Babying a Colt AR


October 21, 2008, 08:00 PM
Hi all, I have a friend who completely babies his Colt AR. He refuses to let the bolt fall without a loaded magazine in and never dry fires, ever. Are you not supposed to do this? I was handling it a couple weeks ago and I charged the handle and he got all sassy, telling me that I needed to disassemble it and walk the trigger down instead of just dry firing. Said leaving it charged was bad for the springs and went on a rant about treating it easy.

Is he being overly cautious or am I rough-housing?

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October 21, 2008, 08:03 PM
He's crazy.

If an AR can't handle being dry fired, stored with springs loaded, having the bolt closed on an empty chamber, etc, then the military wouldn't have chosen the M-16.
Think of how rough some soldiers can be...

October 21, 2008, 08:05 PM
He's being overly cautious. Dry fire is ok as long as the rifle is assembled. Dry fire with the lower separated from the upper is very bad, because then you're slamming the steel hammer against a very thin section of aluminum.

October 21, 2008, 08:06 PM
Thats why I own cheap AKs...........I never worry about them. Just have fun.....:D

October 21, 2008, 08:06 PM
I think those soldiers have more important things to worry about than dry-firing their M16s. Judging by the longevity of said rifles, I seriously doubt your friend's precautions are even remotely necessary.

October 21, 2008, 08:07 PM
Baby it ?? You kidding ? I used to get screaming pissed off and kick mine down a friggin' hill!!!Seriously. But, of course, that was my government issued Colt.
Now MY Colt SP1 I've had for 25 years,THAT Colt is about to get it's nightly hot oil massage !!:D

October 21, 2008, 08:07 PM
even the cheapest decent AR will last a lifetime. if not that long, then it will more than last the amount of time before you give in and buy another one (all worldly things remaining constant). I can maybe understand babying it to protect the finish a bit...but...

October 21, 2008, 08:11 PM
That's what I thought! He's a fellow Army cadet at my school, I don't know what has gotten into him.

I'll have to send him a link to this thread :evil:

October 21, 2008, 08:16 PM
To each his own, Its his gun.
Thats the way he is then I would not touch the thing.

October 21, 2008, 08:19 PM
Well, his rifle, his rules.

But personally, I think disassembling the rifle just to lower the hammer probably hurts the rifle more (by wearing the pin holes) than dry-firing does, and it DEFINITELY causes more wear than leaving the hammer cocked.

October 21, 2008, 08:24 PM
There's no sense in babying a gun like that. It's just silly.

October 21, 2008, 08:26 PM
If he reads this thread I want to let him know that leaving springs compressed doesn't wear them out, cycling them does. So you can store your magazines loaded, and you can leave your rifle cocked without damaging anything. Even if you do manage to wear down a spring, they're cheap as hell to replace.

October 21, 2008, 09:03 PM
find out if there's a CMP/DCM/NRA HP Junior organization in your area. Get your friend to attend. Get a coach. Coach will make him dry fire about 1000 times between matches.

October 21, 2008, 09:06 PM
I like to drop all my new guns off the bench at the shooting range at least twice just so I don't have to worry any more about their virginity.

October 21, 2008, 09:07 PM
If he ever wants to sell it PM me.


October 21, 2008, 09:12 PM
I've had mine 35 years, never abused but used in the Florida keys in a salt air environment. Cleaned inside and out after a day on the boat but never babied. I just found a old 20 round mag that's been loaded for over 20 years, fed each and every round like I just loaded it(Colt Manufacture).

October 21, 2008, 10:28 PM
The smart book they issued me in Basic Training lays out the steps for a function check. Dry firing is part of that process. In Basic we also dry fired with dimes on the barrels, to learn trigger pull.

I suppose it's his rifle, his rules, but the rifle won't notice the difference, and it's only leading to stress on his part.

A square 10
October 21, 2008, 10:38 PM
you got everything id have said - i dry fire all my centerfire arms - not my rimfires ,

i leave my AR mags and FAL/M14 mags loaded and all feed well - i bought a VN issue colt mag loaded with vintage rounds it worked just fine , so did the ammo after 40 years

October 21, 2008, 11:09 PM
He doesn't know what he is talking about.

October 22, 2008, 05:15 PM
As others have opined, the rifle is his and, even though it would seem that he's being a little anal about the care of his pride and joy, his wishes should be respected.

Claude Clay
October 22, 2008, 05:57 PM
its his .......

attitudes like that carry over into other aspects of ones life. the line between careful and obsessive seems to have been crossed.
and i sure would not want to be his child's teacher

October 22, 2008, 06:15 PM
i don't think anyone was suggesting just saying 'screw you' and doing things to the dude's rifle that he explicitly said he doesn't want done. mostly, we're just saying educate the guy so he's not afraid to use his rifle.

October 22, 2008, 07:53 PM
Dry fire with the lower separated from the upper is very bad, because then you're slamming the steel hammer against a very thin section of aluminum.
When dry fired with the lower removed from the upper, the hammer hits the bolt catch, which can break if dry fired too many times. Dry firing while the rifle is assembled will cause the hammer to hit the firing pin, which as far as I know, has zero effect on a center fire. Have you looked inside an AR before?? :scrutiny:

It's not like the rifle isn't going to wear out because he's going easy on it. It also doesn't mean that every other AR in existence will completely explode at some point when the springs give out. Dropping the bolt with ease sounds like a good idea, as any two pieces of metal that come slamming together are going to wear; but at the same time, what happens when you fire it? Using anything will wear it out, so he really should not be shooting it if he wants it to last a really long time. That or keep it properly cleaned and lubricated.

October 22, 2008, 08:05 PM
Another piece of sage advice from Mas was to never release a 1911 slide on an empty chamber, peening and premature wear are the results. I apply that to all my guns (most of the time, sometimes I just like the sound of my 870 slamming open and shut, it sounds like security...).

October 22, 2008, 08:10 PM
Your friend should ease up , but it is his gun to do as he wants with. I would recomend that you try to clue him in but handle his gun in the way he wants.

I (like others) have dry fired about a bizillion times with no problem.
Every time I hear at my club or on the web about springs "getting weak" I just shake my head . Smarter minds than mine have assured us many times that a spring will only "go bad" if it is overstressed,overheated or through a high number of cycles . The only way I empty my mags is with my trigger finger!

I tend to ease the bolt on a empty chamber , just like a semi pistol, ease the bolt/slide foward when empty,let it fly when a loaded mag is inserted. I have been told this is correct for some semi pistols , I would expect it is not necessary with all designs but it really takes very little extra time or effort

October 22, 2008, 11:49 PM
His rifle. Beat your own up as much as you want.

Same for cars and anything else.

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