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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my first 5.56 AR15 rifle a couple weeks ago. Haven't touched anything like this since boot camp (1975). I saw a video where the AR15 bolt was held back by the catch, but when the butt stock was thumped on the ground it released and went forward. As an AR15 newbie, I have some questions about the bolt and safety.

(1) I know the bolt catch is friction only and spring loaded. So any thump that releases the friction, either by moving the bolt off the catch or significantly moving the catch, will allow the bolt to go forward -- yes??
(2) Is there a safer catch mechanism? Or is this realistically a non-issue?
(3) Assuming no other problems with the bolt carrier group assembly - as long as the hammer does not release, the firing pin will not contact the primer and the round will not fire -- correct??
(4) Does the safety mechanism work on the hammer or the trigger? If on the trigger, could the hammer still release with a jolt from being dropped and fire a round?
 

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I saw a video by a NFAC organizer saying that when you do slam the buttstock a round is fired. That's how he explained the negligent discharges at an event.

That is absolutely not true. At most it will chamber a round. Following all the safety rules it's not a problem.

I found it with a reply:
 
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Now I'm tempted to start slamming my AR into the ground.....resist...resist.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's similar to the video I saw - one with original and a rebuttal. I am not worried that my rifle is going to suddenly go off in my hands, or even if it drops from my hands. I do, though, want to get a better understanding of the weapon. And since this area became a "hot" focus, I thought I'd throw out a few questions.
 

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Safety rules should always be followed. Do not ever rely solely on a mechanical safety. As they say the most important safety is the one between your ears.

It's not a very complicated mechanism. You can look at yours and be able to figure most of it out yourself. You can see the trigger being blocked by the safety. I always encourage routine disassembly for inspection, cleaning and familiarization.

Nothing is blocking the hammer as in most hammer fired weapons. If the sear breaks or you experience push off, where the sear engagement disengages. The hammer will fall and in most cases set off the cartridge by hitting the firing pin.

Ruger did a good job with the transfer bar. Revolvers incorporating that safety prevents the hammer from hitting the firing pin unless the transfer bar is engaged by holding the trigger back.

The firing pin theoretically may be able set off a chambered round with enough inertia. Having never seen or done any calculations I would guess the amount of force would be tremendous. Other parts would catastrophically fail with the required force would be my guess.
 

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Now, get to a gun store and look for magazine-books by Glen Zediker and/or Patrick Sweeney on AR's. Both are accomplished gunsmiths and competitive shooters and established gun magazine writers. I lean toward Zediker because of his longevity dealing with the AR's, but Sweeney will not fail you.

You need something as a reference/Bible on the rifle so you won't have to ask questions on the internet. Too many people on gun forums have too much experience and it is precisely that which causes confusion at times. Get an actual, bona fide single source.
 

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AR’s don’t negligently discharge from the blot slamming home. If the firing pin were to be stuck and protruding out of the bolt face, it would slam fire, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of it happening. An SKS has a free floating firing pin. It has no return spring to pull it back into the bolt after firing. Grease, dirt and such has been known to cause a run away slam fire. This is a completely different design than the AR and even most guns being manufactured in the last 40 years.
 

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Just basic inertia. Drop it on it's butt and the bolt pulls back slightly releasing the bolt catch. If there is no magazine or if the magazine is loaded, the bolt releases and then slams forward as it is designed to do. The only real danger is that the rifle, pointing straight up, cannot be considered,"pointed in a safe direction." A violation of the third rule.

--Wag--
 

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Am I the only one who winces, when a firearm is accidentally dropped, from a very short distance, onto a soft surface, like carpet ?
My Lord, man, who perpetually and repeatedly slams a gun around, on hard surfaces ? By this standard, many firearms could be considered unsafe. Think about what this repeated punishment is doing to your optics, alone.

Needless to say, having your bolt locked back is generally not a normal way to carry your rifle. Of course, your guns and optics would also be degraded to garbage, in short order, if this detrimental treatment of your guns continues.
 

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I guess my first question is why you would have the rifle stored with a loaded mag and the bolt open? The only time i would ever do this is when shooting and changing mags. If it's stored you should either have it chambered with the safety on or insert a loaded mag with the bolt closed so all you have to do is chamber a round.
 
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