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Chasing Durability - G&P WOC GBBr's


UrPeaceKeeper

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Cursed GBBr's, they are Soooo unreliable! Of course, anyone that understands the system knows that this is a half truth. In stock form, it can be horrifyingly unreliable, frequent failure to fires, light striking, venting of magazines, spontaneous part failures and so on. As with AEG's there is this struggle between cost and performance and a choice between the thousands of parts out there to make a reliable GBBr. I hope to cover at least a few points of the most notable failures in the WA based GBBr setups.

 

Durability Upgrades:

There are TWO points in a WOC that are guaranteed to fail within a few thousand cycles. The area on the bolt carrier where the bolt catch interacts, and the charging handle. To beef up durability in these two areas is going to save headaches later.

 

The Bolt Carrier is the heart and SOUL of any GBBr and should be quality from DAY ONE. Unfortunately the stock BC is functional at best. It's potmetal construction offers a reasonable mix of durability and weight for recoil, but it is not as durable in the bolt catch area as it should be. This area wears out after approximately a 5000 rounds using the bolt catch. That is, of course, very quick and unacceptable. The stop gap is to file back the area flat again and after a little while, it will again, wear down. The solution to this problem is a better bolt carrier, either Steel or of suitable Aluminum alloy. One thing to realize is that quality is always a requirement. RA-Tech is the only Aluminum BC that lists the material. In this case, it's 7075, which depending on the hardening is a solid aluminum grade that will last a long time. I personally prefer steel. I subscribe to the "If it's steel on the real one, I want it steel in mine" Of course steel in the real AR15 is going to be hard to achieve at airsoft prices, and with our buddies overseas making stuff, so a quality steel bolt carrier of unknown grade will have to suffice. I opted for the Prime BC for WA length receivers. Probably a bit of a mistake, as the carrier required extensive sanding to cycle cleanly in my WOC. The RA-Tech Steel would have sufficed but it is important to realize that there are MANY reports of their BC wearing out at the bolt stop area, as well as damaging their own steel bolt stop :rolleyes: There are other options, the JDT carrier, and the Inokatsu carriers each with it's own pro's and con's.

 

The charging handle is an interesting issue. It comes with two problems. The first is the latch is weak. After several rackings of the charging handle, the hole that the pin goes through that holds it in elongates and eventually will break. The absence of a latch will then cause the horn on the charging handle to break. This solution is incredibly and painfully easy. Buy a real one from an AR15. It requires the use of a dremel (or file). There are two tabs on the side of the carrier that need to be ground flush. The other part that needs modifying is the horn. This will need to be shaved off such that it no longer catches on the nozzle (the plastic part of the bolt carrier group). This solution fixes both problems by use of a quality part. When it comes to latches, stick to the real ones. Real Charging handles for those of us in the US, are quite cheap, cheaper than the replacement WA specifics. For those of you in other locations around the world, they may be harder to get but are worth it when you finally do. The only other thing you will need to do is to take the plastic bit from the horn of the stock charging handle, and move it to the real one. This part serves to prevent the bolt carrier from damaging the barrel extension by limiting the forward travel of the bolt and buffering it's movement. In the WA guns, this part is essential, but with an aftermarket bolt carrier, it's presence is more or less a novel thought, but better be safe than sorry!

 

Once these two parts are out of the way, you really don't need to change much, just replace parts as they break, which is infrequently at best. The parts that broke in mine, broke in this order: Nozzle which was replaced with an RA-Tech aluminum one with the NPAS, buffer retainer which was replaced with a steel one, bearing on the hammer which was replaced with the bearing from my G&P Burst kit which did not work and then eventually replaced the entire trigger unit with the burst kit and then my stock bolt catch broke in two at the pin that it pivots on which does not effect function, just creates an annoying wobble. I have since replaced that bolt catch with another G&P one until such time that I find a suitable replacement to it that is one piece. The last one I attribute to the use of a steel bolt carrier and a heavy recoil spring which on locking back puts a ton of pressure on the bolt catch.

 

If there is any one important thing, it's that sometimes when you replace a part, you will find that another part will wear out and so you end up chasing durability throughout the system. So far, I've gone about 15000-16000 rounds on HPA without any part failures and I'm hoping it stays that way near indefinitely.

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You will have to forgive my reply if it isn't clear as I am typing this on my phone. :) I'm not sure I can recommend one brand of bolt carrier over another as my experience is limited to G&P carriers, an AABB carrier, two element steel carriers and my prime... so far I would not reccomend the element carriers, ever. The prime is great, but I've had to sand mine a lot to get it to function correctly in my WOC.

 

Charging handles is hard to say. I have two real ones, a DPMS (low end) and a Noveske (high end) and physically there isn't a dang difference between the two. I think the DPMS is cheaper by a few dollars and functions identically to the Noveske.

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You stated in your post that you are running off of HPA. Is that "high pressure air"? If so what do you use to fill your mags? Any changes you need to do to the mags or gun? What kind of FPS are you achieving with it running HPA?

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Yes that is high pressure air, the magazines are drilled and tapped to accept air quick disconnect fittings. With the dual regulator set ups at 145 psi and the npas dialed in, right arround 400 w/ .20 gram bb's but it has some pretty impressive recoil!

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Cheers dude, definitely be picking up a DPMS handle when the summer comes around and the WOCs get brought out of hibernation. Great blog so far been picking up loads of good info, good work.

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