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What We Do

HOW DOES AN AR-15 WORK?

     In the 1957 Eugene Stoner developed the AR15/M16 rifle that shoots the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO caliber rounds. The design of this rifle utilizes the gases that push the bullet down the barrel to cycle the action of the semi-automatic and full-automatic AR15/M16 rifle.

     These gases are vented into a gas tube through a hole on the barrel (the gas port). The gases travel back toward the receiver of the firearm and use its pressure to push the bolt carrier backwards toward the stock of the rifle.

     This rearward movement of the bolt carrier rotates the bolt out of chamber (by utilizing the cam pin and cam pin channel) which will eject the empty casing of the fired round. The bolt carrier travels against a buffer and spring in the buffer extension tube (located inside the stock) just behind the receiver.

     This compresses the buffer spring that will push the bolt carrier forward toward the magazine and barrel. The bolt carrier and bolt then strips a new round from the top of the magazine feeding it into the barrels chamber and rotates the bolt to lock into place. This utilization of gases to cycle a firearm's action is known as Direct Impingement. It is the biggest flaw and concern with the AR15/M16. Because these gases are released into the receiver, a layer of carbon and burnt gases coat all the moving part of the firearm. This also leaves a lot of heat inside the receiver causing undue stress and wear on many critical parts. All of these issues give the AR15/M16 a reputation for being unreliable and having issue like failure to feed and failure to eject. In a combat situation this could be the difference between life and death.

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