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Posted: 10/22/2008 4:56:48 AM EST
what does it do? never used mine.
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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 5:01:21 AM EST
If your chamber is very dirty your bolt may have trouble going all the way forward. The forward assist lets you push it to full lockup. It's debatable whether or not it's a good idea to chamber a round that won't go in on its own but I'd rather have it than not.

Another use is for silent loading, where if you ride your charging handle home instead of letting it snap forward you can press the forward assist to close the bolt completely.
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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 5:06:36 AM EST
At least at my unit when we go to the range its always load a magazine, brass check (just pulling bolt back far enough to see a round in the chamber), then tap or hit whatever the forward assist to make sure the bolt is closed.

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 5:25:18 AM EST
It can also be used for immediate action in the event of a stoppage aka "Sports"

1. "Slap" the magazine to ensure it is seated properly in the magwell
2. "Pull" the charging handle back...
3."Observe" the chamber for debris or obstructions. if the round fails to extract, you must perform remedial action.
4."Release" the charging handle
5. "Tap" the forward assist to ensure the bolt is closed
6. "Squeeze" the trigger

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 5:31:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2008 5:35:47 AM EST by hardwarz]
Do you strictly punch paper with your AR?
Does your AR only go between the house and the range?

If so, you'll probably never ever use the forward assist.

Think of it as a 200MPH gauge on a Corvette. Some people use it, most don't, some use it professionally, some people like to pretend they're professionals and use it & some people like the idea of having in case they need to use it.

Hardwarz

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 6:31:29 AM EST
From what I understand it was basically designed because they had a problem with some soldiers riding the carry handle in. I have a sp-1 with no forward assist and have never needed a forward assist with well over 50,000 rounds through it.

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 7:07:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By BrotherRat10:
It can also be used for immediate action in the event of a stoppage aka "Sports"

1. "Slap" the magazine to ensure it is seated properly in the magwell
2. "Pull" the charging handle back...
3."Observe" the chamber for debris or obstructions. if the round fails to extract, you must perform remedial action.
4."Release" the charging handle
5. "Tap" the forward assist to ensure the bolt is closed
6. "Squeeze" the trigger



I think that the above is the key. Let's assume that you have a "failure to chamber" stoppage. Step 2 above got rid of the suspect cartridge. Step 4 introduced a new round from the mag, which hopefully (if the first one was "bad") now chambers.

I agree with the poster above who remarked that it's better to get rid of a round that doesn't chamber. After all, if you have a round that's not crimped correctly, or is a reload that somehow didn't get properly sized and is oversize, you may be able to cram it into the chamber and fire it. Now you may have a bigger problem, in that it's really stuck in there and the extractor rips the rim off - now you're out of the fight until you get out the ol' broken case extractor.

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 7:24:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By AMG08:
what does it do? never used mine.


I use my forward assist for silent loading, i.e. I don't chamber a round since I have a 3 and 5 year-old in the house. My rifle only leaves my safe when the lights go out and the "silent loading" option is great if I do not want to alert an intruder to my intentions.

I believe that the same can be accomplished on a rifle without forward-assist simply by applying thumb pressure to the indentation on the bolt-carrier assembly and pushing forward.

Just my 2-cents worth

- BORG

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 2:35:15 PM EST
My wife has to use one because she refuses to not ride the charging handle down.... women...

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 5:53:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By BORG:

Originally Posted By AMG08:
what does it do? never used mine.


I use my forward assist for silent loading, i.e. I don't chamber a round since I have a 3 and 5 year-old in the house. My rifle only leaves my safe when the lights go out and the "silent loading" option is great if I do not want to alert an intruder to my intentions.

I believe that the same can be accomplished on a rifle without forward-assist simply by applying thumb pressure to the indentation on the bolt-carrier assembly and pushing forward.

Just my 2-cents worth

- BORG


I'm kind of scared to ask, but how many times has this happened?

Hardwarz

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 6:50:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By hardwarz:

Originally Posted By BORG:

Originally Posted By AMG08:
what does it do? never used mine.


I use my forward assist for silent loading, i.e. I don't chamber a round since I have a 3 and 5 year-old in the house. My rifle only leaves my safe when the lights go out and the "silent loading" option is great if I do not want to alert an intruder to my intentions.

I believe that the same can be accomplished on a rifle without forward-assist simply by applying thumb pressure to the indentation on the bolt-carrier assembly and pushing forward.

Just my 2-cents worth

- BORG


I'm kind of scared to ask, but how many times has this happened?

Hardwarz


At home, never. In the infantry unit I served back in the mid-80's, many times.

- BORG

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Link Posted: 10/22/2008 10:48:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By BORG:

Originally Posted By AMG08:
what does it do? never used mine.


I use my forward assist for silent loading, i.e. I don't chamber a round since I have a 3 and 5 year-old in the house. My rifle only leaves my safe when the lights go out and the "silent loading" option is great if I do not want to alert an intruder to my intentions.

I believe that the same can be accomplished on a rifle without forward-assist simply by applying thumb pressure to the indentation on the bolt-carrier assembly and pushing forward.

Just my 2-cents worth

- BORG


Ding Ding we have a winner sort of ! It was developed at the request of S.F. and LRRP's for silent loading . Silent loading was in the patent description now i gotta go re-find it

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Link Posted: 10/23/2008 3:09:19 AM EST
I use mine to bump the BCG when it holds up when stripping the top round off my 6.8 mag.
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Link Posted: 10/23/2008 3:25:02 AM EST
Mine was installed to poke me when the rifle is slung. I hate being wrong handed... But OTOH the BD pokes me too and I need it...

But to stay on topic, I never use mine. If it doesn't want to be in the chamber I dont force it in there.

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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 4:17:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/12/2009 4:18:40 PM EST by tirod]
I wasn't aware it was for SF use. The forward assist was developed at the time the M16 was being fielded - with the wrong powder, no chrome plating, no cleaning kits, and new users unfamiliar with a radically new operating concept. So the Army wouldn't even accept the weapon until it was in A1 configuration to remedy the other problems that eventually were eliminated.

As for needing silent loading, operationally, not. Soldiers don't leave the wire unless they are locked and loaded. It's a prime ambush site in itself, and all the noisy operation of loading a firearm can be done before hand. If you're in the box - with no barrier wall and exposed to enemy fire - you don't go unloaded. You have to have immediate response to action there too.

Wandering around unloaded in a combat area is not what I was taught. For me, the FA is a bandaid covering up the incompetent fielding of the M16 more than anything.

As it has been around for decades and actually comes with an upper for less than without, it's economically justified. Quiet loading around family, etc, does have a place - although the actual firing when needed will certainly be more shocking.

Remediating a stoppage in combat is often the justification for keeping the FA. The problems are friction that consumes the available energy of the BCG closing, and magazines that fail to properly control the cartridge. Friction can be from difficult extraction, the BCG sliding in the upper, a extension with insufficient porting that slows the buffer, and/or deficiency in gas pushing the cartridge against the bolt face. Light weigt aluminum magazines with easily dented feed lips aren't one of the M16's known strong points, something the AK-47 owners will be happy to fully explain. Kalasnikov designed a goof proof magazine and fitted a rifle to it, not vice versa.

We're advised to run AR's wet with lube - and that's a giveaway. Coated BCG's with dry film lubricants are tested and on the market. We've already fixed the propellant, and know to keep the buffer tube opened up to breath. Magazines like the PMags seem to do a much better job and are more durable.

With 45 years development and the use of even more modern improvements, I think it's time to retire the forward assist as the anachronistic and unecessary answer to a problem that shouldn't be allowed to exist.


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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 4:36:48 PM EST
i have always had them and never used them.

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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 5:02:12 PM EST
I have only used mine for silent loading, such as when hunting, but I wouldn't feel right with a weapon that only allowed you to manipulate the bolt in one direction. Virtually all other semi-autos have a charging handle that can be slapped forward to ensure positive chambering.

Oh wait... I did use it on my old 6.8 due to sticky mag lips as another poster referred to.

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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 5:17:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/12/2009 5:21:37 PM EST by plinkr415]
I've only used mine for closing the bolt after I've ridden the charging handle home.

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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 5:18:00 PM EST
It could come in handy if your weapon becomes sluggish due to dirt and/or carbon and fails to completely chamber a round. I much prefer to have them on my AR's. I'd be hesitant to use it unless I was in an emergency situation and knew my weapon was getting dry and dirty.

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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 5:32:29 PM EST
its the self-destruct button

99%un-needed. but if ur hunting and have to load for some reason, u can ride the carrier up slow and use the fa to fully engage the bolt. its needed sometimes if u have shit in your action that prevents the inertia of the bolt from fully closing, just hit the FA and it should ride the bcg into position.

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Link Posted: 11/12/2009 5:39:37 PM EST
Got a new Bushy XM-15 last week and was breaking it in at the range this Monday. After about 75 rounds things got a little "sticky" and the forward assist came in handy for chambering the first round of the last couple of magazines. The rest were fine until the mag emptied and I had to swap to a new one. I quit after 3. It's the only time I've ever used an FA.

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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 1:15:17 AM EST
very quietly chamber a round. sometimes your bolt doesn't go all the way forward. now push the forward assist to get tha tbolt in place. shhhhh..now breath, relax, aim, squeeze...
Sure, you can have them all. One round at a time.
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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 3:31:34 AM EST
Another use for loading via the forward assist is not letting the firing pin slam into the primer. There's always the possibility of a slam-fire. Plus after loading the same round several times (think LEO/.Mil) you may affect primer function.

As others have posted already, it's also useful to be able to quietly load the rifle in a home defense situation.


hold ALT and press F4
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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 6:11:00 AM EST
wow, good thread. i never knew it could be used for "silent loading".
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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 10:04:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By BORG:
Originally Posted By AMG08:
what does it do? never used mine.


I use my forward assist for silent loading, i.e. I don't chamber a round since I have a 3 and 5 year-old in the house. My rifle only leaves my safe when the lights go out and the "silent loading" option is great if I do not want to alert an intruder to my intentions.

I believe that the same can be accomplished on a rifle without forward-assist simply by applying thumb pressure to the indentation on the bolt-carrier assembly and pushing forward.

Just my 2-cents worth

- BORG


good point when callin coyotes if you don't chamber till you get to your stand. Or other predators!


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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 10:21:09 AM EST
It can be a blessing and a curse. If you have a round that won't chamber and you use the FA, the round is either going to chamber or it will get stuck so tight that you'll need to use a cleaning rod down the muzzle to get the stuck round out. Happens more with reloaded ammo than factory.

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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 11:41:41 AM EST
It's also one of my favorite features to look at on an AR-15.

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Link Posted: 11/13/2009 12:30:00 PM EST
Anymore I just use my thumb into the recess on the carrier and if it don't go, at least I don't have to mortar the weapon to clear.

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