AR-15 Rifles for Sale Online in Detroit, MI
The AR-15 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle platform based on the original ArmaLite AR-15 design. They are called modern sporting rifles (MSRs) by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and by a few manufacturers.
From ArmaLite to Colt and present day
The history of these rifles began in 1956 when ArmaLite (then a division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation) designed a lightweight and compact assault rifle for the military.
They named this new design ArmaLite Rifle 15, or AR-15, chambered in .223 Remington and later 5.56x45mm NATO. It is a scaled-down version of an earlier 7.62x51mm weapon, the AR-10.
Three years later, the company had to sell the design to Colt’s Manufacturing Company because of financial issues. Colt worked on the design, producing military versions (the M16 rifle) and an improved semi-automatic rifle for the civilian market, the Colt AR-15 Sporter.
The first Colt Sporter AR-15 rifles landed on the market in 1964. However, Colt’s patent for the design expired in 1977, leaving the door open for other manufacturers to make their own versions.
Following that, AR-15-pattern rifles have been produced by numerous other manufacturers, such as Smith & Wesson, FN Herstal, Bravo Company Manufacturing, Noveske, Daniel Defense, Lewis Machine & Tool, Rock River Arms, and many more.
It is worth noting that the original manufacturers, ArmaLite and Colt’s Manufacturing Company, continue offering their own lines of AR-15 rifles.
Today, the AR-15 is a highly popular rifle platform available in a wide selection of calibers. It is the weapon of choice of millions of civilian gun owners, law enforcement officers, and military personnel in the United States.
A Semi-Automatic Rifle, Not an Assault Weapon
The weapon that AR-15 owners own today is the civilian version of the standard-issue M16 and M4 military assault rifles. The primary differences between the military rifles and the civilian versions are the fire selector and stock and barrel length configurations.
The average AR-15 that civilians can purchase is usually a carbine with a 16-inch barrel, a carbine-length gas system, and a retractable stock. Another popular configuration is the full-size rifle, featuring a 20-inch barrel, rifle-length gas system, and a fixed stock.
Some models are AR-15 pistol variants featuring no stock, shorter barrels, and occasionally, a pistol brace. Stocks on rifles with barrels under 16” are restricted due to the National Firearms Act regulating short-barreled rifles (SBR).
Semi-auto vs. Select-fire
Civilian AR-15s are semi-automatic only. These rifles can only shoot one bullet per trigger pull. This type of action contrasts with the military M16 and M4, which are select-fire assault rifles.
The M16A4 rifle can shoot semi-automatic or burst-fire mode (3 rounds per trigger pull), whereas the modern M4A1 carbine can shoot semi-automatic or fully automatic (full-auto). Full-auto means it will continuously fire until it runs out of ammunition or the shooter lets go of the trigger.
The ATF legally considers firearms with burst-fire or full-auto mode machine guns. While not strictly illegal to possess, machine guns are highly regulated and not ordinarily available to the typical gun owner.
Although you may have heard the AR-15 described as an “assault weapon,” this is an outdated designation designed by gun control advocates to refer to nebulously-defined “military-style weapon platforms,” often referred to as the now-expired Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (AWB).
Under the AWB definition, a rifle was an “assault weapon” subjected to tighter restrictions if it possessed two or more banned ergonomic features (e.g., pistol grip, folding or collapsible stock, bayonet lug, flash hider, etc.). Factors affecting lethality, such as barrel length or caliber of ammunition used, did not enter the definition.
America’s Rifle and Other Nicknames
The AR-15 has received a wide variety of nicknames throughout its lifetime. The National Rifle Association referred to it as “America’s rifle” because it is the most popular centerfire rifle platform in the United States.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) refers to the AR-15 and other AR-15-style rifle models as “Modern Sporting Rifles” (MSRs) due to their popularity among civilian shooters.
Others refer to it as the “Black rifle” due to the distinctive black color of its furniture, especially in contrast to traditional hunting rifles and other long guns available at the time of its introduction.
Popularity of the AR-15
Over the years, the AR-15 and similar rifles (often grouped under the “AR-15-style rifles” or “AR-style rifles” monikers) have become one of the most popular guns in the United States.
Although total AR-15 sales and production statistics are unknown, the NSSF estimated in November 2020 that approximately 19.8 million MSRs of all types (including AR-15-style weapons) are currently in circulation in the United States.
There are a few different reasons why the AR-15 is so loved. From budget builds to bespoke competition pieces, the AR-15 is available in any price range and is suitable for any shooter. AR-15s can be turned into acceptable firearms for nearly any application possible.
The AR-15 is sometimes known as the “Lego of firearms” due to being easy to assemble and the massive selection of parts, accessories, and modifications available. Although a wide range of ready-made rifles and carbines are available, anybody can build an AR-15 rifle from parts with little to no prior technical experience.
The legal part of the AR-15 is the lower receiver, around which you can install the other elements. You can use the same lower receiver to install any combination of stocks, pistol grips, upper receivers, optics, sights, barrels, and a wide range of other parts.
The same lower receiver can turn your standard .223 Wylde rifle into a hunting rifle, a competition shooting platform, a long-range gun, or a home defense weapon.
Buy an AR-15 Today at IFA Tactical
AR-15s are safe, affordable, and easy to use, which makes them perfect for beginners. But thanks to their ubiquity and reliability, they are also the weapon of choice for countless experienced shooters in the United States and abroad.