First case of a Forward Assist saving somebody's life?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by DustyGmt, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    dUSTYgMT WRITES:

    [/QUOTE]Oh, here's an angle on the Rittenhouse shooting I'm not sure has been discussed. I mean it has but maybe not in this specific context, but imagine the scenario playing out exactly as it had with the only change being that Rittenhouse is sitting on his butt like in the video and his gun is still aimed at the ground and Grosskreutz pull his pistol and shoots him in the head. Do you think a case would have even been brought against Mr. Grosskreutz and would a prosecutor be cross examining him with the same tenacity that was brought on KR, provided the case ever made it to a courtroom.

    I very much doubt it. Purely speculative I know. I'm just saying, if the kid had been shot down or beaten to death there likely wouldn't have been any fuss whatsoever. Grosskreutz would be hailed a hero for killing the bloodthirsty white supremacist militia leader......[/QUOTE]

    I feel you, but you left out all mention of the forward-assist. ;)
     
  2. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Yeah that must have seemed kind of random. That happens after a pint of switchback....;) BTW, what the hell did you do to my quote? :D
     
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    If there's nothing on the bolt to push or pull the bolt then a fa is a must.
     
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  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I can recall one situation where a deputy tried to silently charge a mini-14. It was during a manhunt for a cop killer who had fired on other responding officers. The deputy arrived in an open area where the jerk was last seen, so the deputy tried to be as quiet as possible. The round wasn’t seated, the deputy wasn’t aware. When the cop killer was spotted and turned towards the deputy, the deputy pulled the trigger. Click!

    The cop killer ran, jumped through a window, shot the homeowner during a hostage stand off then ultimately gave up. That clown is still on death row, the deputy is still upset about the failure to ensure the rifle was operational over two decades later about it.

    (Again, this was a mini-14 that has an exterior handle that could have been used to seat the round.)

    Charging an AR is easy when sound isn’t an issue and you can let it fly. But there are times when charging silently is called for, in cases like these a forward assist is pretty much the only way you can be sure it’ll be ready to go. In a home defense situation this type of situation could be a possibility…

    The FA certainly isn’t mandatory and most will probably never be used. But in a situation like I outlined above having one should be food for thought.

    Stay safe.
     
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  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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  6. kwguy

    kwguy Member

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    A forward assist (FA), like full auto (FA) as discussed in another thread (see what I did there?), is simply another tool in the proverbial toolbox. You may never need it, but it’s nice to have when you do need it. Like a left handed crescent wrench.
     
  7. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    Let’s think of handguns for a minute. Do you whack the back of the slide when your gun doesn’t feed all the way? No, the drill is to tap the magazine, rack the slide and then try to fire it again. Also, if your bolt action rifle doesn’t feed completely, you don’t try and force the bolt fully forward, you open the action, and try again. So no good reason for the FA unless the second or two it saves will result in your not getting maimed or dying.

    In my opinion, if you are using rifle for home defense, it should be loaded, just like a CCW. If you keep it unloaded for some perceived safety reason, why worry about the sound loading it will make? In the situation outlined above, if the LE agency prohibits carrying the rifle loaded in the vehicle, the first action after exiting should be to load a round. But really, no good reason for an LEO to have an unloaded pistol or rifle.
     
  8. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    I understand the point, but in most cases, with this type of rifle, it's not a FTF in the same sense of a FTF in a pistol for example when a cartridge becomes misaligned going up the feed ramp and jams the gun up. It's more of a situation of the cartridge going in straight and because of a dirty gun or not enough forward momentum of the BCG bring the cartridge fully seated into the chamber and just needing that last lil bit of travel to fully seat.

    If I found that my BCG was just shy of fully seating, as seemed to be the case in KR's situation, a quick tap on the BCG's FA could make all the difference in being able to get a shot off. If a quick tap didn't solve it I was be shucking that cartridge out as fast as I could. In KR's case it seems he didn't have the extra 2-3 seconds required to tap and rack.

    I tell new shooters, as it seems to be their instinct to pull the bolt handle or charging handle back and slowly guide it forward, not to do so, as this will usually cause problems, fail to feed, etc... like with a pump shotgun, rack it with authority or treat it like a slingshot so that rounds will fully seat...

    My LCP is a perfect example of a gun that every so often needs a lil tap on the slide to fully seat, if you don't slingshot the slide and coddle it forward or the gun is a lil dirty and you go to pull that trigger and feel no tension, it's out of battery and usually it only needs a tap to get back in action.

    But I would agree, if you see your BCG out of battery to the point that you can see brass, your best course of action would be to tap and rack. But if it's only slightly out of battery and only needs to go that extra ½" inch go ahead and hit the FA I would say....
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  9. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Another failure, one I actually have encountered on the range that would suck to encounter in a gunfight, is the fail to feed & fail to eject. You get a cartridge stopped up in the action and it veers off to the side and you pull your CH back and it doesn't kick out and remains in the action. The Tap and Rack will do nothing to help you in this situation, this is why I have B.A.D levers on all my AR's so I can just sweep my index finger up to the bad lever and get the BCG locked back, drop the magazine and let the offending cartridge fall out, tap, rack, BIB (back in business).

    If you guys haven't considered a B.A.D lever in the past, give it some thought. I never paid them any mind until experiencing these kinds of failures and they actually do improve speed on reloads and clearing malfunctions once you get used to having something weird and foreign feeling snaking through your trigger guard....
     
  10. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    The proper sequence for clearing this malfunction is
    1) Rip the magazine out of the well
    2) Rack the charging handle to clear the jammed
    3) Lock back the BCG
    4) Insert magazine (Push/Pull. No tap!)
    5) Hit bolt release with thumb and rack a fresh round into the chamber

    If you try to lock the BCG back before removing the magazine and fumble, you now have 3 rounds jammed in the action.

    Pro Tip: Let gravity do all the work
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I haven’t witnessed one save a life but I have seen one help facilitate a “kaboom”.

    Generally looks something like this, where a bore obstruction (bullet, either from squib or loaded long and stuck in throat) is overcome by the “assistance”.

    At :29 in a case is ejected and written off as “bad primer”, without checking that the bullet also ejected with it. Then the “operator” chambers/ejects and beats on the forward assist until he gets the BCG forward enough for the hammer to contact the firing pin around 30 seconds later.



    Would have taken less time to make sure the bore was free of obstruction though…
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  12. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Understood, I guess it wasn't clear that when I mentioned pulling the bolt to the rear initially I don't let it fly and jam another round, if after pulling the charging handle back the round doesn't kick out I can just sweep my finger up to the bad lever to lock the bolt back, hit the mag release to drop the magazine and offending cartridge out, re insert mag and hit the B.A.D lever again to release the bolt.... The B.A.D lever just eliminates a couple extra motions and allows you to maintain your firing grip eliminating the need for you to pull the charging handle back with your firing hand while you engage the bolt stop on the other side of the gun with your other hand.
     
  13. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    I get where you’re coming from. I still maintain that stripping the mag first is very important. Years of experience with self loading firearms has taught me that. Too many times, trying to lock back the slide/bolt/BCG first lead to making the malfunction worse.

    In the above sequence, locking back the BCG isn’t necessary. You could insert a mag on a closed BCG then rack to load. Trouble with that for me is, thumbing the bolt release because I forgot I didn’t lock back the BCG. I need to practice more.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the BAD lever. In some ARs it can cause malfunctions and looks like it could get caught on something and get broken off.

    A good friend of mine who’s carried arms into harms way uses BAD levers and is a huge fan. I trust his judgement, but still can’t warm up to the BAD
     
  14. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Yeah the BAD levers aren't for everybody. I understand why people don't like them and I've been close to taking them off before. There is certainly alot of good utility in knowing how to operate an AR and training with clearing malfunctions using the standard sequence you outlined above.

    I guess one of the good things about the BAD lever is you can still train engaging the bolt stop the standard way too and if the lever were to break it wouldn't really impede the standard functions of the AR. I leave them on for now. They do allow for a few more fractions of speed...... but your point is well taken.
     
  15. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I don't recall much about using it in the Army, but I do use it deer hunting. I climb into my stand with an empty chamber. I slowly and quietly pull back the bolt and slowly let it slide forward. Then I softly smack the FA with my palm to seat the round. I prefer a bolt action though.
     
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  16. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    It's the same on the M16. In basic training, they teach SPORTS. Slap (the bottom of the magazine) Pull (the charging handle) Observe (inside the chamber) Release (the charging handle) Tap (the forward assist) Squeeze (the trigger).

    Mostly the same as the tap & rack on a handgun.
     
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  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Never once in 30 years (this month) have I ever used the forward assist.

    If a cartridge won't seat, why would I want to force it? Why is it not better to charge again and put a good cartridge in? I think that BY FAR the most likely reason the bolt won't close is because of a damaged cartridge.

    Now, if KR is saying he observed that the bolt didn't close all the way, I think it is far more likely that it was a new rifle, not broken in, and poorly lubed. In this case, it might have saved his life.
     
  18. kwguy

    kwguy Member

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    Sometimes, when the rifle is hot, nasty, and dirty, and you’re 5 mags into it, when you let the bolt fly on a fresh mag, it may not go completely into battery, and tapping the FA is enough to get you operational again with the fresh mag. A rare occurrence to be sure, but nice to have in the circumstance.
     
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  19. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    jmorris: I've seen that before.

    I don't recommend LiveLeak to anybody, because of the only other video I've watched. There was no description.

    That video has a lady in the caption (no sound) chatting away with a loaded revolver aimed at her head the entire time. No info provided.

    Later, after the gunman tries to pull the heavy trigger, he fails and gives up for a while.
    He later succeeds in pulling the trigger (--nothing was fake--). If such a channel is anybody's notion of entertainment, go for it.........
     
  20. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    This.
    It really is common sense. If you’re hammering on the forward assist, you don’t have standing to say it’s a bad device, because you’re doing it wrong.
    I wouldn’t own an AR platform without one.
     
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  21. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    Wondered if someone was EVER going to suggest possible lubrication (lack of) failure !
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  22. Ks5shooter
    • Contributing Member

    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

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    Better have and not use then to not have and need.That being said use it for its proper intent.
     
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  23. armydog

    armydog Member

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    A couple ways it's used properly. You load a magazine and you want to make sure a round is in the chamber, you pull the bolt back slightly, see brass and let the bolt close, tap the FA twice. You know the brass is a live round cause it was empty.

    Another is in the fight, if there is a pause, you use your time in the pause wisely. If you just pull the bolt back and see brass, it doesn't mean that is a live round. If you want to make sure the round chambered is a live round and not an empty that didn't eject, you put your index and middle fingers (my left hand) to the front of the ejection port, pull the charging handle back (my right hand) slowly till the neck puts pressure on your index finger and then feel for the fmj tip with your middle finger, then push the round to the center so it feeds back in and tap the FA a couple times. It may seem a little uncomfortable to do this the first few times, but it will be muscle memory like anything else after a while. If you get a empty that won't come out of the chamber, usually discovered by a double feed, you take out the mag and ride the bolt forward and try to eject it, if that fails, you put that rod together and pop it out and you will need to do this as you're moving in some cases. Always have a hasty cleaning kit on you and always have a rod... bore snakes are great, but in the rare case where you have a case that won't eject cause it is stuck, you need that rod. Sometimes the long blade on your gerber multitool or leatherman will pry it out, but not if it is all the way in the chamber where there is no leverage.

    You don't have to do this stuff in between every room or every single time after you've engaged the enemy. Not everyone can do this at the same time all the time in a brief pause.You get the feel for your weapon. If something doesn't feel (literally feel) or sound right, like the bolt closing without the sound or feel of a round, you can check it and tap the FA couple times. If you train a lot, any oddity will jump out at you cause your brain will pick it up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  24. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Not to be that guy but that's what I figured all along. Young, inexperienced kid, got himself a sling, magazine, ammo, RDS. Might have either skipped the lube altogether or didn't apply it liberally enough as is needed in addition to it being a brand new rifle. I'm pretty sure he mentioned it had only been shot a couple times and it was during a nationwide shortage so I'm sure it didn't get a vigorous break in.

    My first thought was brand new gun, probably a bone dry bcg. My first AR many years ago was completely underlubed, I shot it quite a bit pretty much dry. I kind of shudder to think of it now. Some old timers would have you believe that only a drop is needed and don't understand that the AR isn't grandpappy's shotgun and needs liberal amount of lube to be happy. (Reliable).
     
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  25. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    There is no situation I can think of where a forward assist was the best option, including the one mentioned in the OP. If you can’t push the bolt forward with your thumb, then snatch the charging handle and get that round out of the chamber. And honestly, in a life or death situation, I’m gonna skip trying to push the bolt forward all together and just get that charging handle ripped back and sling shotted forward.
     
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