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Bravo Company AR-15 bolt

Firearms

AR-15 Tech: Bolts

Those looking to go “premium” when building or finishing an AR-15 often look at an upgraded bolt carrier group. The primary functioning part in that group is the bolt assembly. The carrier body, as long as it is true USGI-standard specification, will give reliable and correct service. Sure, plated premium carriers are nice, mostly because they clean up much easier. Likewise, a higher-dollar carrier won’t make or break your gun, but a sub-standard bolt might.

AR-15 bolt face

Firearms

AR-15 Tech: Extraction and Ejection Tips and Tricks

Getting the rounds into your AR-15 is the first step, but getting them back out again is just as important. When a cartridge case fails to eject, the place shooters often look is the extractor. That’s not a bad idea, but the extractor may be the symptom and not the cause. This article examines troubleshooting and correcting extraction and ejection issues and how to address them. It also gives a few tips to make your AR run smoother.

AR-15 with side charge handle

General

Why Side-Charge Your AR-15?

Usually thought of as a strictly “custom” component in a top-end precision AR-15 build, here’s a few reasons to consider a side charging handle—and a few reasons to avoid them.

General

Throwback Thursday: AR-15 Two-Stage Triggers

In the author’s estimation, a two-stage trigger offers the most secure, precise, and safest function in the AR-15 platform. There are a good many two-stage triggers available, but click to read the functional ideas behind all of them.

roll pins should be just below the surface

Gear, Parts and Accessories

AR-15 Maintenance: Roll Pins

AR-15s are pretty much pinned together. While a staple for many AR-15s, roll pins are not hard to work with, but a misstep could be catastrophic enough to permanently damage your AR-15. Here’s how to perform the essential construction operations associated with roll pins—the professional way.

Gas rings on an AR-15 rifle

Firearms

Six Troubleshooting Solutions for AR-15 Function

When something goes wrong and the rifle won’t fire, the first question should always be, “What changed?” Before answering that, we have to determine—or at least I determine—whether we’re talking about a “fresh” rifle going through its shakedown period, or a (previously) trusted gun that’s suddenly decided to stop running. If it’s the first scenario, there’s a longer list of possibilities that include original parts, conditions, and installation quality. This article will focus on the previously-functioning rifle that’s taken a vacation from operation.

Four cartridge heads showing the effect of pressure

Ammunition

Reloading 101: Determining Safe Maximum Velocity

Part of the process of developing the load we’re seeking is learning how to safely set a cap on its pressure. Most of us don’t have pressure-testing equipment, so we rely on measurements and observation to know when we’re at the limit. Here are a few ideas on how to proceed in load testing to find the safe maximum velocity, and keep it safe.