Gwinn Firearms Bushmaster Field Strip (Original Bushmaster Rifle)

The Gwinn Firearms Bushmaster Rifle is an ugly thing, cursed with a bulky slab-sided aluminum receiver and a blocky overall appearance, but chambered in 5.56 with the ability to accept M16 magazines. So what makes this ugly duckling tick?

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C with TFB TV, and for today’s field strip, we’re going to be taking a look at a Gwinn Firearms Bushmaster rifle.

This was actually the original Bushmaster.

They made this and a gun called the Arm, which was kind of a weird swiveling pistol, which you can look up on the Internet if you want to read more about the Arm pistol.

But they basically kind of both have the same action in they were made by Gwinn Firearms starting in the 70s, designed in the late 70s and produced into the 80s.

It is kind of cool to see Bushmaster rifle engraved on this before Bushmaster really made AR-15s and M16s.

So, very unique looking gun, if not very ugly at the same time.

Very simple.

Basically slap sides and the receiver and everything like that, with a 20-inch barrel.

Nothing really out of the ordinary on this gun.

You know, at this point in time, making guns out of aluminum wasn’t new or revolutionary at all.

I just think it was basically a low-cost alternative to the M16.

But it actually field strips somewhat similarly at the beginning.

Remove the rear takedown pin and the upper and lower receiver will separate from one another.

At this point, you’re gonna remove the rear sight, which is unusual for sure.

I know of no other gun that actually does this as part of the required field stripping process.

Next up, you’re gonna remove this little retaining clip, and set it aside so you do not lose it.

After you have that removed, you can slide the bullet carrier group away from the rear of the receiver.

Now, the next step is going to be disassembling the bullet carrier group, and if you’ve disassembled an AR-15, M16, then you should be able to do this as well.

Just go ahead and pop out your firing pin retaining pin, remove your firing pin from the rear.

Go ahead and pop that cam pin out of there.

And then the bolt will come out of the front.

Now of course, you can also remove the extractor from the bolt.

So realistically, this part of the disassembly process is not that much different than an M16s.

And this is actually all you have to do to field strip this gun, it being a piston-operated gun is somewhat simple.

It’s a simple gun all in all.

It’s not attractive, like I said earlier, but I don’t guess that matters, because they do actually run and they run pretty dang well.

They have an M16 fire control group as well, so I guess in theory you could pop that trigger group out and put in a fancy trigger.

However, I’m not going to spend any money on this aside from maybe cleaning patches and whatnot every now and then for when I shoot it.

I can do a review on this if you guys want.

It’s just such a weird, strange gun that I really don’t think about a whole lot because an M16, AR-15 is a much better gun, they’re still being made today, and they’re more fun to shoot.

But this is kind of an interesting footnote in firearm history, as it is the predecessor to the modern Bushmaster Company, and the Arm pistol like I said is also an interesting curiosity.

At this point, I’d like to thank Ventura Munitions for helping us out with our videos, guys.

We hope to see you all next time.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • FWIW: The Gwinn Bushmaster ARM was derived from Dale M. Davis’ patent.

    https://www.google.com/patents/US3611872

  • Swarf

    I don’t know, man. I still think it’s better looking than any new AR.

  • Lance

    Always looks like a South African R-4 knock off.

    • ChierDuChien

      More of a crude Stoner 63 knockoff.
      Many of the small parts are M16 – bolt (modified), firing pin, fcg etal. Some brass shims and hand-fitting, too.

      • roguetechie

        This is actually an advantage when owning an obscure firearm. You can actually use it without fear of parts being unavailable. Also for crazy people like me who have more machine tools than sense, it’s a great inspiration.

  • n0truscotsman

    This is one of the coolest firearms I have seen posted from here.

    Why did this thing not take off? Was it another victim of the AR15’s cruel crusade of popularity?

    It reminds me a bit of the T2 Mk5, although a bit more simplified.

  • Mikial

    Cool gun and very intriguing. I wouldn’t call it ugly, just utilitarian. And in the end, that’s what I value most in any gun.