AR stands for “ArmaLite Rifle” – opposed to the common misconception that “AR” stands for “Assault Rifle” or “Automatic Rifle”. Armalite was the company who first developed and produced the rifle in the 1950s for military use. Later, Armalite sold the AR-15 design to Colt, who was selected by the United States military to create a standard-issued automatic rifle for the vietnam conflict – the M16.
Soon Colt was selling and marketing the AR-15 firearm platform as a semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle for civilian and law enforcement applications. When Colt’s exclusive patents for the rifle design expired in the 1970’s other firearms manufacturers began producing rifles patterned after the original AR-15 design.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton effectively banned the sale of new AR15 style rifles with the federal assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 when new manufactures started producing AR15 style firearms again with a nationwide spike in sales for the popular platform becoming one of the most popular and widely used sporting rifles.
AR-15 Rifle Uses
Sporting/Competition – The AR-15 style rifle is America’s rifle in the modern era because like other and older models of sporting rifles, it evolved from its military precursors. The rifles are reliable, accurate and fun for target shooting. Shooting tournaments and competitions commonly feature AR-15 style rifle events – 3 gun competitions, tactical shooting competitions and long-range shooting contests all employ the AR-15 for shooters to compete with.
Home Defense – The AR-15 style platform is quickly gaining favor among homeowners for a home defense weapon among traditionally using shotguns and pistols for that function. AR-15s are chambered in a caliber that is effective for stopping intruders without the tendency to over-penetrate through a target or walls in a home or apartment building. The standard magazine capacity of an AR-15 is higher than most pistols and shotguns and the rifle platform is more accurate than a pistol – making an AR-15 a serious and effective home defense option.
Hunting – A 2014 study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that 27% of those surveyed had used an AR-15 to hunt. Colt estimated that in 2020 8 million people would carry an AR-15 as part of their hunting gear. While may hunters feel like an AR-15 is out of place on a deer hunting field opting for a wood or camo polymer bolt action rifle, AR-15s are creeping into the hunting world as an effective and reliable platform available chambered in almost all common hunting calibers.
AR-15 Rifles – Different Ammunition Calibers
AR 15 rifles are no more powerful than any other rifle chambered in .223 or .556 calibers – which are less powerful than widely used larger game caliber cartridges (for deer or other similar game) – usually the 30-06 and .300 calibers. Most typically AR-15 style rifle platforms are chambered in 223 Rem (5.56 x 45mm).
Additionally, AR-15 style rifles are manufactured to be chambered in a variety of other rifle calibers; .22LR, 6.8 SPC, .308 Win, .450 Bushmaster being the most common. Pistol caliber AR-15 style firearms are also widely available.
A key advantage and feature of the AR-15 platform is the rifle’s ability to be customized and accessorized for different uses and applications. AR-15 rifles can be outfitted with mounting rails that allow shooters to attach all kinds of additional accessories to the firearm. The primary use for the rifle may determine the combination of accessories a shooter would choose to add. Shooting style, distances, daylight and weather conditions may all play a factor. G2 Precision offers the following accessories so our customers can create a truly custom rifle: