I would like to hear from M17S OWNERS ONLY !
I am contemplating a purchase of this unit and would like to know your experiences with yours.
What you like and dislike and whatever you have done to improve or modify.
Like accuracy, seems that with a 21.5" bbl there should be enough legnth and twist to put out a round and match the AR15's.
Optics, magazines, bullet weights used best etc.
No flaming rants please, "just the facts 'mam"
I'm also interested in this rifle.
I have a couple questions also:
1) When fully assembled, is the trigger group covered by the aluminum receiver? In another word, is there a cut out in the aluminum receiver in the area above the trigger group?
I'm asking because I'm wondering if the dust and dirt that come in through the cooling slots will gum up on the trigger linkage bar and other mechanisms.
2) Does the picatinney rail add stiffness to the polymer carry handle? I know that without the rail, the carry handle can be bent easily in the up-and-down direction. I wonder if the carry handle with the rail installed would be a sturdy enough base for optics with respect to accuracy of the rifle and durability of the scope.
Thanks for any information, picture
I've had one for several years.
The trigger pull is not the greatest. It has to travel along a linkage to the back, so there's never going to be a "match" trigger for these. There's alot you can do, and the mods are extensive, but there's whole websites. I'll look for them and post them, so you can see. The mods do work and the trigger cleans up fairly well.
There is a heat build-up problem. Some people have gone to the expense of cutting additional cooling slots. Others have added forward pistol grips. Some jsut wear a glove. The barrel is very close to the forearm. The forearm is actually just the front end of the recevier, and as the barrle heats up, it get's too hot to hold. A coupl mags, and you can't hold onto the front end of the gun without doing something. I made a handguard by cutting down a neoprene mouse pad and using black electircal ties to secure it. In the years I've had it, it's never gotten too hot to hold and the moust pad has never come off, melted, or shifted in any way. It also makes it a pretty comfortable handguard.
You can use any common bullet weight as it has a 1/9 tiwst. It works with them all. Accuracy is quite good and only limited by the sighting system and trigger.
I recommend USGI mags. 20rd mags make changes eaiser, and there's a method to do this quickly. Practice and it works pretty well. I've tried aftermarket, and they actually work fine. I tried an Israeli Orlite and had problems with it locking open on the last round.
Right now I have a red dot on the stock carry handle mount. I'm still searching for the right optice/mounting system. The carry handle mount isn't supported on the rear, so I'm not convinced that it's really the best for mounting anything to. Many have modded the optics by just mounting them directly to the receiver after removing the carry handle. The iron sights are pointless. Mine dosen't have them and I thought I was getting gipped, but after looking at them, I'm glad I don't. You have jsut a good a chance of hitting something without them.
The fire control group is actually in the rear, aft of the magazine. It is strictly AK in design. There is obviously a cutout there so the hammer can do it's thing. That area is internal to the gun, i.e. there is no huge opening to the outside. The trigger contains just the trigger and the spring to return it to position. There is a metal linkage that extends back to the FCG. There is no cut out in the receiver in the trigger area. The reciever itself is what's holding the linkage in place and keeping it from flying out of it's slot. The gun shoot VERY clean. Far cleaner than an AR.
The carry handle has the rail built-in. It is not Picatinny spec. It's Weaver, but not spec rail for Picatinny-type interface (close, but no cigar). It is bolted through the front of the carry handle into the receiver, not just to the carry handle. The carry handle is plastic reinforced with a steel insert. It is not attatched to anything at the rear. The back portion of the carry handle is actually the charging handle, so the whole of the stock scope mount just hangs there on a piece of plastic, only supported at the front. There is no support at all on the back. You can wiggle the mount around with your hand, though it seems to return to center. It's not the greatest of scope mounts to say the least. It works fine with a light device like the red dot I have on there (cheap BSA while I figure out what to do) but a heavier scope, especially a longer one, will probably not have adequate support to work properly. Most folks are going to mounting a rail directly to the reciever.
Thanks for your comments. It sounds like your rifle was made before the latest Bushmaster design changes.
The latest version has, in addition to the useless built-in sight you referred to, also the added-on Picatinney rail. See the attached image. I was referring to this rail when I wondered whether the rail added stiffness to the polymer handle.
I don't get the search function, either, but I came across this discussion thread from the General Firearm Discussion board. Thought you might like to read it.
Nope, the M17s has always had the same scope mount system permanently installed from the factory. The scope mount is part of the desgin of the rifle and not an add-on feature. Even the pre-bans have the same mount. They added the sights later than mine, but the scope mount has been the same all along. I have the EXACT same gun in every way, except for the plastic fixed emergency sights.
The scope mount does provide stiffness for the carry handle, but since they all have the exact same mount and carry handle (except for sights), then the newer ones aren't any different than the older ones. They all wiggle the same amount, and all lack support in the same places, because they are all the same.
So the answer to your question is: Yes, the rail adds satbility to the plastic carry handle, but all the M17s have the rail so there hasn't been any improvemnet over earlier models of the desgin.
I'll post a pic of mine when I get a chance, but it's the same gun in your pic except no sights. Came that way from the factory, scope mount and all. I bought it brand new.