The AR15 platform and America
–The AR15 is commonly referred to as the American Rifle, which is probably correct in the current world.
A little history
As anyone familiar with the AR platform knows for a fact, the AR does not stand for American Rifle or the other AR misnomer the press likes to use. AR stood for Armalite Rifle and was initially what we call the AR10 rifle today. The US Government adopted the AR platform as the standard battle rifle in the early to mid-1960s. Of course, that is the select-fire military version, and we are talking AR15 here, not the M16.
The AR15 hit the civilian market and battled for popularity with the M1 Garand and carbine, M14, and all the fantastic bolt and lever-action rifles.
Current Gun Ownership
Since the 1990s or so, the AR platform has exploded in popularity. For a good reason, American gun enthusiasts like high performing, relatively affordable, efficient functioning, and flat out fun to own and shoot.
So American gun owners, being who we are, have learned to adapt this rifle to every function, including some of the best hunting rifles on the market. Optics have evolved from iron sights to all of them. Read more on very affordable scopes for the AR15. The manufacturers have optics specifically for the AR platform in 5.56 and 7.62; how can you ask for more?
While we are on the subject of optics, you can honestly choose any of the available scopes, holographic, red dot, or open irons. They even have some specifically built thermal and night vision options. The shooters’ imagination and checkbook are the only limiting factors.
The furniture modifications for the AR platform can make this super versatile rifle fit anyone for anything. One of the most notable furniture upgrades for this rifle is the collapsing stock, making the rifle fit the arm length, not the other way around.
With the design built into the recoil tube, buffer, and spring to absorb the tiny amount of recoil from the 223 rounds, the recoil “behavior” makes this cartridge and platform easy to shoot for nearly all ages, sizes, genders, ages, etc.
It used to be an issue for AR platform lovers who wanted a side folding stock to fit smaller transport and storage areas. The shooters and owners of AR15s spoke loud enough, and the market answered, and folding stock modification kits can be purchased and installed by handy home shops. If you decide on this modification at home, TAKE YOUR TIME, and follow the directions, and TAKE YOUR TIME, and you can do it. If this sounds to be a bit outside your comfort zone, any gunsmith shop can help you out.
Free-floating handguards can run the entire length of the barrel or cover just a hands width, depending on how the shooter wants it. And to round out the cool stuff, the flash suppressor upgrades are vast, from simple to fantastic, effective to just WOW factor.
Now, tell me that does not sound like the perfect American gun? Being the gun is built to reflect the owner, and with simple tools, it can change from a home defense gun to a prairie dog shooter.
Long Range Rifles
For the long-range crowd, you may want to step up the power to the AR10 frame. It’s a bit more expensive, but not a world breaker.
The standard AR10 is chambered in 7.62×51 or the .308. You can build your rifle with an excellent barrel, great optics, and a well-built scope mount (don’t forget that is as important for accurate shooting) yourself. If you do a little research and order the build parts correctly, the wonder cartridge 6.5 Creedmoor, even the 270 Winchester, in the AR10 platform.
Adding a piece of gear that this style of a rifle will need, eventually is a world-class bipod, and with an underside rail on the free-floating handguard, this upgrade modification is easy for shooters. The shooter can place the bipod anywhere on the rail that works best for that shooter, in that arena, and change for a new arena when a different type of target shooting is chosen.
With easy upgrades, a long-range rifle is in reach of everyone, and the gun can grow in gear as money is saved, and the shooter makes their precision rifle and generates a closer bond (for lack of a better word) with that rifle. If it gets folks reading, researching, and doing their work on the rifle they shoot, I am all for it.
I hope you are excited and motivated to make your AR rifle into your dream gun.