The AR-15 Keeps on Going

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You know, this is getting old, tiring and wet.


Gun Test #5: Drown It

I retired to our “wet” range, the club’s Range #4, taking a plastic fifty-gallon drum along. I used a five-gallon bucket and soon had the drum filled with silty, scummy pond water. I then proceeded to wet-test each rifle.

For this test, I’d load each rifle and then dunk it, muzzle straight down, into the drum of water, right to the castle nut. I’d hold it there until the bubbles stopped (after a while, I just held it down to the count of three) then pulled it out.

Now, every training manual and any training Sergeant will tell you that if you dunk your rifle, you pull the charging handle back half the cartridge length to break the water seal and let the water drain out. What I did was pull the charging handle back enough to break open that seal, and let the water drain only for as long as it took me to cover the three steps between the drum and the firing line. Then I’d fire five rounds and repeat.

Back in the water, out, five rounds, repeat until three magazines were expended for each rifle. Man, did that get boring. And messy. I was splattered with oily, muddy, silty, scummy water such that even the dogs looked at me askance when I returned home. “Dad, where have you been?”

AR-15 Torture Test Conclusion: I ended the gun tests grubbier, wiser and with a greater respect for the AR-15. I hadn’t been able to make any of them malfunction, not once.

AR-15 Book
Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Volume 4, by Patrick Sweeney.

Read More AR-15 Torture Tests

Author Patrick Sweeney isn’t done with his brutal gun tests. Read more in Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Volume IV. It’s packed with the latest information on this popular tactical rifle.

Click here to order Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Volume IV.

Introducing the MGA Banshee Tactical Rifle
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Patrick Sweeney is the author of many of Gun Digest books' best-selling titles, including Gun Digest Book of the 1911, Vols. I & II; Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45 ACP, Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS, Gun Digest Book of the Glock and Gunsmithing: Pistols and Revolvers, among other titles. A master gunsmith, Patrick is also Handguns Editor for Guns & Ammo magazine.


  1. I am a LH shooter in the market for a mid level AR . I would like to find something in a 308 so I could also use it to deer and hog hunt . What are your top choices and what to stay away from as well !
    Thanks for your help !
    Scutt Dog