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Posted: 9/28/2002 2:39:18 PM EDT
I've never needed to use my AR15's foward assist. What is it used for and when and how should it be used????

Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 2:41:51 PM EDT
it looks cool.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 2:47:41 PM EDT
Theoritically, it is to help close the bolt if it fails to do so when chambering a round. However, the best policy is to say, "If this round doesn't want to go into the chamber, why do I want to force it?" If the bolt fails to close, manually eject the round and chamber the next one. And go to work.

Link Posted: 9/28/2002 5:25:03 PM EDT
In basic training they taught us S.P.O.R.T.S. to clear a malfunction.

S=Slap the bottom of the mag, ensure it's inserted properly.

P=Pull the charging handle to clear the suspect round of the chamber.

O=Observe the next round entering the chamber.

R= Let the charging return, don't ride it!

T= Tap the forward assist. This ensures the round is fully inserted in the chamber and the bolt is closed. But never force the bolt closed if there is a major obstruction.

S= Shoot.

This is engrained in my head and is the procedure I still use today when loading a fresh mag or in the rare occasion, clearing a malfunction.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 5:44:57 PM EDT
The foward assist is as functional as tits on a boar hog. Some asswipe REMF decided the rifle needed it without any data to justify it.

Anybody here ever NEED to use it? I thought so.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 6:28:21 PM EDT
The forward assist is used to jam a round home into a dirty chamber that was caused by using the incorrect propellant. Back in the early developement of the AR the switched to a ball propellant which caused a higher cycle rate and excessive powder "dirt" into the gas tube and chamber area. The solution was the forward assist. Later they changed back to the correct extruded propellant and problem solved.

I never use the forward assist. If the round doesn't go in correct the first time then there is something wrong with the damn rifle.

Sgtar15
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 6:44:07 PM EDT
I use the foward assist with wolf ammo about every 50 rnds or so...needless to say that after I am done with the stuff I have, I won't be running wolf through my AR again. If I pound on the FA enough I can chamber the round, the wierd thing is that after I fire it, the round extracts fine.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 6:49:14 PM EDT
What's the purpose of the forward assist?
To add more weight to the rifle.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 6:52:16 PM EDT
i had only need to use my forward assist once, and after that i took it in for its yearly checkup by a pro. he said the gas tube wasnt doing its job properly and thats what caused the problem.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 6:54:00 PM EDT
... someone will refine my reply (hopefully) but it was born of the pre SS109 days when Vietnam era SP1's jammed in the field so often from fouled actions the designers treated the symptoms, hence ...
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 6:54:21 PM EDT
It's comforting for us "older" vets who 'grew up' with the M16A1
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 7:48:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:
In basic training they taught us S.P.O.R.T.S. to clear a malfunction.

S=Slap the bottom of the mag, ensure it's inserted properly.

P=Pull the charging handle to clear the suspect round of the chamber.

O=Observe the next round entering the chamber.

R= Let the charging return, don't ride it!

T= Tap the forward assist. This ensures the round is fully inserted in the chamber and the bolt is closed. But never force the bolt closed if there is a major obstruction.

S= Shoot.

This is engrained in my head and is the procedure I still use today when loading a fresh mag or in the rare occasion, clearing a malfunction.



Your reply was exactly what I was hoping for, thanks. I was taught this the first day I shot my rifle, but have since forget, since my Bushmaster never malfunctions.
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 8:00:47 PM EDT
Buy a piece-of-shit CETME from SOG and find out what its like not to have one!
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 10:31:10 PM EDT
I have allways wonderd what would happen if the buffer spring were to break in more than one piece,the round would be extracted but the bolt would return about 1/3 or what ever the amount of spring was busted!

You could then use the forward assist to jack another round into the chamber and fight with a single shot AR untill you could get to ordinance!
Thats the only thing I could think of that it would be good for!

Bob
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 5:36:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Steel_Core:

Originally Posted By QUIB:
In basic training they taught us S.P.O.R.T.S. to clear a malfunction.

S=Slap the bottom of the mag, ensure it's inserted properly.

P=Pull the charging handle to clear the suspect round of the chamber.

O=Observe the next round entering the chamber.

R= Let the charging return, don't ride it!

T= Tap the forward assist. This ensures the round is fully inserted in the chamber and the bolt is closed. But never force the bolt closed if there is a major obstruction.

S= Shoot.

This is engrained in my head and is the procedure I still use today when loading a fresh mag or in the rare occasion, clearing a malfunction.



Your reply was exactly what I was hoping for, thanks. I was taught this the first day I shot my rifle, but have since forget, since my Bushmaster never malfunctions.



Your welcome! Some my differ with their opinions, but I believe the fwd assist does have a purpose, and serves this purpose just fine. If it wasn't needed I'm sure it would have been eliminated with the move from M16A1 to A2. And to the older guys who saw the advances from M16 to M16A1 and A2 we were all trained how to properly load and chamber a round using the fwd assist according to the -10.

Sitting at the range in a fairly clean enviroment, shooting a 100rds from a bench, no you will probably never use your fwd assist. But in a combat enviroment where more elements can effect the operation of your weapon, where you might not have a chance to maintain your weapon like we do at home, the fwd assist is added insurance that your weapon will function.

That was how I was trained, it's been a natural reaction now for 17 years to tap that assist with the palm of my hand,and untill they remove it from the weapon, that's exactly how I'll do it!


Link Posted: 9/29/2002 6:47:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:
In basic training they taught us S.P.O.R.T.S. to clear a malfunction.

S=Slap the bottom of the mag, ensure it's inserted properly.

P=Pull the charging handle to clear the suspect round of the chamber.

O=Observe the next round entering the chamber.

R= Let the charging return, don't ride it!

T= Tap the forward assist. This ensures the round is fully inserted in the chamber and the bolt is closed. But never force the bolt closed if there is a major obstruction.

S= Shoot.

This is engrained in my head and is the procedure I still use today when loading a fresh mag or in the rare occasion, clearing a malfunction.



Not to be a smartass, but if the "O" stood for observing the next round entering the chamber, how could it come before "R"?

I want to stress this because it is the most oft committed immeidate action error I have observed - namely loading another round against a round already in the chamber - resulting in a double-feed at best.

The "O" in the US Army acronym actually stands for observing the round LEAVING THE CHAMBER. If the round soes not extract - you DO NOT RELEASE THE CHARGING HANDLE! What good would it do?

Incidentally, the USMC uses the same acronym "S-P-O-R-T-S" for a different purpose. Their's ties in immediate action with actions taken if immediate action fails (their is a term their that is slipping my mind at this time). Any Marines out there that can add to / correct this?

As for the use of the forward assist - I have used it several times. If you do not want to make the noise involved with slamming the bolt forward, it allows you the quiet, reassuring locking normally only available in bolt actions. Also, if you need to be absolutely sure a round was chambered, pull the charging handle back a bit, confirm round, then release - odds are there is not enough "oomph" to send it fully into battery - hence another use for the forward assist.

I likey.


Adam
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 8:49:18 AM EDT


I've found it interesting that the military has not required either Knights with their SR-25 or ArmaLite with their AR-10 to provide a forward assist.
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 9:05:16 AM EDT
I agree with Adam_White!

If a scary bad man is in my house, and I don't want to compromise my position with a Loud Charge....

Then I can sneak a round into the chamber by using the FA (if necessary)

I wouldn't use an AR for Defense if it didn't have an FA!
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 9:25:21 AM EDT
I used the forward-assist to chamber a round at the local range. My mistake, it was on some of my reloaded ammo that didn't resized correctly and pounding on the FA caused the round to jammed extremely tightly in the chamber. I was unable to pull the charging handle to extract the offending round. I have to bang the butt on the ground and pull the charging handle at the same time in order to remove the offending round. In the future if a round don't chamber, I will pull the charging handle and eject the round and deal with it later.
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 12:42:35 PM EDT
Well thank you Adam for correcting my typo. The "O" stands for observing the old round exiting the chamber but also the new round entering as the charging handle is released. Like I said in my later post it's been 17 years! "O" and "R" are more a combined action, maybe it should read:

S
P
O and R
T
S
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 12:50:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2002 12:51:55 PM EDT by MayorOfCampAtterbury]

Originally Posted By markm:
I agree with Adam_White!

If a scary bad man is in my house, and I don't want to compromise my position with a Loud Charge....

Then I can sneak a round into the chamber by using the FA (if necessary)

I wouldn't use an AR for Defense if it didn't have an FA!



Seems to me the sound of a bolt slamming forcefully home on an AR or the racking of a slide/jacking a shell into a pump gun would be enough for any crook to wise up and make himself scarce, quick-like.
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 2:58:24 PM EDT
If you should want to reseat the bolt, for instance if you wanted to double check to be sure a round is in the chamber, the rifle was designed to do this. Just use your left hand to reach around the mag well and use your left middle finger to close the bolt the last little bit by placing the finger in the indent on the bolt and sliding it forward. That was the original reason for the indent in the side of the bolt. The rifle originally didn't have a forward assist, except for this indent. If it needs more than a gentle pressure with the finger, then eject the round and chamber a new one. If the bad guy hears it, so what? It's going to get a lot louder in a few seconds.
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 7:09:01 PM EDT
The purpose of the indention in the side of the bolt carrier is to provide clearance for the ejection port dust cover's latch. Movement of the bolt carrier pushes the door open.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 7:02:57 AM EDT
The XM16E1, with it's very tight chamber, didn't have a forward assist. A number of jams could have been taken care of had there been one. I say a number of jams, because my piece of feces XM16E1 wouldn't eject the case, and FA would not have helped.
To my knowledge, the US military does not carry AR-10's.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 7:17:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2002 7:18:14 AM EDT by 455SD]
I think the REAL purpose of the forward assist is to prompt this type of discussion on AR15.com every two or three weeks.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 9:26:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2002 3:05:57 PM EDT by --BATMAN--]

Originally Posted By OldTiger:
The XM16E1, with it's very tight chamber, didn't have a forward assist. A number of jams could have been taken care of had there been one. I say a number of jams, because my piece of feces XM16E1 wouldn't eject the case, and FA would not have helped.
To my knowledge, the US military does not carry AR-10's.



Tiger, until recently you would have been correct about the AR10s. However, here is a picture from another thread on the board--at least certain units have AR10s although it is obviously still not an issue weapon.



My $.02 about forward assist--hopefully it is a useless appendage. For me, a guy who cleans his rifle regularly and never goes more than a couple hundred rounds without cleaning, its pretty unnecessary. But there's only one thing-- I'm an ARMCHAIR warrior, not the real deal. If someone "in country" is in a real situation where keeping a clean, dry rifle just isn't an option (before you flame, I have two friends who were in the Mekong Delta who would like to speak with you) I think the forward assist would be a reassuring feature. Just because you don't like the IDEA of cramming a round into a dirty, sandy/muddy chamber with brute force doesn't mean that someone somewhere hasn't had their life saved by that very feature in a dire emergency where they really had no other choice.

Oh yeah, for those who say "just pull the charging handle back and put in a fresh round", that's great if I have a full mag of 30 rounds. What if I'm down to my last 3 rounds? What if each bullet failed to feed exactly the same way every time I re-charged the weapon, because I fell in the mud during fire-and-movement and there is crap in my chamber? With bad guys shooting at you for REAL, do you want to discard the weapon and go to your sidearm or do you want a forward assist? Because now is not the time to say "gee I really should disassemble my upper and lower and swab out my barrel."
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:15:12 PM EDT
Lots in posts on this one, but noone had the proper answer the answer is:

To Insure the Bolt is Closed

That is it. You should use it every time you load the rifle and during SPORTS (as indicated above). Yes you can even use it in an emergency to jam that dirty round into the chamber or to silently close the bolt but that is not why it was added.

With semi-autos the only thing really holding the bolt in place is the buffer spring. During combat operations you can jar your rifle enough to take the bolt out of battery. Periodic pressing on the forward assist insures the bolt is closed (just like tapping on the back of a Garand's or M14s operating handle).

The forward assist was added because prior to the M-16 all the semi-auto rifles had recipricating 'charging handles' that served not only to charge the weapon - but to act as a forward assist. Having a handle moving near your face is not a 'nice' feature - the AR10/15 series removed this with its not-recipricating charging handle - however there was no longer any way to insure the bolt was closed. The Army demanded it be added because they felt it was needed (after all their experience with the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and M14); Stoner disagreed (but he didn't have the 30 years of expericence with combat semi-autos that the Army had...).
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 2:41:10 PM EDT
If those little girls are Afghani, I need new glasses. You sure that pic wasn't from the Philippines?


Adam
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 3:04:53 PM EDT
My bad. Post edited. I actually got the pic off another thread here on the boards, I don't remember which thread, but you are correct, its Phillipines.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 6:15:49 AM EDT
Hey Forest, you are correct. The XM16E1 did not, however, have a FA. When we needed it most, the frigging thing didn't have it. Sometimes it was good to have an XM185 grenade launcher (yes, the predecessor to the M203). Or "inherit" the M-60.
We did at one time work the outer fringes of the Delta. What a freakin' mess. You threw your boot blousing rubbers away and bought the blousing springs. Helped keep the leeches out sometimes.
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