Rifle/class Compatibility?


August 25, 2010, 11:39 AM
I'm in the process of building, little by little, part by part, no expense spared, a USMC M16A4--20" gov't profile barrel, KAC M5 RAS, Trijicon TA31RCO-A4, A2 fixed stock, etc. Parts sources are mainly BCM (upper assembly, bolt carrier group, and charging handle), LMT (lower parts and stock), and YHM (for the lower and back-up rear sight).

The thing is, would this thing be allowed/suitable for any sort of class I could take? I see all the time advertisements for "Defensive Carbine" and "Fighting Carbine", and even adverts for "Defensive Rifle" show people tooling about with tacticool ARs with short barrels and telestocks in every flavor of the rainbow. I've handled more of those than I care to mention, and the A4 has always seemed the most "right" for me. The manual of arms is nearly identical, even.

Am I SOL? :(

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August 25, 2010, 12:01 PM
I'm not well versed in the ARs. When I went to a Frontsight 4 day rifle class in May, they do inspect the weapons prior to the start of class. The one thing I do recall one person mentioning was that they didn't allow his lower because it had a match target trigger. They did allow him to use his upper and their lower. As best I could decipher, they considered the target trigger a safety issue. I did notice many tricked out ARs. Most rifle, carbine classes are very flexible in terms of what you can bring as long as there isn't going to be a safety issue. I took a pistol class elsewhere recently. There was a person shooting a revolver who had some slight misalignment in the cylinter and some lead shavings were comming out the sides of the cylinder. It was a safety issue so shooter ended up having to use a range rental revolver.

August 25, 2010, 12:04 PM
The trigger in mine is a Geissele SSA, non-adjustable. I hope it would be approved...

August 25, 2010, 12:14 PM
someone in a class I just took used a 20" AR. Set up like the M16A2 (fixed carry handle)

Having a collapsible stock (even the normal M4 one, nothing too fancy) gives you a couple of options for sling attachment, so you should definitely use one. I used a standard adjustable sling, mounted on the forward sling swivel and then looped through the slot at the top-rear of my stock. Worked flawlessly, no tactical garbage on the sling to mess with.

August 25, 2010, 12:43 PM
I don't know of anyone that wouldn't allow you to use an A4 style gun in a course; even if it's billed as a carbine course. I do think you'd find yourself lagging behind in some of the close end work done in these courses due to the ACOG

Al Thompson
August 25, 2010, 12:53 PM
Agree with NCPatrol... Where you get into "issues" is when you show up with a rifle that has a different operating system. An example would be showing up at a class designed for ARs with a FAL.

Art Eatman
August 25, 2010, 02:19 PM
This isn't necessarily the "wrong" forum, but let's see what the guys in the Rifle Country forum might know. It can always be moved back.

August 25, 2010, 02:22 PM
No problem here. :) Information is always appreciated.

August 25, 2010, 02:27 PM
The trigger in mine is a Geissele SSA, non-adjustable. I hope it would be approved.

Since it was specifically designed for combat use and isn't as light as a match trigger, I would sure hope so. But the only way to be sure would be to ask the instructor for each course you're interested in.

Al Thompson
August 25, 2010, 02:59 PM
Z, I don't think I'd mention it unless asked. If who ever is selling instruction (aka the instructor) does not have some obvious disclaimer, too bad.

August 25, 2010, 03:51 PM
The Geissele SSA is a combat trigger. It's smooth, and it's 2-stage, but it's still a combat trigger. It should be good to go in any class. I wouldn't even mention it.

August 25, 2010, 04:33 PM
'course, another idea I had is to copy the entire thing outright in AirSoft form. :D

Totals out to about $600, compared to the actual rifle which is estimated to be about $3000. :uhoh:

August 25, 2010, 04:57 PM
I see no reason you could not use it but it is far from optimal. Especially if it is a CQB class. Carbines are much faster on target and much easier to move around all day. That extra barrel gets in the way and the overall gun is just more "awkward"

August 25, 2010, 06:06 PM
Thats fine for a carbine class. A horrible choice but it's doable.

You'll see alot of 14.5" and 16" carbines with suppressors on. Pretty sure those are both longer than a 20" rifle. And they do ok, the guy shooting them is completely miserable, but the long rifles are ok.

It really stinks shooting those around barricades. That extra 4-6" is a mile when your popping out from cover.

I use 14.5" to 16" Carbines for defense. And I use my 18.5 BCM as an SPR. I would never choose my 18.5" for defense or CQB or a carbine class.

I think your wasteing your time training with a 20" rifle, stick with 14.5-16". 20 inchers are more of a battle rifle and less of a civvy defensive rifle. 18.5 SPR's, AR10's, M1's are more of a battle rifle IME/O.

And a 20" AR is really only a good defensive rifle outdoors away from urban cover. I get my rifle up and line up my sights/red dot before i pop out from behind cover. Doing this with a 20" barrel really puts you far away from your cover and easier to hit from your flanks. Enve 16" feels too long. 20" is obsolete in a true defensive situation unless your on a farm or in the desert or something. Useless for urban combat. There's a reason those 14.5" M4's are so popular and 20's are nearly extinct.

I can't use proper barricade form with a 16" in most places of my house. I have to use a slower technique wher I'm not on target before being way too exposed. 14.5" works ok. 18-20" would be impossible.

If you want a 20" rifle then get one, but use the rifle you'll use for serious work for your training. Otherwise you waste a bit of your training.

August 25, 2010, 07:34 PM
With the time, effort, and headache I've put into it so far, there's a 93% chance this will be my only autoloading rifle once it's done. I'm already a big guy (6'3" with an 82" armspan) so most traditional methods of popping out and such are kinda moot. Even the A2 stock is a bit short for me--I've tried the whole "telestock all the way in, placing the butt on the inner pec, and hunkering down," and I feel seriously cramped.

If I had a usable carbine, I'd learn how to run it like a carbine. This is a rifle, and I want to learn how to run it like a rifle. I'm sure there are some definite differences between the two as far as deployment and tactics go (as ZeroDefect stated), but there have got to be some similarities.

I guess the better question for me to ask would have been, "Is there a purpose-made class out there for running a 20" AR?" Short of outright joining the USMC, that is...

August 25, 2010, 07:50 PM
The guy who instructs most of my classes is larger than you are and he uses a collapsible stock fairly far in. Don't take this wrong but you need to figure out what you want to do. If you don't want a carbine fine, don't get one. But don't try to use a rifle AS a carbine.

I don't know of any classes for 20 inch Rifles. They have fallen out of favor and for good reason. And honestly, the USMC isn't going to teach you any better than a private class. They are transitioning to carbines as well.

August 25, 2010, 08:15 PM
There's nothing wrong with using a 20" gun in a carbine course if that's what you plan to use in real life

August 25, 2010, 08:44 PM
I hope to never use it in real life, but it'd be nice to know how in the most effective manner. :uhoh:

August 25, 2010, 09:55 PM
A full length rifle is going to be less than ideal, but definitely doable. I've had to use M16s in some of my military training, and it hasn't slowed me down too much.

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