The AR-15 rifle has a long and colored history in America, one that many may not know. This popular rifle platform has stirred controversy and become iconic of the Vietnam War, and is now the most popular Modern Sporting Rifle ever. Are you considering AR-15 Build Kits to create your own version of this versatile firearm? Why not know your history before ordering AR-15 build kits? Here’s a quick AR-15 primer with background and some interesting facts.
Origin of the AR-15 Rifle
The AR-15 Rifle is likely the most well-recognized and widely misunderstood firearm in existence today. At the same time, it is overwhelmingly popular and the source of much confusion and fear. How did this piece of genuine Americana become so iconic?
The first AR-15 rifle was designed and manufactured by the Armalite company in the 1950s and was dubbed the “Armalite Rifle,” which was shortened in popular nomenclature to “AR.” Oddly enough, it was first made for civilian use and was semi-automatic.
Colt Arms acquired the design from Armalite in 1959, continuing to produce this popular firearm for civilian use in a semi-automatic platform. The US Military was seeking a more modern weapon for infantrymen, and Colt began producing a fully automatic model of the AR-15 for military use, called the M-16. Widely used throughout the Vietnam War, it became a symbol of the war and the turbulent 1960s.
Leveraging the rifle’s commercial popularity, Colt expanded its production of the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle after the war, marketing it to the civilian population and law enforcement markets. Colt’s patent on the AR-15 expired in the 1970s, and many other arms manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and began producing AR-15 style rifles under different names. Today, the AR-15 is the blanket term for this rifle and pistol platform.
Confusion Breeds Fear
As production of AR-15 style rifles proliferated throughout the 1980s, fear and uncertainty grew among the general population, reaching into the halls of government. In 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban included the AR-15 in its list of prohibited firearms, erroneously categorizing it as an “assault weapon.”
In spite of this legislation designed to reduce crimes perpetrated with “assault weapons,” the federal government reported no noticeable reduction in these crimes. Therefore, the ban was allowed to expire in 2004. The semi-automatic AR-15 rifle was once again legal for civilian use.
In fact, current attempts at legislation to ban “assault weapons” typically targets rifles that are in common use and rarely used in crime. According to the 2019 FBI Uniform Crime Report, from 2015 – 2019, knives, blunt objects, and personal weapons (fists and feet), exceeded rifles of all kinds for cause of death every year.
Regardless of these facts, the AR-15 is still widely misunderstood by the general public due to widespread dissemination of distortions and lies by the public media and even some in government.
Interesting Facts About the AR-15
Here are some interesting facts about the AR-15 rifle:
- AR-15 rifles are among the most popular firearms sold.
- The AR in “AR-15” rifle stands for Armalite, after the company that developed it in the 1950s.
- “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
- AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles are NOT “assault weapons” or “assault rifles.” An assault rifle is fully automatic — a machine gun.
- Automatic firearms have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934.
- AR-15 and other types of semi-automatic rifles may look like military rifles, such as the M-16, but function like other semi-automatic civilian sporting firearms, firing only one round with each pull of the trigger.
- Versions of modern sporting rifles are legal to own in most states, provided the purchaser passes the mandatory FBI background check required for all retail firearm purchasers.
- Since the 19th century, civilian sporting rifles have evolved from their military predecessors. The modern sporting rifle simply follows that tradition.
- Chamberings include .22, .223 (5.56 x 45mm), 6.8 SPC, .308, .450 Bushmaster, and more, totalling about 50 different calibers.
- AR-15 rifles are popular in many types of hunting, from varmint to big game.
- AR-1r rifles are commonly used in national match target shooting.
- It’s 100% legal to build your own rifle from AR-15 build kits at home for personal use.
Ordering AR-15 Build Kits
CBC Industries offers dozens of different AR-15 build kits that are perfect for the novice builder or experienced shooter. Choose your preferred caliber, barrel length, and other basic configuration, then customize with loads of mods, colors, and accessories. Creating your own firearm with custom AR-15 build kits is a great way to build the ultimate personal firearm for home defense, hunting, target shooting, competitive shooting, and more. Order yours today!