JTT: The Ten Cent Solution to Over-Gassing

rtv charging handle
| May 2, 2017
Categories: Learnin'

Today we are going to look at a problem that plagues those of us who have the courtesy and decency to shoot suppressed ARs: Over-gassing.

If you do not own a suppressor and are waiting for prices to come down, don’t want your name on a “List” or are waiting for God Emperor Trump to sign the Hearing Protection Act; you can go be poor somewhere else.

For the rest of you, read on.

Ten Cent Solution to Over-Gassing

What is over-gassing?

One thing we are not talking about is a poorly built rifle that is over-gassed. This is not a reflection on the builder or manufacturer per-se but refers to the build process performed by some barrel manufacturers in an effort to improve reliability as too much gas will allow cycling, whereas too little will cause problems.

If you are shooting your rifle and notice excessive recoil, improper ejection patterns, split cases, dinged cases, brass peening on your case deflector or an excessively dirty rifle complete with metal shavings; then you have a bigger problem and this solution is not for you. Check your gas port size. You may have to invest in a new gas block, heavier bolt carrier, buffer, action spring, etc. The adjustable gas block is a way to get around this and can actually help fine tune your rifle. However, unless you run suppressed and un-suppressed it is best as a “set it and forget it deal”. If you run quiet and loud make sure you can access the adjustment on the block.

If you are suffering these issues with an un-suppressed rifle, this fix will not help you. To be clear, you could do it, but you will be ignoring the real problem.

What we are looking at in this article is the increased back pressure and gas from using a silencer on your AR, particularly if you are using a gas system in the carbine or pistol length dimensions. We do not typically see this on full length rifle sized gas systems, but suppose it can happen.

If you only have one AR and do not mind spending the money you can go with a gas busting charging handle, a suppressed bolt (like those made by Gemtech) or various other fixes that eliminate the forward assist with a gas diverter.

You can do this, too if you want to spent the money. But everyone else, come with me.


The fix

The first thing you want to do is pick up a tube of Permatex High-Temp RTV Silicone Gasket Makter #26B (Red), brake cleaner and (optional) a release agent such as car wax, Chapstick or a non-stick spray like Pam.

Separate the upper and lower receiver’s and remove your bolt carrier group.

Degrease the rear of the upper and the top of your charging handle with the brake cleaner. If brake cleaner scares you, spend an extra $5 and buy Gun Scrubber. It is the same thing, but won’t upset the types who read too much.


Apply the release agent to the channel in the rear of the upper receiver where your charging handle locks. Some people do not like using this for whatever reason, but I advise it as the seal lasts longer over time.

Next, take the charging handle and apply the RTV around the inside relief of the topside of the charging handle that is C-shaped. Clean off the excess with a toothpick or hobby knife and insert it and the bolt carrier group into the rear of the upper receiver. Make sure you lock and latch the BCG and charging handle fully forward,


Let it sit so the sealer can cure for a few hours.

When it is dry, pull it open, it should come out easily. If you skipped the release agent you will need to use a knife to break the seal.

De-grease your upper to remove the release agent, re-lube, insert your bolt carrier, reassemble the rest of your rifle and you are good to go.

The next time you run a can on that rifle, you will not get the gas bukkake that you used to get.


Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!

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  1. Mike Birchfield, COL IN (Ret)

    Started to read the article, however you decided to be a insulting smartass in your second paragraph. So I have NO interest in ever reading about anything you have to say. You are welcome to your opinion and I am not compelled to not read articles from dickheads.

    • Jim Allen

      Lighten up there troop! If you don’t want to learn nobody’s forcing you.

      The man just offered a lot of us some real savings. For free!

      (from your post I have no doubt you were an officer, had a few like you)

      Thanks for the info Mike,


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