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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    4,285
    And I don't know how much good it's going to do you having a stronger steel tube when it's attached to aluminum anyway.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,085
    The main issue I could see is the steel could trash the threads on the receiver while you were torquing down the castle nut since the steel threads would have less give.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pineland, USA
    Posts
    123
    Given enough time and force, you could fuck up anything I suppose. But this is nothing I would worry about. You have several tiers of AR parts going on out there. There are lesser quality tubes, and there are greater quality tubes. You have mil-spec dia, and you have commercial dia. There are companies with great QC, and others, well... Stick to a quality vendor and you should be OK. I would imagine that is a cheaper/substandard part that failed like that.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    1,797
    In the fall of 1975 when I went through basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC there was no bayonet training. We were also told that when we went prone if they caught us letting the butt of the M16A1's hit the ground they would shove it sideways up our ass.

    Why? The reason stated by the drill sgts. was too many broken M16A1 rifles and too many bent barrels. I don't remember them specifying which part broke, they just said they weren't getting chewed out for letting us break the rifles or bend the barrels. They did mention (at 18 I thought it was strange but with no experience it just sounded strange at the time) that if you used the bayonet on an enemy solder sometimes you couldn't get the bayonet back out of the ribs/chest cavity so they said just go ahead and pull the trigger after sticking him and before trying to pull the bayonet out.

    Maybe the A2 was enough different to fix that. I don't know. I read the stock and handguards were supposed to be tougher and the barrel thicker, but I don't know that for a fact.

    I'd hate to think I had to use a bayonet on the end of a carbine but then a "poke" to the face has got be easier on the buffer tube and lower receiver than a sideways stroke/swing.

    I remember being impressed (further) about our M14's when the armorers told me that if I were to put my M14 down on the road beside an M16 and the deuce and half ran over both I might still be able to use/shoot my M14 but the M16 would be broken into junk. They did say that they'd sent an M14 or two to 2nd level maint. at Ft. (darn, forgot the name of the Army post south of DC on the VA side of the river) to have the barrel replace or the receiver straightened when something like that happened.

    Perhaps, if someone felt they might have the need to use their AR15 to hit someone with they should look into one of those flash suppressors with the really sharp/jagged points on the front. Might as well do as much damage as possible with you poke someone's face with it.

    Me, I'm inclined to pack lots of extra ammo in the truck/car. And a handgun or two (also with lots of ammo).

    As stated in an earlier post - you want the cheap easy to replace things to break. Sacrificial parts. A broken buffer tube is easier to replace than a lower receiver. And you can even reuse the buffer, spring, castle nut and stock.

    Wood can be broken, too. I remember my dad telling tales of his uncles on both sides of the family breaking shotgun or .22 rifle butt stocks trying to crush a wounded squirrels head and hitting a rock/root under the leaves. That's why dad always picked up a limb/stick and cracked the squirrel on the head with it. Anyone that's ever seen what a wounded squirrel can do to an unsuspecting dog will understand. A smart dog will only let it happen once. After that they "kill" all the "dead" squirrels they run across.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    People's Republik of Kalifornia
    Posts
    132
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Yamamoto View Post
    And I don't know how much good it's going to do you having a stronger steel tube when it's attached to aluminum anyway.
    This.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,152
    I know a guy who said he saw a buffer tube get damaged by a Marine falling on top of his rifle. I didn't see it happen, but have no reason to think he's lying. The story wasn't told in the context of trashing the rifle system, he was talking about the many things he's seen Marines break during his career. So.... I guess it can happen. Don't belly flop on your weapon.

    The M16 is the longest serving American service rifle. A few years ago it took that title away from the venerable 1903 Springfield Rifle. When it first came out it had well publicized problems. They put a lot of effort and money into working through that to get from where it was to where it is. If steel gave any edge at all, it would be what they are all made of. Steel is definitely stronger, and definitely cheaper. In the world of lowest bidder gets the contract, if that strength and cheapness beat aluminum we would not be wondering about it fifty years later.

    Maybe the tube is the weak point. Don't do a belly flop on your weapon.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Atlanta ITP
    Posts
    1,390
    If Marcus Luttrell legitimately used a M4 variant, then his fall should have almost vetted that level of force on a buffer, unless he was using an A2 stock.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    McKinney
    Posts
    1,103
    Quote Originally Posted by jlwilliams View Post
    I know a guy who said he saw a buffer tube get damaged by a Marine falling on top of his rifle. I didn't see it happen, but have no reason to think he's lying. The story wasn't told in the context of trashing the rifle system, he was talking about the many things he's seen Marines break during his career. So.... I guess it can happen. Don't belly flop on your weapon.

    The M16 is the longest serving American service rifle. A few years ago it took that title away from the venerable 1903 Springfield Rifle. When it first came out it had well publicized problems. They put a lot of effort and money into working through that to get from where it was to where it is. If steel gave any edge at all, it would be what they are all made of. Steel is definitely stronger, and definitely cheaper. In the world of lowest bidder gets the contract, if that strength and cheapness beat aluminum we would not be wondering about it fifty years later.

    Maybe the tube is the weak point. Don't do a belly flop on your weapon.
    I wish I had the picture of the one that got in the closing Bradley ramp. Looked like an empty tube of toothpaste. As stated, shit happens. If every time Suarez and Co. put on a carbine course there were failures of this nature I'm sure we'd be talking more about an improvement. But as every one of these forces is an isolated incident with minimal information on cause, I'm not in a hurry to go fixing something that ain't broke.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    340
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    If you want to use a rifle as a battle axe, get an AK.

    :D
    I had a guy in my squad hit a guy in another squad by grabbing the barrel of his rifle and swinging it like a battle axe. It was epic and I thought he killed him. Lessons learned, this plastic and aluminum gun is tougher than it looks and the blunt force trauma capabilities of it is astounding. And yea he did his time at ft Lewis.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Havana on the Willamette
    Posts
    1,023
    If I have to turn my rifle into a club, and I am worried about it breaking, I think I have:

    (a) Chosen poorly regarding the quality of which rifle I have equipped myself with or...
    (b) I have underestimated the number of enemy or how much ammo to carry or....
    (c) My marksmanship needs significant improvement or....
    (d) Something has gone horribly wrong....

    After 25 years of carrying one and seeing them get dropped on airmobile assaults and during rappelling, hit the ground while attached to paratroopers as they were landing or tumble out of vehicles, I have seen broken and cracked hand-guards, bent barrels & front sights from those activities, but I haven't seen one that has broken at that junction point where the buffer tube joins the rest of the weapon.

    Could have been the way they all landed, or dumb luck, but that junction seems pretty strong.
    Masters in Warfare-OEF Class of 2002-2003, 2006-2007
    Majors: Offensive Terminal Ballistics and Overseas Bovine Scatology

    “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

    Jeff Cooper




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