In the production of any product, be it virtual in the form of an application that you use on your computer or phone or a tangible one like a gun, the quality of materials is only half of the equation for putting out something of superior quality. Most of my experience with production comes from the putting together of virtual products. Websites to be specific, however that’s not to say that my experience can’t be applied to other production processes.
I want to talk about the other half: The Build or in this case, the process of putting all the necessary parts together in order to make up your product, because at the end of the day, you can have all these superior materials that go into your product but if you aren’t putting it together correctly, they won’t help you.
I just found that the gas key on the bolt carrier group of my AR 15 had come loose while I was cleaning it.
This was after the 1st COMPHILFLEET cup, held at Sangley Point, Cavite last March 25 and 26. Had I not cleaned my gun, I would not have noticed it.
So I want to talk about process and in particular, I want to talk about standards and I’ll keep it simple. Without a set of standards and best-practices that are shared between, and observed by every single person that touches the product during the process of assembly, build quality will suffer and bad things will happen. That’s it, plain and simple.
So what does this have to do with my AR-15’s bolt carrier group?
Let’s just say that I don’t think it was staked properly by the manufacturer. That’s probably why it came loose after only approximately two thousand rounds fired total in the life span of this rifle. It looks properly staked, but then why did it come loose?
The internet is a wonderful place where one has access to a wealth of information. Unfortunately, there is also a wealth of disinformation but that’s for an entirely different topic. There is no excuse to not have the information you need, especially if that information is WELL DOCUMENTED and I do mean WELL DOCUMENTED, very WELL DOCUMENTED — I could go on and on but I think you understand. Not following well documented standards is how you get the gas key retaining bolts shattering. It’s also how you get people posting videos of your gun malfunctioning.
I’m going to seek help for this part of the process as I think I am going to need some guidance.
To conclude, I want to say thank you (and I really mean in this time) to a fellow shooter that I look up to but will not name, for showing me even just a small part of his process when it comes to his firearms.
It’s simple really:
When cleaning, take the time to inspect the parts for wear or any changes that may interfere with the function of your firearm.
My gas key is now properly staked.