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The fragile, unreliable and all around girly AR15

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by IronMonster, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Now I know better than to think you are going to change anyone's mind about anything. Factual information, tests and subjective review usually play very little part in someones opinion. We all have our ideas about the way things are.

    One common gun belief (especially by those who favor the AK family of weapons) is that the AR platform in unreliable. There is no doubt that there was problems with the gun when it was introduced into military service but most of these problems where because of dumb decisions made outside the control of those using the firearm. There where some real problems, mostly because it was rushed into service without testing or proving the system. That was 40 years ago though and those problems simply dont exist in today's world.

    I am reading this AR book by Patrick Sweeney where he sets out to test some AR's to failure. He starts off doing pretty much what you would expect. He throws dirt in them, dunks them in a barrel full of water, mixes oil and sand and pounds it in the places that matter seeing if he can get a malfunction. He does this to a total of 8 rifles, some piston some DI, and with the normal tests he is not able to produce any malfunctions.

    He then pours water on them and stuffs them in a snow bank to freeze. Melts snow in the receiver and lets it freeze, pours sand and snow in the receivers with extra oil. All the rifles function.

    So then he throws the rifles off a 20 foot tall roof repeatedly, He drives over them in a gravel lot with three vehicles including a Ford F-250. He throws them repeatedly as far as he can. He then shoots a entire box of 12 ga bird shot at each rifle. He makes a serious attempt to say the least. None of the guns fail to fire. One the flash hider explodes due to being packed with mud, several have broken external bits. One is seriously bent and has a broken take down pin. However they all fire.

    Another good example is the "Filthy 14" rifle. The following is a recount of its life

    "We received the carbine in late 2008 and put #14 into service shortly thereafter.

    At Brady, Texas, in March 2009, it suffered a malfunction, which was reduced with Immediate Action. The bolt was wiped down at 6,450 rounds.

    At Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in May 2009, it had several failures to extract, and the extractor spring was replaced at 13,010 rounds. This is far beyond the normal extractor spring life under these conditions.

    At Wamego, Kansas, in June 2009, two bolt lugs broke at 16,400 rounds. We replaced the BCG. Considering the firing schedule, this is within normal parameters.

    At Columbus, Ohio, in November 2009, we had several failures to extract at 24,450 rounds. The shooter gave it a field cleaning and replaced the extractor and extractor spring.

    At 28,905 rounds, we finally cleaned Filthy 14. As part of our year-end maintenance schedule, we inspect and replace parts as necessary. Filthy 14 looked like the inside of the crankcase of Uncle Ed’s ’49 Packard. It was disgusting to look at and contaminated everything near it, somewhat like the toner cartridges for old printers."


    The rifle is still going strong at over 40,000 rounds, Still not being more than field cleaned when it malfunctions. At 40,000 rounds its still never had its bore or chamber scrubbed.


    My personal feeling is that if you have a solid correctly built AR, its a pretty reliable thing. There are lots of unreliable AR's but I think that is because people buy a pile of parts and throw it together with no understanding of how it all needs to work together. Just because a pile of parts bolts together does not make it a rifle. Would you expect to take apart 5 Winchester 94's, throw all the parts in a box and then randomly use the parts to build 5 "new" rifles and have them all work without adjustment? Thats exactly what people expect out of a AR and most of the time they do


    Anyway I am interested in any real world AR stories you have good or bad.

    Id especially like to hear from vets who carried M16/M4's and real experiences. Where your guns the fabled "jam-o-matics"?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  2. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion just like a glock. The gun doesn't malfunction the man behind it does.

    DI ARs can malfunction from dirty BCGs or gas tubes, so piston ARs/AKs do have advantages, However, it would take a lot of abuse to cause a failure
     
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  3. gryghin

    gryghin Beaverton Active Member

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    Back in the previous life, when I was young, the last command I was attached to was the Submarine Base Kings Bay. The Navy believes that every sailor needs to stand watch, even if they are at shore duty. The choice was either walk around the dry dock or join the Auxiliary Security Force.

    The ASF is a Navy unit that is tasked with increasing the base security presence in high threat conditions. There were multiple platoons and as an E-6 (1st Class) I was one of the platoon chiefs. We trained with M16-A3, Mossburg 500 and 1911, even though it was the early 90s, we didn't switch over to M9s yet.

    Because we were auxiliary, we were at the range a lot. Unless we were doing training on failures, I really don't remember having to stop the firing line to help fix or coach a shipmate on how to clear an issue.

    The only weapon that was assigned was the 1911, I still have my weapon card that is used to place in the locker when you have your pistol. The M16s were just handed out as you got to the locker, so you were not guaranteed the same one. I shot consistently regardless of which M16 I was shooting. It's all about training and technique.
     
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  4. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Yes they can, but do they in the real world? I hear a lot of talk about how "AR's poop where they eat" (except they dont use "poop" ;)) And how this affects function. I am pretty good about cleaning my guns so I dont have any real world experience with this. The most I have fired a gun without cleaning is probably 500-700 rounds, A real hard day of shooting. After that there is some grunge, but nothing that would cause a malfunction. If the gun was properly lubed its a 10 minute job to make it sparkly and new inside with the proper tools. Even when it is not cleaned like in the "filthy 14" example the crud simply is crudy. I mean over 20,000 rounds before cleaning? I cannot fathom any circumstances where that would not be considered reliable.

    I have a cheap unfired AR. Its a $200 PSA upper with a generic BCG. I would really like to just feed it till it dies to see what happens but I suspect I cant afford to. I mean just 5000 rounds, which I suspect I can do without cleaning would cost a small fortune and what would it prove? You wouldn't change anyone's mind.
     
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  5. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    True.
    I canmt see myself being in a firefight throwing 10-20k downrange.
    1. I can't carry that many mags
    2. Can't afford that much ammo
    3. I'm not a one man Army

    Heck even if you had to throw a boresnake through it, pull the bcg and hose it out with lube/ grease and throw it back together.
    Personally I'm not worried about my AR failing me while I'm going to war with shoot-n-see targets or steel gongs.
    Hell, I'd be happy if I could cause a failure that would mean I had a crap load of ammo!
     
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  6. TacticalDragQueen

    TacticalDragQueen E.WA Member

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    Iv seen receivers from M16s still in use by the military that are from the 80s! Not one of them was a safe queen...lol...mixmaster parts and worn to hell and back...but they still worked.
     
  7. happypuppy

    happypuppy N. Puget Sound Member

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    I am not young anymore and well I am from the A1 days. I was a navy field corpsman. Since I was not in an active combat role I can only relate what I saw and was told. I was so scared of them I used a 30 carbine if needed

    Most of the marines carried this stuff in a white can called dri slide to keep the a1 from jamming. They didn't do well in burst firing at the time. I can tell you that the little 55 grain bullet can really ruin your day in a hurry. It made really nasty wounds.

    I would not own one ... Then a few years ago I decided to give it a shot.

    It may as well be a completely different firearm. I have had 3 of them and have yet to have a single issue. Rock solid IMO. Maybe it's the new powders the Magic BCG coatings , M4 feed ramps i don't know. They just work.

    I am still looking sometime in the future to add a Chinese SKS and AK for nostalgia sake.
     
  8. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    You forgot "poodle shooter". :D

    Friend in the military was out on maneuvers during "war games".

    Slipped and fell face first in the mud going up a hill.

    His M16 - being carried in front of him - was under him when he fell.

    The handguard/forend of the rifle twisted and broke the gas tube.

    At that point he had a manual action rifle or he could point it and say "pew pew".
     
  9. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Must have been the triangle guard? Those where awful and prone to breakage.

    Still the only way the front end of the rifle could "twist" is if he broke the front sight post, the sight post was improperly pinned or the barrel nut was not even hand tight. Not to say it count not happen (obviously it did) but there had to be other problems besides his fall. And of course those triangle hand guards where junk plastic
     
  10. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what would happen to say an average car if you abused it like that?
     
  11. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Well Obviously Russian cars are better because you could abuse them like that and they would still be just as crappy as before you filled them with sand or dropped them off a house. Obviously a Italian supercar is inferior because it would not take such abuse.
     
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  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Now that one I would sign off on :D
     
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  13. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I always wanted a Russian girl, but my wife wont let me have one.....
     
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  14. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My problem is not with the AR it is with the 5.56 round. I prefer the 7.62 any day over the 5.56. My experience with the 7.62 is from using them while in the service. It is for the very same reason I use a 1911 in 45acp.
     
  15. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    These days that is not much of an argument against the AR as it can be had in over 25 calibers including such heavy hitters at .338, .416 Barrett and .50 BMG. Of course it is also quite common in the comparatively small 7.62 x 51

    Personally I quite like the .223/5.56 however I am not in the business of shooting people.

    If I was and money was no object I would probably choose a 6.8 SPCII as you get the benefits of a light platform but the increased stopping power of a 125-140gr projectile that tumbles and breaks apart. It's not a .308, however it's not a 15 pound rifle that you can only carry 75 rounds for either.
     
  16. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Use what you wish - I still think the 5.56 takes a distant back seat to a 7.62 rifle. Its kind of like religion - what do you believe will save you when the time comes.
     
  17. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Like I said, I have very little risk of cardboard targets or steel poppers failing to respond to 5.56. I would not say there is zero chance of an end of the world situation when one of my guns might be pressed into a defensive role, but the chance is so remote it's not a consideration. If the world does fall apart I do have a Springfield HK91 clone and enough stash to feed it, however in the mean time it costs 20-25% as much to shoot the 5.56 and an Ar is a whole lot more fun to pack around. The .308 stays in the safe and the 5.56 gets played with. I'd like to occasionally play with the .308 but unless someone else volunteer s to pay for the ammo it's not happening
     
  18. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    After many years of collecting and even hoarding, I've come to the conclusion that as a civilian if the SHTF and my home is under attack, I will be able to fire just so many rounds before someone takes me out.

    How many battles and how many rounds can I survive?

    How many rounds of M193 will I be able to shoot rather than how many will the AR be able to shoot?

    I'm actually going to start eliminating some guns and a lot of ammo because what I have is ridiculous.

    Oh, and the only time an AR has ftf for me was early on when I didn't know to pull the bolt all the way back and slam it home to fully seat the first round.
     
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  19. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Can't disagree. the 7.62 is a genius round - a winner. It is superior IMHO.

    But for a civilian, the gun is heavier as are the rounds. The rounds cost a lot more.

    I can fire a lot more 5.56 do to weight for carrying, recoil, cost... Also, I really don't want to get hit by an M193.
     
  20. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It would have been the triangular guard - it was back when he was in the AF before he went into the army. So it would have been late 70s to early 80s.