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"Always Be Prepared"
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Discussion Starter #1
Please exuse me if these questions are posted somewhere, but I really need advice to protect my family if SHTF, so here goes:
Ok, I bought my Colt AR15 pre-ban around 1995 and sufficient ammo, when I had a little more money. So I must use this format now since I'm familiar with it and am nearly broke now.
I set it up with a with scope, tripod and light. It's 1/7 twist with a long barrel. It's very accurate, but a little heavy. So my local gunsmith says it's better for sniping or distance, rather than close combat, but would do in a pinch.
The main dilemma is, I'm a little worried about the recoil gas system since this was the "hyped-up" original problem with AR's, that is, jamming in the field, especially because the "sweet spot" gets clogged. I know many people say, as long as you keep it clean you'll be all right. Others say, get a piston system. The problem is my local gunsmith wants $499 to replace it and put in a piston system.
So, since I don't have the money right now, I'll probably just have to keep it clean, unless anybody can make some other less costly suggestions.
Also, what is the bare minimum cleaning needed should I get stuck in the field and on the run during SHTF?
Where is this "special spot" that is so talked about for which you need a Q-tip or small brush that must be kept clean even if you don't have time to do anything else? Is this true? Should anything else be cleaned as a bare minimum?
Is this the only thing to eliminate(gas system) to make the AR15 almost 100% reliable?
Thanks for any help.
 

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American fearmaker
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14,245 Posts
An AR-15 WILL function reliably if you keep it clean. The early model M-16s weren't as reliable because nobody could keep them clean, bad/dirty ammo was issued to the troops, the magazines were extremely weak and nobody had a cleaning kit for them. Now, if you follow the general cleaning procedures for the AR-15/M-4/M-16 rifles you will be okay.



Read your manual too and do some google research into cleaning an M-16/M-4/AR-15 too.

http://www.ar15.com/content/manuals/TM9-1005-319-10.pdf

http://www.ehow.com/how_2060847_cle...ce=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

Any way, I hope this all helps with cleaning ideas. As a general set of rules...

#1. Any time you shoot your rifle, clean it.

#2. Any time you drop your rifle, get it dirty or soaked, clean it.

#3. Make sure that you use the RIGHT cleaning material for the weather conditions in which you are operating. In other words, cold weather lube can often be different from warm weather lube or desert lube.

#4. Remember to "touch up" your cleaning at least once a week even if you haven't used the rifle at all. Also remember to touch up your cleaning on your rifle if you have been through humid conditions (fog or swamps), through temperature extremes (hot to cold and back into a hot building), through any dusty conditions or any other time you just think that it would be a good idea.

#5. Get yourself some good cleaning gear. Cleaning rods, bore snakes, cleaning fluid, patches, bore brush and some good cleaning rod tips to hold the patches. You also want to use some LSA (military rifle oil for M-16s) and/or 3-in-1 oil. Do NOT use WD-40 on your rifles at all. WD-40 and other penetrating oils should be avoided. Get some bore cleaning fluid too.

#6. Don't forget computer canned air or cans of compressed air to help blast out dirt from hard-to-reach spots. Q-tips and pipe cleaners also help in reaching tricky areas on your carbine or rifle too.

#7. Clean the bolt, charging handle, rifle bore, rifle chamber and trigger group area to keep your rifle operating effectively. Some people also like to leave a light coating of oil on the bolt to help it move smoothly. Do not heavily coat a rifle with oil because too much oil will attract dust. Use common sense in cleaning your rifle and you will be okay.
 

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Hunter/Farmer
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1,950 Posts
I'm a Colt AR owner since 1983, and never had one issue with it.
A few things to add to Herd Snipers good advice:

I used LSA oil for years, but I now use Breakfree CLP(cleaner, lubricant, preservative). Most AR owners seem to agree it's a good oil.

A bore brush (fiber, not metal) and patches should be used to clean the lined bore. I'd shy away from a bore snake though, I heard a couple of horror stories of them getting stuck.

Don't worry about the gas system, it's self cleaning basically when you shoot good ammo. That expensive mod is not needed.

What is this "sufficient ammo" you have?
If it's the old lacquered coated stuff, just be sure to clean the shell chamber after shooting.
To get the most out of that 1:7 twist barrel, I have increased the the bullet weights with various handloads with great success. The common 55grs are good,....the heavies are even better.:D:

I'm up early this morning,.....I noticed some hog damage down by the creek yesterday. The Colt and I may try to catch them this morning before the bed down for the day. But it's soooo cold I may not!:D:
 
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They work just fine as long as you keep them maintained. Plus, ammo is easily found and lately cheaper than other ammo (762x39).

Properly zeroed, you should be able to knock down a man sized target pretty easily out to 400m.
 

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Hunter/Farmer
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1,950 Posts
I did go after the hogs this morning.
No hogs, just two deer sighted.
Full moon was setting as the sun came up, the hogs probably were out early last evening.
Lots of woodducks and mallards in the bottomland,....should be a good tomorrows split season opener.
 

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free man
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626 Posts
I've had a mostly stock Colt SP1 AR15 since 1980 or so. Its had aprox 9-10k rounds thru it to date. I can't remember ever having a malfunction w it..sans one 70gr soft point handload a friend gave me to try out for deer hunting(the bullet drove back down into the brass at feeding=round malfunction, not the weapon).

As others stated, just keep it clean. Then, the ONLY thing otherwise he could worry about(if you must :)), would maybe be a super long sustained running gun battle?? What are the chances of that(and it would have to be longer then the average engagement that our soldiers encounter before I'd bother even worrying of such)?. If your in that long of a gun fight, your prolly screwed anyway and will otherwise have waaaay more concerns then the outside possibility of a malfunction of some sort in that situation.
 

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"Always Be Prepared"
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys for all the input. I'm working hard on using all the tips and studying.
I mostly have Winchester 55Gr. that's about 12 years old now. Is this still good?--I've kept it dry and in ammo. cans. Looks good. It's doesn't look lacquered.
I do have some other major brand heavy grain but would rather not say exactly what. I'm sure it's probably good also.
I've also kept all my clips about 3/4 full for many years. Should they be OK?
 

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Major League Infidel
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435 Posts
as with what everyone else is saying keep it clean dry and serviceable. if you live in a desert/ sany location DONT use ALOT of lube as the sand will collect on it and Jam your rifle. I would suggest a red dot reflex sight (m68 type) or ACOG. using the reflex you could engage targets out to 400m and u can use it with oth eyes open (this is what it was designed for) also its handy for close quarters. Needing a scope on a m16/m4/ar15 is rediclious IMO. Opt for a bolt action for long range. An ACOG is a GREAT choice as it is 4x power and still useable for cloe quarters. Dont waste the money on the piston crap Its not needed. Buy more ammo, better optics, or another gun. I'd opt for ammo, as no weapon is ANY USE IF your NOT Profecent with it. And that comes with lots of range time and good training.
 

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Major League Infidel
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435 Posts
also BLOCK your ammo. being in the military we block our ammo often every 1-2 weeks or so. Blocking your ammo is removing all of the ammo out of each magazine and reloading it back into the mag. ensure your mags are functional and in good working order and have good spring tension. also it wouldnt hurt to have alot of extras.
 

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Certifiable
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723 Posts
Good advice from all. I really get a giggle from the people who say the AR is not reliable because of it's gas system. And them that preach that the rifle will let you down because you cannot keep it clean.

You have a fine rifle, the only hole I see in your system is that you have not been out shooting. You need to learn to shoot and clean your rifle before you need it. Learn to understand and love it and it will not let you down. Treat it as an afterthought and you are looking for heartache.
 

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Banned
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Get and install McFarland 1 piece gas ring . Its 3 bucks , buy 3 .
 

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Banned
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Plus, ammo is easily found and lately cheaper than other ammo (762x39).
S,
REALLY, where?

----

Stuff you know if you have an AK

It works though you have never cleaned it. Ever.
You are able to hit the broad side of a barn from inside.
Cheap mags are fun to buy. Your safety can be heard from 300 meters away.
Your rifle comes with a cheap nylon sling.
Your bayonet makes a good wire cutter.
You can put a .30″ hole through 12″ of oak, if you can hit it.
When out of ammo your rifle will nominally pass as a club.
Recoil is manageable, even fun.
Your sight adjustment goes to “10″, and you’ve never bothered moving it.
Your rifle can be used by any two bit nation’s most illiterate conscripts to fight elite forces worldwide.
Your rifle won some revolutions.
You paid $350. You buy cheap ammo by the case.
You can intimidate your foe with the bayonet mounted.
Service life, 50 years.
It’s easier to buy a new rifle when you want to change cartridge sizes.
You can repair your rifle with a big hammer and a swift kick.
You consider it a badge of honor when you get your handguards to burst into flames.
After a long day the range you relax by watching “Red Dawn”.
After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for a stiff shot of Vodka.
You can accessorize you rifle with a new muzzle brake or a nice stock set.
Your rifle’s finish is varnish and paint.
Your wife tolerates your autographed framed picture of Mikhail Kalashnikov.
Late at night you sometimes have to fight the urge to hold your rifle over your head and shout “Wolverines!”

Stuff you know if you have an AR
You have $9 per ounce special non-detergent synthetic Teflon infused oil for cleaning.
You are able to hit the broad side of a barn from 600 meters.
Cheap mags melt.
You can silently flip off the safety with your finger on the trigger.
Your rifle has a 9 point stealth tactical suspension system.
Your bayonet is actually a pretty good steak knife.
You can put one hole in a paper target at 100 meters with 30 rounds.
When out of ammo, your rifle makes a great wiffle bat.
What’s recoil?
Your sight adjustment is incremented in fractions of minute of angle.
Your rifle is used by elite forces worldwide to fight two bit nations’ most illiterate conscripts.
Your rifle won the Cold War.
You paid $900.
You lovingly reload precision crafted rounds one by one.
You foes laugh when you mount your bayonet.
Service life, 40 years.
You can change cartridge sizes with the push of a couple of pins and a new upper.
You can repair your rifle by taking it to a certified gunsmith, it’s under warranty!
You consider it a badge of honor when you shoot a sub-MOA 5 shot group.
After a long day at the range you relax by watching “Blackhawk Down”.
After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for hotdogs and apple pie.
Your rifle’s accessories are eight times more valuable than your rifle.
Your rifle’s finish is Teflon and high tech polymers.
Your wife tolerates your autographed framed picture of Eugene Stoner.
Late at night you sometimes have to fight the urge to clear your house, slicing the pie from room to room.

Stuff you know if you have a Mosin Nagant
It was last cleaned in Berlin in 1945.
You can hit the barn from two counties over.
What’s a mag?
What’s a safety?
You rifle has dog collars.
Your bayonet is longer than your leg.
You can knock down everyone else’s target with the shock wave of your bullet going downrange.
When out of ammo, your rifle makes a supreme war club, pike, boat oar, tent pole, or firewood.
Recoil is often used to relocated shoulders thrown out by the previous shot.
Your sight adjustment goes to 12 miles and you’ve actually tried it.
Your rifle has fought against itself and won every time.
Your rifle won a pole vault event.
You paid $59.95.
You dig your ammo out of a farmer’s field in Ukraine and it works just fine.
You can bayonet your foe on the other side of the river without leaving the comfort of your hole.
Service life, 100 years, and counting.
You believe no real man would dare risk the ridicule of his friends by suggesting there is anything but 7.62×54r.
If your rifle breaks, you buy a new one.
You consider it a badge of honor when you cycle 5 rounds without the aid of a 2×4.
After a long day at the range you relax by visiting the chiropractor.
After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for shishkabob.
Your rifle’s accessory is a small tin can with a funny lid, but it’s buried under an apartment building somewhere in Budapest.
Your rifle’s finish is low grade shellac, cosmoline and Olga’s toe nails.
You’re not sure there WERE cameras to photograph Sergei Mosin.
Late at night, you sometimes have to fight the urge to dig a fighting trench in the the yard to sleep in.

There you have it. In the end, it is clear to any open minded inquirer that the Mosin Nagant is the most superior weapon of all time, but the AR and the AK come out as a draw when compared side by side.
 

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25 Or 6 to 4
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8,006 Posts
There is a new manufacturer with vids out where they fire over 1000 rds in 12 minutes and cool the AR by dipping it in muddy water several times.

Its expensive, but you get what you pay for. I know some folks here in the NW that got rid of their ARs because the fir needles and moss and tree and brush garbage fouled them. One was a century and I think the other may have been a RR but not sure now. I Imagine if they were in the eastern part of the state, or cali or AZ, those rifles would have been fine. Just not in the rainforest up here.

If I had to find an AR for here, I would search out the one they cooled in the muddy water and pay the extra.

The right tool for the job. You can chop wood with any axe made, but if you want to split quality shingles you need a fro and a mallet.

Ask yourself where you will use the AR and then if you have to pay extra for one that works in the rain forest, or down in the swamps......well then that's your tool and you pay. Don't expect a cheap 799.00 AR to do the job of the 1600.00 swamp stick and you won't be disapointed.
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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8,248 Posts
Aside from the dirty ammo and cleaning issue, early models did not have a forward bolt assist which wouldl result in misfires. The addition of the forward bolt assist and education on cleaning fixed any reliability issues the weapon had.
 

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free man
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Actually, the reason the forward assist was added, was mainly because the army specified it must have a manual bolt closing device upon adopting it.

'Failure to extract' was the main problem from a dirty fouled non-chromed chambers(which exacerbated the problem) from the conditions mentioned above. It would shear off the rim of the shell case..then try and load another round, resulting in a hopeless jam. Only a cleaning rod would fix the problem(which weren't issued at first). ..while under fire, no less.
 

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Banned
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Brew,
Thx. I HATE being the one to bring it up. Especially when the point of this thread was AR's.

It's the HK416 (223) and the HK417 (308). Here's the video from 'Future Weapons'...


Gotta love a weapon that you can bury in the sand, put it underwater and then pull it OUT of where ever you just hid it and have it work flawlessly.

With the same reliability of an AK. :taped: Oops, sorry.
 

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"Always Be Prepared"
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250 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
WOW! When will they be available? and to whom? and how much? Ok, so now can we come back down to earth/reality? For us everyday survivalists who must affordably face the SHTF with so many things to buy, this future weapon is in another world and unattainable for most of us.
So we must do the best with what we can get, and so like so many of you said, just keep the weapon clean, learn it, love it, practice and it won't let you down. And of course don't put it in sand. :))
I only hope we don't ever have to face our own military armed with those. :(
 
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