AR-15 Forward Assist - Have You Ever Used It?


January 30, 2012, 08:04 PM
Have you ever used the forward assist plunger on you AR-15? If so, under what circumstances?

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Welding Rod
January 30, 2012, 09:00 PM
To verify the bolt was completely locked after a chamber check to verify a loaded gun.

January 30, 2012, 09:02 PM
I just finished a build with new parts and the end of the gas tube wasn't worn in, so the bolt didn't close all the way for the first few rounds.

Owen Sparks
January 30, 2012, 09:02 PM
Actually, no. Not in a live fire drill.

January 30, 2012, 09:13 PM
yeah, but i don't train to use it.

Sam Cade
January 30, 2012, 09:17 PM
Does using it as a bottle opener count?

January 30, 2012, 09:21 PM
Whenever I've had the bolt fail to go all the way forward, it was always for reasons where the forward assist obviously wasn't going to help things, so I've never used it.

January 30, 2012, 09:56 PM
Tap - rack - bang!

January 30, 2012, 10:00 PM
yes. Oddly enough, for the intended purpose... bolt didn't close, used the assist, life was good.

January 30, 2012, 10:06 PM
Brass check - yes

Silent load (hunting) - yes

Immediate action - no

January 30, 2012, 10:20 PM
i used one a couple of times on a colt match target rifle. that rifle might have had a tight chamber.

have not used one in apprx. 21000 rounds on my current rifles.

January 30, 2012, 10:35 PM
I'd go with 68wj: " silent load (hunting)"
But not since 1970 or so as, at the time, unless walking point, we were not authorized carry with a round chambered until something bad had just happened.

January 30, 2012, 11:09 PM
yes. Oddly enough, for the intended purpose... bolt didn't close, used the assist, life was good.
Same - the other day actually. Bolt didn't get all the way home (new buffer system installed for a carbine length, collapsible stock) - foward assist did its job as designed.

January 30, 2012, 11:11 PM
One time. Worked swimmingly.

January 30, 2012, 11:28 PM
as 68wj said, silent loading during hunting, but my other 6.8 doesnt even have one, and I still managed to make it work.

January 30, 2012, 11:33 PM
Brass check.


January 31, 2012, 12:34 AM
2x in the first 100 rounds or so, I wasn't letting the bolt handle fly forward.

January 31, 2012, 12:54 AM
I bought my first AR15 around 1999.

Since then, I've used the forward assist on an AR exactly twice, both times with "remanufactured ammo" that came from Bubba's shed.

Shawn Dodson
January 31, 2012, 01:20 AM
I've been shooting AR platforms since 1980. Yes.

January 31, 2012, 04:17 AM
I've used it. That said, I hardly think it's necessary. Other than a rifle that I'm about 99% sure has a bad action spring, all using the forward assist has ever done for me is ensure that I have to mortar the rifle to get the round out of the chamber after the FA made sure it was good a jammed in there. If the rifle itself is operating properly and isn't going to battery, that should be a sign that you have a problem with the round. Get it out of there and run the next one in. If the rifle isn't working right, figure out why.

January 31, 2012, 04:50 AM
I have never used one, the navy teaches you to use it in case of a misfire but in my mind if you have a fail to feed the last thing you want to to is try to ram the bolt forward because you dont know why it failed to enter battery. you could endup perma-screwing your rifle by forcing a round in the chamber. I have a DPMS sportical without a forward assist and have never failed to enter battery.

January 31, 2012, 05:52 AM
Just once in the first hundred rounds through my AR. Steel cases probably was not helping, but the forward assist did its job. "Better to have it and not need it" or some such thing like that.

January 31, 2012, 07:03 AM
Brass check - yes

Silent load (hunting) - yes

Immediate action - no

Same as above. ^^^^^^^

January 31, 2012, 07:07 AM
I voted no because I haven't used it on an AR-15, but i have used it many times on an M16 or M4.

January 31, 2012, 07:21 AM
Yes. But only in basic training. Those rifles that we qualified with were jam-o-matics. I couldn't shoot 5 rounds without at least one malfunction.

In my personal time, I've never had a malfunction, with thousands of rounds.

January 31, 2012, 10:48 AM
Since 1981, not once with live ammo - except on a qualifying range, to ensure I wasn't a problem child when live fire started. It was an abused Basic rifle, and all I did was discover it didn't need it.

Blanks? No.

Silent loading in the field. No. Charge it in the parking lot. It's not as loud as slamming doors, hatches, and trunk lids, the deer know you're coming because the noise of a car slowing and turning in tells them. Frequent hikers and horsebackers all year make that sound innocuous.

The FA was the Garand generations answer to no faith or control over the bolt, something they had to have to force that weapon to work, or so they thought. Not a good recommendation when you analyze it. So Colt bandaided it on over Stoners objections. By then it was out of his hands anyway, corporate management was in the "keep the Gov't happy and make money" mode.

If slick side uppers weren't priced higher, I'd have gone that route, most hunting and varmint AR's delete it. Waste of time and money.

Zach S
January 31, 2012, 10:55 AM
No. Tap rack bang.

FWIW, I do most of my shooting with a rimfire or 9mm AR, and neither have the FA.

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