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Hammer time

Perusing the 9mm AR-15 FAQ at, I’ve changed my mind again and think I’ll probably stick with the Olympic system. The reason is the hammer. The Colt system requires a 9mm hammer which will not work with a 5.56 upper. The Olympic system uses a standard hammer. I like to keep my toys compatible.

I’ve come full circle. Thoughts?

11 Responses to “Hammer time”

  1. Tam Says:

    By the time you get around to dicking around with mag blocks and whatnot, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion I did: Just build a dedicated 9mm lower, hammer & all.

    It’s been my experience that dedicated Colt-system guns, using new-build dedicated mags, tend to run better anyway.

  2. Alston Says:


    The .223 hammer can be converted to work in either with 9mm or .223 uppers. You shave about a 30 degree angle off the face of the hammer, or get your gunsmith to do it. I did it my first one with a dremel when I was 17.

    In any case, it’s not like you won’t have a spare .223 hammer lying around should you need to switch it around, changing a hammer doesn’t take me any longer than changing uppers and magblock and ammo.


  3. robert Says:

    I just hope that you are going to toss the standard trigger and put a two-stage Rock River, Jewel, or other so the damn thing will actually have a trigger you can SHOOT rather than one that just makes the rifle make a loud noise.

    The military burst kit trigger in all of our service folks M16 variants is THE worst trigger I have ever fired. It’s worse, (and this is saying a LOT), than the standard AR triggers, worse than the AK triggers, (which can hardly be called triggers at all), worse than a standard 10/22 trigger….we are talking some POOR triggers here you-all. And I have shot that trigger a LOT and taught hundreds of troops to use the best technique when firing it. I’m not just talking around my beer bottle.

    The trigger is your “touch” on the shot. Front sight, trigger.

    Get a two-stage so that thing will SHOOT. I suggest damning the cost and going with the Jewel.

  4. Tam Says:

    In any case, its not like you wont have a spare .223 hammer lying around should you need to switch it around, changing a hammer doesnt take me any longer than changing uppers and magblock and ammo.

    Alston raises another excellent point here; it’s not like your life is going to depend on speed upper swaps during zombie apocalypse. 😉

    I suggest damning the cost and going with the Jewel.

    I’ve heard a lot of negative feedback on the durability of Jewels and other two-stage match triggers from trainers at the better-known high round count schools. Thoughts?

  5. Les Jones Says:

    I know John Farnam is down on (not with) match triggers for defensive guns. Depends on what the gun’s for. If it’s a range gun, set it up to be accurate. If you’re worried about terrorist zombie biker gangs, go for reliability.

  6. Tam Says:

    I was assuming that the 9mm wasn’t for DCM matches, but rather a precaution against swarms of mutant zombie ninja grizzlies. 😮

  7. Tam Says:

    If we can get enough pistol caliber carbine shooters together, maybe we could come up with some kind of action-style matches at the Armory…

  8. SayUncle Says:

    Two gun matches? Cool.

  9. robert Says:

    I shoot about 5K rounds a year with a Jewel in an AR. Sometimes I have to click the spring up a notch to get it to make CMP weight at a match. Otherwise, no problems.

    Full disclosure: I have two rifles with Jewels. (I had a Bushmaster two stage, had it replaced, then sold it. Not as good.) I’ve shot both Jewels pretty heavily for the last four years. I made High Master in NRA Service Rifle with a jewel. NO one who is competitive shoots a standard trigger.

  10. Tam Says:

    Here’s where we’re looking at different uses for different rifles. A Jewell would be pointless in a carbine I don’t shoot past 25 yards. NRA Service rifle and what I’d use for a house gun/SHTF rifle are two different things.

    I don’t have a red dot and a 2.5# trigger on my CCW, either. 😮

  11. Cowboy Blob Says:

    I’ve got a 9-mm carbine built on a Rock River LAR-15 5.56 lower. How can I tell what kind of hammer I have? I’ve had lots of trouble getting it to feed ammo…it uses modified Uzi magazines.

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