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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier this week I participated in 3 days of tactical rifle training at my favorite venue, Tactical Defense Institute. Being new to the AR platform I did some basic research and decided to start with the entry level AR from Ruger. My presumption was that Ruger makes a reliable weapon, and it should be sufficient until I decide whether to upgrade. I purchased the rifle this summer.

My bone stock rifle was unfired prior to taking the training--didn't want to start by using bad technique. During the initial site-in exercise the rifle performed well. After maybe 50 rounds the rifle refused to cycle the spent round and load a new one. A brief investigation disclosed the gas block was completely loose on the barrel. The on-site armorer examined the rifle and determined that the rifle must have left the factory without pins based on the shiny condition of the pin holes. The armorer got the rifle running again, and there were no more issues during the remainder of the training. In fact, I was very pleased with the accuracy given my limited experience, and use of remanufactured ammo.

The point here is to inquire whether any other AR556 owners have experienced an unpinned gas block, and if so did Ruger customer service offer to install replacement pins or anything else? My view is that because I plan to use the rifle for personal defense, I'm leery of trusting my life and the lives of my family to a potentially unreliable weapon until it receives a good once over by the factory.

Any experiences you care to share would be appreciated here since I'm a newbie to the rifle.
 

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While I understand your viewpoint, before deploying a new weapon it is accepted practice to
(1) thoroughly clean and lube
(2) thoroughly inspect
(3) function-test with mags/ammo which will accompany deployment of weapon

Glad the armourer was on-site and got you running.

Stay safe!
 
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I have a simple equation that keeps me out of your situation. If the training costs 50% or more of my weapon's cost, I take two...of EVERYthing. :biggrin2:

Don't lose faith in your Ruger. ANY mechanical device can go South. Yet very, VERY few companies will fix it faster or more fairly than...Ruger.
 
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Ruger will handle nearly any problem that comes up with no hassle.
 

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Ruger pushes out an ubelievable amount of guns. Its not crazy to think they will slip every once in a while. Things slip past every manufacturer from time to time. I wouldnt sweat it. How many rounds did you put through the gun after that?
 

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Yeah I have had Ruger firearms for over 40 years. Always dependable. If you are concerned, take it to a competent gun smith to examine.
 

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This is not the first time Ive heard of gas block pins coming loose on Ruger AR rifles. I highly doubt that the pins were not there when you bought it. More likely a newb assembled the barrel and didn't press or hammer the pins in properly. If the gun smith hammered new pins in with some authority, they shouldn't offer you any more problems.

Now, two free tips, that go a long way towards reliability.

1) Get you an AR chamber brush, if you dont already have one. Lots of folks just run a .22 caliber brush through the barrel, which completely negates the chamber, and doesn't clean the chamber. You want a reliable AR, you clean your chamber properly.

AR chamber brush. ESSENTIAL!


2) Lube the gun properly. And by properly, that means more lube than you would think. These guns like a LOT of lube. You almost cant over lube them as any excess lube gets thrown off in the first couple of shots. Thicker viscosity lubes stay put longer. Definitely not remoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ruger pushes out an ubelievable amount of guns. Its not crazy to think they will slip every once in a while. Things slip past every manufacturer from time to time. I wouldnt sweat it. How many rounds did you put through the gun after that?
Probably between 800 to 1000 rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is not the first time Ive heard of gas block pins coming loose on Ruger AR rifles. I highly doubt that the pins were not there when you bought it. More likely a newb assembled the barrel and didn't press or hammer the pins in properly. If the gun smith hammered new pins in with some authority, they shouldn't offer you any more problems.

Now, two free tips, that go a long way towards reliability.

1) Get you an AR chamber brush, if you dont already have one. Lots of folks just run a .22 caliber brush through the barrel, which completely negates the chamber, and doesn't clean the chamber. You want a reliable AR, you clean your chamber properly.

AR chamber brush. ESSENTIAL!


2) Lube the gun properly. And by properly, that means more lube than you would think. These guns like a LOT of lube. You almost cant over lube them as any excess lube gets thrown off in the first couple of shots. Thicker viscosity lubes stay put longer. Definitely not remoil.
Tks, I'll look into a chamber brush. Sounds like a good idea.

I've been going for a wet look on the BCG when I clean and lube. What you describe seems consistent with that approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thks to all that replied to my note. Appreciate the suggestions and expression of confidence in Ruger service. Makes me feel that they may be receptive to the concerns I have about confirming reliability.
 

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If your rifle works correctly and you trust, it great.

If your rifle works correctly now but you still don't trust it, then shoot it until you DO trust it.

If you can't shoot it enough to make you trust it, then sell it and go buy a Colt, Bravo Company (BCM), or Daniel Defense.
 

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Probably between 800 to 1000 rounds.
800-1000 is by no means a lot of rounds for a rifle, but if you put that much through a gun without any cleaning in between, which it should be able to handle, and no other malfunctions, then Id say it will probably do just fine for the house.
 

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800-1000 rounds before an unpinned (never? pinned) gas block went south? That might explain how it cleared the obligatory factory test-firing prior to box & ship. It's no EXCUSE, but it IS plausible. If your on-site armorer repair (pinning) ran the remainder of the class without issue, I'm not sure I would even bother TALKING with Ruger about it. :blink:
 

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800-1000 rounds before an unpinned (never? pinned) gas block went south? That might explain how it cleared the obligatory factory test-firing prior to box & ship. It's no EXCUSE, but it IS plausible. If your on-site armorer repair (pinning) ran the remainder of the class without issue, I'm not sure I would even bother TALKING with Ruger about it. :blink:
The problem happened after the first 50, then it was good to go after that. Either way, your point makes sense though.
 

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Yeah, now I see that I read right past the OP details. :blink:

Long story short, I'd trust it now with no warranty-return involved. :yup:
 

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Had thoughts of building my next AR, then decided to buy the Ruger AR. Seems everything I read about it was positive and my LGS recommended it. I am very happy with it so far in the short time I have owned it. Only about 5-600 rounds thru as of now with no problems at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If your rifle works correctly and you trust, it great.

If your rifle works correctly now but you still don't trust it, then shoot it until you DO trust it.

If you can't shoot it enough to make you trust it, then sell it and go buy a Colt, Bravo Company (BCM), or Daniel Defense.
I can implement this step-by-step validation. I'll go to the range, run several hundred more rounds through the gun, and assess the effect on the gas block pins. If I have a good experience with no further mechanical failures, my faith in the reliability will certainly go up. If the replacement pins start backing out again, I'll send the rifle back to Ruger for warranty work.

The potential accuracy of this rifle probably exceeds my current capabilities. Using only iron sights on my first outing with the AR, I hit steel targets at 200 yards with good regularity. Certainly sufficient for nearly any home defense scenario.
 

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If once completely absent gas block pins are now snug present gas block pins, then I'll bet dollars (against navy beans) that Ruger AR will run like a champ from here on out. :image035:

Now, go drive it like...you STOLE IT! :yup:
 
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