Shooting enthusiasts always try to keep up with the developments in space. There is always something newer, lighter, faster, and better on the market that entices gun enthusiasts. However, these upgrades can be expensive.

Similarly, any malfunctions may cost a lot to repair. They thus find it easier and cheaper to learn to repair the faults. Not only is it inexpensive, but also quick.

All of us want our rifles to be rough, undefeated warriors. We want to use them session after session in the open or on the range without any trouble. The secret to achieving this is maintaining them.

While there are specialized stores that help maintain your rifle and resolve any issues, you can learn some basic maintenance as well. This is also because bolts and BCG wear out due to the exposure to friction and heat.

However, before trying to do anything with your rifle, ensure that it is unloaded and that you follow all the safety precautions mentioned in the firearm owner's guide.

The bolt on the AR may need to be replaced after around 2500 rounds. If you wish to do routine maintenance on your rifle, you must learn to inspect it, disassemble it and replace any worn-out parts to ensure top-notch performance.

Inspect your AR-15 to know the condition of the bolt:

Follow the steps below to inspect if the bolt on your AR-15 is worn out:

  • Detach the bolt carrier from the rifle.

  • Make the bolt carrier stand on a hard surface with the bolt in the forward position.

  • If the carrier falls off, unable to bear its weight, it is likely that the gas rings are shot.

  • As the next step, try to press out the rifle extractor using a small punch or live round. If you do not feel enough spring tension, there are a couple of mistakes that you will need to address.

  • Address the mechanical failures on your AR by fixing the malfunctioning gas rings, bad mags, and worn-out extractors and springs.

  • As the last step, hold the bolt in place and press it down on the ejector using the small punch or live round you used earlier. You will now feel significant spring tension, albeit lower than the extractor.

There isn't an issue with gas rings because the bolt carrier group stands without collapsing. However, if it drops to the unlock position, you will have to do a bolt rebuild.

Stripping the bolt:

Stripping is the process of disassembling and cleaning the bolt. Follow the steps below to strip the bolt:

  • Remove the bolt from the carrier similarly to how it is removed for normal cleaning.

  • Inspect the rounding of the lugs to spot any wear.

  • The next step is to check the cam pinhole for cracks.

  • Detach the gas rings that are located at the end of the bolt. You can peel them one by one by lifting on one end and sending the tail out of the groove. Repeat this for all three gas rings.

  • Press out the extractor pin using a small punch and remove it from the groove in the bolt.

  • Detach the spring from the extractor and note if the spring goes with the big end towards the extractor or the other way around.

  • If in the inspection stage, there wasn't enough tension, replace the spring.

  • Check if there is any wear and tear in the extractor claw. The best way to test it is to drag it against your skin. If it feels sharp enough to leave a mark, it is fine. Replace it otherwise.

  • Push out the ejector roll pin using the bolt in a vise and a roll pin punch.

  • When the punch is still in the body of the bolt, keep a hand over the ejector and catch it while removing the punch. You can use this tool to remove the bolt.

  • Take out the spring. The takedown pin detent uses the same spring as the ejector spring, and you can use it in an emergency.

Reassembling the bolt:

Follow the steps below to reassemble:

  • You will see a hole in the bolt's face. Place the ejector spring in that hole and drop the ejector in.

  • Align the cutout on the body of the ejector with the hole for the roll pin.

  • Now start the roll pin followed by pressing the ejector down. Make sure that you keep tapping the pin to engage the ejector cutout.

  • Now gently push the roll pin in its place and finish it with a roll pin punch

  • Ensure that the ejector moves freely.

  • Once the extractor has the new spring, place it into the groove on the bolt and align the pinhole.

  • Test the tension on the extractor by pressing the pin in place.

  • Now follow a reverse technique to the one followed for gas ring removal and wind a new gas ring in the groove on the bolt tail. Here is a good gas ring.

  • Take special care to not exert too much pressure. Start at one end and roll the thumbnail around the bolt tail instead.

  • Remove any gaps and reassemble the bolt.

  • Test the carrier for functioning.

All these steps may seem intimidating, but they are not once you understand all the steps. Follow the steps patiently. Use high-quality tools and parts to perform the steps for your AR bolt rebuild. You can find all the necessary tools to assemble, strip, and reassemble your AR-15 here. You can also find bolt rebuild kits that will have all the components that will help you with your AR bolt rebuild.