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 Lightening Link - Does anyone have any feedback on these?
Armed_Philosopher  [Team Member]
5/24/2011 10:09:08 PM
Was looking at possibly purchasing a Lightening Link. This seems like a cost effective way to get into the full auto realm. Does anyone have any experience with this product and if so can you enlight me no pun intended. I am completely in the dark as to their history and reliability. Is it worth the risk?
RobRat  [Team Member]
5/24/2011 10:18:16 PM
Bunch of info here:

http://quarterbore.com/nfa/lightninglink.html
Woosaa  [Member]
5/25/2011 8:45:35 PM
What risk? The tabs can be repaired/welded if that is your concern. The Link makes an AR15 full auto only. You can get a fire control group to allow semi/full auto.
Circuits  [Team Member]
5/25/2011 10:29:38 PM
The only significant drawback to the AR-15 Auto Connector is that no one's gotten it to work reliably with a 22 conversion kit. You also can't use a 3rb FCG, but most full auto owners don't consider that a drawback.

With a select-fire FCG installed, you will not be able to tell the difference between a link gun and a dias gun.

With a re-enforcer there's really no fragility issues.
Magoo6541  [Team Member]
5/25/2011 11:08:15 PM
+1 to what Circuits said.

I've had mine for over 2 years or so. I easily have close to 10k-15k of 9mm and 5k+ of 5.56 on my RLL. No signes of wear or slowing down. I've personally never even worn out a paddle although I've read a lot of people say they replace a paddle every couple thousand rounds.

The only downside is no .22lr but that isn't a huge drawback to me for the price of it.
nutter  [Member]
5/25/2011 11:54:18 PM
I have owned both a LL and an RR. If it were my money I would save a little more and go with the RR. The LL is ok but the RR is great
KarlSG1  [Team Member]
5/26/2011 2:39:35 AM
One other downside to a RLL, is that it is getting harder to find bolt carriers that work with them without machining. Lightning Links are designed to work with the original SP1 type of semi-auto carrier. Newer semi-auto bolt carriers are made with extra material to make it impossible to use with an RLL, unless machined similar to the SP1 style. Both full-auto and new style semi-auto bolt carriers are able to be machined to work with RLLs, and the result is slightly better than the original SP1 carriers, due to the shrouded firing pin.

If you do get one, don't let anyone rip you off for a selective fire kit. When I invented it (Although another "gentleman", who, upon hearing a description of my idea, hurried over to a third party's house with the idea for him to sell kits, gets credit for it.), I placed it in the public domain by describing my idea to two people (Wanna guess who one of those persons was?). The select-fire kit can be made from an M16A2 trigger group, and should not cost much more than an M16A2 trigger group.

Karl
Magoo6541  [Team Member]
5/26/2011 11:48:06 AM
Originally Posted By nutter:
I have owned both a LL and an RR. If it were my money I would save a little more and go with the RR. The LL is ok but the RR is great


It's definately personal preference. I've never owned a RR but was seriously considering selling the RLL and getting a RR. I decided not to because I really like how I can just swap the link between several hosts. I shoot mostly 9mm but I'll switch to 5.56 and be shooting in a minute or two. I just think it would be a hastle having to remove the mag block every time I want to change things out. The SHRIKE requires some differences too. Mostly with the buffer spacer and the bolt catch but if I want to cut the mag well a little to make the belt sack ride higher, it's no biggie with a host receiver. No way in hell would I do it with a RR.

If money wasn't an issue I think I'd go with a RDIAS but that's not what this thread is about.

The bolt carriers aren't really a problem IMO. My RLL came with a SP1 carrier but if it didn't, M60Joe can mill one out of a M16 bolt. I just have one SP-1 bolt carrier that I swap to which ever 5.56 host I'm using. For any other caliber, I just have it drop shipped to M60Joe and he cuts the carrier back and makes a couple paddles then sends it to me. Not a hastle at all.

As far as reliabilty is concerned, you may have to do some tinkering when you get a new host. Use feeler guages and have paddles made for each specific host. I keep my paddles in the grip of the host. That way they don't get mixed up. If you have cheaper paddles made, they will eventually begin to bend. That can cause reliability issues. Either the hammer will fall too soon or not at all. As said above, have M60Joe make custom paddles for each host.

The lower needs to be slightly modified. go to M60Joe's site and look at his pictures. Some material needs to be removed around the fire control group to make extra room for the link. If you want it to look nice, have him do it. Personally, no one sees the inside of the lower except for me so I just used a dremel and did it myself. Doesn't look pretty but it works.

Use the KNS LL re-enforcer. It takes all the stress off of the link. There's practically no chance that it will break.

IMO, the RLL is the best bang for the buck when it comes to MGs.

YMMV

ETA: +1 to what Karl said about the M16A2 select fire kit. I've seen some advertised for big $$$. They're very easy to modify yourself with a dremel and a cutting wheel. It took me some time to get my first one right but once I had it down and understood how it worked, it went a lot faster.
Circuits  [Team Member]
5/27/2011 7:40:02 PM
Originally Posted By Magoo6541:
The lower needs to be slightly modified. go to M60Joe's site and look at his pictures. Some material needs to be removed around the fire control group to make extra room for the link. If you want it to look nice, have him do it. Personally, no one sees the inside of the lower except for me so I just used a dremel and did it myself. Doesn't look pretty but it works.


Many lowers work fine without mods. DPMS and Bushmaster, for two, among current manufacturers. Spikes on the other hand, needs milling.

I've run Oly, Sendra, Bushy, Colt (older styles), and DPMS as my LL hosts, and have relieved newer Colts, PWAs, Stags, Rock Rivers and the like for customers.