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Old March 14, 2020, 01:32 PM   #1
rickyrick
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Thought exercise: How much trust would you place in an unfired AR?

Just a thought, how much trust would you place on an unfired AR?

I was thinking that many people probably have unfired firearms in their collections, or people that purchase one AR and haven’t fired it yet.
I understand that they should be tested out before you need them, just curious to hear from some of the more experienced people.
I’ve only had one AR style weapon that malfunctioned after assembly, that one was a 5.56 pistol with a budget DSA bolt... the ejector roll-pin backed out. I don’t have any budget mechanicals anymore on any AR; since the market has been flooded, I got rid of any budget components that I used during the panic years as you can find anything you want now.

1. Standard AR in 5.56/.223 purchased as complete, reputable manufacturer.
2. Budget AR purchased complete, 5.56/.223.
3. AR in 5.56/.223 assembled at home by experienced assembler using quality parts.
4. AR in 5.56/.223 assembled with budget components.
5. AR purchased complete from reputable manufacturer in alternate calibers, .300, 6.5, 6.8 etc.
6. SBR or pistol .300aac 10inch barrel assembled from Quality parts at home by an experienced assembler.
7. 5.56 pistol in the 10inch range.

There’s many categories feel free to add what you wish.

Last edited by rickyrick; March 14, 2020 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Title reworded
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Old March 14, 2020, 03:14 PM   #2
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I'd repose a fairly high degree of trust in 1-4. I've never put one together that didn't work well from the first shot, but I've only made midlength and rifle length examples in 5.56.

If I were doing anything remotely creative, my confidence would shrink to near zero.
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Old March 14, 2020, 03:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, I’ve only had one that didn’t work on the first outing. I was able to quickly diagnose the issue. I do have one 10” 300AAC that I haven’t fired, everything in it is from reputable manufacturers. I haven’t heard too many issues with that caliber being very finicky.

There’s also the issue of zeroing, but I’m only really curious about firearm function.
I’ve bore-sighted enough rifles that I am comfortable that I could get it good enough for short ranges.
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Old March 14, 2020, 06:10 PM   #4
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Old March 14, 2020, 08:15 PM   #5
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I don't trust any gun for carry or defense until I have put some rounds down range, not even the ones I have built. The same goes for rifles, shotguns, pistols or revolvers, any weapon to be used for a serious use should be checked out and sighted in. Its a mechanical device and can fail so we should all be responsible gun owners. I know guys that do carry unproven guns but I wont.
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Old March 14, 2020, 08:29 PM   #6
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I totally agree, I don’t trust anything that I haven’t fired. I have plenty of proven firearms.

I do know some people that have bought guns and probably haven’t fired them.

I just got to thinking that over the years all but one rifle has ever failed to function flawlessly.
I only have one untested complete firearm, although I do have an upper in progress.
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Old March 14, 2020, 08:44 PM   #7
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Gotta shake them down. When I assembled my 300blk last year, it malfunctioned on the 2nd round and each second round after that. Swapped BCGs with a 5.56 and all was well. Just for grins I fired a couple of magazines of the 5.56 with the suspect extractor spring (imo). Worked great and that BCG remains with that 5.56 today.
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Old March 14, 2020, 10:01 PM   #8
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If I were trusting any gun in a truly life or death situation I would not pick anything I have not fired. I would rather fire at least 500 rounds with no issues to trust in to save my skin. This includes ones I bought or any gun I've made. I have made numerous ARs, AK, pistols and assembled numerous Garands and 1903s. I haven't run into issues with any of them working but I still want a gun with a proven track record. Gun manufactures are not perfect, lord knows I make silly mistakes, and sometimes parts simply fail out of the box. Too much on the line to go with an unfired gun.
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Old March 14, 2020, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick
Just a thought, how much trust would you place on an unfired AR?
Zero
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Old March 14, 2020, 11:01 PM   #10
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I mean I have owned a TON of firearms and with a proper cleaning and oiling out of the box the VAST majority have worked just fine.

That said having a firearm that I haven’t run a box or two of ammo through, especially its given defensive ammo makes me nervous and I don’t TRUST it.

I will give you a prescient example. I recently picked up another HK45C. I have an HK45c that runs ANYTHING, I have numerous other HKs that I have absolute faith in. There has never been a negative thing written about the HK45C as far as reliability goes. So with all that background do I trust my new 45C???? Nope..... not until a “shakedown cruise”. Am I 99% certain she will run and if some out of the ordinary circumstances forced me to press it into duty would I?....yes but there would always be a little doubt.

Point is clean, lube, dry fire and run a box or three of your chosen defensive ammo through EVERY firearm just to be sure. Otherwise it is a crap shoot good odds or bad.
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Old March 14, 2020, 11:08 PM   #11
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I'd put zero trust in one that hasn't been fired . I've had two that did not cycle properly that I put together , both were do to misaligned gas blocks . one worked-ish the other would not cycle at all . The interesting thing on the second one was that I measured and marked everything at least 5 times before locking everything in place .

After the range I took it apart and checked my notes . The measurements I used weren't even close to what it should have been . I'm still confused about that one and a bit embarrassed . Works fine now and is one of my favorites .

Like others 500rds minimum with NO issues before I would trust my life on it. I have a new PX4 storm I like a lot . I put adjustable sights and talon grips on it and it shoots right to where I want it and it feels great in the hand I love that thing . How ever there is no way it's replacing my XD9 for SD/HD . I've got about 350rds through the storm with out issue but I have 2k+ rounds through my XD with "ZERO" issues . It's by far the most reliable firearm I've ever owned , oh and the factory fixed sights POA is exactly where I like it ( 6 o-clock hold )

Quote:
I was thinking that many people probably have unfired firearms in their collections, or people that purchase one AR and haven’t fired it yet.
Just last year I helped a friend of a friend sight in his 7-ish year old never been fired AR . He said he bought it after sandy hook just so he could have one but never really cared for the style .

I also have a close family friend that has multiple firearms that they have never fired ( like in the 10's ) They also likely have more reloading stuff then I do and have never loaded a round . They are busy with life right now and I assume firearms is part of there retirement plan
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Old March 14, 2020, 11:39 PM   #12
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Don't trust anything unfired. I once trusted a Mossberg 500 unfired. I bought it during goose season so I just grabbed it and went out to the field and belly crawled after some geese. Popped up and shot and nothing. I must have had a few rookie geese that day as they just looked at me. I popped up about 9 times and the gun never went off.

Turned out the firing pin was gunked in place. This was back in 97. Cleaned everything and was good to go. Still got 9 geese that season in 7 shells.
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Old March 15, 2020, 01:20 AM   #13
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Trust, but VERIFY!!!

unfired, I have zero trust. I have expectations. After it works it can gain trust.
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Old March 15, 2020, 01:29 AM   #14
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If a new Ruger, S&W or similar quality brand, a fair bit

But for a gun built by a stranger, including a modified Saiga —would never consider the acquisition. Period.
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Old March 15, 2020, 07:37 AM   #15
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I'm trying to get my brain around buying a firearm and not firing in the first place--why would anyone do that?

Despite having assembled dozens of AR's in many different chamberings--it's a rare one that operates flawlessly with everything I feed it right from the get-go for me. I must really suck at it.
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Old March 15, 2020, 09:00 AM   #16
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Not fired yet, which means not sighted in. I certainly couldn’t trust its accuracy, so unless it’s my only option in an emergency situation I would never rely on it.
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Old March 15, 2020, 11:32 AM   #17
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I can’t think of many plausible scenarios in which I’d need a rifle. Even more unlikely I’d need to use one that I haven’t tried out. I definitely wouldn’t grab one that hasn’t been tested.
I’ve carried a pistol for most of my civilian life, I had one event where I really did need a pistol and I didn’t have one with me. So, the chances of actually needing a rifle in out current society is astronomically low.
I’ve been a technician for a multiple types of equipment for all of my adult life... new equipment tends to be the most unreliable until the bugs are worked out. Now that I have a few years of AR assembling, I’ve noticed that they are pretty reliable from the start.
I haven’t stepped into uncharted AR waters. I only use proven components. I do see a trend following gun forums: with the more custom set ups, the wild cats, the low cost parts and that sort of stuff, there is some bugs to work out.

I am not looking for justification to use an untested rifle, just curious about other’s experience.
Seems like everyone is echoing my thoughts on the matter too.

I too would want to zero the sights WITH AMMUNITION as soon as possible.
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Old March 15, 2020, 12:29 PM   #18
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"Just a thought, how much trust would you place on an unfired AR?"

Just another thought. None. It needs to be broke in and sighted in, and it needs to be safety and function checked, especially with the magazines that will be used in it.

Here's another thought. After I maintain my daily carry piece, I run a full mag of ammo through it. It is then wiped down and holstered, but other wise stays in that condition until maintained again.

Kinda tough depending on a tool to work if you don't know for sure.
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Old March 15, 2020, 12:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Here's another thought. After I maintain my daily carry piece, I run a full mag of ammo through it. It is then wiped down and holstered, but other wise stays in that condition until maintained again.
My buddy posed that question once to me . Which would you trust more on your life . A gun you recently put 500rds through with no issues and had not cleaned , or that same gun freshly and fully broke down and cleaned and unfired since ?
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Old March 15, 2020, 07:27 PM   #20
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Regardless of type or brand I would have ZERO trust in any firearm that has not been shot!!!

TW
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Old March 15, 2020, 09:34 PM   #21
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I would trust every gun I own, ahead of any other gun.
I have an AR, it has never malfunctioned, other than that time it wouldn't shoot two rounds in a row without malfunctioning, for a span of 20-30 rounds, fifteen years ago.
If there were Barbarians at the gate, I'd reach for it today, but I'm aware that there is no such thing as 100% reliability.
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Old March 15, 2020, 09:38 PM   #22
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None.

My answer would be the same, anyway. But...
I recently had an issue that was a good reminder of why I always test (any gun, but especially semi-autos) before assuming any change is good, let alone something entirely new to me.

I had a varmint upper running on my last in-service TAC-15 (polymer) lower. As far as feeding and going bang, it was fine. But an old issue popped up again. I had some selector issues on its last trip out to Utah ... and that was the last straw for the lower.

Within an hour of being home, I was searching for a cheap aluminum lower to swap the parts into. I ended up finding an Aero lower at a price I was willing to pay, and opted for that. As soon as it showed up, I swapped the parts over and stuck it back in the safe for testing. But then I ran across a good deal on a Magpul MOE rifle stock (which I prefer on everything), and swapped that and a new buffer assembly onto the lower.

It sat in the safe, waiting for a good testing opportunity, for about a month, before I needed to "borrow" the scope that was on it. Yea, that was a death sentence.

It sat for over a year, until late January / early February of this year.
I finally took it out for function testing. (Still without a replacement scope, as the 'temporary' loan turned out to be permanent ... and the gun budget has been going elsewhere.)

Lo, and behold:
It short-stroked.
With EVERYTHING I put in it. Multiple magazines, multiple types of ammunition, varying numbers of cartridges in the magazine.
Manual function checks showed that everything was fine. But feed it real ammunition, and it short-stroked about 90% of the time.

What was once reliable needs a troubleshooting day, now...
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Old March 15, 2020, 10:13 PM   #23
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A gun I own that I haven't fired..........uh..........I just don't understand that. I have 85-90 firearms. Ain't a single one that hasn't been fired and enjoyed. I just don't understand the concept. If it hasn't proven that it's reliable and fairly accurate, it's a safe-dwelling range gun.
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Old March 16, 2020, 07:41 AM   #24
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The deeper issue:

I'd have far less trust for the person who had never fired their self defense gun.
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Old March 16, 2020, 03:01 PM   #25
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I’m not really saying trust with your life, just that if you reasonably expect it to function when you take it out.
If a weapon didn’t function properly and it wasn’t something needing adjustment or a break-in, I’d cut it up with a chop saw.
I wouldn’t trust a person that sold a gun knowing it malfunctions.
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