Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The AR-15 Rifle and Firearms Terms for the People Who Think They Know All About Them and Don't!!

"AR" does NOT stand for "Assault" or "Automatic" Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle!


       The AR-15 is based on the 7.62 mm AR-10 designed by Eugene Stoner, Robert Fremont, and L. James Sullivan of the Fairchild Armalite corporation. The AR-15 was developed as a lighter, 5.56 mm version of the AR-10. The "AR" in all ArmaLite pattern firearms simply stands for "ArmaLite Rifle", and can be found on most of the company's firearms: AR-5, a .22 caliber rifle; the AR-7, another .22 caliber; the AR-17 shotgun; the AR-10 rifle; and the AR-24 pistol 1973 Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle with 'slab side' lower receiver (lacking raised boss around magazine release button) and original Colt 20-round box magazine.

       In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt. After a tour by Colt of the Far East, the first sale of AR-15s was made to Malaya on September 30, 1959, and Colt manufactured their first 300 AR-15s in December 1959. Colt marketed the AR-15 rifle to various military services around the world. After modifications (most notably the relocation of the charging handle from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver), the redesigned rifle was adopted by the United States military as the M16 rifle.
       In 1963, Colt started selling the semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle as the Colt AR-15 for civilian use and the term has been used to refer to semiautomatic-only versions of the rifle since then. Colt continued to use the AR-15 trademark for its semi-automatic variants (AR-15, AR-15A2) which were marketed to civilian and law-enforcement customers. The original AR-15 was a very lightweight weapon, weighing less than 6 pounds with empty magazine. Later heavy-barrel versions of the civilian AR-15 can weigh upwards of 8.5 lb.
Today, the AR-15 and its variations are manufactured by many companies and are popular among civilian shooters and law enforcement forces around the world due to their accuracy and modularity.
       The trademark "AR15" or "AR-15" is registered to Colt Industries, which maintains that the term should only be used to refer to their products. Other AR-15 manufacturers make AR-15 clones marketed under separate designations, although colloquially these are sometimes referred to by the term AR-15.
(From Wikipedia - I deleted links from this article to make the reading easier, you're welcome to go to the site if you are interested in researching the links.)

The AR has become the most popular rifle in the country for hunting, target and competitive shooting, and, yes, home defense!

Semi Automatic vs. Full Automatic
       Semi Automatic means the trigger must be pulled for each shot. With a full automatic, the trigger is pulled and held back and the gun continues to fire until the trigger is released, or the magazine is empty. The M16 and M4 military versions of the AR-15 are called "select fire", and are ONLY sold to the military. Civilian possession of these firearms has been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They can be purchased by a civilian, IF you apply to the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) to get a Class 3 license, and many hundreds of dollars. Good luck with that!

"Select fire" switch on an M-16
Notice on the switch, there are three settings. When set to "Semi", the gun is fired in semi auto mode, one shot per trigger pull, "burst" means when you pull the trigger three shots are fired. "Auto" is full automatic. Pull the trigger, hold it back, and the gun will continue to fire, until empty, or you release the trigger. However, once again, this switch is NOT on an AR-15, only the M-16 or M-4!

Aren't AR-15s very powerful firearms?

       Most AR's come in .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO calibers. Both of these cartridges are basically interchangeable. Just different designations, depending on whether you are talking military or civilian. .223 is the civilian version. Both cartridges can be purchased by civilians. The 5.56 military ones are NOT armor piercing or explosive! The .223 cartridge is at the very low end of "power" for high powered rifles. The .308 is a very common deer cartridge. In most states it is illegal to hunt deer with a .223 because wildlife biologists don't think it's powerful enough to humanely kill a deer most of the time. Take a look and let me know which one you would prefer being hit with?
The 7 cartridges on the left are varieties of the .223, and the one on the right is the .308 Winchester

"Clips" or "Magazines"
        I have seen many supposedly knowledgeable people, including politicians say we need to restrict "High Capacity " clips. Clips, as pictured below, are pieces of metal designed to hold cartridges in an organized manner. These were for use with semiautomatic firearms that had internal, non-detachable magazines. They were placed on the open magazine and the cartridges were pushed down into the magazine. This made for easier loading so cartridges wouldn't have to be loaded one at a time. Not a good thing, when you're in combat! These were used on a WWII vintage military firearm like the M1 Garand. To the best of my knowledge there are not many, if any modern firearms that still use "clips" to load their magazines in the firearm.
       Magazines are self contained, and detachable from the firearm, and can come in different capacities. The magazine is loaded outside of the firearm, and then inserted into it.                                                                                                     


"Assault" weapons?
        The three rifles pictured below (I have all three) are all semi automatic, and all can take a thirty round magazine. All three function exactly the same. Why is it that when we mention banning "Assault weapons" the AR-15 is always at the top of the list, and the other two are rarely if ever mentioned. They all operate the same, have the same capacity, BUT the AR-15 has a military appearance. Everything is based on appearance. That really accomplishes a lot doesn't it!

Remington Model 742 Woodsmaster
Ruger Mini-14

Don't ARs shoot 700 (pick a number) rounds per minute?
No, they don't! While some MILITARY automatic firearms, can fire at a RATE of 700 rounds a minute, they can't fire that many unless they are belt fed machine guns. An accomplished shooter can probably change out a magazine in about 2-3 seconds. So let's do some math. Last night I made believe I was shooting an AR and "pulled" the trigger as fast as I could. I got 40 "pulls" in 15 seconds) That equals 2.67 pulls per second. So that would give us 160 shots in a minute (if your finger doesn't get tired), but we have to start subtracting some time for changing out magazines. Using thirty round  magazines, one would empty in 11.25 seconds, so you would have to use all or part of 6 magazines, in a minute. Since it takes, let's use 2 seconds, to change them out, so we lose another 10 seconds in changing time (the sixth magazine is still in the gun). So that 10 seconds costs us 27 rounds, so the absolute best we could do would be about 133 rounds per minute, max. While that is still a lot of shooting, it does not take into account things like your finger getting tired, aiming, the gun possibly jamming, dropping a magazine while changing, someone throwing something at you, etc. The point I'm trying to make here is that the capacity of the AR is no where near some of the figures that anti guns activists continue to throw around!

Buying a gun (any gun)? Walk right in, do a little paperwork and off you go, right?
You CAN walk in to a gun store and buy a gun and walk out with in a short period of time if.......................? While gun laws vary from state to state, there are two things that are Federal law and apply to all legal sales of guns, nationwide.  In order to buy a gun legally, you must go to a FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder. Once you get there you are required to fill out Form 4473, where you swear you are not a felon, are a citizen, not a fugitive, do not use illegal drugs, have not been convicted of domestic abuse, etc. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison, in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS. However, prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased. Gun Control? Maybe we can start there! After filing out the Form, you're run through the NICS system (National Instant Check System), for a background check by the FBI. Normally, you get a result "proceed" or "deny" in a few minutes, but sometimes it takes a few days. If the check is not back within 3 days the sale can proceed. That is the law! This procedure applies to gun shows and Internet sales as well. If you buy a gun on the internet, the seller must ship the gun to a FFL dealer in your area, where you go, do Form 4473 and get your background check. At gun shows there are usually BATFE, agents crawling all over the show. We hear all the time about the "gun show" and "internet"
loopholes. They are not "loopholes", they are part of existing laws, but the media and anti gun politicians use the term to make people think that gun sellers and buyers are getting away with something!