7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know How to Do

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

While driving to an open shooting position on a recent trip to the range, I saw AR-15 type firearms in every bay as I looked around. Some bays had as many as 10 different varieties of the AR-15 platform rifle. I saw another local gunsmith test firing the fruits of his labors.

I watched a group of 20-somethings challenge each other on a timed course of fire. I observed a dad helping his daughter to hold the gun up while she shot ground-mounted clay pigeons. I even saw a married man in what appeared to be his 60’s trying to tell his wife how to pull the charging handle back.

The common theme in what I saw was this; all of these people had different reasons for purchasing their version of America’s most popular rifle. And none of them appeared to have had any standardized training in the use, care, accessories, or capabilities of them.

While looking for some common ground, I made a list of seven skills that every AR owner should know.

Proper Low Ready Position

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

The “low ready,” challenge, or guard position has been a mainstay of law enforcement for years. We use it because we don’t have rules of engagement. We have the 4th Amendment and Supreme Court Decisions to follow.

The low ready position is a presentation of the weapon when there’s a potential threat that must be identified prior to be being engaged. It needs to be aggressive, safe, and comfortable. When properly utilized, there’s almost no risk of a negligent round injuring the potential adversary at the business end of the gun, but it’s extremely fast to engage from here if need be.

Start with in my normal shooting position. The toe or bottom of the buttstock is high on the shoulder/clavicle notch. The muzzle of the firearm is pointed towards the ground at an approximate 45 degree angle, splitting the distance between me and my target.

Doing so allows me to follow the fundamental firearms safety rules, while also being able to address a threat very quickly. The safety is on and the trigger finger is indexed.

Does having to flip the safety on sound too slow? I’ve been teaching this for many years and have yet to find a student or operator who was measurably faster when starting with their safety off during a drill from the low ready. Any extra milliseconds needed to flip that lever are worth the dramatic increase in safety.

The Combat Reload

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

The combat or emergency reload is probably the most poorly practiced skill by novice AR shooters. It’s also one of the most important gunfighting skills you can have.

If you’ve fired your 20 or 30 rounds to save your ass and you still need more, it’s already a bad day. There are no pause buttons. You probably can’t call for a UAV or airstrike. If you mess this up, you will not respawn. You need to know how to do this cleanly and smoothly.

Starting from a bolt lock position, I release the firearm with my support hand as I bring the gun up into my workspace where I can see it. The muzzle of the gun assumes an almost vertical orientation (above). I form a “L” with the pistol grip, while depressing the mag catch with my trigger finger.

Usually, the inertia or snap of the gun will aid in the magazine being ejected from the gun. At the same time, my support hand moves for my reload magazine.

The buttstock of the gun is between my forearm and chest, as I’m too lazy to hold its full weight. A new magazine is inserted with a slap, followed by an immediate pull.

As I bring the gun back on target, my support hand moves up the receiver. Once over the top, the bolt catch is depressed, then the support hand follows the lines of the rifle back to its shooting position.

Why go through all of these steps and hold the gun like that? Simple: it works. Also, I’m lazy and it doesn’t take my eyes of what’s in front of me.

Trying to reload a rifle (or pistol for that matter) at full extension (or down around your waist) is like trying to tie a fly on to your line with your arms fully extended. Bringing it up and in affords you all of your dexterity and allows you to take that quick peak if there’s a problem without losing your perspective.

Basic Field Strip

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Basic AR-15 disassembly (Courtesy Nick Franssen)

This is one of the least sexy or glamorous tasks that every AR-15 owner needs to learn and use every time they shoot. But it’s not just for cleaning. It also develops an understanding of how the rifle works and is an opportunity to inspect critical areas for wear and security.

You don’t have to learn how to do a field strip blindfolded, but the continued weapons handling will increase your proficiency and confidence in the weapon. Not to mention that there’s a certain level of clean that’s required to keep the gun running.

  1. Ensure your firearm is unloaded and all live ammo is secured somewhere else. This is best done with the help of a second person who can verify that the firearm is safe and unloaded.
  2. Make sure the bolt is forward.
  3. Press the rear takedown pin out until it’s stopped by the detent.
  4. Tilt the rear portion of the upper receiver upward, separating it from the lower receiver.
  5. Pull back approximately three inches on the charging handle (but leave it in the upper receiver).
  6. Pull the bolt carrier group (BCG) straight out the back of the upper receiver.
  7. Pull back and down on the charging handle until it’s free of the upper.
  8. Push the firing pin retaining pin out of the bolt carrier.
  9. Tap the back of the carrier on a firm, yet safe surface. The firing pin should drop free.
  10. Push the bolt into the carrier approximately ½ way and turn the cam pin 180 degrees.
  11. Lift the cam pin out.
  12. Pull the bolt straight out of the front of the carrier.
  13. Locate the extractor on the bolt. Placing pressure on the back of the extractor, use a punch to push out the retaining pin. Do not use the firing pin to do this!
  14. Wipe down, inspect, and lube parts as needed.
  15. Reassembly follows these steps in reverse.

People tend to get nervous about taking an AR down. Don’t. It’s easy and has to be done, and frequently.

AR’s don’t have to be cleaned within an inch of their lives, but keeping them clean and in good working order is an investment in your future. Also, I don’t care who says what…no AR should be run dry.

For initial break-in, I run them wet, say 200-500 rounds. After that, well-lubed is the standard. It’s hard to get an AR to run better than it does with a fresh coat of CLP.

If you get stuck on any part of this, go to YouTube or exercise your best Google-fu. There are dozens of great videos out there that will help.

Testing and Replacing Gas Rings

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

The Stoner-designed gas impingement system isn’t the death sentence many would want you to believe. Piston systems are awesome; however, they are not the end of an era for gas impingement.

If there are any questions as to the reliability or viability of the AR, just look at pictures from Special Forces from all over the world. The gas impingement M4 is the common theme you’ll see.

“Wear parts” aren’t weaknesses. They just need to be properly maintained. I have purchased more than one 80’s era AR that has never seen a new set of gas rings. That’s unacceptable and is the single largest contributor to mechanical problems.

After completing a basic field strip (see above), you’ll need your bolt carrier group (BCG) and three new gas rings. Always replace all three at the same time.

To test the gas rings, grasp the rear portion of the carrier and the bolt itself. Pull the two apart. This should cause the bolt to move forward, approximately ¾”. With the bolt extended, it’s simulating a round chambered in battery.

Now, over a table or bench, place the bolt carrier group bolt face down, as if to try to stand it straight up. If the carrier can’t be held up by the tension of the gas rings, they need to be replaced.

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Disassemble the BCG. Once the bolt is removed, you don’t need to go any further. Use a dental pick, small pin punch, or even a paperclip to push up on the rings far enough that you can get an edge over the bolt tail.

Continue to strip the old gas ring around the tail. It’s not recommended that you use a sharp object such as a pocket knife. Once free, complete the same process two more times.

To install the new rings, just reverse the process adding a drop of oil.

There are other gas issues such as the carrier key and gas tube that can present themselves, but those are truly better left to armorers and gunsmiths.

Type Three Malfunction Fix

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Double feed malfunction

Oh God, the mother of all malfs. This can be anything from a slight double feed to cartridges in backwards, bullets inside of brass, cut cartridges, and gunpowder everywhere.

The bad news: improperly identifying the problem and trying to clear it wrong will only make it worse. Some will scratch their heads. Some will go to YouTube. Some will get out a hammer. Just talk yourself through it, clear it right, and you’ll be done in less time than it takes the average shooter to reload.

Look: First, identify the problem.

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Lock: Pull back on the charging handle and activate the bolt catch. This takes the pressure off the magazine and makes some room.

Strip: Push the magazine release button and drop it. Rip the magazine out if you have to. Get rid of it. Throw it across the range for dramatic effect if you want. This is the rare time when I do leave bullets nearby. Chances are, in a semi-automatic firearm, the malfunction is being caused by the magazine anyway.

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Sweep: If you have to, insert some fingers through the bottom of the mag well and make sure it’s clear.

When two rounds are stuck in the chamber, one is stuck in the feed ramp, or somehow a round gets jammed behind the gas tube or charging handle (yes, I’ve seen it), this is the only way to get them out. Miss this step and you just pound them in more during the next step, which is . . .

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Rack, rack, rack.

This is simple, but should be done with vigor. Push/pull, push/pull, push/pull hard and fast. Don’t let go of the charging handle while doing this. You will lose your power and take more time recovering your hand placement on the handle.

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Feed it: The gun is now un-jammed, clear, and unloaded. The mag you dropped was likely the problem. Load your gun with a fresh magazine and you’re good to go.

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Charge it: Get that first round in the chamber and re-evaluate the situation.

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Mechanical Zero

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

Of all of the student and customer AR’s I’ve had on the range, the number of carbines that have their iron sights actually zeroed can be counted on one hand.

I’ve seen customers buy a top shelf rifle and install a set of Magpul MBUS‘s on it. They then top it off with something from Trijicon, Aimpoint, or EOTech. The electronics are usually close to where they should me, but the irons have almost never been shot for point of impact.

I recommend a 50-yard zero for fighting carbines. There are more precise zeros, and some that are better for long range, but these are short range rifles with medium range capability.

With a 50-yard zero, you’re never more than mechanical offset above or below your point of aim from zero to 225-ish yards. Here’s now to do it . . .

Using a carbine with an A2 front sight base or backup sights with similar, raise or lower the front sight post until you’re flush with the housing. On the rear, almost all have witness marks. Center the sight up.

Everything here should be done with three-round shot groups. It’s best to have someone else mark your target and advise you of any shot corrections as this will keep you honest.

Continue until you’re zeroed. Once you think you’re where you want to be, shoot three more rounds to confirm.

What’s the best part of zeroing the iron sights first? If you’re using a non-magnified red dot optic like an Aimpoint, Leupold LCO, or a Trijicon RMR, adjust the electronic dot to the iron sights and you’re already almost there. It will be so close, most people won’t move it.

Figuring out your mechanical offset

7 Things Every AR-15 Owner Needs to Know

In its simplest form, mechanical offset is the distance between the aiming point of a proper sight picture and the centerline of the bore. Due to the nature of the sights on an AR-15 rifle, this distance is approximately 2.5 inches.

There are more precise measurements out there, but they have no real world purpose or application for minute of bad guy use at defensive distances.

What’s the practical application of such information? During one of our qualifications, we’re required to put one round in the ocular area of a target five times at five yards.

The ocular area is the human “light switch”. Hit someone there with a high velocity rifle round and it’s like turning off the computer. Everything stops quick, fast, and in a hurry. This is commonly practiced as a hostage rescue shot.

Using an Aimpoint PRO, I find if I place the top of the 2 MOA dot on the top of the head, my rounds are centered in the ocular box. As I move back, the difference between point of aim and point of impact becomes less and less. From a field use standpoint, the difference disappears at about 30 yards.

-/-/-/-/-

Are these seven points everything you need to know to go forth and conquer (or protect your home and family)? No, but they are right on the edge of beginner/intermediate proficiency.

We didn’t get into shooting fundamentals, marksmanship, accessories, or bore cleaning. This assumes you read the owner’s manual and have made the gun go bang before.

Now go out and practice and learn some more. I’ll catch up with you on the line doing what all professionals do; getting in some range time, practicing these basics, over, and over, and over again.

 

Nick Franssen is the owner of HCTC Firearms, LLC, where he specializes in custom gunsmithing, training, and consulting. Nick is also a 10 year Law Enforcement Officer in the Pacific Northwest, where he is currently assigned to patrol. Nick has several years in the firearm industry, as a professional civilian and law enforcement instructor, gunsmith, and competitor. Nick was one of the original Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapons Permit instructors, and maintains/repairs the firearms of several police agencies throughout the region. For more information on training or custom gun work, see HCTC Firearms on facebook or email nick at [email protected]

 

All images courtesy the author. 

 

This post was originally published in 2019.

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Fun Gunner says:

    During one of the previous AWB panics, I bought an M&P 15 Sport and owned it for less than year before I sold it. My only AR. Once I realized it was not actually going to get banned, I no longer had a real desire to own it.

    It functioned 100%, was more accurate than I was, and was reasonably priced for the build quality and factory warranty. It didn’t fill any real need for me other than unlikely SHTF scenarios and zombie fantasies. I’m more into handguns and shotguns for home defense.

    More importantly, it didn’t just didn’t do anything for me in terms of that warm fuzzy feeling. I’m not a FUD by any means, but I do prefer the more traditional form factors and wood stocks. If I had bought a newer Mini-14 instead, I probably would have kept it.

    Has anyone else jumped on the AR bandwagon, only to jump back off in a relatively short time?

    1. avatar Forp says:

      I haven’t “jumped ship” with my ar15, but like you I don’t feel special when shooting it. I’m also not a FUD, and believe in true 2A freedoms. To me the ar15 is a tool and a great tool at that. It is a purpose built, long distance hole punch, capable of delivering freedom beans with relative ease.

      My revolvers, bolt actions and lever action guns have a special place in my heart. My Henry 22lr frontier lever action with octagon barrel is probably the most fun thing to shoot ever made (sorry Ruger 10/22)

      1. avatar AdamTA1 says:

        My most fun guns are probably my Uberti revolver in .357 (it’s so purty) or my Ruger 22/45 (shoot the balls off a gnat) I don’t have a lever action yet.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      AR15’s …. available in wood

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Bet that sumbitch is heavy.

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          Hey, it tames the non-existent recoil to even more manageable levels… /S 😉

      2. avatar Ron says:

        I’ve been told by a few rangers the ARs with wood are best for patrolling the Mojave.

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          Because carrying an extra 7 pounds of useless weight is some kind of a good idea in the July heat of the Mojave?

        2. avatar Trevor says:

          Yeah but patrolling the Mojave almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter.

    3. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

      I’m there. I own an AR-15, but rarely shoot it. As you say, it functions great and is accurate, but I find it boring. It is a utilitarian tool. I find my bolt and lever actions way more fun to shoot. I feel the same way about semi-automatic pistols: to me they are the Honda Civics of the handgun world. I only own one. I far prefer my revolvers.

      Call me a Fudd, I don’t care.

      1. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

        Relax. If you don’t care who else owns what, then you’re not a Fudd. Everyone’s entitled to their preferences so long as they don’t think there should be a law against anyone else’s.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          There are 2 sides to this coin. You have the die hard fudds, and they can be a pain in the ass.

          But you have a bunch of guys that apparently only own firearms that are geared for the ‘coming’ civil war 2. And if they have their way the only firearms in use will be combat tupperware handguns and ar15s. And they are a pain in the ass, also.

          Variety is a good thing.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          What JWM said.

          Guns are like screwdrivers but better. Similarly, there’s usually a best pick for a given job. However, unlike screwdrivers there are significant personal preferences ranging from biomechanical to aesthetics.

          But also like screwdrivers, if you get the job done no one’s gonna ask exactly what you used, least of all the person with a GSW or three in their chest.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          *probably also applies to someone with a few deck screws in their chest, but I’d wager that this is a rarer occurrence .

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          jwm,

          I know someone like that. He literally has a spot picked out in the woods to “ride out the coming storm”, complete with preferred gun.

          And no, it’s not me. 🙂

        5. avatar 9x39 says:

          @ JWM

          Wouldn’t even consider the plastic fantastic, if there were anything, literally anything of the all metal stripe that can handle a Rowland conversion, with a reasonably decent cap. Wishing someone would re-engineer JMB’s masterpiece for a double stack that’s suitable, & more importantly, reliable.

          I did enjoy my P-12 way back when, though mine was a lemon to begin with. Spent a fair bit getting that functionally perfect, because it sure was anything but, out of the gates.

      2. avatar Lawd Awmighty says:

        Of all the guys I know who ask to go shooting regularly, and this includes a good mix of traditionalists (we are West Virginians and Kentuckians, so still love the old guns even though we are younger), very few think the AR is an exciting gun to shoot or are particularly gaga over it. We understand the capabilities of rapid fire, but frankly its application in real world fights is played down even in the military. I think the thing that would be truly revealed about them in the “Civil War 2” rightfully winked at by JWM there is their inability to hold up under extensive hard use or hand-to-hand combat like what really happens in mass confrontations. An AR’s gas tube can be broken with one good swipe from a heavier rifle or even a large knife if you had a plastic handguard. The stock is even more fragile. They are cool guns, but that is always qualified with “I guess… .” I think the trend in ARs is already dying, to judge from what I have seen at many shops, where the only thing pushing them anymore is unrest or mass shootings – when those don’t happen, they pile up. Lot of guys out there worrying about type of gun, like the AR, and never putting much thought at all into their optic, which would be the most crucial element to withstand long-term abuse in a SHTF scenario. ARs seem to me like the perfect gun for the 1990s-2020 – the most spoiled, fidgety, find-me-a-new-Pokemon-collectible-weapon period in American history. A period that developed many items, from foods to guns, that will not at all be practical in a less wealthy and hard-use future.

        1. avatar former water walker says:

          AR’s aren’t going away. This country is getting worse-much worse. A light rifle with enormous firepower? Just the thing for looters & rioting commies. AR’s aren’t fragile. Check out the myriad # of torture tests on YouTube. The main reason I got “into” guns was neighborhood was changing. And I’m 66…

        2. avatar Anymouse says:

          I think the glut in normal times is because every nickel and dime manufacturer is making a version of the AR-15. Supply outstrips ordinary demand. That’s why Colt got out of the civilian AR market. It wasn’t worth it to them to compete against a $300-500 gun that’s at least 80%+ as good as a $1000 rifle. All a no name company can compete on is price, so semiauto rifles are selling for less than common handguns.

        3. avatar Lawd Awmighty says:

          They are all making them because the average profit on expenditure is 150% on them. There was an article years ago about Remington and how their traditional bolt guns only made 40% profit for them, but their ARs jumped that figure to 150%. This was because ARs were laughably cheap material. Think about it. Aluminum and plastic. The manufacturers all jumped on that market because it meant lower margins and bigger profits, and this, incidentally is also why they pushed them on the shooting public so hard from the mid-2000s. $$$. As to the ARs being fragile: I am not talking about reliable function – that is a different matter. I am talking about build quality and longevity if you had to use one on empty to repeatedly strike with the butt. The kind of thing that actually happens in combat. Not like the wars of the last 40 years, but the wars that are likely to manifest with China – a totally different type. The AR is quite flimsy compared to the old weapons that were designed for that type of war, where supply chains are far off and relief is weeks out or badly needed elsewhere. The AR is light, that is true, but only for the guys who don’t overload them. Unfortunately, with the tactical trend, I have seen far more 9 lb. ARs than I should. Very few guys stripping them down to be what they were designed to be.

        4. avatar possum says:

          A friend if mine once said on the durability of the M16.” Oh, there alright until you bash someone in the head, then they kinda come apart on you.”

        5. avatar Dave says:

          Which modern semiauto carbine do you recommend then?

        6. avatar Victor says:

          Where do FN-SCAR16s or Tavors fit in this paradigm?

    4. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

      Nope. AR’s are boring, mine goes bang every time, 3000 rounds an it it never failed me, low recoil, accurate as far as I can see clearly, easy to use, easy to maintain and provides more fire power than I will well ever need. The only downside I see is you can spend more on accessories than the gun. That is not the type of gun you sell. You keep it and hand it down to your kids because they may not every have the chance to purchase such a nice tool. To be perfectly honest, I have only sold one gun, a really nice low serial number Ruger Blackhawk. I still regret it but I needed the money as a young father. Basically, if the gun is good enough to purchase, I will probably keep it till either it wears out or I croak. Just my 2 cents.

      1. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

        I definitely agree with you , generally reliable, accurate and suitable efficient in eliminating 2 to 4 legged critters. I use one army and work nothing particularly exciting about them.

        I started getting to milsurp, with things that are clumsy, smell of decades of hardship and gun oil soaked into the wood.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          That’s an addiction I was finally able to break. Milsurps are much fun for us history buffs and for a time they were fairly cheap to get. I must have had 20+ at the height of my addiction.

          After recently giving my Makarov away I have only one milsurp left. A 1938 Izzy Mosin Nagant. My grandson wants it and when he’s big enough to fire it without a prop it’s his.

        2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “After recently giving my Makarov away I have only one milsurp left. A 1938 Izzy Mosin Nagant. My grandson wants it and when he’s big enough to fire it without a prop it’s his.”

          JWM, have I ever told you I think of you as the grandfather I never knew? 🙂

          (Not gonna work, is it? *mutter*)

        3. avatar jwm says:

          Geoff. That would be an interesting family reunion. 🙂

    5. avatar Montana Actual says:

      TBH, it doesn’t matter what gun you own. That’s not what defines a FUDD. But an AR or AK style carbine is going to be one of the most reliable and most effective in today’s combat scenarios. They are also very versatile all across the board. So it’s hard to justify not owning one if you enjoy shooting, especially with how cheap you can build one and the interchangeable parts. A good .223 Wylde barrel will give the ability to use any .223 and 5.56 round. That’s hard to beat. Not to mention that there are even builds you can simply just change the upper out with a quick detach and be g2g. Size is also a HUGE factor. Everything from a 4″ barrel to a 21″… that’s pretty hard to beat too, unless you go to a pistol round.

      But, a FUDD is someone who would give any of his rifles up in a heartbeat rather than stand his ground. You can own whatever you want. Not gonna knock you because you don’t understand the versatility of an AR and confuse it with FUDDery. Some deserve it tho…

      1. avatar Fun Gunner says:

        I always thought of a Fudd as someone who sees guns as only appropriate for hunting, and only traditional firearms at that, and eschews anything remotely tactical like black rifles or semi-autos in general. The guys who look down on people who hunt with ARs and who don’t particularly care about the 2nd Amendment outside their hunting hobby. I guess there may be some definition drift with the term.

        I love to shoot, but I never loved shooting the AR after the first couple of range trips when the novelty wore off. Whereas with a revolver I’ll go through 150-200 rounds at the range, one 5-or-6-shot cylinder at a time, and then lament that I didn’t bring more ammo.

        1. avatar Anymouse says:

          That’s a fair Fudd description. They’re willing to throw your evil “weapon of war” “assault rifle” under the as long as their deer and trap guns are safe. Sometimes, they’ll even lead the charge to get rid of those guns that “nobody needs.” Little do they realize that their deer gun is really a “sniper rifle” that’ll be next to be banned, followed by their evil “trench gun” shotguns that are so inhumane that the Germans wanted them outlawed during WW1.

    6. avatar C.S. says:

      What I have done is stopped buying lowers. I have built a few ar15 and ar10 lowers with choice parts and I simply run different uppers through them. They even have bolt action uppers now for at platforms so I simply don’t bother with other firearm patterns. This way there’s only one manual of arms I really need to be proficient with (although I “know” the others).

    7. avatar JBT says:

      It’s mainly a fun and comforting weapon: it looks like what the military has, you see them in movies and video games, it must be great and it will probably help me survive against anything! Except drones, armored vehicles, artillery….and if I am not willing to fight against dozens of better trained and equipped soldiers, then even a $6,000 AR15 with 50 spare mags loaded with the best ammo available will be totally useless. If and when “Civil war 2” comes, a lot of big mouths are going to drop their guns and run in the other direction. I know I might, which is why I don’t play the tough guy before I eventually get to know what I am truly made of. You’ll suddenly hear less jokes about the French “for sale French rifle, never fired, dropped once.”

    8. avatar EpsteinDidNOTKillHimself says:

      I carried a M16A2 service rifle in the USMC. Awarded an Expert rating. I just could never get excited about shooting one.

      I disagree with the author about piston vs DI. I do not enjoy cleaning that much of that rifle. But I am also talking about real, turn in to the armory cleaning or that Gunny or Top is going to give you a dirty look and send you back to clean some more.

  2. avatar Arc says:

    I found one of the simplest ways to remove a round that failed to extract is to let the bolt lock (slowly) and use the forward assist to make the extractor grab it. Alternatively, you can use a pointy object, or fumble with a multi-tool if that is your thing.

    I stress SLOWLY because there is a good chance of a slam fire and I wanted to smack one kid so hard for letting it fly home after I told him to stop, aka, freeze in place.

    A little trick I learned from seeing it a few times as a coach. ^_^

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Good overview! I would add a lot of this needs detailed video. How I learned to shoot an AR. And clean & lube too. I still feel I know very little but I can defend me & mine!

  4. avatar sound awake says:

    8 boresight it after you mount it
    ive seen too many guys bring their rifle to the 100 yard range after putting an optic on it and cant get it on paper after like 20 rounds
    sending rifle rounds down range and not knowing where theyre going is pretty piss poor

    1. avatar Chi-Chi Montezuma says:

      This.
      Bought a Sightmark for $27 5 years ago. Could probably use a small Olight too. Use a 10yd 50ydZero target on the wall at home. Zero my iron sights and RDO. Go to range and confirm. Never really had to work hard on it. Only prob I ever had was with a qd mount not being able to retain zero after being removed and reinstalled. Aimpoints, Eotechs and Sigs all held zero.

  5. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Another vote for the 50 yard zero.
    No holdover needed for a head shot from the muzzle out to 200 yards.

    Red dots have been a the biggest advance in aiming in my 30 years of shooting AR’s

  6. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    The two things thing every AR-15 owner should know:
    1. Sell it.
    2. Buy a rifle.

    1. avatar Dave says:

      How are you defining “rifle” here? Do you mean “as opposed to intermediate-caliber carbine”? (In which case, which battle-rifles do you consider recommendable?)

      1. avatar Tired of the bs says:

        Fal

        1. avatar Roger J says:

          Way to go.

      2. avatar Seans says:

        The dude is a idiot who thinks AR15s are junk.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          He’s an idiot on a lot more subjects than just AR’s.

        2. avatar Ginder12 says:

          Listen to Clint Smith on the subject of ARs.

        3. avatar neiowa says:

          Montana is being polite to the twit.

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Montana, I may be an actual idiot, but I’ll tell you this: the couple of exchanges we’ve had I have a lot more real world experience than you. You need to go out there and get you some. Junior.

        5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Seans, have any of you guys ever owned anything except an AR-15? Or maybe an AK? Do any of you actually know what the fuck you’re talking about?

        6. avatar strych9 says:

          I was gonna avoid this thread but then I read this:

          “…have a lot more real world experience than you. You need to go out there and get you some. Junior.”

          So, with so much real-world experience you somehow managed to avoid learning not to be a total prick, eh? Seriously, your reactions are that of a hypoglycemic three year old stuck in a grocery store while mom browses asparagus in the vegetable section.

          Acting like a whiny bitch with a default mode of “insult others while hyping myself like a shitty rapper” as soon as anyone says something not 100% in line with your own thinking is not exactly the way to win friends and influence people.

          You may be older than some here but you never learned anything about respect which is why you don’t get any.

        7. avatar Miner49er says:

          Hey, you kids play nice!

          I am sure that each one of you will make a very good soldier when you grow up.

        8. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          cracker pile!
          11lb rifles!
          i have a handcuff key!
          shotguns are for migratory songbirds!
          knives made by immigrant laborers are worth a grand!
          my dear niece, pass me the poached butthurt fish, i have an ar story to relate.

      3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        I define rifle as a shoulder fired weapon that will put down a man or animal of at least 200 kilograms at 300 meters with one round.
        What a rifle is not is:
        1. A piece of shit that needs to be lubricated while shooting.
        2. See above.
        3. Replace broken parts while shooting.
        4. I’ve had to do both with an AR.
        5. Montana, I was issued my first M-16 in 1979 and turned in my last one six years ago. If you were even alive in 1979 you had yellow shit running down the back of your leg. Nothing you can tell me about an AR except they’re mediocre.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          nobody cares when you owned your first AR dude. Your “real world experience” gets shut out by your quick witted one liner knee jerk reactions and attempts to belittle others, thus receiving it back the same way I give it to Ron/Grim Reaper, your confederate flag butt buddy, tdiinva, Miner49er, etc etc… At least even Miner49er does not result to the childish shit you do. You might be older, but I feel like talking to you the way I would a 10 year old about respect. A lot of people notice it here. Even as disliked as I am for being so outspoken and “vulgar”, you are a common enemy, and a FUDD to boot. K, youngin?

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Montana. You speak from ignorance and inexperience. Have you actually ever done anything? I mean really done anything? Tell us about it if you have.

        3. avatar Mister Fleas says:

          “Montana, I was issued my first M-16 in 1979 and turned in my last one six years ago. If you were even alive in 1979 you had yellow shit running down the back of your leg. Nothing you can tell me about an AR except they’re mediocre.”

          Yeah, you have said that before, then you ignored all evidence to the contrary.

        4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          holy crap, montana, did you just call yellow snake banner a fudd?

        5. avatar Montana Actual says:

          I do stuff everyday.

        6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          that makes you inexperienced.

        7. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Yellow snake banner is a bootlicker supposedly ex cop and thin blue weenie licker… you can’t have it both ways. Even with all the “defund” bullshit going on, he was a bootlicker before that. Also, take his dick out your mouth. Only boomers talk about “experience” online. Crawl back in your hole, or his hole… just shut the fuck up and get over the fact your assumptions are just that and always will be. I never claimed to be “experienced” here and never will. Because it’s not relative and even if I was fucking Clint Smith himself, you couple assholes (Ron/Grim, Gadsden, Debbie, tdiinva – oddly enough all thin blue line dick suckers and boomers) would find a way to pick at a scab to make yourselves feel better. Besides, I don’t think I’ve ever even engaged in conversation with you, ever… aside from now. But if you’d rather defend someone being an asshole belittling people for owning a certain rifle, then fuck you too. Add you to the list. Don’t forget to change your name when I get under your skin like the rest of them.

      4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Dave, buy an H&K 91, FN-FAL, M-1 rifle, M-1A, etc. You know, a rifle. If you have to have a 5.56 buy an H&K 93 or a Galil. And at least ten mags for each. That’s my basic load.

        1. avatar Biatec says:

          lmao. You are so funny it’s hard to not believe you are just trolling people. How ever I think these are your actual positions. lool

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          91: 10.9lb.
          fal: 9.5lb (and up).
          m1a: 8.8lb.
          vz58: 6.4lb

        3. avatar jwm says:

          Tsbh. One of the things we liked about our issue m16s was the weight. With a 20 round mag they weighed just about 7 pounds.

          But how many folks now a days carry a plain, unadorned AR? I’m willing to bet the average AR, even the carbine length models, weigh 9 + pounds with all the doo dads hanging off them.

          Might as well carry a 7.62×51.

        4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          for some strange reason i want a heaping tablespoon of something.

        5. avatar strych9 says:

          “But how many folks now a days carry a plain, unadorned AR?”

          A very valid point. It leads to another question though: How many people have a specific application in mind, started from that point and built out the rifle to accomplish that set of goals vs. how many people just stick cool shit on their rifle because someone told them to?

          IMHO, just like a lot of other things this is driven by competition. Just like pistols where instead of actually learning to shoot the platform peoe buy a gun and immediately throw a ton of money at upgrades. Those upgrades are usually geared towards a “race gun” type of build. Lighter triggers, RMRs, etc.

          You see the same thing with rifles. Articles about your “first upgrades”. Gotta have the geissele trigger, change your BCG, betta buffer, new stock, optics, backup optics, grips, etc etc etc.

          Don’t get me wrong, there’s no intrinsic problem with a offset red dot. They’re great for specific circumstances. The problem is that people who will literally never encounter those circumstances are sold the idea that they need all this high speed gear because John Wick, SOF and competition. So they add all this stuff to the rifle, stuff that ends up defeating the initial purpose of the platform and, generally, that they don’t really know how to use. Not so long ago this would be thought of as trying to buy skills rather than building them.

          But if people really do compete, rather than just buy whatever T. Rex Arms is selling, you start to see a divergence in what they do. High speed competitors run entirely different rigs than endurance competitors.

          Just for example, my competition AR weighs in at aboutb 8.9lbs unloaded and usually runs 20 rounds mags. It’s running a tube, canted flip ups, suppressor, sling and a stubby grip. The sling comes off for actual competition. Why? Because she rides in a backpack rifle carrier to be hoofed 20+ miles a day and be shot for ~150-200 rounds at unknown sized targets at unknown ranges out to 500m. I didn’t build that rifle for 3gun or 2gun, I built it as the carbine for two-man marksmanship challenges. It needs to be capable within the defined parameters of that competition.

          I built my long range bolt gun around the same concept because you’re gonna ruck this thing 40-60 miles in two days. Who gives a fuck how nice your 22lb rifle is out to 1000m if you can’t get to the spots to shoot it because you dropped out of the race due to not being able to move your gear the required distance?

          The AR is a great platform in terms of customization for your specific application. But that also gives you the freedom to make mistakes like building out a rifle for an application you don’t really have, which IMHO, is where many people fall down.

          You see the same problem with people getting into all sorts of things. Diving, backpacking and loads of other things. Sure, Divemasters and Rescue divers rock a bunch of knives, tank bangers, slates and a variety of other accessories. How many Open Water divers need most of that shit? Nearly none. How many show up on the boat with it? A bunch.

    2. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

      Gadson,

      I know your a old retired boot but really?

      I don’t know what type of AR/M16’s you have had over the years but I have never had one break on me other letting supposedly “gunsmiths,” tinker with my transfeable and mess it all up.

      The M16-A2 I had in basic , had no bluing left on it, the cleaning compartment was worn shut from being slammed into cement and probably has had more fingers in it and on it than Jenna Jameson. It worked without issue my entire time.

      Additionally there is a reason the patrol rifle of choice for most departments is some flavor of the AR-15 or M4. Its easy to use , light and unless ridiculously abused rather reliable.

      1. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

        strych9,

        I upgraded mine with a Super Select-Fire SOPMOD (SSF®) Trigger and a freaking difference. From sand paper to silky smooth.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          That’s fine but it misses my point. All my current ARs came with and continue to run a match grade two stage trigger which is perfectly fine, far better than milspec. But I’ve shot milspec and other “sandpaper” triggers and never had an issue with it.

          I have literally never encountered any gun that I felt needed a trigger job. Not my Mosins, not my old, beat-to-fuck Mausers, not the nice Mausers, not the Taruses nor the Bersas. From target guns to milsurps and back again, nothing that actually functioned caused me to think it needed a better trigger. A few caused me to think I should get more used to the platform in some cases though. Literally dozens of guns in my safes and not a one has an upgraded trigger or has had a trigger job.

          Why? Probably because growing up in the North woods of the U.P. of Michigan in the 1990’s what you got handed was what you got handed and you either shot it well or you went the fuck home after being made fun of. If it was yours you took damn good care of it because replacing it was probably out of the question.

          The nearest gunsmith was two and a half hours away, so that was reserved for “Oh, shit, it’s broken. Actually broken!”. There wasn’t internet ordering either. Hell, we didn’t even have an actual LGS. We had the K-Mart gun counter and the gun section at a hardware store. Heck no one in the area even sold handguns because there was no market, close to no one had the money. Shit, a new dishwasher or fridge was a four hour drive away, so maintain your shit and learn to fix what’s broke.

          If you wanted to shoot some old man’s .30-06 well then you shot it and you didn’t bitch about a trigger because the idea of an “upgrade” was a foreign concept to us, it literally didn’t cross anyone’s mind. That was just how that gun was. Adapt and overcome or GTFO. Whichever you choose, don’t complain about it, that would be an insult to the owner.

          Where I grew up we didn’t have this kind of “upgrade” culture because even if it was an option very few could afford it and fewer knew it was actually an option. And people who shot could fuckin’ well shoot too because otherwise they didn’t do well during the deer seasons and that meant they went hungry in the winter when hunting was nearly impossible due to the amount of snow we got. A high percentage of kids could hunt pretty proficiently, even on their own, by the time they hit 10-12 years on this earth and could do it for muzzle loader, bow and rifle season. We also were good with knots because fishing. Most could drive by this age too. Even the women and girls could, for the most part, shoot guns and bows quite well and fish too. Better than most full-grown men I see today.

          Necessity is the mother of invention but it’s also the mother of getting the fuck over yourself and getting the job done so you don’t starve when winter hits.

        2. avatar Matthew Newton says:

          So we shouldn’t ever make anything better. Check. I am guessing your standards of accuracy aren’t much then. Because sure so long as it functions it CAN be shot with whatever trigger it has. But an improved trigger will improve its accuracy. Possibly a lot if the gun itself is inherently accurate. There is very little “working on the shooter” you can do if you’ve got a 10# trigger that is gritty, mushy and has no discernable break point. Oh sure, I’d bet you can get that deer season after season in the woods at 40yds. But it might be enough to generate misses at 100 time after time also.

          My SKS both are ones that needed trigger work. Both also because of negative sear engagement making the safety not safe. Some light work with a #600 and 1200 stone and it fixed both the engagement as well as made the trigger significantly smoother and slightly lighter. Allowed me to take it from a 4-5 MOA gun that wasn’t safe off the bench to a 3MOA gun (actually can pull 2MOA groups with the right ammo). Both of my AR’s that were already pretty darned accurate with “enhanced” milspec triggers had LaRue 2-stage triggers swapped on to them. Low and behold I was able to increase my accuracy with both of them having both slightly lighter trigger pulls, but also cleaner breaks, slightly more discernable walls, etc. Off hand accuracy increased by a couple of inches at 100 and bench shooting went from 1.1MOA on my 20″ to .9MOA. My 18″ went from 1MOA to .9MOA.

        3. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

          I think my point might have missed too. First and foremost I am not bragging, but we all have hobbies. Gadson likes to hates AR-15 platforms, I always wanted a transferable AR-15 aka one that has a giggle switch. I couldn’t afford a colt mark and it didn’t matter I ust wanted that 3rd pin hole. So I worked those extra shifts , saved and got it. It came with a standard GI trigger, which felt like sand paper and a bit sloppy in general. Everyone on several NFA boards recommend the Super Select-Fire SOPMOD (SSF®). It was a world’s difference and I definitely saw my groups tighten up with clean semi 2 stage trigger. I see it as putting a nicer set of tires on a truck to get that little extra performance out of a high end system.

  7. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    Excellent article, spot on about the gas rings and proper lubrication.

  8. avatar cgray says:

    70% of Americans support banning AR-15s, including 55% of Republicans.

    That’s the eighth thing every AR-15 owner should know.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      And 99% of those wanting a ban don’t even know what it is.
      And 100% of them can suck my dick because I’m keeping it.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Large majorities have supported a balanced budget since 1980 too. Yet they’ve also told pollsters they want massive increases in spending for whatever they consider to be “important”.

      One of the things to be grateful for is that in the last 50 years we’ve gotten no where near the government we’ve actually paid for.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        You may not have been politically aware at the time, but the Democrats have balance to budget under Bill Clinton:

        “He had budget surpluses for fiscal years 1998-2001, the only such years from 1970-2018. Clinton’s final four budgets were balanced budgets with surpluses, beginning with the 1997 budget. The ratio of debt held by the public to GDP, a primary measure of U.S. federal debt, fell from 47.8% in 1993 to 33.6% by 2000.”

        Of course, George W. Bush blew that up with his war of lies in Iraq, $3 trillion hole in our economy and 4000 dead Americans but that’s another story.

        1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

          Nice story, but sorry to inform you it’s not true. Some people would argue the credit should go to Newt Gingrich. It’s not a republican or Democrat thing to me, they both suck when it comes to fiscal responsibility and it’s really hard to listen to republican claims to the contrary after Reagan, bush, bush, and trump administrations increasing spending.

          I’m here to inform you the last time there was a true “balanced budget*” in the federal government was when Calvin Coolidge was president.

          * balanced budget means expenditures is equal to revenue. You don’t get to make a budget that is more than you have available and claim it is “balanced.” There was no extra money during the Clinton years, they just spent less than they budgeted to spend. They still outspent revenue

        2. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

          http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

          Nice long read about it there.

          You know, props to the Clinton administration and Newt Gingrich for showing some restraint at least. It’s pretty easy to predict increasing federal spending no matter 4 more years of Trump or Biden.

          May the next generations forgive us for severe economic disruption on a scale never seen, selling them into slavery to the Chinese, or both.

        3. avatar neiowa says:

          Ah yes the Klinton and his mythical “peace dividend”/close down DOD. The useless jackass.

        4. avatar doesky2 says:

          Re…Clinton balanced budgets…..

          That accomplishement was due to one simple thing….the dawn of the internet

        5. avatar Ing says:

          Apparently you weren’t politically aware either, Miner, and still aren’t. Those weren’t Clinton’s budgets. Congress sets the budget, not the president — and congress had a Republican majority at the time.

          Not that either Clinton or Congress really deserve much credit; the biggest reason for the balance and the surplus was the economic coincidence of a few boom years combined with high taxes.

        6. avatar strych9 says:

          You may not be aware that, regardless of veracity, what you said here has sweet-fuck-all to do with what I said.

        7. avatar Anymouse says:

          You’re all wrong. The budget never balanced under Clinton/Gingrich. They didn’t have to sell bonds to cover the shortfall. Instead, they were still taking excess FICA taxes (amount more than paying that year as social security/Medica*) and using them as general funds, giving themselves a loan without asking future beneficiaries if it was ok to use their money. Pretty much every budget has done that since FDR, leading to 10s of trillions of unfunded social programs that will rear its head if Covid doesn’t kill off most if the retirees.

    3. avatar Montana Actual says:

      What is the percentage of Americans it took to achieve Independence again? Oh, that’s right… 3. It’s 3%.

      1. avatar Seans says:

        3 percent isn’t even close to being correct. Modern estimates put it low end at 15% to 25% when including military and the Navy, privateers and other forces.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Support goes a long way. I’ve said it before here, that the 3% is the tip of the spear. The ones who pushed captured cannons through mud and muck for 15 miles. The farmers turned grunts.

    4. avatar jwm says:

      And 110% of living Americans wanted hillary clinton for president. And 300% of the dead ones.

      1. avatar RGP says:

        And this November, if there’s an election, 300% of the dead ones will be voting by mail.

      2. avatar Biatec says:

        haha exactly. Now Joe Biden has a 10 point lead too. I know so many leftists here telling me about how Biden is going to beat Trump. A friend told me he will wreck him in the debates.

        It’s really funny how they don’t realize how bad the democrat candidate is. Some do. Enough don’t though.

        Watch some progressive(They are just socialists) youtube channels talk about Trump. It’s the most entertaining stuff ever. They are so out of touch with reality that it is just pure comedy.

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          ” I know so many leftists here telling me about how Biden is going to beat Trump. A friend told me he will wreck him in the debates.”

          My money is on Biden avoiding debating in the first place.

          He can’t risk looking like the incoherent fool he actually is on TV.

          Trump will throw him off-balance and go for the jugular…

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          “He can’t risk looking like the incoherent fool he actually is on TV…

          This is where the political games, IMHO, start.

          First off, this is likely on his advisors. Biden’s probably not coherent enough to realize how incoherent he would look.

          So the real questions revolve around if his advisors can come up with a way to spin skipping the debates.

          I think they can come up with a CoV-2 based reason that the hardcore “orange man bad” crew, regardless of official party, will swallow. However, with about 40% of the country going Independent and 30% of registered Dems expressing concerns about Biden’s mental state I don’t see how any of those excuses get sold to enough people.

          If they manage to sell that a bit I think Trump wins like 2016. If they fail to sell it, which I suspect they do, Trump blows out Biden in the EC and probably wins the popular vote too.

          Either way, the left goes totally bonkers when they lose. That’s been my read for a while and it hasn’t changed but it’s subject to reality to it may alterbi. The future.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          S9. Totally agree with your read. With the added thought that after watching all the shennagins in blue cities this election is likely to take a hard right, law and order, turn.

        4. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “Either way, the left goes totally bonkers when they lose.”

          I kinda hope they do, and make the mistake of trying to loot the wrong neighborhood.

          If you were to tell me a few weeks ago that city police would up and abandon their precincts, I would have told you that you were nuts. Well, holy shit.

          I don’t think the Leftists understand how that was received in flyover country…

        5. avatar strych9 says:

          “I kinda hope they do, and make the mistake of trying to loot the wrong neighborhood.

          If you were to tell me a few weeks ago that city police would up and abandon their precincts, I would have told you that you were nuts. Well, holy shit.”

          I would make three points here in response to you and JWM.

          1) JWM is probably right but I’d suspect it’s more of a “Giuliani” turn as opposed to hard right, but at core you’re absolutely correct: law and order.

          2) “If you were to tell me…” is something I’ve talked about here before. If you were to tell people about WWI a week before Franz Ferdinand’s assassination they’d have told you that you were crazy. Ditto a week after the actual deed. Fredinand just wasn’t that important they’d say, simply an heir presumptive not a head of state or anything. Yeah, well 30 days after the killing they’d think you were a clairvoyant. History often turns on what we perceive at the time as small shit. It’s only once it’s in the rear-view that we fully appreciate how it all went down. George Floyd’s murder is the same kind of deal.

          3) With regards to looting the wrong neighborhood I think you ask too much. I agree that it would be a bloodbath for them which is why it has not and will not happen. Generally I think these folks (looters and rioters, not actual protesters) break down into two broad groups: Political and simply criminal.

          Criminals are not stupid enough to get shot like this. The ones running the streets are actually pretty damn smart all things considered (the dumb ones being dead or locked up already). For them this is a business. They stick where profits are high and risk is low just like any other businessperson. The risk of outright looting in suburbs where 1) people will face-shoot first and ask questions second and 2) cops are generally still operating much as before is just too high a risk for the reward of coming in openly in these kind of numbers. Such criminals strike occasionally in such areas but they do so in ways designed to minimize risk, which standing next to a guy lighting a Molotov in the middle of a street full of citizens who will use #1 isn’t a good risk mitigation strategy and they know it.

          The political folks avoid those areas for the same general reason but also for another one: Scaring Karen from a distance leaves them the possibility of getting her on their side. Showing up at Karen’s house and looting it is, from that point of view, counter-productive. “Defund the police” is something Sally Soccermom and Dadbod Dave can support as long as it’s not their police department and particularly not their department while Chris Criminal is running around lighting shit on fire right outside the Sally and Dave’s house.

      3. avatar Montana Actual says:

        lol. legit estimate.

    5. avatar Ron says:

      You also just made that statistic up.

      The AR is America’s most popular rifle.

      Deal with it.

      1. avatar Montana Actual says:

        Uh oh.. someone insulted the beloved party that boomers believe support their right to own guns… watch out everyone, Ron has some old battle hand to hand tactics he’d like to exchange with you. Give em the ol 1,2 there ron… you go girl!

        1. avatar Ron says:

          I like that I’ve enraged you to the point where when, even when we are both on essentially the same side in a debate, you still feel the need to fight me.

          I’ve certainly done a number on your psyche.

        2. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Enraged? I recall telling you I don’t give a fuck where you stand, since you made it personal, I will never be “on your side”. You brought it to that level and if you can’t handle it, quit replying. Like you said you would thousands of replies ago. Also, you’ve done the same to me that you criticize me of multiple times, you are just to fucking dumb to remember it happened. Senile old redneck.

        3. avatar Ron says:

          So wait a minute… your telling me, whatever I say I stand for? You will automatically be against? Alright… then I am now:

          Anti cop. Therefore you must now be pro cop.

          Anti confederate flag. Therefore you must now love the rebel flag.

          Anti Trump. Now you must love Trump.

          Glad to see your positions evolve.

        4. avatar Montana Actual says:

          This isn’t the fucking opposite game you child molesting fool. I said YOU specifically. I don’t care what we ever have in common, YOU can specifically go fuck yourself. Grow up boomer. Get with the times. At least you admit how FULLY biased you are on three things, and still have no full comprehension where I stand on two of them. Just because you are a bootlicker does not mean I don’t see a positive side to policing, I simply don’t worship them and know why they actually exist. Just because I think Trump is a baboon, does not mean I don’t lean right. Just because I think you are a redneck closet hiding racist, does not mean I don’t understand a “southern lifestyle”. It’s just YOU. Now go take a walk down central park you fucking “yankee” NY resident. Cool your jets, wannabe gun owner.

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    As when this was published before, “combat reload” is way too high on the list.

  10. avatar Montana Actual says:

    Look at all the fudd’s and their “Sell that AR” advice. Suck a dick, a wooden one. Never would have guessed Gadsden was a FUDD /s

    1. avatar Brokeback mountain in Montana says:

      You’re a gay fascist, get over it.

      1. avatar Montana Actual says:

        You wanna come camping? Might turn into a Paul Harrell camping trip tho…

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          So it’s gonna get all late 80’s to mid 90’s retro, involve a lot of calm, thorough explanations with a mild speech impediment and end up killing some 2 liters of brightly colored sugar water?

          That’s actually far more terrifying than any movie.

        2. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Lots of hand movements, pun intended.

          Just out of curiosity, and I suspect you have, were you tracking that paul had a DGU while “camping”? Back when he had his mutton chops and was a way from YT for a couple years or so, then came back as we know him now.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          Actually this didn’t occur to me. I was thinking more like Robert Norman Ross but with guns.

          You know, the kind of guy who seems overly nice to the point that you wonder how many bodies he has under the floorboards type of thing.

  11. avatar jakee308 says:

    Got news for you. If you try that reload position in a lot of indoor ranges I go to, you’ll get called down for pointing at the ceiling.

    That can damage the target rail, ricochet and hit a patron or damage the roof.

    It’s a stone no-no.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Don’t play indoors with the little kids.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        Many outdoor ranges frown at pointing rifles over the berm.

  12. avatar Miner49er says:

    Something that wasn’t mentioned, but was drilled into us, stagger the gaps on the gas rings when reinstalling or cleaning.

    The gaps should be at 120° intervals, to maintain seal.

    1. avatar Seans says:

      The idea that you need to stagger your gas rings is a myth. It doesn’t matter.

    2. avatar Red in CO says:

      You realize they’re gonna move quite a bit every time the action cycles don’t you? Their relative positions to each other are gonna change all the time, therefore it’s completely irrelevant how you rotate them during installation

    3. avatar Captain Insano says:

      Hogwash. I’ve seen a video where only one gas ring was used and the rifle fired perfectly.

  13. avatar enuf says:

    I own two AR-15’s. One is an experiment in light weight, being first a Bushmaster Carbon 15 polymer upper and lower. The other was simply a cheap build, mostly Yankee Hill Machine components.

    Mostly I shoot the Bushmaster.

    Why?

    Because I enjoy it and it is fun. I never expect to need it in any fall of civilization sort of scenario.

    So why own a pile of magazines from multiple brands?

    Same reason I read banned books or watch banned movies. Because somebody says I should not while I can plainly see I am doing no harm to any person.

    Besides, I don’t want to be wasting my shooting time loading magazines when I’m out someplace. So I take along a bunch already loaded. Same deal with pistols.

    I think at this point I’d like to turn the YHM AR into cash, and put the cash toward an AR-10. Something intended for longer range than my eyes can do without a good scope and tripod. Maybe go coyote whacking with it.

    Strictly for the fun times of it all.

    And that’s good advice on checking the gas checks.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      An AR-10 for coyote “whacking”?

      Dude, that’s not whacking, that’s coyote smashing.

      1. avatar Chi-Chi Montezuma says:

        Yotes need smashing 🤷🏻‍♂️

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          “What’s that?”

          “It’s my long-range yote pâté maker”

          “Seems to be effective”

      2. avatar enuf says:

        A fellow I know is partial to the Browning BAR’s. Say in .300 Win Mag or .338. He enjoys telling the tale of hitting a coyote in the shoulder from a goodly distance. Small entry hole, not much coyote remaining opposite.

        Sort of a ‘yote explosion it was …

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          .300 Win Mag? Christ, just use a disruptor at that point.

      3. avatar Turnip says:

        I use 50bmg on squirrels

    2. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      I just got to hold and shoot my first carbon 15 on Friday. I wasn’t even aware it was anything but a bushmaster AR but after a few 93 degree high humidity days, that is THE rifle I would want to have to carry if I was walking during the big luau.

      Me and my Covid beer pooch have to respectfully disagree with Gadsden flag when it comes to this.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        When I first picked it up at the local FFL we all hefted the thing. Could not believe how light weight the thing is. You’d think you were holding a kid’s first single shot .22. I’ve added very little weight to it. My old EOTech 511. A quad rail handgrip because it’s what I could afford at the time, but a lighter weight one more along the lines I want only cuts 6 ounces. Magpul folding back-up sites which are zeroed with the EOTech, all at 50 yards. Butt stock is a Magpul ACS-L, so it holds spare battery for the EOTech.

        It is so very light adding anything at all is noticeable.

      2. avatar Montana Actual says:

        Most people disagree with him on a lot more than just AR’s. He hates me cuz his wife loves me.

  14. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Mainly a Mini14 guy but have no problem with ARs (I do have an obsessive fear for a double feed).

    That said, I see no need point the barrel to the heavens on an AR to change mags. I always had good success with a “low ready”-ish position to swap sticks. YMMV.

    But how in the world do expect to survive using a safety.?! There is a 2000% chance you’ll be double dead using the safety. You’ll be killed once for having it on and then killed again forgetting to switch it off. Humans can’t possibly operate levers in stressful situations.
    Safeties on firearms should be illegal. If Glock made an AR, they’d show you how its done.

  15. avatar Hoodlum says:

    Sorry but I hate shooting ARs. I guess it’s due to being a left handed shooter.

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      Yea that’ll do it. You can buy lefties though. At least now days there is a big push for ambidextrous shooty devices.

  16. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Baitec, not a troll. Bought my first H&K 91 when I was in the army. 1982. My first Galil .223 in 1989. Owned several ARs in the meantime. Issues lots of M-16s. Until 2014 .They sucked!

  17. avatar Captain Insano says:

    Did anybody notice in the referenced NBC article that the author mentioned “the AR-15 and its semiautomatic cousins?”

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      Yes. Nothing to see here…

  18. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    The AR is just fine for what it is, a shoulder fired, semiautomatic, air cooled weapon. Mine is zeroed at 25m. Why? Because that is how I learned. It works for me, it is how my muscle memory works and changing it now would be less accurate since I have done it that way since Infantry School with my A1then later with the A2.

    My issued weapons never failed me in peace or war. I did the maintenance it required and treated it like the tool it was. I chose an AR after I retired because it was a familiar weapon to me.

    I have several firearms that are purpose driven. Each has a use specific to the task at hand. My AR would suck for squirrels or coon hunting, but my .22 is just fine. My .22 would suck to fight off multiple intruders, yet my AR would be handy. So would my handguns, but the 30 rounds my AR holds along with the bayonet feels much more comforting. Never heard anyone say they wish they brought less capacity to a fight.

    Do I expect the need to fight multiple foes? No. Neither do I expect a house or vehicle fire, yet I have fire extinguishers.

    What ever weapon you are comfortable with is your best option. Just train like how you will fight with it, because you will fight how you trained.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      Excellent advice.

      And you did all that without insulting anyone or sounding like a four-year-old.

      1. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

        No need to belittle anothers firearm choice. We are all in the same fight, we need to appreciate our differences and try to learn from each other.

        1. avatar 9x39 says:

          You should probably know, that’s a Quisling you’re replying to. Not on the potg side, at all.

  19. avatar dwb says:

    “We use it because we don’t have rules of engagement. We have the 4th Amendment and Supreme Court Decisions to follow”

    well, I would call the constitution and law “rules of engagement”. Perhaps simply take out the word “dont”

  20. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    The article was for beginners and a good one to try and help them progress.
    The comments here are extremely telling of who shoots, hunts and has actually done.

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      This. Honestly don’t understand why anyone would knock the AR platform.

      1. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

        There are two main camps of people who do not like the AR platform. Those who had bad experiences with them, usually due to bad maintenance practices of the user, armor or both and those who have heard of these issues.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          It’s really strange how when you take care of your tools they tend to take care of you.

  21. avatar Someone says:

    “With the bolt extended, it’s simulating a round chambered in battery.”
    Are you sure about that, mr. gunsmith?

  22. avatar Ben G says:

    Black shirt, black gun, black sling, black mags. Maybe if you wore black gloves and did the drills in the dark….

  23. avatar JStarX7 says:

    *Pages and pages of boys flogging egos over the type of rifle they do or do not like*

    Actual amount of shit anybody gives over your online opinion **

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      While I agree… you did read and care enough to comment about it… Just sayin.

  24. avatar Ron says:

    ….You realize I’m actually arguing on “your side” in this one, right? I know reading comprehension isn’t your strong point.

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      Wave that white flag and stand up from your cover, I dare you.

  25. avatar EpsteinDidNOTKillHimself says:

    Some people like Fords, others like Chevys.
    Some like IPAs, others prefer Stouts.
    If you pick up a rifle of any kind, you dont like the way it feels, it points, or enjoy shooting it, then dont buy it.
    Buy something that not only you can shoot well, and enjoy shooting, but puts that smile upon your face.
    Back in the day, I used to run a NM M1A in NRA High Power. That rifle put a smile on my face.
    That is just me.
    To each their own.

  26. avatar AR15_dude says:

    This article is under “Training & Techniques” so I have a technique comment.

    Why is the muzzle pointed skyward during reloading in the photo?

    If one is training to fight, at all times the muzzle should be pointed at the target. Even while reloading, there should be a round in the chamber, so the weapon is still effective. Same for rifle or pistol.

    A few key concepts I’ve found worthwhile:
    “Train like you fight” – avoid game-like behavior such as reloading with the muzzle pointed at the moon
    “Stay in the fight” – practice as if its a two way range, and keep the weapon pointed at the threat
    “Avoid operator induced malfunctions” – if you shoot your weapon to slide lock (empty), you have created a malfunction.
    “Reload because you can, not because you have to” – see operator induced malfunction comment.

  27. avatar Hugh Glass says:

    You forgot to include “always say ‘run’ when you mean ‘shoot’ or ‘use’ or some other more appropriate verb, whether you’re talking about ammo, sling, trigger, optic, sunglasses or whatever. Makes you sound very tactical, shows you’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos, and distinguishes you from the dreaded Fudds.

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