A gas tube for an AR-15 is an essential component. As a gas-operated system, your AR-15 relies on gas pressure created and expelled while firing to cycle. The gas tube transports these gasses, ensuring the system works properly.
Upgrade your AR-15 with an aftermarket rifle-length gas tube from Wing Tactical. We carry gas tubes from industry-leading brands that offer superior performance and durability to ensure your firearm cycles reliably in any circumstance.
How Does a Gas Tube for an AR-15 Work?
The gas tube for an AR-15 is part of the firearm's gas impingement system. In this system, the primer ignites the powder inside the casing, creating an explosive reaction that propels the bullet. The pressure and energy produced by the explosion operate the system through a cycle involving three main parts—the gas block, gas key, and gas tube.
The gas block sits over a port in the barrel to collect the gases generated by firing and directs them through the rifle-length gas tube. The gas tube for an AR-15 then forces these gases back through a hole in the upper receiver and into the gas key, which is part of the bolt carrier group (BCG). The force of the gas pushes the BCG backward, allowing the extractor to pull the spent shell from the chamber for ejection.
The BCG continues its backward travel—recocking the hammer along the way—until it fully compresses the buffer spring, at which point the spring pushes it back into the battery. Essentially, the gas tube for an AR-15 provides a secure path for the gases to travel from the gas block to the gas key so the action can cycle. Without the gas tube, the system wouldn't work. Unless your firearm was custom-built, it likely has a low-grade stainless steel gas tube. By upgrading to an aftermarket rifle-length gas tube, you can promote your AR's continued performance and longevity.
Stainless Steel Gas Tubes for AR-15s
Using a low-grade stainless steel gas tube for an AR-15 isn’t ever a good idea. But there isn’t anything wrong with using stainless steel gas tubes for AR-15s in general. These Aero Precision Stainless Steel Gas Tubes, for example, are constructed using high-quality stainless steel that will be corrosion-resistant. A rifle-length gas tube from Aero Precision will help make your AR more durable and reliable.
Melonite Gas Tubes for AR-15s
Although many gas tubes for AR-15s are constructed solely out of stainless steel, there are also some that consist of stainless steel with Melonite® finishes. This type of gas tube for an AR-15 will offer additional protection against corrosion and wear resistance. This Spike’s Tactical Melonited Gas Tube has a hardy Melonite® finish that makes it look great and ensures your AR will last for a long time.
Wing Tactical: High-Quality Rifle-Length Gas Tubes for AR-15s
Wing Tactical is a leading supplier of rifle and handgun components and accessories like gas tubes for AR-15s and other AR-15 parts. We specialize in providing these parts to first responders, active duty military personnel, civilian gun owners, and others.
Whether you need a gas tube for an AR-15 or another AR-15 part, you can rely on Wing Tactical to set you up with it. We’re a veteran-founded company that understands the importance of providing firearm enthusiasts with dependable parts that will perform up to their standards. We also individually test each and every AR-15 part that we sell so that you’re able to have complete confidence in them when you use our aftermarket parts in your rifle or handgun.
If you’re interested in building your first rifle or want to upgrade the existing gas tube for an AR-15, the talented team at Wing Tactical can assist you. Reach out to us today for all your rifle build needs, and always enjoy fast shipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best gas tube for an AR-15?
What materials are gas tubes for AR-15s made out of?
Most AR-15 gas tubes are made from 304 stainless steel. This material offers good heat and corrosion resistance and gives the tube an attractive silver appearance. Some gas tubes have a Melonite® coating. Melonite® is a thermochemical treatment that enhances the surface properties of steel parts. It increases the gas tube's hardness, improves its corrosion and wear resistance, and gives it a sleek, black finish.
Other gas tubes have a nitromet finish. Nitromet is a next-generation Melonite® coating that offers a better wear profile than standard Melonite® finishes. It also creates a harder surface and has an element of self-lubricity that helps keep the gas tube clean.
What lengths of gas tubes are there?
There are four common gas tube lengths:
- Pistol-length: A pistol-length gas tube is 6.75 inches long. It's used with pistol-length barrels measuring 10 inches or less.
- Carbine-length: A carbine-length gas tube is 9.75 inches long. It fits carbine-length barrels falling between 10 and 16 inches in length.
- Mid-length: A mid-length gas tube is 11.75 inches long. It's used with a mid-length barrel of 14 to 18 inches.
- Rifle-length: A rifle-length gas tube is approximately 15.125 inches long. It's used with a rifle-length barrel that ranges from 18 to 20 inches.