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A customer wrote in to us asking about the compatibility between carbine-length gas systems, stocks and buffers wondering whether he could mix and match some with full or rifle-length parts. Our engineer Dave responded:

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: In days long past, the AR basically came in 2 flavors: “rifle” and “carbine.” The rifle had a 20” barrel with a long gas tube and a long buttstock and buffer. The carbine had a 12.5” or shorter barrel with a short gas tube and a shorter buffer and buttstock. Hence, the gas systems and buffers took on the names “rifle” and “carbine.” There’s actually no problem mixing the two up. It just didn’t happen much at the time.

The goal of the carbine buffer and spring was as a means of shortening up the stock, and the shorter gas system was likewise just a means of making a shorter barrel work. A rifle upper can be used on a carbine lower or vice versa with no problems at all. For years, the 16” barrels used t...

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Even if you’re finding some fouling in a new barrel, stop cleaning it and start shooting it and see if it groups before worrying. I wouldn't get carried away on any elaborate pre-shot break-in procedures. I find that many of our rifles will shoot to their potential right out of the box. If not, usually within 200-300 rounds they’ll settle in. I usually put 20-30 rounds through a new upper, swab it out with solvent, clean it with JB bore compound and then run one more patch with solvent through it. Repeat that process after the next 20 rounds and then again after the next 20 rounds. That’s a pretty thorough break-in. Since I usually shoot moly coated bullets, I don't bother cleaning my bores for 300-500 round intervals after that. If I don't plan on shooting an upper for some extended period, then I'll run a few solvent patches followed by an oil patch before it goes into the vault.

-John Paul

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