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Ruger has taken an unique position concerning their Bolt Carrier Group.
I was informed by a Ruger supervisor that the Bolt Carrier Group has to be custom fitted and will not be sold to any consumer per Ruger's Legal Department.
Reasons stated for this, "Proper Head Spacing and Proofing"
The rifle has to be sent back to Ruger for replacement.
He also stated that if you send back the the rifle for a new Bolt Carrier Group, the original one will not be returned.
The Ruger supervisor stated that "Ruger will not allow you to have a spare Bolt Carrier Group".
I wanted to order one to keep as backup in the event (however unlikely) of a failure.
I find this an unacceptable practice of Ruger and urge everyone who owns a AR 556 to call and complain or simply not to purchase one.
I also asked the Ruger supervisor why spare parts for the AR 556 is not listed on the Ruger website, response, "We have not done it".
I urge Ruger to update their policy concerning this issue and to update their website parts list so consumers can buy spare parts for their AR 556 without having to call Ruger.
 

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Stealthhunterdk00,
Welcome to the forum! I'd like to invite you to post a little bit about yourself in the Introduction Section. We like to know who's joined our family and who we're talking to. :)
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DoubleR
 

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Sorry, I don't understand the issue. Is the bolt carrier group in the Ruger AR 556 proprietary?

I have a Windham Weaponry AR-15 and bought a spare bolt carrier group from Brownells. Tried it for compatibility and reliability without issue.....cleaned and oiled it, keeping it in a pocket of my rifle bag, returning the original bolt carrier group to the weapon.
 

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Jim
 

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Sorry, I don't understand the issue. Is the bolt carrier group in the Ruger AR 556 proprietary?

I have a Windham Weaponry AR-15 and bought a spare bolt carrier group from Brownells. Tried it for compatibility and reliability without issue.....cleaned and oiled it, keeping it in a pocket of my rifle bag, returning the original bolt carrier group to the weapon.
Ruger's issue appears to be the head spacing check that can't be done without the gun and the BCG being available. How Windham weaponry gets around that, I dunno.
 

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Ruger sets the head spacing on all bolts in the AR, and SR rifles. They also pressure test the barrel and bolt as an assembly. Thus, Ruger will not sell spare bolts. I'm not quite sure why, if you asked them to fit and test a spare bolt they wouldn't.
 

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I ended up with one. Some were ruger sold to the guy I bought. I do not have a piston system and can not get any parts to complete a build , so it just no good to me and maybe no one else.
 

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Ruger sets the head spacing on all bolts in the AR, and SR rifles. They also pressure test the barrel and bolt as an assembly. Thus, Ruger will not sell spare bolts. I'm not quite sure why, if you asked them to fit and test a spare bolt they wouldn't.
Ruger's issue appears to be the head spacing check that can't be done without the gun and the BCG being available. How Windham weaponry gets around that, I dunno.
Sorry, I don't understand the issue. Is the bolt carrier group in the Ruger AR 556 proprietary?

I have a Windham Weaponry AR-15 and bought a spare bolt carrier group from Brownells. Tried it for compatibility and reliability without issue.....cleaned and oiled it, keeping it in a pocket of my rifle bag, returning the original bolt carrier group to the weapon.
Aren't there "specs and standards" that should allow interchange of parts?

I know it has been a long time since I went through basic training (1970) but I don't recall any warning about interchanging bolts between weapons (M-16). Am I in danger in using my spare bolt from another manufacturer? Maybe I should ask this question of Windham Weaponry or the AR-15 forum.
 

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To answer my own question and to share with the forum, here are the replies I got from Windham Weaponry and Brownells on the subject of using a replacement bolt carrier group


Windham response
Hi JP,

You probably have nothing to worry about running your Brownells carrier in our gun. Most manufacturers hold bolt assemblies to similar mil-spec tolerances so most of them should interchange without problems.
When using another companies bolt in any of our rifles I advise people just to have the head space checked with a set of gages. If the bolt closes on the NO-GO gage this doesn’t mean it is unsafe but if it does then also check the bolt against a FIELD gage.
If it closes on the FIELD gage then I would discontinue use of the bolt. But I think it’s pretty unlikely it’s going to close on the FIELD.
If you have fired it without any issues and the fired cases look good with no signs of overpressure (backing out or blown primers, stretched cases, abnormal bulging at the head), they you are probably fine to continue using the Brownells bolt.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Brownells [Guntech] response
That is a bolt carrier group by Bushmaster. If I ever change the barrel or the bolt on an AR-15, I always check headspace just to make absolutely sure.
I had thought that the bolt assembly was made by Bushmaster's but could not remember so I had asked them to check the part number I ordered for manufacturer's name.

As I do not have the gauges, I will take down to my LGS and have the armorer check this for me to be sure that I am safe.
 
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