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Old December 4, 2012, 02:14 AM   #1
ohiomossyoak
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My quest for a AR:question 1

My quest for a AR:question 1=Do I really need forward assist,Chrome lined barrel or a dust cover?

Philosophy of use=Hunt groundhogs,coyote,general recreational shooting,secondary HD gun,Protect family in a mid to long term survival situation..
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Old December 4, 2012, 02:26 AM   #2
scsov509
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Answer: No, no, and no.

For you intended purpose a sporter rifle sans forward assist and dust cover would be fine. I do use my forward assist regularly after performing chamber checks, but there are other ways to chamber check and I've never needed the forward assist otherwise. A dust cover and chrome lining would be nice for a rifle intended for mid-to-long term survival as you indicate, but if you maintained your rifle well there would be no need for either.
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Old December 4, 2012, 03:12 AM   #3
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Combat vs plinking essentially
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Old December 4, 2012, 03:48 AM   #4
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Chrome lining isn't needed, and an alternative is a melonited barrel, which are becoming more common but are still going to cost a little more too, IIRC.

If a melonited barrel is out of the question, why not just get chromed? Less risk of rusting, easier to clean. It's better for the overall life of the gun, and in my opinion, is a good investment.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:31 AM   #5
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If you only plan on having one AR and keeping fit or a life time . I would recommend chrome lined or melonite coated . You should get double the life with those coatings . As for the dust cover and foreward assist sure why not . If your looking to save some money , thats cool . I assume your looking at the M&P 15 sport . I have heard nothing but good things about that rifle .
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Old December 4, 2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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Chrome lining is over rated IMHO. I have several mil-surp bolt gins, some dating back to the Spanish-American war and the non chrome lined barrels are still in good condition. Chrome does have positives, easy to clean, longer life, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. If you want chrome get it, if not don't. You well not see any difference when shooting it.
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:32 AM   #7
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With 556/223 having a melonite/chrome chamber/bore is important in my opinion. The taper of the round can cause extraction issues and the chome/melonite helps. Do you need it? No. Is it worth the extra $30? Probably.
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:37 AM   #8
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The chrome barrel is worth it and doesnt cost very much. The forward assist isnt needed...until it is. The dust cover is an very useful feature to have as well. Most AR uppers come with the forward assist and dust covers anyway, so why not?
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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I'm in the no, no, no school of thought. Chrome may be useful if you shoot crap ammo and don't clean, the dust cover and forward assist add more weight and have little use, other than making a small jam a large one.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:22 AM   #10
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Chrome barrels may reduce accuracy by a 1/4 MOA at 100yrds...not an issue with a defensive rifle or a plinker. Over the life time of the barrel, having the corrosion resistance far outweighs the expense savings of not having a chromed lined barrel.

The forward assist is very useful when doing a chamber check. If you pull the bolt back just a bit to check for a round, the bolt usually will not go back into battery all the way...the FA re-seats the bolt nicely. However, I will only use my thumb to re-seat the bolt instead of using my palm...just in case of a deformed cartridge.

The dust cover is excellent, especially for folks who like to run their rifles soaking wet with lube. The lube collects dust. A dust cover that is kept closed helps minimize junk getting in there, and I personally have taken a tumble or two while carrying an AR while on patrol.

I wont have a defensive AR with out any of these features. And seriously, there are other better ways of saving weight on an AR than going without them.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:48 AM   #11
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it all depends on your intended use. there is no place in the united states that requires the use of a dust cover and from what I was told from guys returning from the desert, the dust covers always seemed to trap the finer particulates inside anyway.

forward assists are another pointless feature. if you have a round that refuses to chamber in any other rifle the approved method of clearing the issue is to retract the bolt eject the bad one and try to chamber the next but apparently with the AR you are supposed to use a forward assist to ram the bolt forward and lodge the tight casing in so tight that you have to break 3 cleaning rods and dump a half a bottle of CLP down the barrel to dislodge it. I have never had an issue where i've needed a forward assist and doubt that I ever will.

chrome lined barrels are way overrated in my opinion. for the vast majority of shooters, it is nearly impossible to shoot enough ammo out of our ARs in a lifetime to warrant needing a chrome lined barrel and when the chrome starts flaking then the accuracy takes a nosedive. if you are planning on shooting 1,000 rounds per range trip and doing so multiple times a month then a chrome lined barrel may be a better option but if you are going to be shooting only a few hundred rounds per year then no there is no reason to need chrome.
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Old December 4, 2012, 01:01 PM   #12
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ohiomossyoak,

I assume you are considering a S&W M&P-15 Sport. That rifle is building a pretty good reputation for itself. They run about $650-699 from what I've seen.

However, consider this. For about the same money (less if you build your own lower or if they are on sale), you can get a Palmetto State Armory rifle that includes a chrome-lined barrel, forward assist, and dust cover (as well as other plusses like a hammer-forged barrel). Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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Old December 4, 2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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I'd say no, no & no for a typical range or sport at. For HD or SD, you might be giving up something.

If you plan to shoot rapid fire for multiple 30 rnd strings, the first 2 would be nice. Dust cover is just that. No need, unless you drop in the dirt!

I would like to see a properly marketed sport AR. Trouble is, they get marketed now as a $600 AR. Seems like giving that up and marketing it more like a better Ruger Mini 14 would be best.
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Old December 4, 2012, 02:08 PM   #14
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No, no and probably not.

FAs have broken and jammed more guns that problems solved. Chamber checking? Really. Check position of top round in mag, insert mag, drop bolt, check that round stripped off mag, reinsert. Even the tactical crowd does it this way. I've done thousands of reloads on the AR platform, never did a chamber check and in the vast majority of cases, there was no time to check. Load and go. Most of my ARs have plugged FA ports anyway.

Chrome lined barrels are less accurate, but last about twice as long as an unlined barrel. Unless you get a match barrel with a tight chamber, the reliability won't be any different. 3Gun match barrels typically have a littel looser chamber and the .223 Wylde so they can run everything with accuracy and reliabilty.

Dust covers are not needed, but they are nice if you are hunting, in dust or rain. I have them on all of my ARs except my heavy varmint rig which I would not be shooting unless the conditions were nice anyway.
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Old December 4, 2012, 02:43 PM   #15
ohiomossyoak
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Quote:
I assume you are considering a S&W M&P-15 Sport. That rifle is building a pretty good reputation for itself. They run about $650-699 from what I've seen.

However, consider this. For about the same money (less if you build your own lower or if they are on sale), you can get a Palmetto State Armory rifle that includes a chrome-lined barrel, forward assist, and dust cover (as well as other plusses like a hammer-forged barrel). Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Yes,yes I am..Price,reviews an last but not least..They are a major company who has been around for years and I feel will be around for years..This matters to me because odds are they will be around to honor a warranty if need be...I have 'looked" at Plametto State armory,Del-ton,Core15,Windham,DPMS and while I have ready some great warranty policy's from these smaller companies,I am unsure if they will be around in the future...700-800$ is really my max for the rifle alone

Thanks for all the replies
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have 'looked" at Plametto State armory,Del-ton,Core15,Windham,DPMS and while I have ready some great warranty policy's from these smaller companies,I am unsure if they will be around in the future
The nice thing about the AR (especially the ones closer to "mil-spec" like Colt, BCM, Palmetto State, Spikes, DD, etc.) is that parts will always be easy to find and easy to replace. No big worries there. If you are going to have a problem, it is likely to happen when the rifle is new (improper assembly) - not down the road. When parts wear out down the road, they are easy to replace.

Judging by the amount of business I see every time I walk into one of PSA's brick & mortar stores (and the amout of product turnover I see on their website) I doubt they are going anywhere soon.

That said, if you are dead-set on an M&P-15 Sport, by all means, go for it. Just know that there are other options out there that don't sacrifice the features you were initially inquiring about.

Last edited by Fishbed77; December 4, 2012 at 04:19 PM.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:32 PM   #17
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tahunua001 wrote:
Quote:
there is no place in the united states that requires the use of a dust cover
For the life of me, I can not think of a single place in the US that is dust, sand, dirt or debris free...

I could literally shake dust and sand out of the hand guard and other little nooks and crannies of my rifle on many many occasions while participating in serious (and many just-for-fun) training sessions in the high desert of California as well as in the Sonora Desert in Arizona. Easterners are not immune either: dirt and leaf debris is easily collected on well lubed bolts as well.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:38 PM   #18
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Instead of the forward assist button, you can use the little detent in the right side of the bolt carrier --- that houses the bolt --- as a forward assist, by just putting your finger in the detent and pushing forward on the bolt carrier. I like stainless steel bores for accuracy, but I still like chrome lined bores --- because of longer barrel life --- especially when my barrel gets hot, though my rapid fire target shooting sessions, usually last only six rounds at a time; inorder to keep the barrel from getting too hot.

I do like AR dustcover's, as a covenience for muddy, snowy, icy and dusty enviroments.

Last edited by Erno86; December 4, 2012 at 04:52 PM.
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Old December 4, 2012, 06:14 PM   #19
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To chime in again, I've used the forward assist, both for a time where I didn't let the bolt slam forward totally on it's own, and so the bolt did not go into battery. Slap the forward assist, and you're live. Similarly, if you check the chamber, you might need to hit the assist. Get one.

As for the dust cover, I have two cats. If I leave the dust cover open, the bolt gets covered in cat hair. Same with dust and such.

IMO, do the rifle right: chrome lined or melonited, chrome lined bolt, dust cover and forward assist.
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Old December 4, 2012, 06:46 PM   #20
jackpine
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Code:
secondary HD gun,Protect family in a mid to long term survival situation..
as soon as you throw that out there that becomes #1 in my book. If you plan on blow out do you want a full size spare or a dougnut tire? As far as the three parts you listed a dust cover is part of the system and you do need it, chrome plating/lining in this day and age personal preference but I do go with nickel-boron BCG when I can
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Old December 4, 2012, 07:12 PM   #21
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1. I am about equal on solving vs. creating problems by using the forward assist. Worst case scenario, you can use your thumb against the BCG cutout. Not necessary in my opinion.

2. A chrome lined barrel adds lubricity and can enhance reliability in tough conditions (typically a seriously hot chamber). However, your chances of running the rifle hard enough to notice that problem outside of some carbine training classes is extremely low. I've read tests of an unlined barrel shot continuously throughout a single weekend - the throat gave out just a bit before 10k rounds. Considering that is about $4000 of .223 ammo, I'd guess an unlined barrel is not an issue for you if you are looking to save a few hundred on the rifle.

3. The AR15 is one of the few rifles where your gas chamber is also your bolt carrier group. There are very few rifles that deliberately expose the gas chamber to dust and debris and there is probably a good reason for that; however that is part and parcel of the AR15. I do consider the dust cover to be necessary, though ARs certainly can and do run well without them, especially with generous lube. If I had a Sport, I would consider investing in a product like the Brownells Dust Cover/Safety Flag to minimize the amount of debris that can enter through the ejection port
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Old December 4, 2012, 07:33 PM   #22
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I'd say no....if you shoot out a barrel or wear out an upper or bolt just get new parts.

If you find the need for a forward assist as a civilian, just stop, clear the rifle and investigate the cause. No need to try to fire more rounds at the coke can
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:54 PM   #23
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Here's my $.02.
The forward assist has a use on my hunting rifles. Numerous times, I've needed to load w/o making the noise created by letting the bolt slam forward. Easing it closed and bumping the FA is much quieter than the rack & slam method. When hunting in snow conditions, I've fallen or had snow laden branches dump snow onto my AR. With the dust cover closed, the chance of snow clogging the action is lessened. With a snow ball packed around the bolt it might work or maybe not but either way it's likely a cleaning will be needed later. But with the cover closed, I'm more confident the rifle will function and I'm not going to have to warm, dry, and clean the rifle after a long day in the snow. The chrome lined bore is optional. I have chromed and non-chromed and Melanite coated but don't see a great advantage among them since I'm not a high volume shooter. It does appear the Melanite may be more resistant to dings and scrapes than phosphate but that's outside the bore and not part of the question.
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Old December 5, 2012, 12:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
The forward assist has a use on my hunting rifles. Numerous times, I've needed to load w/o making the noise created by letting the bolt slam forward. Easing it closed and bumping the FA is much quieter than the rack & slam method. When hunting in snow conditions, I've fallen or had snow laden branches dump snow onto my AR. With the dust cover closed, the chance of snow clogging the action is lessened. With a snow ball packed around the bolt it might work or maybe not but either way it's likely a cleaning will be needed later. But with the cover closed, I'm more confident the rifle will function and I'm not going to have to warm, dry, and clean the rifle after a long day in the snow.
I accomplish what you describe without the aid of a forward assist. DPMS BCGs have a oval divet in the right side which acts as a forward assist. you just stick your thumb in there and slide it the rest of the way into battery. I'm not sure if all BCGs have this as I am too lazy to go check my other AR but I would be willing to say that I could do the same with my 9mm AR which does have a forward assist and dust cover. as for snow falling on my gun... I just had the great fortune of going on my first week long hunting expedition out in the wilderness. there was much snow in the first half and the second was spent getting pooped on by the trees as the temperatures rose again. one thing I learned after the umpteenth time of getting creamed in the face with an inadvertent snowball when the guy walking in front forgot there was someone behind him before letting that tree branch swing back behind him....your body heat keeps your gun warm enough that snow in your gun is a non issue. however no matter what the conditions when you come home from hunting you should always set your gun near the fire to dry out properly, not doing so is just asking for rust.
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Old December 5, 2012, 06:15 AM   #25
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So, what's needed here, painfully obvious, is a Garand style action...lol, just kidding. Sorta

The dust cover, forward assist are not necessary, along with the other items mrntioned. If I hunted with an AR I would slingshot the charging handle just like it was intended. I wouldn't want to hear a click instead of boom.

I hunt with a mini14, and it is the gawd-awefullest loud when clambering a round and the safety is like a thunder clap, and I've never scared off an animal. The sound of the safety actually makes the animals pause for a good shot. I chamber a round when I get settled in and I usually fire the chambered round into a water bottle or something when I leave.
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