Thoughts from an AR15 armorer

Thoughts from an AR15 armorer

This is a discussion on Thoughts from an AR15 armorer within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I attended an AR15 armorer’s class this weekend. Here is his bio: I am a veteran of both the U.S Army (Infantry) and U.S Coast ...

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Thoughts from an AR15 armorer

    I attended an AR15 armorer’s class this weekend. Here is his bio:

    I am a veteran of both the U.S Army (Infantry) and U.S Coast Guard (Gunners’ Mate) with almost 10 years of total active duty service. Having completed a deployment to the Middle East in support of operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom in 2005, I entered into the private sector working in Iraq and Afghanistan as an armorer/instructor for a variety of large private military companies on various Department of Defense and the Department of State contracts. I have worked for Triple Canopy, Blackwater USA, Olive Group (UK) and SOC-SMG. I have attended and completed numerous factory armorer courses from such companies as Beretta, Barrett, Colt, Dillon Aero, FN-USA, Glock, Knights’ Armament, Remington, and SigSauer.

    I have extensive experience working on and maintaining weapons in hostile environments with almost 6 years of time in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have worked extensively with the M16 family of weapons, AK47′s, PKM machine guns, M240/M249 machine guns, Glock pistols and numerous other small arms.
    Excellent class. Very patient man. He also knows what he is doing. Here are several take aways I got from his class.

    1. If a company advertises “mil spec”, it generally does not mean much. This term is thrown around more than “tactical”. What matters is does your mil spec definition match up to the TDP (technical data package) released by the military to the manufacturer of the part. It has very specific requirements to meet mil spec.

    2. Brand matters. Some companies advertise mil spec and some companies breathe it, matching their rifles to the TDP. Some brands that do are (in no particular order)
    a. Colt
    b. Daniel Defense
    c. LMT
    d. Bravo Company

    3. He had nothing good to say about such brands as
    a. Rock River Arms
    b. Bushmaster
    c. Ruger
    d. Most others
    e. S&W MP15 were “OK”.
    This is all based on quality control and true mil spec parts.

    4. Putting together a lower is not really a major hassle. However, putting together an upper requires many more specialized tools and steps.

    5. The gun does not need to be cleaned as thoroughly as some of the YouTube videos state. An special force guy came in to say hi, and he said that after listening to Will, he spends much less time cleaning his gun, made a few adjustments and it runs much much better.

    6. Just about every manufacturer uses one company’s lower receiver.

    7. Just about every manufacturer uses one company’s (different company) barrel

    8. FrogLube is awesome.
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.


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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    OK so Who's lower does everyone like? and who's barrel? My guess is Colt and Douglas. DR

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    Member Array Jdunn217's Avatar
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    Reading this makes me feel good that I just purchased a DDm4 V5 this afternoon! I've read a lot of people say that they are one of the best rifles right out of the box.

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    Senior Member Array Hoplyte's Avatar
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    Jdunn217, DDM4V5 is a good choice.

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    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdunn217 View Post
    Reading this makes me feel good that I just purchased a DDm4 V5 this afternoon! I've read a lot of people say that they are one of the best rifles right out of the box.
    You'll love your DDM4.

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Was that class with Will and Sionics? He's a good dude and one of the best.

    Edit - I see it was Will. I missed it the first time I read it.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    Was that class with Will? He's a good dude and one of the best.
    Yes. Will Larson. Super cool dude. I am working on getting a venue here in Portland and will be bringing him up.
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    That's a good idea, he PM'd me when he was first starting to offer the classes about setting something up near me. For anyone that doesn't know, he's IraqGunz, the mod on m4carbine.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    Distinguished Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    They . . . whom ever they are.
    Along with this said armorer. All of them "whom say" that Colt, Bravo Company, Daniel Defense, and Lewis Machine & Tool are the top of the line of AR`s. You can't go wrong getting anyone of these . . . . or so the internet says.

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zamboni View Post
    They . . . whom ever they are.
    Along with this said armorer. All of them "whom say" that Colt, Bravo Company, Daniel Defense, and Lewis Machine & Tool are the top of the line of AR`s. You can't go wrong getting anyone of these . . . . or so the internet says.



    This "said armorer" maintained a fleet of rifles in the GWOT. He doesn't shoot dirt clods on weekends away from his desk job. He knows a thing or two about the M4.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    Senior Member Array munch520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zamboni View Post
    They . . . whom ever they are.
    Along with this said armorer. All of them "whom say" that Colt, Bravo Company, Daniel Defense, and Lewis Machine & Tool are the top of the line of AR`s. You can't go wrong getting anyone of these . . . . or so the internet says.
    Remedial English is necessary.

    Will is a great guy and is offering a plethora of knowledge pulled from years of experience. What's neat about his course is that he takes a ton of this raw data, compiled largely from experience others don't have, and puts it all in the course curriculum. Compare that to a Colt (mil/LE only) course that would discuss only Colt bbl lengths and gas system. With Will you get a much broader discussion and understanding of the system.

    I was the POC for one of his earlier courses, and it's sad to say, that a number of them didn't fill due to lack of interest. Guys will spend $3-400 on whiz-bang accessories for the carbine they'll shoot a few hundred times in a year. But won't spend that money to gleam knowledge and understanding of the weapons system from an industry expert. Sad, that.

    ETA: Good on you for attending OP, glad to hear the feedback!
    Monotony is the awful reward for the careful

    How can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his Gods?

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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    What's wrong with Rock River?

    I'm asking not as a fanboy, but as a serious question. I had thought (with my very limited knowledge on the topic) that Rock River created quality rifles that are used by many for competition. I'm also relatively sure that my "service rifle" has a Rock River barrel.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
    -General James Mattis, USMC

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    Senior Member Array StripesDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittypat21 View Post
    What's wrong with Rock River?

    I'm asking not as a fanboy, but as a serious question. I had thought (with my very limited knowledge on the topic) that Rock River created quality rifles that are used by many for competition. I'm also relatively sure that my "service rifle" has a Rock River barrel.
    Curious too....family member is a federal LEO and this is what he was issued.

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Rock River rifles are ok.. Keep in mind that many department purchases are made by the bean counters, NOT those they are issued too. Money talks. many of the DEA issued Rock Rivers were given to them for free. There are departments issuing DPMS, Colt, BCM, Bushmaster, etc.

    Rock River goes to the tight end of the tolerances. I can think of three Rock River lowers that would not work with numerous uppers that were in spec. Their quality control was lacking. They use lower quality components, their two stage triggers are known to break, their barrels were not chrome lined (which is fine for competition, bad for duty), their bolt carrier gas keys had improper staking and would occasionally back out, making the rifle a single shot. Their testing procedures are a little less intense. They're also known for using larger than spec gas ports with carbine buffers expecting and claiming 5.56 chambers when they often won't pass a go/no go guage.

    Will they work? Sure, many will. The thing is, a group of each side by side with a rifle built close as possible to the TDP, the RRA rifles will have a higher failure rate.

    Now, you could give me an RRA, and I'll get it running. I'll do everything needed, throw in an H or H2 buffer, auto carrier, stake everything and replace the trigger. But, this is not the case with pool guns for some federal agencies like BP for example. You get the gun you get for that shift. It is not yours to work on or set up as you wish. So, they will be box stock expect for what's added and often they are not upgraded where needed.

    Will, the armorer this read is about, got over 150 Bushmasters on a contract. He went through each one and more than half were tight chambers, needed staking, etc. He also got many more Colts over the years on contracts. Almost none needed any of the work the others do.

    If you shoot dirt clods when away from the office, it may not matter and you'll likely never see a difference. If you take your training serious of have a rifle for duty or defense, it very well may at some point.

    This is how it is. This is known and their is a ton of PROOF that this is how they are. It's workable. But many have absolutely zero clue. Many that are issued these rifles are not "gun guys". They have zero clue.

    This image should give you an idea of how much the average law enforcement officer knows about the firearms he's issued. This is a US Marshall, by the way. The violent offender team he's on is one that is trained relatively well.

    Notice the EoTech? This is not to offend these two officers, this is to show how little most know about the firearms they're issued. These of course are an extreme. They are NOT Phtoshopped.





    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    New Member Array Will1848's Avatar
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    Is it on backwards?

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