How easy is it to warp ar barrel

I started a new ar build using an aero m4e1 5.56 upper that I just got in the mail. The first thing I did was remove the a2 flash hider that came with it and replace it with an aftermarket one. When I was taking it off with an armorers wrench it was extremely tight to the point that the torque was flexing the barrel to the right a lot before I eventually got it off.

This might sound like a stupid question but is it possible that the barrel might have permanently warped from it flexing from the torque?

8 Likes

Wow, that is scary, but I bet it flexed back ok, you’ll find out if you’re shooting around corners :grin:

8 Likes

I doubt it. They got it on there with the same torque that it took to get it off. But to make sure look inside and see if the rifling got straightened out after they got the rifling twisted in there correctly at the factory.

I think I would have given it a few hits with an impact wrench to free it up. Or given it some heat and some skunk piss sprayed on it to get sucked in as it cooled off. FWIW, I’ve had to use an impact wrench on a shotgun barrel to remove a muzzle device and I did it with an impact wrench. You know how thin those walls are on a shotgun barrel, right? I was hesitant, but that’s what the instructions said and they were right. How much torque does a drive shaft handle and they are alot thinner than a rifle barrel.

7 Likes

funny you should mention a “over” torqued muzzle device - there a couple new rifles out there shoot 2-3 moa but once the flash hider is removed suddenly start shooting 1/2-1 moa.
the elasticity of steel is pretty good for rotation force and would require excessive heat for it not to return to it’s original state. Believe or not you localize heat something when you apply torque but it is of such a sort duration not to matter.
Consider a screw jack (in essence a threaded barrel and muzzle device), how much compressive energy is applies on such a small area.

6 Likes

This might be a stupid question, but was the barrel still in the upper, and did you have the barrel or the upper clamped down?

I’ve seen a ton of flex occur in the upper receiver while doing muzzle devices, it’s amazing how much elasticity steel and (some grades) of aluminum can have.

Either way, I’ll bet you are okay as long as your flex was in a rotational direction. If you were pulling down hard, or towards you hard there is a slight possibility of bending the barrel if the profile is light enough.

6 Likes

I have a titanium hammer that I found flex’s pretty amazingly

6 Likes

I’m interested in hearing about that one…care to share? :grin:

5 Likes

Barrels actually flex when firing. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

4 Likes

Stepped on in once, it flexed under my wieght, was pretty suprised

5 Likes

A good bit of info and insight here about bends in barrels;

9 Likes

Who knew? Sometimes solutions to big problems are very simple. Just stick a thumb in it. Or here, just whack it against a log.

8 Likes