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  • Probably not. What makes a rifle a full-auto is the firing mechanism.
    Politically Correct? No.

    Truthful? Yes!

    Comment


    • Full-auto bolt carrier

      It seems that the use of the full-auto carrier in semi-auto rifles is a commonly accepted practice among many major manufacturers. I would feel comfortable with the carrier, as long as I didn't possess other full-auto fire control parts that could be installed in the rifle to make it go Rat-tat-tat!

      While researching this issue I came across what appears to be information from a correspondence between ATF and Colt. Addressee Carlton Chen is a lawyer registered with the CT bar, and appears to be a Vice President and General Counsel for Colt's Manufacturing.


      U.S. Department of Justice

      Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
      Firearms and Explosives
      [stamp] FEB 10 2005

      903050:RV
      3311/2005-167
      www.atf.gov

      [stamp] Received FEB 14 2005
      Legal Department

      Mr. Carlton S. Chen
      Colt Defense LLC

      547 New Park Avenue
      West Hartford, CT 06110

      Dear Mr. Chen:

      This is in reference to your most recent facsimile transmitted to the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), on January 13, 2005. In your faxed letter, you seek clarification regarding the use of M16 machinegun bolt carriers in AR-15 type weapons.

      As you are aware, since your provision of copies of relevant material in your previous faxes, ATF has previously addressed the use of M16 machinegun fire-control components in AR-15 type rifles in the General Information section of the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (ATF P 5300.4). (Please refer to page 115, item #3, “Important Information Concerning AR-15 Type Rifles.”)

      However, we would like to direct your attention to a particular paragraph of item #3, which states the following:

      In order to avoid violations of the NFA, M16 hammers, triggers, disconnectors, selectors and bolt carriers must not be used in assembly of AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles, unless the M16 parts have been modified to AR-15 Model SP1 configuration. Any AR-15 type rifles which have been assembled with M16 internal components should have those parts removed and replaced with AR-15 Model SP1 type parts which are available commercially. The M16 components also may be modified to AR-15 Model SP1 configuration.

      Accordingly, based on previous FTB (Firearms Technical Branch) recommendations not to install this bolt carrier and the conclusions presented in the passage cited above, our Branch cannot specifically authorize you to install an M16 bolt carrier into an AR15 rifle. Also, we cannot definitively tell you that installing an M16 bolt carrier in an AR 15 will make that firearm fire automatically.

      We can only inform you that if this installation were to create a firearm that fires automatically, it would be a machinegun as defined; conversely, if it did not result in the production of a weapon that shoots automatically, it would be lawful to possess and make.

      We thank you for your inquiry and trust the foregoing has been responsive.

      Sincerely yours,

      [signed]

      Sterling Nixon
      Chief, Firearms Technology Branch


      emphasis added
      Last edited by Bighead; 12-06-2008, 05:43 AM.
      "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

      "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

      "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

      Comment


      • more full-auto bolt carrier

        And here is some more information foraged from the internet while researching this issue. The Colt armorer in this story indicates that Colt started using full-auto bolt carriers for semi-auto rifles in 2005, which seems to correspond with the ATF letter dated February 2005 in the previous post.

        "Here is some new info just passed to us by the instructor of the Colt armorer's re-cert course I just graduated. The instructor has been with Colt for over 30 years, is the chief production armorer for Colt, and knows what the F&%K he is talking about.

        In 2005 the ATF issued Colt approval to use full auto bolt carriers in any gun that will accept one (excludes the versions with the receiver block simply because it will not physically accept one).

        The ATF gave Colt permission to cease production of the semi auto bolt carrier and use full auto carriers in all of their new production models. Of course...exhausting current stocks of semi-auto carriers first.

        The reasons were explained to our class as follows:

        Problems have been linked for years to the lessened weight of the semi auto bolt carrier and the shape of the rear most portion of all 4 types of semi-auto carriers that have been designed over the years. Tests even proved that although one might not realize it, the rear of the bolt carrier in the half-circle design, actually flexes and vibrates during firing. This, along with the carriers weighing less than was intended in original design has been found to be responsible for a lot of malfuctions and excessive parts wear due to the bolt carrier actually sliding and grinding against the upper receiver and receiver extension when the flexing and vibration occurs.

        Colt was able to articulate and prove that the bolt carrier was not "designed and intended solely and excusively" for full auto use. The same carrier was shipped in original AR-15 semi-autos (which shipped with semi-auto only fire control parts).

        They proved that the AUTO SEAR was designed exclusively to work OFF of the bolt carrier....and NOT the carrier to work off of the sear...

        The bolt carrier was designed in that original form. Stoner realized he needed a component to retard the hammer on its return cycle toward the firing pin to keep it from firing out of battery. So he designed the auto sear AROUND the already existing lower foot of the bolt carrier.....and bingo....there you have it."


        Link to original post referenced here:

        http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=6&t=739614
        Last edited by Bighead; 12-06-2008, 05:43 AM.
        "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

        "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

        "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

        Comment


        • Precisely. It's like saying you're using a full-auto barrel, or bolt catch. Just because the part is ALSO found in the full-auto M16, doesn't make that a machinegun part.
          J. Wise

          AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

          "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

          Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

          sigpic

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Bighead View Post
            U.S. Department of Justice

            Accordingly, based on previous FTB (Firearms Technical Branch) recommendations not to install this bolt carrier and the conclusions presented in the passage cited above, our Branch cannot specifically authorize you to install an M16 bolt carrier into an AR15 rifle. Also, we cannot definitively tell you that installing an M16 bolt carrier in an AR 15 will make that firearm fire automatically.

            We can only inform you that if this installation were to create a firearm that fires automatically, it would be a machinegun as defined; conversely, if it did not result in the production of a weapon that shoots automatically, it would be lawful to possess and make.

            We thank you for your inquiry and trust the foregoing has been responsive.

            Sincerely yours,

            [signed]

            Sterling Nixon
            Chief, Firearms Technology Branch


            emphasis added

            Wow, there is some legalese that would make the shadiest attorney proud. ATF, what a waste of money.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by junior300 View Post
              Wow, there is some legalese that would make the shadiest attorney proud. ATF, what a waste of money.
              Yeah, I thought it was pretty funny myself. Being a law student now, I am sure Jwise appreciates the answer that spans Yes, No, It depends, and We're not sure all in one letter.
              Last edited by Bighead; 12-06-2008, 07:09 PM.
              "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

              "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

              "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

              Comment


              • Originally posted by jwise View Post
                The buffers are weighted differently to enhance reliability for different gas systems. The heavier the buffer, the longer the bolt will remain locked into the chamber before extraction. The longer the bolt is in the chamber, the less pressure will be IN the chamber when it extracts. The less pressure in the chamber, the easier it is to extract. The easier it is to extract a spent casing, the more reliable the extraction process.
                Just making sure I understand: Shorter barrels/shorter gas systems/higher pressure ammunition benefit from heavier buffers? I also read that heavier buffers reduce felt recoil (right?), although I'm not really concerned about quelling the awesome power of the 5.56

                For building a combat rifle, which buffer would you recommend for a 14.5, 14.7, or true 16 inch barrels with a mid-length gas system? For those considering other builds can you address buffers for carbine/rifle length gas systems and different barrel lengths?

                I would like to optimize reliability without overdoing it and causing a short stroke issue (if this is even likely?).
                "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Bighead View Post
                  Just making sure I understand: Shorter barrels/shorter gas systems/higher pressure ammunition benefit from heavier buffers? I also read that heavier buffers reduce felt recoil (right?), although I'm not really concerned about quelling the awesome power of the 5.56

                  For building a combat rifle, which buffer would you recommend for a 14.5, 14.7, or true 16 inch barrels with a mid-length gas system? For those considering other builds can you address buffers for carbine/rifle length gas systems and different barrel lengths?

                  I would like to optimize reliability without overdoing it and causing a short stroke issue (if this is even likely?).
                  I don't know of any "rule" for which buffer to use in each specific configuration, but as a general rule, H-buffers are for the ideal buffer for carbine length gas system rifles, while standard buffers are what usually come standard.

                  If you're having reliability issues, you might want to tweak with the buffer, by going to a H2 or H3 buffer. There is also an Enidine recoil reducing buffer that you can buy for a few bones.

                  For clarification, the ammunition is not what is higher pressured, but the chamber pressure is higher in certain configurations.

                  I admit that I am wading out in deep water here, as I do not have the firmest grasp on buffers nor the physics involved with chamber pressure differences.

                  In short, what I said earlier is pretty much all I want to say about buffers:

                  Originally posted by jwise
                  The buffers are weighted differently to enhance reliability for different gas systems. The heavier the buffer, the longer the bolt will remain locked into the chamber before extraction. The longer the bolt is in the chamber, the less pressure will be IN the chamber when it extracts. The less pressure in the chamber, the easier it is to extract. The easier it is to extract a spent casing, the more reliable the extraction process.
                  J. Wise

                  AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

                  "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

                  Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by jwise View Post
                    I don't know of any "rule" for which buffer to use in each specific configuration, but as a general rule, H-buffers are for the ideal buffer for carbine length gas system rifles, while standard buffers are what usually come standard.

                    If you're having reliability issues, you might want to tweak with the buffer, by going to a H2 or H3 buffer. There is also an Enidine recoil reducing buffer that you can buy for a few bones.

                    For clarification, the ammunition is not what is higher pressured, but the chamber pressure is higher in certain configurations.

                    I admit that I am wading out in deep water here, as I do not have the firmest grasp on buffers nor the physics involved with chamber pressure differences.

                    In short, what I said earlier is pretty much all I want to say about buffers:
                    Thanks, you covered what I needed to know. Unless there is a specific problem to be solved is sounds like H-buffer is fine for a carbine.
                    "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                    "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                    "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by jwise View Post
                      More like an AR dork...

                      I appreciate your viewpoint. You are right, in that the upper receiver is far more sturdy than the handguards. However, the optic is attached to a mount that sticks out in front of the carry handle and above the handguards. I don't know how sturdy that mount is compared to an installed free-float handguard.

                      Either way, do what you are comfortable with, as that is all that matters.

                      I still think it's a silly (and heavy) configuration...


                      Hey jwise, I just wanna say you're a class act in my book.

                      You know a lot more about black rifles than me, so it woulda been easy for you to jump to the defensive when I gave my viewpoint about the scout mount/gooseneck mounted optic. But you didn't. You re-evaluated your position and came back with a respectful counter.

                      I've got one of my 7 black rifles configured with an optic on a handle-mounted scout mount/gooseneck, and it's pretty solid so far. Even when I remove it and put it back on, it goes to the same position and stays on target at least up to 100 yards. It also co-witnesses with the iron sights.

                      Anyway, that's one of the reasons I LOVE the black rifle: there's room for experimentation (it's a gunfighter's LEGO).

                      Thanks for all the informative stuff you posted. I learned a lot from reading your posts.
                      Politically Correct? No.

                      Truthful? Yes!

                      Comment


                      • Gunfighter's Lego?

                        Comment


                        • The actual quote, is that the AR-15 rifle is "Legos for grownups."
                          J. Wise

                          AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

                          "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

                          Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • So... does anyone know of any retailers that have Magpul PMAG magazines in stock? I wanted to buy a few for myself for Christmas, but nobody seems to have them.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by BD380 View Post
                              So... does anyone know of any retailers that have Magpul PMAG magazines in stock? I wanted to buy a few for myself for Christmas, but nobody seems to have them.
                              go to a large distributor like Brownells or Midway and put in an order. Because of their volume, they are higher on the priority list for resupply. In all likelihood you will see that your order is on "back order" but then you should get confirmation within 3-7 days that it has shipped. this is the route i used within the past 2 weeks, to purchase a few more mags. Prices are slightly higher, but........alot less then Egay.

                              On a similiar note, for people who have been waiting for the BCM upper packages, they should be available in mid December. Use a similiar process as the mags; go to BCM or another reliable site, leave your name and email, and they will contact you when they get some in. more time consuming but more effective...........check the sites a couple times a day. When they get their shipments, they are gone within hours.

                              And a disclaimer I give to all my friends: my advice is no defense for potential marital strife caused by purchase of black rifle components; reprecussion purchases by spouse (shoes, designer baskets, ect), demoted to sleeping on the couch, ect. Get your "Man Card" out and deal with it

                              However, if it goes to the extent of hostilities, arm yourself accordingly.
                              http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/acf6/zoom/
                              Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by lalakai View Post
                                And a disclaimer I give to all my friends: my advice is no defense for potential marital strife caused by purchase of black rifle components; reprecussion purchases by spouse (shoes, designer baskets, ect), demoted to sleeping on the couch, ect. Get your "Man Card" out and deal with it

                                However, if it goes to the extent of hostilities, arm yourself accordingly.
                                http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/acf6/zoom/
                                Normally my wife will question me about how much something was. She has not asked once how much I have spent on toys since the election. Talk about a blessing.

                                ...the nerf toy... I have to get 2 of them. One for me and one for my boy.
                                sigpic

                                "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



                                'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

                                http://www.snipercompany.com/

                                M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

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