M4 barrel fell off

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

“FREEFALLE7”, a Ranger Instructor, posted the above photo at AR15.com. A student, on arrival at the Swamp phase of Ranger School, showed him his M4 and said “my barrel fell off”. His punishment for not telling an instructor at the Mountain phase (the previous phase) about the broken M4 was to be given a M240, which weights 27 lbs, as a replacement.

Keith J came up with a plausible theory of how this happened

Salt water in the threads. Steel rusts. Steel in contact with aluminum. Aluminum then oxidizes, reducing the rust to iron dust. Joint remains tight until it is abused, then it just falls apart.

This all started when the barrel was installed and it was tightened a bit too much, causing the anodizing to crack

Of course this would have happened over a long period of time and use.

Thanks to Jay for the link.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Darian Darian on Aug 13, 2011

    @ Asclepius... The string was obviously tied there AFTER the failure as a way to ensure both pieces of the weapon were kept together..

  • Michael DeAmicis Michael DeAmicis on Feb 22, 2013

    The armorer fucks up and the punish the grunt. Go figure. This is how the military loses so much talent to the civilian andprivate contracting areanas. Better pay and a small fraction of the assinine bullshit.