AR15 repair

AR-15 – How To Check Headspace

“Get the Right Fit – Check Your AR-15 Headspace!”

– What is AR-15 Headspace?

Headspace refers to the distance between the face of the bolt and the chamber of a firearm when the bolt is fully closed and in the battery position. In the case of the AR-15, headspace refers to the proper fit and alignment of the cartridge in the chamber of the rifle.

The headspace of an AR-15 is critical for the safe and reliable functioning of the firearm. If the headspace is too tight (the cartridge is not able to fully seat in the chamber), it can result in excessive pressure, potentially leading to malfunctions or even catastrophic failures. On the other hand, if the headspace is too loose (the cartridge is not held securely in place), it can cause issues with extraction, feeding, and accuracy.

AR-15 headspace is typically checked using gauges specifically designed for that purpose. There are “go” gauges, “no-go” gauges, and “field” gauges. The “go” gauge represents the maximum allowed chamber dimensions, while the “no-go” gauge represents the upper limit of acceptable headspace. The “field” gauge is used to check for excessive headspace beyond the “no-go” limit, indicating a potential safety concern.

It’s important to note that headspace should be checked and adjusted by a qualified gunsmith or knowledgeable individual, as improper headspace can be dangerous. Regular maintenance, including headspace checks, is crucial to ensure the safe and reliable operation of any firearm.

– Adjusting an AR-15 Headspace?

Adjusting headspace on an AR-15 rifle is not a typical DIY task and should be performed by a qualified gunsmith or an experienced individual with the necessary knowledge and tools. However, for informational purposes, I can provide a general step-by-step outline of the process involved in headspace adjustment. Please note that this information is not a substitute for professional expertise, and attempting to adjust headspace without proper knowledge and experience can be dangerous. It is always recommended to consult a gunsmith for any firearm-related modifications or adjustments.

Ensure safety: Before beginning any work on a firearm, ensure that the firearm is unloaded and follow proper safety procedures. Remove the magazine and check the chamber to confirm it is clear.

Obtain the necessary tools: You will need headspace gauges specific to the caliber of your AR-15 rifle. These gauges typically include “go,” “no-go,” and “field” gauges. Additionally, you may need specialized tools depending on the specific process required for your rifle.

Disassemble the firearm: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to disassemble the AR-15 rifle to a point where you can access the barrel extension and bolt.

Ar15 Repair

Clean and inspect components: Ensure that the barrel extension, bolt, and chamber are clean and free from debris. Inspect all components for any signs of damage or excessive wear.

Determine the current headspace: Use the appropriate headspace gauge (typically the “go” gauge) to determine the current headspace. Insert the gauge into the chamber and close the bolt.

Check headspace: With the “go” gauge in place, attempt to close the bolt. It should fully close and lock into place. If it does not close or requires excessive force to close, the headspace is too tight, and adjustment may be necessary. If the bolt closes easily, proceed to the next step.

Verify headspace with the “no-go” gauge: Remove the “go” gauge and insert the “no-go” gauge into the chamber. Attempt to close the bolt. The bolt should not close fully. If the bolt closes with the “no-go” gauge, the headspace is too loose, and adjustment may be necessary.

Consult a gunsmith: If the headspace is determined to be out of specification, it is recommended to consult a qualified gunsmith for further evaluation and adjustment. They will have the necessary expertise and tools to make the appropriate adjustments to ensure proper headspace.

Remember, adjusting headspace is a critical task that directly affects the safety and functionality of your firearm. It is best left to professionals or experienced individuals with the proper knowledge and tools to perform the task safely and accurately.

Words can only do so much, so I found a video showing the process described in this article

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