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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very new to AR-15's and need some help! I have a Bushmaster Carbon .223. It might be a Carbon 15, but I'm not sure. (How do I tell?) First, off I have heard some bad things about these after buying it. Most of what I read was supposedly the earlier model of the Carbon and that they have worked out all the problems now. But it scared me when a LGS salesman recently told me that one blew up in his face. Do I need to be worried? Is the carbon lower safe? Anything I need to know as far as types of ammo and rapid firing it maybe being an issue?

Also, I am having a FTF issue sometimes with it. At first, it only happened with my Magpul polymer mag and never with the factory issued metallic mag. I have only ever bought steel cased ammo for it because I do not do reloading and I heard that was the only downside to steel. When I get a FTF the tip of the round is sometimes noticeably damaged at the tip. So I started only using the factory mag but it recently happened again with that mag - twice in a row. I could never get the Magpul mag to work, but with the factory one all I have to do is drop the mag, push the round all the way in and reinsert the mag and then all is well, usually. Is this because of steel cased ammo?

The gun comes with a red dot sight, but I was thinking about what would happen if the battery went out during an excrement makes contact with the air circulation device scenario. For that reason, I would like to get additional steel sights like I have heard about that are at a 45 degree angle. This is problematic with a Carbon because there is no front rail. Should I get one of those front sights that just attach directly to the barrel itself without the use of a rail or should I go ahead and add a rail to it?

Yes, I am a noob! Please help!
 

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I think you might have made a mistake with the carbon lower. I have read lots about them, and sorry to say, none good.

Id suggest that you consider selling it now, while prices might still be good, and buying another. For really good info, try the tactical response forum on "Fighting Rifle".
 

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Having owned a carbon 15 I will say they seem to be safe enough and work, however you can do much better with a standard alum AR. Mounting a rail or gas block front sight may be more expense /hassle than it is worth depending on model. Feed issues could be proper lubrication, mags or something else. While my type 21 carbon 15 worked well , it had some major drawbacks as far as no iron sights , muzzle brake falling off and the brass deflector falling off.
I would recommend getting a different (standard) AR for serious home defense, ect.
OP is this the gun you own?
https://www.google.com/search?q=car...AA&biw=1024&bih=672#biv=i|4;d|7Nx38blTNOEXnM:
 

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My comment relates to your back up sights.

First of all, you definitely need some back up sights for your red dot. Red dot, reflex and other electronically operated sight systems are very good, but always have a reliable plan B when it comes to anything electronic.

Magpul makes some good rear and front sights and at a reasonable cost.

I suggest going to the AR-15.com website, sign up and ask the same questions there and you will get a lot of informed responses.
 

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OK the first thing you can do is get a new fore end with a rail. Don't buy a dirt cheap one if you think you might use this gun to defend your life. Decent rails can be had for around $120 to $130. They snap right in without any gun smithing. I like Mid West Industries but there are other good, reasonably priced rails.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/23...iece-gen-2-handguard-quad-rail-ar-15-aluminum

Then you need to get back up sights. Magpul makes OK ones for about $50. I like Troy defense sights at about $150.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortb...onids=4294846194&newcategorydimensionid=17072

You don't need sights at a 45 degree angle. Your sights will fold flat and then when you need them they can be popped up and co-witnessed through your red dot.

Read this and check back in with us with any more questions:

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum.../148046-red-dots-basic-use-co-witnessing.html
 

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First, you have to decide if you trust your life with this rifle. If your answer is anything other than an instant "YES!", sell it. Then do your homework by reading reliable reviews, AR forums, etc. to pick out an AR that fits your needs. There's an old saying (that I will paraphrase): No matter how much you shine up a cow-patty...it's still a cow-patty.
 

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Think about buying a different complete lower. Maybe check BCM or Spikes or Palmeto State. The blimished ones are usually somewhat affordable.

Good luck.
 

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Id advise selling your gun, then looking carefully at Varobs post. His list is also good for complete ARs. Id add Daniels Defense to the list.

So saying, I will tell you a DD now is around $1,600 where Im at, good luck finding a Spikes (they are top notch, though), not sure about Bravo Company, (BCM), but they are very good. That leaves Palmetto State, which might a good fit in terms of price, and decent gun.

Stag also makes good guns. If you want something better than what you got, Colt, and S&W are good weapons, easier to find, and less expensive that some others. Walmart carries 3 grades of colts that I know of. Id avoid the cheapest. The mid grade, with magpul furniture would be my pick of the three. You have mounting options, same build as the higher cost quad rail version,WITH IRON SIGHTS (and they aint cheap), but lighter & less cost.

Hope that helps.
 

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OP , if the lower is polymer only it may not be too bad, if the upper is polymer , I would change it. The lower is a low stress part and does not contain the cartridge ingnition. I find it odd bushmaster makes a chopped front sight as block. The gas block could be switched to a front sight /gas block.
I would not recommend a front sight mounted to a drop in rail , seems it would be too easy to change zero.
I guess you need to weigh the options and pick what suits your needs best.
 

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You could replace the sight with one of the Trijicon sights and not have to worry about batteries. Flip up sights seem like a must for any rifle that may be what you grab when something's not right, but realistically any eventuality that breaks your Trijicon will probably damage the irons too.

Are the stoppages occurring with the first couple rounds in the mag? Is there any constant or are they random?
 

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I would not recommend a front sight mounted to a drop in rail , seems it would be too easy to change zero.
I guess you need to weigh the options and pick what suits your needs best.
The fore ends we used in the military were stable and don't move. Some guys had optics or pointers mounted there and they were good to go. I'm not sure those would qualify as "drop-in" though. I have no idea how to take them off. I can't name the specific part, but they said "Knight's Inc." on them.
 

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OP,

When it FTF's, what round is it in the magazine? First, middle, last?


Have you cleaned the rifle?
Have you cleaned the chamber?
Get a chamber brush and clean it really well.

Steel cased ammo doesn't expand in the chamber as much as brass cased ammo so the chamber isn't sealed as tightly. This might allow for a carbon buildup in the chamber that could potentially cause the issue you're seeing...

I could be wrong...

Magpul makes a damned good product so it should work... is it Generation 1, 2, or 3 do you know?

Is there anyone else that could put your upper on their lower and see how it runs?
Or try some other magazines... if you're only able to use 2, that's a limited sample size and it might be them and not the rifle...

If you go to ar15.com they've got an Ammo Oracle there... it'll break down some of the mystery of AR15 magazines and ammunition. Check it out. There's a wealth of knowledge.

If you're wanting to just sell the rifle and replace it, there are several brands that are ok to use...

Bravo Company
Daniel Defense
Spikes Tactical
Colt
S&W
Palmetto State Armory
Stag Arms

For just purchasing a lower and keeping your upper, look at:

Mega
The above listed companies sell complete and stripped lower receivers as well.

Hit AR15.cm and post in the AR15 troubleshooting section. They'll help you out.

Oh, and the 45 degree sights are used a lot by competitors in 3Gun... they'll normally have an optic for middle and long distance and they'll have iron sights for closer shots.

Some of the fore ends I believe will slip fit under the delta ring replacing your handguards. They should be a tight fit and not move under stress. Other fore end handguards are more permanently installed... beyond that I don't know because I dno't have anything like that on my rifles.

If you go for a fore end with rails, don't cheap out. Buy quality from a known company and not someone selling Chinese aluminum at less than half the price of other fore end rails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Very helpful posts from all, especially scorpion. Thanks!

When it FTF's, what round is it in the magazine? First, middle, last?
Usually it's when the mag is full but not always. Often, I'll fire that first shot with no problem and the second shot will just do nothing so I look and see that the second round didn't feed in all the way. Then I remove the mag, clear the gun, remove the damaged round from the mag and try everything over. Sometimes it will repeat the problem once more after the next shot.

Have you cleaned the rifle?
Have you cleaned the chamber?
Yes and yes. Very meticulously.

Magpul makes a damned good product so it should work... is it Generation 1, 2, or 3 do you know?
Is there anyone else that could put your upper on their lower and see how it runs?
The mag? Not sure what generation it is but will try to check when I get home.

Can't think of someone who would let me put my upper on their lower, no...
 

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Have you closely inspected your extractor? Is the retaining pin fitting snugly? How much travel is there?

You may want to upgrade your extractor. The kits aren't expensive and are nothing to install. That often solves a good many feed issues if the problem is happening in the breach rather than the top of mags. Other than that some good advice has been given.

I don't see why the steel ammo would be that big an issue, but I've never run it through anything but an AK, and that almost doesn't count.
 
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