Avoid Rookie Mistakes: Be a Better AR-15 Rifle Shooter

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Avoid Rookie Mistakes With Your AR-15 Rifle
John Boch for TTAG

A flexible, modular design and decades of robust sales have pushed the AR-15 to the top of long gun heap, making it America’s favorite rifle. But while it may look easy to operate, many novice users make a number of rookie mistakes with their AR platform rifle.

In competitions, these mistakes can cause embarrassment. If you’re using your AR-15 for self-defense, unforced errors like these can cost you far more than a bruised ego.

John Boch for TTAG

I volunteer as a range safety officer at an annual zombie shoot and I see all manner of skill sets on display ranging from quite competent to…needing lots of improvement. Garrett, the 13-year-old pictured in the top photo, captured first place using good fundamentals and avoiding novice mistakes.

How can you avoid unforced errors with your AR-15? Start with the basics.

Sight in your rifle

No, not everyone does this very basic step. Use a 50-yard zero which will put you roughly dead-on at ranges from 25 yards out to 200 yards. Using a 50-yard zero, your shot will never impact more than 3 inches high or low at those distances with typical loads and barrel lengths. That’s more than enough precision for minute-of-zombie head shots.

The choice is yours, but whatever you do, sight in your rifle. An un-zero’d rifle may not save your bacon when you really need it. Plus, errant shots can be huge liability issues if you use the rifle in a self-defense situation.

Bringing an unsighted rifle to a competition also wastes everyone’s time, not to mention the shooter’s ammunition. I saw one fellow fire two full magazines and fail to hit a single clay bird at 25 yards. At least we didn’t need to reset targets after that performance.

If you don’t shoot well, seek out training. Project Appleseed provides exceptionally affordable marksmanship and American heritage shooting events across the country. For less than $100, an Appleseed event will show you how to shoot your rifle well using nothing more than a sling. Can you shoot to the Rifleman’s standard, 4 minutes of angle? Excuses don’t count.

Don’t understand the minute of angle measurement? Just another reason you should attend an Appleseed shoot.

Lubricate your rifle

I didn’t see a single dry rifle successfully complete the course of fire, which required breaking exactly one dozen clay pigeons at 25 yards and a single reload. Next to bringing a rifle unsighted to the line, shooting a bone-dry AR was the most common rookie mistake.

While the dry ARs didn’t malfunction much in shooting only 30 to 60 rounds, novices who brought dry guns to the line also tended to bring all manner of other issues which led to poor performance. An AR-15 rifle requires proper preventative maintenance, and to run reliably, your AR needs lube, and lots of it. Just like your car’s engine.

Break the rifle open, pull out the bolt carrier group and spray it until it shines like a freshly glazed donut. Don’t have spray lube? Use any brand of lube you have available. Anything from used motor oil (use the dipstick) to cooking oil to suntan lotion will work if you don’t have gun lube. Pat Rogers’ nearly 20-year-old article “Keep your Carbine Running” should have a place on every AR owner’s required reading list.

Without lubrication, you can expect malfunctions to begin within the first few magazines. And they’ll only get worse and more frequent until you lubricate your rifle.

At the same time, don’t get wrapped around the axle about cleaning your AR-15s every time you shoot. Even a dirty rifle with good lubrication will run reliably.

In my Pat Rogers class long ago, he had a sample rifle that had fired well over twenty thousand rounds since its previous cleaning. Every morning and every afternoon, Rogers would break the action open, hose down that bolt carrier group with whatever lube or CLP someone had handy and that rifle ran flawlessly. Rogers did it to demonstrate for us that proper lube is far more critical to an AR’s reliability than cleanliness.

Load your magazines to 28 rounds

Yes, your milspec magazines will hold 30 rounds. You might even manage to shoehorn in 31 if you try really hard. But that doesn’t mean you should.

AR-15 magazines
Dan Z. for TTAG

Smart AR users load their mags to 28 rounds which allows for reliable seating against a closed bolt. I saw numerous malfunctions this past weekend, as I always do. Seems like every one of those came from improperly seated magazines. When loading, insert the magazine loaded with 28 rounds, then strike the mag’s baseplate with your palm to ensure it’s seated properly.

Know your weapon’s manual of arms

Another common problem plaguing novices involved rifle controls. One fellow dumped his magazine trying to release the safety on his AR-15. Other shooters found the trigger wouldn’t work with the safety engaged (imagine that).

Inevitably, these people would always look at the rifle as if to ask, “What’s wrong?” chewing up valuable time. Thank heaven their targets weren’t hungry for human flesh…and weren’t shooting back.

In addition, a surprising number of shooters cycled the bolt on a loaded chamber after reloading, wasting both time and ammo.

The zombie shoot required shooters to engage three “zombies” at each of four stations, while not shooting “uninfected” targets. They had to perform a reload somewhere along the way.

shot timer
John Boch for TTAG

Thirteen-year-old Garrett won the rifle division with a time of 43.25 seconds (39.25 plus a four-second penalty for two extra shots). He beat dozens of grown men, not by operating operationally, but by using good, basic fundamentals. And not making rookie mistakes.

Unlike a number of the men he was competing against, his rifle and accessories didn’t set his dad back a couple of thousand dollars. He ran a fairly basic setup with a Chinese knock-off optic. But he executed the fundamentals of stance, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control and follow-through…all good habits that he’d ingrained through practice and repetition.

Garrett performed the basics well enough to win. You can, too.

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  1. crawl. walk. jog. run.

    Don’t watch a bunch of videos and go practice shooting and moving just cuz you think you can. If you can’t hit shit standing static, then how are you going to hit shit while moving. I see it all the time in our “group sessions”. Also, help others get on target. I am certainly not the best and I listen to those I know are better than me. Take it all in, and avoid being “that guy” at the range. You accomplish nothing just mag dumping or doing the same shit over and over jumping all over the targets.

  2. Wouldn’t blame his dad for not wanting a frontal picture of him in the post.
    He’d probably get red flagged at school.

  3. If your AR15 is experiencing malfunctions in a couple mags without lubrication. It’s either extremely out of spec are it’s a gamer setup using the least amount of gas possible.

    A AR15 setup like a M4 with a 14.5 to 16 inch barrel running a carbine length gas system should be able to easily shoot 1500 rounds plus without issue.

    And downloading mags is not a requirement. And it’s honestly a sign people are using out of spec mags. Mil spec mags lock in easily on a closed bolt with 30 rounds. If they don’t. Throw them out.

    • Of my multiple mags readied in my “go bag”, the primary has the full 30, while the others have 29 just to be sure to avoid that infamous closed-bolt hangup. But the only people I’ve ever met who actually load to only 28 are LEOs who are simply following their training.

      28 doesn’t hurt, so it’s fine by me and I don’t look down my nose at anyone. At least I know they’re thinking ahead, so TEHO.

  4. Right, carry a case of motor oil for your AR-15 everywhere. Time out from the fire fight to change oil. Never intend to buy an AR-15 anyway, the experts keep giving me more reasons not to. Thanks.

      • Seans, the pros use an AR platform because that’s what they’re issued. The Russians use an AK because that’s what they’re issued. Very few pros have the luxury of choosing the weapons they carry into harm’s way.

    • adverse…WHEN it comes to knowing the components and assembling the AR-15 and the AR-10 from stripped receivers I am an expert so I am told. My ARs are not built for competition. My builds are built not to fail in a firefight…Every little detail that would fly right over your empty head is checked, tweaked, double tweaked, etc. Any expert will tell you, you get from an AR platform what you put in it.
      I suggest you spit out the oatmeal, cease with the concocted oil can drama and go on a mission to educate yourself. Until you can do that…please stay away from firearms.

  5. All good advice no matter which rifle you carry. However, the author did miss the number one mistake that rookies make. They buy an AR-15.

    • Gadsden,

      Although I do not own an AT 15 and have no intention of owning one (I prefer the Mini 14). what is your beef 2ith that platform?

    • Like most firearms the out of the box rookie level AR-15 has to be properly tweaked to make it run reliably. Therefore the vast majority of AR complaints say the complaintants lack the skills to accomplish that. When I used to accept AR repairs 99% of the time the problem was with the owners who lacked the knowledge to fix the firearm. When a firearm does not perform there is something not right. IE…A very inexpensive self defense .22 semi auto pocket pistol came in that would not function the same way twice. After disassembly I softened all the leading edges, improved the trigger, checkered the slippery grips and tweaked the magazines. It wasn’t a race gun but it turned out to be a decent gun.
      I own a corral of attention to detail AR-15s and 3 AR-.308s I built from stripped receivers. None and I mean None are for sale, trade or rent.

  6. Honestly, I’ve never seen a problem with milspec STANAG mags other than that some of them don’t want to interface with the mag catch when fully loaded and inserted into a rifle with the BCG forward. In that situation the mag may fall out of the mag well when you remove your hand if you don’t give it a pretty hard whack on the butt to fully seat the mag.

    If this concerns you the simple solution is to replace milspec mags with a better mag designed with the space to hold 31 rounds, such as a PMAG, and load them to the full 30 (as they’re meant to be loaded). Now even topped up to 30 the spring/stack of rounds still has some play even when inserted up against a closed BCG and will engage the mag catch pretty easily.

    Generally such mags are tougher all-around than STANAG’s anyway and as such are a better investment.

  7. Never underestimate the ability of people to not clean firearms, tools etc.

    At a shotgun stage of club multiple stage and type event I noticed a person struggling to open under and over target gun.

    After asking I found he had NEVER lubed the gun since he bought it new. Some salesman had told him that the “new improve coating” meant it would not need lubricant.

    Some extra takedown steps, cleaning and the right grease later it worked fairly well.

    Similar with at least two “broken” rifles I bought cheap when I was in college.

  8. “But while it may look easy to operate, many novice users make a number of rookie mistakes with their AR platform rifle.

    In competitions, these mistakes can cause embarrassment.”

    then the first thing a novice should do to avoid embarrassment is not enter competitions.

    • of course… instead they should stay a novice forever. Everyone starts somewhere man. There is a reason we have Novice/amateur divisions in addition to expert.

      Nice job to the young man who won a competition! 👍

  9. Imagine having to lubricate, clean or load mags down to 28 to run the Holy AK. Saint Mikhail would be appalled.

    Keep your princess sticks shiny and you mags unfiiled you filthy American pig dogs.

  10. A note to the beginners in the gun world. Unless you have a local gun range that was built to support 5.56 gunfire? There’s no point in you buying an AR15. But the gun industry sure would appreciate getting your money.

    It wasn’t until 12 years after I retired from the army. That I purchased my 1st AR15. Because there was no local gun range around to train with it.

    A pistol caliber long gun. Either in semi auto or even a lever gun, will get you just as much in self protection. And in the case of 9 mm the cost is much less than 5.56, to keep your gun feed.

      • Well, if you know someone who owns land, perhaps they will let you shoot there. But if you are a city person, where are you going to go to shoot an AR15?
        I had to drive forty miles from where I live, to get to the closest gun ranges, that could support AR15 gunfire.

        Now I drive to an AR15 capable gun range in less than 10 minutes. If someone is going to go to the expense of buying an AR15 they need to also train with it. Because it will become a very expensive paper weight if they don’t.

        My ruger charger and my ruger 1022 equipped with binary triggers, and BX magazines, make outstanding home defense “machine guns”. And they costs less to operate.

        And I can shoot them at any gun range.

        • I have known more than a few that used 22lr conversion kits in their ARs for training in indoor ranges that for whatever reason didn’t want lead core M193. It works but mag changes are not quite right (even for NY compliant ARs). But even for the indoor ranges that do allow ARs you typically top out around 25 yards so only so much you can practice until you find either public land where you can shoot or a outdoor range you can afford.

      • That’s what I thought! He lives in Kentucky for Pete’s sake, not New York City. He should go shoot in the woods, or on a friend’s property. I live “out West”, so I usually go shooting in the desert.

  11. lube the AR, yes. but no need to over do it.

    “cooking oil to suntan lotion”

    yeah…no. it will work, for a bit and ya might even squeeze in a competition. but think about what these are.

    think about what happens to cooking oil when it’s heated to temp in cooking. you may not notice it but its actually changing chemical composition some that causes it to break down and its not intended to lubricate metal on metal moving parts. it might be ok for cooking, but for lubing heating metal moving parts its not that good.

    suntan lotion also changes composition some the longer its exposed to heat and it breaks down decreasing any lubricating ability it has. plus suntan lotions contain other things that are not legally required to be listed on the label such as certain paraben based chemicals that leave a layer of waxes in the metal pores that causes more buildup of crud in the rifle gas tube which can lead to the rifle not cycling properly. plus suntan lotion was not intended for lubricating metal on metal.

    yeah some one is gonna say “by golly I been a lubing my AR with tha same cookin oil i use to cook with for nie on 40 years and its always worked”

    • correction and clarification for: “buildup of crud in the rifle gas tube which can…”

      should have been …

      buildup of crud around the rifle gas tube which can…

      as in… in the receiver where the tube on the carrier engages the gas tube.

      • I prefer used onion-ring fryer oil from the local BK. I’m not gonna try and say that I improve my scores because of it, but the stages shot around lunchtime?… I think the distraction causes some of the other scores to drop a wee bit, and I’ll take all the help I can get.

        • For those who use the kitchen table for a workbench try Pam Spray…Hopefully this reply won’t be moderated like my last one…aggravating to say the least..

    • correction clarification for: “it will work, for a bit and ya might even squeeze in a competition”

      It will work, maybe, for a bit and ya might even squeeze in a competition portion and sometimes maybe other shooting. But its not because its a ‘oil lubricant’ that’s suitable, its because as the parts move and/or heat the cooking oil and suntan lotion loose their ‘lubricant durability’ abilities and as that happens the chemical composition is changing and releasing toxic oxidative breakdown products that embed in the pores of the metal and now instead of actual lubricating ability the parts are sliding over these oxidative products which are ‘slippery’ but not lubrication even though visually it appears an ‘oily’ sheen is on the parts.

      Some people who have used cooking oil in a pinch to lube their AR’s, then went on to fire prolonged thus heating the gun up, have suffered the effects of some of the toxic releases from the cooking oil being used, usually in the form of a headache or dizziness and sometimes vision effects. Formaldehyde, which is extremely toxic, is one of the toxic releases. The same is true of suntan lotions.

      Its also true of some firearm lubricating products on the market touted to be the best thing since sliced bread which turned out to be cooking oil at the base of their formulation. When you see someone on the internet touting a lubricant for firearms, ya need to be doing some research and find out for your self and not just take their word for it because they appear ‘expert’ with their articles and reviews or cite ‘wisdom of others’ claims.

      Stick with quality CLP and metal treatment type firearm lubricants designed for firearms use that treat the metal and deposit a lubricant and protectant in the pores of the metal and not just lubricate by resting on and coating the metal surface. Look at the company testing for their lubricants, if its not visible on their web site or with the product ask them for it, and if they can’t supply such testing move on to somewhere else for another product. Your AR, no matter if you bought it or put it together yourself, budget level or costing thousands of dollars, is an investment you made for hobby or sporting or defense or even competition – mitigate possible failure points as much as you can and take care of it properly.

  12. If there’s a nice cross breeze soak the innards with a good chlorinated brake solvent. All of the DNFs downwind from you when it gets hot will Definitely help you finish higher.

    • Whoa, not funny.
      We had a welder at my last job who worked a double shift repairing plows during a Snow Emergency and might not have been at the top of his game. The shop ran out of denatured alcohol so he substituted BraKleen for degreasing parts to be welded. Long story short, he ended up in the Emergency Room and hospital for almost a week… nearly killed him and he was never really the same afterward. For those that don’t know, if you get brake solvent hot enough it makes fosgene(sp?) gas which can be fatal, and it doesn’t evaporate off of metals for a long time.
      Keep it OUT of the workings of ANY gun

    • No wonder unicorns went extinct. The shooters downwind didn’t finish because they were inhaling phosgene, which forms when chlorines are heated to near 500 degrees… like inside of a gun’s chamber/ barrel. Many a welder will be happy to explain it to you, well, at least the ones who lived through it.
      Probably DON’T use brake cleaner in your gats.

      • thats why he wants rookies to avoid them. ya know those darn rookies, first thing they wanna do with an AR is get ’em some possums.

  13. If you’re having malfunctions on a dry rifle within a couple of magazines, something is massively out of spec. While it’s true that lube is more important than cleaning, neither should make a huge difference within a thousand rounds unless you’re routinely dragging your rifle, ejection port first, through mud and sand. My first AR is a mid grade A2 model carbine from a reputable manufacturer, nothing fancy. I once opted to test it to failure and went about 1500 rounds of all quality levels and bullet weights (from filthy Russian steel case to match 77gr), with *no* lube or cleaning and I didn’t have a single failure of any sort. I ended the experiment sooner than I’d intended to because I’d learned what I needed and it was starting to bother me just how filthy the action was.

    Yea, cleaning and lubrication are good things but if your AR can’t go a few hundred rounds without either something is very wrong and hosing it down with Rem oil is like turning up the radio so you can’t hear your engine sputtering

    • The people complaining the loudest about the AR platform are the people who do not know how to make the weapon run…The good news is many times you can buy stuff cheap from people mad at their rifle instead of themselves.

        • Tull plays on one of my Blackmore’s Night cds as does Anton Figg from the letterman show…I won’t hold that against him as long he doesn’t reguritate letterman’s crap.

    • “If you’re having malfunctions on a dry rifle within a couple of magazines, something is massively out of spec.”

      Absolutely correct.

      Same thing for the ‘load 28 rounds instead of 30’ thing for magazines – with “Smart AR users load their mags to 28 rounds which allows for reliable seating against a closed bolt.”

      There should not be any “reliable seating against a closed bolt” issues with 30 rounds in a 30 round mil-spec magazine. If you are having problems with reliable seating against a closed bolt and need to load 28 rounds instead of 30 then something is out of spec on the AR or the magazine is either not mil-spec or defective in some way and should be discarded.

      But of course, with the proliferation of a lot of companies doing their ‘own’ ‘features’ and saying ‘mil spec’ with all their different variations it may just be a normal thing for the rifle to not really be mil-spec in some dimensions especially when they get into substituting their own ‘claimed to be best thing since sliced bread’ BCG.

  14. to all the ak goofs here tonight:
    1 ar15 = americas rifle…15x better than an ak…and for all the right reasons
    2 in 30+ years of going to rifle ranges…the only gun i ever saw blow up at the range…and injure the shooter…and close the range down for over an hour for the rest of us…was an ak
    3 ive seen lots of ar15s at my local 300 and 500 yard ranges…but never…and i mean never…an ak
    4 its well known that the 2 best upgrades for any and every ak are: an ar 15 complete upper receiver and an ar 15 complete lower receiver
    5 it generally takes at least 1000 dollars to get an ak with almost as many features and almost as good a trigger and almost as much accuracy as a 500 dollar ar15…and it still wont lock the bolt back on the last round
    6 when people spend 500 dollars on their ak to make it better – what theyre really doing is spending 500 dollars on their ak to make their ak more like an ar
    7 get an ak if youre hung up on a handful of different calibers…get an ar platform rifle if youre hung up on those same calibers and literally almost every other caliber out there
    8 the best part of the ak has always been the 7.62×39 round – not the weapon itself and
    9 now that all the bugs have been worked out of the 7.62×39 round in the ar platform there is no real need anymore for the ak…except maybe for museum pieces or to teach our kids how to run one as a life skill just in case they go to a terrorist friendly country in africa or the middle east

  15. how come this article appears on my phone browser but doesn’t appear on PC or iPads or laptops browsers?

    • tried chrome, edge, safari, Firefox browsers on those, all ad blocking turned off, tried two different ISP… the only thing it shows on for me is Samsung phone with Samsung browser on cell provider connection.

      how strange. all the other articles and rest of site show. this one article doesnt.

      • OK, another strange thing …. if I search here for the term ‘rookie mistakes’ this article shows up in the search results and I can go to it, am posting this comment now by doing this – using PC’s, laptop’s, and iPads with any browser. So its just not showing up on the main page at TTAG when I use other than my phone. That is really strange, but the problem is not on my end nor is it with my connection or browsers – the problem is with TTAG.

        • Thinking about this since posting above…I think this website comes in 2 flavors. One formatted for phones, and another for computers. I recall one time seeing the different ones listed in search results. Maybe this article didn’t make it to the computer version unless you search? Not sure how that works…

    • Thx for the link boog. That kinda got me fired up and goosebumped. 8 shots into the bad guy. Wow good shootin, under stress especially.

  16. I will never forget watching a news segment once showing a SWAT team descending on a location and one of them lost his magazine as he walked. The guy behind him picked it up but this could have been one of those ‘confusing the safety for the mag release’ things.

    • Maybe, but more likely they just forgot to make sure the magazine was seated. Everybody’s had the mag fall out at least once while shooting (and it’s always embarrassing) so it’s not surprising that one-mag-a-year qualifiers would have trouble with it.

      IMO the AK’s rock-and-lock magazine system that leverages the mag into the well is one thing that’s genuinely superior to the AR system.

  17. “your AR needs lube, and lots of it. Just like your car’s engine.

    Break the rifle open, pull out the bolt carrier group and spray it until it shines like a freshly glazed donut.”

    Hmmm… no.

    1. An AR that operates in spec doesn’t need ‘lots of it’ as indicated by the “until it shines like a freshly glazed donut.”

    You need a few drops, at most, of a good quality firearms lubricant on parts that move or interact with other parts. Stick with quality CLP and metal treatment type firearm lubricants designed for firearms use that treat the metal and deposit a lubricant and protectant in the pores of the metal and not just lubricate by resting on and coating the metal surface. Look at the company testing for their lubricants, if its not visible on their web site or with the product ask them for it, and if they can’t supply such testing move on to somewhere else for another product. Your AR, no matter if you bought it or put it together yourself, budget level or costing thousands of dollars, is an investment you made for hobby or sporting or defense or even competition – mitigate possible failure points as much as you can and take care of it properly.

    2. If you need to lube your AR “until it shines like a freshly glazed donut” to get it to run properly then something is not in spec and that needs to be corrected. Yes, doing this till it “shines like a freshly glazed donut” works and on in spec rifles too, ya you could do that, but if ya gotta do that to make the gun run then something is not in spec and that needs to be corrected.

    “Anything from used motor oil (use the dipstick) …”

    No, don’t do this. Fresh unused motor oil of a very light weight works fine though, for a while to a long time depending on how hot the gun gets.

    But think about what you are getting on that dipstick you can’t see. There’s very small (sub micron sized) or microscopic particles of metal in it that were shed from your engine and this will also become ‘abrasive’ to your gun parts and cause premature wear the longer its allowed to remain, plus its oil that, basically, has been heated and the impurities and chemicals in the oil have chemically changed to form ‘abrasive’ or ‘corrosive’ qualities (which is why you need to change the oil in your car on a regular basis). Do you really want to put that in your gun, the gun you invested money in and rely on? If you have done this, break it down completely and clean after every use for each time you do this.

    cooking oil and suntan lotions, don’t use those either … I already posted about… here > https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/avoiding-rookie-mistakes-ar-15-rifle-guns-beginners/#comment-6471261 …. and here > https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/avoiding-rookie-mistakes-ar-15-rifle-guns-beginners/#comment-6472160

    • to advise rookies, start them out right. don’t tell them to use cooking oil or sun tan lotion or used motor oil when gun oil is readily available for purchase or borrow and they should have already had it.

      this is not combat in a foreign land that one may not be able to prepare for fully. its a pre-planned competition they should prepare for.

      being prepared should be the first advice they get if they are considering competition. get some actual lubricant made for firearms and have at least a basic range kit.

    • “your AR needs lube, and lots of it. Just like your car’s engine.”

      well, no, an AR doesn’t need lots of lube just like your car engine. This is a myth thing.

      and about using car engine oil, in general…

      Yeah, you can get away with it for a short time actually without much/any adverse effects if the idea is to make the gun run in an emergency, it depends on how hot the gun gets. But, you do not want to do this, no matter the weight of the oil, as a routine thing or as a standard thing.

      1. Engine oil is not designed for the specific lubrication requirements of guns, period. Believe it or not, when you fire an AR or your semi-auto pistol the momentary force and pressure stress on the parts (e.g. bolt, BCG) is extreme and is greater than that on the engine moving parts in your car. Engine oil was not designed to handle the lubricating requirements needed for these types of stress forces.

      2. Although engine oil might provide temporary lubrication, it will not stay on gun parts long enough to adequately protect them from wear and tear even though it appears the oil may still be on the parts. Engine oil in a car is designed to be continually circulated to provide its lubrication abilities for the car, not to stay on the parts (even though it does adhere to the parts) in order to provide its lubrication abilities to metal – basically this is why you have a reservoir of oil in your car, so the supply is available to fulfill the cars ‘oil circulation’ requirement.

      3. Engine oil contains additives which are corrosive and abrasive for gun parts, which leads to corrosion of gun parts.

      Overall, using engine oil on your guns will lead to or enhance likely hood of premature firearm function failure.

      Do not use engine oil on your guns.

      Get a good quality gun oil:

      1. A good quality gun oil is designed specifically to protect against rust and corrosion, while providing lubrication to help the firearm function properly.

      2. A good quality gun oil is designed to handle the force and pressure stress on the parts as the firearm is fired and still provide lubrication even if the parts heat. (cooking oil, suntain lotions, engine oil, WD40, vaselline etc… do not provide this ability).

      3. A good quality gun oil provides protective agents for the metal, in the form of a boundary layer that absorbs into the metal to coat the metal and this also provides lubrication. Cooking oil, suntain lotions, engine oil, WD40, vaselline etc… do not provide this ability.\

      Well, how about using WD40 on my guns?

      WD40, yes and no. It does work as a lubricant for firearms but only to an extent.

      WD-40 is a lubricant, protectant, and cleaner that can be used for many different kinds of objects, as ‘advertised’. It can provide that to firearms parts as well, somewhat. WD40 contains petroleum-based solvents that can over time or under the firing stresses of firing a firearm damage mechanical functions of a firearm and can cause excessive buildup of firing residue that leads to a dirtier firearm or malfunction. So overall WD40 is too harsh and can damage your gun and although it can be a lubricant for firearms it is not a ‘suitable’ lubricant for today’s semi-auto firearms.

      • Booger, engine oil additives by nature cannot be corrosive/abrasive. If they were, engines would wear much faster. 1-20 micron diameter particles cause the most wear; most oil is formulated to suspend particles to be filtered out at the filter. Most engine corrosion is caused by condensation from running at less than optimal operating temperature that results in acid formation on parts. Like you say, a good quality gun oil is best, but in a pinch a good quality synthetic engine oil should get you by.

  18. Nope, this is why only the expert “ProfessionalPolicePersonnel” are qualified to have and operate this “WeaponOfWar”.
    The rest of us should only be allowed low capacity squirtguns.

  19. The pic of the winning teen makes it appear like a ground crew is down range:) Nonetheless the handguard on his carbine appears to be one of the Made in China lock ring types once plentiful on eBay or a US copy. The best ones from China were the not so plentiful 12.5″ rifle length. Replacing the jumbo aluminum barrel nut with the improved jumbo steel barrel nut was a secret ingredient for long range accuracy…providing everything else was correct.

  20. 1. Good quality mags. 2. If you run battery-powered optics, have extra batteries on hand and know how to operate it.

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