SLR15 Rifles AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 ARMORING COURSE
When: June 13-14, 2016
Where: Camillus, NY
We conducted a 2-day (16-hour) AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 Armorer Course that was hosted by the Camillus Police Dept, which is a suburb of Syracuse. This was our first time we have taught this course at Camillus, but our host coordinator had taken our course previously.
The student base was a mix of Law Enforcement from NY and PA, and one local Gunsmith.
Rifles represented were Colt, Daniel Defense, LWRC, Bravo Company, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Bushmaster, DPMS, Rockriver, LMT, and Olympic.
Day-1 started with going through the course manual that all students are given. Students were supplied with tools, and shown what they are and give sources to obtain them. Everyone was also given some Slip2000 "EWL" Extreme Weapons Lubricant and #725 Cleaner Degreaser, etc. A short session of nomenclature was covered, at which time covered every feature and exterior piece of the rifle to include all the hidden design features that most people are not aware of, and everyone prepped the rifles for disassembly work. Everyone was taught the procedure series of checks that we recommend.
We had everyone go through our recommended procedure for field stripping a rifle and why, doing so reduces wear and stress, and if these methods are taught to their personnel it will reduce the chances of damaged parts. From there we got into a session on proper maintenance, showing what to clean, where to clean, and how to clean, and followed up with proper lubrication of where and why, lots of light bulbs going on here. We went through armoring the bolt carrier assembly showing inspections, maintenance, upgrades, the three different types of gas rings, etc. We inspected gas keys, and found a couple that needed staking, of which was remedied using a MOACKS tool.
Note: One student's Rock River had a bolt that the cam pin could be put into either side of the bolt. The problem with a bolt that a cam pin could be put into either side of the bolt, is that if someone wasn't paying attention, they could put the bolt in so that it would be ejecting to the left instead of the right, thus making the rifle a single shot.
Note: Another students Colt M4 has a broken ejector spring, that was broken into two pieces. It was replaced.
In the afternoon of day-1 we went through the lower receiver. We started with the fire control group, to include detailed inspections of all the sear engagement surfaces, single stage and two stage trigger systems, springs and pins. We were also able to get through the bolt catch, magazine catch, trigger guards, etc. The last portion of day-1 we showed the eight cycles of firing in great detail, and got into proper timing, the gas system, four gas seals, and the differences between .223 & 5.56, piston vs gas impingement, etc.
Day-2 started with a review of all that was covered on day-1, at the same time we added more detail and dispelled some myths. We went back into cycles of fire in greater detail, and then into the timing cycles. The timing was covered in greater detail, showing issues of guns cycling too fast or slow, stress, and set the tone for troubleshooting throughout the rest of the day. We also covered suppressors, timing issues, stress, maintenance, and mounting.
The rest of the morning was spent back inside the lower receiver. We had a mix of rifles, most with collapsible stocks, and about 6 with fixed stocks. When inspecting the collapsible stocks, there were a couple that weren’t indexed correctly, and several needed their spanner nuts (castle nuts) staked, so everyone was given the opportunity to correct and stake things. We then got back into the fire control groups (trigger groups), looking at the trigger groups and receiver machining in greater detail. This detailed session allowed us to show bad factory parts, good quality of parts, single stage vs 2-stage, and how and why these may effect reliability, fail to fires, burst issues during semi-auto fire, etc.
Once factory machined parts were gone through, we went through where people may alter parts to do a trigger job, the issues with this, and how trigger jobs are done the right way vs screwed up. We do not recommend that people do a trigger job on a work rifle. The last session on the lower was going through full-auto and burst groups, and illegal street conversions.
Note: There were several Olympic rifles in this course that had burst trigger groups. One of them wasn't working correctly. Upon inspection, there was a 3-sided piece of sheet metal that was inside the receiver that surrounded the front and sides of the trigger assembly, it was removed and it appeared that everything now worked. The Officer who brought the gun to class didn't know anything about the history of the gun, but thought it came direct from Olympic this way.
The afternoon was spent on the upper receiver assembly. We went through the upper receiver, which included the forward assist, ejection port cover, sights & optics issues. Next was gas tube & piston issues, and how their longevity is related to proper barrel mounting. Gas tubes were inspected for stress and gauged to make sure they were in spec, this relates to barrel mounting. We went through barrels, this included mounting & indexing, types of metals, finishing, longevity, harmonics, etc. Everyone was allowed to rebarrel their rifles or make adjustments, and few people took advantage of this time and tools being present, and did barrel work. Several barrels were removed, and none of them were mounted to the Milspec. All of the barrels that were removed, were remounted, torqued, and gauged for proper indexing they left the class.
Once all the rifles were put back together, everything was inspected and gauged to make sure it was in proper working order. Everyone did chamber inspections, checked & gauged the four gas seals, firing pin protrusion, trigger press, and headspace.
This course covers:
History of the Weapon
Cycles of Function
General Disassembly & Assembly
Identification of Common Problems and Parts
Identification of Group Components
Semi, Burst, and Full Auto Parts and Conversions
Complete Armoring Disassembly / Assembly
Cleaning and Maintenance
Sight and Distance Considerations
Barrel: Twist, Length, and Profiles
Parts Interchangeability, including Brands
Firing Pin Protrusion
Chamber Inspection and Issues
Troubleshooting, diagnosis & repair
Gauging, Inspections, Stress & Interval Issues
Accessories and Customizing
Tool Options and Selection
SOP/MOD Accessories and Additions
Greg Sullivan "Sully"