Guns Something different for your AR – Slide Fire’s performance stock Lee Vernon August 27, 2014 Join the Conversation In today's world of gadgets and gimmicks, there's definitely no shortage of gear that promises to make you a better shooter. Rather than putting in range and class time to improve one's skill sets, many look for a “magic bullet” to accomplish what only hard work and determination can do. This article is not about such a product. Rather it's a procuct that delivers in the pure fun category. Since we at Combative Weapon Solutions are hands on in the firearms teaching and consulting field, we're able to constantly play with new and innovative firearms related products. When we stumbled upon Slide Fire at the NRA Convention last year, our initial response was, “Hmmm, this looks interesting.” After a few months of playing with their product, we are actually impressed — and that is not something that comes easy for us. Then later a Slide Fire product video caught our eye. Any time you see and hear gunfire from an automatic weapon, there's a certain attraction. Deep down we must acknowledge we all want one. Now, we at CMS are fully aware that there's really no advantage to having a full automatic weapon other than the “cool factor,” especially due to the price of acquiring legal full auto capability. Add in the months of waiting to legally own one after going through the long, slow legal process, and many find it simply impractical (or not worth the wait). This is where the Slide Fire stock system comes in. Adding the Slide Fire Performance stock is as easy as removing the collapsible stock and replacing the standard handgrip with the rail block. The Slide Fire stock system is a simple and economical means for one to enjoy an experience similar to a fully automatic rifle with their AR15 or AK style rifle. The beauty of the product is that it does not change the internal operating system of your rifle. It simply takes advantage of the recoil mechanics — essentially making so-called “bump firing” easy to achieve. The Slide Fire system for our AR15 test rifle arrived (model # SSAR-15 SBS) in a nicely packaged box, neatly wrapped with a set of easily readable instructions. The set up process was easy and took less than 10 minutes to complete. There are essentially only two pieces to make the conversion complete, the Slide Fire stock itself and the mounting block that the Slide Fire operates on. Installation was simple. First, remove the collapsible stock and the AR pistol grip. Then replace the pistol grip with the Slide Fire mounting block and slip the Slide Fire stock over the buffer tube and mounting block. You can then opt to either lock the Slide Fire stock in place, allowing you to use your AR normally, or to unlock the stock to allow the stock to “float” back and forth approximately 1-inch. That is it. Pretty simple. The Slide Fire Performance stock can be locked in place to allow normal trigger manipulation or can be unlocked which allows the stock to slide with recoil, simulating full auto fire The floating stock is what allows the firearm to simulate full auto fire. When you're ready to fire the weapon, secure the stock snugly into the shoulder by holding rear pressure with the pistol grip, while also adding forward pressure to the rifle's handguard. Then insert your trigger finger through the trigger guard and keep contact with the Slide Fire finger rest on the opposite side. As you engage the trigger and a round is expended, the recoil of the rifle sends the rifle backwards. Since the rifle floats in the Slide Fire stock assembly, your finger comes off the trigger during recoil and allows it to reset. The forward pressure you're applying on the handguard pulls the rifle back forward to its original position, which in turn re-engages the trigger and causes the process to repeat. At any point and time that you wish to stop the cycle of fire, simply remove your finger from the “finger rest” and trigger. Not rocket science by any means. Rate of fire is managed by removing or maintaining contact with the trigger finger rest on the stock. Over a two month period, we spent time running the Slide Fire to see if it would live up to our expectations of gun range bliss. Our test rifle featured a stock Rainier Arms lower with a standard Spikes Tactical 16-inch upper, sporting a basic flash hider and bolt carrier group (BCG). Prior to shooting, we liberally applied copious amounts of Froglube to the BCG in order to keep everything well lubed. From there, we let the lead fly down range. We discovered that there's actually a learning curve in order to operate the Slide Fire. You would think that applying a “push–pull” technique, similar to shooting a shotgun, would be an easy thing to do with the carbine. However, we found that it took around 2 -3 magazines worth of operating a Slide Fire-equipped rifle to get the mechanics down. It is definitely not hard by any means, but it does take some playing around with in order to get the feel and rhythm of the operation to comfortable levels. Once that is down, it is full steam ahead! Forward pressure on the AR is needed to reset the trigger after the initial recoil of firing a round. Now, here are the little details that we noticed while operating the Slide Fire system. First, if you are not prepared and do not have proper recoil management fundamentals when shooting in simulated full auto, the gun is going to push you back on your heels. The weapon will want to climb when firing. Proper shooting fundamentals are essential. During testing, we expected more muzzle rise when shooting simulated full auto than we actually experienced, much to our surprise. We do use a thumb over bore technique when we shoot, which helped to manage recoil. The results were such that while completely unloading a full magazine, on average over 90-percent of the rounds stayed within an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper at close range (50 yards and in). That's pretty darn impressive. We expected to see a wider shot pattern, and this ended up as a good demonstration of proper fundamentals benefitting recoil management. The second issue, which did not take long to notice, is heat. After 3 full magazines, the barrel and plastic handrail became extremely hot to the touch, so much so that gloves had to be used at times throughout testing. After getting the mechanics down, a 10 round simulated full auto shot group stayed within a 8.5”x11” area. The heat definitely got us wondering about potential damage to the carbine. This was a stock weapon without a full auto bolt carrier. After testing, we disassembled the carbine for cleaning and inspection and did not find any issues. This is not to say that damage could not be done if someone chose to abuse their gun, but we could not find any on our test gun. We did have one minor issue that popped up, but we're not sure it actually had anything to do with the stock. The bolt would not lock back when empty, and if we manually locked the bolt back, it would release with a simple tap to the back of the stock. At this point we have not been able to diagnose the exact cause of the problem, but it may simply be an issue with the bolt catch. Other than that, our gun and the stock ran like a beast, bringing lots of happiness. We can say without a doubt that when it comes to having pure and simple fun, the Slide Fire delivers ! It is easy to add to any AR15 or AK platform and is definitely an economical way to experience simulated full auto fire — the cost of ammo notwithstanding. After going through the small learning curve, we could not wipe the smile off our faces. There may not be a lot of practical real life applications for full auto fire for most shooters, but that's not what the Slide Fire is about. Slide Fire brings something different to the table that many want to experience. It enables simulated full auto that doesn’t break the pocket book, providing pure unadulterated fun. You can find Slide Fire online at www.slidefire.com or call them the good old fashioned way at (325) 945-3800. About the author: Lee Vernon is the founder and CEO of Combative Weapon Solutions of Austin, TX. Combative Weapon Solutions diverse and highly trained core of instructors are seasoned and active law enforcement officers, firefighter/EMS, and military personnel that have well over 50 years of combined, real life experience dealing with the realities of violence. Lee can be reached at [email protected]. Also, visit the CWS YouTube Channel. Explore RECOILweb:Expert Advice: Should You Carry a Weapon Mounted Light?An ND or Not? 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