In the world of firearms people usually fall into one of two categories, AR15 fans and AK47 fans and while this won’t be an article comparing the two, knowing the differences gives us a better understanding into why toughening up an AR rifle might be a good choice for you.
In many people’s eyes, the AR15 style rifles are a little lacking in the durability department for hard duty use and training. The reasons for this are mostly due to the gas operating system and certain areas of the design.
Now I personally don’t look down on the AR the way some do (although I do love my AK) but if your looking for a way to add a little durability to your AR then here are a few tips.
1) First lets start with the barrel. Now this is one of the two areas of an AR style rifle that are the most important parts of the gun and need to be good quality. So to toughen it up the best option is to go with a chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel either in a government or heavy barrel profile. This will make extraction easier, even with the dirtiest of ammo and will increase the life/round count of your barrel. Buy from companies with a good reputation for quality CHF & chrome lined barrels.
2) Next we look to the bolt carrier group. One sure way to toughen it up is to go with a chromed plated or nickel boron coated BCG. This will give you much greater shooting time before having to break down and clean your rifle. There are several companies making chrome and nickel boron coated BCG’s and most are of good quality.
3) Next we look at the trigger pins. These hold your hammer and trigger in place and can on occasion back out and cause malfunctions. The easy solution for this is to pick up a set of Anti Walk Pins, you can pick them up just about anywhere and they’re easy to install and they prevent the pins from backing out of the lower receiver.
4) Finally we look at the gas system. This is the biggest complaint from AK fans in that the gas system fouls up the action by blowing hot gas and carbon back into the receiver. The easiest way to fix this is to go with a piston system for your AR. It eliminates this particular issue but do make sure the piston kit you install is a quality kit.
So there you have it, if you want to bring the durability level up on your AR style rifle, there are four ways to toughen it up.