AR with no lube or cleaning ability = not so hot shtf


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lobo9er
July 29, 2009, 02:20 PM
maybe i'm out in left field but with out lubrication or proper cleaning ability i don't think the AR is that good of a choice of "shtf" heres the scenario go out hunting coyotes or just camping and you get lost in woods, can happen or an extreme situation and you have no cleaning tools or lube, your out in the wild for weeks or maybe months i dont think an AR such a hot idea. gets dirty falls in mud am i wrong to say its out of service or at the very least now a single shot? now i think AR's are awesome and prescion shooters. i owned a S&W MP15 and was not happy with performance really fin-i-key had to be kept clean and lubed so i sold it. i am rough on gear not abusive but rain and snow are not keeping me in. maybe not all ar's are like that. i would love to hear everyones thoughts

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briansmithwins
July 29, 2009, 02:28 PM
Any firearm with no maintenance will fail eventually. ARs need more maintenance than some other modern arms (chough AK chough) but they will keep working if taken care of.

Engine oil can be used in place of gun oil, ATF can also be used a an emergency cleaner/lubricant too. Gasoline has been used to clean guns in the past, although I’d only do so in an emergency as it has the annoying tendency to set things on fire.

You’ll probably go farther using hair pomade as a lube with an AK than with an AR, but either rifle will function if taken care of. BSW

greenlion
July 29, 2009, 03:01 PM
Make sure the AR you buy is made for reliability first and accuracy second, and then do what every good Boyscout would do, and carry a field cleaning kit and oil bottle.

JohnBT
July 29, 2009, 03:08 PM
Render some bear fat into grease/oil or just use it as it is. It doesn't go bad.

It also makes better biscuits than plain old lard.

Here www.naturallist.com/bearfat.htm

"Bear oil which is from rendered bear fat sells for $14.00 per ounce or $0.50 per gram plus shipping

Bear oil has many uses. Besides culinary and soap making, it is used in crafts, medicine, conditioning leather and hair, oil lamps, as a lubricant, as a skin softener, in cosmetics, as aphrodisiac and rejuvenator, to promote hair growth and countless other uses."

John

WardenWolf
July 29, 2009, 03:15 PM
I honestly have to agree here. When you compare an AR to a good quality AK such as a converted Saiga, both are going to be accurate enough to suit your needs, but the ultimate question is which one is going to keep working longest if separated from its cleaning supplies. The AK ultimately wins that one. However, corrosive ammo, if is your main stockpile, can undo this advantage, so it makes more sense to buy commercial ammo if you're stocking up, despite the cost, or buy an AK in a caliber like .223 that's always non-corrosive.

lobo9er
July 29, 2009, 03:42 PM
then do what every good Boyscout would do, and carry a field cleaning kit and oil bottle. but the point of the thread here is ]YOU DONT HAVE OIL AND LUBE[/U] because you either lost or forgot it thats the point. AR's are in need of those things get caught with out it and your up a creek with out a paddle sorta speak you meant to bring a paddle but you dropped it and it went down stream with out you or maybe your pack did with your cleaning kit and oil and lube. Me personally i wouldn't go back packing for extended period time with an only an AR, would you?

mp5a3
July 29, 2009, 04:22 PM
I can't really see this as being a problem unless you're shooting a lot, like over 1000 rounds. Even a small 1 oz bottle of lube should keep it lubed up enough to keep going.

If you're firing a few rounds here and there it won't matter. You realize how much 1000 rounds would weigh. I wouldn't want to lug it around..

As far as mud and dirt goes. If you have a magazine in the magwell and the dust cover closed I can't see much getting in. They seal up pretty good

mp5a3
July 29, 2009, 04:23 PM
Beyond that, maybe one of those plastic covers like on "Saving Private Ryan" that would keep everything out..

rcmodel
July 29, 2009, 04:24 PM
Yes, I would.

I have a 1970's era Colt AR carbine that has been run wet, dry, dirty, clean, and with with & without oil.

Almost 40 years later, I'm still waiting for it to malfunction the first time that couldn't be tracked to a bad reload when I first started loading .223 in 1970.

Don't blame the AR design for the raft of sub-standard and non-spec builds done over the last 20-30 years by amateurs and companies more interested in the bottom line then putting them together right!

There are also a lot of crappy after-market & worn out GI AR mags out there too.

If you prefer AK's just say so and let the rest of us that prefer AR's be.

rc

61chalk
July 29, 2009, 04:40 PM
Long story, but have a Colt AR, been shooting since 1980. My AR, has always been run dry with NO lube....it works great, we ran the M16's at my base dry, NO lube at all..many will ask why no lube!!! Long story....a simple break down an wipe off an tooth brushing, has kept mine running in the field, then a good cleaning when time allows...

FlyinBryan
July 29, 2009, 04:51 PM
well if its not a very good shtf rifle then the most powerful military fighting force on earth is in trouble.

1987rx7guy
July 29, 2009, 05:07 PM
by lobo9er

maybe i'm out in left field but with out lubrication or proper cleaning ability i don't think the AR is that good of a choice of "shtf" heres the scenario go out hunting coyotes or just camping and you get lost in woods, can happen or an extreme situation and you have no cleaning tools or lube, your out in the wild for weeks or maybe months i dont think an AR such a hot idea. gets dirty falls in mud am i wrong to say its out of service or at the very least now a single shot? now i think AR's are awesome and prescion shooters. i owned a S&W MP15 and was not happy with performance really fin-i-key had to be kept clean and lubed so i sold it. i am rough on gear not abusive but rain and snow are not keeping me in. maybe not all ar's are like that. i would love to hear everyones thoughts

I'm going to post the same thing as before:

I'm sorry but if you are carrying enough ammunition to dry out an AR you are probably able to carry a cleaning kit.

I don't know anyone that goes camping with 500+ rounds without being able to carry the appropriate cleaning supplies.

Heck I don't know anyone that goes camping strictly to go camping and thinks that it might be necessary to carry more than 6-8 mags for defensive use. And i'd consider more than 4 mags above normal.



Hunting/camping/hiking


I'm going to focus on your specific story(s) now:


The situation as you lay it out is that I get lost in the woods.
You say this is due to a hunting outing or camping.
So i'm lost with only my AR and what? 2-4 spare mags.


Honestly if I was going in so un-prepared that I would actually get lost i'm dead already unless someone happens upon me.

Here is what would happen or what I would try to do to actually get the situation rectified.

If i'm going out I would have taken probably no more than 200 rounds(~9 mags).
My AR is a full 20" model without a super tacticool collapsible stock. Guess what?
This stock has a compartment to carry a cleaning kit in it along with an oiling bottle(~3-5oz) So first of all so long as I haven't completely been an idiot while at home I have the bottle atleast 50% full. That would last me atleast three to five times the amount of rounds that I am carrying(total not on my person). So if I get lost with my AR I get lost with my cleaning kit.

Before I go further into this if I was actually lost I would wait for sunset or sunrise to find my natural compass and start walking in the direction towards the nearest road. The only way that I couldn't do this is if I was in rain forest.

If I was carrying some type of M4 AR I would have some issues with the oiling/cleaning stuff not being in there but if I had more than 2 mags on my person I am going to be carrying some form of vest/LBE or pack. Guess what would be in there?


I have personally put over 400 rounds through my AR without cleaning it. Just so you know this isn't premium ammo. I'm talking about lacquered steel case Monarch .223 rem stuff. This stuff IS dirty but the rifle didn't even hiccup.

SHTF


Now if you are talking about SHTF all bets are off. But i'd bet that if someone is actually prepared for SHTF scenarios and they are able to get to their AR before needing to bug-out they will have a bug-out pack near the gun. It would likely stand to argue that this would include at least basic maintenance and REPAIR components.

If you are in some future post SHTF place then it would likely have settled down enough to barter or find some cleaning supplies weeks/months down the road.


MUD

If your rifle falls into the mud you probably have more problems than your gun being dirty. You are likely running away from BGs or coyotes or you yourself are probably hurt in the mud with it.

Although if you have an AR in the mud it might start to jam up. I would trust mine to fire at-least one round after falling in the mud.

TexasRifleman
July 29, 2009, 05:16 PM
but the point of the thread here is YOU DONT HAVE OIL AND LUBE because you either lost or forgot it thats the point.

Then that's simply poor planning. ANY firearm can fail. Not bringing any maintenance kit or spares is not the fault of the firearm.
Stuck cases, broken extractors, squib loads, any of these can bring a firearm to it's knees. Even AKs. Even bolt actions.

If you want 100% reliability the only solution is to bring 2 guns.

"One is none and two is one".

rcmodel
July 29, 2009, 05:25 PM
If your rifle falls into the mud you probably have more problems than your gun being dirty. The Army I was in trained me to sacrifice my body before my weapon.

Running in the mud and tripping over your poncho and what do you do?

You take a face plant in the mud while keeping control of the rifle and letting only the butt-plate hit the ground.

A man that got a Future Weapons TV show mud bath on his M-1, M-14, M-16, or any other weapon would be dead in combat.

rc

stchman
July 29, 2009, 05:34 PM
That is what the Mini-14 is for.

The Mini-14 is an ultra-reliable (now pretty darn accurate with the new 580 models) rifle. It uses a gas system very similar to an M1 Garand. You can get it in stainless steel with a composite stock for weather resistance.

They are a pretty simple rifle with low maintenance in mind.

CoRoMo
July 29, 2009, 05:35 PM
If the premise of the thread is to be believed; why would our military ever adopt such a delicate firearm and then issue it to be operated outdoors?:eek:

waterhouse
July 29, 2009, 05:37 PM
If I'm lost in the woods for weeks or months I'm dead without water. If I have a source of water I can wash the mud off of my gun. A clean and dry (no oil) AR would be fine for woods survival, which would be shooting small game, probably one round at a time.

If I'm stuck in the woods for weeks or months at a time the oil for whatever type of firearm I have is about number 257 on list of things I'm concerned about.

rcmodel
July 29, 2009, 05:39 PM
Zactly!

"Somebody" has been reading too much internet BS about the AR-15/M-16.

rc

taliv
July 29, 2009, 05:39 PM
i have collapsible stocks on almost all my ARs and nearly every AR I have has a bottle of machine gunners lube in it. either in the magpul MIAD grip or in the UBR stock. plus, i keep a tackle box of spare parts and lube in my vehicle.

I don't do this for any scary SHTF scenarios... just cause i go to the range a lot and often forget stuff, so i keep the essentials with me.

on a side note, i'm in the long process of switching lubes from MG to slip 2k ewl and i haven't yet figured out how to do this with the slip 2k. the MG lube comes in such convenient little bottles.


worst case scenario, finding a natural lubricant is not exactly difficult.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 29, 2009, 05:47 PM
Unrealistic scenario... if you are wandering through the woods with enough ammunition to dry up the lube on an AR (and I've fired 750 rounds in a day) but you don't have any lube, then you've probably overlooked something much more severe than the firearm - like training, water, food, shelter, remembering to pull down your pants before you pee, etc.

FlyinBryan
July 29, 2009, 06:03 PM
just take the gi cleaning kit dude.

that way the next time your lost in the woods you can clean it.

you probably wont have to clean it after the first set of bad guys chase you, maybe even the second set (if you dont fall down in the mud it might be good for 3 seperate bad guy chases, after which i would clean it even if i hadnt fallen down in the mud)

another way to look at this: if you fall into mud only to realize its not mud at all,,,,, but rather quicksand, an ak will drag you down even faster than an ar will. luckily for us all, there is almost always a vine hanging down from a tree within arms reach of most quicksand.

ArmedBear
July 29, 2009, 06:05 PM
The AR is pretty much worthless dry and/or dirty.

Get a gun that isn't. There are plenty.

None of them are as cool as an AR, nor do they tend to be match-grade.

ECVMatt
July 29, 2009, 06:13 PM
Long before the AR became the ultimate gadget holder, we used to go out to the desert and shoot. Just for Fun. Imagine that. We didn't go to gunfighting schools, wear web gear, or think the end of the world was right around the corner.

We would shoot hundreds of rounds through our AR's and never clean them. It wasn't that we were trying some torture test or wanted to abuse them, we were just kids having fun. We never had an AR shutdown on us. Did we have some jams, of course. It could have been magazines, ammo, or a dirty rifle. We always managed to get it back in to action in short order.

Now I visit some pretty remote places, but I can't think of too many that would take me months to get out of. Alaska maybe. Even my beloved Death Valley is now traversed with roads and people and converted to a NP. However, I would be willing to bet that an AR could follow you out of most places and still work.

If this is some sort of subliminal AK vs. AR thing, then I think that has already be done to death and then some.

I will agree with others here, if I am heading out with my AR then I usually have some AR stuff with me. I never go hunting without the proper tools to fix the basic things on my chosen rifle of the day.

Good luck and bring a cleaning kit, it will save you many nights of lost sleep.

Cordially,

Matt

ArmedBear
July 29, 2009, 06:18 PM
Don't have an AK. Don't much care for the AK.

I just know what my AR does when it's dry and dirty, and I wouldn't want it to do that under dire circumstances.

Of course, if the SHTF, I don't think I'll be wasting the space and weight carrying around a .223, since I won't have any particular need to shoot prairie dogs.

SHTF means "I want to survive", not "COOL! Comic book fantasies come to life!"

gondorian
July 29, 2009, 06:21 PM
Well you could just use an A2 style stock and have a cleaning kit built in.

TexasRifleman
July 29, 2009, 06:24 PM
The AR is pretty much worthless dry and/or dirty.

The question is, when does that happen?

I've fired over 1,000 rounds in a single day on multiple occasions with ARs and not had a single malfunction.

So when is "dirty and dry" enough to cause problems?

This just doesn't really turn out to be a gun issue. This situation would be human error. Very few mechanical things will run forever with no maintenance and without breaking parts.


There's not a single firearm I've ever run across that I would trust completely for long term use without the ability to clean it and have spare parts available. And, seeing how those are very easy things to have with you, I guess I don't see the problem.

For the OP, if you owned an S&W rifle that would stop running if it rained, that's a manufacturing defect, not a design defect.

ArmedBear
July 29, 2009, 06:29 PM
It doesn't happen during a day of shooting.

It happens when it sits for a while, and gets used a few times on separate occasions without cleaning and oiling.

This means you probably won't ever see the symptoms when shooting a well-maintained AR at the range. I never did.

The point is, I know how the thing works when it's neglected even a little -- not abused, just left to fend for itself for a while. And that's not very well.

TexasRifleman
July 29, 2009, 06:37 PM
It doesn't happen during a day of shooting.

It happens when it sits for a while, and gets used a few times on separate occasions without cleaning and oiling.

Well, my 11" short AR hasn't been cleaned in over a year. It's probably had 700, maybe 800 rounds through it. No failures.

Like Bart said, if you are in a true long term SHTF episode and you didn't even pack a gun cleaning kit you're probably not going to make it anyway :)

But, if that DOES happen, I'm with ArmedBear, I'm probably not taking a .223 with me anyway :)

ArmedBear
July 29, 2009, 06:43 PM
In all seriousness, the AR was designed as a standard-issue military weapon for use by regular troops, who operate in groups, and whose objective is to defeat the enemy in battle by doing such things as causing casualties, preventing movement, occupying territory and taking prisoners. Even as such, it's now backed up by a SAW, not to mention bombardment, close air support, artillery, etc.

It was never designed to be an all-purpose survival rifle for an individual.

It may be able to serve that purpose, but one of the few rifle designs ever consciously conceived by peopel with some knowledge, with that specific application in mind, (Cooper's "Scout concept") bears very little resemblance to the AR in size, action type, or caliber.

Pony Express
July 29, 2009, 06:45 PM
there is no such thing as a gun that needs no maintainence, just a gun that is less picky about its maintainence. chances are, if you're in a SHTF situation that breaks an AR due to lack of lube/cleaning, sooner or later the same thing would happen to the AK platform.
A true SHTF gun is one of those old fashion break action single shot 12 gauges. if youre in a situation where one of those breaks down then youre in big trouble:what:

ArmedBear
July 29, 2009, 06:47 PM
A true SHTF gun is one of those old fashion break action single shot 12 gauges.

That's about right, actually.

TexasRifleman
July 29, 2009, 06:50 PM
A true SHTF gun is one of those old fashion break action single shot 12 gauges.

A true long term SHTF gun is one that brings friends with it.

Shotgun, .22, AR/AK style, battle rifle style, heavy bolt action, couple of handguns and cleaning kits/spare parts for all.

Hunting, defense, and practice are all considerations for a long term "oh crap" event.

Anyone who takes only one tool to such a thing is doomed.

chauncey
July 29, 2009, 08:38 PM
only 32 posts? geez if you had said that "the AR is unreliable" on Arfcom someone would have been by to burn your house down by now.

Mags
July 29, 2009, 08:44 PM
I don't understand the point of this. In reality who does not clean and lube their AR after every range session? So when the SHTF and I grab my AR it should be ready to go. So unless I am going to bust out over 1000 rounds I am sure my AR will function flawlessly. Not to mention 1000 rounds is alot of ammo to carry and if I need to put that much ammo down range in a SHTF scenario I had better have friends or I would just be delaying the inevitable. So basically the only point I see in this thread is another way to bash the AR platform. I mean really I have 1000 rounds with me but I couldn't grab a cleaning kit? I have to fire my 1000 rounds so quickly I don't have time to clean and lube my rifle? This is a joke...

lobo9er
July 29, 2009, 09:16 PM
AR's are cool guns between an AR and A 30-30 I'd take the 30-30 to the woods. thats just me I only owned one, a Smith and Wesson MP15, they sounded great, but mine any ways, couldn't with stand to be shot unless it was clean and lubed up. so i sold it. All i'm saying with out lube and add some dirt. i may somedaybuy another a bushmaster or the new gas piston AR's look great. i agree the last gun standing on my rack would prolly be the SxS.

lobo9er
July 29, 2009, 09:24 PM
oh and the point of this everytime someone brings up another rifle and asks about it theres always people shouting ohhhh no don't buy that one gotta get into an AR and start talking sub moa. our grandparents killed alot of critter with alot less. i get the cool factor their bad ace but theres alot of other rifles that will out work an AR besides i like talking about guns

Shear_stress
July 29, 2009, 09:32 PM
In reality who does not clean and lube their AR after every range session?


I don't and mine have never had a problem. Never. I wouldn't own a "military style" rifle that balked at minimal (though not no) maintenance. Either my guns are some kind of unbelievably rare aberration or the AR is not as unreliable as some folks (not the person quoted obviously) want to believe.

Redneck with a 40
July 29, 2009, 09:37 PM
I've never had a real desire to own an AR, they just don't toot my horn, lol. I did buy a Mini-14 yesterday and I really like it. I'm not looking for sub moa accuracy, could care less. I know the Ruger is bulletproof, very reliable, and rugged, if it'll deliver 2.5-3" at 100 yards, I'll be happy. Mine is a new model off the dealer shelf. If I were stuck out in the woods with no maintenance kit, I'd take the Ruger, simple and rugged.

I also got (4) additional Ruger 20 round magazines from midwayusa, so the mag availability is a non-issue. Pro-mag makes good ones also.

Mags
July 29, 2009, 09:44 PM
I still don't uderstand how you managed to end up with your rifle and not a cleaning kit in any scenario. It sounds like your experience with your M&P 15 has left a bad taste in your mouth for the platform. I don't want to say it but I will, it sounds like you are not too familiar with the AR platform or it's uses specificaly with our boys in the desert. Close the damn dust cover, keep your rifle ready, and add a damn cleaning kit to your grab bag. I used a military flare tube to make a water tight container for my AR cleaning and lube essentials. I keep that kit with my 4 PMags that are ready to go. If i need more than one of those PMags full of ammo I am in a really bad situation and should consider other options than lone gunning my way out. So what have we learned?
1. Keep your rifle clean
2. Think outside the box (and use commonn sense)
3. If you need more than 30 rounds at a time you are the most unluckiest man ever
4. Use the darn dust cover and keep a mag in your gun
5. Don't judge a platform by your experience with one model (if that was the case I would never have gotten into the 1911 platform)

Kind of Blued
July 29, 2009, 09:59 PM
but the point of the thread here is YOU DONT HAVE OIL AND LUBE because you either lost or forgot it thats the point. AR's are in need of those things get caught with out it and your up a creek with out a paddle sorta speak you meant to bring a paddle but you dropped it and it went down stream with out you or maybe your pack did with your cleaning kit and oil and lube. Me personally i wouldn't go back packing for extended period time with an only an AR, would you?

It would also be pretty useless if "you either lost or forgot" your ammo, as would any other gun. So what's the point? Maybe having "SHTF survival skills" simply means remembering essential things like water, food, clothes, a gun, ammo, and lubricant. Those who can't remember these things may not survive if the "SHTF".

On that note, I have an AR with at least 600 rounds through it since I last cleaned or lubricated it. How many rounds do you think an individual would expel per day in an urban or woods survival scenario? My best bet would be somewhere below one round per day.

I'm not sure why people think that being in the woods means constant, daily shoot-outs with invading troops of rabid spetznaz grizzlies. Surviving something like a post-Katrina NOLA cerainly isn't the zombie apocalypse either.

lobo9er
July 29, 2009, 10:11 PM
in the woods which breaks down first AR or winchester 94? or looking at an angry bear or pack of coyotes after being lost in woods and your canoe has tipped over AR or pump shotgun? honestly? its fun to debate

HorseSoldier
July 29, 2009, 10:48 PM
In all seriousness, the AR was designed as a standard-issue military weapon for use by regular troops, who operate in groups, and whose objective is to defeat the enemy in battle by doing such things as causing casualties, preventing movement, occupying territory and taking prisoners. Even as such, it's now backed up by a SAW, not to mention bombardment, close air support, artillery, etc.

It was never designed to be an all-purpose survival rifle for an individual.

It was also the weapon of choice for a smaller number of guys who went in harms way in very small groups on the wrong side of various international borders or elsewhere in Indian country with zero support besides what they could haul on their backs. All these silly SHTF threads that get hung up on how "unreliable" the AR is seem to overlook the actual real world experience guys who are too busy carrying weapons for a living to pontificate from an armchair.

cameron.personal
July 29, 2009, 10:59 PM
What if you are out with your AK and the trigger spring breaks? What about a mushroomed firing pin?

You can think up a stupid scenario that stops any weapon.

Cameron

dispatch55126
July 29, 2009, 11:32 PM
I love how SHTF always revolves around something like "Resident Evil" of "Night of the living dead".

Short of a meteor hit or rogue state launching nukes everywhere, SHTF means a local natural disaster. Any platform that you're comfortable with, along with food, water, medical supplies and clothes is all that you need.

...and for my 2 cents, a 12ga w/ 00 and #4 buck would fill HD needs nicely.

Dr.Rob
July 29, 2009, 11:39 PM
Take some of that ammo--all 400 rounds you managed to carry into the woods sans cleaning kit and oil because you didn't want the extra weight. Yeah that ammo? Fire three shots in the air every hour until some one comes to see what all the shooting is about. Ask them for directions. Because you probably didn't bring a map or compass either. Or TP or a canteen.

Just what are you DOING in the deep woods with 400 rounds and nothing else?

You can make a 'cleaning kit' out of almost anything. Some weedwhacker string and a handfull of q-tips and patches weighs less than a few rounds of .223. If you can't make a 'pull through' with a boot lace and a fishing sinker (Which you could melt out of a 223 bullet with a reasonable fire if you hadn't forgot your matches and lighter) your boots probably have velcro fasteners.

Adults with velcro boot fasteners are usually travelling on snowboards.

If you have a snowboard chances are you have some Mr. Zog's sex wax or similar go fast residue on your clothes and hair. This is a 'hard lube' that might work on your rifle too, if you don't coat it on too thick. If not, in a couple 3-4 days the natural oils in your hair will make a usuable lube to get the hurky stuff off your bolt carrier group.

Seriously I realize not everyone was a boy scout, but common sense and ingenuity don't fly out of the window because you missed a few episodes of McGuyver.

jojo200517
July 29, 2009, 11:45 PM
What if you are out with your AK and the trigger spring breaks? What about a mushroomed firing pin?

You can think up a stupid scenario that stops any weapon.

Cameron

I'd assume you are talking about the hammer spring, its a twisted double wire coil and will work if even one of the wires breaks. Ever had one break on ya? Just curious I never known one to break. And really mushroom a firing pin?

Number 6
July 30, 2009, 06:25 AM
In terms of lube, just use urine. It might not be pretty, but it works... at least according to Pat Rogers.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=360169

lobo9er
July 30, 2009, 07:32 AM
i'm not just hate'n on AR's maybe some of you are right i just dont undersatand the platform i think its a good conversation at least some feel the same and have had similar things happen.

kwelz
July 30, 2009, 08:27 AM
No offense but I don't think it is just the platform you don't understand.

Your understanding of survival and what goes into these situations is sorely lacking.

You are assuming that a gun should function in the absolute worse conditions no matter what. We would all like this. However the fact of the matter is that anything mechanical will fail if not maintained properly.

The m16/Ar15 Platform is durable and can function in very nasty conditions. Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, all these places have proven this fact.

Now sure, if you are involved in a prolonged engagement with enemy forces and haven't maintained your weapon at all, then it is probably going to fail. It doesn't matter if you are using an AR, AK, or a Garand. But honestly, as others have stated, if you have gotten to this point without doing any maintenance on your weapon then you are doing something wrong.

It takes thousands of rounds like this to get an AT to the point where it is unreliable. My 6940 has a few thousand rounds through it with only rudimentary cleaning and it is still running flawlessly. A single bottle of Lube would last me literally years in this type of situation and as many others have states, there are many alternatives to normal lube as well, from Motor oil to more natural alternatives.

The AR platform is proven in far harsher environments than any "lost in the woods" scenario you can come up with. We can armchair quarterback all day long about how much it sucks but the facts would prove us wrong.

Justin
July 30, 2009, 12:08 PM
In my experience, the claims of AR unreliability are so overblown as to be nearly laughable. I've known High Power Shooters who've gone through the entire match at Camp Perry without ever cleaning their rifle. I've seen AR's run in field conditions at multiple-day 3Gun/Multigun matches where they fire several hundred rounds without cleaning.

And though I have admittedly never attended a tactical carbine course, it's my understanding that the ones put on by guys like Pat Rogers and Larry Vickers generally involve firing something like a thousand rounds over the course of two days. Everything I've ever seen indicates that the vast majority of people attending those courses are running AR-based rifles.

If the AR's were as unreliable as the OP claims, no one would use them. They certainly don't require the level of babying that some claim, nor do they require special lubricants. I know of at least two serious multigun shooters who oil their rifles with 5W30. If you're in a location where you have access to the number of rounds required to burn the lube out of an AR, my guess is most of it is probably sitting in the back of the vehicle you're using to cart the stuff around.

Deer Hunter
July 30, 2009, 12:12 PM
Almost as laughable as some SHTF scenarios and the places people put themselves in.

I know if the world ended 1) I'd probably die and 2) if I didn't, I'd be living the life of luxury in an abandoned 5-star hotel somewhere, staying in a different presidential suite every day of the week and sniping zombies from the pool.

taliv
July 30, 2009, 12:21 PM
2) if I didn't, I'd be living the life of luxury in an abandoned 5-star hotel somewhere, staying in a different presidential suite every day of the week and sniping zombies from the pool.

dude, where do i sign up?

TexasRifleman
July 30, 2009, 12:22 PM
If you're anywhere where you have access to the number of rounds required to burn the lube out of an AR, my guess is most of it is probably sitting in the back of the vehicle you're using to cart the stuff around.

I just KNEW that tactical wheelbarrow would come in handy eventually......

mp5a3
July 30, 2009, 12:25 PM
I use Slip 2000 and MPro-7 products, they seem to work well. And unlike some people will tell you. I think an AR should be ran wet.

http://www.ar15.com/content/swat/keepitrunning.pdf

Some people may disagree, but I've always used the above advice for my AR's.

HexHead
July 30, 2009, 12:26 PM
Get a piston upper and be done with it. ;)

taliv
July 30, 2009, 12:28 PM
your solution to lack of lube is to add more metal-to-metal moving parts? that's a method, i guess

KW
July 30, 2009, 12:35 PM
If you are lubing your AR and can't get through at least 500 rounds without seeing malfunctions, something is wrong with your gun/ammo/mags. Fix it, don't just say "AR's are unreliable" and suffer with a gun that doesn't work.

mljdeckard
July 30, 2009, 12:36 PM
+1 for motor oil. Particularly synthetic. My old stockpile of CLP is running out, I'm in the process of switching to Mobil-1, 5w30 full synthetic for everything anyway. (It's what all three of my cars use.) If synthetic wasn't available, I would use regular. And it doesn't matter if I use CLP, Rem-oil, AR, AK, SKS, whatever. I keep the rifle as clean as I can anyway.

Justin
July 30, 2009, 12:37 PM
2) if I didn't, I'd be living the life of luxury in an abandoned 5-star hotel somewhere, staying in a different presidential suite every day of the week and sniping zombies from the pool.

I see I'm not the only one who thought Steve had the right idea in the Dawn of the Dead remake. :)

mp5a3
July 30, 2009, 12:38 PM
My car has 200,000 miles with Mobil 1 and doesn't use any oil.

Both it and the AR15 have rings and very close tolerances, so it can't be bad I'm sure.

Coronach
July 30, 2009, 01:37 PM
When you compare an AR to a good quality AK such as a converted Saiga, both are going to be accurate enough to suit your needs,I would say this depends on what your "needs" are. There are not many AKs that can achieve match-grade accuracy, even the good ones (which are admittedly better than the rack-grade ones). There are many ARs that can, easily. It all depends on your intended use for the gun. I don't see many hunters picking off 'yotes or P-dogs at long distances with an AK.

Naturally, if we're talking about sub-100yd torso shots, you're absolutely correct.

Mike

30mag
July 30, 2009, 02:17 PM
I can't subscribe to such a situation.
I'm sure what you meant was... nope. I just can't make that believable.

If you're lost for months, you have bigger problems than whether or not your gun functions. Like whether you know which way the North star is.

In a month you could walk 300 miles.

rcmodel
July 30, 2009, 02:21 PM
Who among us would still be alive after being lost for months?
Or even weeks?

If all you managed to salvage was an AR-15, your chance of extended survival would be very slim in most remote areas of the wild.

And whether or not the gun runs dry for several hundred rounds would be the least of your worries in very short order after being lost!

rc

HexHead
July 30, 2009, 02:26 PM
your solution to lack of lube is to add more metal-to-metal moving parts? that's a method, i guess

Lube on the bolt should last a lot longer without all the hot gasses spraying on it.

ArmedBear
July 30, 2009, 02:31 PM
If you're lost for months, you have bigger problems than whether or not your gun functions. Like whether you know which way the North star is.

In a month you could walk 300 miles.

You should also bring along shoe repair equipment and a few extra Vibrams.:)

taliv
July 30, 2009, 02:33 PM
I've known High Power Shooters who've gone through the entire match at Camp Perry without ever cleaning their rifle.

oh, btw, i clean my service rifle in august after camp perry, then shoot a match or two per month all year long until the next august.

Reid73
July 30, 2009, 02:56 PM
well if its not a very good shtf rifle then the most powerful military fighting force on earth is in trouble.The American military is the most powerful in the world because of its highly advanced airpower and technology (standoff weapons, space-based surveillance, C3, ECM, etc.); not because of the M16.

Now sure, if you are involved in a prolonged engagement with enemy forces and haven't maintained your weapon at all, then it is probably going to fail.While I have no use for the AR-15 'platform', honesty compels me to admit that there is more than a grain of truth in the above comment. E.g., poor (i.e., no) maintenance was a direct cause of malfunctioning FN-FALs in the Yom Kippur War; and the FN is normally a very reliable rifle.

If the ability to function in harsh conditions with no maintenance over prolonged periods is the primary concern in a semi-automatic or fully automatic rifle, the AK design stands head and shoulders above everything else.

If all you managed to salvage was an AR-15, your chance of extended survival would be very slim in most remote areas of the wild.I agree. If one was assembling a list of survival gear and could only have two or three items, a firearm would not the most important item.

You might enjoy reading Farley Mowat, Lost in the Barrens (1956), or Gary Paulson, The Hatchet (1987). Both are works of children's fiction, but they are thought-provoking.

dom1104
July 30, 2009, 03:02 PM
Reid73 speaks truth.


I think the AR is a offensive weapon, not a defensive one, and if SHTF <which is in my mind, economic failure of the USA and a high unemployment rate> defending your home is paramount. This leans toward short range high powered weapons, which for me at least is a shotgun.

come to think of it, I dont think I have ever had a pump shotgun fail in my life. huh.

Schleprok62
July 30, 2009, 03:17 PM
Wow... OK, I'm cool with the AR platform being more reliable than "internet posers" like to spout off about... but if the principle thought in this thread was a hunting trip gone awry... so far no one has made any mention of the things that a good many hunters take into the woods with them... Only one other mentioned anything about water and basic survival.

Aside from my rifle and ammo... I don't know about you all, but I make sure I have my eTrax GPS
a good compass properly set for the area I'm going to be hunting
a good topographical map of said area
2 flashlights and extra batteries
a knife
a sharpening stone
a cleaning kit (multicaliber)
a side arm (1911 45acp)
some form of hydration
some snacks
some trailmix.

I also carry with me a towel, strike anywhere matches in a sealed canister... just to name a few... these things do not require a lot of space, I fit it all in a day pack with a 1.5 qt hydration unit. If I know the hunting trip is going to be more than a weekend, I also pack a water filtration unit... $30 - $50 @ any major Outdoor shop... Cabelas, Outdoor World, etc...

Never venture too far into the wood if you're not very familiar with the area...

Cheers...

Oh, and I would take my AR without thinking twice (depending on what I was hunting...)

cameron.personal
July 30, 2009, 03:37 PM
I'd assume you are talking about the hammer spring, its a twisted double wire coil and will work if even one of the wires breaks. Ever had one break on ya? Just curious I never known one to break. And really mushroom a firing pin?

Had BOTH of these happen before!

The hammer spring broke in a training class during a drill, the AK become a club. The badly heat treated firing pin failed after about 600 rounds and had to be replaced, another club AK.

Even had a shooter beside me in a class draw his duty weapon to check function with training ammo before the class.... the trigger spring on a Glock 22 broke, one shot and the Glock became a brick!!:what:

Amazing but true even the weapons with the best internet reputations are still just mechanical devices that can fail.

Cameron

vanfunk
July 30, 2009, 03:42 PM
I have a 1970's era Colt AR carbine that has been run wet, dry, dirty, clean, and with with & without oil.

Almost 40 years later, I'm still waiting for it to malfunction the first time that couldn't be tracked to a bad reload when I first started loading .223 in 1970.

Don't blame the AR design for the raft of sub-standard and non-spec builds done over the last 20-30 years by amateurs and companies more interested in the bottom line then putting them together right!

There are also a lot of crappy after-market & worn out GI AR mags out there too.

If you prefer AK's just say so and let the rest of us that prefer AR's be.

I hereby move to endorse this sentiment as the best post ever on this topic.

All those in favor, say "aye"!

vanfunk

Reid73
July 30, 2009, 03:45 PM
Schleprok62,

Once you start thinking about what to include in a wilderness survival kit, it is hard to know where to stop. But everything adds weight and bulk.

Your list looks pretty good. I suggest adding a compact saw, a signal mirror, and a whistle. Also, dental floss takes up almost no room and can be used for many purposes.

A bug shirt is worth considering; or at least some sort of bug spray. Many people lost in the bush have been driven half-insane by biting insects.

Ditch the 1911, which serves no purpose and is heavy.

Dr.Rob
July 30, 2009, 03:50 PM
I never hunt without a goodly sized 'kit' of useful items either. Add an emergency space blanket, dry socks, at least 3 ways to start a fire, a candle, paracord, a sierra cup, TP, spare glasses (trust me I've had to use them they were a life saver), a bandana, some asprin etc in addition to a compass, map, cell phone (because if you can get line of sight they work), flashlight, cyalume light stick, poncho, trail marking tape, gorp, jerky, band aids, ace bandage, water bottle/camelback, several knives and a handgun AND a small cleaning kit. Heck the survival gear weighs less than my handgun does and all fits in a daypack that wieghs maybe 5 pounds? (Not including liquid water weight) Plus I can stow my jacket in my day pack, and even occasionally suff a Helly Hanson rain suit in there. It still doesn't weigh as much as my guns and ammo. Which stuff are you more likely to need?


Lost on a hunting trip? Personally, I rarely carry more than 8 rounds of rifle ammo and 24 pistol rounds. I think last time I coyote hunted I used a .223, had a 5 rounder in the rifle and my 'spare ammo' in a 30 rd mag so it wouldn't rattle. I also stowed this in my pack, as I wasn't quite sure of the legality of using a 30 rd magazine.

There are MULTIPLE threads here on hunting packs/bug out bags chock full of good ideas.

Jeff White
July 30, 2009, 03:56 PM
I have used GI issue insect repellent on both the M16 and M60 in the real world. There are all kinds of field expedient lubes out there. Pat is right, urine can be and has been used.

No weapon with moving parts is going to work forever with no lube or maintenance.

briansmithwins
July 30, 2009, 04:33 PM
This thread over at afrcom has some interesting pictures of M16s that have seen a hard life.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=453693

BSW

taliv
July 30, 2009, 04:51 PM
so far no one has made any mention of the things that a good many hunters take into the woods with them...

as possible, though far-fetched explanation for this could be that this is a firearms forum that frowns on fantasy SHTF threads.

ClickClickD'oh
July 30, 2009, 05:01 PM
I really love it when people tell me how crappy and unreliable my ARs are despite the fact that neither my work or hunting ARs have never actually had a non-field repairable failure despite tens of thousands of rounds down range...

I guess I'm just saving up all my failures for one giant lock up...

Okay, here's a free tip for all you internet warriors worried about dropping your AR in the mud: Get a sling.

Okay, here's another one: Your t-shirt works wonders to wipe mud off parts. Take your AR down, wipe down all internal moving parts with your t-shirt. Reassemble. Magic.

black_powder_Rob
July 30, 2009, 05:19 PM
^to add to what he said, keep your dust plate closed too.:)

Schleprok62
July 30, 2009, 05:19 PM
Once you start thinking about what to include in a wilderness survival kit, it is hard to know where to stop. But everything adds weight and bulk.

Your list looks pretty good.

Thanks... that list isn't everything, just what I could think of off the top of my head, spur of the moment while reading through the thread. It really also depends on what the plan is going in... a day trip, a weekend, a week, or however long... I tried to cover only the basics... rope, TP, other sources of light, fire building cups (egg carton, sawdust, and parafin), extra set of clothes, would also be planned in... if more than a weekend, I would also have with me MRE's as a food source. The list is never perfect, all we can do is prepare as best we can for the planned events... unplanned issues always arise and that's when we have to improvise...


As far as weight and bulk go, if it's more than a day trip, would there not be some sort of "base camp" setup? All of the things you mention wouldn't necessarily need to be with you at all times. i.e. being carried where ever you go... army shovel, tent, saw, screwdrivers, pliers, fishing line, a couple of fish hooks, etc... my pack tent weighs under 3 lbs, my pack sleeping bag under 2 lbs... we're not talking about 1000 lbs of gear or climbing Mt Everest... and chances are if you're going on that kind of hunting trip, it's going to be with a group and the load would be shared to some degree.

Yes, I agree that having EVERYTHING you'll ever need would be a very difficult task indeed...

mljdeckard
July 30, 2009, 05:21 PM
I missed the part where an AR is an 'offensive' rifle.

CoRoMo
July 30, 2009, 05:51 PM
Wow... the flames are still burning hot in this one.

Reid73
July 30, 2009, 07:19 PM
FWIW: this post (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5795672&postcount=39) on a different thread claims that soldiers in Iraq are so unhappy with the reliability of their M-16s that they are using captured AKs.

Personally, I am rather skeptical. I don't say it never happens, but most military units tend to frown upon carrying / using non-standard weapons, if for no other reason that the logistical problems of ammunition supply.

All of the things you mention wouldn't necessarily need to be with you at all times. i.e. being carried where ever you go... Yeah, that's true. Some people are keen on carrying virtual toolboxs on their belts, which is a bit much. However, I suggest that anyone venturing out-of-doors always carry a whistle. A Fox-40 'Mini' is tiny, weighs practically nothing, but can save your life if you break an ankle etc. (a whistle blast carries farther than a shout, and it is easier on the lungs, too).

kwelz
July 30, 2009, 08:16 PM
That post you just linked has sent the BS meter off the charts.

.45FMJoe
July 30, 2009, 08:24 PM
Buy a Colt, BCM or other "tier 1" rifle and don't worry about it. In your hiking scenario, are you planning on shooting more than 500 rounds? Then don't worry, Pat Rogers says a dry gun should run about 500 rounds before problems arise. Lube it properly and that goes up to 1,000+. Your entire premise is flawed.

Tim the student
July 30, 2009, 08:32 PM
FWIW: this post on a different thread claims that soldiers in Iraq are so unhappy with the reliability of their M-16s that they are using captured AKs.

I wouldn't give any credibility at all to the soldiers quoted in that post. I have not seen anything like that in 28 months in Iraq. If any soldier told me that his weapon was unreliable, I would ask him why everyone else's is reliable. I think the problem would be with the operator.

M4's run better than most people give them credit for I think, even pretty dry. The problem seems to be with dirt and sand in the action.

30mag
July 30, 2009, 09:04 PM
this post on a different thread claims that soldiers in Iraq are so unhappy with the reliability of their M-16s that they are using captured AKs.

And got their ammo from...?

Tim the student
July 30, 2009, 09:07 PM
And got their ammo from...?

Same place they got the AK. Ammo and AK's are all over. Most every house has an AK, and a mag, which was what was allowed (the last time I was there). If they had more than one mag, we often confiscated the rest of the mags.

Uncle Mike
July 30, 2009, 09:22 PM
Bear oil has many uses. Besides culinary and soap making, it is used in crafts, medicine, conditioning leather and hair, oil lamps, as a lubricant, as a skin softener, in cosmetics, as aphrodisiac and rejuvenator, to promote hair growth and countless other uses."

As far as the 'hair' thing goes... years ago someone told me chicken poopie would grow hair...not!
No....do NOT ask....!
And yea... I'm bald now!

If you got far enough in the wood that you would run your AR out of lube before you found civilization..... your in deep! Way deep...sunk...hehehe

lobo9er
July 30, 2009, 10:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3TMh1qkjFk&feature=related

Tim the student
July 30, 2009, 10:55 PM
Thanks for reminding me not to fire an AR after it is "filled with water".:rolleyes:

To others who may not know, I recommend not firing an AR with mud plugging the bore.

Mags
July 30, 2009, 10:55 PM
Looks staged to me if I was to worry about anything blowing up on an AR it would be the bolt coming through the buffer tube, for the reciever to blow that way it would have to already have been cut or weakened. Not to mention the best way to submerge your rifle if you must is to close the dust cover first the one in the video was open, then when coming out of the water dump your rifle out. Again do I really have to say it use common sense, if your rifle is full of water dump it out.

TexasRifleman
July 30, 2009, 11:02 PM
I'll remember not to take the AR with me as I re-enact scenes from "Sea Hunt" in my backyard....

Mike Nelson used a pneumatic spear gun, those darned AR's were too unreliable.

Even an AK couldn't function well enough to save the Argonaut.

rbernie
July 30, 2009, 11:03 PM
The AR15 was designed to use a buffer screw that is vented down the center to allow water to escape from the buffer tube if submerged. Some budget builds do not bother to use a proper USGI-spec buffer tube screw and (when using a solid screw) the water that gets into the buffer cannot readily and quickly get out. The result is that the buffer can hydraulic lock. I've never seen that blow out a receiver, but I suppose that it's possible.

But the point is that this demo likely indicates that somebody used a non-spec part and not that the platform has any intrinsic issues as-designed.

gga357
July 31, 2009, 01:37 AM
Just get a POF and you won't have to worry. Or send yours off and get the whole thing finished in NP3. Hunt down a sperm whale, best lube ever.
Really is no point cause any decent AR should be able to fire 1000 rounds without cleaning. Or at least a piston-AR will. :)

vanfunk
July 31, 2009, 10:50 AM
Just get a POF and you won't have to worry.

Hmm. Since every piston AR on the market is different, with no interchangeability between manufacturers, I wouldn't subscribe to this notion at all. Just get a Colt 6920, LMT Defender 2000, or a Noveske N4 and call it a day.

vanfunk

black_powder_Rob
July 31, 2009, 11:09 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGwkHktkTxU&feature=related
this is the full video of that test. they were comparing two different manufactures.

briansmithwins
July 31, 2009, 11:29 AM
Water in the bore of 5.56 weapons causing failures is a known problem. The Army has an answer too. BSW

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/drainbeforeshooting.jpg

kwelz
July 31, 2009, 11:29 AM
Yeah a number of us have gone over that video. It is pretty obviously biased. They let the HK drain better, etc.

Reid73
July 31, 2009, 01:25 PM
I don't know if the video really proves much of anything. I'd like to see it performed under more controlled conditions, using several samples.

this demo likely indicates that somebody used a non-spec part and not that the platform has any intrinsic issues as-designedPerhaps. But as we all know, one of the biggest attraction of the AR 'platform' to many people is its ability to use non-spec parts.

rbernie
July 31, 2009, 06:46 PM
I would phrase that differently.

It's appeal is that it's modular, and that you can add parts that are not part of the spec. There is no appeal in using a non-spec part when a spec part is available.

gga357
August 3, 2009, 10:50 AM
Hmm. Since every piston AR on the market is different, with no interchangeability between manufacturers, I wouldn't subscribe to this notion at all. Just get a Colt 6920, LMT Defender 2000, or a Noveske N4 and call it a day.

The OP stated that he was lost in the woods for as much as a month without lube or cleaning kit. Interchangeability does not help for the OP's situation. If he wants DI then get a KAC SR-15 or SR-25 and have it NP3'd.

DHJenkins
August 3, 2009, 11:08 AM
There are semi-permanent dry film lubes used in automotive applications that might work.

PandaBearBG
August 3, 2009, 05:58 PM
Agreed with the majority, AR is a solid reliable rifle, lubed and properly maintained it will always serve you well. Dry she will do just fine. As others have stated, it MIGHT hiccup or jam if you shoot alot of rounds thru it, the average fighting marine or soilder in a COMBAT ZONE carries about 210 rounds, 7 mags, thats a lot of shooting but not enough shooting to jam up a rifle, and a lot of weight to be lugging around. Thats 1 mag in the rifle and 6 shoved somewhere in your pants pockets (assuming you don't have some kinda pack or web gear holding them since that gear would most likely have your cleaning kit and basics too in there) so all that weight is probably what is weighing and pulling your pants down to make you fall in the mud.

If you are in a situation where there are 200 enemies/animals/zombies or whatever coming at you you are already screwing the pooch! If you are falling in the mud and don't have the practical mindset to save your weapon and to keep it as the highest priority on your survival list within reason of course, you may already be lacking in the discipline and patience to survive for weeks alone anyways. Personally if I was lost in the woods, with only an AR, even if I only had one mag, half empty or not, I guarantee you I would clean that thing and maintain it every nite, rub it down with me tshirt, or dry it out and blow the dirt out or whatever. In your scenario, survival is more about discipline and patience than your gear.

Besides a good ole but stroke or strapping on that bayonet will always work in a pinch!

Reid73
August 5, 2009, 05:01 PM
Besides a good ole but stroke or strapping on that bayonet will always work in a pinch! That's a good argument for the old SMLE ... but not the M-16 / AR-15.

http://www.smellysmleshooters.net/antiques_s.jpg

shephard19
August 5, 2009, 05:40 PM
I have doubts about the AR-15 for self defense situations or the battlefield, if it has to be babied all the time so it doesn't turn into a jam-o-matic, that give me serious doubts and worries in high stress situations, in real world situations(less than ideal situations) where dirt does get into the gun. The most important consideration with guns for the battlefield to me would be will it shoot when I pull the trigger? I would seriously consider a side by side 12 gauge shotgun with buck shot over an AR-15 for self defense in dirty environments.

rbernie
August 5, 2009, 07:06 PM
I have doubts about the AR-15 for self defense situations or the battlefield, if it has to be babied all the time so it doesn't turn into a jam-o-matic, that give me serious doubts and worries in high stress situations, in real world situations(less than ideal situations) where dirt does get into the gun. I suggest you search here and elsewhere and actually read what returning warfighters say, when they come back from the sandbox. Not what they supposedly said, or what somebody's father said they said, or what the chain letter reportedly written by a warfighter said - you need to read what actual real live folk who've Been There and Done That (and can prove it) have to offer.

I know of more than a handful of these folk, and universally NONE of them complained about the M16/M4 platform being unreliable. Some of those folk have posted that very same thing here.

Y'all just have to stop repeating this silly nonsense. It might have been true in 1967, but it's simply not the case today. And sadly, the chorus of the chairborne warrior or the well-intentioned newbie is drowning out the words of those in a position to speak with authority on the issue.

PandaBearBG
August 5, 2009, 07:37 PM
shepard19 - I have doubts about the AR-15 for self defense situations or the battlefield, if it has to be babied all the time so it doesn't turn into a jam-o-matic, that give me serious doubts and worries in high stress situations, in real world situations(less than ideal situations) where dirt does get into the gun. The most important consideration with guns for the battlefield to me would be will it shoot when I pull the trigger? I would seriously consider a side by side 12 gauge shotgun with buck shot over an AR-15 for self defense in dirty environments.

Maybe the origianl m16 jammed but were quickly replaced. Modern day M4 and AR 15 platforms are very robust and do not "need" to be babied all the time, standard maintance is a must for any responsible firearm owner, regardless of situation or place. If you discount the thousands of troops that used that rifle in multiple wars and combat zones throught the DECADEs including "dirty enviroments" like SAND (maybe you haven't seen the news the past 8 years? And yes I have been there and have had 100% faith in my rifle). Before you make an statement like that at go enlist, serve your time, do your duty with real actual experience, then make a comparison. I guarantee you that if you had a "side by side 12 gauge" (2 shots?) in a "high stress situation" (deployment) you would really be regretting your choice of firearm. No guesses on my part, just real world observations.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 05:21 AM
The answer to the OP is dead simple. You can choose the AR with its direct impingement system which is second best to a gas piston system in reliability but who cares because you will unfailingly have the tools and time necessary to preen it. Even if you don't have those tools or the time, a good AR should manage to grind along okay for all the use you'll be giving it anyway right?

This is failed logic. You won't need the best because the second best ought to let you get by. If people want to opt for second best in reliability because it’s good enough then that’s their business. If you rightfully think that stinks, you can opt for the age old gas piston design which is undoubtedly the best of the two when it comes to reliability.

The current generation of assault rifles aren’t adhering to gas pistons just to add extra weight.

XM8
FN 2000
IMI Tavor
HK416
FN SCAR

(and for that matter neither are basically the entire history of assault rifles from inception which includes such diversity as the Austrian Steyr Aug to the Taiwanese T86). The AK and other gas piston designs haven’t plucked an aura of reliability out of thin air and neither did DI build up controversy out of nowhere.

You can rest assured that when the US army inevitably does ditch direct impingement they sure aren’t going to be opting for second best saying that it’s ‘good enough for what we need it to do’. SOCOM sure didn’t have ‘the second best is good enough’ attitude when they chose the HK416 and neither should you if you want the best in reliability.

Very simple, you could settle for second best because it ‘should do just fine’ as seen in numerous comments or just do what any rational person would and get a decent gas piston design rifle if reliability is your #1 desire.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 05:27 AM
Yeah a number of us have gone over that video. It is pretty obviously biased. They let the HK drain better, etc.

I'd say it's probably about as biased as this video of the LWRC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMZX5WO1uSk

kwelz
August 6, 2009, 05:50 AM
Your argument that the DI system is second best is flawed. Both systems work, both work well, both have advantages and disadvantages.

The current AR Piston conversion system manufacturers are relying on the misplaced fears of people who heard about their dads best friends cousins son who had problems with his gun back in Vietnam. Or the storied of gun store commandos buying second rare gear and having problems.

Funny that the people who use these weapons aren't screaming that they suck and jam up. They actually seem pretty happy with the M4s and their "second best" DI system.

There is no need to "preen" a DI gun. You give it a basic cleaning every thousand rounds or so and you should be fine. And by cleaining I don't mean strip it down to basic component. I mean drop the bolt, wipe it off, give it a quick once over and go back to shooting.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 06:46 AM
Your argument that the DI system is second best is flawed. Both systems work, both work well, both have advantages and disadvantages.

It isn't flawed. What is flawed however is your comment that fails to acknowledge I was talking second best in regards to reliability. Each system does have pros and cons and reliability is undeniably the trophy held by the gas piston.

The current AR Piston conversion system manufacturers are relying on the misplaced fears of people who heard about their dads best friends cousins son who had problems with his gun back in Vietnam. Or the storied of gun store commandos buying second rare gear and having problems.

Totally disagree. Regardless of whether or not you have or haven't had issues with the second place reliability position held by DI has nothing to do with it falling behind the piston design in regards to reliability. I don't really care if people don't have any issues with it and that it 'does what it needs to do'. The fact remains that the piston design is inherently more reliable and assault rifle manufacture past and present, with the glaring exception of the m16 (which will inevitably be replaced with GP anyway), will continue to be dominated by piston designs.

funny that the people who use these weapons aren't screaming that they suck and jam up. They actually seem pretty happy with the M4s and their "second best" DI system.

being happy with a system that is reliable enough is fine. Recognising the fact that it is not the winner when it comes to reliability is more than fine - it is being objective and rational.

There is no need to "preen" a DI gun. You give it a basic cleaning every thousand rounds or so and you should be fine. And by cleaining I don't mean strip it down to basic component. I mean drop the bolt, wipe it off, give it a quick once over and go back to shooting.

That's why I said "Even if you don't have those tools or the time, a good AR should manage to grind along okay for all the use you'll be giving it anyway right?" The AR15/m16 may be adequate in terms of reliability but is sure isn't the best. If I was looking for the best in reliability I wouldn't opt for second place with the justification that 'it does the job'. Small arms designers havn't since the 40s, the army won't when it ditches DI, SOCOM didn't when the adopted the HK416.

kwelz
August 6, 2009, 08:13 AM
Funny you keep saying second best. second best, second best, yet I haven't seen you offer one bit of actual data to back up your argument.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 08:21 AM
In my opinion a cave man could look at both systems and determine that gunk pushed in here or kept out there would clearly indicates which system is inherently more reliable.

For those that want to objectively inform themselves about first and second place in the reliability department - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=460166

SpeedAKL
August 6, 2009, 09:29 AM
I've put thousands of rounds downrange by now and have not had any real problems with my Bushmaster AR other than a couple FTFs using crappy ammo. Yes, I keep it cleaned and lubed, but I do that for all my guns. I'd trust my life with this gun any time.

rbernie
August 6, 2009, 12:23 PM
In my opinion a cave man could look at both systems and determine that gunk pushed in here or kept out there would clearly indicates which system is inherently more reliable.
Such a conclusion would not be supported by actual empirical data, however. At one point, it was postulated that even a cave man could look at the world and see that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. Simply holding an opinion as fact, however broadly it may be held, doesn't make it true....

There have been many thoughtful discussions here as to be benefits and liabilities of piston-upper ARs, and the consensus seems to be that retrofitting a piston upper onto the AR platform causes more issues than it solves. Designing a rifle from the start as a piston-drive action may prove more satisfying in some ways, and less satisfying in others.

But that's all a thread drift that is unfair to the OP. The OP postulated that the AR platform was unsuitable for use in austere conditions, and that opinion has been demonstrated as patently false by the very people who use them as the tools of their trade.

61chalk
August 6, 2009, 01:08 PM
^^^^ I'll second that.

Dravur
August 6, 2009, 01:39 PM
Darn....I must be a second rate citizen. I own a dozen or do DI AR systems. I also hate cleaning guns.

Yet, I have not had a failure on any of them that wasnt directly due to the ammo.

I know, I must have just gotten lucky. Im sure all mine are just waiting for that day that they can explode like a hand grenade.

Sheesh. If anyone can tell me why spending double to triple the price on an upper to "Maybe" give me an edge in reliability.... again, no one can assure me of that... is a good thing... Im all ears.

Have not heard a good argument yet.

middy
August 6, 2009, 02:36 PM
Any caveman could see that the simpler DI system with fewer moving parts would be more reliable. ;-)

mp5a3
August 6, 2009, 02:38 PM
I see this post lasting months and months.

rcmodel
August 6, 2009, 02:41 PM
One other thing never mentioned by the gas-piston crowd.

I can get AR parts if I ever needed them, at the next gun show, and some corner gas stations in small towns.

Try finding parts for any of the many different piston-gun designs when the SHTF, or the next crime control bill passes and it breaks.

rc

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 05:53 PM
Any caveman could see that the simpler DI system with fewer moving parts would be more reliable. ;-)

Heh yeah, tell that to the Israelis - upcoming Tavor, Norway Turkey & US SOCOM - HK416, Austrians - Steyr Aug, Swiss - SIG SG 550, Singapore - SAR-21, Britain SA80, Chinese QBZ-95, Indonesian Pindad SS2, Brazilian IMBEL MD2, Mexican - FX-05, Taiwanese - SAR-21, Italians - Berretta AR-90, Korean - Daewoo K2, Belgians - FN F2000. The oldest of these assault rifles is the 1978 Steyr Aug introduced 17 years after the m16. Not to mention the XM8 and FN SCAR.

Seems designers have shunned DI even after its supposed benefits had been apparent for 17 years in the case of the AUG and 44 years in the case of the HK416. Sure DI will get you by in reliability therefore it’s A-okay right? Wrong, getting by and getting the best is patently two very different things as SOCOM know and the regular army will no doubt go by when they do change. Don’t get me wrong, the m16 design spanks the AK47 hands down in every area but reliability in my opinion. So if reliability isn’t #1 and you reckon DI will do what you need it to do the answer is obvious – AR15/M16. However the original AK47 was left behind long ago in arms development, even by Russia, and assault rifles around the world sure haven’t been limited to the AK design. So when it comes to AR15/M16 vs contemporary (and even 1978 vintage) gas piston, DI certainly isn’t the best, a point made by SOCOM and regular armies worldwide, domestic designs and small arms adoptions.

Mags
August 6, 2009, 06:42 PM
I am just gonna put it this way a gas piston in the hands of a U.S. G.I. grunt will look like a "u" shape after Private Snuffy tries to clean his rifle. I respect the research the U.S. Army currently puts into an item before fielding it. Therefore in arming a mass infantry the DI sytem must be better for whatever reasons the World's Greatest Fighting Force have deemed necessary.

Deer Hunter
August 6, 2009, 06:43 PM
Why is everyone mentioning the XM8? That thing melted into the ditches of history.

DI works. but man do people need something to complain about.

rbernie
August 6, 2009, 06:52 PM
Seems designers have shunned DI even after its supposed benefits had been apparent for 17 years in the case of the AUG and 44 years in the case of the HK416. Sure DI will get you by in reliability therefore it’s A-okay right? Wrong, getting by and getting the best is patently two very different things as SOCOM know and the regular army will no doubt go by when they do change.Lemme rephrase the argument you've made here:

If somebody chooses a weapons platform that I like, it validates my worldview. If somebody chooses a weapons platform that I don't like, it's because they don't know any better.

Hmmm - OK. If you say so.

As an aside, Grantman - how many of these rifles have you fired, owned, and/or taken into austere conditions yourself?

Maverick223
August 6, 2009, 07:00 PM
I don't like DI...it is dirty an therefore causes most of the problems that are inherent with the design of AR family of weapons; however I will not go as far as to say that it is likely to fail...it isn't. I can't even say that it is a bad design...just not my favorite...nor is it what I consider the best...but concluding that it is a totally unreliable POS is a big jump. :)

Tim the student
August 6, 2009, 07:26 PM
The most important consideration with guns for the battlefield to me would be will it shoot when I pull the trigger?

And thats why I had no issues with the M4 in Iraq, other than FMJ ammo.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 07:48 PM
If a US GI could bend a chunky gas piston in a U shape, after they've finished with an M4 gas tube it must look like a pretzel.

If somebody chooses a weapons platform that I like, it validates my worldview. If somebody chooses a weapons platform that I don't like, it's because they don't know any better.

Hmmm - OK. If you say so.

Not at all. A weapons platform is based on its merits and it is these merits that will inevitably see the American Army ditch DI and return to their original gas piston. No doubt if the merits of DI outweighed the merits of GP the American Army would adopt DI whenever it does change assault rifles, and what’s more DI would be prevalent in past and contemporary small arms design. In fact, if it really was better than GP, DI would hands down be dominating small arms design today. Instead DI will be fading off into the past. This is very telling, very definitive.


As an aside, Grantman - how many of these rifles have you fired, owned, and/or taken into austere conditions yourself?

I have no first hand experience with DI firearms which hasn't made anything I've said any less accurate. I have no doubt that a quality DI system would do the job superbly for all I'd ever be using it for. If I picked up a good AR15 I'd fully expect excellent service out of it, accuracy, weight, calibre, ergonomics all exemplary. In saying that, it does not have the 1st place trophy in reliability even if it ‘will still be ok for your needs’. Assault rifles have been ticking off accuracy, weight, calibre & ergonomics requirements for decades while holding the GP trophy.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 07:56 PM
however I will not go as far as to say that it is likely to fail...it isn't. I can't even say that it is a bad design...just not my favorite...nor is it what I consider the best...but concluding that it is a totally unreliable POS is a big jump.

Absolutely.

Joe Demko
August 6, 2009, 08:18 PM
If a US GI could bend a chunky gas piston in a U shape, after they've finished with an M4 gas tube it must look like a pretzel.

Chunky? The pistons I've seen, especially for retrofits, are more willowy than chunky. FTR, not much ever happens to gas tubes because little ever realy needs to be done to them. I've seen lots of problems caused by people trying to clean them and very few caused by people not cleaning them.

The Deer Hunter
August 6, 2009, 08:21 PM
I didn't take the time to read all 6 pages, but I think if you're in a situation where you are likely to get lost and need a good, reliable rifle that doesn't need constant maintenance, maybe an autoloader like an AR-15 isn't a good choice. I'm not trying to downplay it, but the fact of the matter is that the AR15 is nowhere near as reliable as something like a bolt action rifle, or a pump action shotgun.

My first bit of advice would be to take along a field cleaning kit and a bottle of oil, however the premise of the situation entails that you have somehow lost or forgotten your equipment.

Of course, no one can plan for what they don't know is going to happen. Some of the best advice I have ever heard is: "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best". In other words, always be prepared for the worst possible scenario.

Following those words of wisdom, part of my preparation for the worst possible scenario in which I have nothing but the clothes on my back and my gun in my hands, I would probably think to bring a firearm that I know is going to reliable regardless of how dirty it is, or how dry it may be. However, I do like to get my gun wet every once in a while...

ClickClickD'oh
August 6, 2009, 08:22 PM
If a US GI could bend a chunky gas piston in a U shape, after they've finished with an M4 gas tube it must look like a pretzel.

You remove a gas tube in the process of cleaning an M4?

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 08:28 PM
The piston themselves are hardly willowy, the op rod would be the part you're talking about which I can't see breaking anymore than anything else on the rifle that isn't the receiver or barrel. While I'm sure soldiers destroyed Garand and m14 op rods it hardly justifies avoiding them over the DI gas tube even if the tube shouldn't ever need removing.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 08:34 PM
You remove a gas tube in the process of cleaning an M4?
of course the gas tube doesn't need to be removed to damage it. Take the hand guards or rail system off and you've got a tube sitting under there exposed to whatever happens. It's sure not going to be less of a liability than dealing with an decent, solid throughout, op rod in roughly in the same place

rbernie
August 6, 2009, 08:59 PM
I have no first hand experience with DI firearms which hasn't made anything I've said any less accurate. Actually, your arguments have zero credibility. You are debating book learnin' with people that actually have real life experiences. I cannot fathom how you can possibly equate the two.

Mags
August 6, 2009, 09:21 PM
You remove a gas tube in the process of cleaning an M4? Not normally in the field but back at CATM we do. But we do remove the handguards and I can see that piston getting bent when the gas tube is bent it still functions.

Grantman
August 6, 2009, 09:28 PM
Actually, your arguments have zero credibility. You are debating book learnin' with people that actually have real life experiences. I cannot fathom how you can possibly equate the two.
how about you tell me where I'm wrong instead of implying information is useless unless it has been experienced first hand. From that argument I may as well try hard drugs etc etc because the instruction from others, parents included, the written studies and so on aren't worth anything whatsoever.

Mags
August 6, 2009, 09:33 PM
how about you tell me where I'm wrong instead of implying information is useless unless it has been experienced first hand. From that argument I may as well try hard drugs etc etc because the instruction from others, parents included, the written studies and so on aren't worth anything whatsoever.How many times must I say I consider the THR forum a useful tool when people give their first hand firearms experiences. Opinions don't really contribute much to a fact based argument. I just don't understand how you even have an argument never shouldering a DI AR15.

ramis
August 6, 2009, 09:34 PM
Buy a good quality AR, keep the BCG lubed, and you'll be good to go.

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=35136&highlight=cleaning
(bottom of the first page.)

Pat Rogers has over 15,000 rounds through that rifle with just lubing.

taliv
August 6, 2009, 09:34 PM
to steal a phrase from Art...


"Enough"

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