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Posted: 5/8/2002 9:15:51 PM EDT
I recently purchased a Fulton Armory "Liberator" model assembled upper. The price nearly scared me off but when i took a look at Bushmaster's web site, priced the parts and the options that i wanted, then compared the two, the prices were only a few dollars different. The differences between the FA and BM equipment boiled down to chamber type and barrel lining. FA uses a chambering that they call 5.56 Match where BM uses a 5.56 NATO spec. I'm no expert on chambering and the .223 over 5.56 argument is way beyond my understanding, but Clint McKee told me that both would run fine if not better through his barrel without any safety concerns.

The second difference I noted was the lack of chrome lining in the FA barrel. I've heard opinions concerning accuracy, corrosion resistance, and barrel life. Since I meticulously clean my guns right after each shoot and store them in a dehumidified safe, i figured this isn't really a big concern since most of my guns(i.e. Mauser, Springfield, Winchester bolt rifles and some of my semi's), do not have a chromed barrel and have never failed me.

The pre-assembled upper,incidently, was in pre-ban configuration but only as far as an a-1 flash hider was concerned as it had a four-way rail gas block which did not come with a bayo lug. The upper was mated to a pre-ban Eagle Arms lower with an Armalite 2-stage trigger.

I took the FA/Eagle Arms rifle to my local range and fired it at distances starting at 25m gradually moving outward at 25m increments to the 200m line. 100 rds of various makes of ammunition(federal, wolf, black hills, and winchester) were used at each stage, 25 from each make, all were 55gr except the BH which was 62gr. The upper came with an included/attached flip up front site and i added an ARMS #38(?) flip up rear site that i had purchased a while back. These sites were used in conjunction with a Bushnell Holo-sight in a co-witness configuration.

Range conditions were acceptable with little to no wind on a balmy upper 80's day in central Florida.

Sighting and all subsequent firing was done benchrest with heavy sandbags at the 25m range using Bushmaster sighting targets. I had fired 3 rds of the Winchester ammo and found that the rifle was only 1/4 inch left of center with all 3 rds printing a jagged single hole. All the makes of ammunition struck the same area on each of their respective targets with little difference in points of impact. I attributed this curious phenomenon to the relatively close range at which i was shooting.

(cont)
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 9:25:04 PM EDT
You sure its preban upper with flash suppressor? My question isn't about legal issue. You already own pre-ban lower so you are free to put whatever you want. Fulton sells "The Look" muzzle brake which happens to look like the flash suppressor. I'm just wondering because you said you didn't get a bayonet lug with your upper. I thought all preban upper came with bayonet lug and flash suppressor.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 9:25:56 PM EDT
FYI, I own Fulton Phantom upper and it shoots awesome!
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 9:38:19 PM EDT
At the 50,75, and 100m ranges i produced consistant 1moa or less groups with all ammo. the only difference in the points of impact were that the BH ammo placed about 1/4 in low left and the wolf was about 1/8 in centered right. At 150m the groups hovered at or slightly larger than 1 moa with the point of impacts for the BH and wolf a little more pronounced and the winchester moving a hair to the right.


By the time i reached the 200m range i was thoroughly baked (no covered bays) and a little beat from over two hours of near constant shooting. To the credit of the FA fourway rail handguards with KAC rail covers, my hands didn't suffer a single barrel burn. After checking the results of the 200m firing I was a bit disappointed with about 40% of my groups in excess of 5 moa (meaning they were all over the place). one particularly odd group though measured 2.8 in with the five rounds in a perfect circle/pentagon.

All persons with me (2 RO's and 2 buddies)were impressed with the rifles accuracy and the overall appearance. The rifle beat out my friend's BM 24" free floated AR at every distance. I personally don't regret the buy for a sec. i rate this gun up there with my BM and my Armalite and a step above my LEO colt.

Out of the gargantuan stack-o-ammo fired, only one malfunction occurred. I blame it on one of my friends handing me one of his beat-to-snot "O-kay" mags for one round of winchester failing to load properly (easily remedied by smackin the bottom of the mag).

I hope this is of some help to the people who are debating whether or not to trade in a non-vital organ or two to afford one of these. If the gun didn't pass muster with me (and i'm REALLY picky) you would be reading a post about FA's handling of their 30-day money back guarantee.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 9:43:19 PM EDT
LB.... yep, I specifically ordered it with an A-1 FS because i wanted a threaded barrel for possible FS changes (maybe a phantom FS or muzzle brake). The look thing is standard but they can build it any way you want it. The 4-way gas block isn't made in a bayo lug config so i couldn't get one then but that might change if that stupid AW ban goes away in 2 years.

Tinstar

"Via Mea Est Via Vestra"
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 9:55:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tinstar-15:
At the 50,75, and 100m ranges i produced consistant 1moa or less groups with all ammo. the only difference in the points of impact were that the BH ammo placed about 1/4 in low left and the wolf was about 1/8 in centered right. At 150m the groups hovered at or slightly larger than 1 moa with the point of impacts for the BH and wolf a little more pronounced and the winchester moving a hair to the right.



Man, you had me till the Wolf part. I'm no Wolf basher.... but I have never, in any rifle, ever, seen any type of Wolf .223 ammo do better than 2MOA at 100yds. And that's on a GOOD day.

So, with iron sights/red-dot sight, you got 1MOA with Wolf .223 55gr ammo at 100yds?

That is truly amazing. I have 5 different rifles here, and even my varmint rifle, floated, that will do 1MOA all day long with Black Hills, does 2.5 to 3MOA with Wolf.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 10:09:20 PM EDT
Fulton recommends American Eagle .223 and I agree. Its perfect for your weekend plinking and I experienced no problem. I still have bitter memory with Winchester .223 I got cheap at the local gun show.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 10:38:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/8/2002 10:47:50 PM EDT by Tinstar-15]
in reference to wolf,FALARAK, it wasn't exactly the best stuff i used. this is the first time i used this particular brand. Up to 100 yds (i.e. the 25m,50m) it was't too much different than any of the others. The black hills ammo was #1 by far, all printing the best sub-moa groups at 100m. the federal stuff was a close second and the winchester right behind it. at 200m the wolf had the worst groups but some of that would be my fault cause i was beat. the 100m mark wolf 5 rd groups were 1.6, 1.4, 1.8, 2.5, and 1.7 in that order with the second to last group counting a flier from a 1.7 group.

another downside to the wolf ammo was that it was the filthiest stuff i've ever shot. i ran a bore snake through each time before i changed ammo makes and i noticed a lot of goo/flakey lookin stuff in the chamber area after firing the wolf. needless to say, i won't be using that particular brand in that rifle anymore but it's probably good enough fodder for the colt.

edited to add:

incidently my original report was apparently too long because the website said i was over 2x the post length allowed. i had all the group sizes listed for each ammo make. i tried to cut and paste the report in two parts but apparently i goofed up and the second half got lost. i didn't feel like re-writing all that info down cause i am basically a super-lazy guy. i did abbreviate the second half of the report in great haste without proofreading it, resulting in the wolf ammo appearing to have done better than 1 moa....oops, most definitely my bad :( it wasn't my intention and for that i apologize. when writing this reply i lost track of what i was writing so i added this edit part to explain.

P.S. : I'm still beat :)
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 11:11:27 PM EDT
Still beat????

I have done some long stints on the range before... You make it sound tuff...?

Last summer I put 600 rounds of 10mm through my Glock 20 in just a few hours.

Last spring was the "Great Day-O-Fun" where I discharged just over 200 rounds of 12 gauge shot during an all day skeet shoot. on the same day I also discharged 150 rounds of 10mm @ 50 meters...

Granted I was tired, and maybe alittle sore... but it was way too fun to be tuff or unpleasant.


I'm putting together 1000 rounds of 10mm for the next big outing.

See ya on the firing line.
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 3:30:55 AM EDT
Tinstar...that was a great report....I appreciated it, and enjoyed reading about some first hand experience with Fulton's uppers
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 6:03:20 AM EDT
Great report!
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 8:18:58 PM EDT
Thanks falarak, wolf, lb and gulch.

not that it seems to have made any difference but i also noticed that my extractor had a little o-ring on the spring when i went to clean it the other day. according to the web site, it is a D-fender. supposedly it prevents extraction failures. I myself have never had an extraction failure in an AR. I've had misfeeds, improper ejections and a couple of failures to cycle in the past with an old Colt sporter that i had and sold a few years before the ban (oops). None of my current AR's have ever suffered from any real malfunctions other than an occasional misfeed usually related to a crappy mag. I also haven't shot my current AR's as much as i did with the colt (i was young and didn't care if i hit anything, just wanted to make a lot of noise)

questions:

1) Does anyone know if a d-fender is really worth a darn or is it a fix to a relatively rare problem?

2) Could it be detrimental by causing more pressure to be exerted on the rear portion of the extractor than the normal spring alone?

I know the website says they're the greatest thing and that all kinds of really hyper-knowledgable people endorse it, but I'm curious to see if anyone has ever really had a problem of this kind that this thing fixed.

thanks
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 3:53:11 PM EDT
We've gotten quite a few reports from folks who tell us that the D-Fender has cured their extraction woes. The AR extractor is a serious weak point of the design. There's no primary extraction (camming out effect as the bolt turns), the claw is tiny and the spring pressure is weak.

The D-Fender was designed & is made by Jim Sullivan--you know, the guy who adapted Stoner's AR-10 to .223 when both were at the original ArmaLite--to prevent extraction failures. It ain't snake oil, it's the real deal, by the AR-15's co-designer.

No downside, plenty of upside. Demanded by professionals currently in the 'stans.



Originally Posted By Tinstar-15:
Thanks falarak, wolf, lb and gulch.

not that it seems to have made any difference but i also noticed that my extractor had a little o-ring on the spring when i went to clean it the other day. according to the web site, it is a D-fender. supposedly it prevents extraction failures. I myself have never had an extraction failure in an AR. I've had misfeeds, improper ejections and a couple of failures to cycle in the past with an old Colt sporter that i had and sold a few years before the ban (oops). None of my current AR's have ever suffered from any real malfunctions other than an occasional misfeed usually related to a crappy mag. I also haven't shot my current AR's as much as i did with the colt (i was young and didn't care if i hit anything, just wanted to make a lot of noise)

questions:

1) Does anyone know if a d-fender is really worth a darn or is it a fix to a relatively rare problem?

2) Could it be detrimental by causing more pressure to be exerted on the rear portion of the extractor than the normal spring alone?

I know the website says they're the greatest thing and that all kinds of really hyper-knowledgable people endorse it, but I'm curious to see if anyone has ever really had a problem of this kind that this thing fixed.

thanks

Link Posted: 5/12/2002 3:54:50 PM EDT
Guys, thanks for the great feedback on the performance of the Fulton ARmory rifles & uppers you've reported. As one of you mentioned, you don't like it, send it back.

Who else does that?
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