Retention Of AR-15 Barrel Extensions

When building AR-15s, or any firearm, taking simple, proactive steps can avoid future embarrassment.

by Joe Carlos

Very few shooters, including even the most active competitors, will ever have a barrel come loose. That is a good thing! For those of us who have experienced a barrel unscrewing, I can assure you it is an event that will never be forgotten.

The first time it happened to me was back in the early 1970’s, not long after my return from Viet Nam. I was working in law enforcement at the time. Revolvers were the staple for police duty and I remember paying the outrageous price of $190 for a brand new Colt Python. I quickly became interested in shooting PPC (Practical Police Combat) competitions and by the time my Python was reaching about the 200,000 round count (that is two tons in bullets alone) it was still shooting well as we used soft lead bullets with light “talcum powder” propellant charges. A rifle shooter would only get a tiny fraction of that kind of mileage.

Perhaps I have a dark cloud hanging over my head because this wasn’t my last time to get unlucky. The next time was with an AR-15. At the time, a number of top AR gunsmiths in the country were advocating screwing on flash suppressors only hand tight and using lots of red Loctite. Most of us who work on the various Stoner platforms still use some variation on this theme.

Read more in our September 2013 issue. Back issues are available.

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