18 Dec 20
“Why should we look to the past in order to prepare for the future? Because there is nowhere else to look.”
This from an active LEO, student, and Instructor:
Yesterday I cleaned my eleven-year-old, department-issued Bushmaster M4.
At this point, it has had in excess of 5k problem-free rounds through it.
I inspected everything thoroughly, lubed as directed, reassembled, and function-tested it.
This morning, I presented it to our Department Armorer for annual inspection.
As he broke it down, the BCG (bolt-carrier-group) and charging handle simultaneously fell out of the rifle!
When I picked-up the BCG, I noticed the forward part of the bolt was missing.
We searched the floor with no success. Then my armorer noticed that the bolt head was locked into the trunnion. He easily rotated and removed it.
The bolt had broken in half, through the hole normally occupied by the cam-pin.
When I examined the rifle just yesterday, there were no signs of this impending failure!
Fortunately, I had a spare BCG, and my rifle was back up and running immediately!
Lessons affirmed for me:
1. Guns break! Breakage, as in this case, can be ruinous, catastrophic, and without warning, especially with serious rifles that are run hard and sometimes get hot.
2. Such breakage usually occurs at annoyingly inconvenient times!
3. When you carry a rifle, always carry a pistol too, because of #1 above!
4. Critical spare parts, on hand, can get you up and running immediately. Much better than waiting two weeks (while sitting around a non-functional rifle) for FedEx to bring you what you need!