New online class - building a fighting AR-15

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it is about the conditions you may find yourself in the fight that may lead to failure unrelated to MTBF type testing.

for example?
Things that can lead to weapon malfunctions that aren't weapon related...

Poor firing platform, unconventional firing positions, weak hand operation, introduction of foreign matter, ammo issues, magazine failure, fogged/clouded optics (that prevent cowitnessing), to much lube, not enough lube, hotter than expected, colder than expected, etc etc etc.

Ask a trainer that has seen millions of rounds fired, and they'll tell you about all sorts of weird malfunctions...
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I just finished building YOMBR (yet one more black rifle) last night, and it looks much like the one pictured. Mine has a telestock and a fwd assist/case deflector on the fixed carry handle upper (but it's a Colt, and was a freebie, so...). I'd been threatening to build a 'necktie' for a good while, a lightweight carbine that could be slung and carried a whole lot without being too much of a nuisance. After two months of waiting Bushmaster delivered a lightweight 16" barrel with a standard bird cage and bayonet lug. I decided to try a lower from Superior Arms for this one (yes, fences too, sorry slickside purists) but I left off the threaded setscrew sear engagement adjustment feature, preferring that the trigger remain stock. I tacked on a RRA winter trigger guard for the kewl modern silhouette and a hard plastic bi Ergo PG for comfort. The old fashioned plastic stock is on a 4-position aluminum milspec extension. The lower and the lower goodies (lower parts kit, PG and RRA TG) all came from RB Precision, first time I have done business with them but likely it won't be the last given their good prices and prompt cheerful service.

Don't know how much it weighs, but it's light enough for its intended purpose even without fighting to shave off every possible ounce. That batch of new GI 20-round magazines I bought back in the early '80s for a buck apiece seem to have a new home.

There are three of four takeoff rear apertures from the original GI night sight sets (what, late 1960s? early 70's?) in the parts box, I installed one of them in the upper to replace the standard A1 aperture. The short-range aperture on these is .275" according to the ol' dial caliper, I've been using them for a long time and really like them- they are fast and plenty accurate for me given the short sight radius on carbines anyway. Makes the front sight nice and big and easy to see since it's closer to the eye. Can anybody say, ghost ring? How passe', I know- but it works once you get used to it. I've been used to it for better than 20 years now.

I'm going to put a side sling adapter on it and probably mount a light rail under the barrel on the bayonet stud and pinned to the original sling swivel shoulders. A standard two-point sling (well, with a little extra length) and a tritium-insert front sight and I will likely call it quits on this one. Today was Sunday so no test fire/zero, but tomorrow the back yard beckons...

Interesting thread. I notice Cheaper than Dirt has old M-16/no forward assist uppers. The carbine triangle handguard is new to me, I wonder where he got it?

That said, I was issued a GAU-5 back in the day, and it didn't get much simpler than that. No forward assist, very light, and very, very loud.
The carbine triangles are new production - can't remeber from where, but Bill would know.

I believe they are using the Fulton Armory uppers, but I'll certainly give Bill a heads up - I bought few old uppers from Sarco.
My next upper is going to be a dissapator, I like the extra distance between sights, and the longer gas tube is better IMHO.
I think both Bill and Tiger like to stay mil spec when possible.

For what it is worth, the fruit of my first class with Bill, PATRIOT 34 -


Armed with that knowledge, I made this one -





family photo -

Thats courtesy of Chuck Rogers... no machinists over here, although I did start playing around with checkering during the class.
Hi fella's, someone just brought this thread to my attention and I hoped to clear a few little things up.

First of all, I'm not anit-optics, I own both the EO and M68/Aimpoint and like them okay. I do find advantages to both optics and irons though and there are several reasons I have went with Tiger idea for the basic AR.

Do we handle money or tactics first. Let's tackle money first because dollars do not lie. The cost of going with let's say and aimpoint and a nice mount, like a Larue, and then go with a quality BUIS like a Troy, it would bring the cost of the class up 30 to 60 percent. This would price a class that supplies all of the specialty tools and all of the parts out of a reasonalble price range and everyone would think I'm out of my mind, and then we would begin an optic war, etc..... If anyone here thinks I would accept a 20.00 BUIS and a 30.00 optic with something that has my name on it in any way shape or form, then I would think you were out of your mind. Sure, there is a place and time for all of these things, but in line with our C.O.P. (Carry On Patrol) format for the 1911's, all of these rifles need to be duty ready.

This carries us to tactics, and granted, this is just one senario, but one we would be more likely to be involved in since most of us don't donn uniforms (anmore anyways) and jump out of moving vehicles on a planned assault. You have to grab and go with your rifle outside to investigate a bump in the night. You properly load your rifle go out. Did you remember to take your lens covers off? Did you turn your optic on? What setting? You did, great! Now you come out of your climate controlled house into the damp morning and viola', the optic is fogged up. :mad: Anyone that wears glasses or drives a car knows what I am talking about. You would need a quick release to even have a fighting chance to use your BUIS. Honestly fellows, this is more likely of a situation than having to fight off the zombie whordes. Transfer this situation to the cop on patrol who runs up on a situation, no grab and go out of the trunk, you have to turn on the optic and set the light at the correct setting. Remember, the only confrontations that came at high noon were in the spaghetti westerns.

Now, let's flip the coin, and you are in a situation where do to duty requirements, medical requirements, or just plain, I wanna have an optic! mode. We can do that, but we are all big boys here and realize that options that may cost a little more, well, they cost a little more and you'll need to pony up. I'm game for that.

This class is not intended to shove my 'perfect' AR down anyone's throat anymore than the post is designed to start a debate over who's equipment is best or tactics are better. It's actually about the education on how to build an AR correctly and with the right parts and suppliers. These aren't Sarco kits or ways to build one on the cheap, that is not my style, won't ever be. I want people to walk away with the skills to build what they want, know what quality parts to use, and have the confidence in the firearm that it would be suitable to protect their families with if necessary.

Out of our 1911 classes, we have five Police Officers that carry their pistols on duty. We have over a 20% return rate for students taking alumni classes for more advanced builds, and we have great industry support due to the level of excellence we demand out of ourselves. I plan on carrying that level of excellence over to this AR build, and have some special offers for those that are interested in this charter class. Contact me for details.
Thanks for the commentary. The design philosophy makes a lot more sense to me after hearing your arguments on the money side of the issue. I'd agree that you aren't going to get a quality optic, mount and BUIS without increasing the cost significantly and cost is always an issue.

Don't take the commentary as an attack on the rifle or the class. I'm mostly just trying to figure out why those choices were made and your post gives good context for that.

Did you remember to take your lens covers off? Did you turn your optic on? What setting? You did, great! Now you come out of your climate controlled house into the damp morning and viola', the optic is fogged up.

Do you train using the optic as a occluded eye gunsight? You'll have a shift in point of impact using this method; but you can make good hits on IDPA/IPSC-style targets at 25m with this method. You shoot both eyes open and let your brain superimpose the red dot visible to your dominant eye over the target visible to your weak eye. This also works with a fogged lens or closed front lens cover.

A second thing I've been taught with unmagnified red dots is to use the optic as a big ghost ring rear sight with the front sight post in the event the batteries are dead or the dot doesn't come on. Because I mostly shoot recreationally, I have a folding front sight post so the front sight base does not block as much of the field of view. So I've also discovered that you can make decent hits under 25m just centering the target in the optic, even with no front sight.

Neither of those methods are perfect; but they can buy you time to deploy any back up sights or correct the problem.
pangris, you're making your own pistols now? Like how a Jedi has to make his own light saber?

Well, when you build it yourself, you know it was done right (or wrong) and further, you really get a much better undrstanding of the pistola.

So far, they are accurate and run right, ditto the AR.

Bill has played a big part in all of the above...

And if I could build a lightsabre, you guys would all refer to me as "the poster formerly know as pangris, who now has some ROCKIN gov't contracts..."
Keep this input coming on this thread!

I think this is the most informative and thought provoking thread I've read on THR. It prompted me to rethink my stance on sights and to do some research on Aimpoints, etc. It has also fired up my desire to build an AR-15 once I leave California. I'm really curious about the reputation of Fulton Arms and their slickside uppers. Twenty two years of using ARs with a forward assist and it never occured to me that maybe I really don't need one. Plus that little rifle that Tiger McKee is holding just looks cool! I wear glasses and sometimes protective goggles and spend a lot of time underway on boats in rain and fog and it still never occured to me that an optical sight might fog up on me at the worst possible time! Thanks for pointing that out to me, Bill Z.
If you've liked it so far... This is from Tiger -


Forward Assists from The Black Rifle pg 126-130

"In any case the Army would not back down on the need for a manual bolt
closure on the AR15 and states its case with eloquence and
determination ...

Stoner (the creator of the rifle):
I was always afraid of a bolt closure device myself, because when you
get a cartridge that won't seat in a rifle and you deliberately drive
it in usually you are buying yourself more trouble.

Quote from Bill Davis, involved in project:
(The forward assist) is less likely to clear a stoppage by immediate
action than to turn an easily clearable stoppage into a virtually
unclearable one.

The Air Force, first ones to adopt rifle, were against forward assist.
Stated "no record of malfunctions that could have been corrected by use
of a manual bolt closing device."

Marines also found it "non-essential."

Some A1s had them, some didn't, depends on when it was produced.
Because I'm in the Coast Guard I have not spent a lot of time in the desert with an M16 and I never really gave the forward assist any thought. I have never had to use the assist but for the most part our rifles get carried on the boats a lot and only get shot at the range. I never gave the AR platform much thought other than learning to use one as well as I could but now that I'm jonesing for my own personal AR I have started to educate myself on what is out there for me to use. My own personal feelings are that if I want to carry around a 9 pound plus weapon I may as well get an M1A, any AR-15 that I build is going to be compact, simple and light.
This is a very informative thread. Thanks.

With regard to the 1911 building seminar, do you guys get into barrel fitting and such? You had some very nice groupings with yours, suggesting that perhaps there was a match barrel fit. Is it a significant consideration in your opinion that a 1911 will shoot 1.25" groups with a pet load, but not with a 'fighting' load?

I plan to attend the 4 day carbine class at FrontSite (and thoughts on this organization?) in 4 weeks. I currently use a Bushmaster m4ergy with YHM quad rail, and a vertical fore grip. The range will go out to 400 yards, and I am a little concerned about shooting at 400 yards with irons. Any thoughts? Also, on a fighting carbine, does a 6 position stock have any use or is it just a liability compared to a solid stock like Boston T. Party says in BGB.
the 1911 class uses a Kart National Match "EZ fit" which I believe to be very poorly named, loooong story I'm not getting into. Basically the gun ran but I felt I wasn't the limiting factor accuracy wise.

I ended up having the first gun rebarreled with a normal Kart - for the second gun, I sent it to Don Williams for the barrel fit. They will both shoot better than 1" at 25 yards, and both run 100%. I want to learn how to fit a barrel that way, but haven't had the time.

I think that I was the exception rather than the rule - most people did fine with the EZ fit.

I haven't been to Frontsite, but have heard they make a good first class.

You'll do fine with irons at 400. You'll be amazed at what you and your rifle can do - I'll say it again, optics do not help you shoot better, just see better.

I don't see any reason for the adjustable stock - but it shouldn't hinder you unless it breaks, you forget to extend it, etc etc.
pangris said;
I don't see any reason for the adjustable stock - but it shouldn't hinder you unless it breaks, you forget to extend it, etc etc.

The adjustable stok lets you get the same cheekweld no matter what clothing or equipment you're wearing. My duty carbine has the stock open to the first notch. It gives me my best cheekweld when in uniform with my body armor under my shirt. When I am kitted out in my tac team equipment and my armor consists of a Paraclete RAV with level IV ceramic plates, I run the stock all the way in. Same cheekweld and sight picture for both uses. Those are probably not situations everyone deals with.

I've also found the adjustable stock useful when several people share a carbine, they can adjust it so it works best for each individual.

I've found a great use for an adjustable stock is introducing new shooters to shooting. They can adjust the length of pull to something comfortable, which makes the whole experience better for everyone.
Getting back to the rifle build, I was looking at the DPMS Panther Lite. I don't know the quality of the parts that went into the rifles that pangris was showing here (let me edit this, I'm assuming the parts are high quality since this is a defensive rifle) or the total cost of either rifle but the Panther Lite comes in at under 6 pounds and should retail for less than $700. It has an adjustable stock, A1 sights and a light barrel. I'm assuming the barrel is not chrome lined but it is cool to see something along the same lines coming right from the factory. The weight is listed as 5.7 pounds. Pangris can you give us a little more info about your rifle? How do you think the Panther would stack up against what you built?
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I keep the rear BUIS of my Aimpoint folded up at all times, and have standard permanant front sights. However, the issue of having the time to:

1) Remove lense covers
2) Turn on the Aimpoint

I googled a bit and found this thread:

Clear lense covers! Why are there not more of these? The UltraMatch red dot on my .22 came with clear covers ... :confused:

That doesn't solve the "turn it on" problem - but with co-witnessed BUIS and clear covers, it would seem to me that you'd have a gun that was ready for action quickly if need be. If you didn't have time to turn on the Aimpoint, you'd just go with the irons right off the bat.
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