SLR15 Rifles AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 ARMORING COURSE
When: February 26-27, 2018
Where: Rapid City, South Dakota
We conducted a 2-day (16-hour) AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 Armorer Course in Rapid City, South Dakota. This course was hosted by the Pennington County Sheriff's Dept. We have taught several armorer courses at this location, and look forward to more in the near future. The training room offered plenty of table space, decent lighting, and a screen that we were able to project animated graphics of the weapons system, powerpoint detailed pics of gun parts, and especially when looking at finer detail things like machining, stress cracks & wear. The student base all Law Enforcement from South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, and Minnesota.
Rifles represented in this course were many, to include Colt, Daniel Defense, SLR15, LWRC, Sig, BCM, Bushmaster, Ruger, DPMS, and a few custom builds.
Day-1 started with going through the course manual that all students are given. Students were supplied with their own set of basic tools that are necessary to do 95% of the work on their rifles (short of restocking and rebarreling, of which wrenches and sometimes fixtures are necessary), Slip2000 "EWL" Extreme Weapons Lubricant and #725 Cleaner Degreaser, etc. A short session of nomenclature was covered, at which time covered every feature and exterior piece of the rifle to include all the hidden design features that most people are not aware of, and everyone prepped the rifles for disassembly work. Everyone was taught the procedure series of checks that we recommend.
Everyone was taught our recommended way to field strip a rifle, and whey we do it this way so as not to cause damage, premature wear or stress on anything. We covered maintenance of where and what to clean, and what needs lubrication to keep it running. We showed why not to use the firing pins as tools. We showed everyone our recommendation of how to remove fouling and why, and everyone got to use our methods.
The entire bolt carrier assembly was covered, to include inspections, ejection system, extraction system, firing pin assemblies, maintenance, upgrades, 3 types of gas rings, and differences in finishing and machining. There were several bolt carriers present that had gas keys that needed to be staked better, of which we supplied several of the different MOACKS tools and Sully Gas Key Staker, all were put to good use. Everyone was introduced to the different types of gas rings. We went through what each types does, and their proper installation order.
Note: One Officers Colt 6920 had a broken ejector spring (3 pieces), it was replaced with a new one.
Note: Another Officers DPMS M4 type rifle had some type of a custom front pivot pin, which I have never seen before, which was a 2-piece design made out of stainless that required a punch be pushed inside the hollow pin side, and push on an internal release in order to separate the pin into two pieces to remove it, then you could separate the receivers.
After lunch we covered the lower receiver assembly. Everyone had in this class had collapsible stocks, and we showed the proper mounting & gauging, and made sure everything was properly staked. The lower receivers were disassembled. We went through the fire control group, to include detailed inspections of all the sear engagement surfaces, spring types, single stage, and two stage trigger systems. The end of the day was spent with going through in great detail the eight cycles of fire, proper timing, .223 vs 5.56, different gas systems, etc
Day-2 started with a review of everything that was covered on day-1, with some greater details and myths covered. We then got into a session on the timing as it pertains to proper cycling, and showed what effects timing, and how & what happens when it is out or proper time, dwell time, suppressor issues, etc.
Everyone stripped their lower receivers, which allowed a chance for further inspections, and we went through a session on troubleshooting. We showed examples of good & bad machining on parts, and how this effects the entire rifle. Lastly we went through full-auto, burst, and illegal street conversions. Once everyone was comfortable with the entire lower receiver assembly, the were put back together, inspected, and made sure everything is in proper working order.
The last half of day-2 was spent on the upper receiver assembly. This class consisted of all gas impingement rifles, as there were no piston systems. We covered the piston systems for future reference in case one were to cross their path. We covered barrel removal, mounting, gauging & inspections. Everyone was allowed to rebarrel their rifles or make adjustments. Everything was gauged, and we had several rifles and were improperly mounted. This improper mounting was causing premature wear & stress, of which these rifles were fixed before they left the class. When inspecting barrels that had been removed, none of them had been put together to the Milspec from the manufacturer. Every barrel that was pulled, was remounted to Milspec, torqued, and properly indexed.
Once all the rifles were put back together, everything was inspected and gauged to make sure it was in proper working order. Everyone did chamber inspections, checked & gauged the four gas seals, firing pin protrusion, trigger press, and headspace.
Here is a brief overview of a few things that were covered:
History of the Weapon
Cycles of Function
General Disassembly & Assembly
Identification of Common Problems and Parts
Identification of Group Components
Semi, Burst, and Full Auto Parts and Conversions
Complete Armoring Disassembly / Assembly
Cleaning and Maintenance
Sight and Distance Considerations
Barrel: Twist, Length, and Profiles
Parts Interchangability, including Brands
Firing Pin Protrusion
Chamber Inspection and Issues
Troubleshooting, diagnosis & repair
Gauging, Inspections, Stress & Interval Issues
Accessories and Customizing
Tool Options and Selection
SOP/MOD Accessories and Additions