Why Gun Owners Love the AR-15
- Gunspot Official
- Mar 31 2022
It’s no secret that American gun owners have a love affair with the AR-15. It is one of the most popular rifles being sold in America today. And while there are times of heightened controversy surrounding the rifle, it remains to be said that the AR-15 is firmly cemented as “America’s Rifle.” But why such affinity and affection for this rifle over all of the other rifles sold in America?
Due to the fact that the standard caliber for the AR-15 is .223 Remington and/or 5.56mm NATO, it is extremely easy to comfortably fire. The 5.56mm NATO round fires with such little recoil that shooters of nearly any age are capable of safely handling and operating the rifle. This ensures that shooters young and old are just as comfortable picking up an AR-15 to use for target shooting, longer range precision shooting, and varmint and predator hunting.
There is no other rifle in the world that is as easily customizable as the AR-15. The rifle itself can be tailored to any shooter with a seemingly endless number of choices for accessories, barrel lengths, optics, triggers, upgrades, the list goes on. A standard stock AR-15 may be used by a younger child receiving their very first rifle. And the child’s parent could have a similar AR-15 but with a longer barrel, heavier caliber, lighter trigger, and an enhanced magnification scope that allows them to take that AR-15 on a hunting trip. That same rifle could then have a completely different upper receiver assembly with another caliber and barrel length that gets used as a home defense rifle when not being used as a hunting rifle. The AR-15 can be chambered in what seems like an ever-expanding list of calibers to be used. And while the standard round for the AR-15 is 5.56mm NATO, a shooter can choose to go with a lighter or heavier round depending on the application of the rifle. It is not uncommon for some gun owners to have multiple AR-15s in their gun collections. Each different AR-15 can fit a certain role or function. One can be used for target shooting and competitions, another can be used for hunting small or large game, and another can be configured into an AR pistol and used for home defense. The options for the AR-15 truly are endless in terms of customization for the individual shooter.
The AR-15 does have a storied history. Earlier generations of the rifle did have problems in the beginning of its life as a military service weapon during the Vietnam War in the form of the M-16. Issues with components and changes to the rifle cartridge itself did not give many people confidence in the rifle as an American fighting rifle. But once those issues were addressed by the United States military, changes and modifications were made that completely changed the M-16 rifle into a fully reliable weapon system that still serves as the standard rifle of the United States military to this day. Today, the AR-15 is as reliable as any other rifle on the market today. And with the abundance of customizable parts and accessories, the AR-15 can be tweaked and tuned into possibly the most reliable rifle in the world. The AR-15 itself relies primarily on a direct impingement system, meaning that the gas tube that runs above the barrel forces the gasses of the round being fired directly into the bolt to cycle the weapon. This triggers a series of near simultaneous actions that extracts the spend shell casing, reset the trigger, and loads the next round into the chamber, doing this as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger. When properly cared for and cleaned after extensive use, the internal mechanisms of the AR-15 rifle are extremely reliable and not often prone to malfunction. And reliability in a rifle is paramount to a shooter because the shooter’s life may be on the line when the rifle is being used.
Despite the controversy surrounding the AR-15, American gun owners have overwhelmingly voted with their dollars and purchased this rifle in droves since the sunsetting of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban in 2004. More and more gun manufacturing companies make one or more different models of the AR-15 that are available to the American market. It is a rifle that is as customizable as it is reliable and has a history that is almost as old as the average American. Whichever model you choose, whichever application you find yourself needing a rifle, there is an AR-15 out there that will meet all your exact needs. And for that reason, America will always love its most popular rifle.
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