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Posted: 6/24/2003 2:44:24 PM EDT
I'm curious. Has anyone ever used the forward assist? I had a chance to by a pre-ban Colt M4 but I didn't because it wasn't included. I'm not sorry, since I want every new, standard feature that I could get, but has anyone ever had to use it?


Anthony
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 2:50:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 2:50:44 PM EDT by Calvert1]
I use it everytime I let the bolt fly on a mag change. For me it's just habit. It's helped out a few times when using new Thermolds.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 2:52:31 PM EDT
Constantly. I've only ever had it move a couple of times, but I "thumb it" constantly.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:06:21 PM EDT
Hitting it is part of every military 'Immediate Action Drill' I have ever had burned into my brain. I hit it on auto pilot, without even thinking about it, at every mag change...
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:22:10 PM EDT
Ditto, LiveFire, Ditto!
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:31:26 PM EDT
Hello, I use mine also. After loading new mag and also at night if by chance I am cleaning. When I release the charging handle it freaks out my danes. lol Plus, if the family is sleeping, I will ease the charging handle back and use the forward assist to make sure the bolt is closed. _Lloyd
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:33:10 PM EDT
I was using a shitty 20 rd USA mag and the round did not seat all the way. One look of the chamber and a thumb push and it chambered
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 4:28:27 PM EDT
Maximus Dane, Please explain this technique. Is it a way to release the bolt forward without that "CHINK!" Also, when you DO release the bolt and there's no round, I'm hoping that "Dry Firing" doesn't cause any problems. Forgive me, I'm new. [8)] Anthony
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 4:35:39 PM EDT
If you pull the charging handle to the rear with the bolt locked back, you can use the CH and let the bolt go forward gently when you hit the bolt release. Or just pull it back off the release with the CH and ride it forward. Dry firing probably won't hurt your AR, but the use of dummy rounds is recommended.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 5:04:56 PM EDT
The FA is also useful to chamber a round quietly... ride the handle down, tap the FA to complete... Maybe it's just me, but I always ride the handle down, I never drop the bolt unless I'm chambering a round... the action is cushioned by the motion of stripping a round from the magazine and chambering it... I can't say you will or won't cause any damage dropping the AR bolt empty, but it's a habit I picked up shooting 1911's... dropping the slide empty on a 1911 peens the hell out of it!
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 9:57:38 PM EDT
I've fired approx 2000 rnds through my bushmaster, and I've had the need to use my Forward assist once. And that was the very first time i shot it. i guess i just lubricated it too much out of excitement :)
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 10:01:06 PM EDT
i hit it every time
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 10:30:24 PM EDT
Notak, I do the same thing, and after doing it so much, and with no result, I figured I'd ask this question. God Bless you Calvert & Dark Star! (And I'm not even religious.) I guess I've learned there are no dumb questions, just dumb people who never ask questions. (That's supposed to be some really pertinent quote, but I probably typed it wrong.) Anyway, after coming home fromt the studio tonight at 10:45, I pulled my gun out (My AR15) and opened the bolt with the "CH" (Charging Handle) and let it go smoothly while holding the CH (per Calvert's instructions.) After I let go, one push of the "FA" (Forward Assist) and the bolt was closed! Eureka! Still, I had to dry-fire to release the firing pin. Dark Star, My only other weapon is a Colt .45 (1911) and I've smoothly closed the slide many times, but have "dropped" it many times also. What is "Peening?" Thanks for your help. I've learned so much here, and intend on learning more! Anthony
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 11:53:42 PM EDT
A.J/, just FYI. The original AR-15's and M-16's had no F/A. The F/A came about when the Army changed powder necessitating significant changes in the design of the AR-15/M-16. Interestingly, the ArmaLite AR-10 and the Stoner SR-25 are both sold to various militaries and neither has a Forward Assist.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:08:53 AM EDT
Great for brass checks. Pull bolt back a wee bit, check for a live round, reset charging handle, theumb FA...done. Though I have RARELY used my FA for anything but a brass check.....it is really a handy feature when your gun is really dry or extremely dirty from either excessive use or environment or both and you are loading a full magazine....sometimes resistance put aginst the first round in your mag by the subsequent rounds can be enough ( when the weapon is slowed by dirt and grime ) to to slow your action down to the point it might not quite fully chamber. It is an easy manuever to just smack the FA and get right back into business.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 4:27:32 AM EDT
What DarkStar and desertmoon said. Also with rifle horizontle FA down, you can use it to open your favorite non twist off capped beverage.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 4:42:02 AM EDT
All the goddam time.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 5:38:36 AM EDT
I wouldn't own a weapon that didn't allow for positive closure of the bolt. I use it for brass checks mostly. I have heard it said before that if it takes a push on the forward assist to chamber the round that the cartridge is probably not safe to fire. This assumes that the bolt did not close because of a problem with the cartridge not fitting properly in the chamber, either because of a dented case or from fouling. It is just as likely that the bolt carrier has fouling or grit that has slowed it down enough that it does not fly home with enough speed to lock the bolt. That said, I wouldn't recommend jamming a round into the chamber against a lot of resistance in a none life threatening situation (better to inspect the cartridge and bolt). But if your life depends on it, or the required push is a mild one, I wouldn't hesitate to make use of it. It's better that beating your rifle's butt on the ground and praying.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 5:53:55 AM EDT
I have been shoot ing ARs for about 15yrs and have NEVER had to use a forward assist. None of my guns have them nor do I want them. If I need to quietly chamber a round, I just push on the dished-out portion of the bolt carrier with my thumb after letting the carrier ride down with the charging handle. The first AR I had, a SP-1 didn't have one and it worked fine. I just don't see the need. YMMV, Scott
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:28:59 AM EDT
I use it all the time too! Everytime I drop the bolt or use the charging handle to load up I hit the forward assist out of habit. [:D]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:35:38 AM EDT
I'm with desertmoon - I usually only use the FA after doing a brass check. Anthonyj - dry firing will NOT hurt your AR. In rifle training in USMC boot camp, we "snapped in" (a/k/a dry fired) approx 8 hours a day for a full week before we pulled the triger on live rounds. Those rifles were likely dry fired MILLIONS of times and shot fine. BTW - my rifle in boot camp was an old SP1 with triangular hand guards and no forward assist. That was 1984.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 10:55:49 AM EDT
I've never used mine, but I think in the future I might after switching mags...just seems to make sence now that I hear others explaining it.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 11:16:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Halfcocked: Also with rifle horizontle FA down, you can use it to open your favorite non twist off capped beverage.
View Quote
Ive accually done this before, just to see if it would work No adverse effects to rifle, but the bottle opener works better [:)]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 12:36:16 PM EDT
Does using the FA scratch the bolt carrier after repeated use?
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 12:56:00 PM EDT
The FA on my DPMS doesn't work. It seems to have the same problem my wife says that I do, it just doesn't reach far enough. Since not having a FA never seems to be a problem I have not looked into getting it fixed. And then there is my wifes problem
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 8:02:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By D348: The FA on my DPMS doesn't work. It seems to have the same problem my wife says that I do, it just doesn't reach far enough. Since not having a FA never seems to be a problem I have not looked into getting it fixed. And then there is my wifes problem
View Quote
D348, Your problem may not be your fault. You may be attempting to place your .223 round into a .308 caliber weapon. Without a conversion kit, this of course would be a problem. If your wife's weapon is one of those .50 caliber's, then you might consider answering one of the billions of spam e-mails on that subject and spending some dough. On the other hand, SHE may want to invest in a conversion kit of her own. If cartridge LENGTH is a problem, you may find a "magnum" round may be satisfying to you both. (God, I hope I didn't step over the line.) Anthony
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 8:09:27 PM EDT
I always let the charging handle fly forward on first charging. I also immediately palm the FA to make sure all is ok. I see the need for a quiet tactical loading/charging and would want the FA to be there to make sure it is right as well. Otherwise you are stuck with sticking your thumb into the detent and pushing forward. This is a much less positive motion. Bob
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 1:20:27 PM EDT
I bought a plastic sack of gun-show reloaded .223 ammo a few years back for a cheap price. My Mini-14 will chamber it and fire it most of the time, with an occasional knock on the bolt handle to close the action. My Valmet M-76 would not shoot it at all. It would not go five rounds without a failure to chamber. My Bushy is less tolerant than the Mini-14, and the forward assist will usually chamber an oversized round. Moral: The forward assist is great when you need it. Another moral: only use factory ammo, or ammo you have loaded yourself.
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