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Posted: 3/5/2001 12:05:18 PM EDT
Hello all,
I've been haunting this board for quite a while and I thought it was finally time for me to actually contribute.  I bought my first AR about a week ago and I wanted to share a few observations about it.  It's an Armalite M15A2C because I wanted the best [:D].  First off, I LOVE IT!!! My AK's (Romanian SAR 1&2) seem a little more reliable at this point, but I'm a complete newbie with AR's.  The AR is far more accurate, ergonomic, and well made.  The AK's look like toys next to it.  I have a few questions though:
1.  I used red loctite on the gas key (it came loose a couple times).  Will this hold?
2.  No matter what mag (USGI or Thermold) I use the bolt refuses to lock back after the last round.  Any ideas?
3.  The sights are a little weird.  The Armalite comes with A2 sights and I'm having a hard time using the "ghost ring" style rear sights.  Around dusk, they get completely useless (way too dark).  I'm used to normal notch and post sights.  Anyone else have this problem?
4.  I usually shoot around 800 rounds per range visit.  My AK's just chew through it without probs.  The AR doesn't stop, but it gets awful stiff . . . the buffer spring sounds like a wood chipper when it compresses and the bolt needs the FA to close completely.  I bought a copy of the Marine Corp M-16 manual and religiously follow it in the lube/cleaning cycle (except for a little grease on the trigger nose).  Is this endemic to AR style rifles?

Sorry about the long post, but I'm hoping you guys/gals in your infinite wisdom can give me some answers.

Link Posted: 3/5/2001 12:14:16 PM EDT
Congrats on the ArmaLite.  It is the best.  The bolt not locking back could be due to weak mag springs.  The gas key sounds like a problem and ArmaLite will fix it for free if you choose to get a knew one.  While I have never put 800 rounds at once through the rifle at once I have never had any problems with it stiffining up.  Somebody else might be able to help with that.  Try [url]http://www.armalite.com[/url] for more information.
Link Posted: 3/5/2001 12:15:56 PM EDT
Try Going To A Book Store An Getting The Book The Black Rifle Its The Best Book On Onfo For M-16 Well Worth The Money IMO
Link Posted: 3/5/2001 12:36:18 PM EDT

first the loose gas key is a big no-no.  somone at the armalite plant was asleep at the wheel (assuming that this is a factory gun vs. a put together.)  the gas key bolts are to be torqued and staked.

- your second and third problems might be related - unload your gun and then remove the buffer and spring assembly and lightly coat them as well as the inside of the buffer tube and retry - this might solve both situ's - also check to see that there is free movement with the bolt catach and that there is a spring in there.

IMHO the armalites are not the best - sorry!

Link Posted: 3/5/2001 1:27:47 PM EDT
What Steve M said......

But, make sure to only use a very light coating of molysulfide grease on the buffer/spring/tube.  Too much and you'll wind up lubricating your armpit!
Link Posted: 3/5/2001 2:47:20 PM EDT
Yeah, I emailed Armalite and they offered to fix it for free (shipping included).  They got back to me in about 30 minutes on their website.  They seem like great people to deal with.  I'm a bit mechanically inclined, so I just torqued it (as defined in the Marine manual) and red loctited it.  It's held through about 500 rounds now so I'm pretty sure it will be OK.  Steve, I haven't tried anything other than CLP (and a little LSA) on the AR yet.  I've seen other posts about grease in the buffer tube . . . maybe I'll give it a try (if Chuck doesn't send a squad down to kick my butt for not FOLLOWING THE MANUAL . . . just kidding Chuck, I've found your advice to be excellent).  I can see it now - with my luck Right Guard + moly grease = Sarin gas and everyone at the range will die  [X]
Link Posted: 3/5/2001 3:44:28 PM EDT
Shoulda got the Bushmaster!!

All of that aside, yeah the moly grease can be found at automotive part stores, it is a common grease used for wheel bearings.

If you'll notice on the rear of the stock there is a screw with a hole in it. This screw enters the buffer tube hence the warning about too much grease in the buffer tube as this is the place where it will exit when the bolt carrier moves rearward.

800 rounds seems like a lot for any gun at any one time. If the recommendation made in the previous post don't seem to resolve the problem, check for some sort of build up in the rifle.

I would first suspect lubrication problems as the factory may not have lubed it much prior to shipment.
Link Posted: 3/5/2001 4:57:24 PM EDT
ballsybottom: WELCOME!  Please let us know how you resolved your problem.  I am really interested.

Link Posted: 3/5/2001 9:35:10 PM EDT
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.  Its great to have people around that actually think that it's OK to talk about guns.  My co-workers are convinced I'm gonna bring in one of my AK's one day and mow down a class full of students (I teach network engineering and computer security to adult computer admins).  I couldn't do that . . . I'd spend all day trying to figure out WHICH gun to use on the little bastards.  The 7.62? The 5.45? The 5.56?  I guess I'd have to use the 7.62 - I've got a 75 round drum for it [}:D].
Warlord, I'm going to take the AR out this weekend to wring it out again.  I'll try any fixes you guys post that sound logical and I'll report on Monday.
Misterhemi, I wanted a gun that actually LOOKED like it was worth 850$, and the Bushie's looked more like my 290$ AK's.  The fit/finish on the Armalite's is unequalled.  My problems (except for the carrier key) stem from my lack of AR experience.    I'm going to build a Bushy this summer, though.

By the way, 800 rounds is a light day at the range for me.  Most of the time we (me, my three cousins, my uncle, my step-brother, and my dad) burn a case or more.  All told, we have 8 AK's, lots of pistols, and now an AR.  Ahhh . . . the joys of bump firing an AK.  We also do a lot of bowling pin shooting (really burns the ammo). We actually had a Sherrifs deputy drive out to my uncles where we shoot.  He though we had converted our rifles to full auto.  He REALLY loved shooting the AK once we showed him how . . . I'm convinced he's gonna get one and bump-fire an entire mag into a some child molesting perp.  That would be cool [:D]    
Link Posted: 3/5/2001 9:53:16 PM EDT
I agree that Armalites have the best fit and finish on AR's right now, but I have seen 2 other Armalites turn into expensive straight pull rifles when the gas keys came loose on the range, once was during a qualifier match during a firearms training/ tactical carbine class.  We had to finish with an old Inland GI M1 Carbine.  

That thing worked!

We sell Armalites at our shop, right next to Colts.  The Armalites seem not to have their gas keys staked nearly as well as the Colts, but other than that I feel that they are superior, and they do have an excellent customer service division.
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 5:02:39 AM EDT
Templar, maybe you should post this over on the Armalite board.  Sounds like they need to either retrain or reassign the person that attaches gas keys on these guns.  They have the best fit/fininsh, but the key seems to be a re-occuring problem.  They practically fell over backwards trying to get mine fixed, though.  Not many gun companies would do that.
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 5:41:40 AM EDT
Ballsy, Welcome. I too got a M15A2C last year and love it. I agree with you that i feel Armalite is the best out there.

have fun

Link Posted: 3/6/2001 8:33:24 PM EDT
When I was getting ready to buy, I went out and handled every AR I could find.  From the feedback on these forums, I figured that it would either be an Arma or a Bushie . . . both seem to get rave reviews that take on semi-religious overtones.  After looking at both 16" carbines, the Bushie just didn't look like an 850$ gun.   If I wanted a 5.56 that looked that rough, I would have bought an SAR-3 . . . Just kidding (sort of).  The Armalite just looked, felt, and smelled right.  Plus, I think it's cool that they actually invented the darn things in the first place.  I don't think it's the same people, but it's the same company.  I'm sure there are some really fine looking Bushmasters out there, though . . . I just didn't find them [:)] For my cash, I wnat performance AND looks.  Plus the green furniture KICKS A$$!
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 8:35:57 PM EDT
Templar . . . do you work in a shop in Mechanicsville?  You seem vaguely familiar . . . you may have sold me my M15A2C!
Let's all sing  "It's a small world after all . . . "
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