Home Main Category General Firearms

Forward Assist on AR-15/16

rbrtwildsrbrtwilds Posts: 1 New Member
Peoples thought on the above Title.  I can not come up with a reason for a forward assist
on a modern "Black Rifle".  I never used the one on mine (1990's to 2010).  I considered it a useless appendage.  Modern rifles are so well built, there is no need.  I understand it was necessary during VN but that was a combo of things.  MR. STONER did not have one on his original rifle submitted to testing by the Army back then.
«1

Replies

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    I carried an M16A1 for a few years. It had the FA feature. Never had to actually use it, but I liked having the option. A few bucks worth of govt expenditure vs my life seemed a pretty good deal to a taxpayer in uniform.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    I used to think that... until I needed one. It made my rifle useless.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,970 Senior Member
    I've used mine once or twice. It still has its place. 
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,135 Senior Member
    Having issued the M16A1 then A2 over a 20 plus year time in uniform. I only used it in training. currently have 4 ARs, 3 have it and one doesn't. Either way works, for Mil or LEO, I would say it's a must. Range/hunting guns? Not so much
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Gimme irons to back up my optics, extra ammo & mags forward assist, a pistol, kevlar, plates, everything and anything I can get. Two if they're small.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #7
    I use one on occasion. Especially when hunting and loading quietly. I hand feed a round into the chamber and the quietly drop the bolt. Using the forward assist to lock the lugs. 

    I also WISH I’d had one when building Jerm’s 6x45 AR. He bought an upper without a forward assist. While putting the rifle together, there was a discrepancy with the upper and lower mating. I tried to rack the bolt and it stuck half way back. With no forward assist.......I was dead in the water.......until I broke out the flat head screwdriver and hammer. A forward assist sure would have solved that problem. 

    You don’t want one?!?  Don’t buy one. Me?  I’ll take one on my gun every day of the week. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    And.................

    Mr. Stoner designed this rifle for whatever reason he had, but it wasn't with the intent of it becoming a battle rifle. The Air Force bought a few to guard airstrips because it was  lightweight and tossed a light weight bullet that was less likely to damage multiple aircraft upon firing.

    And the government being the government.....PDQ the ground combat units were defending themselves with p'dog guns.

    The FA feature is far down the list of drawbacks of this weapon.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #9
    I only needed it a couple of times in over a few decades, maybe not as much needed as it came in handy, and that’s enough for me not to pass on one if I have a choice.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    I used to think that... until I needed one. It made my rifle useless.
    The forward assist made your rifle useless?

    ????

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • AccipiterAccipiter New Member Posts: 895 Senior Member
    I am from the department of redundancy department.  I like my forward assists.
    Apparently free thought is punished, and conformity is required, while peckerless cowards run the show.

    ECHO...ECHO....echo...

    Ah......One savors the hypocrisy!

    Karma.........It’s a bitch.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    Accipiter said:
    I am from the department of redundancy department.  I like my forward assists.
    When my life is on the line.......redundancy. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,113 Senior Member
    I prefer to have the FA...I've used mine a time or two..
    And more often as Zee described..
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,566 Senior Member
    It might not help for those of us who don’t fight with our AR’s, but it certainly doesn’t hurt anything.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,186 Senior Member
    Seemed to come in handy for the Rangers in Mogadishu, from what I have read.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,324 Senior Member
    If you can't even do a chamber check and get it back into battery, the rifle needs a forward assist.  Kalashnikov got that much right - mill a handle on the bolt carrier.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Strictly from a hunting perspective and the ability to load more quietly, I like having one.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #18
    I used to think that... until I needed one. It made my rifle useless.
    The forward assist made your rifle useless?

    ????

    Mike

    The lack of one. It was that same upper Zee was talking about. I ended out swapping all the parts from that upper onto another with a forward assist.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    Chamber checks and quiet loadings mainly at night. Did this many times in the jungles of the Philippines.
    I'll keep mine even though these days it's more to wrestle a round in the chamber because my wore out recoil spring can't properly overcome the upward spring tension of a fully loaded new mag during their break in period. I gotta keep up with the proper maintenance but that's on me. (Forward Assist = Safety Net) and I'm okay with that. 👍
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 421 Member
    I'm not a hunter but I assume you are talking about when walking around you would use this silent loading method and not in a stand where I assume you already have a round chambered and gun on safe?
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,113 Senior Member
    edited January 2020 #21
    BamaakII said:
    I'm not a hunter but I assume you are talking about when walking around you would use this silent loading method and not in a stand where I assume you already have a round chambered and gun on safe?
    Face it....loading an AR is loud...when we are coyote hunting , we don't slam car doors, we speak in whispers, try to walk as quietly as we can to our stand...why screw up all that effort loading a rifle....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    BamaakII said:
    I'm not a hunter but I assume you are talking about when walking around you would use this silent loading method and not in a stand where I assume you already have a round chambered and gun on safe?
    Example: When I park my vehicle and exit, before walking to my stand, I quietly load the AR and use the forward assist. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    And.................

    Mr. Stoner designed this rifle for whatever reason he had, but it wasn't with the intent of it becoming a battle rifle. The Air Force bought a few to guard airstrips because it was  lightweight and tossed a light weight bullet that was less likely to damage multiple aircraft upon firing.

    And the government being the government.....PDQ the ground combat units were defending themselves with p'dog guns.

    The FA feature is far down the list of drawbacks of this weapon.

    Mike
    So what are the drawbacks? It's been the longest serving military rifle ever and likely will never be unseated in that accolade.  We've gotten rid of several in the past, why not the AR pattern rifle?
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    The dish-shape cutout on the port side of the carrier has two functions... push open the dust cover and allow users the ability to push the carrier forward with their thumb.  The FA was added because the military wanted it.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    BamaakII said:
    I'm not a hunter but I assume you are talking about when walking around you would use this silent loading method and not in a stand where I assume you already have a round chambered and gun on safe?
    Example: When I park my vehicle and exit, before walking to my stand, I quietly load the AR and use the forward assist. 
    Pushing the carrier forward using the method in my above post is effectively the same and quieter.  No FA mechanism moving.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,573 Senior Member
    Big fan of the M 16 and a FA, mainly because that's what I'm used to.  It was sop when I was in Vietnam, to seat the bolt and hit the FA.  Interestingly, in 1969, the Air Force was using rifles w/o the FA.  I don't know if they were select fire or semi.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • AccipiterAccipiter New Member Posts: 895 Senior Member
    JasonMPD said:
    Zee said:

    Pushing the carrier forward using the method in my above post is effectively the same and quieter.  No FA mechanism moving.

    Feel free to do so after you have dumped a mag.  Charred thumb is not on my agenda.  I think I will save my thumb and keep the forward assist.
    Apparently free thought is punished, and conformity is required, while peckerless cowards run the show.

    ECHO...ECHO....echo...

    Ah......One savors the hypocrisy!

    Karma.........It’s a bitch.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,546 Senior Member
    Accipiter said:
    JasonMPD said:
    Zee said:

    Pushing the carrier forward using the method in my above post is effectively the same and quieter.  No FA mechanism moving.

    Feel free to do so after you have dumped a mag.  Charred thumb is not on my agenda.  I think I will save my thumb and keep the forward assist.
    If you just dumped a mag are you really going to be concerned about a quite load on the next round which I think was the point of the previous post.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,349 Senior Member
    When dropping a round into the chamber and quietly easing the bolt forward, it’s not likely a thumb on the side of the bolt can push the extractor over the case head, go fully into battery and lock the bolt into the locking lugs. 

    That being said, the FA is there for backup. Don’t need it for a chamber check. For what the gun was designed for, it’s a backup. Since you don’t have a bolt handle to operate it, that’s what allows the user to push the bolt forward when the need arises. Nothing wrong with that. 
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    Jay said:
    When dropping a round into the chamber and quietly easing the bolt forward, it’s not likely a thumb on the side of the bolt can push the extractor over the case head, go fully into battery and lock the bolt into the locking lugs. 

    That being said, the FA is there for backup. Don’t need it for a chamber check. For what the gun was designed for, it’s a backup. Since you don’t have a bolt handle to operate it, that’s what allows the user to push the bolt forward when the need arises. Nothing wrong with that. 
    There's not much difference in mechanical advantage between the FA and your thumb.  And the cam pin provides the rotational camming force to get the case rim I'm position.

    Try it.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    Big fan of the M 16 and a FA, mainly because that's what I'm used to.  It was sop when I was in Vietnam, to seat the bolt and hit the FA.  Interestingly, in 1969, the Air Force was using rifles w/o the FA.  I don't know if they were select fire or semi.
    Was it in the manual of arms for the Garand or M14 to slap the rear of the charging handles after letting the bolt go into battery?  I'm genuinely curious because I don't know. 
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement