PDA

View Full Version : AR-15 popularity


JackieNeil
November 21, 2010, 08:28 PM
After seeing so many AR-15 guns in the gun shops, what does everyone think why so many people are are buying these guns. Is it just because of the large mag. capacity? Are people just getting prepared for shtf day?

shanzlik
November 21, 2010, 08:47 PM
In case you can't buy them in the future...
Because they'rereally fun...
Becase they are flexible...
Because they can be very accurate...
Good defensive rifle....
Good varmint rifle...
...different reasons for different people, although they all apply to me.

kraigwy
November 21, 2010, 08:53 PM
People like ARs for various reasons. I have two, one is an Colt, SP1, the closest thing a civilian can get that matches the M16A1 I used in Vietnam.

The second is set up for High Power. WOA Service Rifle.

I don't buy into the SHTF and Zombie BS.

tenusdad
November 21, 2010, 08:58 PM
Various reason I think:

1. It's military heritage gives confidence it will be rugged and handle whatever issue that comes up - shtf
2. Modular - it's the Mr. Potato Head of rifles - parts, magizines, ammo and accessories are everywhere
3. Versitile - it can be short, long, different calibers
4. They look cool and are in a zillion movies (hey I even bought a single shot muzzel loading side lock pistol after I saw Mel Gibson in the Patriot)

To name a few

MMcfpd
November 21, 2010, 09:00 PM
They're light, accurate, modular, adaptable to many cartridges, durable...; they're a modern (heh, heh..50 years) evolution of the rifle.

Longdayjake
November 21, 2010, 09:12 PM
One way to make a guy do something is to tell him that he can't do it. AR15's are the rifle that everyone knows the government doesn't want them to have. Makes me want a bunch of them.

Technosavant
November 21, 2010, 09:13 PM
Fun to build, fun to shoot. Parts and knowledge are readily available. Good for everything from cheap plinking (with a .22LR top end) to defense to hunting.

5whiskey
November 22, 2010, 02:54 AM
After seeing so many AR-15 guns in the gun shops, what does everyone think why so many people are are buying these guns. Is it just because of the large mag. capacity? Are people just getting prepared for shtf day?

Number 1 reason for me? If the federal government uses it and it's not a nuclear weapon, then any RESPONSIBLE citizen should be allowed to as well.


That and they are probably the most useful platform. High-speed, Low-drag entry weapon? Check. Varmint rifle? Check. Target rifle? Check. Adaptable to do all things adequately well with one rifle and a few accessories? Doable.

10mmAuto
November 22, 2010, 04:10 AM
There isn't much of anything the average firearms user does that this platform won't do passably well - along with the fact that with minimal or no change it will do pretty much anything else.

Not to mention the ergonomics. It feels right.

Sport45
November 22, 2010, 04:53 AM
what does everyone think why so many people are are buying these guns

For me, it was because they qualify as a high power rifle and don't punish your shoulder. Much easier to get better scores and cheaper to shoot as well.

pythagorean
November 22, 2010, 07:23 AM
No other rifle makes a statement as big as an AR.

thesheepdog
November 22, 2010, 09:02 AM
Ergonomics, Adaptability, Accuracy, Lethality, Reliability, Effectiveness, and user-friendly controls.

Technosavant
November 22, 2010, 10:31 AM
No other rifle makes a statement as big as an AR.

I don't know, the .50BMG ones might make a bigger one. But then, a five foot long rifle that weighs a ton and a half (or so they feel) can't help but make an impression. :D

demigod
November 22, 2010, 10:41 AM
The AR has become the Harley Davidson of the firearms world. People want to be seen with their custom creations.

I hate this aspect of it, but it's a free country for now, so.... ;)

tirod
November 22, 2010, 11:58 AM
Well, more than a few million Americans have actually been taught to use the AR over the last 45 years, regardless of branch of service. That is a huge consumer base.

Anyone can take it apart to clean it, no tools needed. Try that with a Win 94 lever.

It has about a dozen different specific configurations, depending on use, from a 14.5" combat carbine, to 20" precision rifle. It's all based on one specific way to build it, so largely, all the parts can be upgraded or interchanged with others. It's even common to buy a bolt and barrel separately, with little regard to whether they were headspaced together. No other firearm gets away with that.

It shoots a dirt cheap surplus caliber, or you can move up to harder hitting alternatives, all while keeping the light weight and handy length. They are more fun to shoot and hunt with because of the lighter recoil and accuracy.

Most guns that share those qualities are popular, the lever actions far outsold the bolt guns in the day, and AK's are also a lot alike. Heavier guns in bigger calibers tend to stay in the closet when a long day hunting or shooting is planned. It's why intermediate caliber guns exist, the average shooter just uses them more.

Bolt guns and levers require some practice and use to get the action as fast as an AR, and losing the sight picture every time you load isn't all that attractive. You can shoot an semi auto with the nose on the back of the receiver and empty a 30 round mag with careful shots. It can't be done with old school guns.

If you want accurate repeat firing, an AR delivers. If you want reliable loading, I still recommend an AR - bolt and lever guns can be short cycled and jam. It takes a lot of training and muscle memory to equal the thousands of reliable reloads a milspec AR will achieve straight out of the box. It's exactly why the world's militaries use self loading actions, it will keep the newer soldier from doing it wrong and becoming a liability.

Some think a semi auto with a big magazine is inherently unsporting for hunting. We agree the first shot counts - but the potential second shot will come sooner, and more accurately. Why handicap yourself and force the game to suffer because of uncontrolled field conditions or a mistake in judgement? It's more humane to have a rapidly acquired second shot with higher hit probability. Again, it takes a lot of practice to be good with a manual gun - and most hunters don't practice all that much. Many AR shooters do practice a lot, if simply because they can shoot more with big magazines and cheaper ammo.

The point being a hunter with manually operated gun is inherently handicapped and less accurate shot by shot. Compared to an AR hunter, who's being more humane, when all the shots are counted?

Any shooter who uses the spray and pray method often doesn't care what firearm they use. Out hunting, I can't tell if it's a rapidly reloading lever gunner, or a carefully aiming semi auto. The pace can be identical. What I find interesting is the snobbery of manual action owners who think they do a better job. It ain't necessarily so.

Those that take a good first shot sound just alike, too. It's the shooter who makes it what it is.

4runnerman
November 22, 2010, 12:04 PM
I know at the range i go to,they are becoming very popular.Seems like everyone has one(except me):mad:. maybe that should be the next gun on the list. Right now im looking at a 6MM BR.

Scorch
November 22, 2010, 01:06 PM
what does everyone think why so many people are are buying these guns.
Most folks nowadays are introduced to rifle shooting in the military, so they go with a proven, reliable system they are familiar with. Add to that the reliability, ruggedness, accuracy, gobs of accessories available, ease of maintenance and repair, etc, etc, etc, and you have a very popular rifle platform.

CMKiefer
November 22, 2010, 06:59 PM
I agree with all the reasons above, but one I ddin't see (I only skimmed really) is purchase price. Back when I started lusting for one, there were basically two manufacturers: Colt and DPMS (I could be wrong) and those purple DPMS rifles had a bad rep. The Colts were EXPENSIVE. I was lucky enough to be just in time for the first mean-looking-rifle ban and Colts were going for $2,000 for an A1.

I didn't buy one at that price but later paid what would now be considered highway robbery for a Colt HBAR A2. Now you can get a decent AR from a wide variety of manufacturers for a reasonable price.

pythagorean
November 22, 2010, 07:04 PM
I remember when $400 was enough to take a Colt AR 15 out the door.......

MMcfpd
November 22, 2010, 08:47 PM
Most folks nowadays are introduced to rifle shooting in the military...

I doubt that's the case; very few of the rifle owners I know have military experience. Many grew up hunting, some are vets and several don't fit either of those categories.

Sport45
November 22, 2010, 10:57 PM
They're also a lot easier to "sporterize" than milsurps of days gone by and nobody chastises you for doing it.

Heck, even the military is sporterizing their versions of this platform. :)

paralaska
November 23, 2010, 12:53 AM
I think it's an excuse to buy accessories . . . the black rifles are so easy to buy things for . . . everytime you look online or go into a gun store . . . you find some neat accessory to buy for it. Sights, scopes, red dots, grips, magazines, stocks, forearms, bipods, slings, upgraded parts, etc., etc. It gives you something to spend your money on. It feels good to buy stuff for it . . .

HorseSoldier
November 23, 2010, 12:56 AM
I think the term "barbie doll for grown men" has been floating around the internet for a long time now in reference to AR accessories . . .

686+
November 23, 2010, 01:26 AM
It's easy to shoot, comes in many flavors, it's light, and it goes "poing" when you shoot it :D. It's the 20th & 21st century version of the lever gun.

gyvel
November 23, 2010, 05:37 AM
What's with all the shtf crap? Does everyone think human society is going to suddenly and completely collapse?:rolleyes:

Anyway, I think its popularity is centered mostly among those who were exposed to it during the Vietnam years. (Or at least those whose 16 didn't malfunction in the jungles due to the early powders.)

Personally, I see it as a gun that has serious limitations; For example, you can't bust a door down with the butt of an AR15/M16 like you can with the solid brass buttplate of a Lee Enfield.:D

pythagorean
November 23, 2010, 05:54 AM
I think the term "barbie doll for grown men" has been floating around the internet for a long time now in reference to AR accessories . . .

Ha! How true!

inre bashing down a door I wouldn't use a rifle to do that--that's what your feet are made for!

testuser
November 23, 2010, 06:32 AM
Rewind to 2003. I'm in Iraq as a civilian on a six month tour. A buddy and I are cleaning our Colt made M4A3 rifles after he's been out on a mission. I pull the charging handle back on his weapon to make sure the it's clear and let the bolt fly home. The rifle doesn't chamber because of the sand and grit it picked up while riding around on the vehicle. Not impressed by the AR. I'll just stick to my FAL.

CCRBUM
November 23, 2010, 06:39 AM
yeahhh... sand and AR's don't mix well from what I hear! :(... still a lot of fun to shoot though! and a little cheaper than an FAL :)

Omaha-BeenGlockin
November 23, 2010, 08:13 AM
Barbie doll?!?!?!?!?! NO---Erector Set

thesheepdog
November 23, 2010, 09:05 AM
Rewind to 2003. I'm in Iraq as a civilian on a six month tour

What the heck is an armed civilian doing in Iraq?

JackieNeil
November 24, 2010, 05:53 AM
Does anyone think the political atmosphere of past two years have contributed to AR-15 popularity.

jokester_143
November 24, 2010, 06:21 AM
testuser,

I did a tour over there and never encountered any issues with my M4, though then again I DID wipe and clean it regularly. The only issues I really came across with that weapon platform wasn't really the platform but Army Issued magazines. I encountered that issue before I deployed thankfully, and when I get into theater I made sure I had brand new magazines that I acquired from a combat support company that didn't understand how a lock on a door works for their supply room.

10mmAuto
November 24, 2010, 06:41 AM
What the heck is an armed civilian doing in Iraq?
What rock you been living under comrade? They're called Private Military Compqnies aka "contractors". Triple Canopy, Aegis, Blackwater Security.

Sport45
November 24, 2010, 06:47 AM
A buddy and I are cleaning our Colt made M4A3 rifles after he's been out on a mission. I pull the charging handle back on his weapon to make sure the it's clear and let the bolt fly home. The rifle doesn't chamber because of the sand and grit it picked up while riding around on the vehicle

Sounds like he didn't do a very good job of cleaning the thing... :)

Or he was riding around in a combat zone with an empty chamber. :(

thesheepdog
November 24, 2010, 08:56 AM
What rock you been living under comrade? They're called Private Military Compqnies aka "contractors". Triple Canopy, Aegis, Blackwater Security.
That's not a civilian.

tirod
November 24, 2010, 11:08 AM
I love the misinformation in threads on AR's.

"Vets" aren't trained by the military?

Breaking down doors with buttstocks? Really? Haven't noticed that SERT teams use a battering ram? Breaking a wood stock is as easy as flipping it off my shoulder and hitting the floor spinning. It's got nothing to do with the butt plate, it's all in the grain at the wrist. Been there, seen dozens shattered.

Defense contractors are very definitely civilians, exactly the reason why some politicians tried to bring them in under the UCMJ for their activities as a reward for political fallout. They carry what the boss allows, plenty of photos of contractors with G3's, AK's, etc. Soldiers are required to carry what is issued, contractors carry what they can get into the country.

AR's are the most popular choice, tho. Has something to do with familiarity of use and the most ergonomic layout of controls. Until the SCAR and ACR become more plentiful, the AR is the leader in user friendly weapons.

I've challenged this before: Take 10 mags with one round apiece, lay them out on a long table, and a AR. Time loading and shooting each mag at a target 50 yards away, vs any other weapon of choice. Put the safety on when changing mags - !

The AR will beat most of them hands down. It's got an easy to operate thumb safety, a bolt hold open, no need to charge after loading, and most of it can be done without breaking cheek weld or losing the sight picture.

People ask why it's popular, and completely ignore superior operator use. It helps you shoot it, most other guns interfere with the process. Shooters don't use it because they adore specific engineering features, they like it because it makes them look real good shooting it. It's accurate and easy to do.

Look at the newest designs, what do you see? A piston? Not really, what you CAN see are thumb operated safeties, operating handles, and mag releases that cooperate with the user. Complain about the action all you want, the real gift of the AR is making the controls "fall readily to hand." It's the premier quality of good tools.

thesheepdog
November 24, 2010, 11:34 AM
Tirod,

I guess it's a misconception, but in my opinion an armed contractor is considered military. Why? Well the idea that 99% of Americans aren't allowed to run around with firearms and armor, and not get in trouble for it. Yeah it's just a job, but under what name? Who for? Ex-Military or not, they run the same way the military does, without an oath to protect the constitution from foriegn and domestic threats.
Yeah they're not Army, Marines or Navy; but they're dressed like them and fight like them, and they're armed and getting paid for it-hence the term contractor. But if they're working right along side of SF and other military agencies everyday.
So what differentiates an armed contractor over in Iraq vs an Army Ranger over in Iraq? Is it just Oath vs Contract agreement and/or what branch or name you're under?


On other items; yes the AR is proven to be faster in reloading. The russians had a video on this where EXPERIENCED AK users were very quickly beat in reloading drills vs the AR.

Borakar
November 24, 2010, 11:43 AM
What's with all the shtf crap? Does everyone think human society is going to suddenly and completely collapse?

Some people actually do believe that, but a far greater group of people are simply reacting to their instinct, that things are going down hill fast and it pays to be prepared.

Anyway, I think its popularity is centered mostly among those who were exposed to it during the Vietnam years. (Or at least those whose 16 didn't malfunction in the jungles due to the early powders.)

LOL. Thanks for making me feel young. There might also be a couple guys, that became familiar with the AR platform during the cold war, or these various war on terror activities you have heard about.

Personally, I see it as a gun that has serious limitations; For example, you can't bust a door down with the butt of an AR15/M16 like you can with the solid brass buttplate of a Lee Enfield.

The Lee Enfield was an effective weapon for the time it was deployed. However, it was NOT designed for busting down doors, and it would be very poorly suited for duty as a breeching tool- Unless you also had a backup AR15 slung around your shoulder.

HorseSoldier
November 24, 2010, 03:11 PM
What the heck is an armed civilian doing in Iraq?

More to the point, what the heck is an "M4A3"? I would think that if someone had really done contractor time in Iraq they'd be a bit better educated in their firearms terminology than to use some bastardized hodge podge term from the civilian AR shooting world. At least all the guys I know who've done PMC time would . . . :rolleyes:

thesheepdog
November 24, 2010, 03:18 PM
More to the point, what the heck is an "M4A3"? I would think that if someone had really done contractor time in Iraq they'd be a bit better educated in their firearms terminology than to use some bastardized hodge podge term from the civilian AR shooting world. At least all the guys I know who've done PMC time would .

Sounds like a Mall Ninja.

Scorch
November 24, 2010, 03:23 PM
Just to throw more gas on the fire,
they run the same way the military does, without an oath to protect the constitution from foriegn and domestic threats.
And that is the real danger behind them, they are private armies, doing the work assigned them by corporate bigwigs who take orders from military and political staff who cannot ask military personnel to do the tasks the contractors are doing (that whole "lawful orders" thing).
Yeah they're not Army, Marines or Navy; but they're dressed like them and fight like them, and they're armed and getting paid for it-hence the term contractor
Actually, military personnel get paid to do what they do ("soldier" is derived from "soldi", meaning money or coins, meaning they were paid to fight and not citizen hoplites doing their duty), they just don't get paid very much, so we hire mercenaries . . . ummmm, contractors . . . and pay them to do things that are not strictly legal for us to do. Doesn't that concern anyone?

And now, back to the original thread you were reading before I interjected my version of reality.

thesheepdog
November 24, 2010, 04:22 PM
they just don't get paid very much

And my point....civilians don't get paid to walk around with guns, we don't even get to walk around with guns for free. So don't call yourself a civilian if you're a PMC (to the individual who said otherwise)!!!!!

Anyway, now that I have vented....

back to the thread.

10mmAuto
November 24, 2010, 04:47 PM
That's not a civilian.

I'm not disapproving or approving of what they do, I have good friends who are/were contractors, but they're very clearly not military and therefor a civilian.

Also, they're not paid to anything that's not legal for us to do, they're paid to correct manpower deficiencies in everything from diplomatic to security to logistics (the overwhelming majority of contractors are not armed). A very, very, very small minority operate in a manner comparable to soldiers or marines. Most are glorified mall cops on foreign soil.

Short version - they're not boogeymen and they're in the Military.

HorseSoldier
November 24, 2010, 05:44 PM
PMCs are just temp agency economics applied to the military in 99.9% of cases, and the other 0.1% are just business as usual for the CIA, who've been using hired help as needed since Vietnam or earlier.

davlandrum
November 24, 2010, 05:52 PM
Anyway, I think its popularity is centered mostly among those who were exposed to it during the Vietnam years. (Or at least those whose 16 didn't malfunction in the jungles due to the early powders.)
LOL. Thanks for making me feel young. There might also be a couple guys, that became familiar with the AR platform during the cold war, or these various war on terror activities you have heard about.

That is exactly what I was thinking - Vietnam? I enlisted in 1981, did 20 (with a 3 year break in service for ROTC in the middle) and have been retired a few years now

People forget how long ago Vietnam was. Absolutely no disrespect meant, but Vietnam now is like WWII was when I was growing up - 40 years ago.

Yellowfin
November 25, 2010, 12:57 AM
My question is this: when is it going to get as easy to get non-.223 caliber AR15's in mainstream stores? Most of them that stock bolt and lever guns do so in 2 or 3 calibers at least for each of them and don't think twice about it, but for some reason trying to find a 6.8 or 6.5 in a lot of stores that carry DPMS, Bushmaster, and Remington AR's is like asking for an ugly chick at the Playboy Mansion or a good looking one in a nursing home. Seriously, what's the problem?

brettcar
November 25, 2010, 02:19 AM
Back to the discussion, my new upper in 25 wssm is shooting less than 1 inch groups. That's a 100gr bullet at about 3200 fps.
Then I can switch to my 458 socom upper & throw a 405 gr bullet at anything else, and since the optics are set on each of the uppers, the zero never changes.

henryfrapp
November 25, 2010, 05:11 AM
You go brettcar!!! The AR of today is a platform weapon. Just change the upper and mag and go. I also have a Socom upper. I can go from shooting coyotes at 300 yards to blowing airline doors off the hinges in less than 60 seconds.

Mike40-11
November 25, 2010, 08:23 AM
the Mr. Potato Head of rifles
goes "poing" when you shoot it
I think those 2 sum it up the best.:D

gyvel
November 25, 2010, 08:27 AM
That is exactly what I was thinking - Vietnam? I enlisted in 1981, did 20 (with a 3 year break in service for ROTC in the middle) and have been retired a few years now

People forget how long ago Vietnam was. Absolutely no disrespect meant, but Vietnam now is like WWII was when I was growing up - 40 years ago.

LOLL!!!!!! And 1981 is just about 30 years ago!:D Vietnam lasted through 1975, which is only 6 years before you enlisted. Sometimes we lose track of time. LOL!!!:D

Rifleman1776
November 25, 2010, 10:21 AM
I belive it is simply a continuation of a historical trend. Many, if not most, of our sporting arms had their beginning with military use.
As for the question of civilian contractors in war zones, isn't this a political discussion straying from the thread.
I got zapped by a mod for a much lesser 'offense'.

RT
November 25, 2010, 12:53 PM
Another reason the AR is popular is because I can buy a stripped lower from an FFL and everything else I can buy online and have shipped to my door. I don't have to mess with the local gun shop in order to get what I want.

HorseSoldier
November 25, 2010, 04:20 PM
My question is this: when is it going to get as easy to get non-.223 caliber AR15's in mainstream stores?

Any caliber made is just a few mouseclicks away, so not sure I see this as a big problem.

Edward429451
November 25, 2010, 07:32 PM
AR's are popular because it is the black rifle which screams AMERICAN. Anything the US Military uses is going to be popular with us citizens. AR's are popular because even if they may be poodleshooter ctg in 5.56, the logistical benefits are overwhelming. Everybody and thier mother makes parts & acc for them.