Learning about AR rifles


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mopar92
June 4, 2011, 08:08 PM
What is the knob on an angle that goes toward the bolt? Thanks!!

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MMcfpd
June 4, 2011, 08:08 PM
I think you may mean the forward assist.

It has a pawl that extends when you push the knob, or button, that engages the serrations on the bolt carrier to assist in pushing the bolt into battery.

Some like having it, some don't. The best use I've heard for it is it can allow you to charge the gun relatively quietly, as opposed to the normal practice of letting go of the charging handle so the bolt carrier slams forrward.

mopar92
June 4, 2011, 08:14 PM
I guess I am confused as to how or what it does. It can drop the bolt from the back position?

esheato
June 4, 2011, 08:55 PM
No. If the bolt doesn't fully go into battery, you can push that button and it will engage "teeth" in the side of the bolt and nudge it forward until it is in battery.

Bolt carrier--see the teeth in the side. If you look inside an AR upper, the forward assist has a small nub that sticks through and when you push on it, it engages these teeth and push the bolt into the forward most position thereby fully chambering a stubborn round.
http://www.rainierarms.com/img/shop/product/bb9c35c30440a4be2c8f5475b4dfe14f.jpg

mopar92
June 4, 2011, 08:58 PM
That's it...! Why not smack the bolt from the back to assure battery?

esheato
June 4, 2011, 09:03 PM
Because the bolt/bolt carrier are inside the upper receiver and not accessible from the exterior...hence the forward assist.

EDIT: And no, you can't slap the charging handle...it only retracts the bolt/bolt carrier.

EDIT AGAIN: See this (http://www.bushmaster.com/anatomy_bushmaster.asp) link if you want to know how they operate.

Sam Cade
June 4, 2011, 09:14 PM
Many people think its a completely redundant feature since the bolt can be pressed into battery by pushing forward on indent on the right side of the carrier.

crasen
June 4, 2011, 10:32 PM
If you were shooting many rounds down range couldn't this be a little warm to push forward

Sam Cade
June 4, 2011, 11:08 PM
If you were shooting many rounds down range couldn't this be a little warm to push forward

The only time you would ever need to push the bolt forward manually the rifle would be dead cold. The first step of clearing a FTF is to yank on the charging handle.



Stoner himself thought the Forward Assist was a bad idea. Page 126 of The Black Rifle goes into all of the reasons why.

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Rifle-Retrospective-Modern-Military/dp/0889351155

EDIT: I attached the relevant portions to this post

mopar92
June 12, 2011, 07:56 AM
Guess I don't get it, bolt fails to battery, you pull the trigger, click, no positive strike, your going to recock it anyways, which will reround the rifle...? I guess I don't understand it's "practical" use...

jad0110
June 12, 2011, 08:09 AM
Guess I don't get it, bolt fails to battery, you pull the trigger, click, no positive strike, your going to recock it anyways, which will reround the rifle...? I guess I don't understand it's "practical" use...

Hee hee, you are not the only one my friend. Except instead of pulling the trigger and hearing a "click", I don't believe anything will happen at all, but I could be wrong on that one.

One of the bigger problem using the FA is it can turn a round lightly stuck in the chamber into a round so solidly welded into the chamber they may as well be one and the same.

MaterDei
June 12, 2011, 08:14 AM
Practically, I used the forward assist on many occasions when I was in the Army. My AR stays a lot cleaner than the M16s I was issued ever did. I don't crawl around in the dirt and mud too often any more. :) I don't think I've ever used the forward assist on my AR.

Tirod
June 12, 2011, 09:38 AM
The upper levels of Army command - along with everyone else - had been raised using weapons that all had a solidly attached bolt handle that could force a cartridge into the chamber - regardless of whether that was actually a good idea or even recommended battle drill for a malfunction. Since the Army is 90% NOT Infantry, and doesn't use the M16 as their primary tool in their job, they aren't "guncentric," and don't understand the advanced user's needs.

They had the program to stick the FA on the upper long before other problems cropped up in the upsurge of fielding. They should have fixed the magwell and redesigned a properly curved 30 round mag to feed it - but they don't know about guns, do they?

These days the silly things are cheaper to buy than a slickside upper, in terms of cost, just live with them. On a hunting firearm, they actually do offer a silent loading option, which civilian shooters can use to their advantage, not slamming bolts home in conservation area parking lots, or charging an empty gun at home without alarming the family.

That ISN'T a combat technique, period. No soldier exits the wire unloaded - it's COMBAT, charge the weapon and put the safety where the ROE and operations require. It could very well be OFF before you even exit the safety of your position. It's not a range, it's combat, and being disarmed to face the enemy is one of those little disconnects that Hollywood and civilians make to give away their relative cluelessness.

Lock the bolt back, insert mag, tap button, let the carrier slam home. It's made to do that, and anything less endangers the user with a missfeed and bad habit. The charging handle just retracts the bolt, and the FA makes old school shooters who don't understand correct procedures feel good about doing something - like jamming the round in even worse.

In the 22 years I served in the Reserves and active duty, I never needed the FA, it's a dust collector that creates a malfunction if it breaks. Suppressor users take them off and directionally vent them - the lump has a purpose then.

Ohio Gun Guy
June 12, 2011, 09:56 AM
From what I have read, the AR has been a "work-in-progress". When first issued there are some guys that would argue with MR. Stoner about a few features on the rifle. If firing a shot in the next 1 second is a priority, I immagine that a Forward Assist is a valuable item. If the paper at the range can wait, then likely not so much.

I am a range paper shooter myself......

mopar92
June 12, 2011, 12:30 PM
I like AR's, and they can be fine rifles, but if I was going into battle, and I had to choose, it would be the AK... It does seem like a work in progress. I've seen $3K hand built AR's double feed, etc just like a homebuilt $700 AR...

Gordon_Freeman
June 12, 2011, 03:49 PM
I have never used the forward assist on an AR. I don't know if I ever will. I don't shoot a lot because of ammo prices.

ripp
June 12, 2011, 03:59 PM
I have needed it twice, in a sense. New AR's sometimes have a burr or glitch and fail to fully close the bolt, yet a small nudge suffices to rotate, seat and lock the bolt. In combat, crud gets into chambers with the rds, because it gets on the rounds while they are in the spare mags. Also, lots of panicked, full auto firing builds up a lot of crud in the chamber, which can require that the occasional rd be shoved up iinto the chamber. Once the gun cools off and that crud "hardens", slamming a round up into the crud won't work. You have to use solvent and a chamber brush to get out the gunk.

Sam Cade
June 12, 2011, 04:16 PM
Did anyone read the PDF I posted?

Kliegl
June 12, 2011, 04:47 PM
I did. Good info. I have one on my Colt. I'd like to build a retro model some day, maybe without one.

Apocalypse-Now
June 12, 2011, 04:51 PM
if you have a failure to return to battery situation, you can forcefully jam the bullet in there with that forward assist button. which may lead to a stuck case, but you might be able to at least fire off that one round until it jams again lol

not sure how much that design feature makes sense....

Sam Cade
June 12, 2011, 05:22 PM
I'd like to build a retro model some day, maybe without one.
I'm waiting on a Les Baer no forward assist upper right now, not to build a retro but for a pencil barreled, CF forearm, ultra-ultralight.

ironhead7544
June 12, 2011, 08:17 PM
The forward assist was not intended to jam a round in the chamber. Under rainy conditions and when crossing water the barrel can get wet. The 30 will roll the water out but the 22 cal will retain water. You have to pull the bolt back to let air behind the water to get it to drain. If you pull the bolt partially back on a chambered round the bolt does not have enough spring to reseat the round. So you have to pull the round out and put it back in the mag, then rechamber. A lot of times the round gets dropped then dirt gets in the mag/chamber. Not a good thing on the M16. So they added the forward assist. The old "comic book" manual explains this in detail. Dont jam a round in, you might not get it out.

mopar92
June 13, 2011, 11:52 PM
Sounds like it's a pretty silly part of the gun...

esheato
June 14, 2011, 12:08 AM
Besides the fact that you can jam a cartridge in the chamber, I don't like it because I'm a lefty, and when slung, the FA pokes me in the guts all day.

TonyAngel
June 14, 2011, 02:21 AM
Hey, it serves a purpose and it's there if you need it. I've used it a few times that I can remember. Usually when I give it to someone that isn't super familiar with the rifle and rides the charging handle down and the bolt doesn't close all the way.

If you don't like it, get an AR that doesn't have it. There are a couple of models floating around out there. I've seen a couple of them. Of course, it would then be pretty funny to need it and not have it.

mopar92
June 14, 2011, 01:00 PM
Dad said he never used it in Nam, only double feeds and fail to eject's.

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