Why AR-15?

This is a discussion on Why AR-15? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is a question asked out of pure ignorance, I'm not trolling or trying to start a 5.56/7.62 war. I'm just curious why the question ...

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Thread: Why AR-15?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Karter's Avatar
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    Why AR-15?

    This is a question asked out of pure ignorance, I'm not trolling or trying to start a 5.56/7.62 war. I'm just curious why the question about which AR usually is taken for granted to mean which AR-15.

    Is it the best thing we can reliably find and find parts for? Or, with the right ammunition, is this truly a great weapon?

    I assume the weapon has improved a lot in the last 30 years but my father and other Vietnam vets I've met through him never have thought much of it. He was active military till he retired four years ago and his opinion had not changed - though he admits it has improved.

    OFC, the military is as far as I know always using FMJ or even armor piercing rounds (which got a scathing review from the one now-former Delta Force member - Howe - who talked to Bowden while he was researching Blackhawk Down). There are reports in that book of people taking more than 15 rounds before they'd stop shooting back. Others would take 8-9 hits and get up and walk away (to bleed to death shortly, no doubt).

    Howe's private opinion that while heavier and less modern the M14 regularly carried by one of his teammates was a much more effective weapon.

    If used with a softer tip round maybe not available to military, is the weapon much more effective?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    I'm just curious why the question about which AR usually is taken for granted to mean which AR-15.
    I think it's because "AR" is more commonly used as an abbreviation for literally the "AR-15" than for the more generic (yet still accurate) term - "Assault Rifle".

    As for the AR-15 being the World's Greatest Assault Rifle? I agree there are more effective calibers than the 5.56 mm & the ergomonic "fit" of any rifle is a subjective, individual decision. But it's tough to argue against the AR-15 being a successful, capable, popular design. With the practically endless options in caliber & configuration...there's an AR that well-matches most job requirements.
    If used with a softer tip round maybe not available to military, is the weapon much more effective?
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    Member Array torgo1968's Avatar
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    I also suspect that because no weapon is ever perfect, you will always hear soldiers complain about the shortcomings because the shortcomings are bound to cause problems in some scenario somewhere.

    So yeah, the M-14 is way more powerful. And then you'd hear about incidents where soldiers ran out of ammo too fast because they couldn't carry as much or the problems caused by carrying a rifle that was roughly the length of a telephone pole.

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    [QUOTE=Karter;1292232
    There are reports in that book of people taking more than 15 rounds before they'd stop shooting back. Others would take 8-9 hits and get up and walk away (to bleed to death shortly, no doubt)[/QUOTE]

    If you do a little more research on that subject, I think you'll find the Somalians sat around all day chewing on some type of opiate sticks or its root and got high as a kite. Allowing them to stay in the fight longer.
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    Hi,

    There is always a trade off with cartridges For example an AK will use a 7.62 and for one hundred yards and under that gun is deadly, no doubt. Bring an AK out to 300 yards and you are looking at a two foot drop in trajectory. Most folks come up with a case of CHS (can't hit shat)with that type of drop.

    Marines have to qualify at 2,3, and 500 yards with an M-16. My point is that you gain way more accuracy with an AR. Now when you have the ability to carry more rounds because they are lighter, and make easy modifications to your weapons platform. The AR style riffle is pretty tough to beat.
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  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    The AR15 has indeed been improved since the Vietnam conflict. I grew up during the time in which vets were retruning from SE Asia with absolute HATRED for the M16/AR15 family of weapons. I spoke to guys who used everything from M14s to a scrounged Savage 12 gauge pump gun in preference to an M16.

    Today's AR15/M16A2/M4 is indeed a better weapon than its ancestors, and for that matter, certain little things can be done with the older weapons to enhance their reliability.

    The military is stuck with FMJ ammo for most uses. LE and private citizens can use such loads as the 55-grain JSP, which has dropped plenty of felons with devastating results, often, if not usually, with just one shot.

    I tasted the AR15 "kool-aid," and found it drinkable, but not to my taste. I don't like the high line-of-sight over bore axis, and I absolutely detest the safety lever's semi-automatic "fire" position. I drilled into my head for a couple to decades to NEVER be caught with my "dingus" down, and then, when finally able to carry a carbine on patrol, I am stuck with a weapon that is set to fire with the friggin' dingus DOWN. Young 'uns who never had to learn a weapon system such as the S&W first through third "generation autos, or the Beretta 92/M9, of course, never had to deal with the dingus, but a dingus down certainly causes ME a crisis of confidence; I can't just erase two decades of training/conditioning.

    For me, an AR15 is something that is kept cased, to be deployed under certain conditions, per PD policy, and not something I have near at hand as a "go to" weapon, so the dingus is not a major issue. I can even choose to ignore it, except at qual time. When I retire, I will probably never shoot my AR15 again. My wife likes it; she can have it. I have other rifles.

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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    My personal experience with them in the military was less then decent. Everyone of them jammed every magazine change, as well as the incident in basic where I broke the charging handle when reassembling the weapon during the cycle check. Thus I'm not a fan. Yet my father a Vietnam vet thinks its a decent rifle.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

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    I was issued the M16a1 in the 70's. I carried a Colt SP1 in my patrol car in the 80's. I have 4 AR15's and an AR10 sitting in the Safes right now.

    It's a solid platform that does what it was intended too. Just my .02
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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    read this, more info than you probably want on the AR-15 and various ammo:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...FXwFC16V0emhxQ

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    The M-16 and it's variants have been around me for over 12 years now. I know precisely how to maintain it. I know what it can and can't do. Whenever it has failed, it wasn't because of something the weapon did wrong (either the beat to hell magazines, occasional faulty round, or more commonly operator error).

    I've dined, slept, bathed and danced with it. The proficiency I've gained with that specific platform is not easily replaced.
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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    I wanted something that both my wife and I could use. Given our size differences the AR was the best option.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Why AR-15?
    Personally, I always wanted an AR-15 after I got out of the service. It's modularity, and maybe my personal experiences with the M16. I pretty much had to have a 1911 pistol of my own once I got out as well. That came first, which at the time was more affordable for me. Now that I've been through a couple of AR-15's and on my third model....I feel at home with them...sort of second nature actually. Yes...qualified at 2,3, and 500 meters with my M16. I believe I could still do the same with my short barreled AR-15 these days with open sights. It's kind of a follow through with something you've trusted your life with before....it's part of you that you can't get rid of no matter how hard you try. I would never expect you to understand that, but now you know my choice as to why. It's rather simple to me. Simple is good.
    I had an issue weapon in .30cal as well, and I've also got the next best thing to that IMO, and of course I had to have one of the best of what the enemy carried. I now exist in the comfort of knowing I have all three, and the enemy is the enemy no more. I'm willing to bet on me and my AR-15, and it's well kept for the day I need it again. It's not something I expect you to understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    Personally, I always wanted an AR-15 after I got out of the service. It's modularity, and maybe my personal experiences with the M16. I pretty much had to have a 1911 pistol of my own once I got out as well. That came first, which at the time was more affordable for me. Now that I've been through a couple of AR-15's and on my third model....I feel at home with them...sort of second nature actually. Yes...qualified at 2,3, and 500 meters with my M16. I believe I could still do the same with my short barreled AR-15 these days with open sights. It's kind of a follow through with something you've trusted your life with before....it's part of you that you can't get rid of no matter how hard you try. I would never expect you to understand that, but now you know my choice as to why. It's rather simple to me. Simple is good.
    I had an issue weapon in .30cal as well, and I've also got the next best thing to that IMO, and of course I had to have one of the best of what the enemy carried. I now exist in the comfort of knowing I have all three, and the enemy is the enemy no more. I'm willing to bet on me and my AR-15, and it's well kept for the day I need it again. It's not something I expect you to understand.
    Ram Rod, that almost put a tear in my eye.
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    BAC
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    For me, personally, I want to be proficient in the primary weapon system of my country's armed forces. For me, that's the AR-15. That I happen to like shooting it is also a plus.

    If you're asking more generally, why do we as a country use it, then it's probably because it's the best of what was available at the time. Granted, we have to keep in mind the rise of the professional soldier in the United States, our absolutely atrocious record for preventative weapon maintenance (use them until they break, then replace them with a new rifle), terrible judgment regarding international treaties we didn't sign (Hague Convention), and finally people with no requisite system knowledge screwing around with said system (early ammunition powder problems and Whiz Kid issues). And despite early hemming and hawing, virtually everyone in the world with the ability to choose between weapon systems and well-trained enough to use them picks from the AR family of weapons. Not an insignificant fact, that.

    With proper weapon maintenance, good choice of non-FMJ ammo (shooting the biggest pills appropriate to the barrel twist rate), good magazines (the originals were meant to be disposable), plenty of lube, a smooth trigger, and a good barrel, the AR has proven to be a damn good weapon system. I think that nowadays we have the ability to make a better rifle, and the coming Army trials will indicate if the current crop of hopefuls has that better rifle, but I also think we're nearing the end of the road for conventional firearms and metallic-cartridge ammo.


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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    I think it's because "AR" is more commonly used as an abbreviation for literally the "AR-15" than for the more generic (yet still accurate) term - "Assault Rifle".
    AR-15 has its roots in ArmaLite Rifle - model 15. Please, please, please stop using the term "assault rifle" to describe this rifle - it ain't one.

    It's light enough and its recoil is light enough to fire one handed (if need be) or hand to a kid or new shooter and they shouldn't have any problems. Collapsible stock to fit to kids or when wearing multiple layers of clothing. Bullet weights/design enable you to hunt varmints all day long or animals up to deer with the same .223 upper. Use iron sights or scope and have both available on the same rifle. Easy to suppress. Shoot out to 1000 yds. Attach a bunch of goodies if you want. 30 round capacity. Switch uppers for different cartridges (6.5 Grendel, .204, 7.62x39, 9mm, 6.8) extend hunting to caribou/elk or effective range for other (ahem) prey. Disassemble/assemble w/o tools. Can build yourself.

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