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Does your AR-15 need a forward assist?

IIRC, it was an after thought by the Army.

9 Responses to “No”

  1. Dave L. Says:

    I have actually used the forward assist, on both the M16 and M4.

    But that, obviously, was when I was in the Army

  2. Huck Says:

    The only times I ever had a need to use forward assist on the M-16A1 when I was in the National Guard was to seat the first round when had 30 rounds packed into a magazine. I found out that loading only 28 rounds into the 30 round mag ended that problem. Also, when using the older 20 round magazines I didn’t have to use forward assist.

    Better to have that feature and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  3. Rivrdog Says:

    AFAIK, Forward Assist was added in late 60s due to substandard ammo reaching the war zone. Smart troopers acquired a micrometer from Supply and miked their issued ammo when they had time. I’ve heard that in some lots, 1/3rd of it was overlength.

  4. Ratus Says:

    Wait, are you talking about the “make the jam worse button”?

  5. Lyle Says:

    I’ve used mine (successfully by the way, not to “jam it worse”) several times. Granted, that’s several times in 20 years. So; better have it and not need it, I figure. It doesn’t hurt anything just sitting there. If you want to shave that particular ounce or two of weight off, then OK, but maybe there are better places to save weight, at least until you’re down to that one thing that remains.

  6. Lyle Says:

    This reminds me of the finger grooves on the Glock; it became socially “cool” to say that you hated them. Meh.

  7. M Gallo Says:

    Actually the thumb relief on the bolt carrier was always there, and served as a forward assist in the original design. If you can’t push the bolt into battery with your thumb on the bolt, your gun needs a more thoughtful un-fucking than push/pull/roll/rack.

  8. Mike Voncannon Says:

    IIRC Army Ordinance forget the gun tooth and nail. When forced to adopt it, they specified a different, dirtier, powder than the rifle was designed for and the rifle was shipped without individual cleaning kits and soldiers were told it didnít need to be lubed.. This led to fouling and malfunctions. The forward assist was the ďcure.Ē Iím not sure original bolts had the thumb relief.

  9. Heath J Says:

    I’ve mashed the thing a few times on my issue M4s/M16s, but hardly ever use it on my civilian AR.