The AR-15 is a semi-automatic, fully automatic and service rifle known originally as the ArmaLite model 15 designed by Eugene Stoner in 1957 and has been in service since 1958 through present. Several manufacturers claim the AR-15 including ArmaLite and Colt, and it’s most famous variant is the M16 Selective Fire assault rifle. Having acquired the rights in 1959, Colt manufactured the M16 to the U.S. Navy, Army, Airforce and Marine Corps while simultaneously marketing the brand to law enforcement agencies as well as civilian customers. The M16 is highly recognizable as the primary assault rifle during the Vietnam war.
Only the lower receiver assembly is designated as a firearm, which unlike most other rifles, contains the serial number in conjunction with the firing mechanisms. This feature allows upper assemblies to be quickly interchanged and mail-ordered as separate, non-weapon designated parts. The detachable STANG magazines can fire may different types of rounds, but the AR-15 was designed mainly for the .223 Remington and the 5.56 NATO.
I have the great pleasure of using one fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher. Unfortunately, I don’t have legal access to 40mm projectile grenades and therefore cannot write about their use, but I can use the rifle with 9mm rounds in its magazine. The grenade launcher adds extra weight to the barrel and extra support is necessary to keep the sights lined with the target, but the rifle is excellent at absorbing the recoil from its comparatively small rounds, making each successive shot easier to align and maneuver. If it were a fully automatic version, it would be easy to maintain the current target. For this reason, the M16 is so successful at creating massive wounding and hydrostatic shock with its rapid fire energy.
Because of many factors including its ease of handling, reliability and most importantly, its versatility, the AR-15 will continue to be a popular firearm in the Military, law enforcement and civilian sport worldwide. Beyond that, I think it looks cool and is fun to shoot. I like the rubber grips on some of the models I’ve tried, and I do enjoy the .223 cartridges, which add a nice solid punch.