forward assist?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by TankTop, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. TankTop

    TankTop Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1) what is the standard configuration, with or without?

    2) if given the option on an upper is it needed, who has actually needed to use it?
     
  2. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    1) the standard config is with, its the more affordable, cheaper models that generally lack it.

    2) its my opionion that having an upper without one is silly. ive used mine as many times as i've brushed my teeth. its one of the things that you really could live without if you had to, but why? again, ive used mine tons of times and it wouldn't seem right to not have it. especially if you happen to ever have a time when you need it and its not there.
     

  3. ctshooter

    ctshooter New Member

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    Mine has the forward assist, but have never needed it. To be honest if for some reason the bolt didn't go into battery all the way the last thing I would do is hit the assist. I'd be more inclined to find out why. Mil spec calls for assist.
     
  4. TankTop

    TankTop Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, considering the vis and it gives you the option. I know it's overkill but it's also simple, less to go wrong, easier barrel changes plus I think it will hold it's value well.
     
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    the common config is with them.

    my preference is without. they are simply unneeded. they came about from the early days of the m16 when extremely dirty ammo was used and no cleaning kits issued. the military thought there was a need.

    the military teaches tap rack bang type failure remedy. however if you have a squib round and you tap that new round in you get a kaboom. my thinking is it lends the impression that if a round is reluctant to chamber just force it in... my belief is that the forward assist leads to a lot of otherwise avoidable kabooms

    its just hard to find a good upper reciever without that wart on the side
     
  6. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    Quite w The opposite. I use mine after almost all loads. Insert magazine send bolt home. Do a small brass check( pulling bolt to rear just enough to see brass in chamber) release handle hit forward assist to be certain bolt is all the way forward. This actually helps reduce serious injury.
     
  7. USEBOTHHANDS

    USEBOTHHANDS New Member

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    if i'm not mistaken (and i usually am :rolleyes:), the forward assist was incorporated into the M16 after the rolling bolt system wasn't closin all the way..........on a controlled feed, or a "quiet" loading.

    customarily tho, the M16/M4/AR-15 is "cracked and wracked." the full force of the compressed buffer spring sends the BCG slammin home makin sure the rolling bolt is in battery.

    if a "quiet" loading is required, or warranted, the charging handle is pulled back, and then eased forward..........pickin up the live round and forcin it into the breech. in order to make sure to "seat" and fully close the rolling bolt, the forward assist is "popped" or hit a few times, and the bolt is in battery.
     
  8. okdonk

    okdonk New Member

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    It has a special purpose. Me personally haven't had to use it. BUT it would be nice to have it. To me an AR looks strange without it. :)
     
  9. Mosin

    Mosin Well-Known Member

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    I wish the forward assist worked on my cmmg drop in....
     
  10. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    I use all my rifles for plinking and hunting, and some I've designated as to also do HD, and my AR is no exception. When I get to my hunting spots, the last thing I want is for all the game to be spooked by the strangest noise ever heard. That AR NOT having a FA and having to let the bolt slam home to make sure it's in battery. You can't believe the echo in the woods that sound makes. My AR has FA and Dust Cover, as that's what I was certain what I wanted, when I purchased my AR around 3 weeks ago. Better to have them and not need them, then need them and not have them.
    Del
     
  11. treehugger49

    treehugger49 New Member

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    Yep, if you're gonna hunt with your AR this is the best reason to have the FA.
     
  12. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    Yeah,
    I guess if you gotta be quiet, it may be an advantage to have the FA. But if you have fired your AR and it still won't go all the way forward, IMHO the weapon is broke. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a cycling system. You end up with a defacto bolt action rifle.
     
  13. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    OK, time to set some folks staight. It is called a forward assist, forward FORCE. NEVER ever ever strike the forward assist with the heel of the hand. It was designed for situations (Vietnam) where the rifle was submerged in water. To release the water from the barrel/gas tube, you most "break the seal" at the chamber end by cracking open the action slightly (like a press check on a pistol). With the muzzle end down the water will run out. The bolt will not fully lock from this position, the forward assist will complete the lock up. The FA should be activated by thumb pressure alone. The FA mechanism is far too delicate for regular slamming to "force" the bolt closed.

    Maybe you have done it dozens of times and not broken anything. You are just lucky, so far.

    The Air Force did not adopt the FA for many years. You still see AF M-16's (GAU's) with out FA's. Would I buy one w/o a FA? Sure. I would be a little more careful about it around water and would have to chamber check differently, but it really is not needed.
     
  14. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    That is the first I have heard that one. I am still of the opinion if you have to use it after the weapon is fired, you need to fix something. Nothing Robocop has said has changed my mind in that area. Now if I can just find that rare A2LSW upper that doesn't have a forward assist, I would be happy.:D
     
  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    For those who doubt my word...This comes directly from my Colt armorer's instructor who is also a Class2 manufacturer
     
  16. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    I have no doubt; you have just re-inforced some of my opinions. One, that my drill sergeants and armorors lied to me to keep from having to do their jobs in maintaining the weapon before I got it. Two, that if you have to use the forward assist after firing a round, the weapon is broke.
     
  17. onenut58

    onenut58 New Member

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    I joined the army in the first part of 1976. The forward assist was explained to us to save your life. Vietnam was over and we had forawars assists on all the m-16 we had. I have been told the ar has changed a lot since the ones I was issued. I have tore down a few modern ones for curiosity and visualy they look the same. I know the barrels are thicker riflings changed and even the ammo is hotter. The guards and what we called a carb is now called a a-4.
    But my experiences with the spotlessly clean m-16 versions is seeing them jam fairly often. With long lines of trainees on the firing line there was always a couple that jammed and the drill seargents going through the drills for a jam with the shooter.
    If the m-16 jammed we were told to slam the bottom of the magazine hard with the butt of your hand and then slam the forward assist. During basic training I had to do this twice when my spotlessly clean m-16 jammed.
    I also seen countless others having to do the same.
    As far as the forward assist being desighned to clear water. That is very rediculous and one of those myths that float around the net.
    During this period the ar 15 was easily distigushable for a m-16 because they were not produced with a forward assist for civilian use. You could not by recievers with a forward assist either.
    The army stressed keeping a m-16 spotless and they emphasized not keeping them spotless would get you killed.
    Many years have passed since my days of being married to a m-16 in the army.
    Although I was not issued the original ones with out a forward assists that got solidiers killed when they were first issued. The ones issued to me were the same versions used in veitnam after the initial failures. The army is obsessive about keeping them clean and when they first were issued it was thought if in the field they were to get dirty they would still fire. This myth got soldiers killed as well and the army had to re-educate and bust this false belief.
    In sustained fire fights in muddy dirty areas it is not possible to say time out and sit down and clean your weapon.If you plop down in the mud with it to bad the enemy is not going to wait for you to clean it. There fore the forward assist is absolutely needed.
    The newer versions may have stronger buffer springs or machine to different tolerances on the bolt carriers etc. But my experiences with the older versions they jammed pretty often.The army back then put you in a concrete fox hole and you had stacks of 20 round magazines to run through and although I seen the m-16 jam on the first shots out of spotlessly clean ones. Getting down to the last magazines they began jamming in larger numbers.
    To me the modern versions still having the forward assist tells me something. Why go to the extra cost of them during manufacturing if they are un nessasary.
    Living where i do a 5.56 or 223 is a insignificant pea shooter for hunting or protection in the woods so I dont own one. The 7.62 or 308 of the m-14 how ever is a very proficient caliber on all the critters in the woods here. I personaly would choose a m-14 should I desire a rifle based on a assualt rifle in semi auto form.
     
  18. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    Ok; a lot of us have different experiences with our M16 in the military, and have been told different lies from this or that source. The BS I was told is different from the crap Jon was told, from the crap Quentin was told, etc, (hopefully I haven't offended either of them to make my point) and some of us have been told different lies from different Colt factory reps, ad nauseum. Our drill sergeants told us BS that had been regurgitated to them over the years, like you had to get it white glove clean to keep it reliable, mostly because if they didn't, the privates wouldn't ever do anything to keep their weapon clean. PS magazine tells us to use only issue fluids recommended in the TM to clean the weapons, even though we all have found better stuff to lube them. But back to the original topic, I think a percentage of us beleive that using a forward assist to clear stoppages after firing is an indicator that something is wrong and needs to be addressed before it gets real serious. As far as what it was designed for, only Eugene Stoner knows the real answer to that question. I can beleive that it might be advantagious to have it to keep it quiet for stealth purposes, and it also might possibly help clear the water out of the chamber after being submerged. The "official" word has been that it was used for cycling issues during Viet Nam conflict. We all know the "official" word is worth less than the paper it was written on.