Monday, August 02, 2010

Ultra-clever WECSOG field fix:

From the Wile E. Coyote School Of Gunsmithing: "How to perform an emergency field expedient replacement of an AR-15 extractor spring using a rubber band and a knife."

That's pretty durn clever. Color me impressed. I'd imagine it'd go Tango Uniform in any kind of extended rapid fire, but if you'd suffered a broken extractor spring and were a long walk from a new one, I'd rather have a usable slow-fire carbine rather than a mediocre aluminum club.


Fred said...

Forgot to mention in the post, but we had at least 300 rounds through the gun by the end of the day, zero malfunctions, still running strong, and we did manage to get the gun pretty hot (even with gloves the delta ring was almost too hot to touch.)

Anyway, thanks for the link!

Stan in Minnesota said...

Not surprising since the spring we handle look more like a round piece of rubber rod bound by a spring anyway. I always wondered which component was doing the work.

Ed Foster said...

Whatever works, and the engineers are cool dudes. I will keep it in mind if ever.

For reference, get the special D-ring Mack Qwinne sells up at I still have a copy somewhere of the Crane Navy Weapons Test Center test on it. 5,000 rounds on a broken extractor and still running like a charm.

It'll be the best 2 or 3 bucks you ever invested in the weapon.

Anonymous said...

Don't much care if I offend anyone's delicate nature but a fully loaded and functioning AR15 is at best a mediocre aluminum club. Too many died in the 70s carrying a club when they should have had a gun.

Matt G said...

Anonymous, the modern M16A3's and -A4's, M4's, and AR's are not the same rifles as the original M16/XM16E1 that was fielded in Vietnam without a chrome bore, with variable ammo burn rates, with variable buffers, etc. A lot of changes were made based on the battlefield experience.

But your statement is odd anyway, given that the vast majority of those who died carrying M16s and ARs did so in the 1960s.

Tam said...


"Don't much care if I offend anyone's delicate nature but a fully loaded and functioning AR15 is at best a mediocre aluminum club. Too many died in the 70s carrying a club when they should have had a gun."

Tell me about it. You wouldn't believe how many guys I've talked to were the last survivor of their unit, and when they rolled over the bodies of their dead buddies every last one of them had a broken open '16 in one hand, and a cleaning rod in the other. It was horrible! We must've had three or four infantry divisions wiped out that way, by the best I can reckon.

Ed Foster said...

Anon, listen to Tam. And I call B.S. totally, because Gun Store Commandoes like you really piss me off.

I make them for a living, and have for 20 years. Literally millions of them, at Colt's, Smith and Wesson, and Stag Arms. The company I work for also manufactures essentially ever part of the weapon except the barrel and the plastic for the Colt M-16, plus Rock River, Bushmaster, and Armalite.

I've seen random samples of A2's at Colt's pulled and fired 10,000 rounds each, full auto, as fast as magazines could be slapped in them, with not one single stoppage. Three of them at the same time actually, 30,000 flawless rounds, back in 1990 for the pre-Chavez Venezuelan army test.

Do you know what the government reliability standard is for the M-16 and the M-4?

2 weapons out of every 100 are pulled at random and fired 6,000 rounds each. You're allowed 5 stoppages total. 6, and the entire lot is condemned. Look it up, IT'S LAW!

That's for all reasons combined, weapon, magazine, ammo.

Back in the 60's at Colt's, a man named Jim Taylor gave the M-16 to the Army and said "Here's the most reliable rifle ever made". "Just don't use ball powder in it".

The Army decided to use ball powder, and there were problems for almost a year in a hot and humid place I remember quite well.

The same problems we had with other weapons, until they gave us back stick powder.

Modern ball powder doesn't have the same calcium rich deterrent coatings, and the guns run fine on WC844 and 846, Win 748, just about anything you can stick in them.

It's a Ljungman gas system, remember? Look up the AG-42 rifle. More tolerance for powder burning rate variations than any other piston gun around.

Yes Virginia, there is a piston. That's what the rings are for on the ass end of the bolt. Stoner just put it inside the bolt carrier to simplify the design and eliminate the reciever torqueing from the camming effect you see in other weapons.

It ran quite well in Swedish guns that operated north of the arctic circle, and Egyptian rifles in the middle of sandstorms.

The U.S. and Iraqi armies have done rigorous testing on the AK, and with it's wide open reciever, incredibly varying and often quite shitty magazines, and the penchant for it's operators to lubricate it using diesel oil, it's the dust magnet par excellaunce of the military world.

When the duststorm hits the fan, an M-16 can safely be run dry and be kept buttoned up while still ready to fire. That's why the Iraqis are changing to the -16. That and the fact that you can hit something with it past barroom distances.

If the AK was anything other than a crude ergonomic disaster usable, at best, at longish submachinegun ranges by poorly trained slob armies, then why did the Russians replace it among all their first line troops with the ABAKAN?

Look up the ABAKAN rifle. It costs too much, is way too complicated, and weighs a kilo more than it should, but it mimics the performance of the M-16 quite nicely. Also, the Russians claim the hit probability is twice that of the AK, and it has twice the effective range.

The Chinese got it better and simpler. Their T-91 is an exact copy of the M-16, and they've sold millions of them, with no reliability problem at all.

I guess they were issued to people who use them, rather than REMF's who want to sound experienced and worldly and all. Doofus.

Boat Guy said...

"Overcome, adapt and improvise" Nicely done!
I'll also weigh-in in the "OMG! Like a zillion dudes got killed in 'the nam' 'cause their -16's were bad man!" I go back to the A1, largely past the A2, to the A3 thence M4; once the propellant thing got resolved (another fighting decision initially made by some procurement weenie most likely) thise things have RUN. I've seen ONE mechanical malfunction; a loose hammer pin (wonder why THAt was?).
I'll just cite John Plaster when he notes that MACV-SOG could carry any damn weapon they wanted and overwhelmingly chose the CAR-15.
The black gun is a great CARBINE. Think of it as a replacement for the M1 Carbine and you're on track.
Now if you want a RIFLE; well that's a different deal...

Fred said...

After qualing this last weekend for the Army, I will admit I have a new found hate of the M4. But it has nothing to do with how it works, simply that I was zeroing the rifle around sundown and the %*&^ front sight post it too freakin' close to your face.

Then again, slap a red dot on there and the problem goes away. I'll stick to my middy for personal carbine use though.

As far as function goes, the only malfunctions I've witnessed to date on any AR/M16 platform has all been due to user error (failure to clean, and one event of placing the firing pin retaining pin in front of the section it's supposed to be in. Locked the gun up pretty well.) and bad magazines (which is easily the number one cause of malfs in any auto-loading gun.) When it boils down to it, if the person behind the gun is smart enough to shoot it in the first place, it WILL work. Hell, we fixed it with a freakin' rubber band!