The Ugly Rifles Club Series.
This is probably what I am going to call my AR related posts from now on. Kerry and his mates are covering a whole lot of ballistics, hunting, bushcraft/skills, safety, bolt guns, etc. So that leaves a couple more areas that I think contributors to the blog should cover. AR, Pistols, Shotguns, Air Rifles and Air Pistols, both field/ hunting and target shooting. And if we have a lot more time on The Bloke, let’s throw in my other favourite, bow hunting. That is another topic on “the other blog”.
This time round, I am going to talk about safety with an AR. There are those who are purely shooting their ARs for target matches, whether be it 3-Gun or Service Rifle, and then the ones who are taking them out into the hunting grounds.
Due to the nature of ARs, the “Lego for men” modularity, this means in every AR, there are bound to be some parts that are not manufactured from a single factory, not to mention the aftermarket parts we boys like to add to personalise them.
Firstly, check and test and check and test things that might surprise you.
I recently found out that my super light two-stage trigger set up on my rifle as a DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle) would still go off even when put to “safe”. It is not a straightforward failure, which made it tricky. After the weapon is charged, I would habitually put the weapon into “safe” and get into shooting position, flick the safety switch to “fire” mode, and squeeze the trigger.
When I was testing my AR after a good clean recently, I habitually go through checks after assembling the rifle. Charge, put to “safe”, pull trigger. All good. For some reasons, I pulled the trigger a couple more times and to my horror, “click” goes the hammer.
I took the rifle apart, checked, assembled, charge, put to “safe”, pull the trigger, all good. Pulled a couple more times and “click” it went once more.
Something is seriously wrong here. And very dangerous. After going through the internet forums/posts/discussions I found out that this is not an isolated case for those who have set up their rifles with light trigger pulls (no wonder service rifles have a heavy 3.5-4lb triggers for safety). Sadly, the only solution is to find matching safety switches and triggers since there is no such thing as “tolerance” and “standards” when it comes to the AR platform.
This is something I urge every AR shooter out there, especially those who have set up their rifles with after market triggers, to check and check your setup, ESPECIALLY if you are taking your rifle out to the bush to do a little hunting with it.
It is not a problem with the trigger or the safety switch. It is just a problem that happens with the modular nature of the platform. No one can agree on one standard / dimension with the AR, so you, as the owner, should do your part to ensure your rifle is performing well and safe. I am just blessed that I caught this issue while I was cleaning and working on maintenance on my rifle and not when it is loaded at the range, and god forbid, out in the bush.
Check your rifle, and make sure this does not happen to you.
Originally published: May 2, 2016
Lasted updated: June 20, 2018
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