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Ares Defense Shrike Fightlite MCR


Bwanalewis
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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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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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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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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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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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  • 3 weeks later...

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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On 7/10/2021 at 0:29 PM, 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. 

After only 1000 rounds? That part is 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. 

Edited by Ryo
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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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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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  • 1 year later...

Newer generations don't need the insert. Use 62 grain ammo.  Good idea to tumble the links with steel pins and the lubricate with dry lube.  This gets the sharp edges off the links which cause feeding problems.   Use h3 buffer and a quarter if you cant find a spring spacer. Heavy duty feed tray helps.

20220602_145035.jpg

20220602_145046.jpg

Edited by guntrustlawyer
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11 hours ago, SouthernJ1776 said:

Hey there, I know this an old post, but I wanted some input for making such a pricey purchase…

Do the newer generations of the mcr still need this insert y’all are talking about in order for it to run reliably?

None of them ever needed an insert.  That's a band aid to address the real feeding issue on some guns with an out of spec part, which is pretty easy to fix.  Funny to watch guys jamming junk in the top cover though!

It's an early design weak point, that in order to actually fix means nothing would be backwards compatible over the last 15+ years of production.

A bit like the "limbo" tripod pictured above, we now have soldiers with asses that sit high above the tripod, but instead of shrinking the asses, the "new army" will spec a back hoe to dig a trench for the fat guys  (insert preferred pronoun)?

I have early shrikes that run just great, but I worked on them.  I would buy an older one and clean it up vs. buying a new one, especially at today's prices.   I use crap older wolf 55g steel case with no issues.....other than cleaning.

 

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Great information, thank you sir!
 

So let’s say I got an older one and it happens to be cursed with an out of spec part… would it need this insert (that hopefully is still attainable) or a different part altogether to fix the feeding issue?

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After reading all this, and sorry if it stepping on toes, but I love my Colt LMG upper with its hydraulic buffer.  I never bought a snail drum or beta mag for it.  I figure the time it takes to change 30 round mags, it can cool.  Unfortunately LMG uppers are now going for about what a shrike upper goes for now.  

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5 hours ago, SouthernJ1776 said:

Great information, thank you sir!
 

So let’s say I got an older one and it happens to be cursed with an out of spec part… would it need this insert (that hopefully is still attainable) or a different part altogether to fix the feeding issue?

DO NOT buy a old shrike that is suspect.  And NO its NOT easy to get parts to fix it. I had a POS that was out spec, could not get parts and it destroyed the receiver. Went round an round with geoff who finally caved.  The newer models actually have upgrades that are better than the old ones.

 

 

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On 7/30/2022 at 6:31 AM, johnsonlmg41 said:

None of them ever needed an insert.  That's a band aid to address the real feeding issue on some guns with an out of spec part, which is pretty easy to fix.  Funny to watch guys jamming junk in the top cover though!

 

 

On 7/30/2022 at 6:31 AM, johnsonlmg41 said:

None of them ever needed an insert.  That's a band aid to address the real feeding issue on some guns with an out of spec part, which is pretty easy to fix.  Funny to watch guys jamming junk in the top cover though!

It's an early design weak point, that in order to actually fix means nothing would be backwards compatible over the last 15+ years of production.

A bit like the "limbo" tripod pictured above, we now have soldiers with asses that sit high above the tripod, but instead of shrinking the asses, the "new army" will spec a back hoe to dig a trench for the fat guys  (insert preferred pronoun)?

I have early shrikes that run just great, but I worked on them.  I would buy an older one and clean it up vs. buying a new one, especially at today's prices.   I use crap older wolf 55g steel case with no issues.....other than cleaning.

 

Out of spec. Part please  elaborate...

most veterans remember  that improvising saves lives ,  a band-aid  saves  lives   ... keeps you in the fight!

Most Shrike owners have  been bent over and had to  take it up  the blind side... with  unreasonable prices on cheap ass parts...

I for one applaud Ryo and crew for looking for an easy fix to a real problem. 

Mine is a 5 or 6th generation  bought from Rubin ... did all the fixes , works flawlessly with magazines and drums w/12.5 barrel , but totally unreliable with links...did all the link dance...I'm ready for a bandaid! Or finding out how to  fix my OUT of SPEC  problem. 

 

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I can't take credit for the idea.. that was Mark Genovese. I can take credit for the change in the shape of the original design Mark made.

Only thing that this insert really does is help align the bullet to enter the chamber better. The newer magazine trays does help with that by the slots. If you look at the tray you will likely see some wear at an angle (along with wear from the M27 links).

Now if this insert fixes the issue with delinking, I can't really say. My MCR sometimes has issues delinking but usually I spray the links to alleviate that. From my many version of the insert, I did see some of my designs did cause more issues with the delinking. It was too aggressive and created problems, but a bit of tweaking in Solidworks, I got it back on track. I have a bag full of inserts that I did one tweak at a time for testing purposes until the final one which ran in the video.

The part I didn't show any wear or crushing the part, which I am happy about. Interesting that the clone I made of the Mark's insert did show crushing signs from the pawl sliding the round into alignment to the barrel. There is a very narrow space between the tray and the spacer. This just means the original part from Mark put more stress on sliding the round into position. Not a big deal but found that interesting. My design did have that problem but I tweak the geometry to try to avoid putting extra pressure on anything I didn't need to. 

One improvement I did do is add a spring loaded ball to the side of the part to help it stay in place in the top cover when you open it. I found Mark's insert annoy since it was smaller than my top cover's space. Every time I open the top cover, the thing would fall out. My original design was snug.. but I realize that not everyone has the same width so to prevent people needing to sand down the sides of the insert, I made my a bit smaller, but added the spring loaded ball to keep it in place.

Any case once I pay Sturmgewehr for my account subscription, I'll list it up for sale.

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Born loser,

read my posts where I describe the problem.  I spent hours to develop a fix without messing with an insert and also in the process noted inherent design flaws that while could be corrected, would require a major non-backward compatible change to the whole unit.  That's not going to happen.   I guess if you have a gen 5 or 6 and it doesn't work, maybe the advice about buying the older units is wrong? LOL

I don't know that anyone has gotten Monkeypox from Ares?  But if you did it was of your own free will?  

I spent the R+D time and money.  Want to send it here to be fixed, maybe I'll start offering that? 

Got if from the sandwich shop....why yes, you did get bent over but that's common knowledge.  I think he refers to his customers as born looser though, since they are generally bent over frequently?   LOL

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On 8/5/2022 at 6:13 AM, johnsonlmg41 said:

Born loser,

read my posts where I describe the problem.  I spent hours to develop a fix without messing with an insert and also in the process noted inherent design flaws that while could be corrected, would require a major non-backward compatible change to the whole unit.  That's not going to happen.   I guess if you have a gen 5 or 6 and it doesn't work, maybe the advice about buying the older units is wrong? LOL

I don't know that anyone has gotten Monkeypox from Ares?  But if you did it was of your own free will?  

I spent the R+D time and money.  Want to send it here to be fixed, maybe I'll start offering that? 

Got if from the sandwich shop....why yes, you did get bent over but that's common knowledge.  I think he refers to his customers as born looser though, since they are generally bent over frequently?   LOL

Dear Lieutenant Johnson,  etc.

I've searched the world all over  and can't seem  to find your tutorial on keeping  so called  monkey F-krs from from sticking  foriegn objects into the feeding mechanism. 

Please send a link to the tutorial  

So many people have been  monkeying around with this provin Moneypox , it doesn't surprise me...glad I didn't go for the ares, but it sounded so  good!

Keep Shooting 

Edited by Born loser...in Montana
I tested negative for Monkey Pox
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On 7/30/2022 at 11:41 PM, guntrustlawyer said:

Newer generations don't need the insert. Use 62 grain ammo.  Good idea to tumble the links with steel pins and the lubricate with dry lube.  This gets the sharp edges off the links which cause feeding problems.   Use h3 buffer and a quarter if you cant find a spring spacer. Heavy duty feed tray helps.

20220602_145035.jpg

20220602_145046.jpg

What is the story on the HD feed tray, my gen 6 upper has a steel feed tray but the links are chewing it up pretty quickly. Other than that mine ran great right out of the box.

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