt's, and have worn out a couple barrel's IMO. All of my rifles are precision rifle's. When they start loosing accuracy, they are worn out to me. Just part of the game.

For most regular type shooting, it's hard for anyone to shoot out a barrel in a 223. But when it comes to shooting precision shooting, they don't last too many years. A few prairie dog hunt's will burn right through one.
 

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Southernguns

To answer your question. I purchased my first AR from a Company on a Law Enforcement Letterhead. Had it in my patrol car and at the Firearms Range since I was also the Range Master and Senior Instructor. Used it for training and qualifications several years. The rifle was fired quite a bit by me and also used by some of the officers from time to time. Later I went to work after retirement, at an AR Manufacturer's Company as National Director of Law Enforcement, Government Sales and Training. I say this because I used my own rifle previously purchased for my demonstrations all over the US since I felt more than comfortable with it and with the optics and set up I had. This went on for several years and thousands of rounds. So from 2001 when I first go it until 2007 it got a lot of rounds fired through it. In 2007 I checked the Throat Erosion which I determined at about 5.5 points on the Gauge I probably should replace the Barrel. Bottom line I still have it today and as far as other parts none have been replaced except for the Gas Rings which have been replaced twice since it was new. They never failed but were showing some signs of wear. Moral to the story IMO you or most all other people will never wear a AR-15 Rifle out. I am guessing my rifle has a total of 35-40,000+ rounds fired through it over the years.
So it should be of little concern about wearing it out! But with years of a lot of use and several thousand rounds one should check the Throat Erosion every few years.
If the Throat Erosion Gurage gets even close to the Red Line it is best to change Barrel "NOW"s to keep form having a catastrophic event! (Blow Up!). I will always change them at Line #5 For rifles that have thousands of rounds through them it is a good idea to check the *Cam Pin Hole in the Bolt for "cracks' they may be very hard to see without a bright light or excessive wear on the Cam Pin. If you ever see a Rifle that has the Bolt Broke in half at the Cam Pin Hole that is a definite sign the Throat Erosion is extreme! And the Barrel Needs Changed and a New Bolt.
Below you are looking at the Throat Erosion Gauge in the Chamber and using the Aluminum ledge at the bottom of the receiver as a reference point looking straight down at 90 Degrees on a perfect Chamber it will be at Line #2 from the Tip of the Gauge that is in the Chamber.
Throat Erosion Guage Use.png

Throat Erosion Guage.png

Pictures are the Property of Weapon Systems Training Council LLC.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the input.

I won't every wear out my AR-15 at my age and desire (or lack of) to shoot often. I may get the throat erosion checked on my Mini-14 just out of curiosity. It still drives nails for what it is. I can see being persnickety with a "precision gun" or competition gun. I was just curious since I am new to AR-15's but not the .223/5.56mm caliber.
My S&W M&P15 may be "value priced" but sure looks like a well built gun to me. I won't be wearing it out. That isn't why I bought it.
 
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