Civilian AR/AK Question


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Kevin5098
March 22, 2010, 02:04 PM
I volunteer as a safety officer at a local public shooting range. Our safety procedures call for actions to be open (or chamber flag in place) during cease fire when people go down range to post targets. Some of the civilian AR and AK shooters tell me that they are unable to lock the bolt to the rear. Are there AR or AK designs that do not allow the bolt to be locked rearward without a magazine in place? My only AR experience is with M16A1 and my AK experience is nil.

Kevin

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Justin
March 22, 2010, 02:09 PM
I'm not aware of any AR-pattern rifle that doesn't have a bolt hold-open. It's possible such a design exists, but highly unlikely.

Most AK-pattern rifles do not have a bolt hold-open on them, so you'll have to come up with an alternative.

Ben86
March 22, 2010, 02:10 PM
I second the above statement.

Broken11b
March 22, 2010, 02:11 PM
I haven't seen an AR that wont lock to the rear yet...
My AK experience is limited, but after some messing with it, it can be locked back (don't know if that works for all of them though.)

And Justin seems to have had the opposite experience with AK bolts, knew someone would.

TexasRifleman
March 22, 2010, 02:12 PM
Never seen an AR without a bolt hold open. Most AK's don't have one.

These are less than $2

http://www.creedmoorsports.com/store/images/detailed/d_181.jpg

These are $6

http://www.creedmoorsports.com/store/images/tn/t_889205_02.jpg

happygeek
March 22, 2010, 02:26 PM
The one AR that won't lock open is an AR with a dedicated 22LR upper on it. The 22LR bolt doesn't match up with the bolt catch on the 5.56 lower.

Kevin5098
March 22, 2010, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the replies. We provide the yellow chamber flags for free, and I'm ok with using them during cease fire. I suspect a lot of our black rifle shooters don't know their firearm very well. The 22LR upper could be the problem in many cases.

Z-Michigan
March 22, 2010, 02:59 PM
Chamber flag is best. I've also seen people use empty cases to prop open the AK bolt (obviously this has risks for confusion between empty and live).

Any AR-15 user who doesn't know how to lock the bolt back, and has one that will lock back (all but .22 LR conversions), is more than a little worrisome.

ny32182
March 22, 2010, 04:39 PM
As everyone else noted, ARs lock open; AK's don't....

If chamber flag is going to be the rule, the range will probably need to buy them in bulk and hand them out to the AK shooters, since few people will actually have one. Alternately I guess they could just pop the top cover, unhook the recoil spring (removing the forward push on the carrier) and move the bolt back a couple inches. This should take less than ten seconds.

The public rifle range I use has rifle racks behind the benches, and when a cold range is called, all rifles must be racked with the muzzle up before anyone goes down range. I don't know if this would be an option at your range...

Kevin5098
March 22, 2010, 04:53 PM
Rifles at our range are racked with muzzle up and action locked open. If action does not stay open there are chamber flags provided. I asked the question originally because I have had several AR and AK shooters tell me that the action cannot be locked open without a magazine. My experience with the M16A1 was that the action could be locked open without a magazine. It could be that the AR shooters all had 22LR uppers (I don't remember). There are plenty of worrisome shooters at our public range. Like the first time shooter who thought a folding stock AK would make a great first gun.

ny32182
March 22, 2010, 05:03 PM
Standard ARs lock open just like the M16A1.

AKs don't lock open with or without a magazine... there is no bolt catch, period. There are a couple one-off creative designs out there that might be able to lock open, but they are definitely the exception.

Zerodefect
March 22, 2010, 05:27 PM
On an AR you pull the charging handle back and push the bolt release the wrong way. Use a chamber flag on the AK. You can use a chamber flag on either.

The AR is just like useing the slide release lever to hold the slide open on a pistol with no mag
inserted. You can also pull the charging handle and depress the bolt release to gently close the action on the Ar when an empty magazine is installed. So that the bolt deosn't slam home on an empty chamber when you box it up to go home.

What range are these fuds at? Wow, just Wow. Are you sure they aren't just messing with you.

Broken11b
March 22, 2010, 05:32 PM
So is my WASR the oddball because it can be locked back? Ive seen more than one that can do this.

briansmithwins
March 22, 2010, 05:58 PM
WASRs don't have a hold open, the bolt carrier was getting stuck on the hammer.

The matches I shoot at require a chamber flag for all rifles. People that don't have them are required to buy them at a $1 each. BSW

Broken11b
March 22, 2010, 06:51 PM
So it's not a hold open... it's just stuck open...

N003k
March 22, 2010, 06:58 PM
I can get my AK-74's bolt to stay open too, by slowly and carefully riding it onto the hammer, buuut, if I even just barely tap the rifle, it'll usually fly off and closed. Pretty sure the WASR's hold open for the same reason, just more reliably and easily. I wouldn't put my finger in the chamber while relying on it personally. haha

Ian
March 22, 2010, 08:12 PM
Just to be nitpicky, I'll point out that Yugo AK mags do lock the bolt back in an AK when empty. They use a follower design that intercepts the bolt directly (so when you remove the empty mag, the bolt slams forward). They function this way in all AKs, not just Yugo examples.

TheWarhammer
March 22, 2010, 10:40 PM
Some AK pattern rifles, most notably Saigas, DO have a BHO feature. Most, however, do not. I added an "improved" selector lever to my AK to facilitate holding the bolt open at the range. It's and easy modification to do one any AK using only a Dremel tool or even a hand file. You simple cut a notch into the selector lever that allows it to lock the bolt open when the selector lever is raised to "safe." Mine also has a finger tab, which allows me to operate the selector with taking my firing hand off of the grip.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v409/rlkeely/IMGP2959.jpg
The practice of purposely "sticking" the bolt open on an AK is dangerous and foolish. Either add a BHO device or use a chamber flag.

DoubleTapDrew
March 22, 2010, 10:48 PM
Just to be nitpicky, I'll point out that Yugo AK mags do lock the bolt back in an AK when empty. They use a follower design that intercepts the bolt directly (so when you remove the empty mag, the bolt slams forward). They function this way in all AKs, not just Yugo examples.
I have some of those mags. Don't like em since I gotta rack the bolt after inserting a new mag anyway.

I think chamber flags are going to be the only solution with AKs. Require them and if you don't want to supply them and if the shooter didn't bring any he can buy some from you (for a $1 markup, of course), or remove the recoil spring and move the bolt back. It'll be good field stripping training for newbies with the design.

P.S.- If an AR shooter tells you he/she can't lock the bolt back, show them how. Same as your M16, pull the charging handle back, press the top part of the bolt release paddle on the left hand side, let bolt slide slowly forward until it catches.

WardenWolf
March 22, 2010, 10:56 PM
Most AK's can have their bolts held open by carefully letting the carrier ride forward while applying upward pressure on the bolt handle. However, this is a very, very fragile hold, and many will snap forward if you even breathe on them. The solution is either a chamber flag or a modified safety. Chamber flags are good and cheap, but can be lost or forgotten at home. The modified safety is good, but leaves the receiver open to dust a bit more. Here's what I'd like to see made: an AK bolt blocker that just snaps into the magazine well like a magazine.

benEzra
March 22, 2010, 11:32 PM
If an AR shooter tells you he/she can't lock the bolt back, show them how. Same as your M16, pull the charging handle back, press the top part of the bolt release paddle on the left hand side, let bolt slide slowly forward until it catches.
You may have mistyped? To lock the bolt, you have to hold down the little nub at the bottom of the bolt catch/bolt release, at least on a civilian AR.

http://shanedaughtry.com/AR15Build.aspx
http://shanedaughtry.com/images/Close%20Up%204.jpg

DoubleTapDrew
March 23, 2010, 12:03 AM
Oops, yep!

greyling22
March 23, 2010, 10:52 AM
on an ar you can also pull the bolt back, and stick your finger up the empty mag well and push up the little doo-hicky at the back of the magwell that the magazine pushes up to lock the bolt back. That's how I did it before I just learned a different and better way. (thanks guys!)

EAJ
March 23, 2010, 11:02 AM
Just to be nitpicky, I'll point out that Yugo AK mags do lock the bolt back in an AK when empty. They use a follower design that intercepts the bolt directly (so when you remove the empty mag, the bolt slams forward). They function this way in all AKs, not just Yugo examples.

True, they work well in my Lancaster AK, however some ranges require that all magazines be removed from the action during cease fire.

justashooter in pa
March 23, 2010, 02:23 PM
they prolly just don't like you calling them "civilians".

NMGonzo
March 23, 2010, 04:21 PM
I'm not aware of any AR-pattern rifle that doesn't have a bolt hold-open. It's possible such a design exists, but highly unlikely.

Most AK-pattern rifles do not have a bolt hold-open on them, so you'll have to come up with an alternative.

Hold the bolt open with a spent case.

Hizzie
March 23, 2010, 05:34 PM
Most 22LR conversion kits for the AR platfor have no BHO.

frankge
March 24, 2010, 10:26 AM
at our 2-gun rifle matches ALL rifles must have a bolt hold open flag. Even the ARs - I always do because I shoot the AK

Diverdave
March 24, 2010, 01:31 PM
I just used a dremmel and cut a notch in the AK safety lever. It holds the bolt secure.

Driftertank
March 24, 2010, 01:43 PM
Sorry, I'm gonna threadjack for a momentary vent...

The other day I went out to try out my new rifle (at a public outdoor range with no RSO's). As we were finishing up and collecting our targets, some dumb old fudd 3 lanes over started firing his pistol...with me and my brother still downrange! In retrospect, I wish I had walked up to the old SOB and told him what an absolute %$#& he was. Instead, we just left.

Guess that's the risk of a free public outdoor range.

Zerodefect
March 24, 2010, 03:44 PM
Whoa, that sucks. Noone else noticed and started yelling or anything?!

Strahley
March 24, 2010, 03:52 PM
On my AK, I pull the charging handle back, stick a flag through the ejection port and mag well, and slowly close the bolt. Works fine for me

Driftertank
March 24, 2010, 04:29 PM
Whoa, that sucks. Noone else noticed and started yelling or anything?!

Nope. I have been known to be an overbearing prick at the range, even shouting "Secure that weapon!!" at a young guy with an AR that started firing while another guy on the opposite side of me (who the kid didn't see) was heading down to check his targets. I'll usually call a clear range when I see someone wanting to head downrange. There are no designated range officers out there, and most people will pay attention and listen if one person starts shouting commands and sounding officious. But there are certain people you know will just tell you to feck off. Young guys in wifebeaters with tatoos, and old dudes with handguns who shoot only about 20 feet in front of the bench are almost invariably unwilling to heed shouted commands or take advice. If I'd planned to spend anymore time shooting, I'd have likely confronted him, but since I was leaving anyway, I just got on with it.

shibby
March 24, 2010, 04:31 PM
They probably dont fully understand how to use their guns.

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