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Posted: 9/12/2010 10:18:10 AM EDT
I am new to AR15s so please be gentle
I have been watching some videos and reading some articles and it has been said that the Forward Assist is of little use in 'normal' shooting and it was an elaborate way of being able to move the bolt forward in adverse conditions. I would welcome some comments on my observations.
Thanks
GG
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 10:54:07 AM EDT
I like slickside uppers. I've never had an occasion where I wanted to use a forward assist, on active duty or otherwise. If something is keeping the bolt from going forward, do you really want to jam it in anyway? If you did want to push it forward, you could push on the recess in the bolt through the ejection port. Slickside uppers are lighter and look cleaner. Just my thoughts, no disrespect to those who prefer forward assists.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 11:13:47 AM EDT
Here's my $0.02:
40+ years ago when soldiers and marines were trained on M14s, and then sent to Vietnam and issued M16s with the wrong ammo and no cleaning gear, the FA might have come in handy during a "stressful" situation.
But nowdays, I'm in agreemant with VAAR.

Also, WELCOME to ARFCOM!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:06:31 PM EDT
I've only shot ARs under "normal" conditions and have never needed the forward assist.
Welcome to "retroland",,best forum and group of guys you will ever encounter!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:15:00 PM EDT
now this is my opinion, but it is an opinion backed up by 4 combat tours between Iraq and Afghanistan as an Infantryman. I have had use for in on numerous occasions in my time overseas. It is of use when the bolt doesn't close all of the way. When your rifle gets dirty(anyone who tells you to just clean it more often has never been in an armored vehicle in the parts of Afghanistan I was in this year. In the course of a 3 hour patrol it gets absolutely filthy) that can be a rather common malf. Or like I usually did after I would check to make sure I had a round in the chamber, I used it to make sure the bolt was fully closed. The FA give you alot more leverage than just pushing on the bolt, and it doesn't require fine motor skills that go to shit when they're shooting at you. I will say that I prefer the A1 FA to the current issue one.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:16:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 12:17:15 PM EDT by mace2364]
Now all that said, aside from some dented ammo issues, I've never had reason to use it on the range, other than force of habit.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:21:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BlackGunsGB:
I am new to AR15s so please be gentle
I have been watching some videos and reading some articles and it has been said that the Forward Assist is of little use in 'normal' shooting and it was an elaborate way of being able to move the bolt forward in adverse conditions. I would welcome some comments on my observations.
Thanks
GG


The "problem" with using a forward assist is that there is usually some reason WHY it might be needed. Rather than forcing the round into the chamber, you'd be much better served by stopping, evaluating the situation and correcting whatever is wrong. Ammo mis-sized or damaged? Replace it. Chamber fouled or obstructed? Clear it and clean it.
Now, in a combat situation––in the heat of a firefight––you might want to jam the round in and take a chance that the gun fires, but like you've read, in "normal" (non-combat) shooting, the FA is rarely necessary.

The one situation where this might be disputed is if you're trying, for whatever reason, to chamber a round quietly. Rather than slamming the bolt forward, you could control it forward, then press the forward assist to make sure the bolt's locked in battery.
One could argue, however, that even this situation might not be considered "normal" shooting.

Around here in retro land, though, the argument is less often about whether it's "needed" than what looks better! You'll find a lot of folks here who like the streamlined look with no FA, but some of us like the FA because there was one on the rifle Uncle Sam issued us.

Bottom line––find an AR version you like, and build one!
In the end, you'll probably wind up with multiple ARs anyway. Some with FA, some without. Embrace the variety!

And welcome!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:26:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 12:28:32 PM EDT by MarkRSims]
I've had to use it on my .458 socom. The chamber is on the tight end of the tolerance scale. Crimping die sometimes raises material.

ETA: Wolff super duty rercoil spring cured that issue.

Thousands of rounds of 5.56 fired through my other AR's, I've never used a forward assist once.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:57:36 PM EDT
What the FA can do for you..........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWygoxV_ApM
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:07:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SgtRock2:
What the FA can do for you..........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWygoxV_ApM

That wasn't because of his use of forward assist, that was just a case of an idiot and a squib load.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:16:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 2:17:33 PM EDT by Chuck]
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:39:10 PM EDT
Think it's already been covered, but I have never personally had an AR that didn't shoot when the trigger was pulled unless on safety. I don't bury mine in the mud or sand, I keep them fairly clean and do shoot the crap out of them every chance I get. I also believe it would really suck to have a jammed up rifle while getting shot at. Heck just getting shot at sucks, with or without a jammed rifle.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 12:48:48 AM EDT
Thank you all for your valued comments - I really appreciate it and will be asking many more questions on this great forum.
I run a company in the UK and we specialise in building and supplying accurate and reliable guns for UK and European competition shooters - some of our guns have already been responsible for setting new records within our national competitions. Our main products are custom 10/22s, tuned Marlin 1894 underlevers and Buckmark rifles converted into LBP's (Long Barrelled Pistols). We are unable to purchase the Buckmark pistol because of our crazy gun laws !
Our latest project is to supply AR's with the changeable uppers (.223 and .22LR) but these need to be highly reliable and accurate. I am currently applying for a US DSP5 export license to start bringing parts in so that I can 'formulate' the best configuration of parts. I want to 'fast track' the development period so I see this forum as being extremely valuable for all of the questions that will arise over the next few months. As the only semi autos that we can possess are .22LR I will have to make the AR's 'straight pull' with each round needing to be chambered by hand.
Again many thanks for your comments and to the people currently serving their country, please stay safe.
Regards,
Greg Goldsworthy
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 1:09:45 AM EDT
In the book "Black Rifle" they mention it was placed there over the objections of the Air Force and the Marines for psychological reasons.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:18:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 2:51:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chuck:
XM16/M16 and XM16E1/M16A1 were produced side by side for quite a while. USAF bought the non-FA version. USMC could have bought either and bought the FA version. So much for their objections!

–– Chuck


The Marine Corps adopted what the Army adopted because, it had the largest contact at the time.

I have a feeling despite what we are saying about the M4 upgrades when they start showing up in the Army our guns will get them too.
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