Giveaway: AR-15 Guide With Torture-Test Gun Reviews

Yes, he blasted it with a shotgun. Looks like that mag might be toast.

** This giveaway has ended, but be sure to check the Inside Gun Digest Books blog for more chances to win great Gun Digest books.**

When Patrick Sweeney said he was going to put a batch of ARs through some intense torture testing to do gun reviews, we had no idea he'd go this far.

To find out just how much abuse these ARs could withstand, Sweeney:

  • Buried them in dirt and sand
  • Submerged them in water
  • Dropped them from heights
  • Ran them over with trucks
  • Froze themGun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. 4
  • Blasted them with a shotgun

And then he fired them, documenting the entire process in photos! The results appear in Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Volume 4.

This week, we're giving away a copy of Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Volume 4 to one lucky winner. To enter the random drawing, just post a comment below telling us about the worst conditions your gun has been subjected to (intentional, or not!) and still functioned.

Or, as always, you can just say you’d like to win the giveaway.

Entries will be accepted until midnight Wednesday (March 6, 2013) and we’ll announce the winner Thursday (March 7) in the Inside Gun Digest Books blog.

Good luck!

For the curious, chapters in Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Volume 4 include:

  • Adcor
  • Cute Little 300s
  • 300 AAC Blackout
  • 300 Whisper
  • CMMG .300 Blackout
  • Wilson 762
  • Alexander Arms .17 HMR
  • Delton Tapco
  • SIG 516
  • Stag Arms 3G
  • .223 Vs. 5.56: What's the Problem?
  • Chambering Rounds
  • Heat ‘Em Up
  • Serial Firearms Abuse
  • Extra Tests
  • Magazines
  • Optics & Sights Gear
  • SBRS, Cans & Comps, Oh My
  • Do we really need these rings?
  • Plus hundreds of additional tips covering AR-15 accessorizing and maintenance!


  • One entry per person, please.
  • Entries accepted until 11:59 pm Central Time Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
  • Winner will be selected at random and announced Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Official Rules


  1. I was the DOD/DCMA Production (Industrial Specialist) Pre-Award Survey on the follow-on Carbine submitted by the ADCOR Defense Corp. I was so impressed by the design and performance of the ADCOR B.E.A.R. Elite (Piston) M-4 that I purchased an AR-15 B.E.A.R. Elite when I retired.

    I am very pleased that Gun Digest did a review on the ADCOR B.E.A.R. Elite, Please enter me into the drawing for a free review copy.

  2. Dropped my Walther into the toilet accidentally, as I was pulling up my pants! What a crappy mess I had to clean up. Yes – I did clean it and yes it still works fine.

    Ed in Columbus, OH

  3. The worts conditions any gun could be subject to is to be left in the safe, neglected and unloved. I’m afraid I’ve put my guns through that torture once or twice.

  4. I put a 1500 rounds with out cleaning to see if I would get a stoppage on my S&W M&P15-22P…it ran like a champ. Please put me in the drawing! Thanks!

  5. I have submitted this weapons system to all kinds of terrible conditions during 2 tours in Iraq. My own AR is used in tactical training exercises during which it gets in the water, mud, dirt and snow, and with proper cleaning and maintenance it works flawlessly. It started out as a Windham Weaponry AR but I have done work to the weapon and now its a mixture of many different brands to make the best rifle. Thanks for allowing me to enter your contest.

  6. I would like to win a new AR in case the one I already own goes T.U. I still have room in my safe for another weapon.

  7. I don’t have an AR (yet), but I did dump my old Mini-14 into a lake once when a canoe flipped. No harm to it, me or the canoe…

  8. I recently purchased a Stag Model-8. I tend to baby my firearms so there hasn’t been any extremes. I have to say that out of the box, stock sights, this model 8 was spot on and extremely accurate. Thanks for the opportunity to try to win this book.

  9. Went to the range last week and the shells would not eject after each shot. They would eject manually, no problem. Took the AR-15 home, disassembled the front sight and found that the sight block was not all of the way back so the port hole for the gas was partially blocked. Reassembled the rifle and returned to the range the next day and everything worked as it should. Big sigh of relief. This is a newly assembled piece. Now has about 120 rounds through it so I am satisfied that all is well.

  10. I recently bought a 5.56 carbine, about 3 months ago. I had taken it to diffent range,s to test fire and sight in. I recently joined a group that does a more informal 3 gun style shoot. The shoot was on a Sunday, so the Friday before I went to a range for some practice. I had fired about 40 rounds and while firing a shot, the hand guard came completely loose. I was in the middle of a shot! I have a vertical foregrip I was using, which is attatched to hand guard. This resulted in a quite errant shot! Very fortunately, It was an indoor range and no harm was done, well to nobody else or equipment. But to me, tended to scare the &%@$ out of me because I realized the pontentially disasterous situation had been avoided. I was done for the night! Went home, retightened and made the shoot Sunday.

  11. Have two Stags would not dream about doing things like this to them they are to hard to get these days but can’t wait to read how they stood up

  12. Left my SR 556 in the back of my Jeep, when I did get to fire it it was loaded with dog hairs. Smelled funny from the burning fur.

  13. Definitely not a worst case condition, or anywhere near it, but the worst shooting session with my AR was in
    -10ºF temps, shooting 25 year old Brazilian ammo. Getting the first round to fire was a chore (too thick lube?), but after the first round, the gun functioned like clockwork.

    And yes, I’d like to be entered into the drawing!

  14. The worst thing (in all honesty) my AR15 has survived is my attempts to improve it. So far, it is still shooting reliably and accurately; more luck than anything.

  15. Hmmm, I’ve never tortured any of my guns, so this book would be nice for those “what if” ponderations . . .

  16. I don’t have my gun yet, so I haven’t tortured it. Soon though — the gun, not the torture. But I would like to win the book so I will be ready.

  17. I’ve had my Mauser k98 get completely rusted from where I was storing it. It took some time to get most of the rust off. I’m usually really good at keeping my rifle clean and oiled, but I had neglected it for a while and it was full of rust!

  18. Quality ammo x3000 in one day for an AR is no problem-done it. Loading that many 30rd mags on the other hand is a real handbreaker…

  19. Hello, In the 70s and 80s I was a cop, worked Night shift by myself mostly, no Backups, no radio contact away from the car. My wife found me an AR-15 and a gob of Grey aluminum 30 rd. mags. I had got started in reloading, so here came the dies, reloading books, and 1000 rounds of once fired brass. The AR became my core Training go to gun. I learned just because it said Rd’s. on the mag, you were better to put 29 in it because of vibration, someone accidentally touching the mag release. You never keep one in the chamber for the same reason. Someone broke into our home and stole my core rifle. I have had quite a bit of gunsmith training, and can take one down and put it back together, but I will never be able to afford another one, I’m disabled now and it don’t pay well. But I will always fight for any info. I can get, so count me in.

  20. I would like to win the giveaway. When I was a bit younger when duck-hunting I found myself face first in the local pond with my Winchester single shot packed full of mud, after flushing the mud out of the barrel a flock of mallards flew in very shortly after that then my brother and I got both of us one. To this day it seems the “old” story is often repeated when we git together.

  21. Well I’ve certainly never blasted my AR with a 12ga shotgun! Like most people I do try to take care of my rifles. The worst conditions my rifle has been subjected to is firing 1,000rds of Wolf Ammo in one day without cleaning. A few drops of lube every couple hundred rounds and it never missed a beat! (It was a pain to clean though!)

  22. I’d love to get this book, I really love the AR platform. Gotta say the worst I ever had to put my gun through was my M-16 in the middleeast. A lot of sand means a lot of cleaning (constantly). That, or I took a dive (fall) in a ditch when hunting. A few scuffs but the rifle and scope were still dead on.

  23. My shotgun fell overboard in bad weather (didn’t have a life jacket on it! Darn!) Had to get out and wade in some darn cold water to feel around for it, found it, drained it out, changed the shells, and continued to hunt. (The ducks thought we were crazy though, playing around in the water!)

  24. Well mine is about my grandfather’s Dasiy Red Ryder. He started my dad out shooting it at old cans after work and that was how my dad learned how to shoot. Well when I was around 6or7 I wanted to shoot like Roy Rodgers and my dad came home after work one night with something wrapped up in a old blanket. It was his old Red Ryder. It’s a original 1938 Dasiy Red Ryder with a metal lever,not plastic. There is no plastic at all on it. Now I’m 42 years old and I still have my dads Dasiy Red Ryder and it still shoots like it did. I used it to teach my daughter how to shoot and about gun safety. And when she has a child it will be passed down again to another young shooter and be taught about gun safety and how to shoot. I have been offered quite a bit of money for that BB gun. But I just hang onto it because its way better than A dozen new Red Ryder’s. it’s a real shame what the turned into. There only 20 dollars at Wally World and there all plastic. Even the lever is plastic. My buddy bought one for his son and it sits in the corner of his gun room. Said it broke the first day he bought it. And there’s mine made in 1938 and its still shooting and I believe it will be shooting for another few generations. I’d say its already beat the AR. It has had way more rounds shot through it than any AR Could with stand. I would still like to have the book. I enjoy reading about all firearms and what they will stand up to.

  25. All my guns fell overboard in a boating accident, I haven’t recovered them yet but I will let you know when I do. Please sign me up to win this book.

  26. I had an old .22 in storage for 20 years. It came out quite rusty, but it all wiped off and there’s no apparent damage to the bore or ability to shoot. Lucky me, it was a family hand-me-down and I’d have hated to have to toss it.

  27. A bounce caused by our 4-wheel drive vehicle when it crossed a deep rut at moderate speed launched my rifle lying in the back high enough to break off the buttstock when it fell back to the floor. No more hunting that day.

  28. My worst one happened with a Browning Auto 5. While pheasant hunting went to cross a snow covered ditch not knowing how deep it was. Sunk to my arm pits, gun in the snow. Cleared out the snow and kept on hunting.

  29. My torture test was unintentional. I was shooting with my dad and brother at the family ranch, and I had my AR-15 resting against my dad’s pickup truck tire, while my brother was shooting his AR-10. My dad was in the cab of his pickup truck, and wanted a better view, so he drove the truck forward. In the process, my AR-15 fell down and he ran over it. It bent up the free-float handguard, but the barrel stayed straight, and everything still functions properly. It actually still shoots just as accurately as before.


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