Bad Experience With the AR Platform.

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by Kiln, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Well it's official, I now have more experience with the AR15 and next to my AK it definitely "looks" and "feels" like a nicer gun. Problem is that the two AR15's that I fired this weekend were two seperate brands (S&W M&P15 and DPMS) and both had numerous FTF and FTE. Both rifles were almost brand new and cleaned prior to firing.

    They felt so great and I wanted to like them (they look and feel much more refined than my AK) but of the two AR15's and my AK, only my Interordnance AK ran reliably. We only fired a few hundred rounds of .223 and of that we had probably a dozen malfunctions with a range of brass ammo. The AR's definitely beat my AK in terms of accuracy but I have learned a new appreciation for the ugly but reliable AK.

    Is this normal? Just bad luck? I'm genuinely curious now because literally 2/3 of the AR's I have fired had pretty frequent issues. Experiences? Did they need broken in more? Picky platform?
     
  2. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    I have a DPMS and it has run fine since the day I bought it. Admittedly it has not been shot all that much. They like to be run wet.
     

  3. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, they can be finicky as hell sometimes. Then again, you might be bad luck. I've run across a few that no matter what we changed out or adjusted they just simply wouldn't run right. Even had one sent back and it got replaced with a NIB because THEY couldn't even get it to function properly.
     
  4. USMC_VET

    USMC_VET Supporting Member


    do you grip the AR by using the mag well or more commonly called the "mag well grip" .doing this especially if you're grasping the mag in such a way will cause problems such as you experienced . i've seen this happen before especially on M16's that i worked on in the military and grasping the mag pulls on it in such a way that it will cause cycling problems .This is why you now see those add on mag well grips that you bolt onto the mag well as this takes the strain/leverage off of the mag and stops the cycling issues
     
  5. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I never understood gripping the magwell on an M16. I tried it a few times and it feels like it would only work if you had T-Rex arms. I preferred a thumb-under grip with my palm facing me that allowed me to stabilize the rifle with the mag along my forearm.
     
  6. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    No, it's not normal. I literally have never, ever, seen an AR malfunction. I owned two, and I've been with plenty of others out shooting. None required break in, none were picky, they all shot brass or steel just fine.

    In the military, I never, ever saw an M16 malfunction, except once there was a squib, but that's ammo, not gun.

    I second the mag hold, or possibly crappy mags, as being the culprit.
     
  7. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Really? Never? Not even during field exercises? Farkin' Army gets all the good schtuff.
     
  8. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Long grip, middle grip, and short grip.

    Not shown, target grip with supporting elbow based on the torso.

    ;)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     

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  9. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I would say a medium-short grip is the closest to my style for off-hand, non-sling supported shooting. I use a medium-long grip for body-supported kneeling and seated shooting.
     
  10. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter


    I have never found one that has NOT at some time had an issue. Dirty gas tube, too dry bolt, magazine dirty, etc etc.

    The AR/M-16 is a good platform, but requires a lot more TLC then an AK. Heck, the repair kit issued for an AK is a rock and a stick; and the stick is optional. ;)
     
  11. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I typically stick with a medium-long to a long grip, but, then again, I was just having a go.

    Way to ruin it. ;) <ducking>

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Member

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    Maybe the OP had just phenomenally bad luck, and yeah the AR platform is more finicky than the AK, but his experience really sounds like mag grip or problem mags. If the OP's experience was even remotely common, we all would have heard about it a million times.
     
  13. reverendg

    reverendg Member

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    My DPMS bull barrel is my beater AR. It handles anything. Only AR problem I ever had was a stuck steel case after shooting brass, in a chrome-lined palmetto state upper. More the fault of the hot chamber and the ammo switch than anything else. It was a poly-coated 75 round, usually feed fine for me.

    One problem I remember from the military was the mags, especially the aluminum mags. The feed lips get beaten and crack, leading to feed problems. I imagine this can even happen with p-mags, though I have yet to see it. If two AR's are having the same problems, it is typically the shooter or the mags at fault.

    Love the AK, and the SKS, but the AR is a completely different animal. Hope you get your problem sorted out, you will enjoy the difference. Variety is the spice of life.
     
  14. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    I have, and at a most inopportune time. Government issue M16A1 Round did not feed properly. Jammed between the gas tube and receiver. Was not able to clear.
     
  15. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, like I'm going to ever let you win one that easy.....lol
     
  16. Moestooge

    Moestooge Member

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    I'm more of an AK/SKS guy than the AR. Despite (or because of?) its crudeness, I resonate better with the AK.
     
  17. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    It wasn't from gripping the mag well on the DPMS because he had a VFG installed. Could have been on the M&P part of the time, honestly I was only paying attention to it when I was shooting and when they were having issues. Surprisingly, I think the M&P was the less reliable of the two.

    Both guns were using factory mags and alternating a windowed Pmag. I just told them put 150 rounds through them and clean them carefully before getting angry about the issues.

    Then if they're still having problems, they should think about talking to the factories. I'm not an expert on the AR by any means but I'm not sure I trust the platform now. I expected good things from the M&P especially and am kind of disappointed.
     
  18. VinnieD

    VinnieD Member

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    I home built my AR recently and it had issues at first due to gas block alignment (my fault, and I can't really blame the platform for a construction error), but once I fixed that it just needed some lube (and lots of it), and a bit of breaking in. Now it chews up and spits out whatever I can feed it.

    Personally I run my AR particularly wet using lithium grease. A lot of early problems can be attributed to lubrication and break in (assuming the gun was assembled properly). I too like to hold the magwell, but I careful not to grip the magazine its self. I have a magwell grip on the way to help with that.
     
  19. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    The only time I ever had malfunctions with the platform was when the M-16A1 that I had in Basic Training had its gas tube come loose up front. I had to shoot it like a bolt-action. The only reason that it ever got fixed was because the gas tube finally came all the way loose--on qualification day. I guess it's a good thing because that was the only reason that I finally had a functional rifle to qualify.

    Now, back to your problematic rifles; how well were the bolt-carrier groups lubed? At the range in the Demokratik People's Republik of Kaliforniastan, where I used to shoot when I lived there, I always saw people bring out new ARs and experience multiple malfunctions. I used to help out these inexperienced shooters, and in every case, they were shooting them dry or close to it. After I would give their rifles a spritz of my Rem Oil, they would function just fine.
     
  20. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Well sure on field ex. But we were always using blanks and adapters, that's not even the same thing.;)