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AR-15 RiflesIn the United States of America, the AR-15 rifle is beloved by many gun enthusiasts, because it is lightweight, fast and accurate, completely customizable, and hardly has any recoil. The AR-15 is commonly used for hunting, self-defense, and recreational shooting. It’s a favorite of people who have been shooting guns for decades and it’s a good weapon for people who are learning how to shoot a gun for the first time. There is speculation surrounding the legalization and regulation of AR-15s in America, because AR-15s, and other assault weapons similar to the AR-15, have been used more than once to commit unthinkable acts of hatred and terrorism in our country. Regardless of how you view the AR-15 and other modern sporting rifles, the history of AR-15s and the firearm’s popularity in America is interesting and it explains why the firearm can’t get away from its association with military and warfare.


When the AR-15 Was Born

The AR-15 was first built in the 1950s by a former Marine named Eugene M. Stoner. Mr. Stoner was the lead gun designer at the ArmaLite Division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation. Unlike other rifles manufactured from metal and wood, the AR-15 was unusual because it was made from lightweight plastics and aluminum. Also, it shot .223-caliber bullets, which were different from what typical rifles shot at the time.

The Popularization of the AR-15

In the 1960s, the Pentagon, under the direction of Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara, bought AR-15s in bulk and the name of the weapon was changed to M-16. The weapons became standard issue for American Ground Troops in Vietnam. At the same time, a civilian version of the rifle, one that was semi-automatic and not automatic, became available for purchase in the U.S. By the 1980s, the AR-15, along with AK-47s and the many descendants of both firearms, were well known throughout the world. Today, dozens of companies manufacture their own version of AR-15s and these weapons continue to be central to almost every war.

The Ban on Assault Weapons 1994 – 2004

In the United States, the AR-15 is not banned, but there are restrictions and regulations in place regarding the purchase and operation of this weapon and others similar to it. These laws vary state to state. There was a time in the U.S. when the AR-15 was banned sort-of. In 1994, certain rifles and features were banned under federal law. People who owned AR-15s before the ban were allowed to keep their weapons and people who didn’t own AR-15s, well for some, the ban only made them want the weapons more. AR-15 manufacturers found a way around the ban by producing weapons without prohibited features, like pistol-type handle grips and bayonet lugs. During the 10-year ban, approximately 1 million modified AR-15 style rifles were made. This is more than what was created of the original AR-15 the decade preceding the ban.

The AR-15 Now

The U.S. government doesn’t keep track of how many AR-15s are made, but gun experts estimate there are nearly 7 million AR-15s in rifle racks in gun safes today. The National Rifle Association refers to the AR-15 as “Americas Rifle”. And, even with all of the negativity surrounding the AR-15, it’s easy to see why people like this gun: it’s fast, modern, ergonomically designed, easy to handle, and produces little recoil. AR-15s are renowned for being easily personalized and accessorized. You can buy an AR-15 that is already assembled and use it as is. Or, you can take the entire gun apart and replace any part you want. You can even build your whole gun from scratch. You don’t need special tools to do this and you don’t need to be a gun expert to build your own AR-15. You might think the AR-15 doesn’t look anything like a hunting or target-shooting rifle, but it shares a lot of the same features as rifles you typically see for these kinds of activities. The AR-15 is used for hunting, sport shooting, and self-defense.

Features of AR-15 Style Rifles

AR-15s have gas-operated systems, which makes them fast and accurate. An experienced shooter can shoot as many as 8 round per second with an AR-15. These firearms are lightweight, because they are made from plastic and aluminum. Plus, they’re small. This makes them easy to carry around while hunting and maneuverable for any type of situation. You can easily accessorize your AR-15 with custom add-ons like flashlights, infrared scopes, and a variety of grips. According to a survey put out by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2010, owners of AR-15s typically own 3 different versions of AR-15s and spend more than $400 on accessories for each weapon.

Maintaining Your Weapon

Like any other firearm, it’s important to keep your AR-15 clean and lubricated. This firearm requires regular maintenance and proper care if you want it to operate it like it’s supposed to.

Shop AR-15s on Deguns Today

Discount Enterprises, or , offers AR-15s for as low as $469.99. Our selection of AR-15s includes firearms made from Daniels Defense, Smith & Wesson, DPMS, Bushmaster, Noveske, Sig Sauer, Nemo and more. Check out Deguns offering of AR-15s and reach out to us if you have any questions concerning AR-15 style rifles, accessories, or how to purchase a firearm online. Fill out our online contact form.