Direct impingement AR rifles require good amounts of cleaning and…

Direct impingement AR rifles require good amounts of cleaning and lube. Apply CLP to the bolt after a cleaning to make sure the rifle runs smooth.

Click! A sound that has long brought sweat to the brow of even the most seasoned operator, second only to that of an equally unintended bang! In the first instance, the firer has acquired his or her target (often under the duress of combat), only to be sorely disappointed with the failure of his or her weapon to discharge. Conversely, in the second instance, the weapon has fired prematurely, either by operator error or through mechanical failure. Preventing such catastrophic cases from arising due to mechanical failure is the purview of factory-certified law enforcement and military armorers.

It takes the uninitiated only a quick glance at today’s headlines to see the need for protection from such preventable liability. Case law abounds pertaining to agency failures to properly equip and train their respective law enforcement personnel, and the jury awards that have arisen from those types of cases could prove fiscally unrecoverable for a small municipality or police department. Perhaps equally important is the safety of those who are sent into harm’s way. There is simply no room for questions when stacking a door, making a vehicle stop, or assaulting an objective—the weapons simply must work as advertised, or lives (and careers) may potentially be lost.

Colt Advantage

I was recently invited to attend the three-day Colt Defense Armorer’s School, hosted by the West Hartford (Connecticut) Police Department. This course curriculum consisted of the complete disassembly and reassembly of almost every type of military and civilian AR platform of Colt manufacture, to include those equipped with fully automatic and three-round burst trigger groups. Detail inspections, troubleshooting, maintenance, parts compatibility, unauthorized modifications, gauges, and the application of a wide variety of commercially available armorer’s tools were also covered in great depth.

To be fair, there are many aftermarket resources for AR-related training; however, some offer questionable practices and somewhat dubious or conflicting information. Online videos and blogs pertaining to the assembly of the AR platform are readily available, and the availability of aftermarket parts and accessories is unquestionably at an all-time high. Although even a novice shooter wielding a screwdriver can certainly affix many accessories, this is strongly frowned upon (and often completely prohibited) by many law enforcement agencies and the military. The reason is simple: There is no foolproof way to determine parts compatibility, functionality, or interchangeability between the offerings of so many manufacturers without extensive (and costly) testing of each potential assembly.

Colt rifles have served for decades. A lot can be learned on the battlefield and this experience is carried into the classroom.

Although the mil-spec label is certainly enticing, most parts still require proper assembly and function testing in order to work properly in a specified application. According to Colt, the systems and parts it manufactures have been subjected to extreme military testing and evaluation regimens, and have been determined to offer the end-user some of the most time-tested, durable, accurate, and functional firearms available.

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