What size would a person have to be to comfortably handle a rifle like an AR?


February 3, 2011, 01:19 PM
I'm a fairly short guy, 5'5" at age 16 and I don't expect to do much more growing. So what sort of size do you guys think a man would have to be in order to comfortably use a rifle like the AR?

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February 3, 2011, 01:22 PM
With an adjustable buttstock, light weight, and low recoil you should be able to handle one just fine.

texas bulldog
February 3, 2011, 01:36 PM
You won't have any problem. It's really not that hard to handle. With a buffer tube that goes all the way through the stock, recoil is quite light. If you get an adjustable stock, it could probably be wielded by an 8 year old. Seriously.

I'm only about an inch taller than you, and it's no problem. It's not like we're talking about a Mosin Nagant or anything...

February 3, 2011, 01:39 PM
If 12 year olds in Africa can shoot an AK, you won't have any problems shooting a lighter weight, lower recoiling, more adjustable AR.

M2 Carbine
February 3, 2011, 01:46 PM
Not a problem.

This girl is 16 and a little smaller than you. She has a ball shooting the AR.:)
Also I've taught other small females and young boys to shoot. They have no problem with the AR.

February 3, 2011, 01:51 PM
When my son was nine, I made the mistake of letting him shoot my AR. I wound up having to build him one too, just so that I'd have something to shoot when we went to the range.

If you are just particularly recoil sensitive, there are configurations that you can seek that will shoot softer that others, like a 14.5" rig with a mid length gas system or an 18" rig with a rifle length gas system.

February 3, 2011, 01:58 PM
They were used in Vietnam by full grown men of your stature (think the Hmong and Montagnards).... they shoot a small, lower caliber center fire round, and only weigh about 7 pounds in the stock configuration.

You shouldn't have a problem.

February 3, 2011, 02:05 PM
I've known plenty of women who were five foot nothing and that I could benchpress with one arm who are able to handle an M4 or M16 without any trouble. Pretty much anyone who isn't phobic about weapons or recoil can run an AR effectively

February 3, 2011, 02:13 PM
i don't think there's anyone that can't handle an AR with collapsible stock and one of the lighter profile barrels (no HBAR).

Daniel Boone
February 3, 2011, 02:29 PM
My daughter was 8 years old and was shooting it like a Bb gun.

Geesh - afraid of a little .223?

February 3, 2011, 02:31 PM
You should have no problem. I'm 5'2' and at the ripe old age of 20 and weighing 110 lbs I mastered the M14 in 7.62, and hauled that baby all over Ft. Knox, Ky.

Vern Humphrey
February 3, 2011, 02:50 PM
So what sort of size do you guys think a man would have to be in order to comfortably use a rifle like the AR?
The average ARVN (Army of Viet Nam) soldier was about your size, and they really liked the M16.

February 3, 2011, 03:21 PM
My six year old has fired mine from the bench, he's a foot shorter than you. He hasn't held and fired it because I don't feel he has the arm strength to do so with any measure of confidence. For purposes of training him not to fear a firearm due to its size it worked well.

Get thee to the store and handle one before deciding what you can or can't handle.

February 3, 2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks for all the answers, I appreciate it!

@DanielBoone: Not afraid of .223, i was more worried about being able to reach everything on it okay. My question probably sounds silly, but I've never had the chance to see an AR in real life so I could never find out just how big it is.

February 3, 2011, 03:34 PM
If your around the Houston area, your more than welcome to come shoot my Colt Hbar. Pm me and we'll set up a time.

February 3, 2011, 03:41 PM
Very generous offer, RIATAC45. I must decline, however, as I'm all the way in NJ. Probably should've filled that in, haha. Thanks anyway, though!

February 3, 2011, 04:34 PM
If you can hold it, you can shoot it.

February 3, 2011, 06:02 PM
An AR's quite forgiving - my wife is only 5'3", can't even hold an SKS in a shooting position AT ALL, but was able to shoot an AR unsupported. Strangely enough, she has a hard time holding my M1 Carbine too.

February 3, 2011, 06:32 PM
This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oafw45QpJ1U&feature=related) may help you.

That's my wife at one of several carbine classes she has taken with her S&W M&P 15T with a collapsible stock. She is 5 foot tall, and has little hands.

AR-15's are a lot of fun to shoot, and very accurate.

Be safe.

February 3, 2011, 07:02 PM
Dude, it's a poodle shooter. It's nothing to be afraid of. I have seen 7 year old girls shoot them.

You won't have any trouble unless you get one of the big heavy bull-barreled varmint ones, in which case it might be hard for a little dude to hold in off-hand.

harmon rabb
February 3, 2011, 08:15 PM
AR's look mean and manly, but are actually VERY soft shooting. I can't think of many rifles other than those chambered in .22lr that actually have less recoil than an AR.

A little girl could shoot an AR comfortably.

February 3, 2011, 08:36 PM
My GF is five foot two and a buck ten tops. She had to learn to hold my AR properly, but the adjustable stock is really designed to accomodate a variety of body types.

February 3, 2011, 08:37 PM
Guys, he's already said he isn't worried about the recoil. He's worried about the ergonomics.

Yes, you'll be fine with an AR. All the controls are easy to reach and you can get a wide variety of stock and handguard configurations. I'd recommend trying to handle a few before you buy anything, even if you can't actually fire one.

I'd be more interested in the fact you live in NJ. Are there any restrictions there on rifle configurations?

February 4, 2011, 06:27 AM
It's not your size, it's your attitude. The normal AR15 has little more recoil than a .22lr.

Welcome to the forum.

February 4, 2011, 08:39 AM
Here's the thing on controls: When it was designed in the '50's, the average height male was closer to 5'8" with a 32" sleeve, and weighed less than 140 pounds under the age of 25.

The first customers were in SE Asia, the size and fit went over huge compared to a 12 pound main battle rifle.

Stoner also put the controls where they were easy to use while shooting, not where parade and inspection needed them. That was another huge step away from the Palace Guard designs most previous firearms suffered. A thumb operated safety meant you could control it, and not switch it off early because it was a hassle. The mag button, same thing, and with an automatic last round bolt hold open on the left, you don't move your trigger finger while reloading or closing the bolt.

Old school parade guns extend the time it takes to reload, leaving the soldier disarmed twice as long. The AVERAGE soldier isn't a high speed expert three gun competitor, give him a gun that helps him in real life, and he'll get it back in action much faster than other guns that are right hand charged with magazines loaded against a closed bolt.

Those old parade guns finally got the last nail in the coffin with the M16, from then on soldiers (at least in America) knew what was better and worked with them, not what worked for the Platoon commander during Inspection Arms. Look around, Drill and Cereomony units avoid the M16 like the plague - because it's combat oriented, not a parade and exhibition drill stick.

There's a HUGE difference in ergonomics. As someone who's trained years in both, I see it easily. It's the clueless show and tell shooters who still stubbornly cling to old school designs from yesteryear. There's good reason why we tossed the wood and steel guns in the history dumpster, compare the battle statistics than and now. The M16 helps you stay alive longer, and you fight harder when you know your side cares.

February 4, 2011, 08:42 AM
my 13 yr old son uses his spikes in 3 gun

February 4, 2011, 09:11 AM
To say it has barely more recoil than a .22lr is not accurate, but it has the least of any common centerfire rifle round.

The difference in range and power between a .22lr and a centerfire rifle is enormous.

February 4, 2011, 09:45 AM
We had a female in one of my units who was 4'11" that could shoot the M-16 as well as many of the males. The good thing about the rifle is that all of the controls you will need to mess with are very close to where the pistol grip is.

She had much more of a problem with our 870s, having arms too short to pump it well.

Fred Fuller
February 4, 2011, 09:49 AM
Six-position adjustable stocks are pretty common on AR carbines these days. So stock fit shouldn't be an issue.

You need to be able to reach the trigger, safety selector and magazine release. All easy even with small hands... and I'm deliberately not mentioning the forward assist, I don't like 'em. Charging handle and bolt stop/release are support hand jobs- again, should be no problem. Left handed? See Stag for a lefty AR.

In short- shouldn't be any problem for you to handle an AR...


February 4, 2011, 10:03 AM
I'll concur with many of the others. Being around 5'8" myself with smaller hands, I handled my M16-A2 in the Army just fine. The only thing there was the fixed A2 stock, which I usually had to contort a bit(usually being more sideways then normal and tucking the stock underneath my LBE/LBV) to keep my nose to the charging handle. All the adjustable stocks I've handled since then have been just fine though, so if you can go that route there in NJ then that would be your best bet.
Also, welcome to the forum, you'll already notice that you can get some great tips here, you'll just have to wade through all the replies from people who read half of your original post and not one word more before they replied.

February 4, 2011, 10:24 AM
AR's are kosher New Jersey?

February 4, 2011, 11:29 AM
You can have them comply with the NJ AWB, but I was asking more for when I leave this state in a couple of years. Thanks again for all the extremely helpful replies.

February 4, 2011, 12:26 PM
So what sort of size do you guys think a man would have to be in order to comfortably use a rifle like the AR?

I know of a 4-10 85# woman who can outshoot most men with an AR/M16.

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