Forward Assist?

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Georgezilla
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Postby Georgezilla » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:40 am

More of a question of practicality for me as opposed to cost savings on an upper receiver. I suppose that in the end, the forward assist was added to the design because the platform doesn't have a reciprocating charging handle (which in it's current location, would be bad:shock:). I think I'd rather it just have a side mounted reciprocating charging handle, no forward assist. I guess that is the trend now.

greener

Postby greener » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:52 am

Georgezilla wrote:More of a question of practicality for me as opposed to cost savings on an upper receiver. I suppose that in the end, the forward assist was added to the design because the platform doesn't have a reciprocating charging handle (which in it's current location, would be bad:shock:). I think I'd rather it just have a side mounted reciprocating charging handle, no forward assist. I guess that is the trend now.

The forward assist was added to the M16A1 because the Army was concerned about cartridge seating due to fouling or corrosion. The Army insisted on using ball powder which caused a lot of fouling.

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Postby charlesb » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:48 am

I used the forward assist on my AR one time, to seat a cartridge which was reluctant to chamber. I don't know how much extra the forward assist cost me, but in any case I was glad that it was there.

That happened at the shooting range. If I were out hunting though, I can see where a shell that doesn't want to chamber could make or break the whole outing.

How ever much extra it is, I won't complain.

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Postby Hakaman » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:25 pm

I used the forward assist on my AR one time, to seat a cartridge which was reluctant to chamber

Maybe in the heat of battle I would use the 'forward assist', but if while shooting at the range
a round wouldn't chamber, guess what, it's coming back out. Why chance a dysfunctional
round with trying to fire it? Get that #^@& out of there and move to the next round. The reason
I would like to have the FA is because it's standard on most AR's.
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Postby bgreenea3 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:14 pm

Although its not needed, the cool factor of a side charging handle on an AR is big. I know there are a couple companies making them, JP comes to mind. JP's are NON reciprocating and on the left side and look wicked cool.
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Postby Georgezilla » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:02 pm

greener wrote:The forward assist was added to the M16A1 because the Army was concerned about cartridge seating due to fouling or corrosion. The Army insisted on using ball powder which caused a lot of fouling.


Generally speaking, is ball powder still used in 5.56mm/.223 Rem?

My knowledge is limited to pistol cartridges.

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Postby greener » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:43 am

I believe the military powder still is ball powder and the closest commercially available is thought to be Hodgdon H335.

The rifle supposedly was designed using a powder other than ball. DOD spec'd the ammunition as ball after accepting the rifle. Ball powder was attributed to the fouling problem the rifle had early in use in Viet Nam.

You can reload with any powder. From what I've been reading, every one is the best one out there and the worst one out there. :lol:

On whether it is needed on civilian semiautomatics the question is how many rounds do you have to fire before fouling requires an assist to seat the bolt? If you get that much fouling, you probably need to clean the rifle anyway and you are not getting shot at while you stop and clean your rifle.

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Postby bearandoldman » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:56 am

greener wrote:I believe the military powder still is ball powder and the closest commercially available is thought to be Hodgdon H335.

The rifle supposedly was designed using a powder other than ball. DOD spec'd the ammunition as ball after accepting the rifle. Ball powder was attributed to the fouling problem the rifle had early in use in Viet Nam.

You can reload with any powder. From what I've been reading, every one is the best one out there and the worst one out there. :lol:

On whether it is needed on civilian semiautomatics the question is how many rounds do you have to fire before fouling requires an assist to seat the bolt? If you get that much fouling, you probably need to clean the rifle anyway and you are not getting shot at while you stop and clean your rifle.

Been using Accurate 2230, a ery fine ball powder with a 55 grain bullet with good accurace, but this is in a Savage 26 inch heavy stainless barrel bolt gun.
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Postby Bullseye » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:39 am

Ball powder is still used in 5.56 ammo but it is a cleaner formula mixture with a much lower percentage content of calcium carbonate. WC-844 and WC-845 are the designations of today's ball powders. Originally the AR-15 rifle was designed for IMR (Improved Military Rifle) powder which is extruded rather than ball powder. The top brass in the Defense Dept. decided it was more cost efficient to use recycled surplus WWII ball powder in the cartridges. The formula had a 1% to 2% content of calcium carbonate which was used to help stabilize the acids and nitrates to prolong the life of the powder. It worked fine in the weapons of the time M-1's and M-14's but the gas system of the AR didn't take well to the left over build up fouling from the ball ammunition. This compounded by other cost cutting measures concerning the adoption of the M-16 as a battle rifle cause a lot of problems in the field. Today's cartridges burn much cleaner as the calcium carbonate content levels are are around 0.25%. Hogdon H335 is most similar ball powder to the current formulas used in today's cartridges. Most folks are not firing the volume of rounds necessary to conduct combat operations and range use ordinarily doesn't require the same levels of maintenance and reliability.

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Postby bgreenea3 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:37 pm

The Other thing they did to midigate the fouling problem was to crome line the chamber and bore, IRRC.
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Postby Hakaman » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:48 pm

I have a chromed bolt carrier assembly. I was wondering if anyone else had
this done to theirs?
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Postby greener » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:44 pm

They went to a stainless bolt so that the soldier could better see how dirty the gun was and clean it better. Mr. Macnamarra was not a positive addition to the Defense Department.

The AR platform turned out to be an extremely versatile rifle. It replaced a .308 platform that was good out to 600 yards and had freat stopping power with a .22 cal that was good out to 200 yards. It allowed the infantryman to carry more rounds and gave the squad technically more fire power. The trouble was that it had technical problems and went up against the best combat rifle made.

I didn't like the M16 for a number of reasons, but like the DPMS I now have. It has no stainless parts that I recall. I don't think they are important unless you shoot a larger number of rounds.

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Postby bgreenea3 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:17 am

I had issued to me for several years, before i raided the armory for a carbine, a M16a1 that the dept took the fun switch out of and replaced the triangle forearm with a round one. The BCG was Phosphate coated I believe. it shot just fine for a surplus Vietnam era rifle.

never had a jam with it
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Postby charlesb » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:35 am

Hakaman wrote:
I used the forward assist on my AR one time, to seat a cartridge which was reluctant to chamber

Maybe in the heat of battle I would use the 'forward assist', but if while shooting at the range
a round wouldn't chamber, guess what, it's coming back out. Why chance a dysfunctional
round with trying to fire it? Get that #^@& out of there and move to the next round. The reason
I would like to have the FA is because it's standard on most AR's.
Haka


I doubt that any serious malfunction or problem with a cartridge could be addressed with a palm striking a forward assist.

It is there to help out when a cartridge fails to feed properly, perhaps due to powder residue build-up within the action, a common difficulty experienced with the design. In that case, a little help will get it on into the chamber so it can fire, perhaps blowing out some of the offending residue.

In my case, the forward assist was used as intended. After the assist, the rest of the magazine fed and fired just fine.

That's what it's there for, and that's why you seldom if ever see a forward assist on a piston-driven design, which will not blow powder residue and combustion byproducts back into the action with every shot fired.

greener

Postby greener » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

charlesb wrote:
Hakaman wrote:
I used the forward assist on my AR one time, to seat a cartridge which was reluctant to chamber

Maybe in the heat of battle I would use the 'forward assist', but if while shooting at the range
a round wouldn't chamber, guess what, it's coming back out. Why chance a dysfunctional
round with trying to fire it? Get that #^@& out of there and move to the next round. The reason
I would like to have the FA is because it's standard on most AR's.
Haka


I doubt that any serious malfunction or problem with a cartridge could be addressed with a palm striking a forward assist.

It is there to help out when a cartridge fails to feed properly, perhaps due to powder residue build-up within the action, a common difficulty experienced with the design. In that case, a little help will get it on into the chamber so it can fire, perhaps blowing out some of the offending residue.

In my case, the forward assist was used as intended. After the assist, the rest of the magazine fed and fired just fine.


I don't think you would have any more problems with the AR platform than you would with any other rifle. I don't have any plans to crawl through the mud or sand for extended periods and fire high volumes of ammunition with dirty powder. If I have a malfunction I'll find a way, at my leisure, to remove the round.


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