3/27/2010 12:47am, #1
I fired a AR15 for the first time yesterday, also first time using optics
So, yesterday evening I participated in a AR15 match held at a local range. I don't own a AR15 and hadn't fired one before, so I rented one from the range. It was the first time I'd ever operated a AR15, but I mostly knew where all the controls were because of playing video games, especially America's Army. (I knew how to use the forward assist from playing that game, even though I didn't use it at all.) That AR had a red dot sight mounted on it so it was also my first time in my life using optics. Some of the courses of fire were shot in the dark so it was also my first time ever attempting to shoot in the dark. On the whole I had a great time. The people were friendly and the organizers were trying really hard.
Now I think I understand why people shell out so much money for AR15s in spite of the fact that they apparently fail a lot under ideal indoor conditions.
(My rental didn't fail, but two other guys' did, and actually stopped them from being able to complete the course of fire, which in my mind seems pretty atrocious in the context of an event that takes place indoors and that only 30 or so rounds had been fired at the time of those failures.)
As long as it isn't failing, the AR 15 makes shooting feel amost too easy. It's lightweight, so comfortable to use with the adjustable stock, and feels accurate like a magic wand. Even with a shorter M4 style barrel the recoil is soft like a kitten. When I fire my AK47 or my Mosin Nagant it leaves a distinct bruise mark on my chest. Part of the experience of operating them is to have the pain not affect you while you work on your speed and accuracy. In that way it's a lot like thai kicking a heavy bag or contact sparring with a partner. When I use my Mini 14 it's soft and smooth but it's also very heavy and shooting it for an extended period of time feels like an upper body workout; your shooting becomes more athletic because you're lifting and holding up a heavier weight. But that AR 15 could probably be operated by a skinny 8 year old girl. To me it almost feels like cheating to use it. Using the AR 15 it feels like I just magically hit everything I aimed at no matter how small, no matter if I was moving or had bad posture. I honestly thought I had done worse than I really did in reality when I went up to check my targets.
Even after that experience, though, I still don't want to go out and buy an AR. Honestly I don't really feel worthy of one. I feel like AR 15 is so sensitive to oil and maintenance that I wouldn't be capable of keeping it running, given that it can take me hours to field strip and clean just a pistol, get the barrel totally clean, try and remove all the black from all visible surfaces, etc. I also feel like I must first master the AK or mini 14 before I can start using a AR, or else I would run the risk of being yet another fool with expensive equipment but no advanced skills and non-beefy shoulder muscles.
I did think the red dot optics were a total waste of money, though. The configuration of the rifle was such that I could use the red dot and the iron sights at the same time. The red dot was fine to use and was in the middle of your optics if your head was in the perfect position and the iron sights were already perfectly lined up, in which case you didn't need the red dot. If you were trying to look through the optics while walking or in a weird position the red dot would be bouncing around somewhere off to the side and totally unhelpful, and you'd have to use the irons anyway. The only time the red dot was remotely helpful and better than the irons was for shooting in the dark. But I felt like at least half the time the red dot was too difficult to use and that iron sights were easier and faster to use instead.
All in all I had a very good first experience with the AR. I didn't have the chance to familiarize myself with it or handle it before the match. I just jumped in and operated it using the animations I saw in simulationistic video games like America's Army or the Infiltration Mod for Unreal Tournament. But that's all I needed to hit the targets.Best Vietnam War music video I've ever seen put together by a vet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDY8raKsdfg
3/27/2010 1:08am, #2
3/27/2010 1:30am, #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
what brands were the rifles that went down? what part failed on the rifle? my first guess would be the extractor. I won't go into the RDS issue you were having. I will tell you based on what you have said you had a 1/2 co-witness setup on that AR. most people do better with a 1/3 co-witness. I will tell you there are a few AR-15's that have been T&E'ed that have ovoer 20,000 rounds threw them and have only had extractors and o-rings replaced and only more gun oil added to them(specific gun oil*).
3/27/2010 1:52am, #4
I like AR15's, but then again maybe that's just because I was trained on them. I picked one up for the first time in years and still managed to acquit myself in a passable manner.
In Marine Corps boot camp and the subsequent qualification we shot open sights. So that is what I am familiar with. My buddy's gun had laser optics, I can't remember what type, but I do recall putting a few rounds through the same hole on the target at 100yds when using it.
3/27/2010 3:28am, #5
Don't believe the "AR's fail all the time" hype.
Let me guess..you own an AK?
3/27/2010 3:54am, #6
I'm a big fan of the AR15 and varients, I wish we (UK) used that family of systems.
I've only managed to fire these sorts of weapons when working with US troops and I've always been impressed, the weight 'issue' is a massive plus-point in my book, the lighter it is the better really considering all the other Ops-based patrol kit carried and, given the high level of customisation which can be done with the rifle, you have a tricked-out gat and it still doesn't pull your fucking arms off in the standing aim.
Last edited by Rock Ape; 3/27/2010 3:57am at ."To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".
3/27/2010 7:06am, #7
3/27/2010 9:42am, #8
You know I've never managed to get to Belize, I just wish that wasn't the case."To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".
3/27/2010 10:26am, #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
In advance, I'm clearly not a rifle expert. (Ex-Army Reservist that bought an AR last month and have fired < 1k rounds throught it.) However, I believe red-dot sights offer several distinct tactical advantages. Specifically, target acquistition is quicker since you don't need to line up the iron sights. In addition, the red-dot allows you to shoot with both eyes open.
That said, I'm currently looking for a 3X scope to evaluate which I prefer..
3/27/2010 11:14am, #10
Anyone can shoot with both eyes open if they have same dominant eye and position.
It takes practice. Try squinting.
Still - the red dot does make for quick target acquisition.Carter Hargrave's Jeet Can't Do