So, I posted earlier this month about the new addition to the family - this: GTO Core15 M4- MOE. Chambered in 5.56/.223 with 1/8 twist and Magpul BUIS. (no optics yet.... That's for when budget allows)
Got out to the range on Sat. and put about 150 rounds through it.
First and foremost, I am a "FNG" to the AR platform. My exposure to rifles has been limited to marksmanship training in college with .22lr target rifles, a hunter safety course way, way back..... and an occasional try-out of a friend's rifle, or a couple of shots out of an M-14 .... and a few sessions with my shotgun. So, I am not a professional in any manner. This is purely an UN-technical thread about a first experience with this AR platform from a newbie.
The range session was 100% to learn what to do with the thing. Get accustomed to the controls and work on getting sight picture, etc.
Now.. the good: The Core15 seems to be well balanced. It comes up on target quickly. The Magpul double aparature rear sight makes it easy for both the fast acquition (lg opening), and the accurate shots (smaller opening). The rifle seems to be made well, and while I was not shooting for accuracy out of a bench rest, (all shots were taken standing, unsupported, with no sling), I was holding groups acceptable to me at about 45-50 yards. I fired 2 - 30rd magazines of American Eagle brass cased 5.56 with zero failures of any sort. As compared to the stock front handguard, the MOE forend was quite comfortable and I'm glad I went for the upgrade.
The bad: I picked up some 55gr and 62 gr Herters steel cased ammo from Cabelas on the recomendation of a friend who shoots it all the time. I had no luck at all with that ammo.
The Herters would not feed properly, would not extract, and the last shot of the day, we needed to get a cleaning rod and punch out the shell casing that was stuck in the barrel/chamber. It appears that this gun does not want to eat the Herters, and between fte/doublefeeds, it put a damper on what had started to be a good day.
I have had NO good experiences at all with the steel cased ammo.... my trial with Tula in my Glock was horrid, and now this experience with Herters. I think I'll go back to brass!!
Apart from the ammo issue, the only thing I have a reservation on is the trigger. The pull feels a bit coarse, and I definitely need lots of work on getting the squeeze and trigger reset worked out. I don't know what I was expecting, but, it feels as though there is a bunch of sand in my trigger group that I am pulling through. That is an easy enough fix with an upgrade, but that is my only gripe with the AR itself.
--- End verdict - I think if I do my part, this will be a good gun for me. My early training with rifles, I'd closed my right eye to use my left to get a sight picture. Come to find out that I am right eye dominant, and I need to work on keeping both eyes open. I have been able to do that with handguns, and will now need to work on it with the rifle.
I got plenty of malfunction training yesterday.
and I am definitely in need of learning the platform and figuring out how to do everything quickly and smoothly.
Safety issue - My handguns, intentionally, have been without external safeties. (XDm / Glock / Kahr). That has gotten me out of a habit of engaging an external safety or decocking a hammer. For the AR, While my barrel was always under control and pointed in a safe direction, finger off trigger etc.... on a regular basis, I'd forget to engage the safety... or, when ready to squeeze the shot, the safety would be engaged.
Overall - as long as I don't put in crappy ammo, and I figure out how to do my part in the operation, I think the Core15 will be a very good platform for my home/self defense needs.