Shooting an AR to Death: 830 rounds on Full-Auto

Iraq Veteran 8888 fires 830 rounds on full-auto, until his barrel bursts (he says it’s the gas tube but it isn’t. Seems to gibe with what we alredy lerned about ARs and long-term results of cyclic firing.

Yeah, the video’s longish. But several things are interesting. A full magazine before the ultimate failure at 830 rounds, you can see the muzzle brake unscrewing itself (on the next mag you can see it depart, but not where it goes — probably 6-10 feet downrange. This is a good reason to have a magnet like the ones roofing contractors use for cleanup in your range truck). The burst is in an interesting place, further forward than it comes on a GI barrel. (Lack of chrome plating may account for that). Note that long before the failure, the barrel is no good in terms of accuracy, and he observes that it’s completely shot out when he looks at the damaged barrel afterward. (Pity he didn’t borescope it).

Note also that he pauses between mags, sizes things up, looks around. In a fight you might not do that. And if he were not pausing (sometimes a minute or more) before locking a new mag in, the weapon would have failed sooner. Our guess is that it would be in the 400-500 range where Colt and US Army tests have shown the M4 vulnerable.

Note that, just as it took more rounds for this cyclic-rate experiment to fail tge barrel than the Colt and Army experiments, it would probably take more rounds for near-cyclic semi-auto fire to produce this kind of failure.

Still sure you want a Shrike or other beltfed AR?

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Kevin O’Brien was a former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF). After years magnificent service to his country, Kevin peacefully passed away on April 18th, 2017 from illness. He will be missed in our community and his own.

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