Is the A2 Ar-15 obsolete?


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7Star
June 6, 2009, 02:50 PM
With the trend to the M-4 and flat tops... is the A2 fixed carry handle just waiting to become obsolete? Specifically, is there a benefit to the fixed A2 set-up or the carry handle sites in general over a flip up site or metal site other option??

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raskolnikov_22
June 6, 2009, 02:55 PM
I used to read that the carry handle reinforced the upper, making the A2 stronger than the A4, though the A4 is definitely strong enough.

RP88
June 6, 2009, 02:56 PM
the one benefit is that you usually don't have to pay extra for it, whereas detachable A2/A4 handles cost like 80-120 bucks.

But yes, with the rise of optics, fixed handles are going to starting being seen less and less.

slzy
June 6, 2009, 02:58 PM
i am not sure it was ever a carrying handle. you can of course carry it that way,but it is awkward.

if the ar-10 had cocked like a ar180,i don't think we would ever have seen a carrying handle version.

P.B.Walsh
June 6, 2009, 02:59 PM
Mabey, I can see how that's true, because you can mount an A2 carry handle on a flatop, even a match rifle (irons only), if the A2 upper messes up, then well, you're screwed, with an A3 or A4, you can just pop another carry handle on. So they might be obsolete, I do, however, like the classic look without all the stuff on it.

taliv
June 6, 2009, 03:00 PM
it's obsolete

7Star
June 6, 2009, 03:06 PM
.... but is the A2 style rear site on the handle, removable or fixed, better than the flip up or other iron sites? ..i am not sure I understand the purpose in the first place. I do know I like the it in application.. but it is all I have used.

jpwilly
June 6, 2009, 03:09 PM
It's obsolete. It has become a mounting platform for much better sighting systems.

raskolnikov_22
June 6, 2009, 03:15 PM
I believe it's purpose was as a carry handle, a feature also found on the FAL.

Float Pilot
June 6, 2009, 03:16 PM
For most military purposes the M16A2 or AR-15A2 works just fine within the range limits of the standard issue 5.56mm cartridge. More velocity and a longer sight radius.
For that matter the old M16A1 was not so bad out to 300 meters. It was lighter and the basic A1 sight could not be knocked off or broken as easily as the A2 sight.


I believe it's purpose was as a carry handle, a feature also found on the FAL.

The design of the sight rear sight mount was carried over from the orginal AR-10. The sight mount (carry handle), like the front sight was elevated in order to line up with the shooters eyes when a proper cheeck weld was being used on the fixed stock. The part that appears to be a handle actually was protecting the charging lever of the original AR-10. That charging lever looked like a trigger that extended upward from the bolt carrier. So the lever guard /sight mount appeared to look like a carrying handle. Since the charging lever was in the way, it was not easy to use as a carry handle.
That design was carried over to the M16, although the M-16 used a different charging handle and not the upper trigger looking thing. It was eventually modified to protect the original sight on both sides and create a handle type gizmo.

Although any Sgt worth a s*#@ would drop you for 50 push-ups if he saw you carrying your rifle around like a flipping purse.

When you get into small game and target shooting then a nice flattop with a scope (not an amipoint) is the way to go.

7Star
June 6, 2009, 03:22 PM
because target aquisition for short range is that much better with optics.... What type of rear metal site do you use with optics and is it as good as the A2 style rear site?

RP88
June 6, 2009, 03:30 PM
with flat-tops, you can put a flip-up A2 back-up sight on your rifle that can also co-witness with an optic's reticle. And, if you wish not to co-witness with iron sights, you can just keep the rear sight flipped down and only use it in case your optic breaks.

So really, the base A2 fixed sight is obsolete because it limits you from the conventional things available today that greatly improve field of vision, acquisition, and accuracy in general.

With a flat-top, you can seriously put whatever you want/need on it, so that is why the A2 fixed sight is going bye-bye as they keep cranking out the flat-tops.

nalioth
June 6, 2009, 03:30 PM
Is the A2 Ar-15 obsolete?

No more obsolete than it's operator.

7Star
June 6, 2009, 03:34 PM
Personally, I really enjoy the A2 setup. However, I would appreciate the opprotunity to use some newer optics.... however, I do not know if I would be satisfied with the flip up... I'll have to try and get a hands on trial sometime

Onmilo
June 6, 2009, 03:34 PM
The A2 isn't obsolete, It's Retro!:D

ccsniper
June 6, 2009, 03:35 PM
I hope not, its the only thing about full length rifles I like. If I were ever to buy an AR it would be a full length one with carrying handle. What ever happened to those century AR's?

P.B.Walsh
June 6, 2009, 03:39 PM
Well, I *might* get a 20" AR15 in the A3 configuation, and I'm just gonna add one.

Joe Demko
June 6, 2009, 03:52 PM
I sold off a Colt flat top a few years back. I like to shoot with the iron sights and detachable stuff has a way of working itself loose.

taliv
June 6, 2009, 04:04 PM
i'd take the "old M16A1" or the newer M4 over the A2 any day for any purpose except NRA HP competitions.

KTALGSTO
June 6, 2009, 04:21 PM
ive been more about the iron sights on A2

Horsemany
June 6, 2009, 05:09 PM
Carry handle? Not to a soldier. I remember guys running around the barracks for a looooong time because they accidentally picked up their M-16 by they sights. "It's not a lunch pale" was the DS's expression of choice.

Some manufacturers actually call it a carry handle in the manual I'm told but I'll never call it that.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 6, 2009, 05:14 PM
Drill instructors notwithstanding, there's nothing at all wrong with using it as a carry handle if that's what feels comfortable to ya - not like it's gonna throw off your sights or something. Having said that, yes it's obsolete because with a flattop, you can still have it A2 style with a carry handle rear sight, but also have the versatility to change.

PA Freedom
June 6, 2009, 05:14 PM
It still can kill good as ever. Some don't need or want optics. It's not obsolete.

KTALGSTO
June 6, 2009, 05:37 PM
the whole thing about the removeable carry handle is it isnt permantly fixed anymore so that makes it not as reliable..i would just buy me a acog for my carry handle if i had to have optics.. Or get a flat top upper and have more of a variety of optics. i duno about the handle makin it any stronger though it seems like it might be true?

Dan Crocker
June 6, 2009, 05:40 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this excellent rifle and its time-proven iron sights. It's still extremely lethal, reliable, and accurate. Anyone think that the M1 Garand or the M14 is obsolete? M1903 even?

Mags
June 6, 2009, 05:42 PM
Nothing is funnier than a flattop with a carry handle attached, kinda defeats the purpose.

RP88
June 6, 2009, 05:45 PM
Not necessarily. Some of us are still saving for the BUIS and the optic. College comes first, though.

PurdueRifleman2008
June 6, 2009, 05:48 PM
NRA Highpower competitions require a carry handle rear sight. So if that is your purpose for owning an AR, then no, they're not obsolete so long as the rules don't change.

ArmedBear
June 6, 2009, 06:26 PM
The A2 is relatively simple, light, and doesn't come loose.

It seems that removable "carry handles" are relatively popular, which suggests that, functionally, they still work fine for people -- but a lot of us want to have the flattop upper just in case...

Optics work great, but they're not without their downsides.

It's hard to really call anything "obsolete" when lever-actions still serve many people well.

PA Freedom
June 6, 2009, 07:59 PM
Clint Smith once said "two weeks after SHTF, open sights will rule the world". Could be he's correct.

Frog48
June 6, 2009, 08:04 PM
Is the A2 Ar-15 obsolete?

No, the A1/A2 uppers are not necessarily obsolete, however they are less flexible than a flattop (in my opinion).

Nothing is funnier than a flattop with a carry handle attached, kinda defeats the purpose.

I dont see it as particularly funny. I have multiple AR's, all of which are flattops. I happen to have a detachable carry handle on one of them, just because occasionally I like shooting with A2 style sights.

P.B.Walsh
June 6, 2009, 08:10 PM
DPMS has a A2 rear sight that dosent flip, and I kinda like it better, it's an A2 sight without the "carry handle".

psyopspec
June 6, 2009, 08:20 PM
Originally Posted by 7Star
Is the A2 Ar-15 obsolete?
No more obsolete than it's operator.

The Army seems to think so; they're phasing out the old operators for the new. Trainees at the Fort Benning School for Boys are being issued an M4 with a CCO as of last spring. And why not, when they're easier to train new guys CQB, and much more intuitive than training to compensate 1.25" on shoot houses, "ready up" drills, etc. Or, slap an ACOG on the rifle, put a Soldier through the designated marksman's course, and let them engage man-size targets out to 600 yards.

It's absolutely okay to still like the A2, but militarily speaking there's better stuff out there for the way fighting is going in the major campaigns of GWOT.

ETA: Clint Smith once said "two weeks after SHTF, open sights will rule the world". Could be he's correct.

I don't know if he's referencing the equipment crapping out, or the individuals using it. To clear up questions of equipment, if one is properly stocked on replacement parts it's easy to rely on that system long-term. The battery on the Aimpoint CCO will last about a month if it's left on; given proper care that's at least a couple years of regular use.

RockyMtnTactical
June 6, 2009, 10:26 PM
I wouldn't call it obsolete. Obsolete would be most bolt action designs, maybe even consider the Garand and SKS designs obsolete to a degree for the roles that the AR15's and others are meant to fill...

The fixed handle is not obsolete, but it isn't exactly cutting edge either. ;)

DougW
June 6, 2009, 10:34 PM
Active duty US Army son is issued an M16A2. Newly rebuilt FN. He is an E5 with 5 years service. Not a front line unit (not 11B).

TechBrute
June 6, 2009, 10:44 PM
It's more inefficient than it is obsolete. It's a fine set up, albeit not as flexible as the flat top.

sarduy
June 6, 2009, 11:07 PM
With the trend to the M-4 and flat tops... is the A2 fixed carry handle just waiting to become obsolete? Specifically, is there a benefit to the fixed A2 set-up or the carry handle sites in general over a flip up site or metal site other option??

it's not waiting to be obsolete...IT'S OBSOLETE!
when the A3/A4 came out it replace the A2...the idea of the A3/A4 is so you can mount scopes/night-vision/ironsight without a problem

P.B.Walsh
June 6, 2009, 11:21 PM
It really in trully depends on YOUR purpose for YOUR rifle.

taliv
June 6, 2009, 11:32 PM
Clint Smith once said "two weeks after SHTF, open sights will rule the world". Could be he's correct.

I can't speak for him, but I believe they key here is "once". It's well-known that he was one of the last big-names to get on the electric sights bandwagon. I could be wrong, but I think he's been on the pro side for about a decade now.

still, while 2 weeks may be an exaggeration (except for eotech users :neener: ) there's still some truth to the statement


The battery on the Aimpoint CCO will last about a month if it's left on; given proper care that's at least a couple years of regular use.

i think the micro t1 is 50,000 hrs and the comp m4 is 80,000 hrs. my micro T1 lasted well over a year of constant on.

SHvar
June 6, 2009, 11:48 PM
Not obsolete, if you want the option of an A3/4 top then get the flattop, if not then get the A2. At very close range you aim at a lower point, in fact we trained specifically to use the front sight only at close quarters and aim very low with A2s.
I prefer having both options, therefore I have the A3 removeable carrying handle.
Also those sights are very accurate on a 20 inch A2, you can engage targets at 400 meters with them without too much effort, 300 meters easily. With 4X optics that same rifle can engage targets at 650 meters.

TeamRush
June 7, 2009, 01:04 AM
Actually, All I see are comments on the A-2 upper in reguards to carry handle
(Which is pretty much obsolete with the newer chest carry slings)

What you are failing to mention is the A-2 was the 3 shot burst rifle to keep the barrel from overheating when some panic ridden grunt started wasting ammo as fast as he could load the rifle...

The sights and carry handle are secondary to the modification of the 3 shot burst assembly.

This was also the introduction of the 1-9 and 1-7 twist barrels for the longer/heavier bullets since the military was getting away from the 55 grain FMJ and working more towards the 62 to 77 grain bullets for longer range and increased accuracy.
-----------------------------

Now, if you take off the stock rear sight, and install a National Match rear sight (about $60 and 10 minutes to do)
With the upgraded heavy barrel with faster twist rate, that rifle became a serious shooter out to about 500 yards!

No need for full auto or 3 shot burst when you could put down a man size target with the first round!
----------------------------------

Later came the M-4 which was a step backwards in a lot of ways...
No fixed 'Iron' sights,
Barrel too short to accommodate/optimize the heavier/longer ammo being used correctly,
No long range capability at all,
Mediocre intermediate range accuracy with ANY ammo,
Problems cycling the vastly different ammo changes available in the military (48 to 90 grain bullets),
The list goes on...

Don't get me wrong, I like the flat top uppers,
But every GI should be issued a carry handle with iron sights, and every COMBAT GI should have to qualify with 'Iron' sights before the use of anything else that passes for 'Sights' or 'Optics'....

Personally,
I stick with mostly flat tops, but I still have several carry handles around here.
The rifle I use the most of on the farm and for 'Varmint' smacking (not fixed placement varmint 'Hunting', but the one I carry in the trucks for targets of opportunity)
Has a carry handle with a "Red Dot" on top for speed...
Handle and iron sights for when I forget to turn the 'Red Dot' off and run the batteries down,
Iron sights for when I'm 'Plinking' or just horsing around shooting crows or pumpkins or something...

P.B.Walsh
June 7, 2009, 01:10 AM
Why would the three shot burst have anything to do with the A2 carry handle?

kwelz
June 7, 2009, 01:30 AM
Please see my response inline.


What you are failing to mention is the A-2 was the 3 shot burst rifle to keep the barrel from overheating when some panic ridden grunt started wasting ammo as fast as he could load the rifle...

Umm No. 3 Shot was an ammo conservation method yes but it had nothing to do with overheating the barrel. A soldier could burn off his entire combat load and not overheat a barrel.

The sights and carry handle are secondary to the modification of the 3 shot burst assembly.

This was also the introduction of the 1-9 and 1-7 twist barrels for the longer/heavier bullets since the military was getting away from the 55 grain FMJ and working more towards the 62 to 77 grain bullets for longer range and increased accuracy.

The Military did not introduce the 1/9 twist. This is purely a civilian invention to fix a perceived to a problem that never existed

-----------------------------

Now, if you take off the stock rear sight, and install a National Match rear sight (about $60 and 10 minutes to do)
With the upgraded heavy barrel with faster twist rate, that rifle became a serious shooter out to about 500 yards!

No need for full auto or 3 shot burst when you could put down a man size target with the first round!

You have never run a carbine class or had any real training have you? The Single sniper shot from every troop on the battlefield is a myth and nothing more. If we have to load each round individually we would be a lot mroe careful with our shots as well but I don't see us going back to bolt guns or breech loaders.

----------------------------------

Later came the M-4 which was a step backwards in a lot of ways...
No fixed 'Iron' sights,

Except for the fixed FSB and BUIS (Matech) that come on M4s issued to our Troops

Barrel too short to accommodate/optimize the heavier/longer ammo being used correctly,

Barrel twist not Barrel length are what matter with bullet weight/length

No long range capability at all,

Overall velocity loss in a 16 inch barrel is marginal at best. And even if this had not been the case, combat is a close ranged affair. Even back in WW2 most engagements weren't going on between units 1000 Meters away. Look at a football field. That is 100 Yards. 100 Yards is a LOT longer than most people think it is. an M4 will hit a target at 3 times that easily with longer ranges possible



Mediocre intermediate range accuracy with ANY ammo,

Ummm WTH are you talking about? See above

Problems cycling the vastly different ammo changes available in the military (48 to 90 grain bullets),
The list goes on...

Once again WTH. This statement has no basis in reality and I am trying to figure out where you are getting this. An M4 will cycle anything currently issued from 55 grain up through the heavier 77 Grain and probably beyond.

Don't get me wrong, I like the flat top uppers,
But every GI should be issued a carry handle with iron sights, and every COMBAT GI should have to qualify with 'Iron' sights before the use of anything else that passes for 'Sights' or 'Optics'....

No, no they should not. We should be giving our men and women the best tools for the job. An Aimpoint is superior to Irons in ever aspect. Faster Target acquisition and engagement, Ability to be used with a magnifier, ability to be used easily with NVE, etc, etc. Fixed irons were great in their time but they have been replaced due to advances in technology.

Next you will say they should not have lights on the gun because they should just improve their night vision.

Personally,
I stick with mostly flat tops, but I still have several carry handles around here.
The rifle I use the most of on the farm and for 'Varmint' smacking (not fixed placement varmint 'Hunting', but the one I carry in the trucks for targets of opportunity)
Has a carry handle with a "Red Dot" on top for speed...
Handle and iron sights for when I forget to turn the 'Red Dot' off and run the batteries down,

Aimpoints have a 7 year battery life on a single battery. Good luck running it down.

Iron sights for when I'm 'Plinking' or just horsing around shooting crows or pumpkins or something...

That is great. Some people however use these for more than Pumpkins and should have the best tool for the job without having to worry about "the good ole days"

P.B.Walsh
June 7, 2009, 01:42 AM
Thank you for clearing the air (for me at least).

TechBrute
June 7, 2009, 01:47 AM
Actually, All I see are comments on the A-2 upper in reguards to carry handle
(Which is pretty much obsolete with the newer chest carry slings)

What you are failing to mention is the A-2 was the 3 shot burst rifle to keep the barrel from overheating when some panic ridden grunt started wasting ammo as fast as he could load the rifle...

The sights and carry handle are secondary to the modification of the 3 shot burst assembly.

This was also the introduction of the 1-9 and 1-7 twist barrels for the longer/heavier bullets since the military was getting away from the 55 grain FMJ and working more towards the 62 to 77 grain bullets for longer range and increased accuracy.
-----------------------------

Now, if you take off the stock rear sight, and install a National Match rear sight (about $60 and 10 minutes to do)
With the upgraded heavy barrel with faster twist rate, that rifle became a serious shooter out to about 500 yards!

No need for full auto or 3 shot burst when you could put down a man size target with the first round!
----------------------------------

Later came the M-4 which was a step backwards in a lot of ways...
No fixed 'Iron' sights,
Barrel too short to accommodate/optimize the heavier/longer ammo being used correctly,
No long range capability at all,
Mediocre intermediate range accuracy with ANY ammo,
Problems cycling the vastly different ammo changes available in the military (48 to 90 grain bullets),
The list goes on...

Don't get me wrong, I like the flat top uppers,
But every GI should be issued a carry handle with iron sights, and every COMBAT GI should have to qualify with 'Iron' sights before the use of anything else that passes for 'Sights' or 'Optics'....

Personally,
I stick with mostly flat tops, but I still have several carry handles around here.
The rifle I use the most of on the farm and for 'Varmint' smacking (not fixed placement varmint 'Hunting', but the one I carry in the trucks for targets of opportunity)
Has a carry handle with a "Red Dot" on top for speed...
Handle and iron sights for when I forget to turn the 'Red Dot' off and run the batteries down,
Iron sights for when I'm 'Plinking' or just horsing around shooting crows or pumpkins or something...

If you're going to go off-topic, please include accurate information. Actually, just stay on topic. :)

C-grunt
June 7, 2009, 05:47 AM
I bought my Colt 6520 recently because it was light weight and is an A2 configuration. I bought it as my SHTF rifle and wanted it to be about as fool proof as I could find. Its very robust and I dont have to worry about batteries or other electronic shortcomings.

I have seen Aimpoints fail in combat. Its not very common but it does happen. I also had a friend who had his shot off his rifle as he was aiming through it. Talk about something that would make you pee yourself!

Now with all that said, I am a big fan of the flat top and of optics. I really like the Aimpoint and I strongly believe that the ACOG is the best combat scope available by far. The one I had on my SDM never lost its zero, after I tripped and fell many times and even when I ate it hard exiting a Blackhawk.

But if I had to grab one to take with me if I knew I would be on my own, it would be an A2.

krs
June 7, 2009, 11:47 AM
Is the A2 obsolete?

Yeah, prob'ly is. I know that me and my A1 are obsolete...

Schleprok62
June 7, 2009, 11:55 AM
Is the A2 Ar-15 obsolete?

Nope...

Shear_stress
June 7, 2009, 12:13 PM
It's hard to really call anything "obsolete" when lever-actions still serve many people well.

Yeah, seriously. I live in a state where a lot of hunting is still done with bows and muzzle loaders.

Obsolete for who anyway? Outside of the military, A2 sights will do just fine for the majority of people the majority of the time. Illuminated sights are great, but absolutely do not substitute for basic marksmanship training. A Calloway Big Bertha in your bag doesn't make you Tiger Woods.

claiborne
June 7, 2009, 12:15 PM
I have an A2 20" HB rifle with NM sights and an A2 16" lightweight carbine, (not M-forgery). Within 300 yards I can hit anything I aim at with my durable A2 sights, (no battery needed). I do not care for all the hangy things on a firearm.
I use my rifle for shooting informal matches and the carbine is for behind my pickup seat for pop shots at coyotes and just in case the SHTF.
When I want to shoot eggs or vermin, I switch to my Mauser style, bolt action Kimber Longmaster classic .223 with a 4.5-14 power Leupold scope. Chucks out to 600 yards fear me.
It sure messed up my Sunday knowing that at the ripe old age of 40, I am as absolete as my rifles. Thankfully my 20/20 vision keeps me from shriveling up and blowing away in the dust!

Taurus 617 CCW
June 7, 2009, 12:22 PM
I'm not a benchrest shooter so my AR doesn't require optics. My gun sports a 14.5" noveske barrel, PWS compensator, hydraulic buffer system, telescoping stock, and fully ceramic coated. I would say that all things considered, I have one of the lightest, most durable configurations available that can run circles around the fancier versions.

Ratshooter
June 7, 2009, 01:05 PM
I don't know if they are obsolete or not. I don't own an AR yet. If I could find one that looks like the one KRS posted I would buy it. Today.

The guns with the collasible buttstocks and funky looking forearms don't do it for me. I don't like the way the flat top reciever looks either. Thats one of the pluses with an AR, you can have it your way.

Every time I watch the movie "Southern Comfort" I want an AR that looks like the ones used in that movie.

benzy2
June 7, 2009, 01:12 PM
If anyone has one of these obsolete uppers and just can't stand them I'll be glad to take it off your hands.

P.B.Walsh
June 7, 2009, 01:49 PM
The only reason I would prefer the flat top to an A2 is the modularity, and I like the low profile A2 sights like the DPMS one.

Rshooter
June 7, 2009, 01:59 PM
Personally I just need a rifle "AR15A2". No fancy glass, or specialized sighting arrangements.

If I did feel the need there are several ways to mount reflex sights to the carry handle or handguards.

Cannonball888
June 7, 2009, 02:13 PM
A1s have carry handles too. The only AR I ever really trained with in the Army and I like it much better than a flat top carbine.

7Star
June 7, 2009, 02:42 PM
Yeah, I guess when I asked if it was obsolete... i was asking if it was beiung phased out of the military for combat troops.. and how big were the advanatages or diiferences for this so called unconventional warfare. I asked this because I do not have any experience with these optics...but have been eyeing a nice A2 model. However, at the local matches everyone is tricked out with optics. So I am assuming in a real life situation that would never arise... the shorter barrel and optics are the ticket... or maybe it is just the part of me that want to use what the boys are currently using....

P.B.Walsh
June 7, 2009, 03:05 PM
Well, red dots suppsedly have faster target aquisition, so that could be why they use them at matches, because they want speed. I only have experience with irons, and hunting scopes.

jad0110
June 7, 2009, 04:28 PM
It really in trully depends on YOUR purpose for YOUR rifle.

Best post so far.

If you are going to be shooting irons, or red dots or other scopes then the modularity of the flat top is an obvious benefit.

If, OTH, you are only going to shoot irons exclusively, then the fixed carry handle makes sense, especially with the more durable A1-style rear appeture.

Different strokes, different folks.

My "middy" has a flattop upper upon which I currently have a carry handle mounted. Later, I may add mid-range 1.5-4x scope with a 32-40 mm objective. Haven't decided for sure, but that's why I got the flattop.

But I still enjoy shooting irons more than anything else (it's cheaper :D), so I may one day get a 20" upper with fixed, A1-style carry handle.

P.B.Walsh
June 7, 2009, 04:46 PM
Why not the A2 rear sight?

jad0110
June 7, 2009, 04:53 PM
Why not the A2 rear sight?

Well, I like the A2 sight just fine myself, but would like to try the A1 on my next upper.

Some don't like the A2 rear flip sights with the 2 appetures because they find the CQB appeture too large and smaller one too small. I do find the CQB appeture to be a little too big, but the small one is good for me.

The A1 style seems to be just right for most people, not to mention since it is fixed in place it should, in theory, be more durable.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
June 7, 2009, 05:04 PM
Is the A2 Ar-15 obsolete?

Only when 556/223 ammo is no longer available.

P.B.Walsh
June 7, 2009, 05:05 PM
Oh, I just thought that the A2 would be better since it's got windage adjustments. Am I wrong on this part?

Byron
June 7, 2009, 05:22 PM
I am now 61 but when I was 20, I carried an A-1 as a grunt in Nam in 68. I liked the weight and as others indicated,never used the rear sight as a handle.I carried easily with the shooting hand thumb within the front inside of the "handle" and the rest of the hand in front of the lower receiver in front of the magazine. The A-1 came up quickly and if the situation warranted,a quick look over the rear and front sight would hit anyone at close range.I still have an old SP.Having said all that, I do like the M-4 with the "new fangled" scopes.I had the chance to shoot one and it does aquire the targets quickly.
Having talked to many soldiers coming home, I think the m-4 is good and the scopes are tough, maybe a 16" barrel though. Byron

Cannonball888
June 7, 2009, 05:27 PM
Oh, I just thought that the A2 would be better since it's got windage adjustments. Am I wrong on this part?
A1 has windage adjustments too. Maybe you meant elevation.

psyopspec
June 7, 2009, 05:35 PM
Some don't like the A2 rear flip sights with the 2 appetures because they find the CQB appeture too large and smaller one too small.

That''s because its not a CQB aperture. The larger one is intended for shooting in low light or with an NBC mask on.

berettashotgun
June 7, 2009, 05:50 PM
I like the A2 configuration, it works very well for me - but I have an EOTECH on one para FNFAL - I bought it that way at a pawn shop.
Back to the AR's - I personally like every kind of them and think a M4 lower and 24" flattop upper is in my immediate future. Despise adj. stocks - but they do have a place.
As far as "obsolete" - huge negative on that.
Peep sights are not for me, but shooting in the rain kinda has a downside for scopes or dots. For me.....anyways.

yongxingfreesty
June 7, 2009, 05:54 PM
i love the iron sights. had eotechs, aimpoints and all that tactical gear. i took all that stuff off and left it bone stock.

Sapper771
June 7, 2009, 06:10 PM
7star,

No , In my situation, I dont think they are obsolete. When I was deployed overseas, I had the choice of an A2 or an A4 flat top. I chose the A2 because it was broke in, the A4's were brand new and had not had 10 rounds put through them, thus they were very tight.
I knew they wouldnt hold up in the desert environment.

but......As far as design and compatability, the flat top is a better choice due to the ease of attaching optics and a wide variety of different sights.

Jaws
June 7, 2009, 06:24 PM
I think iron sights should still be present on a combat rifle but only as back-up.
With an optic you don't have to line up so many points in space to get your true line of sight. Just place the "red dot" on the target and shoot.
There's a reason why 90% of the ww2 fighters had colimated sights. Wide viewing angle and very fast on targert.

This rifle reflex sights are the same thing.
It took some time for the technology to be able to make them small enough, to be installed on a rifle. But just like on the fighting aircraft, this sights are here to stay and will just get better with time.


Few videos of reall ww2 fighter gunsights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXsVg8F91t8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blem3FlkaMc&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7KvpWloagE&feature=related

krs
June 7, 2009, 07:01 PM
I have the obsolete SP1 or A1 above and like it very much. It also reminds me of a time before I became obsolete so I guess I could say that it helps with homesickness.

But I've also found a lot to like in the carbine shown here. It shoots better, and it's more quick handling, and I can remove the handle and add optics as needed.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 7, 2009, 09:41 PM
A lot of people keep mention optics as the only reason to have a flattop; but the advantage of a flattop is that you can attach ALL kinds of sights to it.

Like M14 National Match sights? You can have them on your flattop AR. Like H&K drum sights? They make them for the AR. In fact, you can get just about every type of iron sight imaginable for the AR. Soon, somebody will start making 1,800m volley sights for them :D

7Star
June 8, 2009, 03:23 PM
I am now 61 but when I was 20, I carried an A-1 as a grunt in Nam in 68. I liked the weight and as others indicated,never used the rear sight as a handle.I carried easily with the shooting hand thumb within the front inside of the "handle" and the rest of the hand in front of the lower receiver in front of the magazine. The A-1 came up quickly and if the situation warranted,a quick look over the rear and front sight would hit anyone at close range.I still have an old SP.Having said all that, I do like the M-4 with the "new fangled" scopes.I had the chance to shoot one and it does aquire the targets quickly.
Having talked to many soldiers coming home, I think the m-4 is good and the scopes are tough, maybe a 16" barrel though. Byron

Thanks for the advice... and the grunt work too...

jad0110
June 8, 2009, 08:36 PM
That''s because its not a CQB aperture. The larger one is intended for shooting in low light or with an NBC mask on.

Ahhh, I do remember that now ... thank you for reminding me.

TeamRush
June 8, 2009, 11:04 PM
WOW! Lots of guys reading too many magazines!

The primary change to the 'A-2' was for the 3 shot burst so barrel overheating wasn't a problem like it was on the A-1.
Barrel overheating and ammo wasting is a problem to this day, but the 3 shot trigger is going the way of the Edsel.

"Hardened" (mono-crystalline) barrels that will take the heat MUCH better are on the way, but not past testing yet...

And anyone that had been on a range testing or in a firefight would know that THROAT EROSION is the reason the 3 shot burst was implemented...

A. Recruit 'Dilbert' gets scared and dumps mags as fast as he can get them in the rifle,

B. Barrel overheats and softens,

C. Softened barrel gives way at the point where chamber pressures & temperatures are highest, in the chamber throat and at the beginning of the rifling,

D. Erosion keeps rifle from cycling, and in some cases, causes barrel blockage and catastrophic failures in combat situations,

E. Military teaches Special Forces 'Operators' to pour canteens over barrels at the chambers to keep them cycling,

F. In stead of the military teaching 'Dilbert' some self control They change the trigger group to 3 shot bursts instead of fully automatic...

G. Operators didn't like being limited to 3 round bursts when trying to suppress an ambush, special forces troops killed, Military reconsiders the 3 shot burst idea,

H. Special Forces and most general military types wanted an 'M-16 variant' that could fire the 100 round drums all day long without having problems,

I. 'Heat Hardened' mono-crystalline barrels, along with many other ideas are cooked up to allow full auto fire without overheating...
But aren't through testing yet,
Although Germany and Austria have had them on SAW's for years...

Y, Because someone needs to tell the truth about this stuff...
Not just regurgitate what they 'Composted' from some magazine article or read on the internet...

----------------------------------

Along with the A-2 Configuration came the adjustable rear sight for elevation and easier controls for windage.

Elevation control on the A-1 was a 'R' (Regular) or unlabeled rear leaf,
And a 'L' labeled leaf. The 'L' was for 'Long Range',
The two holes were RARELY aligned in the leaves, so if you switched from one to the other, it moved your WINDAGE along with the elevation,
AND,
Nothing on the elevation was marked for range! You had to GUESS!

And flipping the leaves was the extent of the rifleman's ability to correct for range in a foxhole.

To correct for range, you had to turn the rifle around, and use a sight tool (or bullet nose if you were desperate) and screw the front sight up and down!

All that when someone is shooting at you! I DON"T THINK SO!
The A-2 brought in a thumb wheel adjustment for the rear sight
..........................


Most of the A-2 Aperture leaves were either a large, open hole that was intended for NIGHT SIGHTS & CQB...
Althought the 20" barrel M-16A2 was NOT inteded for CQB, you COULD use the night sight as a CQB sight.

And the smaller hole in the A2 sight was intended for actually AIMING the Rifle beyond 50 meters.
-----------------------------------------------------------

I, along with all the match shooters and Operators I know prefer the 'National Match' version of the A-2 sights,
Which have 1/4 MOA adjustment 'Clicks' to the windage,
(Instead of the 1/2 MOA clicks of the standard A2 sight)
AND,
Elevation adjustments are smoother and more accurate,
And you get 'Clicks' between 200 and 300, 300 to 400, ect,
Where with the standard A-2 sight you simply got 200,300,400, ect.

And the Aperture holes on the sight leaf are 'Small' and 'Smaller' for better accuracy farther down range.

In 'Operational' situations, We used to drill one out for night/CQB operations, but for the most part the National Match version of rear sight was MUCH MORE ACCURATE than the A-2 version was.
---------------------------------------------------

The A-2 also saw the advent of the 'bump' so left handed shooters didn't wind up with hot brass in their collars!

I saw how the 'Internet Experts' foamed at the mouth, so maybe I shouldn't mention the change in the number of detents in the front sight or the switch from taper pins to roll pins holding the front sight/gas block on...?

And I'm afraid if I mention the changes in the one inch longer stocks, or improved butt plates some heads might explode...

If I say anything about the firing pin detent pin change or the extractor spring change there might be riots!
------------------------------------------

To the OP's question,
No the A-2 isn't anymore 'Obsolete' than the A-1 or the orignal AR-15 or M-16's are.

They are, and will continue to be, just as viable 10 or 15 years from now as they were 45 years ago...

AND,
If we can keep some butt head in procurement from switching things without proper approval and testing,
the rifle will be viable 45 years from now!

(like switching from the orignal IMR Stick powder to ball powder or ordering under cut lighter weight barrels)

psyopspec
June 8, 2009, 11:59 PM
F. In stead of the military teaching 'Dilbert' some self control They change the trigger group to 3 shot bursts instead of fully automatic...


Self control is a major part of the curriculum since the start of GWOT. The only time a troop is taught to switch that lever all the way back is conducting an ambush. I want to be clear: These aren't just orders, but actual teaching. There's a great deal of individual responsibility placed in each troop, and they know that aimed fire is what kills in most situations. Particularly in CQB, which is a lot of what we've done in recent years in the Iraq theater, single shot is king.

G. Operators didn't like being limited to 3 round bursts when trying to suppress an ambush, special forces troops killed, Military reconsiders the 3 shot burst idea

I've trained with, supported, and sent teams to support a variety of ODA's. The training they come back with is the same as big army. Single, aimed, shots on individual weapons.

Throat Erosion is something I've never heard of, but I'll check with some armorers next time I have a chance. It seems you've spent quite a bit of time in uniform, and for that I'm thankful, but your information doesn't seem recent.

Jeff White
June 9, 2009, 12:20 AM
WOW! Lots of guys reading too many magazines!

Which one are you getting your information from?

The primary change to the 'A-2' was for the 3 shot burst so barrel overheating wasn't a problem like it was on the A-1.

From the USMC Firepower Division, Quantico Virginia M16A1E1 Test Results and Final Report dated 21 May 1980 as published in The Black Rifle by R Blake Stevens and Edward C Ezell, Collector Grade Publications 1987 pp348 under Advantages:

Increased ammunition conservation and more effective use of ammunition with [3-round] burst control device.

There is no mention of barrels overheating being a problem with the M16A1.

Looking through all of my references on the M16 I can find no official report of barrel overheating being a problem. I have used this system for a living as both a US Army Infantryman and a police officer for 35 years and I have quite a library on it. The original barrel was prone to bending but not because of heat but because Soldiers and Marines treat the rough, use them as field expedient pry bars and otherwise misuse them.....

Most of the A-2 Aperture leaves were either a large, open hole that was intended for NIGHT SIGHTS & CQB...
And the smaller hole was intended for actually AIMING the weapon beyond 50 meters.

Wrong again. From TM9-1005-319-10 Operator's Manual For Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A2 W/E, Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A3, Rifle 5.56mm M16A4, Carbine 5.56, M4 W/E, Carbine, 5.56mm M4A1 published by the Department of the Army October 1998 pp 0011-00-1

ADJUSTABLE REAR SIGHT - TWO APERTURES FOR RANGE

SHORT RANGE OR AT NIGHT-This larger aperture is used for 0-200 meters range. As shown the sight is set for 0-200 meters. This larger aperture is only used when the rear sight is all the way down. In other words the 300-meter mark is aligned with the mark on the left side of the receiver. Useful for moving targets.

NORMAL RANGE- The aperture is unmarked and used for most firing situations. It is used in conjunction with the elevation knob for 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800-meter targets.

In 'Operational' situations, We used to drill one out for night/CQB operations, but for the most part the National Match version of rear sight was MUCH MORE ACCURATE than the A-2 version was.

What operational situations were those? What unit commander authorized the replacement of standard sights with NM sights on MTOE weapons?

The A-2 also saw the advent of the 'bump' so left handed shooters didn't wind up with hot brass in their collars!

There was a little piece of plastic and metal called a left hand firing adapter that was developed and produced to fix this problem on the M6A1.

I saw how the 'Internet Experts' foamed at the mouth, so maybe I shouldn't mention the change in the number of detents in the front sight or the switch from taper pins to roll pins holding the front sight/gas block on...?

No, why don't you tell us about it? Enquiring minds want to know....Taper pins are still the standard on military rifles. No such change was ever made.

If I say anything about the firing pin detent pin change

That's odd, Neither TM9-1005-249-23&P (M16A1) nor TM9-1005-319-23&P (M16A2, A3, A4, M4, M4A1) lists anything called a firing pin detent pin. Could it be you are referring to a firing pin retaining pin? Surely someone with so much experience with the weapon wouldn't make a mistake like that? :uhoh: The firing pin retaining pin hasn't been changed since 1967 when it was changed from a machined pin to the less expensive cotter pin design currently in use.

kwelz
June 9, 2009, 12:24 AM
I had a really long response written to this guy. But I think Jeff just one upped me :P Thank you Mr. White. :)

P.B.Walsh
June 9, 2009, 12:28 AM
Hey, some African tribesman probaly still uses a spear, so I'd say that the A2 sights are *FAR* from being obsolete.

sarduy
June 9, 2009, 12:43 AM
Well, red dots suppsedly have faster target aquisition, so that could be why they use them at matches, because they want speed. I only have experience with irons, and hunting scopes.

wait untill you put a reddot in the AR, it's wonderful, it don't have to be a expensive one, my Tasco reddot works Great untill i went with a detachable handle

sarduy
June 9, 2009, 01:05 AM
Later came the M-4 which was a step backwards in a lot of ways...
No fixed 'Iron' sights,
Barrel too short to accommodate/optimize the heavier/longer ammo being used correctly,
No long range capability at all,
Mediocre intermediate range accuracy with ANY ammo,
Problems cycling the vastly different ammo changes available in the military (48 to 90 grain bullets),
The list goes on...

THAT STATEMENT IS WRONG

No fixed 'Iron' sights,
This is actually a PLUS, you can use a BUIS and a Scope

Barrel too short to accommodate/optimize the heavier/longer ammo being used correctly,
wow.... didn't the make the M4 with "Ramps" just for the hevier/longer ammo?

No long range capability at all,
Ohh really?...define long range....because the m4 is not a 1000 yards match rifle but will drop enemies at 500 yards "using the non-fixed sight (scope)"

Mediocre intermediate range accuracy with ANY ammo,
same answer as the above...plus, a 1/7 barrel is not for 55gr bullets even thogh it can shoot it very well

Problems cycling the vastly different ammo changes available in the military (48 to 90 grain bullets),
no, not really, the m4 use a 1/7 twist which is for 62gr and up, same goes for the m16 with 1/12 twist shooting 90gr bullets, the bullet is too heavy for the rate of twist but does wonders with the 45gr bullets, that doesn't mean the M4 have problems cycling all kind of ammo, most of the M4 and AR in general problems cycling ammo is 1. the rifle is dirty or the mag have some kind of problem.

krs
June 9, 2009, 09:20 AM
treat the rough, use them as field expedient pry bars and otherwise misuse them.....

That was the mistake made when they took off the three prong flash suppressor - that thing was the best way to break the wire around cases of C-rats ever devised and the army decided to take it away because they thought people were dumb enough to let the muzzle of their rifle get bogged up with brush and stuff caught by the suppressor. Silly army thinking, again. Made use of the barrel as a prybar to bust that wire almost the only way left to do it quickly without being sore afterwards. Then guess what they do - make the durned thing heavier to hump so the barrels won't bend so easy. Damned foolishness, IMO. :)

I mean, people gotta' eat. Duhh...

Zach S
June 9, 2009, 11:27 AM
Yes. Flat tops or A1s here.

Well, both actually, two of my flattops wear A1 carry handles.

That''s because its not a CQB aperture. The larger one is intended for shooting in low light or with an NBC mask on.It works well enough for plates, clays, fruit, and cans up close.

I'm a lot faster with it than I am the small aperture.

navajo
June 9, 2009, 12:18 PM
Guess I am too much of a traditionalist.
I like 20" barrels and iron sights.

If you have a loaded 30 round magazine in the weapon and can't get on target with those 30 rounds, you should not be shooting, peroid.

LemmyCaution
June 9, 2009, 12:41 PM
Attention, Citizens:

Your AR-15A2 rifles are now obsolete. You may turn them in to me for disposal. There will be no charge for this service, if they are turned in prior to the end of this month.

Your cooperation is appreciated.

P.B.Walsh
June 9, 2009, 01:40 PM
Hey, I want em' to, send me a PM. :)

Onmilo
June 10, 2009, 02:11 PM
Barrels did burst on M16 and M16A1 rifles,as with the M4 carbines, it always occurred during period were the rifle was used on full auto and was being used more as a light machinegun than an infantry rifle.
Then as was the case with the M4 carbine burst issue, the direct cause was never positively identified as a design flaw or incorrect metal composition.

This was not, however, the reason the three shot burst was incorporated.

Until very recently Taper pins have been THE ONLY accepted method for attaching the front sight tower to the barrel, this is specified in the technical data package for the construction of the rifle.
No changes can be made to that specification without altering the complete technical data package for the basic rifle and that would, in essence, open a Pandora's Box.

Here of late, the Designated Marksman Rifle can feature a taper pin secured or a screw secured gas block.
However, these rifles are not part and parcel of the original T.D.P., they are semi-custom special use combat weapons and are not issued enmasse to the regular line soldiers.

The Wiry Irishman
June 10, 2009, 02:45 PM
I. 'Heat Hardened' mono-crystalline barrels, along with many other ideas are cooked up to allow full auto fire without overheating...
But aren't through testing yet,
Although Germany and Austria have had them on SAW's for years...

Do you have a source for this? If so, I'd be very interested in reading it. I worked for a company that had a single-crystal casting operation, and I know how much it was costing them. I can't see how it could be practical to add single-crystal parts, especially one so large, to something as inexpensive as a firearm.

SSN Vet
June 10, 2009, 09:12 PM
IMHO, there's absolutely nothing obsolete about iron sights and the A2 config. irons are damn good.

Just because you can make the rifle better by pumping another $500+ into the rifle for an AimPoint or Eotech (with obligatory BUIS) doesn't mean the rifle is obsolete without it.....

The way I see it... learning the AR was something to be done with iron sights.... after gaining proficiency with the irons, you can move on to optics..... I guess I'm just old fashioned.

Box all those obsolete A2 uppers up and send them to me....

I'll put them to good use. ;)

Hoppy590
June 10, 2009, 09:22 PM
the carry handle was obsolete the day they took away the top cocking reciprocating charging handle.

P.B.Walsh
June 10, 2009, 09:32 PM
naw.....

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