I’ve cleaned the gas tube in my first AR exactly once in 20 years. Zero carbon/gas fouling problems.
Laquered cases getting stuck, and broken ejector claw, yes, but no “s*** where it eats” issues.
Extraction issues, after mag feed issues, are my worst fear with the M-16 family.
I’ve had case heads break off, or extractors break, or cases just get stuck.
I can feed the rifle by hand, if necessary.
Not being able to extract a case scares the shit outta me.
I’d like to try one of the enhanced bolts where the extractor is two, wider extractors sharing some of the same space.
Other than that, I’ve been very happy with the M-16/M-4 and my personal AR rifles.