This is a guest post about the most misunderstood firearm of all time.
4 Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know About The AR-15
The AR-15 is the holy grail of rifles.
It’s rugged, versatile and accurate — especially if you add an optic to your AR-15. And that’s why the rifle is more popular than ever. The problem is:
When something becomes popular (like the AR-15), facts tend to skew. Well not today. Because today I’m going to show you 4 facts you probably didn’t know about the AR-15.
Let’s get started.
1. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America
And for a good reason:
It’s lightweight, easy to shoot, has low recoil (making it an ideal choice for families) and is accurate. The gun is also HIGHLY versatile.
Meaning, you can use the AR-15 for home defense, target shooting, plinking, hunting — you name it. In addition, the rifle’s ergonomic design and rail system allows for flexible customization.
You can change the stock, barrel, carbine-length and even add a wide variety of after-market accessories like:
- Sound suppressors
- Night-vision devices
- And more
Now you can see why the AR-15 is America’s Rifle. It’s just so — wait a second! America’s Rifle? AR-15? Ah, hah! So the “AR” in AR-15 stands for America’s Rifle? Not quite…
2. AR-15 doesn’t stand for Assault Rifle, Automatic Rifle, or America’s Rifle
At one point in my life, I thought the “AR” in AR-15 stood for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle”. Man, was I wrong. The truth is:
The “AR” in AR-15 actually stands for ArmaLite Rifle — named after the company that first developed it in the 1950s. And in case you’re wondering, the “15” in AR-15 stands for the 15th design of the ArmaLite Rifle company.
Another misconception I believed about the AR-15 was that it’s a military rifle. I was wrong (again). It turns out…
3. The military doesn’t use the AR-15
Look at this gun:
You’d think this AR-15 is a war rifle used by the military. But, that’s not the case. Here’s why:
Since AR-15 rifles aren’t machine guns and aren’t fully automatic, the military doesn’t use them. Rather, the military previously issued the M16 — an adaptation of ArmaLite’s AR-15 rifle. That said, there is one huge difference between the AR-15 and M16:
Rate of fire.
AR-15s are semi-automatic firearms. That means, the rifle fires only one shot every time the trigger is pulled. On the contrary, M16 rifles are fully-automatic — continuously firing rounds as long as the trigger is held.
To put it into perspective, the AR-15 takes around 10 – 15 seconds to fire a 30 round clip while the M16 takes about 2 seconds to unleash 30 rounds.
Despite the AR-15 looking like a gun used by the military, it isn’t. It’s just like any other hunting rifle. In fact, the AR-15 isn’t that powerful compared to common hunting rifles. The reason?
A standard AR-15 rifle fires .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO ammunition. Both of these rounds have lower energy and penetration than most hunting calibers. However, since the AR platform is fluid, it can be configured to shoot different calibers. Which is why…
4.The AR-15 is great for hunting
The AR-15 has a higher barrel twist rate. Meaning, it could fire heavier caliber bullets (great for varmint and predator hunters).
Also, since the AR-15 uses a modular rail system, the rifle can work in tandem with night-vision devices, optics and different lighting systems (as I’ve mentioned earlier).
In addition, the AR-15 can chamber a wide variety of ammo, making ammunition accessible and inexpensive. Not to mention, the rifles’ reliability, accuracy and ruggedness offer hunters an unfair edge on the field.
In short: it’s a solid hunting rifle.
Now It’s Your Turn
I gave you 4 facts you (probably) didn’t know about the AR-15.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What are your thoughts on these facts? Or maybe you have something else you’d like to add to the list?
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.
Richard Douglas is the founder of Scopes Field, a blog where he reviews the best scopes and guns on the market. Richard’s work has been featured on various magazines and publications like NEWSREP, ODU Magazine, Boyds Gun Stocks, Burris Optics, JPFO and so much more.