Common Misunderstandings With An AR 15 Gas Block

For those new to the use and maintenance of an AR 15 rifle, a lot of the terminology and specialized components can be more than a bit confusing. The gas system, in particular, can be a bit of a puzzle for those new to AR 15 ownership.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of poor quality information online about the AR 15 gas system. One of the most common misunderstandings out there is about the AR 15 gas block.

To help new AR 15 gun owners, let’s take a closer look at this component and what is required to maintain the block and what is just advertising to try to sell you something that is completely unnecessary.

The Function

The AR 15 gas block is a small component with porting adjustments, at least on some models, that allows the gas from the top of the barrel to exit the barrel, move through the gas block and then be directed in a 90 degree turn into the gas tube.

This, in effect, harnesses the power of the gasses released when the weapon fires. The gas moves through the block down the gas tube and then into the action to the top of the bolt carrier group. This, in turn, moves the bolt carrier group to move backward, causing the bolt to pull the empty case out of the chamber and out the ejection port.

The next step is to get the full extension and have the bolt carrier group travel forward, stripping the next round from the magazine and pushing it into the chamber.

Maintaining the Block

As the AR 15 gas block is exposed to gas at a very high pressure from the barrel, there is a very limited risk of any material collecting in the port. In general, there will be no need to clean or to maintain the inside of the port or the block. However, in some cases, it may be essential to adjust the porting to increase or decrease the amount of gas moving through the gas system.

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