AAR SLR15 AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 Armorer Course, Spearfish SD

SLR15 Rifles AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 ARMORING COURSE

When: January 23-24, 2017

Where: Spearfish, South Dakota

We conducted a 2-day (16-hour) AR-15 / M-16 / M-4 Armorer Course that was hosted by the Spearfish Police Department in Spearfish South Dakota. This was our fourth course here, and we look forward to more. The training room offers great lighting, plenty of table space for people to spread out, and a great projection system that allow us to show animations of firearms and detailed pics of gun parts, etc.

The student base was a all Law Enforcement from South Dakota and Kansas.

Rifles represented were Colt, Sig Sauer, Daniel Defense, Bushmaster, DPMS, Smith & Wesson, Rockriver, and several custom builds.

Day-1 started with going through the course manual that all students are given. Students were supplied with tools, and shown what they are and give sources to obtain them. Everyone was also given some Slip2000 "EWL" Extreme Weapons Lubricant and #725 Cleaner Degreaser, etc. A short session of nomenclature was covered, at which time covered every feature and exterior piece of the rifle to include all the hidden design features that most people are not aware of, and everyone prepped the rifles for disassembly work. Everyone was taught the procedure series of checks that we recommend.

Everyone was taught our recommended procedure for field stripping a rifle and why. From there we got into a session on proper maintenance, showing what to clean, where to clean, and how to clean, and followed up with proper lubrication of where and why.

We went through armoring the bolt carrier assembly showing inspections, maintenance, upgrades, the three different types of gas rings, etc. We inspected gas keys, and found a couple that needed staking, of which was remedied using a MOACKS tools.

Note: One Officers DPMS Full Auto rifle had a broken bolt. The bolt was broken at the cam hole, which is a common place to find a crack as it is a thin area. He wasn’t sure of the history of how old the rifle was, but knew that their agency has had it for a long time. Looking at it, it was built on a cast lower receiver from their Becker Minnesota location, which DPMS moved to St. Cloud MN in 2004, so a guess is the rifle is at least 13 years old, and looking at the internals it showed that it had quite a few rounds through it.

In the afternoon of day-1 we went through the lower receiver. All rifles present had collapsible stocks. When inspecting stock mounting, there were a couple that weren’t indexed correctly, and several needed their spanner nuts (castle nuts) staked, so everyone was given the opportunity to correct and stake things. Next we went through the fire control group, to include detailed inspections of all the sear engagement surfaces, single stage and two stage trigger systems, springs and pins. We were also able to get through the bolt catch, magazine catch, trigger guards, etc. The last portion of day-1 we showed th e eight cycles of firing in great detail, and got into proper timing, the gas system, four gas seals, and the differences between .223 & 5.56, piston vs gas impingement, etc.

Day-2 started with a review of all that was covered on day-1, at the same time we added more detail and dispelled some myths. We went back into cycles of fire in greater detail, and then into the timing cycles. The timing was covered in greater detail, showing issues of guns cycling too fast or slow, stress, and set the tone for troubleshooting throughout the rest of the day. We also covered suppressors, timing issues, stress, maintenance, and mounting.

The rest of the morning was spent back inside the lower receiver, looking at the trigger groups and receiver machining in greater detail. This detailed session allowed us to show bad factory parts, good quality of parts, single stage vs 2-stage, and how and why these may effect reliability, fail to fires, burst issues during semi-auto fire, etc.

Once factory machined parts were gone through, we went through where people may alter parts to do a trigger job, the issues with this, and how trigger jobs are done the right way vs screwed up. We do not recommend that people do a trigger job on a work rifle. The last session on the lower was going through full-auto and burst groups, and illegal street conversions.

The afternoon was spent on the upper receiver assembly. We went through the upper receiver, which included the forward assist, ejection port cover, sights & optics issues. Next was gas tube & piston issues, and how their longevity is related to proper barrel mounting. Gas tubes were inspected for stress and gauged to make sure they were in spec, this relates to barrel mounting.

We went through barrels, this included mounting & indexing, types of metals, finishing, longevity, harmonics, etc. Everyone was allowed to rebarrel their rifles or make adjustments, and few people took advantage of this time and tools being present, and did barrel work. Several barrels were removed, and none of them were mounted to the Milspec. All of the barrels that were removed, were remounted, torqued, and gauged for proper indexing they left the class.

Once all the rifles were put back together, everything was inspected and gauged to make sure it was in proper working order. Everyone did chamber inspections, checked & gauged the four gas seals, firing pin protrusion, trigger press, and headspace.

Here is a brief overview of a few things that were covered:
History of the Weapon
Cycles of Function
General Disassembly & Assembly
Identification of Common Problems and Parts
Identification of Group Components
Semi, Burst, and Full Auto Parts and Conversions
Complete Armoring Disassembly / Assembly
Barrel Replacement
Cleaning and Maintenance
Sight and Distance Considerations
Ballistic Issues
Barrel: Twist, Length, and Profiles
Gas System
Parts Interchangability, including Brands
Firing Pin Protrusion
Trigger Jobs
Chamber Inspection and Issues
Troubleshooting, diagnosis & repair
Gauging, Inspections, Stress & Interval Issues
Accessories and Customizing
Tool Options and Selection
Iron Sights
SOP/MOD Accessories and Additions

Greg Sullivan "Sully"
SLR15 Rifles
(763) 712-0123