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Discussion Starter #1
I forgot to mention an important test.

Once you have a complete AR-15 upper receiver assembled, here's how to test your work.

Hold the completed assembly out in front of you. Make sure that the upper is in a horizontal position. Making sure that the charging handle is locked, stick your finger into the back of the bolt carrier and draw the bolt carrier assembly fully to the rear.

With the bolt carrier assembly fully to the rear, depress the muzzle so that it points towards the floor at a 45 degree angle. The bolt carrier should then fall forward as a result of its own weight and the bolt should lock.

If the bolt locks this way, it means that the bolt carrier key and gas tube are properly aligned. It also means that you probably used quality parts for your build.

If the bolt will not lock home, check the carrier key. Is it loose or misaligned? Is the gas tube properly installed? Or do you have a bent gas tube? Is your bolt carrier properly lubricated?

If you are at a gunshow looking over upper receiver assemblies, you might also want to keep this test in mind.

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