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Old January 2, 2010, 01:46 AM   #1
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AR15 Forward Assist

Can someone explain to me the purpose of the forward assist plunger found on many AR15 upper receivers? I mean, I understand the general concept. Its there so that if a round doesnt chamber, you can force it and fire... Now aside from the seemingly obvious issue there (that if the round won't chamber something is wrong), why not just eject the round and let the spring chamber the next one? And if that doesnt work, I should think there is something seriously wrong with your rifle, if it repeatedly won't chamber ammunition... or am I missing something completely?

Reason I ask, I have a DPMS LPC without the forward assist plunger. I've heard some people claim that the forward assist is a "must have" but I'm not really convinced. If you're forcing ammunition into the chamber, wouldn't that potentially further damage the non-functioning rifle?

And to appease the battle crowd... say you're in a firefight and your rifle jams, you eject the round and the next one does likewise. Now instead of ramming it into the chamber, possibly damaging your rifle beyond simple field repair, why not just grab your sidearm? Seems quicker thank monkeying with a jammed rifle in the first place anyway...
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Old January 2, 2010, 01:53 AM   #2
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When doing a press-check, ensuring the rifle is in battery with a quick tap on the forward assist is great.

While in battle, if the enemy is more than 25 yards away, it will be hard to place rounds on target with a pistol. Better to take cover and get your rifle back up.
E Pluribus Unum
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Old January 2, 2010, 03:13 AM   #3
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I've never done a press-check on a rifle, and would never try to cram a reluctant round into the chamber, so haven't had need for the forward assist. The first explanation makes sense, but I'd think using the forward assist to cram a round in the chamber when a normal bolt stroke didn't do the job, is asking for trouble. Since the charging handle doesn't reciprocate, as it does in the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, and M14, the forward assist is probably the equivalent of the handle on the op-rod; give it a rap to make sure the gun is locked in battery, but don't use it as a slide-hammer.
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