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Old January 14, 2013, 10:43 PM   #1
Big Caliber
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Nooby question

I'm a bolt action guy who is new to semi-auto loading rifles. I was able to acquire an AR-15 look-a-like just barely B4 the frenzy started. It's a CA "correct" Windham "MPC". About 4" inches behind the muzzle the barrel has a smaller exterior diameter an inch long and then returns to the original diameter as it disappears under the hand shroud. Why the variation barrel thickness? Wouldn't this affect barrel harmonics or accuracy down range? I asked Windham but have not heard back yet. I have not fired it yet as the temp at the range is colder than a brass bra on a witch's...well, you know, so I don't know what kind of accuracy the rifle is capable of. With my eyes, 2 MOA would be nice.
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Old January 14, 2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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ive been told the "knotch" out of the M4 profile barrels is so they can attach the under barreled M203 grenade launcher. not sure if thats true or not nor do i see the point of that on a civilian model. but what the heck right?
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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Yes, it is for the M203. I'm guessing the only reason manufacturers put those on AR15s is because people want to buy a gun just like what's in the military. I'd say it's the same reason as why the bayonet lugs are on them.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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And to answer your question. They are generally very accurate. My Stag 3L will put .75 MOA groups out there when I'm doing things right. 1 MOA is the norm. I had the same concern at 1st... Concern is gone after firing.
Now, hitting that coyote at 200+ yards while he's in a dead run in a 20 mph wind... Tough, but it isn't the rifles fault ;-)
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Old January 15, 2013, 01:39 PM   #5
CTS
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Quote:
I'm guessing the only reason manufacturers put those on AR15s is because people want to buy a gun just like what's in the military.
Also, many manufacturers buy the barrels from companies that produce the barrels for the military versions as well. This helps keep costs down by not having to retool for the civvy version. PSA for instance buys all their barrels from FN.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:09 PM   #6
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Yes, it is for the M203. I'm guessing the only reason manufacturers put those on AR15s is because people want to buy a gun just like what's in the military. I'd say it's the same reason as why the bayonet lugs are on them.
Very true, but it's a shame so many ARs are built to cosmetically look military but otherwise costs are slashed any way possible to avoid adhering to military specifications. It's not so much an issue in a target or varmint rifle but one that's sold as an "M4gery" and has the M4 barrel cutout and bayonet lug, well why not do as much as possible to make that model milspec. It really doesn't cost that much more to use more expensive materials and specs. PSA does it and sells in the price range of the corner cutter ARs.
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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Very true, but it's a shame so many ARs are built to cosmetically look military
Actually, I see that some Civilian AR's are quite improved over their Military counterparts. For example, some commercial receivers are milled from 7075 billet and are reinforced in areas that Military M16's are not.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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Very true, but it's a shame so many ARs are built to cosmetically look military but otherwise costs are slashed any way possible to avoid adhering to military specifications.
Never mind, not worth the argument.

Last edited by CTS; January 15, 2013 at 08:37 PM.
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Old January 16, 2013, 10:05 PM   #9
Big Caliber
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Grenade launcher ? I'm not really sure I want a grenade launcher. I'd rather have a beer. Thanks for the information. I can't wait to get to the range now.
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Old January 17, 2013, 08:52 AM   #10
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Grenade launcher ? I'm not really sure I want a grenade launcher.
About 15 years ago, I thought a 37mm flare launcher would be fun. So I bought one and attached it to my AR. It looked kind of cool and impressed some non-gun friends. I never used it for anything - just a lump of steel weighing down the barrel of an AR I never used either.

So, I recently removed the "grenade" (flare) launcher. I forgot that this particular one (don't know the brand) had a steel (un-rifled) tube, not one of the aluminum tubes) Anyway, tastes change - not into grenade launchers anymore.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:59 AM   #11
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Its like the forward assist.

And even if you were in the military, would you really want to force the last round forward and jam the gun for further use?

1 in a million that might work, but considering the lack of lethality (multiple 5.56mm shots needed) you would be better off whacking the assailant with the gun or pulling out the pistol.

I think of the forward assist like an appendix. An option that does nothing and adds cost.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:03 PM   #12
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yeah, it's for a grenade launcher on the military version. I think that the civilian M4s are crafted the same b/c it's easier as a manufacturer to just run your lathe machine and test equipment against a known good milspec setup than to do different runs, different quality test patterns and try to guess what demand will be for the civilian market.
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Old January 18, 2013, 04:02 PM   #13
wyobohunter
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Forward assist

Sounds like there is confusion surrounding the purpose of the forward assist.
It is useful for two things:
1-bolt does not go into battery due to dirty weapon- forward assist forces bolt into battery.
2-Ride the charging handle forward to chamber a round quietly- forward assist forces bolt into battery.

I have used purpose #2 several times while coyote hunting.

It is not for clearing a fail to feed or extract jam. For those you "slap, rack, bang" to use the military terminology.

Also- purpose #3, you verify a round is chambered by slightly pulling back the charging handle- forward assist forces bolt into battery ;-)
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Last edited by wyobohunter; January 18, 2013 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Forgot another purpose
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