Armalite Rifle #15

  Meet the AR15, the most popular rifle in the United States, and arguably the most user friendly and easy to modify and personalize firearm in the world, as well as the winner of the Cold War rivalry with AK pattern rifles.  The AR15 was developed by Eugene Stoner to meet the demands of the United States military, which was looking for a firearm that could replace the myriad of guns used during World War II.  Having settled on a specific round (bullet) Eugene Stoner submitted his design via Armalite; the AR10 (same pattern as the AR15, but with a bigger bullet).  The firearm had a number of unique design features, such as lining up it's barrel, bolt, and stock.  It also used lightweight metals and plastics, and was designed to be simple to take apart. Unfortunately the rifle lost to the M14, which would later turn out to be unable to meet the volume of fire of the AK47.  In a subsequent series of tests, Armalite submitted a scaled down model as the AR15 that used a smaller bullet allowing soldiers to carry much more ammunition (and thus match or exceed the volume of fire of the AK).  In those tests it also turned out that the accuracy of the soldiers testing the firearm nearly doubled.  Unfortunately, the AR15 lost once again, and so Armalite sold the rights to the gun, though the "AR" designation still stands as a testament to Armalite's contribution to the rifle.  After this point, with the Army repeatedly refusing the rifle despite it outperforming other firearms in its tests, President Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara personally involved themselves due to suspicion of bias.  At the same time, Colt picked up the rights to produce the rifle and marketed it to civilians since its light weight, ease of use, and plastic features made it a perfect civilian home defense and sporting rifle.  The rifle was a commercial success at roughly the same time that it was finally adopted by the military under the military designation "M16" where it would later lead to many other generations of rifles, such as the M4.

  The AR15 has been called "America's Rifle", but is often times a poorly understood firearm.  The one we use for students is prepared to fire both the 5.56/.223 round that it traditionally fires, as well as the .22lr (which the AR15 can do with a simple swapping of a part and using the appropriate magazine).  If you look at the top of the firearm on either end you'll notice two sets of sights, one set lined up for one kind of bullet, and the other lined up for the other. Learn more about the firearm and fire one with us in any of our rifle classes.