AR-15 FAQ

What is Melonite?

Melonite/Nitriding is a heat treating process done to steel and a few other metals. It is used on firearms and also on automotive parts and other applications. Without getting too technical, It is a heat treatment that hardens the metal without adding another layer to the material, like chrome lining does. There are different types of Nitriding used on metal. The process used on our barrels is called salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing, which is actually one of the most simple forms. The military chrome lines there barrels for a few reasons. It is very hard, it is corrosion resistant and it has better lubricity than the material it covers. The problem with chrome lining is that it can wear out and potentially effect accuracy. The bore on a chrome lined barrel needs to be over-drilled to compensate for the lining, which is not ideal. Melonite/Nitriding exceeds the chrome lining in almost every way and hardens the metal much deeper than chrome lining. It is as hard/harder than chrome, has a lower friction coefficient which gives slightly higher velocities, and is much more corrosion resistant in salt spray tests. Since Melonite/Nitriding is not an added layer, the negative effects of chrome lining are not had with the process. They have shown to last 30% longer than chrome lining. The extreme heat requires the barrel extension to be torqued/re-torqued after the treating process. If this is not done, the extension can come loose and cause a dangerous situation. We know of companies currently doing the treatment wrong. It’s important to have a company clarify this before you purchase. We pride ourselves on clarity and try to put as much info into our descriptions as possible.

Do I Need to Break-in My New Barrel?

We don’t think there is any special procedure that is cut and dry for breaking in a barrel. No multi step process. With that said, there are a few things that should be done to any new barrel. First, your new barrel was prepared for shipping and storage after being machined. Oil, grease, assembly lube, debris from packing, etc. are all inside your barrel. A good cleaning with a chamber brush and bore brush with CLP is important prior to the first shot being fired. This is to both remove the debris/oil/etc, as well as to ensure that debris does not harm the bore when the first rounds are fired. After that, clean as normal after each range session and put it away with a light coat of lube.

If I want to Break-in My New Barrel, What is a Good Procedure?

This is a procedure from Black Hole Weaponry for their barrels, but is a good rule for all new barrels.

**Clean your barrel prior to firing the first round!

5 rounds of copper jacket bullets, clean with non-copper removing solvent, clean with patch, repeat process for a total of 60 rounds.
We recommend shooting a good quality copper jacket bullet.

What is LiFe HD®

The new LiFe HD® (Lithium & Iron) process is a proprietary process similar to Melonite/QPQ, but with better options. The LiFe HD® process creates a smoother (less porosity) surface finish, this imparts higher corrosion (twice the corrosion resistance as QPQ) resistance and lubricity characteristics. The hardness and depth are almost identical to QPQ, but LiFe HD® accomplishes it’s goal with a single one step procedure compared to the multi-step processes of QPQ (quench polish quench). A more uniform/deeper black finish also seems to be a byproduct of the process. There are no apparent downfalls of the process. We are one of the first companies to offer this treatment, but look for it to become more popular in the future.

How Do I Order a Stripped Lower or Complete Firearm?

Use YOUR billing information on the checkout page. Then have your dealer email us a copy of their FFL to info@integrityarmssurvival.com and be sure to have them reference your name & order number. If you have a special condition where you need us to contact your FFL we will try to accommodate, but it is the buyers responsibility to ensure we get the required paperwork in order for us to fulfill the order.

Explain your accuracy guaranty

Any time you get an accuracy guarantee from a manufacturer, there is a certain level of expectation from the customer. You cannot go to walmart and get a $6.00 box of ammo and go shoot half inch groups off the hood of your truck. The following MUST be done in order to get the best accuracy out of any barrel, and in order to utilize the guarantee. Match grade or reloaded ammo loaded and ‘tuned’ to your barrel, magnified optic in a good mount/rings, match trigger, locked in a bench, proper trigger control/follow through. If you think your barrel won’t shoot to it’s guarantee AND you have done all these things, send it back and we will test it. If it doesn’t perform for us, we will replace it or refund your money at our discretion. If it does shoot as advertised, you will be responsible for shipping back to you. We are shooters first, so please do your due diligence before questioning the barrel. Integrity defines our work ethic, so if it won’t shoot we will take care of it.

My Aero Precision Upper Forge Mark – It’s Not Aero!? What Do Forge Markings Mean?

Forge markings refer to who supplied the raw forging…that’s it. The machine shop finishing the upper receiver has nothing to do with the forge mark on the upper. The ‘split A’ evident on many Aero Precision upper receivers is the sign of the forging house Anchor Harvey and has nothing to do with the finished product. We are a direct distributor for Aero Precision and have seen them use forgings from Anchor Harvey, Cerro Forge (keyhole), Brass Aluminum (square) and others. Again, the forge mark on the upper has nothing to do with the company who finishes the upper and sells the finished product. All major companies have used varied raw forgings (different forge marks) at some point based on supply and availability. If you’re still concerned, contact Aero Precision directly.

Are All Melonite Barrels Equal?

While the majority of the treatments are similar, the process it’s done is not. There is a correct way to treat a barrel, and an incorrect way. The barrel you get for an AR is essentially 2 pieces, the barrel itself and the barrel extension. The correct way to treat a barrel is to have them treated while the barrel is separate from the extension. This allows for the threads to be cleaned before the extension is torqued. If this is not done, there will be ‘salt bleed’ into the threads. There are also different expansion and contraction rates for the barrel and extension. There have been cases where the extension has come loose from the barrel and this is why. Having the extension come loose can be dangerous. If a company does not specify that they treat the barrel and extension separately (correctly), you should assume that they do it incorrectly. The alignment pin that guides the barrel into the upper WILL NOT keep the extension from coming loose. All of our Melonite barrels are treated correctly – the extension and barrel done while separate, threads cleaned, and then the extension torqued. This is the correct way.

How Can I Tell If My Melonite barrel Was Done Correctly?

While there are many aspects to Melonite/Nitride treating, we feel the most important is having the barrel separate from the extension during the process (read our other FAQ about this). One good way to inspect your barrel for this is the look at the markings. This is only an indicator if they were engraved and not just laser marked. Engraving cuts through the surface of the steel. If the engraving was done after the Melonite treatment, the markings would be raw steel and the rest of the barrel black. If done prior to the treatment, the markings would match the rest of the barrel, since the treatment is a full immersion. If the extension and barrel were correctly separated during treatment, there is no way to align the markings top dead center and properly torque the extension to spec, since there is no way to know where the gas port will be drilled prior to torqueing the extension. If the engraving was done prior to treatment, the markings would be off center. To sum it up, a properly treated Melonite barrel would not have engravings top dead center.

Who makes our barrels?

We get this question a lot. While we understand a persons quest for knowledge, we do not disclose who produces them. This is actually a fairly common practice with many industry leaders. We do however take care of all warranty issues, as well as offer a 15 day no questions asked return policy for ANY reason on our barrels.

What length barrel do I need?

This question can be very broad. I will try and simplify it, but there are many variables that I do not cover. The majority of people out there will be just fine with a 16 inch barrel. The max effective range on a point target for the M16 (20 inch barrel) is 550 meters and for the M4 (14.5 inches) is 500 meters. The greater maneuverability from a shorter barrel and lightened load usually outweighs the 50 potential extra yards gained by the longer barrel (The range doesn’t magically appear in a 20in barrel, but it does generally increase velocity which can give more range). With practice you may be able to realize greater range. For those who shoot high power matches or like to get the most range from their barrel, I would go with a 20 inch barrel. 18 inches seems to be an intermediate for those who would like the best of both worlds. The term SPR (Special Purpose Rifle) usually refers to a rifle with an 18 inch barrel. If you want something strictly for close quarters battle situations, a shorter barrel would be ideal. A 10.5 inch barrel is a popular choice for this situation. Keep in mind that federal law requires an NFA stamp for any rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, or 14.5 with a permanently attached muzzle device.

Which should I get: Carbine, Mid-Length, or Rifle Gas Systems?

Think about the gas systems in terms of how much barrel length is left after the gas port. When the barrel has more length after the gas port, the bullet is in the barrel longer giving more time to push more gas through the gas port and into the gas key in the Bolt Carrier. The shorter the barrel is after the gas port, the smaller the amount of gas that goes into the gas port (because more escapes out of the muzzle first). More gas into the gas port = harder recoil which equals a more violent reaction and more wear on the parts. This is the reason that a mid-length gas system on a 16 inch barrel will have slightly less recoil than a carbine gas system on a 16 inch barrel. If you measure from the gas port to the end of the A2 flash hider on a 16″ barrel with carbine-length gas system, you will get approximately 9.5”, from the gas hole to the end of the A2 flash hider on a 20″ barrel with rifle length gas system is approximately 7.5”, from the gas hole to the end of the A2 flash hider on a 16″ barrel with mid-length gas system is approximately 7.5″, from the gas hole to the end of the A2 flash hider on a 14.5″ barrel with carbine-length gas system is approximately 7.5″. Notice that only the 16 inch barrel with carbine gas has a longer barrel length after the gas port (called dwell time). This means that it will blow more gas back into the carrier, give harder recoil, and put more stress on parts. This is a big reason the military uses 14,5 inch barrels on their Carbine M4’s. If you have an AR with a 16 inch barre/carbine gas and it runs good, don’t think twice. They normally work well and the majority of people will not realize a big difference as the weapons recoil is generally very soft. If you are in the market for a new rifle, I would choose another option.

What work can you do on my rifle?

We are set up as Armorers, not Gunsmiths. What does this mean to you? Basically it means if you have a rifle that is not functioning correctly, 99% of the time we can get it going right. We can troubleshoot it, check tolerances and inspect parts for proper operation and usually repair the problem. If you want M4 feedramps “machined” into your upper or barrel extension, or the threads on your barrel/upper receiver cleaned up, we can do that too. If your crown has an imperfection that is effecting accuracy, we can usually fix that too. We are not set up as a Gunsmith shop, and will not attempt to tackle a problem we do not have the tools for. In that situation, we would refer you to a Gunsmith and not charge you any labor fees. Give us a call if you have any questions.

Why should I buy from Integrity Arms?

We know there are many good companies out there to choose from. At Integrity Arms, we want to earn your business. We feel we build our products with more attention to detail than any other company. All of our rifles are built with 100% American Made parts. Our company products are machined in state-of-the-art machine shops, and our accessories are from industry leaders. It is our stance that an ultra reliable rifle does not have to cost a fortune, and that the customer should have the ability to chose the options that will go on his/her rifle. If there is a configuration not listed that you want, call or email us and we will send you a detailed invoice for clarification before we build it. Our builder is a prior Active Duty Marine with a civilian Armorers Certification who knows the rifle system very well. We know how the rifle works and will make sure it is functioning optimally before we ship. Our focus is on quality and not quantity. This means we take the time to do things most other shops do not do, such as bedding the barrel to the receiver to fill in any microscopic imperfections and give better accuracy as well as many other details. Some people don’t think they matter. We think it does. We will NEVER treat you like we are doing you a favor by being in business. We are confident that you will be satisfied and will work to that goal.

What caliber should I choose for my AR Upper/Rifle?

This question can have a fairly long answer and opinions tend to play a big role as well. 5.56mm/.223 would be the most popular choice from the options we have. The rounds are fairly cheap and plentiful, and performance is good. With the various bullet choices out there for 5.56, it is easy to use it for anything from a home defense round to a plinking round to a hunting round. I would recommend the 5.56mm if it was your first AR or if you dont have one in that caliber. The 6.8spc has the most muzzle energy between the 3 choices. It has good barrier penetration and good terminal ballistics. The 6.8spc should be able to take any sized game in North America. Very powerful round in the AR platform and performs best out to about 300 yards. The 300 Blackout is a .30 caliber round with good ballistics. It does not perform quite as well as the 6.8spc because it uses a re-sized 5.56mm case and therefore is limited in the amount of powder it can hold. It still has more energy than 5.56, but does not have the range. It could be a good home defense round also because it has less flash, softer recoil, and the report is not nearly as loud even without a suppressor. There are pros and cons to all 3. Keep in mind that the 5.56 and 300BLK have interchangeable bolts and magazines, 6.8spc requires a different bolt and magazine. So the obvious answer to the initial question would be…get all 3;)

What products can I have shipped directly to me? What products require a Dealer?

In the Case of an AR-15, the ATF considers the serial numbered lower receiver, whether stripped or complete, the actual firearm. This part must be shipped to a licensed Dealer in order for them to complete the background check and transfer it to you. Call around to find a dealer with reasonable fees. WE MUST have their license info on file before we can ship the lower. All other parts including complete upper receivers are not regulated by the ATF and can be shipped to your door.

What will you charge to fix my AR-15?

We charge a minimum of $35 to look at it and assess the problem. Since each problem is different, we encourage you to call us and explain your problem. We will write you an invoice with an estimate that is based on your description of the problem. If the costs will exceed the estimate, we will contact you before continuing so that we can get approval from you. Shipping costs will be the responsibility of the gun owner.

What is your refund policy?

There will be no refunds or exchanges on firearms for obvious reasons. If it has a defect due to our workmanship, we will repair or replace the item at our discretion. All non-firearm products may be returned within 30 days in the same condition it left us, and as long as it was not installed or used. A 20% restocking fee applies to all returns. See our ‘Terms and Conditions’ page for more info.

What are you Terms and Conditions by state?

All firearms must go to a current FFL holder and must be on file before we ship. We try to stay current on gun laws, but it is impossible for us to know the laws of each and every locality. It is the buyers responsibility to know their local laws. Here are a few magazine restrictions we are aware of.

Hawaii: No handgun magazine above 10 rounds.
Maryland: No magazine above 20 rounds.
Massachusetts: No magazine above 10 rounds.
New Jersey: No magazine above 15 rounds.
New York: No magazine above 10 rounds.
Washington DC: No magazine above 10 rounds.
Chicago, IL: No magazine above 12 rounds.
Aurora, IL: No magazine above 15 rounds.
Oak Park, IL: No magazine above 10 rounds.
South Bend, IN: No magazine above 15 rounds.
California: No magazine above 10 rounds.

How can I contact you?

All general questions, and any others if at all possible should be submitted by email to info@integrityarmssurvival.com. If you have a technical question, please call 414-807-4763 as we are here to help. For customer service questions, please call 706-708-7196. If you wish, you may also click the contact button at the upper right corner of this page and fill out the contact form.

What is your shipping policy and how much does it cost?

We stock what we sell, so most products will ship within 2-3 business days and sometimes sooner. Please allow an extra day for rifles and complete upper receivers as they are built to order and do require a bit of our attention. Should an extended delay arise, we will contact you and let you know. Our prices are simple. For the lower 48 states/CONUS – there is the option of free shipping if the order is over $100 or an $8.95 flat rate. The flat rate will typically be shipped Priority mail whereas the free shipping will typically be a bit slower (parcel post). Orders under $100 are $8.95. Shipping typically includes USPS, but could be FedEx or UPS with delivery confirmation/tracking info. Please contact us if you would like any special or extra services and we will reply promptly. If you order by any way other than on the website, regardless if the order is over $100, there will be an $8.95 shipping charge applied. Thank you.

How do I place an order?

Simply add the items you wish to purchase to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout.

Will my credit card number be secure?

Our checkout process is extremely secure. We have our own dedicated SSL certificate. Our shopping cart is integrated with Payment Alliance International (PAI). PAI is partnered with the NRA and has an A rating with the BBB. We take your privacy very seriously and will never sell, trade or give away ANY of your personal information.

MonoVault?

The Mono Vault product line was conceptualized with burial applications in mind. The “s” designation for “standard wall” has a nominal wall thickness of 1/4″. In a vertical orientation, the Burial Shield (cap) directs water off and away from the gasketed lid within providing an additional level of protection for the stored contents. What might one bury? Food, water purifying means, medicine, guns, ammunition, cleaning kit, spare parts, first aid supplies, money, gold, silver, jewelry, important documents or copies, deeds, stocks, radio, cyalume sticks, shelter, basic survival gear, basic tools, clothing, etc. It can be buried for extended periods of time without worrying about corrosion. The Burial Shield also protects the lid from damage due to human traffic though we do recommend adequate soil cover to disperse such loads. For more ideas on general burial and recovery methods, search the Internet. There are a lot of folks out there sharing their thoughts and experiences. Also, check out the manufacturers website, storeguns.com, for extensive information, tips and detailed specifications. As always, call or email us if you have any questions.

Can you tell me about your Limited Lifetime Warranty?

We offer a limited lifetime warranty on all complete Upper Receivers and Rifles we sell. The limited part means that as the owner (buyer), you have a responsibility to maintain your equipment in a proper manner. Rifles get fouled up from normal shooting and require cleaning. It is your decision on how to maintain your rifle, but be advised that a failure to maintain can cause malfunctions. There are also normal wear items on a rifle that are not covered. SHOOTING ANY RELOADS WILL VOID ALL WARRANTIES. We also recommend you clean your barrel after every range trip. Powder, Lead, copper etc take a toll on metal and we will not cover damage due to negligence. It is our intention to stand behind our product, but we must first verify it was not due to negligence. So with that said, we will repair or replace (at our discretion) any part that fails due to a fault of ours or a manufacturers defect. Our goal is to make our customers happy and to build reliable rifles. We will stand behind them.

Is all ammo good to use/warrantied in your rifles/uppers?

We test our uppers and rifles with U.S. military spec brass cased new ammunition. With so many variations out there (quality level, pressure levels, etc), we will only warranty them with new brass cased ammo. We do not warranty our uppers or rifles with reloads or steel cased ammo. Furthermore, please take caution in knowing what ammo is safe to shoot in your gun. There are many different .223 and 5.56×45 loads on the market, and the manufacturers of such ammo do not recommend all of them for every AR. For example, Hornady Performance Match 5.56 NATO 75gr BTHP is only recommended for AR’s with a rifle length gas system. We take every precaution to ensure the safety of our customers, but please take the time to research and buy quality ammo that was made for your gun. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Should I Shoot Brass or Steel Cased Ammo in my AR?

This question comes up often. We choose to shoot brass case ammo exclusively, but probably not for the reasons most people would think. This article sums it up better than any we’ve read, and should answer any questions you have.

http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/

What Is Your Return Policy?

Our goal is a satisfied customer. Should you need to return an item, please contact us prior to shipping so we can give you the right information to expedite the process. Some returns will incur a 20% restocking fee, others will require us to verify the issue. The restocking fee is mainly for those who have changed their mind or simply decided they don’t need/want it. The fee is to cover some of the cost of packing & shipping supplies and fees, credit card fees, and paying employees to ship your item. Rest assured that we will always take care of the customer even after the sale. If you return an item with the intent to swap it out for another, actual shipping will be charged to ship the new product to you.

Why won’t you answer my emails?

Patience grasshopper. We literally get dozens (if not more) emails a day. We try and answer every single one of them in a timely manner. If you do not hear back from us within a week, please try again or call. We are not ignoring you.

The item I bought is now on sale. Can I get a refund?

If an item you bought goes on sale within 10 days of your purchase date, we will split the difference with you and issue the credit in the form of store credit.

 

What kind of accuracy can I expect from my barrel?

This question is too broad to give a definite answer. We never give accuracy guarantees on any of our barrels mainly because most people do not realize what it takes to shoot accurately. Many people think you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a box of $5.00 ammo and shoot 1/2in groups off the bed of their truck. In order to get the highest level of accuracy from any barrel, the shooter needs to reload and ‘tune’ the ammo to their specific barrel. Two identical caliber barrels from the same run, can still shoot very different.

With all that said, most of our barrels will shoot better than most peoples’ abilities, including our own. If the shooter does everything right, accuracy will follow. Read some of our reviews and you will see accuracy ranging from sub-MOA to 3″ groups and everything in between.

Keep in mind we offer a 15 day no questions asked refund policy for any reason, including accuracy. If you are not satisfied within that time frame, return it for a full refund. Barrels must be received at our facility within 15 days of the customer receiving the barrel in order to get the refund. After that, manufacturers defects are still covered.

I put my rifle together and i’m having issues…I think its the part(s) I bought

In the era of the ‘build it yourself AR’, we get this a lot. People shop different companies to get deals on their parts, and then attempt to build them into a complete gun. Often times it goes together smoothly…occasionally it does not. The conclusion from the builder? “It must be the parts I used”. While it can be relatively easy to put together a rifle, we have noticed that the problem comes when there are issues after assembly. It’s a problem because many people have no idea how to properly diagnose an AR, so therefore they resort to being ‘parts changers’. Of course, sometimes the parts can be at fault, but in our experience it is usually improper assembly procedures.

If you suspect a part we sold you is bad, we will gladly inspect it for you to ensure serviceability. If the part is defective, we will replace it no question. HOWEVER, if we have to do anything other than an inspection, i.e. assembling an upper to show proper function and the part we sold you is NOT the problem, you will be charged for labor/ammo, etc.

If you send back a complete upper that you assembled, our policy is to disassemble it and reassemble it before firing. There is approx 55,000 PSI going through this barrel at certain points. We will not be the guinea pigs. If it turns out that the assembly was correct and it is indeed a defective part, we won’t charge you a dime, and we will get you squared away.

Our intention is to have satisfied customers who continue to spend their hard earned money with us. We do everything in our power to assure you get a quality product. Occasionally we ship out something that is not in spec. We stand by what we sell and will always make it right. However, please understand where we are coming from. As always, please contact us BEFORE you purchase something so we can help you make the right choice.