Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another myth: the lining up of the gas rings.

The gas leak from "the aligning of the gas rings" on an AR bolt thing is an old wive's tale that's been going around and around, and repeated by gun writers to the point that it's become fact without proof. Seems to be more proof that most gun writers don't know as much about guns as you do.

The gas rings act a bit like an "o" ring would if one could be used in that location. When the bolt is in the retracted position, or is out of the bolt carrier, the rings are relaxed, and as such, have gaps in them. The reason for that is that the rings need to compress as the firing cycle takes place. They couldn't do that very well if they couldn't be collapsed, could they? Think about it. When the rings are working, THERE'S NO DAMN GAP!!! Alignment of the gas ring's gaps, in that case, don't mean anything, because they're not there when the rings are working.

What you need to know about gas rings is that if one of them is working properly, the gun will work. If all three are worn to the point that they don't work, the gun will choke, even with a proper amount of oil on it. The test is to push the bolt into the "closed" position in the carrier, and hold the bolt inverted. If the bolt moves to the "open" position under the weight of the bolt, your gas rings are worn and need to be replaced. Install some new ones and test. If the bolt doesn't move to the open position, your rings are good and you need to get on with wearing another set out.

Do yourself a favor and take what gun writers say with a grain, on up to a brick, on up to a shipping container, of salt.


Josh said...

Nice. Good stuff. A good analogy (and duplicate application) is a piston ring in every single internal combustion engine thats kicking. The rings are split until they're compressed and shoved into the cylinder, where they form a tight seal with the cylinder wall and allow the compression to remain high while reducing wear on the piston and/or cylinder.

Zaakir Abdullah said...

Yeah, im so sick f hearing that one about the damn gas rings.