Numerous myths and misconceptions surround modern sporting rifles and AR-15 rifle kits. The most prevalent and widely disseminated falsehood is that the AR-15 rifle is a “machine gun.” This is completely false. Let’s explore the differences between a machine gun and an AR-15 rifle.
What is a Machine Gun? | AR-15 Rifle Kit
The federal government’s definition of a machine gun is as follows:
- “Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger
- The frame or receiver of any such weapon
- Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, or
- Any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.”
In short, machine guns are fully automatic firearms that fire rounds as long as the trigger is pulled. They are designed for rapid and sustained fire, making them ideal for military and law enforcement applications. However, machine guns are heavily regulated under federal law and require a special license to own. They are also expensive to purchase and maintain and can be difficult to find ammunition for.
CBC Industries addressed this topic in an earlier blog entitled Top Myths About AR-15 Rifle Kits:
“It is illegal to manufacture or buy fully automatic weapons without special permits. Fully automatic weapons are restricted to use by military and law enforcement. Civilian ownership of machine guns has been highly regulated since 1934. Federal law has prohibited the possession of newly manufactured machine guns since 1986.”
What is an AR-15?
The AR-15 is perhaps the most iconic modern American sporting rifle. Originally manufactured in the 1950s for civilian use by Armalite, it was named the “Armalite Rifle,” which was popularly shortened to “AR.” Contrary to widespread belief by the uninformed, “AR” does NOT stand for “Assault Rifle” or “Automatic Rifle.”
These early models were gas-operated and semi-automatic. In 1959, Armalite sold the design to Colt Arms. In the early 1960s, Colt began manufacturing a model of the AR-15 for the United States Military, known as the M-16. This rifle was widely used throughout the Vietnam War.
After the war, Colt expanded the production of a semi-automatic version for civilians and law enforcement, once again called the AR-15. Beginning in the 1970s, other arms manufacturers obtained the patents to produce AR-15 rifles, each using their own brand name. However, the term “AR-15” has become the popular blanket term for this style of rifle.
Is an AR-15 Rifle Legal? | AR-15 Rifle Kit
AR-15 rifles are legal firearms. Uninformed people confuse them with “assault rifles” or “machine guns” because their aesthetic design resembles well-known military-style rifles that are fully automatic. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle (and has been since its inception) and is not an assault weapon by function or legal definition.
An Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 temporarily restricted AR-15s and lasted for 10 years. It was allowed to expire when smarter heads realized that AR rifles had been misclassified and were misunderstood. Fully automatic weapons are illegal by federal statute. AR-15 rifles are completely legal to build, purchase, and own; however, some states like California have placed certain restrictions making it more difficult.
What Are AR-15 Rifle Kits?
AR-15 Rifle Kits are sets of disassembled parts and components that can be assembled to create a custom AR-15 rifle. Various options exist to customize AR-15 build kits, including calibers, barrels, stocks, grips, sights, and numerous accessories. Most kits come with the necessary components to build a functioning rifle and little else; however, some advanced kits may include some specialization mods or accessories.
AR-15 rifle kits have the advantage of being highly customizable, which allows you to fine-tune the rifle’s accuracy to your liking. When it comes to versatility, AR-15 rifle kits are unmatched. They can be customized with a wide range of accessories, such as scopes, grips, and stocks, to suit your specific needs and preferences.
Shop online with CBC Industries Precision Firearms to explore all the options available for AR-15 rifle kits and accessories.