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Posted: 11/26/2002 8:49:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2002 8:50:34 PM EDT by Anonymosity]
I picked up my Bushy M4A3 from my FFL a few hours ago, and set about understanding it by reading the manual. While by no means am I new to firearms, I am brand spanking new to the AR, so please bear with me.

The manual states that the safety can only be positioned in the "safe" position after the hammer is "cocked." Unfortunately, nowhere else in the manual does it explain how to "cock the hammer" (at least in those words). I pulled the rear slide (forgive my unfamiliarity with correct terminology--the manual is now in my car and I don't remember the correct word), held the bolt lock and let the slide catch in the open position. I was then able to position the safety into "safe" mode just fine, so I figured the aforementioned action was "cocking the hammer." I have two questions, now. First, how do I "uncock" the hammer, and second, when I pull the slide back and lock the bolt assembly in the open position, the slide freely travels back and forth. I can push it back forward without resistance to a certain point. Can I snap it completely forward without damaging anything, or will the gun automatically do this when I release the bolt lock? Again, sorry for the ignorance, but I have to learn somewhere, and I figured this is the best place to do so before I even think about firing the gun. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 9:02:38 PM EDT
Whats up man, DONT ride the slide just pull it back let it go!!![:d]
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 9:06:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2002 9:07:55 PM EDT by fijfi]
Originally Posted By Anonymosity: I picked up my Bushy M4A3 from my FFL a few hours ago,[red][b]Congrats [:D][/b][/red] and set about understanding it by reading the manual. While by no means am I new to firearms, I am brand spanking new to the AR, so please bear with me. The manual states that the safety can only be positioned in the "safe" position after the hammer is "cocked." Unfortunately, nowhere else in the manual does it explain how to "cock the hammer" (at least in those words). I pulled the rear slide (forgive my unfamiliarity with correct terminology--the manual is now in my car and I don't remember the correct word), held the bolt lock and let the slide catch in the open position. I was then able to position the safety into "safe" mode just fine, so I figured the aforementioned action was "cocking the hammer." [red][b]Correct, the gun is now cocked[/b][/red] I have two questions, now. First, how do I "uncock" the hammer, [red][b] Refer to the section called "Clearing Your Rifle" in the "Operating and safety Instruction Manual" that you should have gotten with the rifle [/b][/red]and second, when I pull the slide back and lock the bolt assembly in the open position, the slide freely travels back and forth. I can push it back forward without resistance to a certain point. Can I snap it completely forward without damaging anything, or will the gun automatically do this when I release the bolt lock? [red][b]After you lock the bolt to the rear, you should always push the charging handle forward until it locks. You will also want to ensure that the charging handle is locked forward, prior to firing the rifle, your nose will thank you [;)][/b][/red] Again, sorry for the ignorance, but I have to learn somewhere, and I figured this is the best place to do so before I even think about firing the gun. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
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Hope this helps. Jamie
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 9:12:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2002 9:14:10 PM EDT by SMGLee]
What you are pulling on is called the Charging handle, it will cock your hammer. there is no way to decock the gun, such as a decocking lever. the best way is to make sure the chamber is empty and dry fire the gun toward a safe location. Just as Fijfi have said, the cocking handle will ride freely when the bolt carrier is lock in the open poistion. you have lock it back in. Most important thing is to let the bolt slam forward with out any assistance. even when you are charging the gun with out locking the bolt back, you just pull on the cocking handle and let it slam back into battery. The safety will only work when the hammer is cocked. Take it out to the range and shoot it. HAve fun and congrats on your first AR. believe me, it will not be your last.
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 9:57:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2002 10:18:43 PM EDT by Lazyshooter]
The above info pretty much covers your questions. As a whole, I've found factory instruction manuals for semiautomatic firearms to be very poorly written and pictured for beginning shooters. And I've collected a lot of them through the years. The ar15 is no different. To my knowledge there hasn't been a well written civilian manual for this rifle made. You would think with all the potential liability concerns with firearms, that companies would do a better job. You would be well served to shoot your rifle for the first time at the range with someone who already is familiar with ar15s. Lenny Magill has a fairly decent AR15 video aimed mostly at beginners, although it's not cheap, that explains a lot of the basics. Stick around on this site and learn a bunch![:)]
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 10:51:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SMGLee: What you are pulling on is called the Charging handle, it will cock your hammer. there is no way to decock the gun, such as a decocking lever. [red]the best way is to make sure the chamber is empty and dry fire the gun toward a safe location.[/red] [blue][i] I was gonna say that, but figured that it was safer to have him read it [;)] That was why I put the reference from the Owners Manual[/i][/blue] Just as Fijfi have said, the cocking handle will ride freely when the bolt carrier is lock in the open poistion. you have lock it back in. Most important thing is to let the bolt slam forward with out any assistance. even when you are charging the gun with out locking the bolt back, you just pull on the cocking handle and let it slam back into battery. The safety will only work when the hammer is cocked. Take it out to the range and shoot it. HAve fun and congrats on your first AR. believe me, it will not be your last.
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Like Lazyshooter said the manuals are not the clearest, which sucks especially for the new AR shooter. His suggestion to go with someone familiar with the AR is a very good one. If at all possible try to find someone to go with you. It will make your 1st outting a little more enjoyable. [:D] Jamie
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 11:53:40 PM EDT
Yes there is, you remove the magazine, cycle the bolt and then remove the rear take-down pin and pull the trigger. Decocks my AR15 everytime. [x]
Originally Posted By SMGLee: there is no way to decock the gun, such as a decocking lever.
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Link Posted: 11/27/2002 2:56:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USNJoe: Yes there is, you remove the magazine, cycle the bolt and then remove the rear take-down pin and pull the trigger. Decocks my AR15 everytime. [x]
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Do not let the hammer fall on your lower receiver; ease it down with your thumb. The hammer striking the receiver can damage the receiver, eventually cracking it and destroying your expensive weapon.
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 5:52:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2002 5:52:56 AM EDT by Anonymosity]
Thanks to everyone for the help. I feel much more comfortable with the general operations now, and will definitely ensure that the first time I fire the gun, I will be with someone who is knowledgeable in the AR operation. This board is great--thanks again!
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 7:42:42 AM EDT
remember to clean and lube everything, before shooting,Follow the proper barrel break in procedure,and shoot away! [;)]
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 7:43:09 AM EDT
You learned in 7 posts, what took us half a day to learn in basic training!!![:D][:D]
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 8:09:10 AM EDT
If I were head of a firearms manufacturing company, I would make it a point to make a clear video about the operation of my company's guns and include it with the sale of every one. A company like Smith and Wesson that already has competent trainers at their facility, could make it so much easier for first time gun owners to learn things that would be hard to get just from a paper manual, especially take down of the gun for cleaning. What would it cost them, two or three dollars a gun? At one time, I thought, after reading gun mag articles about guns I wasn't familiar with, that I would send for some of the free manuals gun companies offer. I thought the manuals would better explain operation than any gun writer in a magazine could. I was suprised when I received some manuals that were but a few pages long, and still didn't properly explain things.
Link Posted: 12/9/2002 2:10:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2002 2:12:08 PM EDT by El_Roto]
Sorry to post so late (I've been busy, honest!), but I have one bit of advice for Anonymosity: The first time you fire your weapon, you'll hear a spring-like "ssssTICHHhhhh" sound in your right ear (left ear if you shoot left-handed). This is [b]normal[/b]. First time I fired an AR I heard that, put the safety to ON, looked at the rifle's owner and said, "Oh, man, I think I broke it. I heard something come loose in the stock." If you listen closely you can still hear him laughing...
Link Posted: 12/9/2002 2:26:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lazyshooter: I would make it a point to make a clear video about the operation of my company's guns and include it with the sale of every one... What would it cost them, two or three dollars a gun?
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Maybe per unit it would only be a few dollars per firearm - but I doubt it, probably closer to $10 - you'd have to figure in production costs and the fact that there would be compartively only a few such videos made compared with the mass-production of the movie companies. Let assume that it costs you $5 per video (I'm guessing it would be more). Bushmaster would need have upfront $275,000 just for videos. That is alot of cash to be paying for production of an item that doesn't increase your profit margin. Manuals are cheaper and can be brought with you to the range. Besides production is minimal as the .GOV has already produced one - you just need to copy what you need.
Link Posted: 12/9/2002 7:13:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Forest: Let assume that it costs you $5 per video (I'm guessing it would be more). Bushmaster would need have upfront $275,000 just for videos.
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And how much will their lawyers charge them to fight a lawsuit?
Link Posted: 12/10/2002 8:17:36 AM EDT
Lawsuit probability doesn't change for a video or a book. If they're too stupid to follow the book what make you think the video will solve any issues?
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