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My Army JROTC instructor in HS, Major Popov, circa 1974, was retired Green Beret.  He told us a story once of being in the middle of a fight and buttstroking a VC pretty hard with his M16.  Hard enough that it slightly bent the receiver extension, but enough to prevent the BCG from cycling.  So he got one shot, had to discard it and pick up an M1 Carbine from one of his dead Hmong and continue the fight.

During a live-fire exercise, I watched Snuffie move and shot and then struggle to continue to fire as he continued to move; the AI just trailed him, encouraging him to "make it work".  Snuffie ejected a round and chambered new, striking the FA vigorously; I watched him do this several times but still now bang with his trigger yank.  I followed up, picking up the ejected rounds and noticed the first had the bullet set back quite a bit, the second only about half of that, and the third was only set back a little.  I yelled for a cease fire just as Snuffie started another trigger yank.  Snuffie hadn't noticed a squib during the excitement of the exercise and the primer had lodged the FMJ into the leade of the rifling.  Snuffie's energetic immediate action drills had pounded that bullet forward until he finally succeeded with his fourth attempt in getting a round chambered, locked in battery.  But, luck was with him that day.

I watched basically the same scene replicated several years later but I was a little quicker on the uptake this time and Snuffie was only pounding on his second IAD when I interrupted him.  I don't have much use for the forward assist.  As has been stated throughout this thread, there is really nothing good that gets forced into a chamber.

To add a bit more to the story, I was on point and we had run upon this NVA hospital, it was raining so they didn't hear us. My CO asked me if I would like to see how many I could shoot, and that he would have the company back me up.  I was able to get into the center and get 1 round off before the jam.  Don't know if it hit anyone, since it caused a startle response with me and them.  One of those "oh shit" times, stressful as I looked around for cover then seen an AK and picked that up to use.  To my CO's credit he let me use that until I got my M16 back.( They were marked XM16E1 at the time)   Those kind of things make or break trust in a weapon.   At the time I was with the 1st Cav Div,  B Co, 2nd Airborne Battalion 8th Cavalry.   (And yes the Cav did have Airborne units, when we went over the 1st Brigade was entirely on jump status until Sept 1966, not to many folks know that.)   Yes I am old, but it is important to stay in shape and observe your surroundings.

As useless and Buffoni's design changes to the receiver itself. Carryover from the M1 manual of arms:

"He releases the operating rod handle. He then pushes forward on the operating rod handle with the heel of his right hand to make certain of complete closing of the bolt and carries his right hand to the small of the stock."

Good practice on an M1 due to bolt design. Just the other side of worthless on an M16/M4.

556223 posted:

During a live-fire exercise, I watched Snuffie move and shot and then struggle to continue to fire as he continued to move; the AI just trailed him, encouraging him to "make it work".  Snuffie ejected a round and chambered new, striking the FA vigorously; I watched him do this several times but still now bang with his trigger yank.  I followed up, picking up the ejected rounds and noticed the first had the bullet set back quite a bit, the second only about half of that, and the third was only set back a little.  I yelled for a cease fire just as Snuffie started another trigger yank.  Snuffie hadn't noticed a squib during the excitement of the exercise and the primer had lodged the FMJ into the leade of the rifling.  Snuffie's energetic immediate action drills had pounded that bullet forward until he finally succeeded with his fourth attempt in getting a round chambered, locked in battery.  But, luck was with him that day.

I watched basically the same scene replicated several years later but I was a little quicker on the uptake this time and Snuffie was only pounding on his second IAD when I interrupted him.  I don't have much use for the forward assist.  As has been stated throughout this thread, there is really nothing good that gets forced into a chamber.

Some idiot misusing the FA is not cause for its non existence. Just about anyone who has fought in desert environments us used the FA to get bolt fully seated at some point. 

275RLTW posted:
556223 posted:I

During a live-fire exercise, I watched Snuffie move and shot and then struggle to continue to fire as he continued to move; the AI just trailed him, encouraging him to "make it work".  Snuffie ejected a round and chambered new, striking the FA vigorously; I watched him do this several times but still now bang with his trigger yank.  I followed up, picking up the ejected rounds and noticed the first had the bullet set back quite a bit, the second only about half of that, and the third was only set back a little.  I yelled for a cease fire just as Snuffie started another trigger yank.  Snuffie hadn't noticed a squib during the excitement of the exercise and the primer had lodged the FMJ into the leade of the rifling.  Snuffie's energetic immediate action drills had pounded that bullet forward until he finally succeeded with his fourth attempt in getting a round chambered, locked in battery.  But, luck was with him that day.

I watched basically the same scene replicated several years later but I was a little quicker on the uptake this time and Snuffie was only pounding on his second IAD when I interrupted him.  I don't have much use for the forward assist.  As has been stated throughout this thread, there is really nothing good that gets forced into a chamber.

Some idiot misusing the FA is not cause for its non existence.  I agree with you.  What an idiot can do should not dictate a thinking person's choices and uses.  Using it in what many call an idiotic manner, i.e. forcing a cartridge into the chamber (and creating a major malfunction) was the Army doctrine when the FA was adopted.  This is a hijack, but it seems pretty obvious that the lack of a forward assist and subsequent adoption of one was the scapegoat to distract attention that McNamara, and the Army deviated from the proven design by changing the powder, which affected the cyclic rate, pressure curves and fouling.  The chamber and bore weren't chromed originally, so McNamara said it wasn't necessary to spend the extra money and do it. 

Just about anyone who has fought in desert environments us used the FA to get bolt fully seated at some point.  I don't have that experience, so I can't agree or disagree. 

However.  The objective questions are these.  1)  Does the mechanical failure, i.e. parts breakage and the issues that causes, outweigh the usefulness in the conditions you note?  2)  Is there a practical alternative that allows you to close the bolt completely when all it takes is a little bit of force, without the forward assist?  As some have said, possibly some serrations in the front part of the divot in the bolt carrier to make it easier to just push on it with the thumb.  Though you've got to be careful that doesn't interfere with camming the ejection port cover open.  If everything good that is done with the FA can still be done without it, it isn't necessary, and eliminates the potential for idiotic misuse.  Then history can record it as the system's version of the appendix.  An unnecessary, vestigial part, that when it goes wrong, can kill you.

Dorsai posted:
275RLTW posted:
556223 posted:I

During a live-fire exercise, I watched Snuffie move and shot and then struggle to continue to fire as he continued to move; the AI just trailed him, encouraging him to "make it work".  Snuffie ejected a round and chambered new, striking the FA vigorously; I watched him do this several times but still now bang with his trigger yank.  I followed up, picking up the ejected rounds and noticed the first had the bullet set back quite a bit, the second only about half of that, and the third was only set back a little.  I yelled for a cease fire just as Snuffie started another trigger yank.  Snuffie hadn't noticed a squib during the excitement of the exercise and the primer had lodged the FMJ into the leade of the rifling.  Snuffie's energetic immediate action drills had pounded that bullet forward until he finally succeeded with his fourth attempt in getting a round chambered, locked in battery.  But, luck was with him that day.

I watched basically the same scene replicated several years later but I was a little quicker on the uptake this time and Snuffie was only pounding on his second IAD when I interrupted him.  I don't have much use for the forward assist.  As has been stated throughout this thread, there is really nothing good that gets forced into a chamber.

Some idiot misusing the FA is not cause for its non existence.  I agree with you.  What an idiot can do should not dictate a thinking person's choices and uses.  Using it in what many call an idiotic manner, i.e. forcing a cartridge into the chamber (and creating a major malfunction) was the Army doctrine when the FA was adopted.  This is a hijack, but it seems pretty obvious that the lack of a forward assist and subsequent adoption of one was the scapegoat to distract attention that McNamara, and the Army deviated from the proven design by changing the powder, which affected the cyclic rate, pressure curves and fouling.  The chamber and bore weren't chromed originally, so McNamara said it wasn't necessary to spend the extra money and do it. 

Just about anyone who has fought in desert environments us used the FA to get bolt fully seated at some point.  I don't have that experience, so I can't agree or disagree. 

However.  The objective questions are these.  1)  Does the mechanical failure, i.e. parts breakage and the issues that causes, outweigh the usefulness in the conditions you note?  2)  Is there a practical alternative that allows you to close the bolt completely when all it takes is a little bit of force, without the forward assist?  As some have said, possibly some serrations in the front part of the divot in the bolt carrier to make it easier to just push on it with the thumb.  Though you've got to be careful that doesn't interfere with camming the ejection port cover open.  If everything good that is done with the FA can still be done without it, it isn't necessary, and eliminates the potential for idiotic misuse.  Then history can record it as the system's version of the appendix.  An unnecessary, vestigial part, that when it goes wrong, can kill you.

To answer your questions-

1) failure of a FA is so infrequent that it’s practically unheard of and statistically improbable, especially compared to the other components which take much more abuse. 
2) fingers cannot apply enough pressure alone, not to mention difficulties when the bolt is hot from firing, gloves are worn, or just physically weak shooters. Adding something onto the bolt carrier is not likely for a multitude of reasons as well. This leaves the only option as the FA. So, no. I don’t see a better solution. 

RyanScott posted:

Are hundreds of thousands of rounds insufficient to have an opinion or does one need millions?

It’s not the number of rounds that determines the experience (and “hundreds of thousands” isn’t that much anyways.  That’s about a years worth in any SOF unit). It’s your lack of varied conditions that makes you inexperienced. 

You’re a construction worker so sill try to put it in your terms:

If you were looking for advice and a nail gun for framing, to be used by a full time framer, year round in all weather conditions, would you consider the guy who builds a few cabinets in his garage experienced enough to give valuable feedback on the item you are inquiring about?  Especially if he started talking g about “silent chambering”?!?!

probably not.  That’s your lack of experience. 

275RLTW posted:


1) why would you “quietly chamber?”  That that video game BS elsewhere. 

As the commercial says, AR's aren't just for breakfast, uh, I mean military anymore..  We all have them for different purposes.

My experience isn't a splinter off of most people's here but I see a value from not broadcasting my presence by letting the bolt slam home.

Coming up to a perimeter, exiting the vehicle on a call, entering a building to clear it and I feel better  quietly chambering a round, just like not talking, slamming the car door or shining the flashlight on everything.

The same holds true for home use. I don't want to tip off an uninvited guest in my home where I am and that I'm ready and waiting.   Nor do I want to broadcast to every critter within hearing that it is time to leave when going hot for the morning.

Now if they could just come up with a way of chambering a shotgun without the sound of the shell slamming back to the lifter.

Just remembered some guys won't put their full bio in their publicaly accessable profile page. Also it not so much of what someone says, but how they say it. Let's not frag each other as there's enough of that crap outside. 

Astronomy brought up clearing the BBL after coming ashore from water born ops,he used the FA to ensure it was fully onto battery, I was taught to use the cutout on the BCG to do the same thing. Why? Because it was quite and it worked.

I live/lived/worked in desert environments from moon dust to talcum powder to sugar sand and I still use the cut out vs the FA.  The M4/M-16/AR FoW is like a woman, wanna run it hard, keep it wet.

stray round posted:
275RLTW posted:


1) why would you “quietly chamber?”  That that video game BS elsewhere. 

As the commercial says, AR's aren't just for breakfast, uh, I mean military anymore..  We all have them for different purposes.

My experience isn't a splinter off of most people's here but I see a value from not broadcasting my presence by letting the bolt slam home.

Coming up to a perimeter, exiting the vehicle on a call, entering a building to clear it and I feel better  quietly chambering a round, just like not talking, slamming the car door or shining the flashlight on everything.

The same holds true for home use. I don't want to tip off an uninvited guest in my home where I am and that I'm ready and waiting.   Nor do I want to broadcast to every critter within hearing that it is time to leave when going hot for the morning.

Now if they could just come up with a way of chambering a shotgun without the sound of the shell slamming back to the lifter.

No. Just no. If you’re a LEO responding to something then load the chamber as soon as you remove it from the rack/trunk. You don’t respond to a possible fight with an empty gun. 

as far as at home-it should be loaded. Empty guns are not tools.

you responded with the exact video game BS I was referring to; a complete lack of tactical awareness. 

275RLTW posted:
stray round posted:
275RLTW posted:


1) why would you “quietly chamber?”  That that video game BS elsewhere. 

As the commercial says, AR's aren't just for breakfast, uh, I mean military anymore..  We all have them for different purposes.

My experience isn't a splinter off of most people's here but I see a value from not broadcasting my presence by letting the bolt slam home.

Coming up to a perimeter, exiting the vehicle on a call, entering a building to clear it and I feel better  quietly chambering a round, just like not talking, slamming the car door or shining the flashlight on everything.

The same holds true for home use. I don't want to tip off an uninvited guest in my home where I am and that I'm ready and waiting.   Nor do I want to broadcast to every critter within hearing that it is time to leave when going hot for the morning.

Now if they could just come up with a way of chambering a shotgun without the sound of the shell slamming back to the lifter.

No. Just no. If you’re a LEO responding to something then load the chamber as soon as you remove it from the rack/trunk. You don’t respond to a possible fight with an empty gun. 

as far as at home-it should be loaded. Empty guns are not tools.

you responded with the exact video game BS I was referring to; a complete lack of tactical awareness. 

They covered cop stuff in fruit ninja school?

OCB posted:
275RLTW posted:
stray round posted:
275RLTW posted:


1) why would you “quietly chamber?”  That that video game BS elsewhere. 

As the commercial says, AR's aren't just for breakfast, uh, I mean military anymore..  We all have them for different purposes.

My experience isn't a splinter off of most people's here but I see a value from not broadcasting my presence by letting the bolt slam home.

Coming up to a perimeter, exiting the vehicle on a call, entering a building to clear it and I feel better  quietly chambering a round, just like not talking, slamming the car door or shining the flashlight on everything.

The same holds true for home use. I don't want to tip off an uninvited guest in my home where I am and that I'm ready and waiting.   Nor do I want to broadcast to every critter within hearing that it is time to leave when going hot for the morning.

Now if they could just come up with a way of chambering a shotgun without the sound of the shell slamming back to the lifter.

No. Just no. If you’re a LEO responding to something then load the chamber as soon as you remove it from the rack/trunk. You don’t respond to a possible fight with an empty gun. 

as far as at home-it should be loaded. Empty guns are not tools.

you responded with the exact video game BS I was referring to; a complete lack of tactical awareness. 

They covered cop stuff in fruit ninja school?

Not for you reservists. 

275RLTW posted:

No. Just no. If you’re a LEO responding to something then load the chamber as soon as you remove it from the rack/trunk. You don’t respond to a possible fight with an empty gun. 

I evidently failed to convey my thoughts adequately, I'm not talking about chicken walking into the fire zone with an unloaded weapon.  Instead moving in, moving from support role, from vehicle ,etc..

I still say being able to go hot without broadcasting to everyone within a 200yd radius makes me feel better.

But hey, I've got a video game to get back to.

stray round posted:
275RLTW posted:

No. Just no. If you’re a LEO responding to something then load the chamber as soon as you remove it from the rack/trunk. You don’t respond to a possible fight with an empty gun. 

I evidently failed to convey my thoughts adequately, I'm not talking about chicken walking into the fire zone with an unloaded weapon.  Instead moving in, moving from support role, from vehicle ,etc..

I still say being able to go hot without broadcasting to everyone within a 200yd radius makes me feel better.

But hey, I've got a video game to get back to.

You still chamber a round while AT the car (the thing that is big and makes noise) before heading anywhere else. If you are walking around with a weapon that is not ready then please post which Dept you work for so we can all laugh at them and hopefully unfuck them.  

I'm going to ask, nicely, that the ad hominum comments cease.  The amount of information that goes in the profile, and what should be there, has some flexibility.  Some people have personal security issues when it comes to their occupation or position.  Consequently, if you think your experience makes you an SME, or at least more of one, provide some details.  You don't have to name units or departments, but explain at least a little why your opinion should carry more weight.  Witty put downs are not acceptable.  Win the debate with the facts.  We're not the Democratic Party.

Well, I guess there is only two of us that don't think the forward assist is useless...that's good...I thought it was just me....same with the .40S&W, and mello yello over Mt Dew.

The stuff about quiet loading and water borne ops....maybe...I only heard that, after I was out of the Army.

I'll say this, in over 30 years of shooting M16fow...I've never seen of heard of the FA breaking until this thread.

The often heard "forcing something into the chamber that doesn't want to go"..I never thought of it that way...what I did use it for, numerous times, were dry guns, cold guns, times where the round was stopped half in the mag...often a quick tap on the FA got the bolt to close..and the gun would run fine afterwards.  As 275 noted, if the FA required you to beat on it, multiple times...the shooter and observer should've stopped.

Claiming the FA encourages misuse, sounds an awful lot like anti gun arguments. 

Didn't the Israelis add a forward assist feature to the charging handles of their FALs?

Paul Howe taught to use the forward assist in his loading procedure.

While, I generally agree about maintaining the firing grip, acting like it's a sin to relinquish it...especially on a malfunctioning weapon, is a bit too much.

I'll say this...the sanctimonious, we know better then the Army and Colt..it's all about some dumb General, etc bullshit gets fucking exhausting. Declaring you know better, 60 years later is akin to an astronaut standing on the moon looking at the earth, and declaring..I can't believe they thought the earth was flat 2000 years ago....you can read all you want, but non of us know for sure. For all we know, Stoner just didn't want to admit he should've included a FA in his design???   

All my ARs except a single (contemporary) Armalite AR-10 have forward assists.  It was one of the reasons I replaced commercial slick-side Colt uppers with GI FA uppers in the 80s.

Ever been stationed somewhere where it rains every day the entire month?  Maybe two months?  Where it's so hot and humid the soles of your low-quarter shoes under your rack or in the closet grow green mold (like bread) while you're in the field?

And the rounds in your magazine and pouches start to tarnish, then corrode?  Like nasty, green grode -- even when you wipe them off daily and apply a light coat of LSA?

Thankfully neck pitch sealant and primer waterproofing work.

Green-grode 9mm won't feed in a BHP.  Not only will it feed, it functions in full-auto out of an MP-5... and I mean hairy, nasty stuff a GI ammo quality assurance guy would be bound to deadline.

Nasty 5.56 works in M16A1s, CAR-15s, and the 5.56mm version of the HK G3.  GI Colts have FAs, HKs have fluted chambers.

Even today when I see that little plug plunger instead of the A1 tear-drop I think it looks out of place.  Call me sentimental, but every once in a while I order another retro tear-drop or two to replace new-fangled A2-style plungers.

Image result for m16a1 forward assist

Last edited by Community Member
CK posted:

Sinister,

I never realized how ugly my bullseye looking plungers are until you posted the teardrop style.  Well, maybe not ugly, but totally lacks personality.  That looks Goldilocks.  I usually don't change things just for appearance sake, but now I might need to start. 

Yeah, kinda like seatbelts, airbags, reserve parachutes, and life insurance.

You don't necessarily need it, but when you need it you need it bad.

CK posted:

Sinister,

I never realized how ugly my bullseye looking plungers are until you posted the teardrop style.  Well, maybe not ugly, but totally lacks personality.  That looks Goldilocks.  I usually don't change things just for appearance sake, but now I might need to start. 

Chuck Pressburg thought the same thing with the teardrop FA on the Hodge, then found that it tended to snag on things.

M. Wilson posted:

Why did they put it on the right side of the rifle instead of the left? Were they worried about Pvt Snuffy ND when trying to seat the bolt? Because the prototype looks like they had the FA on the correct side from the beginning and some bean counter moved it to the wrong handed side.

Maybe as it's less likely to catch on gear / webbing of right handed shooters? Especially with the original tear drop assist. Also the original SOP for charging the weapon was using the dominant (firing) hand, so make sense that they'd assume same hand would help clear a malfunction.

I'm also fan as I don't find any negatives to having it but as others have pointed out- when you need it... YOU NEED IT.

And here's my only real contribution to this thread:

 

Dorsai posted:
Consigliere posted:
Astronomy posted:

 

I've been favorably impressed with several Turkish manufactured weapons over the years. Both items I've fired back in the States and while deployed to Turkey. Turkish made & militarily issued MP-5, G-3, & Beretta 92 clones, commercial hunting shotguns, and things like Sarsilmaz semi-auto pistols. At my last operational assignment, one of my contractors routinely carried a Turkish MP-5 clone. That SMG was boringly reliable and accurate. As good as anything HK ever produced.

 

I agree with Lib45 that I read your posts knowing you are a man who knows a lot of pertinent info and does not suffer fools lightly.  However, be that as it may, a state of war now exists between House Astronomy and House Consigliere.  Consider this a virtual white glove slap.  This is matter of HK honor good Sir.  I shall have my second call yours for a time and place that is agreeable to both of us.   Until then, I shall bid you good day.

Kanly

AHA!!...that explains how he carries all his HK's..he floats around..Baron Vladimir Consigliere...

is that you Thufir or is it Dr. Kynes? .Dorsai..

sorry for the thread hijack..back to that scholarly discussion..

I use a f/a on my gas guns as they get gummed up easier. Thousands of rounds through courses or just existing in austere environments have shown the need for it. I don't need it on my piston guns (which I prefer). Thousands of rounds through courses and existing in austere environments have shown that.

It is possible to silently chamber without a f/a also so that negates that point. 

 

As with most things in the world of fighting rifles and it comes to personal preference. Train with what you have, understand the strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to problem solve issues with your tool in a compressed time and under stress.

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