In October of 2009 a debate was raging on one of the local shooting forums as to how reliable AR15s could be when exposed to dirt and debris in desert environments. I have always believed that AR15s are more reliable and can deal with more fouling than they are given credit for as long as they are well maintained. I decided to make these videos at the time to show that the AR15 type rifle is more capable of operating in adverse conditions than it is given credit for.
The rifle I used was a CAV-15 MKII lower with CMMG 5.56mm NATO lightweight upper. This is one of the cheapest rifles someone could possibly build. At the time this rifle would cost less than $600 retail.
This is the first test:
The rifle worked flawlessly for the entire test
One of the immediate criticisms I received was that the test should be done with the dust cover open. I made a second video doing exactly that:
The rifle was NOT cleaned between tests, and again it worked flawlessly.
I would not expect the rifle to work with this level of abuse day after day, particularly without cleaning and without regular armorer level maintenance. There are a number of small parts on AR15 that need to be replaced on a regular maintenance schedule based on the number of rounds fired; the longer parts are used past their intended service life the less reliable the rifle will be. Magazines needs to be cleaned regularly, and replaced as well.
I received a lot of hate mail at the time for making these videos, and still do receive some occasionally. The videos speak for themselves, properly manufactured and maintained AR15s can work in adverse conditions. “Haters gonna hate” as they say.