The Origins of the AR-15

The AR- 15 is one of the most popular semi- automatic rifles in not only the United States, but the world. Almost everyone from the most extreme gun enthusiast to the complete beginner has at least heard of it, although there are intricacies and basic facts that remain unaware. In this guide we will be exploring the roots of the AR-15, how it became so popular, and the best situations to use this firearm. 

The AR-15 was originally developed in 1950 by a weapon designer named Eugene Stoner for the U.S. Military. While originally used in Vietnam in the 60s, the gun gained popularity after 1963 in the civilian United States, with a current estimated minimum of 11 million in civilian ownership.  The “AR” heading actually does not stand for the fearful “Assault Rifle” stigma, but actually stands for “ArmaLite Rifle”. It is by far considered the most American gun, and is considered the best intermediate caliber rifle to buy as it can be used for hunting, competition, target practice, and self defense.

What Exactly is the AR-15?

The standard AR-15 is a semi- automatic rifle with a 30 round detachable magazine that is usually chambered in 5.56x45mm. The gun itself is recommended even for beginners because of its ease of use and widespread availability. The gun itself is very lightweight and has an adjustable stock that allows it to form comfortably to all body types and additional armor you may like to wear. The parts, magazines, and ammunition are all widely available throughout the United States, and the gun’s makeup is so versatile it allows for lots of customizations as you grow in your firearm’s knowledge and comfort.

Are They Legal?

Yes, the AR-15 is a completely legal gun, although depending on the state you live in, you may experience more difficulties and registrations when it comes to owning one. This is due to the fact that states classify the AR-15’s traditional 30 round magazine configuration as illegal. States that have changed the classification of assault weapons to include AR-15s, or have AR-15 related regulations that you may need to read more into are as follows;

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Illinois (Highland Park)
  4. Maryland
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Minnesota
  7. New Jersey
  8. New York
  9. Virginia
  10. Washington

The good thing is that even despite individual states ruling out firearms such as the AR-15, the lower receiver is the main issue that requires regulation by state governments. Even though you may be a beginner in the subject, if you are looking to up your game, and enjoy the full extent of the AR-15 in all 50 states, read some more into 80% lowers

Hunting With an AR-15

With the AR-15’s extensive military and home defense history, it is hands down a great gun for personal protection, although many people don’t consider it as their first choice for hunting, although they should. 

The AR-15 is a great gun for shooting due to reasons that it is semi-automatic, which allows for less time between shots in having to completely release the trigger. This is great for hunting multiple animals or having a near shot that you need to make up for swifty. Since the gun is also gas operated, it allows for a low recoil and allows the shooter to stay tight on the scope when needing to stay focused between shots.

Since AR-15s are interchangeable as hunting and self defense guns, an owner can change the caliber from a lower to higher caliber just by adjusting the pins and replacing the upper. They are also efficient as being a front carrying gun, and are good for both small and large builds of hunters. The detachable magazine also allows for faster and easier to load and unload, especially when dealing with environmentally harsh conditions.

How to Shoot an AR-15

Having the proper form and stance when shooting a firearm is paramount to your safety and those around you. The last thing you need happening to you is a spontaneous trip to the hospital, or end up on a youtube fail series. 

The two most common positions to fire an AR-15 are in the prone or the standing position.

Prone is when you are laying on the ground on your stomach, and standing is pretty much how it sounds. 

When you are holding the AR-15, you will need to center the grip in the V area between your thumb and index finger on your trigger hand.using this you will need to pull the rifle into your shoulder. Also, when holding, pull it back with the support hand. This is easiest with a vertical fore grip, but can also be accomplished by using the magazine. 

When you start to point the AR down range, look through the sights at a target. From here, you should increase your grip tension until the AR-15 begins to wobble. Then, reduce your pressure until the sights stabilize. Due to the fact that the AR-15 is a rapid-fire weapon system, your hold will need to be a bit more rigid than it would typically be with a bolt-action rifle.

Finally, when it comes to your first time firing an AR-15, make sure that you have someone with you who has some experience with the gun. No matter how many videos you watch, it is always a good idea to have someone else there in person to correct any mistakes and fine tune any first time jitters. 

Now What?

Now that you have a bit more AR-15 knowledge in your arsenal, it is time to start looking at purchasing the perfect all around gun for you. Remember that the “scary” stigma of assault rifles does not hold true to this all purpose firearm, and that its versatility can allow for fast action in multitudes of situations. Hunt, train, and protect your family with the AR-15.