I saw this thread going at Glock Talk and figured you guys would like to read it and comment.
I read it..one surmize of it, said the guys who could'nt load their AR's correctly were Urban warrior yuppies. I concur.
If shtf..I'm taking what I know and what I'm good at. Not some urban warrior who pays $1,000 to prove he can't shoot shit and is out of shape.
I'm sure the course is excellant and you learn a wealth of knowledge...but it would best serve those who attend NOT to pit AK versus AR upon returning. Im sure 30 years of military service helps bolster the AR's defense...no duh. It's too late for mullet fishin' and I ain't bitin'.
If a blind, deaf mute is holding an AK...and I have my AR,I have the upper hand...whether or not my mags fall out and are full of mud.Whats the point here? Not everything goes according to plan..
right on..what was the question again? Nevermind,
I can't comment on how accurate this guys report is (but it's known that AKs are one of, if not the most reliable rifle in the world). It makes me glad that I'm getting a Bulgarian SA-93 with a Kobra site, though.
He posted this report on AssaultWeb and a few of us AR types took him to task on it and suddenly the entire thread was deleted.
Maybe I'll go over to Glocktalk and mess with him some more.
I think there is some over-reaction here to his post. I don't know if any of you have been to Thunder Ranch or not. As for me, I have...and I saw plenty of "top of the line" firearms malfunction and BREAK within the first day. I couldn't help but smile at the Kimbers and Sigs that broke on Day 1...forcing the owners to borrow a gun to complete the course.
Let's be honest with ourselves...while we LOVE the AR-15, the AK rifles are definitely a more reliable rifle. While I have no experience with the AK-74 he mentioned, I am sure it is similar in durability to the most popular rifle in the world. In fact, it's probably MORE reliable, due to the fact that it's shooting such a small caliber (smaller than the .223!).
The only question I would have is what is the practicality of the 74's caliber (5.24mm right?)? The .223 is about as small as I am comfortable with for a primary defense rifle. Maybe he cheated himself by using a low-recoil, light, and "malfunction-free" firearms. Personally, I got the most out of the malfunctions drills at TR...because you need to be able to get back in the fight ASAP if a malfunction occurs.
Calm down...I don't think he was totally bashing ARs. Just making an observation. People get just as pissed at me when I start pointing out the many shortcomings of the Kimbers...illustrated poignantly during my experience at TR.
Great. Some guy posts his OBSERVATIONS from a TR course that happen to show AR's in a negative light, and the mud-slinging starts. Whether or not you like it, folks, AR's frequently fail under real-world conditions. When I was in the desert, we had to leave our M16A2's almost totally dry or they would very quickly gunk up with sand to the point where they wouldn't function. Lack of lubrication is, of course, a very bad thing for an AR, so it was a catch-22.
The reason our military stayed with the M16 system is because they've got way too much invested in it, both in money and in face.
The Israelis use them because we give them guns and parts for free. There are better systems in the world, and reliability-wise the AK is one of them. Sorry if you don't like it, but it's a well-proven fact.
AR's are nice rifles for plinking, home defense, etc., as long as you can keep them fairly clean. In my experience they work well (as long as properly maintained) in almost all conditions but sand. However, I've seen them fail in all sorts of conditions, too. If I had to pick one rifle for absolutely any conditions or situation, the AR would not be it. I've seen them fail in matches, with highly-trained and practiced operators using good mags and ammo, who knew what they were doing. It wasn't operator error, it was the rifle. They weren't cheap, shoddily-built rifles, either.
If the AR system is your choice of rifle, fine. They're decent as long as you take care of them. However, just because you like it doesn't mean it's infallible or that anyone who says they've seen them fail is a liar or has an agenda.
I read the post over on Glocktalk and another forum and now have heard about it here. It amazes me all the b!tching going on about it. The author admits in like the first sentence that he's not a firearm expert. Give the guy a break. He had a great learning experience at TR (as do many other folks) and he wanted to tell about it. Us "pro-gun" folks ought to be commending him for spending his time and money to get the training.
Sure, I questioned some of his conclusions about the AK vs AR issue too. So what. Opinions are like @$$holes - everybody's got one.
Would y'all want to have a know-it-all who's never been to a place like TR, or any other training for that matter, next to you when TSHTF or someone who admittedly DOESN'T know-it-all, but is willing to learn and has at least shown the motivation to try and learn more and is willing to FOLLOW (a leader who really does know what they're doing)?
Everyone needs to lighten up.
Well stated mpthole. In fact, after everyone's ire got raised, I think I am beginning to want to go buy one of those "damned AK-74" just to see what all the fuss is about.
Heck, the Kalashnikov 74s cost about $350 new...Hmmmmm, maybe I'll check on ammo prices and ballistics...
there was another article in guns and ammo this year that was very similar. the ar's and all those eletronic gizmos did not fare well.
"keeping it Clean" can be very hard to do under field conditions.
i have the sar2, 5.45x39 cal, wife got it for $300, i picked 4 plastic new 30 rd mags for about $30, VERy low recoil, lightweight, easy to clean, simple. haven't shot it much for accuracy yet but would bet it will not touch the accuracy of the ar.
my only bitch: ammo is not as available as the old standbys.
price of a new ar15: about $1000
$1000 for a new AR15? I can walk out of a shop by my house with a new Bushmaster 16" A2 or A3 carbine for $835. I paid $1300 for my SP1 and it has a collapsible stock and custom trigger job.
There is no doubt that the AK type rifles are very reliable, but finding an AK-47 that's accurate isn't easy. However, research has shown that accuracy in combat isn't generally the key factor in coming out alive; reliability is. So, all things considered, I think an AK-47 would be a good rifle in adverse conditions in a SHTF scenario. If you're going to use the AR15, you need a good cleaning kit and use it often. If you could get ahold of a HK G36 (or SL8 if they took high capacity magazines), I'd rather have one of those. Those guns are just damn reliable.
However, I've gone over a thousand rounds with my AR15 and haven't done a full cleaning of it with no problems.
God Bless Texas
The -10 indicates a change to the lubrication process for use in desert environment.
You couldn't be more wrong. Back in the 70s the Army went looking for a new rifle. Remember the M16 had so much bad press a few years earlier. It would have been a simple thing to just award the new rifle contract to another design and be done with it.
Problem is the M16 beat the competiton. How can you justify switching when none of the competing rifles can outperform what you currently have.
NO mechanical device is infallible, even the AK (yep I've seen them fail).
Hey, guys... I was in that class and his report was way off base.
I never got involved in the discussion over on GT, because I'm not a member, but was pointed to it by another student who was also in the class.
Everyone is entilted to their opinion and it's subjective. But, if you put your "report" up on the 'net, you better be ready to take flak.
My AR worked fine, my partners AR worked fine. There were some people I saw have problems, but that might well have been their fault.
Overall, I wasn't paying attention to others. I was there to learn and perform. Some people were obviously not. But, the guy shouldn't be insulted for giving his opinion, but that is what it should be taken as.
Best thing I can say, is go take the class and find out for yourself. It is a great class, I learned a great deal and enjoyed myself. MY AR and Aimpoint performed w/o flaw.
AcidGambit: Would like to hear your report of the class, as I am sure many here would too. I am a fellow graduate of TR, only from the Defensive Hangun I class. My next course I want to attend is Urban Rifle.
Couple quick questions:
What kind of AR were you using (brand, barrel length, flash suppressor or not)?
Was one of your instructors from (or formerly) from Dept. of Energy?
Clint let you keep a "gadget" like your Aimpoint on there?!?! I am shocked! I thought he made everyone strip their rifles down to iron sights (although, maybe you were given a lot of grief, eh?). Just curious.
I love TR and highly recommend them to everyone. I just wish I had the time and money to go every year (or every 6 months for that matter!!!!).
Please, tell us of your experience...we'd like to hear it. Also, details of the "inaccuracies" of the aforementioned article (there are always two sides to a story).
HELLLOOOOOOOOOOO (echo) (echo) (echo)
AcidGambit: Are you still around? I'd love to hear your report as I am sure it was positive.
Here's a link for my TR "review". Its really not so much a review as it talks about what the equipment I used and what, synopsis of class exercises and thoughts on what I'd do next time. Feel free to have a look.
My one-word summation of the class is: AWESOME!
Having carried an M-16 for a year in Vietnam I can only tell it works in adverse conditions.. I served both as a rifleman and a medic in two different Infantry units-3/60th Mobile Riverine Force and 2/39th Inf (mostly Air Assault weather permitting) ..we worked the rivers and crawled through mud...lots of mud..we lived in mud and then during the Monsoon season it rained..and made even more mud..You couldnt keep anything clean in this environment..and yet the M-16 worked..was the AK more reliable..yes..but the only failures I remember were some failures to feed which were easily fixed with the foward assist..or making sure your rounds were seated properly in the mags.. Cant imagine anything better for home/property defense especially in our rural area... I'v shot lots of AKs and frankly I like my AR better..its a better optics platform plenty of parts smiths and ammo...and its American not comblock...For greater knockdown power and whitetail deer I prefer my short barreled M700 308 and 243
I've put thousands of rounds through AR's and can only think of instance where I had a problem. It was a failure to feed on a new AR. I have shot my AR in snow storms where the wind chill was below -70. I have laid in the sun with it all day in 100 degree weather. I've sat and had dirt blow into the reciever all day without a problem. I have never handled or owned a rifle that has a better track record. I would trust my life on the AR.
Thanks for the link. I remember reading it about a year ago when you first posted it...it was quite detailed. Sheesh, I was so tired after each day on the Defensive Handgun course that the last thing I wanted to do is write journal entries on what we did that day.
Thanks again...I'm going to read it a second time!
Sorry Tailgate, I didn't know this thread was still going.
This is the report a posted on another forum when I got back:
Thunder Ranch’s Urban Rifle-I:
First I will start off by saying that I think this of one of the best classes I have attended. The instruction, as always at TR, was excellent. The instructors were great, perhaps the best I have ever encountered. The course of instruction and lay out was top notch. This is the most physical class I have been to, ever.
I will try to give an expeditious run down without becoming long winded.
The first part of day one was spent listening to Clint Smith’s speech, which if one has never heard, is quite interesting and fun. It was not as in depth as during my DH-1 class, but interesting nevertheless.
The latter part of the day was spent zeroing our rifles. I was shocked to find that my Aimpoint’s adjustment controls are not opposite as instructed as I previously thought. Perhaps my home range is in the twilight zone or something. At any rate, I was only 6 clicks off. While I consider it bad form to show up with an improperly zeroed rifle, in my defense, I was run off the home range by the bastid, evil, “benchrest” shooters…. May their groups open up to .50”
The second day was spent learning the various drills and shooting positions, also malfunction clearances and types. It rained horribly, but we kept shooting. There was a “how to clean your AR” which some people in the class REALLY NEEDED TO LEARN.
The third day involved more shooting positions and the evil barricades, which are heavy for a skinny guy like me to maneuver from the side of the range. We also did, if I recall correctly, combat pick-ups of other people’s weapons. I, in an outstanding demonstration of my speed, skill and agility… Outran everyone to the designated point and then charged through the crowd like the great water buffalo to “pick-up” the H&K G-36k… Which, of course, I have not shot or touched in my life. I proceeded to look for the cocking handle, which isn’t in the usual H&K place. With my superior intellect and analytical skill, I located said charging handle and got the weapon loaded… At which point, used to semi-auto weapons, ran the safety to the stops and fired off a nice burst of full auto. Ooops, a very fast and controllable rifle though, I got the hits.
The fourth day involved rotations between the chargers (run by the lovely and taken, Mrs.Smith,) the white (rifle) range, to runs through the Terminator w/ a TR provided Colt 9mm AR, and a run through “Thunderville.”
My partner and I did quite well on the chargers, I did well in the “Terminator” runs/sims… I will however confess that the run through “Thunderville” about broke me physically. I got the hits (didn’t fire on one target, dud round,) my legs were a-wobblin.
The fourth day was also the night shoot… I really enjoyed this and discovered how to used a flashlight that is not mounted to your rifle (mine is not.) There are a bunch of different ways and all are viable. I prefer the “Florese” <SIC> technique. This involves placing your hand on the forestocks like you generally would, except your sure-fire is in your palm… You then push the light against the mag well to illuminate. It works quite well and keeps the rifle controllable. I also tried the other versions, which are similar to using a pistol. The Harries worked the 2nd best for me, but I found that the most comfortable placement on that would put my hand in-line with the ejection port… Not fun, 5.56 is hot.
We ate a wonderful meal, provided by TR, of BBQ… Probably the best meal I had. We then did a night run through “Thunderville.” Lucky for me, it was “tame” and didn’t involve crawling all over stuff, otherwise my nice Texas BBQ dinner would have remained at TR.
I really enjoyed sitting in the dark for 5+min waiting for the targets to become a “threat.” Then it rained. We sat there for a while, but the class was called and we got a “mad minute” when of course I was out of ammo. It was a great night until it started raining. Class was called.
The 5th and final day consisted of another rotation of the chargers, “terminators,” white range, transitions to pistol, and “thunderville.” Good fun, I hustled on the “Thunderville” run to make up for my pervious crappy physical performance, though this run started 3 stories up on the tower, where we have to climb a ladder with out rifles slung (did I mention I don’t like heights or ladders.) Grab a 9mm Colt, run down the stairs, pop a bad guy, run out, grab a mag you already provided, load your weapon, and do “Thunderville.” I got a bit lazy on my stance during the runners and caught hell from Clint Smith, which is something you really don’t want to do… But, I was f’ing up and being lazy, so… Good “Terminator” runs, though I have discovered that I don’t like “talking” to the targets… I was about to “pop” the FedEx guy for the simple reason that he was pi$$ing me off, I ended up telling him to get out or I was going to kill him. Boooo.
I used a newly acquired Colt pre-ban lower w/ an M4 telescoping stock, M4 handguards, Colt carrier and bolt, w/ a Bushmaster upper and 14.5” barrel w/ Phantom flash suppressor. With only 200rds through it before the class. It worked fairly well, I did have malfunctions with it, I had one bum magazine that always seemed to cause problems.
The Phantom works well, unless you really, REALLY rapid fire the rifle, you will then get a noticeable flash. I was using Federal American Eagle, so I don’t know if military ammo would have done better in this respect. The gun next to me had a post-ban Colt w/o the break/suppressor and the flash was immense. I am glad I didn’t use my Colt H-Bar carbine, the added weight would not have been welcome. Like, I have stated… My Federal ammo has some failure to fire problems.
To give credit where credit is due… xxxxxxx is on point in his endorsement of the Aimpoint ML2. It worked, it made me shoot quicker, and it’s worth the money. He’s also right about the “pit” behind the trigger. I developed a nasty hole in my middle finger. Mainly it rubbed doing tactical reloads and malf drills. Epoxy is in the rifle's future.
Like my KMC comp mount, though I have a complaint… My spare battery caps fell out during the class…. This is no good. The KMC flip up works great, though I think I favor the GG&G A2 flip up. Strange thing regarding the Aimpoint, I turned it on one time and….. no dot ! I went to the back up sight, fired, and the dot appeared. Only happened once.
My Giles sling worked well, most of the time. I found it to be a big problem when doing “Thunderville.” The 3rd “crawling” run, I didn’t wear it and only slung it for the firepole slide. Otherwise, it’s the best choice IMHO.
If you decide to take this class you NEED knee pads and to an extent elbow pads. I ordered Alta pads from Lightfighter.com which of course, didn’t deliver them on time. Lucky for me, my partner had some spares… Without these and 800mg of Advil, I would never have made it.
Mostly AR-15’s in the class with a 50/50 mix of fixed vs. telescoping stocks… FWIW, I ran mine one in from max. I found this to be the most comfy and still give me leverage operate my rifle. 3 AK’s, 2 were the “Arsenal” brand which I am very impressed with, one HK-91 (ouch, heavy,) and the H&K G36k. People did at different times bring out different guns…. A Colt AR9mm, Garand, H&K93, and a Robinson arms M96 (which I saw for 15min and never again, does that tell you something ?)
The class calls for 1200rifle and 200pistol. I am guessing that I took about 1600rds of rifle, I came home with maybe 35rds. I do like to get on the trigger though. Shot maybe 100rds of pistol.
In speaking with Heidi, I have discovered that UR-II is more physical… So I have decided to forgo the beer and drink only hard liquor… I will now start running 50’ every day.
DH-2 low light next, then UR-II.
Outstanding class, outstanding people running the class, I really, really, liked the instructors. I have come to the conclusion that there are no decent places to eat in Kerville.
I would seriously recommend this class or a class like this (with a solid instructor) to all members, it may turn out to be worth it's weight in gold.
When asked about malfunctions, I replied the following:
I can only speak of the problems I had. I know the people on either side of me and others had problems, but the staff keeps you kind of busy.
I know that one of the people had a couple of failure to go into battery malf's.
I had, as mentioned, a few failure to fires. I'm kinda spotty on any other malfunctions, because I just did everytihng to clear them and never checked to see the problem.
I also had a some failure to feeds, but I later traced this to a bum magazine (Sanchez USGI.) I recall that I may have had one or two failure to go into battery, I may not have gotten aggressive enough on the charging handle during those cases.
My gun was still pretty new, so I don't now if breaking it in more would have solved some problems. I didn't use my well use all Colt gun because I wanted the lighter weight of the M4 barrel.
I don't think anyone didn't have a few malfunctions, except the guys with the AK's.
The staff stated that people who show up with a 100% Colt, good quality magazines & ammo, who really clean there gun properly, usually have no or very few problems compared to those who bring Bushmaster's or Armalite's.
I do think Colt makes a better bolt than the rest of the makers. I have read lots of complaints about how the Bushy bolts are made out of pot steel. I have seen, firsthand, two LE carbines from them break when they were brand new. One actually sheered it's key off. The other had some problems with it's bolt and then the flash suppressor flew off. I'm happy with my upper, but not the finish on the barrel.
I also found that in trying to protect my Aimpoint, I would forget to flip up the covers at the worst possible times. This is a malfunction of the brain though.
I could have, should have, and did in the final days, use more lube on my gun.
In response to sights:
Pretty much split 60/40 between standard iron sights (which is TR pref) and Aimpoints.
There was one guy next to me with a Trijicon TA01-NSN. But, he kept swaping between it and his AR's ironsights. Needless to say, his performance didn't change whichever he was using. I'm not sold on the value of this scope, at least not for the money. But, they are nice optics.
Then there was the guy with the G-36 which is a dot (reflex-II) type afair piggybacked onto a 4x (?) scope.
One guy had one of those old Colt type sights that mounts onto the carry handle.
I still think the Aimpoint rules the road. Just from observation, I don't think having optics makes a person a better shot. Maybe better placement, definately quicker when it comes to the Aimpoint, I find it hardly obscures your view at all when shooting with both eyes open.
A footnote that I added later:
I was scared during the speech, I thought I was going to end up ditching my Aimpoint.
FWIW, I kept forgetting to turn the thing off... It never died. It was still on when I cleaned my guns on monday in xxxxxxx.
I just now need to get KMC to replace the spare battery caps and figure out a way to keep them in.
Like I said, I shot just as well with my KMC backup iron sight(s) and with other peoples irons during the combat pick ups.
If it helps me shoot better/faster, then doom on the other guy.
I'll add this, I shot using my daily concealed carry gear... Every day, using the pistol or not.
I shot in jeans and a shirt or jacket depending on conditions. Because this is probably how it going to be.
I just put my mags in my backpocket... I have no need or use for all the tactical, cool guy, stuff. I'm not in the military, I'm not a SWAT doggie... In the unlikely event I have have to fight with my AR, I'm not going to have time to throw all that crap on. Neither am I going to become involved in a protracted gunfight requiring hundreds or rounds.
It's cool stuff, looks neat, I'd rather spend the money on ammo.
Any problems I had with my rifle were entirely my fault.
Sorry for not catching your requst earlier.
Good report "mpthole."