Barrel retention screw
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Thread: Barrel retention screw

  1. #1
    Newbie Rin's Avatar
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    Barrel retention screw

    I just placed an order for a current production XCR-L but when I was reading the reviews online I found a lot of complaints regarding the barrel retention screw coming loose under recoil. I wonder if it's still a problem on the current iteration of rifles?

  2. #2
    Carbineman abran007's Avatar
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    Barrel screws coming loose had nothing to do with generational changes to the platform and had everything to do with people not reading and following directions. Make sure it is properly torqued after every removal and it won’t be a problem.
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    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rin View Post
    I just placed an order for a current production XCR-L but when I was reading the reviews online I found a lot of complaints regarding the barrel retention screw coming loose under recoil. I wonder if it's still a problem on the current iteration of rifles?
    Never was a problem. If you tightened it to 200-240 inch-lbs....there shouldn't be an issue. If you don't have a torque wrench or don't want to mess with it...just crank it tight....though I will warn you...don't gorilla fist it.

    A factory rep told us we could tighten it as much as we wanted....I can break a steel ball in a rubber room and promptly twisted the head off the bbl retention bolt and had to drill it out to replace it. So...I don't go crazy with it anymore.

    Not everyone has a in-lbs tq wrench...so just use 17-20 ft-lbs if that's what you have to get a feel so you can then do it by hand +/- a bit.
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

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  5. #4
    Newbie Rin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abran007 View Post
    Barrel screws coming loose had nothing to do with generational changes to the platform and had everything to do with people not reading and following directions. Make sure it is properly torqued after every removal and it won’t be a problem.
    Thanks for the info. I guess I'll just re-check the the screw with a torque wrench after receiving the rifle. Also what gas setting is generally used for 5.56? (Type 3 gas block)

  6. #5
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rin View Post
    Thanks for the info. I guess I'll just re-check the the screw with a torque wrench after receiving the rifle. Also what gas setting is generally used for 5.56? (Type 3 gas block)
    Depends on the ammo. Mil-surp brass cased 5.56 is usually one setting lower than steel cased .223 IME.

    Standard adjustable gas block procedure applies....load 1 round in a mag on setting zero...work up in settings until case ejects AND bolt locks back, then add one extra setting and you should be good.
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

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    XCR Guru fmunk's Avatar
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    Never had a problem with the screw coming loose. Like Sean said, hand tight (but don't get OCD with it) if you don't have a torque driver/wrench. Good to keep one or a simple wrench in your rifle bag and just keep an eye on the barrel periodically. Do not use loctite on the screw, you'll risk pulling out the helicoil.
    Fool-proofing serves only one purpose: identify bigger fools.

  8. #7
    Rifleman Whole Bunches's Avatar
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    I have 4 XCR-L uppers. I simply hand snug the bbl screw and don't gorilla crank it. Have never had it loosen. I check it every time I take one of the XCR-L's out to shoot.

    Gas setting for 5.56: Only 1 of my uppers has a type 3 gas system (a 7.5" pistol). On it, steel case factory ammo needs 1 click more open than brass case ammo. To function properly with brass case ammo in 70 degree or warmer temps, the gas is set on 1. At 50 degree I have to set it on 2. On 40 degree (the coldest I've had it out shooting) I have to set it on 3. As an experiment in the colder (for Florida!) temps, I warmed up a few rounds (sat them on the black dashboard of the car with the sun directly shining on them) and found I didn't need to open the gas up more than for 70 degree or warmer temps for proper functioning.

    On my type 1 gas system (16" 5.56), steel case factory ammo also needs 1 click more open than brass case.

    FWIW category: I reload steel cases. My steel case reloads use the same gas setting as for brass case with flawless functioning. I suspect it's because the act of tumbling the steel cases smooths the outside finish so they are slicker than factory steel cases.
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  9. #8
    DSM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whole Bunches View Post
    I have 4 XCR-L uppers. I simply hand snug the bbl screw and don't gorilla crank it. Have never had it loosen. I check it every time I take one of the XCR-L's out to shoot.

    Gas setting for 5.56: Only 1 of my uppers has a type 3 gas system (a 7.5" pistol). On it, steel case factory ammo needs 1 click more open than brass case ammo. To function properly with brass case ammo in 70 degree or warmer temps, the gas is set on 1. At 50 degree I have to set it on 2. On 40 degree (the coldest I've had it out shooting) I have to set it on 3. As an experiment in the colder (for Florida!) temps, I warmed up a few rounds (sat them on the black dashboard of the car with the sun directly shining on them) and found I didn't need to open the gas up more than for 70 degree or warmer temps for proper functioning.

    On my type 1 gas system (16" 5.56), steel case factory ammo also needs 1 click more open than brass case.

    FWIW category: I reload steel cases. My steel case reloads use the same gas setting as for brass case with flawless functioning. I suspect it's because the act of tumbling the steel cases smooths the outside finish so they are slicker than factory steel cases.
    I’ve seen where people reload steel but I’ve never had done it myself. I’d be interested in seeing your process for it if you have the time and gumption to post it up.

    And as for OP’s question about the barrel retention screw, yeah my input is the same as everyone else, just torque it down to spec. What I did was to take a marker and make a small witness mark on the bolt & receiver so that I could check it with just a quick look. It lets you tighten it back up after PMCS’ing your rifle without having to fiddle with the torque wrench again too. Other than that time I didn’t read the manual...never had a problem with it coming loose in the 12yrs I’ve owned an XCR.

    For your gas system just pay attention to how your rifle is acting. I think the manual that came with mine had instructions for using the highest gas setting for so many rounds to “wear and break-in the parts” or some such and then to dial it down until your ejection was at a distance of 10-15 feet IIRC. That’s the Gen 2 gas system instructions so the newer system wouldn’t be different to my mind. Each rifle will behave a little different with any given ammo and the environment you’re in will have its say as well.

    The XCR is a good, relatively simple rifle. I think you’ll like it.
    Sean K. likes this.
    When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose.

  10. #9
    Rifleman Whole Bunches's Avatar
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    "I’ve seen where people reload steel but I’ve never had done it myself. I’d be interested in seeing your process for it if you have the time and gumption to post it up."

    I reload steel just like reloading brass .223/5.56 using the same powder charge with 4 differences.

    1) Inside chamfer the case mouth the first time, otherwise the harder, sharp edge of the steel case can shave jacket material off the side of the bullet when being seated.

    2) While the case lube is between the sizing die and the steel case and keeps the two separated, I don't use any steel cases with rust showing, as I feel its presence could scratch the sizing die.

    3) Any steel cases picked up off the ground are checked to make sure they are boxer primed before resizing! I normally use a "brass" catcher, so that's normally not an issue for me. SOME Tula, Wolf, and Golden Tiger use boxer primers.

    4) If the steel case needs trimming, I throw it away. Tried trimming steel cases once and felt from the noise and pressure needed that it was gonna shorten the life of my trimmer cutter, and it was obviously harder than trimming brass.

    I use regular sizing dies (but recently switched to **small base as a new Ruger MPR AR had a tighter chamber). Reload a steel case enough times and the outside coating gets worn away resulting in a shiny case in places (no rusting, as my reloading equipment and reloads are kept in a dehumidified room). If it doesn't need trimming, the cases seem to go about 4-5 reloads before the case mouth developes a split.

    One interesting occurrence: I have a Model One Sales 20" govt profile chrome lined AR bbl that has failures to extract Factory ammo steel cases after firing, but my steel case reloads function perfectly in it. I suspect it's because the steel reloads are smoother on the outside than factory ammo due to having been tumbled from my reloading process (tumbled to clean and then tumbled to remove the case lube) and the finish wearing off from the resizing process.

    ** = Recently started using small base sizer. It used to be with a regular sizing die that steel cases went 4-5 reloads before being tossed for being too long. With the small base sizer, the steel seems to only go about 1-2 reloads before it's too long. Not sure what I'm gonna do about that...go back to a regular sizer for steel and not use them in the Ruger MPR AR, continue and simply toss more steel cases (with the added work of resizing only to find the cases too long), or simply stop reloading steel as I have lots of brass and keep the boxer primed fired steel cases in case they are ever needed due to shortages of brass.

    Bonus: At the range, if someone is using boxer primed steel case ammo, I've never had anyone say I couldn't have the cases, and in most instances they help pick it up for me...remember, on all steel picked up off the ground, check to make sure it's boxer primed. Bonus: I've never seen boxer primed steel .223,5.56 cases that had crimped in primers.
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  11. #10
    DSM
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    Do you think using a file trim die might give you more life from the steel case by getting to trim them or do you see them splitting before you get much return of investment reloading them? Sure it won’t be for mass production as it’s slower but makes wonder if there couldn’t be some sort of jig set up and even something like a drill press with the depth stop dialed in could be useful.

    Thanks for the run down. I’ve reloaded for about 20yrs now and love to learn new and different things. Things like the idea of turning 22LR brass into bullet jackets and then bullets blew my mind when I first read about it so long ago. Love tinkering with that stuff.
    When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose.

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