A Reader Sends

Afternoon Me Droogs n Droogettes!
Got an email today from a reader who’s got some issues with one of his Boomsticks.  Seems he’s got excessive ‘wear n tear’ on his AR and wanted my input:

“Hey BC! A few years ago I bought 2 ARs. One for me and one for the new wife as her wedding present ( she asked for it ). They are ATI brand from the Sportsman’s Guide folks. SG, by the way, is a top notch outfitter that I highly recommend. Anyhow, these rifles have been flawless, right out of the box. After the last range trip, I noticed theses scoring marks Have you ever seen this before? The little girl who took my call at the manufacturer says it’s normal, but I doubt she knows which end the bullets come out, gnome sayin? Now these ATI rifles have Some polymer components. Even still, I didn’t expect to see this. Should I fear a catastrophic failure in the next 100 rounds or just keep an eye on it and drive on? I’d appreciate your thoughts on the matter.”
So Brotherman sent me the following:

Goddamn!  The Red Circle is where I pointed out how the upper appears to be getting chewed on by the Bolt Carrier Group.  I’d bet my shirt on it. Mine for comparison:

The circle and arrow were put in to point out the normal wear mark where the cam pin goes in and out of battery.  The green circle is the cam pin recess for when the bolt is ‘in battery’ i.e. ready-to-bring-the-pain.

Now, I got –no idea- how many rounds Brotherman throws on a regular basis.  Got no idea how many rounds have been clocked through his.  I -do know- mine, and mine’s a baby still, just broken in at about 5000 rounds lifetime, and 2000 since the last cleaning.  I –was- doing a ‘lets never fucking clean it’ test (for real) as I was really curious what with a 7.5 inch pistola barrel, and the extra carbon that normally goes with it.
See, I was using strictly Hodgdon CFE 223 loaded rounds in it.

Wanted to see how the ‘hype’ was about this newfangled non-copper fouling powder… 2000 rounds in and still clocking… leastways it was…Between CoronaChan (that BITCH!) and the coming unCivil War Deuce, I figgered a light wipe down for comparative purposes for Brotherman was a minor concession.  

I mean it -was- a bit gnarly LOL. BUT for 2000 rounds?  Not bad IMO…

After all, the odds of me hitting a range anytime in the near future, what with Russian .223 Steel case ringing in at $0.80 a round as of this A.M. on ammoseek?  Fuck man, I’ma keep loading, and if and when the day comes, it’ll be a two-way live-fire training environment.

Good Training HOOAH?
Now, either the Barrel is lapped incorrectly, the receiver imperfectly cast (bbl hole off by a ‘cunt hair), OR –something- heavy was laid ON the rifle while it was upright?  Used as a chair?  Put in a vice incorrectly? Impossible to say, but I –do– abso-fuckin’-lootly advise to replace the upper.  The barrel should be good, but it’d need to be gauged and checked to insure it.  From my POV, the BCG is getting pulled to the left as the bolt gets cycled into battery as the lugs are locking.  This in turn, as the BCG (steel) is being microscopically dragged across the left side wall of the (aluminum) upper receiver as the bolt engages the locking lugs fully.  Steel VS Aluminum.  Steel wins.   
I mean not a total wipe out.  BUT…
That being said, these days?
Err on the side of caution.
Especially with yer gear.
A Sub-optimal Boomstick Malfunction at the wrong place/wrong time?
No fuckin’ thankee very mucho.
So yeah, all in all, a productive day.  Had fun with Spawn coming for a visit so’s his woman could get her hair cut by Wifey, and it was very pleasant all around.  To a point.
Seems GranBebe has been forgoing sleep… too much cool and fun shit here apparently, so she’s been not napping, not sleeping and is generally wound like a top.  We ran her a bit today, but methinks she’s gonna crash hard.  I know Wifey is gonna… she was up with her at 0130 this am, and kept an eye on her whilst she ran around like it was fucking 0800.  I was up and fed her at 0700.  

After coffee of course.  
EDIT UPDATE:  So, yeah, Brotherman ain’t responded yet, but I did find some good news!  Apparently after months of -not being able to- I can reply to fucking comments on this fucker…
Been driving me nuts b/c blogger/Gulag changed the whole fucking shooting match on how the blog gets produced, and Helpdesk in India was about as worthless as you can imagine, but somewheres int he past three days, the comment replies I’ve made have fuckin worked and stayed this time.  In the past, I’ve replied, but the shit vanished a hour or three after the fact. I’d be all nice an neighborly, and shit’d go ‘way faster n’spit on a griddle…
No fucking clue, but yeah, now?  Fire away and I’ll reply if’n I see it in time LOL. 
Anywhoo… more later, I Remain The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country

By BigCountryExpat

Fuck you if you can't take a joke. No one gets out alive so eat me.


  1. Give the grand bebe some PT!
    Flo-rida, right?

    Take her to the beach, lotsa sun (with sunscreen). Walk the pier from end tO end.. she walks it! No nap? No problem, lets walk up to the store and get some chocolate milk.

    … if nothing else, maybe you'll drop a few pounds? LOL!

  2. Certainly looks like the BCG is wearing on the receiver. Put a thin film of Prussian Blue (or other marking agent) on the BCG and cycle it several times to see if it leaves any residue in the receiver. If yes, that's the problem. Then try another BCG with the same procedure. Either the receiver or BCG will need to be replaced.

  3. No disrespect meant to the reader, SG has some good products at a decent price, I've purchased gear from them, but to label them as a top notch outfitter is a stretch, Outdoor Research and Wiggys are two companies with better cold weather gear, MidwayUSA and Brownells are better for firearms.

  4. Great comments! Ripcord: Turns out that the upper is actually poly all the way thru except the barrel mounting ring and some reinforcement, which is embedded in the plastic. The wear -is- apparently 'normal' for this particular brand of upper, although I'm not a big fan. Not enough info longevity-wise how long the thing will last, but hey, for the design, it's operating within tolerances apparently.

  5. Good to hear that you can comment again, BC.

    I'm an old MOS 45B. Graduated Small Arms Repair School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in '74. Been doing my own thing with the AR platform since the early 90's. I've never used any poly parts because they make me nervous. I wonder what happens when they get hot. I mean really hot, like two drum mags later hot.

    That said, I think your reader is GTG. He said his rifles have been "flawless" so far. If there was something bad wrong, IMO they would have quit running by now.

    +1 on rollin' yer own. Been at it since '77. Haven't tried the CFE223 yet. Started using Varget when it came out because it was one of the first powders that was temperature stable. Shoots great in 223 and 308. I'm pretty well stocked for now. Escaped Kalifornia for Texas in 2015. Yeah, this current BS ain't my first Rodeo.

    1. Cool Bro… did the 45B for two years here in FL. LOVED that job. Lost it when the contract went sideways.
      CFE -so far- is great
      MUCH less smoke too when firing it up. Still use the Varget too (who doesn't? Great multicaliber applications)

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