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The Last Word on the “ARs suck balls” debate

I Offer YOU a Standing Challenge….

Recently, in the comments on Matt Bracken’s essay on the coming rise in temperature, several people made remarks that completely overlooked the validity and subject of the essay to continue the infantile, puerile debates on the supposed failings of the AR platform.

In response, I offered to host one of them in one of my classes, and we would side-by-side, put their chosen weapon and my personal LMT M4 to a torture test. No one has taken me up on the challenge, although “Mountain Rifleman” did spout some nonsense about using hog lard instead of Crisco, and making iron-sighted hits with a BAR out to 1200 yards (I’m well aware it’s been done in the past).

So, to finally put this debate to rest, I’m going to offer this standing challenge. I will wager $500 in silver, AND re-imburse the cost of a training course (any of my open-enrollment courses) to ANYONE who is willing to accept this challenge, AND can successfully pull it off, over the course of the class:

1) Dis-assemble and thoroughly clean your weapon.

2) Re-assemble the weapon, and lube it with Crisco, cooking oil, or any other readily accessible, non-firearm intended lubricant.

3) Toss the weapon into a prepared mud puddle, with the bolt locked to the rear, and step on it with both feet, to ensure that it is thoroughly covered in mud and water.

4) Clear the weapon ONCE (solely to ensure there are no barrel obstructions).

5) Run the weapon the rest of the weekend, lubing with the previously selected lubricant from step 2 above, no more than once per day.

6) At the end of the class, compete against me in a head-to-head “shoot-off” to a set course of fire on targets from 50-500 meters, with a time limit.

In order to qualify as a “win” you have to have fewer per capita (I don’t run my gun as frequently in classes as participants do, but when I do run it, I put far more rounds downrange than they do) malfunctions than I do, and you have to be able to score higher on the final CoF than I do.

If you are not willing to accept this challenge, and demonstrably prove the “superiority” of whatever weapon you select, then I will not allow future posts on my blog that are caliber or platform debates.

(I’m so going to end up regretting this challenge. Apparently it has gone fucking viral on the interwebz. That’s cool. To clarify a couple things though….

1) The $500 in silver is NOT $500 face value. It’s $500 actual value. Fuck people, I’m not independently wealthy.

2) The test is SIDE-by-SIDE. My LMT gets the same treatment from steps 1-6 above. Apparently, some people thought I was such as an asshole that I wanted them to stomp their rifle into the mud, while I stood by gleefully, and giggled like a little girl).

Nous Defions!

John Mosby

Somewhere in the mountains

Postscript: I’ll even run strictly USGI aluminum mags.

For further clarification. My LMT is not a factory-built gun. I built it, using all LMT mil-spec parts. No super-duper, cool-guy triggers, etc….and it is a direct-impingement gas system gun.

  1. 55six permalink

    No one will take this offer JM, they just like to argue and post like they are God’s gift to Special Forces. People who say ARs are not reliable and AKMs are not accurate are idiots with no experience with the weapon system they are criticizing. I am glad you joined the WP revolution and like the new place. -55six

  2. Is your LMT different than a standard issue A2 or M4? Most people posting about how AR’s suck have been subjected to armory issued rifles that have had more fingers in them than the village whore. That was my experience.

    • It’s all mil-spec parts inside. No Geissele or Timney trigger, or anything like that. I’ve got a free-float tube on it but that’s the only thing that’s not standard.

      • Bubba permalink

        Geissele triggers are now milspec. The us army has thousands of them.

      • Surprised someone with a lever or bolt action rifle has not tried to take you up on this.

      • Pinzer permalink

        I don’t see any dates on these so I hope it is recent. A long long time ago whilst working with Sherwood Int’l., we the employees went on a day of Machine Gun shooting. Other than that being one hell of a great time, there came up this age old discussion about AR verses AK in the sand test. So; two of us decided to give it a go. If I remember right, one was actually a Galil and Mine was (and still is) a CAR-15. WE, opened the top cover for the Galil and pulled the rear pin of my CAR and hinged it open, then proceeded to grab a handful of the wonderful Simi Valley dirt and pour it into the trigger mechanism! We dump out this vile foul earth and proceeded to fire the weapon. !! Well I will save you the guessing as to which one DID NOT WORK AT ALL! it was my tried and true CAR. NOW… this was stupid and extreme and yes my AR worked after a bit of careful cleaning. Normally you would not do this to any rifle or pistol but we did prove that the AK type system was pretty tough. Still to this day I choose my CAR and it IS a tack driver with open sights. It works great, is very light and is still my favorite rifle. Then comes ALL the controversy over the Caliber and this is where I say…Whatever!!!!!! (my rifle and the Galil are not class 3 rifles)

  3. Sounds like a trap!

  4. Duane Hogue permalink

    Amateurs argue equipment. Experts and professionals argue tactics.

    • 55six permalink

      Agree, pick what you like and then learn to run it blindfolded in a driving snowstorm with mittens on while being shot at by aliens on crack with AIDS who want to take away our guns.

    • Eric permalink

      Actually, professionals discuss logistics.

    • Kman permalink

      Amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss Logistics.
      –Napoleon Bonaparte

      • Chucker permalink

        And geniuses think finance.

  5. amphibspook permalink

    Enough. Shoot what ya brung, pick their’s up on the run.

    • w4rb4dg3r permalink


    • Bubba permalink

      I’ll jump in. While milspec is fine, I prefer to stay away from mil quality weapons. My first m-16 with the 5 digit serial number was a dream to shoot, you just couldn’t ever tighten the sling on a hot tube. 4.5 lb pull new, 1.5 moa with 55 gr. my last m-4 with that stupid 3rnd burst chingazo had a new factory 8.5 lb pull and shot 4 moa, out of the box with 55grnrs. Nice scope though! Which they taught incorrect bzo procedures off the published table.

  6. MacBeth51 permalink

    First, I’m not trying to restart the argument. I respect your experience and judgement about the weapon you are familiar with. My opinions of the AR platform are based on the weapons I was issued, in the ’70’s. I will even stipulate that much of the problems we had could have been the ammo, most of which was stamped as being repacked in ’68. My take is that in a worst case scenario, a guerrilla fighter is probably best served using his enemies weapons. As far as AK’s, the biggest advantage I see to them as of right now is cost. You can buy a lot of AK ammo for the difference in price between an AR and an AK. More ammo means more practice means better results, and a better chance of , as amphibspook says, “pick theirs up on the run”

  7. Honestly, your challenge sounds like fun. I know I’ll lose, but considering that sounds fun. You ever swing down to Ga let me know.

  8. Joe Sixpack permalink

    Everyone who can get a hold of an AR (or any other Fedgov standard issue equipment) should take the time to familiarize themselves with it.
    Guns break, end of story. They do not have immunity from Murphy’s law.
    Metal fatigue. Dodgy ammunition. Maybe you take a fall and in the heat of the moment you dont realise you’d bayonetted four inches of soil into the barrel. You go to fire it and BOOM, you have a piece of modern art in your hands.
    Bottom line? Shit happens. As said by Amphibspook.
    “Shoot what ya brung, pick their’s up on the run.”

  9. 11Fsteve in the desert permalink

    The readers might better say how and why a particular weapon works well for THEM, and not why it would work BEST for EVERYONE. This chest thumping noise by some readers is just low-end, testosterone, compensating, wannabe-neverwuz, delusional, dick measuring bullshit by people who desperately want to convince THEMSELVES that they are onboard and that they have value. Disregard or ignore. BT.

  10. Seriously, give me a guy/gal with stones and a Mosin-Nagant or even a 1930’s Mannlicher vs. ”
    a no nuts wonder with a FN-Fal- or any high dollar equipment without the will to win ”

    Signed: Participant, 1992 Guns and Hoses Tour,

  11. robroysimmons permalink

    A question for those with combat experience shooting the M-16 variants, any problems with the bolt/chamber interface? As best I can tell it looks like the weak link in a dirty enviroment. How about cleaning intervals and methods to keep them firing?

    USMC 81-85 field artillery and now that I look back I can say I was ripped off as far as weapons training. If I fired more than 400 rounds a year, and 250 were at the rifle range, it would have suprised me. I’ve read somewhere that all boots after grad end up in a truncated infantry school for a few weeks, but back in my day no such thing so outside of the 0300 field weapons training amounted to toting an empty weapon around and then botching the crown up trying to keep it sparkly clean.

    • After basic training, Fort Ord, 1970, I never fired anything. Of course the Lifers, (all Southerns – both black and white) were selling trunk loads of ammo to the whores in SEASIDE, CA.
      Hence, I don’t listen to C-W music, watch NASCAR, or have anything to do with southerners, either white or black.
      All my negative feelings about the south was re-enforced by the Duke LaCross team fiasco.
      You southerners are too dumb to realize that in your desire to lynch those Yankee boys, you pissed off the civilized world.

      • Uhm……well, first, I don’t live in the South. In fact, I probably live further North than you do. Second, The Duke “affair” was, as admitted by the alleged “victim,” a hoax. But hey, bask in your ignorance, although I do agree, NASCAR is pretty much the most retarded “sport” in the world.

      • robroysimmons permalink

        As for the Duke sports team, I doubt many of those kids are Southerners to begin with, but as an aside one of the non-nutty professors at Duke noted that one of his students had been a lacrosse player, went into the Rangers and then died on 9/11 helping people escape a burning building. So just maybe that Southern air doesn’t effect everyone as badly as you imply.

        Other than that, does anyone have a field expedient way to clean the chamber on an AR, especially when it is hot via lead and copper coming your way?

      • In Defense of the South permalink

        That whole region of Duke and Chapel Hill is full of carpet baggers and Yankee transplants, ironically enough.

        Most of the actual people from the South knew something was fishy with the prosecution. BTW, power hungry prosecutors all over the nation constantly prosecute people on dubious grounds – this case was just high profile enough and the parents of the kids had enough money to prove it.

        Plenty of stuff to attack the South over as far as stupidity, as there is in every region of the country, but when it comes to firearms laws there aren’t many places that can compete. How many times do you have to read leftist press types bitching about so many congressmen and senators from the south in both parties being against any kind of gun laws? Enough said.

      • Benjamin permalink

        Err, it looks like @mountainguerilla and @robroysimmons and @InDefenseOfTheSouth may have missed @tyronebs point that the innocent, accused, young men in the Duke case were northerners… and the whole prosecution gave some folks the ideas that it was a lynch mob organized against those damned Yankees.

        @tyronebs was not accusing southerners of failing to support the feminist floozy who tried to destroy them. Don’t worry, oh ye knights in shining armor.

        @InDefenseOfTheSouth shares with us his opinion that “most of the actual people from the South knew something was fishy”. However, those honorable Southerners of yesteryear who gave the old South its good name, are now called something else… Westerners.

        Today’s Southern culture: Lots, and lots of pride. And no shame.

      • Uhm…what the fuck are you talking about? I mean, I get its about Southron pride and the Duke bullshit, but what the HOLY FUCK does that have to do with an article on the Stoner platform….?

      • Benjamin permalink

        What I was talking about was this: 3 of you replied to this guy @tyroneb, and all of you disagreed with him about the Duke LaCrosse matter. (But, I don’t know… you tell me what your comment had to do with the Stoner platform… you were already way off topic by the time I came in).

        It seems that each of you missed what he was saying about the Duke thing, so I figured I’d pull folks back together, to let you understand that he was on the same side as you.

        You and the other two jumped on him, as though he were defending the stripper in the Duke LaCrosse incident. But, he wasn’t doing that at all.

        You disagreed with him mistakenly. That’s all.

      • I was born Yankee, am proud to be able to drive like Dale on black ice, and the local folks where I live now in the Deep South have been nothing but nice to me and my kin. However, I am a firm believer in assimilation to local customs, as America is a big place with great differences in culture. I say mamm, to the ladies, and not much else. I hear gunfire in the distance from my home and find it comforting. I don’t care if my neighbor has a shiny car. We help each other out when we can. You can learn alot from the South. If you didn’t get enough time to shoot, too bad for you. You should have studied harder, earned more, and then you can afford all the guns and ammo you want.

  12. Mt Top Patriot permalink

    These Mil Spec M4 rifles are nothing short of a 1st rate top shelf weapon that kills what it hits if you operate it within it’s real world envelope of capabilities.
    Sure, nothing is perfect, that goes for any weapon system, but that is reality, and one can never change that fact.
    The shortcomings in the AR become handicaps or not, not due to the rifles design, but due to the operators ability to, or not to, take the necessary steps to overcome them and operate it within it’s capabilities.
    I’ll take the AR rifle over any weapon if my choice was based on a system where I can only choose one rifle for all my war fighting needs. And then, maybe for almost all other needs too.
    The M4 type rifle as it has evolved today is a dandy of an arm. It has so much going for it, in my personal opinion, that those who poo poo it are not dealing with a full deck.

    Think of the practical aspects of the AR:
    Commonality of magazines
    Commonality of ammunition
    Commonality of parts
    Adaptability to an ever evolving battle field/technology
    Range of Sighting systems
    Light weight rifle
    Light weight ammunition
    Practical Range
    Rate of fire
    A system designed in such an ingenious manner that almost anybody with a basic of mechanical skill can modify, and or build a complete rifle, to their personal requirements. Something no other weapon system in human history can boast.
    Amazing myriad of accoutrements both mil spec and aftermarket. No other weapon in human history has ever had such a compliment of ingenious and range of enhancing components.

    I often wonder what all the wounded and dead on the receiving end of the AR, have to say about it.

    Mr. Mosbey put it all pretty simple and clear.
    I reckon if it is good enough for him, there ain’t much argument against his experience and insights that ain’t worth more than a bucket of warm spit.

  13. Gunship Cowboy permalink

    You say your LMT is a direct impingement gas gun. I haven’t seen your opinion on piston-operated AR-15s. Please advise which you prefer and why?

    • Mine is a DIG gun. I wouldn’t bother with a piston-driven gun unless I was running an extremely short barrel (shorter than 14.4″ and maybe shorter than 10.5″). Stoner’s design works. As some people have seen in classes, I lubricate mine with whatever 5W motor oil happens to be on sale at the gas station or China-Mart, and only when I remember to lube it. I’m pretty sure I’m well over 3000 rounds since I cleaned it the last time as well, with no problems, whatsoever.

      • *grin* Surprised, thought I was one of the few that used 5W motor oil on weapons, something my grandfather taught me years ago.

      • Unreconstructedgordo permalink

        DIG works VERY well in very (too short IMO) barrel lengths. When you run pistol length gas systems, as most good manufactures do, like Noveske for example, on those 10″ and shorter barrel you are once again “over gassed” if there is such a thing. My 7.5″ Diplomat Noveske pistol has a KX3 which “moderates” the gas duration is is very very reliable with any ammo. I imagine with a suppressor it will be the same. .

  14. 4X12X50 permalink

    If you’re really into motorcycles and like to “fiddle” with them, get a Harley; if you’re really into main battle rifles and like to fiddle with them, get an AR platform. The tables upon tables of AR parts for sale at gun shows years ago got me to thinking because I’m almost obsessive when it comes to KISS. Does a young man’s forced association (military training) at an impressionable age with an AR leave him with a lifelong affliction with “Stonerism”? Early on in the terrible times just ahead full or semi-auto spray and pray might rule, but eventually, and for a long time, the weapon of choice will be a well-sighted bolt action deer rifle, the thing a tyrant fears the most.

    • I would point out that anyone who has trained with me would gleefully tell you that the last thing I do, or advocate, is any sort of “spray-and-pray,” whether I’m running a select-fire gun or semi-auto only. I advocate a high rate of fire when the situation demands it, but a high rate of ACCURATE fire. I’m no tyrant, but I’d much rather face a guy with a scoped deer rifle who thinks he knows what he’s doing than a guy with a mag-fed semi-auto that does know what he’s doing. And no, I don’t hold some programmed affliction with Stonerism. I’ve familiarized with, and/or qualified with, every major small-arm utilized in the last hundred years, and have been forced to carry other weapons on FID missions, as that was what the HN forces carried. I prefer the Stoner platform because it is, in my EXPERIENCE, the superior choice, and my rifles are hardly “fiddled” with. The only changes I’ve ever bothered making to the basic platform is adding freefloat rail systems. I run mil-spec triggers, CH, stocks, pistol grips, etc. Hell, I even run irons as often as not.

    • I’m not military. I worked in an industry where technology, design and mass production reign. Guns are machines and ARs are the best bank for the buck. My PSA with a $350 Burris optic amazes me, and I can reload with mill surplus brass which I cant do with the AK ammo. If you cant hump it or hit with it, what good is it? I’d keep a SKS if only to have an option to shoot 7.62×39 if that’s all I could get, and leave if for the home squad. I’m grabbing the AR first and more ammo and getting away from my home to greet the enemy from the forested hills.

  15. Just a lurker here. But THIS SITE is the BOMB. Thank you Mr. Mosby for starting it, for keeping it going, and most of all, for sharing your hard learned, hard won, and hard fought for experience. Readers here may have to cut ‘n paste the following link but, even though a noob here and entirely without mil experience, I would dare to say that everyone, yes everyone, would benefit from seeing this pictorial on “How The Piston In Your DI AR Works”. For those who don’t know, you’ll be amazed at the genius of Stoner’s design.

  16. rogeru permalink

    I know next to nothing about rifles. Do you have any plans to do an article on choosing a rifle? What do you look for and are there any brands to stay away from?

    • Bob permalink

      I’ve lived my life working with guns of all types. I had never personally owned a black rifle until recently. Allot of handguns, shotguns, and quite a few high power rifles.

      Recently, and before the big explosion on black gun prices, it just seemed the circumstances were trending towards a day when one would be very very handy. At that point I spent allot of time figuring out what might be the best of the lot for a defensive firearm that might also be used extensively in the field for everything from protecting the herd from coyotes to laying waste to the zombie banker hordes of the apocalypse.

      I talked to many who had carried the weapon in combat for the last 50 years and what I found was the older guys my age and older who were issued it in Vietnam didn’t like it, they still carried their grudges about the way it was introduced in SE Asia. To a man they wanted their old trusty Garand. The younger guys who fought with it in the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan all liked it to a man. Which surprised me until they taught me how to run it properly. Now I’m convinced the basic AR platform (aka civilian M4) is a very good blend of qualities that meets or exceeds anything I can throw at it. I bought a very generic Smith Wesson M&P 15 with Iron sights. I occasionally top it with a hunting scope to pop prairie dogs and coyotes, but usually it sports Irons and an old Sure Fire for working in the dark.

      Learn to maintain it and I think this thing will be run by my grand kids.

  17. any feeling on the III Arms AR15 for a first timer? Any suggestions/

    • No experience with it at all. Sorry. From personal experience, I recommend Noveskes, Daniel Defense, Lewis Machine & Tool, and Colt. I run a LMT gun that I built personally. My wife runs a DPMS we picked up a long time ago, and it actually choked for the first time in class last weekend, after tens of thousands of rounds, due to a magazine issue, and the fact that, after not having been cleaned in six or seven weeks of steady firing, it went without being lubed for a couple of weeks, and got run in pouring rain and snow and mud. My LMT has NEVER choked (although someone did manage to blow the flash suppressor apart when I loaned it out in class…..). So, unless you plan on running a stupid dirty gun, never clean it, and neglect to lube it for weeks at a time, it should run fine as long as it’s from a major manufacturer.

      • In Defense of the South permalink

        Great suggestions and as a fellow LMT owner, you are 100% correct. However, I would add in BCM to the list of companies that make a top tier AR.

  18. I’ll investigate and act appropriately. Thanks so much!

  19. taarealitycheck permalink

    I’ve used M16s and AR15s for almost 40 years now. I don’t know what the big fuss is about :) I’ll pit mine against most any other rifle most of the time. But, I built mine and I love it. It’s the best I’ve shot so far in all these years. (It’s also not an M4, it’s a long barreled AR with a decent scope and I try not to ever stomp it into the mud too. :))

  20. Max permalink

    1967-1968 Marine DMZ and Laos Border. M-16 Operation Buffalo. Weapons jamming, lying on back with rod clearing jams, knowing only weapon in possession 1911 was all that could be counted on. Hard to forgive!

    • The fault for the incidents you cite has been firmly laid at the feet of the U.S. Army Ordnance Board and Colt Firearms, rather than Eugene Stoner and his design. Stoner’s design included a chrome-lined chamber. In order to cut production costs, the Ordnance Board signed off on Colt’s idea to forego chrome-lining. This led to massive pitting in the chamber of the weapon, due to the wet weather in SEA, in coordination with the misguided idea that, because the original M16s were shipped without a cleaning kit, you didn’t need to clean them. So, weapons that had powder residue built up, created rust and pitting in the chamber. When a round was fired, the case fire-formed to the chamber, pitting and all, and the extractor was unable to extract. Once Congress caught on and raised hell with the Ordnance Board and Colt, this criminal negligence was remedied, and the weapon has not had that type of problem since, other than due to natural wear and tear leading to weakened extractors and springs.

  21. Josh permalink

    What is your opinion on barrel length, weapon mounted flashlights, and forgrips?

    • Depends on the application. Check out articles on the old site (, and there’s an article on setting up the GP fighting carbine on there.

    • jessemathewson permalink

      I am constantly battered by (run a 14″
      Or run a 20″ barrel) nonsense, I run a delton home build, with epoxied front sights, and occasionally buy new barrels and regularly maintain internals – this rifle was $750 brand new, I purchased it used and paid $200- with a 1/9 twist and 55-69 grain feeding it I have put around 30k through it since Feb 2012-

      All I can say (and I think Mosby will agree) is quality of training and constant training. Those who rely solely on their pretty little chrome pieces and über expensive AR builds with pro comps (and never train) are nothing more than bullet stoppers for people who train.

      With a 14″ barrel you can make 200-300 yard kills easily- and with a 16″ out too 500 and so on, however, as many far better than I at this will tell you, an AR is a great platform and is for all intents and purposes a 200 yard gun- go to your bolt gun in .308 or higher for longer shots- it just makes more sense.

      Side note- love the blog, don’t usually comment- hope you don’t mind it I reblog occasionally!

  22. jessemathewson permalink

    Ooohhh I do so love the “mine yours” debates, oh wait, not really-
    Good luck with the challenge and I hope someone mans up, but doubtful, after all- Internet ninjas will be Internet ninjas.

    Love the blog keep rolling it out!

  23. This would be a nifty fun thing to do, win or lose – which is how I’d approach it.

    but let’s be clear, sir, your carbine is not a stock AR15, it’s a piston driven gas operated gun – as such, it’s not at all what people are talking about when they “dis” ar15’s or it’s military equivalent. Funny how the AR only stops sucking balls when it gets modified into another form of gun…

    That being said, any and all guns are subject to failures – and your “challenge” is not a measure of the gun at all – it’s the measure of the operator – I can, for instance, challenge anyone to a contest in my own area of expertise, and would only lose to someone who was as skilled as I was in my field. Which is essentially what you’re doing, which doesn’t – at all – settle any form of argument for the equipment we use.

    why do I say this? Because, given the same contest, if you were to EXCHANGE guns and run the contest, you would probably still win, regardless of the weapon you received (assuming it wasn’t messed with) – because a critical component of “winning” is the head to head with a guy who puts thousands of rounds downrange a month.

    But it would still be fun to do!

    • Re-read the article stud. My gun is NOT a piston-drive gun. I don’t have any use for piston guns in AR format unless the barrel is less than 10.5″……I will gladly take a stock M4, with iron sights, and still run the challenge.

  24. AricTheRed permalink

    Oh how I would soooo challenge you if I owned anything other than a standard DGI M4 or A2, if my M1 Garand had a 30rd enbloc, or if the beginning of the end was more than 6-12months from now.

  25. PSYOP Soldier permalink

    Sigh…I wish could have an old fashioned CAR-15 with a fixed stock and 16″ barrel like we had back in the day…Never had any problems with it, chewed up everything we put thru it…I sincerely hope that someone with brass ones takes you up on your challenge, but doubt any will…Great site, lovin it….PSYOP

  26. 11Fsteve in the desert permalink

    I carried a Car-15 as my usual primary weapon in RVN in 1969-70. I guess that would qualify for being, “back in the day.” Never saw one with a “fixed stock.” Every single one had an adjustable telescoping stock.
    When did the Car-15 have a “fixed stock?”

    • The earliest CAR-15 short models, the 607s, had a fixed A1 stock, with the 10 inch barrel. I actually didn’t know any had ever been issued except in trials. All the ones I ever saw, from issued items at the 75th before we got the M4s, to hidden away in the Bravo compound at SWC, had the collapsible stocks. I’d heard and seen pictures of the fixed stock ones though.

  27. psyop soldier permalink

    ^^^Perhaps we were the step children and got the various hand me downs issued…This was 83-87 when 1st SOCOM was at Bragg…Much of our kit was a mix of old and newer issued gear, rifles included: CAR’s, A1’s, & A2’s…Some had collapsible stocks, most had fixed….6th PSYOP BN, ABN, 4th POG…

  28. Ben permalink

    Mr. Guerilla,

    I really enjoy your site. Thanks for passing on all of the knowledge. I would also like to thank you for your hard work. It is appreciated out here in webland.

    I too am an LMT owner and I don’t think you can find a better rifle “out of the box” than the Standarrd 16. I have made very few modifications to my rifle and it has always worked flawlessly. I can count one or two hiccups in the past two years of shooting hundreds of rounds thru it…and that was probably something I did. I get a lot of flak from M1A owners about why I chose an AR platform and then really fluster them when I tell them I own a scout squad as well.

    In this day and age, I am still not sure why people feel the need to puff their chest out about this weapon or that weapon. I think most people would agree that there are a lot of fine firearms manufactuers out there and there are a lot of superlative weapon systems on the planet. I never understand why people want to jaw about this gun or that gun when it really comes down to personal preference. The old addage of “my favorite gun is the one that I shoot the best” should suffice.


    That ain’t the world we live in….so I guess it’s Coke or Pepsi…McDonald’s or Burger King…AR or AK….Chevy or Ford….9mm or 45ACP…Glock or Springfield and blabbedy blah blah…HA!

    God luck with the challenge. I hope to read about it on here.

  29. revjen45 permalink

    My EBR is gray. I chose something other than the DI AR platform not because I think it sucks, but because I was overcome with gun lust and couldn’t help myself. Still not sorry when I take it out of the safe and caress it or when we go to the range. When things calm down I plan to acquire an AR platform. Until then, I just hope SHTF can hold off for a while longer. I do have other rifles with which to do battle with the drug crazed Reptoids from Alpha Draconis.

  30. 3gunmaniac permalink

    You know the AR is more reliable then it seems, while the AK is more accurate then urban myths…..

  31. Simple historical reality is that it doesn’t make spits worth of difference whether you’re carrying an AK, AR, FN,FAL, UZI, M!, Springfield, Mosin-Nagant, etc., etc.,etc.. If hundreds of bullets are whipping over your head do you think “It’s an AR. It’s accurate so I better keep my head down.” vs “Oh it’s an AK. They’re inaccurate as heck. No need for me to duck.” If you set out to ambush a group and do so and accomplish that goal… does it really matter whether you did it with a $5000 custom built AR or some dude’s $300 homebuilt parts kit AK? They’re just as dead. What matter is do you have A WEAPONS? Do you have ANY bullets? Do you have ANY equipment? I once equipped a group of militia fighting a dictator. They wanted high end weapons. I gave them AKs because I got 5 times as many weapons for the same money and 2 shiploads of ammo instead of a half a shipload of the “good stuff”. f you take even a cursory look at the number of rounds fired by soldiers in every war for each killed or wounded enemy you’ll realize that the “accuracy” of a given weapon means little in battle. Amateurs discuss tactics. Professionals discuss logistics. We’re (in a sense) losing a war in Afghanistan right now. Not because of our battle strength. We win every battle just like we did in Vietnam. We’re spending billions of dollars on high tech equipment to support that war. They’re using piece of trash AKs built in someone’s backyard shop in the Peshawar firing 50 year old Soviet ammo. Logistics. Theirs is better than ours. Simpler, more robust and virtually impossible to interdict to any meaningful degree just as was the case in Vietnam. We almost never lost a battle in Vietnam either yet we lost the war. They were inside our Command Decision Loop in Vietnam and they are in Afghanistan. Because their logistical system is so flexible, so simple, so robust that THEY decide where battles are fought. THEY decide where the firefight is going to be. In Vietnam we had ships and fighters and bombers and C-130s and tanks and APCs and M-16s and M-60 and M-79s. They had…. bicycles and AKs. They won. Logistics…

    • bravo kilo kilo permalink

      Actually, Nixon bombed them to the peace table, they signed, we left, they waited until they were sure we weren’t coming back, then they attacked the locally-oppressed and unmotivated south.

  32. REMF permalink

    I’ll put my M1Garand up against your M4 anyday.Since I’m A REMFer Your 10lb weight advantage is(differance between the weight of rifle and ammo) negated. Like you said someone has to stay in camp and fix the broken stuff.(maintainance&support)

  33. This is an article about AR jammings that got a bunch of troops killed in the Afgahn in ’08. What’s up? Were they running worn out old crap or maybe a factory issue? I live in a straight sand environment and that event pushed me to pick up a couple of AKM variants. Excellent information you have here by the way

    • Ian permalink

      I have read of a few of these instances. In each one, it was a small number of U.S. soldiers facing a force of enemy combatants that outnumbered them in factors of something like 8:1. Without a doubt, 25 vs 200 is going to get pretty ugly, no matter how bad ass you are. Even with exceptional training, with this number of enemy, fire was essentially continuous. The weapons simply became too hot under these conditions. Not the fault of the weapon, just a horrendous situation. I am unaware of a battle rifle that can sustain that rate of fire, over that kind of duration, and not start to face malfunctions.

  34. Bulldog22 permalink

    having trouble finding .223 bullets for reloading. I recently found some Hornady 75 grain BTHP. I havent loaded them yet. Have you had any experience with these and are they worth a shit? Right now, beggers cant be chosers when it comes to acquiring components so I picked them up to add to the pile.

  35. Eric permalink

    I’ve always been curious but never found the issue specifically addressed on the internet. Conventional wisdom is ARs are more accurate whereas AKs are more rugged. How much of the ruggedness of the AK pattern is due to the gas system and how much is due to the lose part tolerances? Put another way: How would a gas piston AR (HK416?) compare to an AK built to the same part tolerances? Would accuracy (allowing for different calibers) be comparable?
    I found a reference once that AKs have heat issues, and also read that piston ARs have heat issues on on the foregrip area near the gas regulator, whereas DGI appears to concentrate the heat on the bolt carrier group, hence the need to keep it lubricated.

  36. Spartacus permalink

    Anything that craps where it eats is gonna get sick & die sooner than later. The Stoner design is great for police work where seldom a mag is emptied but in a protracted NON-supported SHTF event, its not a weapon system to trust. Bend the gastube ever so slightly or get a shell case stuck without a ram rod & your DRT. If I am not mistaken, the Stoner was adopted for backdoor croney reasons. I will prove my point. For the next 60 days, you Stoner worshippers eat from your trashcan & I will eat from my frig. If any of you are still alive after that, I will let you give me $500.

    • You’re welcome to take the challenge offered, otherwise, future comments from you of this sort will disappear. Have a very SF day!

  37. Having been just a USAF cop in the 2nd half of the ’70s, we had an armory full of former Army M-16 A-1s. This was on an Air Training Command base. In trying to make the ATC Rifle & Pistol team, I fired thousands upon thousands of rounds in the practice workups, all without operational failure.

    That said, the old cylindrical front sight post would cause a change of zero as the sun arced across the sky. The newer “squared” posts, don’t do that. And, the olde, slower twist (what was it, 1 in 11 or such?)…. well, let’s just say that we’d see keyholing when the barrels got well and truly overheated. No, not in full auto fire, just with normal cadence, but practice strings running to the 100s of shots fired. Those old pencil barrels did not do heat well, at all!

    No, I never did move up beyond the “alternate” team. I’d max out the scores with the S&W Model 15 revolvers we were using, but the too-short stock of that M-16 variant, variable POI of resulting from the front sight and heat, were issues I didn’t master as well as my peers of the day.

    Now though, with a well built Rock River with an 18″ stainless Lothar Walther 1 in 8″ barrel in .223 Wylde, I can shoot MOA with iron sights all day long. And it has never faltered no matter how hot I run it, either.

    Taken as a whole system, the AR platform still, to me, is the hands-down winner in the sweepstakes.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  38. Frank permalink

    I would take your challenge, except that the AR platform is my pick as well, and I’m probably a nobody in direct competition with you.

  39. Unreconstructedgordo permalink

    Trained with the M1 carbine and rifle in ROTC in 64&65 and then with M14 in basic and AIT in 66. When I hit the Nam in 68 I was sent to LRRP training before being sent to 101st as a 97B 2L80 . In the 3 week school I was first handed an M16 which I had zero idea how it operated or the maintenence even tho I was a gun nut since pre teen years and an NRA rifle and pistol competitor. A SGT First class had mercy on this neebie SGT e-5 and showed me the tricks including shaving brush all the dust out and Drislide douching the Bolt Carrier ect. Still I had no real confidence with the Mattel Varmint gun and decided it was too big for hopping in and out of Copters with the courier bag and Crypt key device I allways had when going to the units in the 3 BDE 101st Airborne I was assigned to so carried only the issue 1911..When humping the boonies and doing things like tapping landlines along the HCM trail I did carry one , with 20 mags ! I tried hard to get a CAR but never did! Next tour in 1970 as an e-6 with a MACV pass I did varied duties like Psy ops and other stuff at units with the 506th and still could’nt get a CAR 15! I started to NOT like the M-16 and went to different stuff, but I digress..
    I finally got to be trained on a Colt Commando briefly in 1973 going thru early DEA training class at FBI, I thought the Commando was kewl, but was never subsequently issued one in my 18 month career . I bought a CAR15 in 1979 and my LEO son still has it with only recent BCM bolt upgrade, it was carried by me across the Sierras for decades on backpacking trips. When I first went under the Blessed Colonel’s training in 1981 the poodle gun was pretty poo pooed and the M14 and HK91 reigned supreme, and I bought in whole heartedly. . I got a tube floated SGW (oly!) CAR type in 1986 as an upgrade to the old SP1 Car and found it very accurate with a 3x Leupold M8 and had zero malfs with it! I still have it and it was a “jeep” gun for decades and has only had the BCG and buffer ensemble upgraded in the early 2000s . It became the “back up ” to the Colts I built up for the training with ITTS and Lewis Awerbuck and others I did for 10 years before aging. I was trained on the AK sysytem in 1999 after I bought a going out of business gunstore in 1995 and kept the good European AKs and sold the Norinco and Maadis and romanian ect. stuff. I have a matching pair of preban FEG 85s with ULTI Mak rails and Aim points that are very bad arse but struggle for the all important 200 meter head shot, however they allways allways go bang!
    I have landed on a “good” Colt or Billet lower (my old prebanned Colt lowers are registered asshalt rifles in CA since 1999) and preferably a Noveske (RIP Johns good soul!) upper and barrel . I prefer BCM full auto BCG with a Gunfighter latch. Just good milspec parts except a H1 or H2 buffer . I have Geselle triggers in HBAR types but stick to tuned Milspec triggers in fighting guns. I hoarde M855 (and brass cased 7.62×39 and 7.62×51) and the 14.5 and there abouts carbine gassed guns are sighted in to put the 855 dead on at 200 meters and hold to 2″ rested with a Short Dot or other 4x+ scope. My malfs on my fighting carbines these last 5 year are absolute zero in thousand and thousands of training rounds so I guess I found what works for me. My two local sons one an RN and one a Dr. have been trained and have the HBARS and lesser stuff,all duly bullet buttoned of course! They both like AKs too, as they are not really gun freaks as their dad. The Daughters and grand daughter like ARs of course!
    I have about every system fro .5o BMG down in my collection , and pairs of favorites (one is none and two is one) but I will go out with a CAR (or Commando) around my neck, they are especially nice as I get old! Rant off…

  40. Pathfinder23 permalink

    Wow, Mountainman. You have a real Ford vs Chevy vs Datsun thing here. Sheesh! I am a Colt factory armorer for a city PD. H-K, Remington, Glock, and SigArms Factory certificates hang around here, also. I am daily, armpit deep in mechanical inspections or repair of all those brands. In a previous life I was an 11B5VF7. We all wish the bullet was larger, but the M4 platform is now mechanically as reliable as any modern rifle. Lawn mowers only break when you use them.and they all eventually need worn parts replaced. Guns are machines; the Colt M4 is no longer your Daddy’s Model T. The modern M4 is a high-performance Mustang now. It isn’t perfect, but it’s usually more accurate than the owner. Out here.

  41. The problem is, as I see it, that we have way too many fucking choices here. In an actual U/W conflict, you would use whatever was at hand, eventually trade up for captured enemy weapons, and drive on. In the final analysis, weapons used are largely irrelevant to the entire event. Nobody ever said “Oh my god, they have (insert your pet weapon here), we better just surrender right now”.

    We have to switch gears here, from our sporting/ competition/ hobby mode to actual use in self-defense, and then offensive operations. I would hazard to guess at least 90% of the “tactical” community is made up of guys that are just playing games, for whatever reason. So you get a lot of noise about things that matter little in the grand scheme of things. If your head is locked on the objective of fighting, then you will stop obsessing over unimportant details of your weapons and equipment and get on with it.

    That being said, if you do have the time and money to upgrade your stuff, by all means, do it. I think the best option is to shoot for the middle ground. I don’t have the most high-end weapons and equipment, but neither do I have low-end junk. We are blessed to have some choices here, that most folks around the world don’t, so why not take advantage of that. Just don’t get wrapped up in constantly upgrading your shit, and not getting out there and training with it.

  42. Don Russell permalink

    So it’s really a test of shooting ability, not just a test of gun reliability? and I gather that this is a piston driven AR? Since you’ve shot 10’s if not hundreds of thousands of rds, what are the chances of their winning this challenge, even if your rifle malfunctions 10x as much? Slim to none, I’d say.Why does accuracy have anything to do with the reliability test, really? 1000’s of rds in combat miss, at a mere 10 meters, man. We all know that. Much combat is at night, guys are disoriented by blasts, the target is a bobbing head (around cover)they are ducking incoming fire, , their night adapted vision is gone because of the flashes, they are already wounded, haven’t slept 10 hours in the past 96 hours, they have dysentery,they are dehydrated, etc, etc.

  43. Don Russell permalink

    I am an AR guy,by the way, but I run a suppressed, direct impingement rifle, and do most of my practicing with the .22 unit. Can you do all this stuff from the weakside shoulder?Do you expose your entire torso to fire right handed around the left side of cover?

  44. HALO22 permalink

    I enjoyed and respect all opinions expressed on this blog. I am also an ex-SF guy, and familiar w/different rifle paltforms. I personally train with various platforms since there is no one rifle that will meet every need in every environment for every situation. Mountain guerilla’s challenge addressed a “course”. I agree that his LMT would perform favorably on his course under the conditions he outlined. But, there are several contions one might find himself in. In an urban CQB environment, I will take an M4, piston or DI every day. On a close ambush in a mud / rain environment, I would bring my Yugo AK. If I were doing an interdiction mission from an advantaged position at distance,… I would bring my PTR91. In a survival situation where small game is plentiful and I may encounter a few local hostiles,… I would feel confident with my scoped Marlin .22. In my experience with military spec-ops & working as a LEO to include SWAT, I am of the opinion that everyone should have, & train & be familair with a variety of weapon platforms to fill the varied needs of varied situations, especially in a post SHTF society. The Airforce does not have a “one plane does all” aircraft,… Our Navy likewise has more than one ship to fill the needs of the mission. Rifle platforms, handguns and calibers are the same. Diz is right. We are blessed with choices. Use that advantage with as many choices you can to fill all your expected needs.

  45. Bitterroot Sherpa permalink

    I have alot of respect for the Stoner design. I used it in combat & it didn’t fail me. However, I have an unissued condition M1 Garand that I am very fond of & am wondering what folks here think about its possible future use as a rural mountain defensive rifle? I know it’s heavy & do is its ammo. I am confident with it & I am as fast with it as its possible to be. 30-06 may not be NATO issue anymore but it’s still one of the most common calibers in existence, especially here. I also have the ported gas plug to use commercial ammo if needed. Do you think using this would be an issue in some of JM’s classes? Thanks.

    • It won’t be an issue running in my classes. I’ve allowed guys in my classes with bolt-action hunting rifles. We’ll work around the inherent deficiencies of the weapon (if it were perfect, it would still be the primary personal firearm of numerous militaries around the world) and get you as proficient with it as possible within the constraints of the time in the class.

      That having been said, if I were going to carry a Garand, it would NOT be in a mountain environment, where ounces don’t equal pound…In the mountains ounces very quickly become mission ineffective.

      • Bitterroot Sherpa permalink

        Well spoken, JM. I applaud your allowing people to “run what they brung”. I readily acknowledge that the weapon is far from perfect & I don’t believe it’s any more accurate or reliable than a GOOD AR. It’s simply a rifle that I own & am comfortable with. I hunt with it & can attest to the suck fest that is carrying it through the mountains, although its nowhere near as bad as a m240B (or G for that matter). The lack of a chromed bore *could become an issue but isn’t one in itself. It does require more maintenance. The clips are an issue but they are cheap as shit & weigh nothing which kind of offsets *some of the ammo weight. I kind of look at using weapons like these like some folks look at ALICE gear or UCP camo. Just because there’s better shit out there doesn’t make this shit isn’t serviceable. Serviceable, though FAR from perfect. As an aside, what are your thoughts on Ruger’s scout rifle? Thanks.

  46. LMT Challenge:

    My Red Ryder BB-Gun is ready for the challenge. I can smell your fear thru the keyboard!

    I roll with the big boys….and try not to shoot my eye out.

  47. David permalink

    How did you like NC?

  48. Ian permalink

    I was strictly commenting on some of the published information on the relative reliability of the weapon platform, not politics. But, as far as it goes, I agree with you. One case that I recall reading about in particular, was a small group of spec ops in Afghanistan. Their small, lightly fortified base was overrun by what can only be described as an armed horde. This was destined to be a SNAFU before it ever happended. Thank you government.

  49. Chris permalink

    My main dislike of the AR platform comes from reading about soldiers going into battle with cleaning rods strapped to their weapons because it is the only way to clear a failure to extract. Then actually needing to use their improvised extraction system while under fire. I’m not a soldier with a great deal of experience with AR platforms so I don’t really bash them, but at the same time I grimace reading such things and wonder how common they are.

    • It was common during Vietnam, because Colt and the Army Ordnance Board fucked the design up. It was fixed NLT than 1970. The biggest issue with shit like that happening now (which is far more rare than the naysayers would have you believe) is bad ammunition and never remedied wear and tear on the guns (specifically the extractors).

      • chris permalink

        Seeing as you want to have a civil conversation with me let me respond. The first and most difficult aspect of critiquing the M16, F-18 etc is getting past the “Rah-Rah-America” attitude. Critiquing, not bashing, because there are strengths and weaknesses to every system. Getting past the attitude is important not because I am anti-American but because we Americans are only men and we make mistakes too, it is arrogant to think otherwise.

        The incident in question is a recent one in which a special forces member engaged the enemy in iraqistan somewhere, had a cleaning rod strapped to his weapon in case of an EXPECTED failure to extract, had the expected failure, then had to use the jury-rig to clear the weapon which ended up not working. I cringe thinking our country could send a man into battle issueing him a weapon which will fail him. If our brave fighters diligently baby their weapons with a teardown and polish nightly, what more can be expected? Yes, AK’s fail just as any M16 can. But how many AK’s are babied nightly by their riflemen? How many Glocks?
        I look at the strengths of the two designs. Free floating chrome lined barrels enhance accuracy which is later limited somewhat by military grade ammunition in the M16 family. Accuracy is always good and our men seem to be very good with it and fond of it. They hesitate to complain because they are tough men, it is not their nature, and because they know better than to ask for something else which could net them punishment intentional or worse unintentional by the very real possibility of issuance of something even worse.
        The strengths of the AK family do not feature accuracy as heavily emphasized. Instead, they are overengineered so that they did not fail the undertrained underequipped conscripts intended to use them. I find it frustrating the American military goes from one extreme of the M1 garand, not using detachable magazines because our men are apparently stupid and will lose them, to the other extreme of using very delicate and sensitive rifles which require cleaning every night or more even if not fired.
        I can only go by what I hear because I am not a soldier but as a citizen I feel that “we the people” grants me not only unalienable rights but also responsiblity to those who fight for them. An accurized AK might be better right now for our men which hurts me on multiple levels, not the least of which is because I hate to admit anyone else’s stuff could possibly be better than ours, but pride has no place on a battlefield.
        I typed this all out with my thumbs on my phone so please forgive my response for any poorly written sections. I will find the special forces story if you want.

  50. keith permalink

    A mil spec ak will outlast a mil spec ar ran at the same fire rate because its a loose, piston driven design. That’s a fact, in don’t care what some washed up old steel shooting fuck has to say about it. Aks are more accurate than people believe, and ars more reliable, but let’s not pretend the loosely spaced piston driven design isn’t going to function under shittier conditions.

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