The Sharps Relia-Bolt

Relia-Bolt

The Sharps Rifle Company is selling a new AR-15 bolt called the Relia-Bolt.  Some of the features the new bolt offers are:

  • redesigned lugs to “…virtually eliminate the most common MSR malfunction, the bolt to barrel extension jam.”
  • machined from S7 tool steel for increased strength
  • NP3 coating
  • compatible with all AR-15/M-16 type rifles
  • lifetime warranty

However, one reader suggested the bolt could be fragile in very cold temperatures and might even break when used in sub-freezing temperatures.  What do you think?

Thanks to Zack for the tip.


Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Nathaniel Grim

    i live in alaska and love to shoot my AR10 and AR15 from DPMS. id LOVE to test out one of these bolts this winter hunting elusive blacktailed deer to see how they shoot and if they do become fragile (hint hint)

  • BillC

    “However, one reader suggested the bolt could be fragile in very cold temperatures and might even break when used in sub-freezing temperatures.”

    Maybe you could finish the “article” and expand on this possible concern? Just maybe?

    • JaxD

      This is one those “drive-by” articles. Very little info, but fills space on the site.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Nathan S. ” Staff Writer, TFB”

      Not sure where that comment came from. I did a cursory look into S7 and according to a metal’s company has excellent shock resistance in cold and warm weather.

      http://www.speedymetals.com/information/Material12.html

      • Cornelius Carroll

        The Barrett M82A1’s bolt is made of S7 fyi. From what I’ve been told, S7 is a bit more fickle to work with: machined and heat treated properly it will make a stronger and more durable part than Carpenter 158. In the wrong hands it will make a weaker and more fragile part.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        9310 has more impact strength than Carpenter158, yet S7 has more than triple the impact strength of 9310, which is what you want in a bolt. Hopefully Spikes Tactical will follow through on making a mil-spec cut bolt out of S7.

  • http://MadOgre.com/ George H Hill

    So… how much is it?

    • Joshua

      $160 for the bolt alone I believe. The same price as 3 BCM bolts.

      • hydepark

        This ^^ should be all you need to know. Get a lifetime’s worth of bolts, pack them in grease, and then probably die and get buried before you ever actually need to replace one.

        • Geodkyt

          If you burn through three milspec bolts (Hell, TWO bolts), your barrel is ready to be changed anyway, unless you LIKE shooting patterns rather than groups.

          And since you should really use a new bolt when you put a new barrel on. . .

          As for reliability — frankly, the only “bolt related” failures I’ve seen first hand were:

          1. Out of spec bolt, or barrel extension, or both. (Replace OOS parts).

          2. Lug shearing (replace bolt).

          3. Bolt over base/double feeds (90+% of the time, pull that worn-assed Gi mag out, smash it flat, and replace; it’s your feed lips that are out of spec.)

    • Jay

      I’ve seen them in the $100 range.

  • guest

    “What do you think?”

    The bolt should be tested, that’s what I think. Until that happens the theories are completely irrelevant.

    • iksnilol

      *hypotheses

      There is a difference.

      Another user commented that you can get three regular bolts for the price of this one, makes me doubt the worth of it. I doubt you are gonna wear out three bolts on your gun.

      • guest

        As the name suggests, it is supposed to be a more reliable bolt. Now given (theretically) your 3 standard bolts don’t wrok as well when it counts, this MAY be worth the money.
        But truth be told I am hoping to see someone do away with the multi-lug bolt of the AR and have a compact 2-lug bolt like Tikka has. The dimensions are very close, yet one is an intricate POS and the other a rock solid workhorse.

        But other than that I am honestly taken aback by the absolute worthlesness of theis TFB article… “here is a product… one amongst tens of thousands… we have not tested it and just written this 5-word article. So guys, what do you think?”

        Pulitzer right there.

        • Joshua

          Not sure which is a POS. The standard bolt does break but generally it will last 7,000 in a Mk18 and 8,000-10,000 in a M4A1.

          But the materials in this and the design could allow it to not break….who knows. I got one at nearly the same price as a BCM bolt to test.

          One could also say if it lasts twice as long as the standard bolt then 1 of these is cheaper than 2 Colt bolts…..but I don’t buy Colt bolts.

  • Sean

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/alternate-material-carpenter-158-a-199836/

    Here is a good discussion with some metallurgically knowledgeable fellows regarding AR-15 bolt machining. It’s funny how we fixate on branding when apparently carpenter 158 is just a brand name of a more widely available tool steel. I think the key to a durable bolt, as they say in the thread, is a hard “case” or outside of the part with a more “tough” interior. This allows the part to take surface stress without shearing off lugs. This is most likely the reason that AR bolts eventually shear off the lugs, they become too hard internally and just snap. Hardness and toughness in steel are two different animals, and having the right combination for the application is key. Interesting that S-7 is mentioned in the thread though, which as far as I know was posted before the reliabolt was made public.

    • CA

      What’s your point, that the bolt should be low carbon steel and case hardened?

  • J.T.

    redesigned lugs to “…virtually eliminate the most common MSR malfunction, the bolt to barrel extension jam.”

    I have never heard of that happening unless a part was broken or out of spec. It might be possible if the rifle was dirty enough, but you would have to fire far more ammo than a person could carry with themselves without cleaning for that to be an issue or pack the receiver extension full of mud.

  • opie7afe

    i find this bolt a gimmick, there was a discussion on weapons guild and most agree its just an expensive AR gimmick, are we really shooing tens of thousands of rounds without cleaning? no we are not. i really do not see a benefit to using this bolt, if your parts are in spec you should have no issues…this is just one of those products certain people will buy just because they need to try everything thats new. seems like another tac-con trigger in my opinion.

  • John

    LOL, those are HK SL8 shaped lugs. SL8 owners pay big bucks NOT to have lugs like look like that. That’s 200 to $300 to get the G36 bolt. If SL8 owners only knew they (double stack aside)….

    • CA

      I don’t understand what you just said.

      • John

        This is an HK SL8 bolt lug.

        http://www.hkparts.net/shop/pc/HK-SL8-Bolt-Head-Stripped-p1184.htm#.U35KlYm9Kc0

        It looks pretty similar to these re-designed super duper lugs. On an SL8 they are there to prevent the use of double stacked mags. SL8 owners hate it and pay a large premium to get rid of them. It’s just ironic.

        • CA

          But you can still use double stack mags with the Sharps. It’s not the same situation.

    • Joshua

      Yes and no. The SL8 has lugs shaped like that of the feed lugs. This does not.

  • dp

    With these tapered lugs, how the heck you get reliable round stripping from magazine. There is not much engagement, as it stands. That was with sheet metal magazine, plastic takes up even more space.

    • cutamerc

      Apparently they made a running change after someone made that exact observation. The two lowest lugs that strip rounds maintain the normal height all the way to the front.

  • Russ

    The most expensive part of any semi auto rifle is the ammo. If you have the jack to shoot enough to wear out a mil-spec bolt, you certainly have the money to tinker with different bolts. I would love to try and break JP, Noveske, Spikes, Colt, FN et al all day long if somebody would give me the chance! Shut up and buy one and 15K rounds and tell me what happens!

  • Joshua

    So I was able to pick one of these up for $70 today locally with my friends dealer discount. Figured for that price why not, that is just a few bucks more than a standard bolt and at that price I can mow give this bolt a try.

    I figure worste case it is just as good as a .mil bolt and best case far better. Would be interesting to see if this eliminates the bolt lugs breaking at the 8,000 mark in my M4A1.

  • Joshua

    Bit of info, these are now going for $80 direct from broadswordgroup, but it must be purchased through them as they are bypassing vendors and giving us the best price possible.