The modern sporting rifle, based on the AR-15 platform, is probably one of the most misunderstood, misrepresented firearms. While the AR-15 may cosmetically look like military rifles, they do not function the same way. Historically, since the 19th century, civilian sporting rifles have evolved from their military predecessors. The modern AR-15 sporting rifle follows that tradition. The AR-15, in the end, it is just a sporting rifle…essentially a hunting gun. While due to its relatively small caliber, some would not recommend it for larger game such as deer, it is perfectly suitable for varmint hunting. Here are the main facts about AR-15s:
-AR-15-platform rifles are among the most popular firearms being sold. They are today’s modern sporting rifle.
-The AR in “AR-15” rifle stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
-AR-15-style rifles are NOT “assault weapons” or “assault rifles.” An assault rifle is fully automatic — a machine gun. Automatic firearms have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934.
-AR-15-style rifles look like military rifles, such as the M-16, but function like other semi-automatic civilian sporting firearms, firing only one round with each pull of the trigger.
-Versions of modern sporting rifles are legal to own in all 50 states, provided the purchaser passes the mandatory FBI background check required for all retail firearm purchasers.
-These rifles’ accuracy, reliability, ruggedness and versatility serve target shooters and hunters well. They are true all-weather firearms.
-Chamberings include .22, .223 (5.56 x 45mm), 6.8 SPC, .308, .450 Bushmaster and about a dozen others. Upper receivers for pistol calibers such as 9 mm, .40, and .45 are available. There are even .410 shotgun versions.
-These rifles are used for many different types of hunting, from varmint to big game. And they’re used for target shooting in the national matches.
-AR-15-style rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges like the 30-06 Springfield and .300 Win. Mag.