Sunday, February 10, 2013

AR Maintenance Class

I’ve been waiting for this class for some time.  Dave Laubert of Defensive Creations ran a one-day armorer’s class on the AR15/M16 rifle.  The class was hosted by Joe Weyer of Weyer Tactical.

It was great!

Did you know there is a difference between a commercial and military collapsible stock?  I didn’t, but I do now.

Dave Lauber showing part of the AR lower
Dave showing students part of the AR lower.  The ability to see the part and ask questions was invaluable.

Dave is a very knowledge and well-respected gunsmith.  Over an eight-hour day, Dave helped us tear down our lower, removing every pin, spring and detent.  Yes, all thirteen of us brought our ARs and disassembled our guns. I have to admit that there was some hesitation on my part.   

I had this vision that I would end up with a single pin that nobody knew where it belonged.  But I also had no doubt that Dave would help me to get my rifle reassembled. 

We field-stripped the bolt and bolt carrier, learned how to change the gas rings and how to inspect parts like extractor, ejector and others for normal wear and replacement.  Unfortunately the craziness in the gun parts and ammo world has created shortages.  Stocking up on normally inexpensive replacement parts like gas rings and cam pins has become expensive, assuming you can find the parts.

Dave Laubert demonstrates taking apart AR upper
Dave demos taking the flash hider off an AR upper.  Note the machinist vice on tripod.
Most of us did not detail strip the upper.  Dave showed us how to remove and replace gas tubes, gas block and remove the barrel.  In all it’s not too complicated, but it requires specialized tools and in some cases, metal-working machinist skills.  Especially if you want to buy a blank barrel and build the entire upper yourself.  I’d talk to Dave about that if I were you.

At the end of the day, I felt I learned a lot about my AR.  I’m going to make a few changes based on what I learned.  I’m going get at least two more cam pins, a new buffer spring and heaver buffer.  I’ll also get a few more gas rings just in case, as well as an extractor and a black extractor buffer.

More importantly, now I feel prepared to replace parts from my spare parts kit if my gun goes down at a match. 

I learned a long time ago as a bullseye shooter that having confidence in your tools goes a long way toward improving your competence and learning ability.  I have that now about my AR.

Thanks, Dave!

Joe Weyer was on hand to answer questions on accessories like dots, scopes and lights.  Joe brings a lot of experience to the table and I’m looking forward to some of his classes.  He has a very nice facility, clean, open and well-maintained.  I like the things he said and let me urge you to sign up for some of his training.

Here are the websites for Dave and Joe:

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