Bwanalewis

Ares Defense Shrike Fightlite MCR

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I am a couple months in on my paperwork filed for my Colt SP1 conversion MG.   I have been gathering information on the Ares Defense Shrike (now FightLite MCR.  I watch a lot of videos, it seems to run well.  What issues have users seen?  Parts breaking?  What extra parts should I have available?  Ammo? Thanks in advance for your knowledge.  Trying to navigate this MG world without making financial mistakes is difficult to say the least.  Look forward to hearing about the good and the bad.

Thanks,

Chad

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If you only watched videos and surmised it runs well, you are missing a lot.

Feeding issues mainly due to poor geometry of the receiver and weak buffer springs.

You need to search more, but in summary use heavy springs(mg34/sprinco/tubbs)+ heavy buffer + time the carrier to not hit the back reciver.

Use good ammo until broke in.

good luck

 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah..they don't always run perfect out of the box. It seemed to work in my semi auto (Fightlite built), but in my F/A it had issues.

Put a cut MG34 spring. Still need to put a better buffer into it since it still jams once in a while. I have a Tungsten bolt which I read doesn't work well with MCRs. Also I do still need to break it in more.

There are a few really good posts about how to tune it up to run more reliably.

 

Nevertheless, I like it.

Edited by Ryo

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3 hours ago, taylorwso said:

If you only watched videos and surmised it runs well, you are missing a lot.

Feeding issues mainly due to poor geometry of the receiver and weak buffer springs.

You need to search more, but in summary use heavy springs(mg34/sprinco/tubbs)+ heavy buffer + time the carrier to not hit the back reciver.

Use good ammo until broke in.

good luck

 

Thank you for the insight.  I guess that was the point of my post.  I have only seen it running well on Youtube....  Thanks again for letting me know some of the issues you have experienced with the MCR.

Chad

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It also matters on which generation of the Shrike/MCR you get. For example some needed a upgrade insert to help guide the rounds in, others needed a replacement plate, etc.

I think I have a 5th generation MCR where most fixes were implemented. 

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Bwanalewis said:

Thanks again for letting me know some of the issues you have experienced with the MCR.

 

I had a lot more issues than a spring. I posted a long time ago on arf but I destroyed the feed ramp/receiver because the design was shit. I sent it back to ares.

They fuck me around until one day I called every number in their directory, like I called all day/hundreds of times and was threatened with legal action. I had people yelling at me from the company. Finally got a call for the man (geoff???) himself and they sent a new upper. I also explained that they needed a metal insert to keep from damaging the upper. Said they didnt need it. Since then they introduced it as a upgrade.

 

its okay of you dont have a real beltfed, its fun to have on the range but its just a toy.

 

 

ETA i have the insert that the guy(mark??) in HI made. out of production but if you find the threads on arf thats what they are talking about.

Edited by taylorwso

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Posted (edited)

Yeah.. I believe your talking about the same guy who make the delon or plastic insert.  Fightlite fixed the issue making that fix a non issue.  

Also I think Fightlite changed from Aluminum to Steel feed plate as another fix. 

 

Any case here's a ARFCOM post I was active on a while back:
https://www.ar15.com/forums/Armory/Fightlite-MCR-woes-Need-some-help-trouble-shooting/23-500374/?page=2&anc=bottom#bottom

Here's the image of the insert:

Shrike_Insert3_jpg-1789523.JPG

Edited by Ryo

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I currently have two of them.  Both early versions.  They run right out of the box after break in.  Follow the instructions to a tee and they should work.  Gonna use an MG34 spring....that's an experiment.  Gonna use a different buffer than an H3,  maybe it will work but probably not.  Don't put the spacer in the stock... going to break something. 

I will say I did make my own feed tray for the first one and the older FN feed tray is a lot better IMO, once those were gone things went down hill for a while since the feed geometry changed and you see the stupid spacer thing as pictured above, the rubber rings, etc all because the feed trays had issues.   I know two guys that have new ones, but no range reports yet?  I suspect I will have to help one of them out because it's his first beltfed anything and there's always a learning curve there.

Personally I'm happy with mine, but on the first one I tried cheating the break in to see what would happen, and yeah they don't work until you do the full break in.  Follow the instructions and make sure your M16 works before you put that upper on.  Shocking the amount of M16's that don't work, guys put a shrike on top and expect a miracle? 

Newsflash....nothing on ARFCOM ever works.  HTH

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You modified a feedtray.  Interesting.  Was it hard to modify a FN feed tray to work?

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Original shrikes came with modified FN feed trays.  In the process of building one, by the time I got my first shrike they had the aluminum feed trays which I didn't want to bother using since I assume the links chew them up fast, you learn how the upper functions, how he messed up the geometry, and what you had to do trial and error to get it to function.  I think I spent 6 hours on it tinkering, test firing, tinkering some more.  Shortly after they were able to make the new feed trays from steel, but it's milled, not stamped, and not FN who I think uses a better grade of steel.  IIRC the steel tray was like a $600 upgrade so I invested $150 on  a 249 tray and some time to make it work.  My second one has one of Ares early FN feed trays, and since I know these work and how to tinker with them I grabbed that fast.  I was a late early depositor, and it took 10.5 years to get the two I had on order.  At the time they were hard to get so I sold off one of the first ones which paid for both, so in effect a free one for waiting. 

Fairly recently I bought another early one for less than new ones are selling for.  I'm not sure, but I do know not everything gets better with age? 

Not a fan of all the drama and issues people have, but I'd never have an M16 and not have one of these uppers.  The next best thing is a Colt LMG upper with a Beta mag which I ran before and is also a must have.  I have the complete open bolt system and while it is awesome, I haven't shot any of them since I got the shrike.  The shrike fits in my atv box with a suppressor etc. and is trail ready and very compact with the 12" bbl and collapsible stock. 

I've had no "peening" or any other issues that are reported, which are real, but most of the fixes are fairly worthless and some temporary.

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I have two of the older ones along with 3 new old stock 

the two that are used run great. Any ammo with the mag no issues xm855 on a belt 

I have fired 10k plus in one upper with not 1 malfunction 

use spring in the kit with the washer in a carbine stock never a issue I have one on a sp1 also 

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I purchased my Gen 5 upper with the heat sink installed and the upper is on my Colt M-16A1. I followed the instructions/break in procedures to a T and mostly use M855.  I have been reusing my links so they are broken in but before I run a belt I do give the belt a quick spray with WD40. I did buy one of the inserts from the guy in Hawaii and with that I get 100% reliability in both the 12.5" and 16" barrels. While I have tried some steel ammo, I'm mainly a brass guy. I will sometimes install my AAC suppressor and have had great success with the upper and can. Good luck!

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I have a recently made mcr, running on a registered Colt lower.  My lower is rigle length, not a carbine, so I use a machined aluminum spacer in the buffer tube.  I use loosened links with a dab of oil.  Break in took a while with m855, but now it runs very well with m193.  I did screw up and failed to clean the gas piston.  After thousands of rounds, the piston housing eventually blew up.  What a dumb ass move on my part.  Flightlite fixed it for free, it took 7 months. They would not return any calls or emails, I couldn't get ahold of anyone, ever, after countless calls and emails.  I thought my upper was gone for good, then one day fed-ex dropped it off.  Back to being a happy, (and slightly wiser) shooter. 

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6 hours ago, metallichg said:

I have a recently made mcr, running on a registered Colt lower.  My lower is rigle length, not a carbine, so I use a machined aluminum spacer in the buffer tube.  I use loosened links with a dab of oil.  Break in took a while with m855, but now it runs very well with m193.  I did screw up and failed to clean the gas piston.  After thousands of rounds, the piston housing eventually blew up.  What a dumb ass move on my part.  Flightlite fixed it for free, it took 7 months. They would not return any calls or emails, I couldn't get ahold of anyone, ever, after countless calls and emails.  I thought my upper was gone for good, then one day fed-ex dropped it off.  Back to being a happy, (and slightly wiser) shooter. 

Clean it after only 1000 rounds? That's pretty weak. All of my ARs can handle many thousands without blowing up the gas block or piston area. 

I'll have to keep a eye on mine. 

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20 hours ago, metallichg said:

I did screw up and failed to clean the gas piston.  After thousands of rounds, the piston housing eventually blew up. 

I haven't cleaned mine yet.  if they housing blew up is wasnt because of cleaning

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I tumble my links with steels pins to get rid of the rough edges and then dry lubicate them.  Be careful as dry lube can be flamable. This is a must for proper feeding.  Use .62 grain green tip for best results.

Dont shoot long bursts.  To see what happens with a 600 rd burst using a Colt m16 lower and Tyr mico backpack see video of exploding shrike under class 3 events at www.guntrustlawyer.net  look at second to last video.  Jeff claims the 600 rd burst led to the barrel being shot out, the carrier to crack and the rear takedown lug to break off.  That is what caused the "jam" in the video.  I now have a new upper and barrel which work well.

 

20160316_213537_001.jpg

20160316_230727_001.jpg

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More photos of shrike failure.

 

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9 hours ago, guntrustlawyer said:

More photos of shrike failure.

 

Those didn't happen by doing a burst. I have done a lot of burst including a few 600+ and luckily mine is okay. Barrels are toast but that's it

That barrel did give out as the ROF when up with the heat and throat being toasted. Shrike barrels are too thin to take the heat a 249/hk23 can take.

Takedown lug is known to shear (ie there have been more than a few) with/o the burst and round count. The geometry of the shrike upper combined with the  "reverse" piston recoil and stacked tolerances on different lowers creates too much stress on that small area.

Poor heat treat on milled parts will fail like your pics. The bolt slide is dues to the way a piston  operates vs a DI setup.

 

Im glad your runs, some people are SOL. Might sits in the corner now, not as fun as a 249

 

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I would not run a 600 round burst through anything but a Minigun. Doesn't surprise me a Shrike/MCR/Fitelight failed with that sort of abuse. Small, fragile parts. My charging handle popped out of the channel and bound up tight in the receiver requiring surgical removal (and the replacement of one at over $285 with shipping and tax). It is a neat concept,  but very weak design.  I'll be selling mine one of these days. 

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I have set up 3 of them to run on lightning links.   Never heard back from anyone about any problems.  Each ran out of the box.  I personally put almost 2k on one new owner said have fun and break it in so I did.  No issues other than 1 link which was operator error in belting it up.  Never cleaned it ran like a champ.  Was the latest version before this one.with the dry film bull shit.

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