AR popularity


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Pacsd
February 24, 2011, 01:34 PM
Over the past two years or so I've noticed an increase on AR type rifles. I guess I'm wondering what is the impetuous for the rage, if you may, in ownership of them. Mind you, I have no qualms with them or questioning the practicallity, just wondering. Or????, is this question going to get my interest so high that I'll run out and get one?

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C-grunt
February 24, 2011, 01:37 PM
Well you have a lot of veterans who want a rifle they are familiar with.

ralph2
February 24, 2011, 01:37 PM
I think it is the herd mentality.

average_shooter
February 24, 2011, 01:38 PM
Simple, 2008-'09 "Obama Scare" rush.

henschman
February 24, 2011, 01:49 PM
I dunno how to explain the fads in different types of guns that the gun-buying public goes through.

For the AR, a lot of reasons go into it, I would guess... it looks cool, it's what the military uses, ammo is cheap and available, it has low recoil, it has high capacity, they are accurate, they are modular and can be built to suit a variety of uses, you can slap a bolt conversion in it and shoot .22 LR, they are fun to build, fun to shoot, and they are good for beginner shooters. And probably a little bit of the good ol' aforementioned herd mentality. But there are plenty of reasons to like them, I'll give them that. Not my personal favorite design, but I still like to have a few around.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
February 24, 2011, 01:53 PM
2 years?? Try 10.

Justin
February 24, 2011, 01:57 PM
ARs are accurate, modular as legos, reliable, and reasonably priced.

What's not to love?

Birddog1911
February 24, 2011, 02:05 PM
What's not to love? Like others said, accurate, modular, easy to shoot. Also, I think what C-Grunt said could be true as well; a lot of veterans like the platform that they carried in the service. I know that was my introduction to the AR, and I've been a fan ever since.

ThePunisher'sArmory
February 24, 2011, 02:05 PM
ARs are accurate, modular as legos, reliable, and reasonably priced.


Took the words right out of my mouth......Legos for big boys!

suzukisam
February 24, 2011, 02:07 PM
Well there are many reasons like the ones list above. Also the market and technology have finally caught up to what people have always wanted. Personally I think the herd mentality is a term that people use for thing they are not into. The AR 15 is modular, that alone alows it to be adapted to so many uses. Also there are no other semi auto rifles of such a simplistic design and reliability, that can be chambered in almost every popular cartridge out there. It's design makes it inherently accurate, and you can go hunting in the morning and fend off a whole slew of rioters in the same afternoon(in theory), all with one gun. I believe the recent boom has just been in the fact that so many aftermarket barrels and triggers are now available. Obama has nothing to do with the market from a product design stand point, all he did was boost sales of already existant products.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 24, 2011, 02:08 PM
1. Already familiar to anyone who has used one in the military
2. Very modular - with a single lower and multiple uppers, I can have a rifle that shoots everything from .22LR to cartridges that compare to .45-70.
3. Inherently accurate design - if you want a semi-auto that can approach a bolt-rifle for accuracy and cost less than $1,000, you are looking at an AR.
4. Very easy to work on - last time I hung 3 shelves, it ended up being a 4 hours job. Despite my lack of mechanical proficiency, I can build or modify an AR pretty quick.
5. Accessories - you have thousands of options on things like triggers, sights, optics, lights, etc.

The AR is pretty much the Mauser action of the late 20th century.

X-Rap
February 24, 2011, 02:10 PM
I don't know the numbers but I'd say that it might well be Americas gun in terms of guns out there in peoples hands.
It certainly ranks in popularity with the Marlin/Winchester levers, M70 Win, oe M700 Rem. IMO.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 24, 2011, 02:11 PM
When I bought mine, price and lightness were the two major features that attracted me to it. Also, the fact that I roll my own ammo lets me shoot anything around my area by using Barnes 62g TSX Bullets - not to mention regular factory ball ammo in another magazine so it can be used as one of my HD weapons.

Welding Rod
February 24, 2011, 04:23 PM
I think the tipper was when the reciever went to a flat top design.

A lot of shooters shy away from iron sights and the fixed carry handle AR has traditionally be a very poor platform for optics. That is why IMO it wasn't more popular for a few decades ago. Probably also why some didn't recognize the accuracy potential of the design... they could shoot well enough with irons to realize it.

The gun has always had a lot of desireable traits, but I think the ability to easy add optics that fit correctly (ergonomically speaking) was the big break through. The advent of railed forearms I think also was a big part.

68wj
February 24, 2011, 04:30 PM
All of the above.

CoRoMo
February 24, 2011, 04:36 PM
The first time I held one, I wanted to fire one.
The first time I fired one, I wanted to own one.
The first time I bought one, I wanted another one.
The second time I...

You see where this is going.

ForumSurfer
February 24, 2011, 04:54 PM
The first time I held one, I wanted to fire one.
The first time I fired one, I wanted to own one.
The first time I bought one, I wanted another one.
The second time I...

You see where this is going.

I fell victim to the same thing.

I set out to build exactly the rifle I wanted. It wasn't a money issue and it wasn't a self defense weapon, so I wanted yo build one from a pile of tiny parts all by myself just for the satisfaction of it. I had no idea how an AR worked or functioned, so I wanted to learn and build it...actually build it and learn. :)

A year has passed. "What I want" changes. It still isn't complete. I have a pile of parts that I'm constantly trading, selling and buying. Somewhere along the way in this ordeal...I ended up with a complete 2nd rifle. A DPMS 308 ap-4. The intent was to sell it and build an 18" upper with glass to go along with my lightweight 16" upper with irons and an eotech.

Now I just have a bunch of parts, a lightweight upper that isn't quite setup to my liking, I can't bear to sell off the 308 AR because it is ridiculously fun to shoot and I have no idea what direction to take.

CoRoMo
February 24, 2011, 05:34 PM
I've never built one and I don't suppose that I will. But who knows.

taliv
February 24, 2011, 05:35 PM
it would be interesting to see the last major tactical match that WASN'T won with an AR, which speaks volumes about its relative speed / accuracy compared to other carbines

the NRA HP service rifle scores went up quite a bit as people moved from m14s to AR15s, which again speaks volumes about its competitive accuracy

And the winning team at the ft benning international sniper competition in November used ARs (larue obr in 7.62) which says a lot about the accuracy of the platform compared to bolt guns

but aside from the functional merits, consider this:

The median age of the entire world population is about 24 yrs old.
The US military has been the world's only superpower for about 30 years.
The AR15 has been the icon of the US military for about 50 years.

At this point, its distinctive silhouette is probably as much a symbol of democracy as the US flag (which got its 50th star in '59, only a couple years before the AR was adopted)

Polar Express
February 24, 2011, 05:59 PM
In my opinion, (it's just my opinion, no data to support it) there are several reasons and concepts that contribute to the popularity.

1) the 'legos for big boys' concept: you can add anything on to the outside. I'll bet someone, somewhere has a sno-cone machine attachted to a pic-rail. ;)

2) While any gun can be modifed to suit your desires, the AR-platform allows this to be done easily. High quality is available, low cost is available, (sometimes these concepts are exclusive, sometimes not)

3) lots of folks that served in the military were introduced to shooting with an ar platform

4) becasue of #2, the gun can be easily modified to fit you ergonomically, thus making it 'feel' better to YOU. I actually think that part of the reason it was designed the way it was, and selected accordingly was just how ergonomic the platform really is. So you have something that is already ergonomic to shoot, and then make it easily modifiable to fit ANYONE. With that alone, you have a head start on any other platform.

5) Sure, the social stuff associated with fears of another ban of some kind (I certainly bought into this concern, quite literally. :banghead:).

6) I'm mechanically inclined, and I intend that my next gun will be an AR/.308. I want to learn more about the internal workings, by 'building' my own. To me, there is an appeal to just that.

7) I like the idea of having multiple uppers for different uses.

8) It's light, and the primairy round (5.56 or .223 Rem) don't recoil very much, so it doesn't beat up the shooter to practice.

Anyway, those are some of the reasons that I see for why the AR is so popular. To me, it's a lot like a chevy 350: the most commonly made, and copied V8 ever, and it's used for all kinds of uses. You can build them cheap, or spend a fortune, you can make other stuff do the same job, but not as easily, nor as inexpensivly. Is it inherintly superior? No. The same concept could be overlayed on the computer world. (Dos-based vs. Apple/Mac) Part of it is mechanically driven, but an equally important part of the reasoning is the combination of 'aftermarket' support structure. It sees like every Tom, Dick and Harry with a CNC mill makes AR parts - not that that's a bad thing either, it's good for the consumer to have options. :D

The more I learn, the more I like the platform.

PE

X-Rap
February 24, 2011, 06:06 PM
The ability to make your own without many special tools certainly has become more of the draw for me in recent years. I can't think of another gun that you can assemble yourself aside from some of the black powder kits and that is a poor comparison.

shootr
February 24, 2011, 06:11 PM
Well... they're fun to shoot and even a relatively new shooter can do pretty well with one.

My daughter grew up around shooting and didn't like the AR when she was little - said they looked sinister. Then I let her shoot one and she became an instant fan.

Mac11
February 24, 2011, 06:29 PM
I was a hold out for blackgun fun for a long time. I'd used them in the military but never really had any affinity for them. They were a tool. Now I have to blame a couple of guys that showed me how to really use an AR, Larry Vickers and Kyle Lamb. Then the killshot for me was actually handling a Knights Armament SR-15, it was a done deal. Now I'm planning to compete in my first 3 gun in May.

MrCleanOK
February 24, 2011, 06:39 PM
Loud, dangerous Legos for adults.

MattTheHat
February 24, 2011, 06:46 PM
Lot's o' fire power for a reasonable price. Rugged, accurate, customizable, parts availability, the list goes on and on. Like others have asked, what's not to like?

I also like being able to have a highly customized, high quality billet lower and several, nearly identically equipped uppers in different calibers.


-Matt

Pacsd
February 24, 2011, 06:46 PM
It was the summer of 1962 that we were introduced to the Armalite 5.56 when they took away our M1's when I was in the RVN. I did like the way they shot and broke down for maintainance, as often as they did need it. However, for just plain hunting and shooting I still prefer the traditional long gun. I don't think I'll take the dive into the pool though. Every time I see one at the range it makes me think back to the 1st time I laid eyes on that radical design.

RockyMtnTactical
February 24, 2011, 08:55 PM
It's been on the rise in popularity ever since the end of the AWB. For one, I think the AWB was a huge reason that the AR15 has grown in popularity. Imagine if the laws restricting full auto were to all of a sudden be repealed somehow. Don't you think everyone and their dog would own a full auto? You betcha.

People can own AR15's now with all of the "EVIL" features (well, not ALL I guess...) that cause liberals to wet themselves.

Add in to it the fact that the AR15 is so modular, versatile, and affordable compared to other platforms, it's a no brainer. You can have a home defense carbine, a hunting/varminting rifle, a target gun, etc all in one platform. Mags are affordable as well as ammo (in comparison to other rifle calibers).

kimberkid
February 24, 2011, 09:35 PM
2 years?? Try 10.
Closer to 20 ...

However in the last 10 I've seen a lot more specialty parts coming to market ... also companies I never thought would jump into the AR market have obviously decided that "if you can't beat 'em ... join 'em" mentality ... HK, SiG, Ruger to name just a few

cfullgraf
February 24, 2011, 09:43 PM
The AR is definitely a versatile platform. From "crew served" heavy barrel varminters to light short barrel carbines including the kitchen sink hung off the fore end for the "mall ninjas".

Something for everyone.

Prion
February 24, 2011, 09:48 PM
Fun!

Buzzkill69
February 24, 2011, 10:21 PM
Definitely for the many reasons listed above. But I think RockyMtnTactical hit it on the head with the AWB going bye bye and then to top it off 4 years later we had a rare occasion of a Democratic Congress (in 2008) and a Democratic President.
I'll be honest, I just bought my first AR and don't consider myself a bandwagon guy. I had wanted one for years but never had the money at the right time. I was an sks guy cause it was cheap compared to the AR. I found a good deal (Armalite M-15 never shot for $750) and I jumped on it. It's everything I had expected and then some. Love the gun, platform, Lego abilities, etc, etc.. I'm already saving for my next one!:)

benEzra
February 24, 2011, 11:12 PM
It's been on the rise in popularity ever since the end of the AWB. For one, I think the AWB was a huge reason that the AR15 has grown in popularity. Imagine if the laws restricting full auto were to all of a sudden be repealed somehow. Don't you think everyone and their dog would own a full auto? You betcha.
AR's were never banned, and the biggest jump in their popularity occurred 1994 and 2004. Having said that, the end of the AWB made the AR platform even more appealing, since new guns could have adjustable stocks and such again.

A few years ago, I did some digging in the BATFE production stats, and even at that time about 1 in 4 centerfire rifles sold annually in the USA was an AR-15, and around 30 manufacturers were making them.

God Guns American Cars
February 24, 2011, 11:33 PM
Because there is no other rifle with the same tactical abilities available for such little cost. If you do it right, apparently, you can get/make a quality gun for little buck. It the day and age of decent AK's costing 500+ and SKS's costing over 200 dollars, a quality AR out of the box with a manufacturers warranty for 800 bucks is a steal! And it can be done cheaper apparently if you are willing to piece one together yourself.

That is why I am buying one ASAP.

Buzzkill69
February 24, 2011, 11:40 PM
I thought RockyMtnTactical meant to say that the demise of the AWB gave us back the "EVIL" features i.e. collapsible stock, flash hider/threaded barrel, more then 10 rds detachable mag etc, etc. That's the way I read it anyway, I could be wrong. I still think a little political panic/new AWB has had something to do with the latest surge in gun buying in general.

AR-yoter
February 24, 2011, 11:43 PM
been alot of talk about another gun ban and after the other one lifted it seemed like everyone was making there brand of AR, i think its a "get em while you can " deal but who knows, all ya gotta do is shoot one once and your hooked, my first time was varment hunting and no recoil + the feeling of it in your hands + all the extras yoiu can put on them makes it a real fun toy to own :-)

mljdeckard
February 24, 2011, 11:45 PM
In agreeing 100% with Justin, try to imagine any other rifle my 60-something mother can pick up shoot a lot, and enjoy?

cfullgraf
February 24, 2011, 11:56 PM
I thought RockyMtnTactical meant to say that the demise of the AWB gave us back the "EVIL" features i.e. collapsible stock, flash hider/threaded barrel, more then 10 rds detachable mag etc, etc. That's the way I read it anyway, I could be wrong. I still think a little political panic/new AWB has had something to do with the latest surge in gun buying in general.

I decided to buy a dedicated 22LR AR-15A2 to match my Service Rifle match rifle for cheap practice. This happened as the AWB expired. I could not get a post band model as the manufacturer was flooded with orders for pre-ban models. They did not know when they would have time to fill my original order for a post ban model.

Imagine a 2LR with a flash hider, a bayonet lug and a stainless steel barrel!. Well, at least it is easy to differentiate from my match rifle.

The various changes in political winds has spurred purchases of the AR-15, but it has also been developed where it is a good, accurate rifle platform for hunting a sport.

RockyMtnTactical
February 25, 2011, 12:03 AM
AR's were never banned, and the biggest jump in their popularity occurred 1994 and 2004.

I thought RockyMtnTactical meant to say that the demise of the AWB gave us back the "EVIL" features i.e. collapsible stock, flash hider/threaded barrel, more then 10 rds detachable mag etc, etc. That's the way I read it anyway, I could be wrong.

Exactly. I owned "post ban" AR15's before the expiration in '04. I admit that after the sunset of the AWB I was excited to have access to all of the "evil" features that we were previously denied.

Leaky Waders
February 25, 2011, 12:24 AM
Familiarity due to military training is a one big reason. You carry a weapon for a long time and grow very accustomed to it and want one of your own.

They are easy to learn to shoot. And most teenagers are drawn to them instead of the deluxe weatherby or m70 with fiddleback in the rack next to it.

Because, as others have said, the AR is an iconic symbol of American military (or the Planet of the Apes if you're that old to remember...).

And the lego factor is huge...especially since uppers can be purchased by mail order. It's very nice having the modular design without having the hassle to go to a store to see 'what's in stock' and bicker over prices and fill out paperwork. Instead one can surf the net and modify their AR legally with items that are easily installed by end users.

Most people who purchase them are nonhunters and are just going to plink with them, so hunting effect of the round isn't a big deal. Add to the fact that ammo is still relatively cheap (remember when 223/556 white box used to be 2.99?) and plentiful and you have a big seller.

Plus marketing is there too, the different logos on the lowers are 'cool' to some and that might inspire some to buy one vs another.

LW

Ignition Override
February 25, 2011, 01:19 AM
henschman:
The nice guy by me at thr range days ago has the .22 conversion bolt in his standard length rifle.
It costs about $150?

It must be nice to do what-simply adjust the elevation for both different rounds? If so, that is lots of very cheap practice.

I could see maybe deviating from my milsurp disease one day.

PandaBearBG
February 25, 2011, 01:33 AM
1. familiarity from returning vets from the last 40 some years.
2. the adults of today grew up with them as the military/action hero/police movies of the past few decades so that naturally is the gun they iconicized (spelling?) as children, just as older generations idolized wheel guns and cowboy rifles.
3. Modularity as others have stated above makes it simple and easy to build/strip/modify by the average noobie to the seasoned gunsmith. It's less intimidating then building a highly accurate bolt action with $$$ precision scopes and expensive tinkering from experts. And there are those who criticize some for not having $6000 sticks.
4. easily understood weapon system, light recoil, accurate system which ranges in budget to highly custom rigs
5. widely available parts and uppers for an infinite variaty and variation changes.
6. and I think the average joe public wasn't aware you could purchase a civilian version of "M16 or M4" until the last several years.

Magog
February 25, 2011, 06:00 AM
Call of Duty.

Big Bad Bob
February 25, 2011, 06:02 AM
Hi Yall, first post. From the Land of the South, currently in the Southwest part of the world.


Of all the reasons everyone has already said, I think popularity stems from that the AR platform is Highly Modular and Adaptabile and now that you have a million after market guys out there churning out more parts is only adding to it.

I think the military factor is a part, I am in the Army have never once considered buying. Why buy what i shoot for free?

Its adaptible, what other platform can you convert by popping out two pins to cover all your needs? Varmint to tacti-cool guy-to now big hunting is covered.

Its amazing to me that a rifle that was so dispised when it was introduced is now so popular.

Tirod
February 25, 2011, 09:22 AM
Since it's introduction, there's been more than 20 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines taught to use one. That put more Americans out there with a base of knowledge on AR's than any other firearm in American history.

What they knew for a fact was that it disassembled easily, and the individual could work on one a lot more than any other gun they ever had. It's not uncommon in the military to see a lower with no LPK in it being cleaned. It's not user maintenance and prohibited, when did that ever stop everyone? Plus, you do specifically tear down the bolt, and get familiar with a lot of it.

When the A3 was introduced, it got my attention, most of us serving even part time recognized there would be a lot of versatility in the design. It would be possible to clamp any sight we wanted on it, and voila, the service immediately did start putting red dots there. No longer would long belled Fudd scopes be the only awkward solution.

The AWB only added fuel to the fire. You can't tell American's they can't have something for no good reason. And there was no good reason. Chafing under the restriction accomplished exactly the opposite of what gun banners wanted. Once hi cap mags and pistol grip mags were made proper again, folks who wanted one because they had reasoned they wouldn't be told different bought them. And they were getting good ones, too, largely milspec quality with few corners cut, by and large. No cheap imports, and the low quality players were instantly revealed through a new phenomenon - the Internet.

A lot of AR growth is directly tied to the rise in use of the Internet. People who had no idea, or who had been fed a lot of wrong ones, even total BS, could surf around and find their curiousity either satisfied, or worse, piqued by the contrasting opinion. And rather than be stuck with Elmer's opinion at a gunshop, they could get straight, factual data from knowledgeable, experienced users.

They discovered the design wasn't the maniacally evil stepchild of crazed survivalists being carried broken down in M60 barrel bags. It was actually nice to shoot, and their fragile manhood wouldn't be dissed by the looks. It was certified mankilling military issue.

There was still the caliber question, Americans tend to think ammo should anchor any target or opponent DRT. And in the early 00's, new calibers kept coming out. Those made it legal to use hunting, which is real shooting at live targets, not paper punching on some Range Nazi's home turf. American's like to go out in the woods totally unsupervised and blast away at things, destroying them. Can't do that on ranges that don't allow full magazines, don't offer 180* downrange facilities, require structured rules like leave it on the table or mat and NEVER touch it, much less OMG, shoot while actually MOVING! (The horror, the horror.)

BUT, you sure have to do that on a three gun match. Once the 5.56 was accepted there, it showed what most knew - the AR15 got the job done better than the C&R's everyone was restricted to use at the First SOF in Columbia.

Since the decentralizing of American manufacturing to smaller shops, many more suppliers saw market niches they could fill. They did, bidding for smaller lots of government contracts, and selling direct on the Internet. Again, the typical B&M storefront with increasingly hidebound liberal management who wouldn't go further than sell traditional firearms fell out of favor. People bought over the net and shipped to their own door. Bluntly, screw them, we are not going to wait for Elmer to get around to carrying a low demand specialty part, especially when he's been obvious about disliking the design, and will only order from mainstream distributors. Not even going to push that with him, a few keystrokes and it's here THIS WEEK, not next month.

I've had one - 1 - transaction for a part in a storefront in my build, the lower, as required, thru the FFL. Every other piece, literally, lock, stock, and barrel, has been delivered by a parcel service to my front door. What's not to like about assembling an AR EXACTLY the way I want (and can afford) on my budget and terms? I can research, question, get answers, find out what works vs. what's hypemarketed, and think at a pace that becomes increasingly knowledgeable - rather than hustled in a Boxmart or gunshop that structures the discussion and impending sale with only what they want you to know?

Darned AR's are selling like hotcakes because the Fudds can't stop it. Jim Zumbo and the gunwriter bolt gunners are getting left in the dust of yesteryear because they are all part of the traditionalist pro/anti gunner syndrome, and won't overcome their bias against them. They no longer control the flow of information, forums and blogs do - the Internet again. If anything, read the American Rifle articles on the 6.8SPC - Bryce Townsley con, as any old bolt gunner would be, churning over dated facts and a clueless mindset, and Bill Wilson, who actually hunts with what he sells, leading edge participant and knowledgeable in actual market trends, business, and (wait for it) real gun knowledge of shooting live targets.

The huge increase in the AR is directly tied to the A3 upper and the Internet - the shooter benefits with both, and gets straight facts that see through the manipulation and marketing controlled by the status quo. It's affected more than newspaper sales. We're quietly having our own revolution here, shaking off the chains of distribution systems and controlled information. That really has some old school money makers concerned. They very well would make a deal with the devil to preserve the status quo they favor, don't trust them one bit.

Birddog1911
February 25, 2011, 09:41 AM
Call of Duty.
Nice sarcastic and inacurate statement.

ForumSurfer
February 25, 2011, 09:59 AM
Call of Duty.

Nice sarcastic and inacurate statement.

Not necessarily. Video games are most definitely a contributing factor to firearm sales. Can it be quantified? No, probably not.

I'm a prime example. I never owned, nor wanted to own a Makarov. I never liked them even though I knew of them. I'm currently looking for one while I'm cruising the local pawn shops. I played a video game where it was primary side arm. I never owned a british enfield, nor did I ever want one. Yet I used one in a video game and I owned one a couple of years later.

While the video games aren't the primary factor in my decision purposes, they without a doubt contributed to my desire to own something. To say video games haven't contribitued to AR popularity is inaccurate. I think video games have contributed, but it is a contribution that we can't put hard numbers on. If video games didn't have an impact on markets; firearm manufacturers wouldn't be paying for advertising in video games that feature licensed models of their products, would they?

USAF_Vet
February 25, 2011, 10:05 AM
I do want one, mostly because I know it, am proficient with it, and I like to personalize things. It was the first semi-auto rifle I fired that was greater than .22lr. Familiarity with the weapon goes a long way. Having used it when it counts makes it even more desireable for me. And, as a kid, I loved Lego's, so the modular ability of the AR-15 family is appealing. Ammo is cheap, I love the smell of cordite. All of the other reasons listed above.

Tirod
February 25, 2011, 10:10 AM
My sons learned more about the looks and nomenclature of military weapons from games than ever cracking the binding on my copies of Jane's or a mil weapons book. At the least, they became intellectually aware of sight picture, action, and operation of a much wider range of firearms at an earlier age, all due to games. Was that my experience, no. I got to watch John Wayne in the Pacific Theater, or Clint Eastwood fighting in the snowy Alps in a psuedo war movie. We all know those guns never run out of ammo or ever jam unless it's a plot device. Friendly fire isn't much depicted, either.

It's the internet age, games and youtube are very much part of the new information explosion.

Welding Rod
February 25, 2011, 10:42 AM
Call of Duty.
I thought that was a Movie? Its a video game? I doubt many middle-aged AR shooters were influenced by it, or have even heard of it.

Funny about the Vet thing. When I was in the Army I ddin't think highly of the gun at all. Primarly because they were wore out and had been inproperly maintained. Plus there were always function problems because bad magazines were never thrown away. I don't recall anyone really holding the gun in high esteem.

When I got out I wasn't wanting to buy an AR at all. In fact I had bought one (a Colt AR15A2 carbine) in about '85 before I went on active duty, and sold it several years later after losing interest in the gun. That is how impressed I was with the platform, back then. I was always a gun enthusiasts but my AR interest didn't develop until I tried a Rock River just 4 or 5 years ago.

The gun had a great trigger, and I soon learned it was rediculously accurate. Plus it didn't suffer from the short sight radius of a carbine length gas system gun. That is when I was bit. It was due to experiencing the shootability of a new commerical AR as opposed to using a clapped out milspec one.

Similar deal with the M14. Back before going on active duty I was in college and in ROTC. We trained with fiberglass stocked M14s. At the time I wasn't too impressed, though they were a hoot on auto. Just like with the AR, I got interested in the M1A only several years ago after trying a new one with a walnut stock and excellent 2-stage trigger. Now I really like them.

I hope today's soldiers are getting guns and magazines that are in better shape than what we got. If they are, I can see how they would be favorably impressed and then want to get their own.

Quentin
February 25, 2011, 10:49 AM
Many excellent points above that I agree with. But the AK and others also have enjoyed a surge over the last few years so there is more to it. No doubt when the AWB sunset in 2004, interest in "evil" rifles began to rise, especially the AR. The advantages of the AR were coming to the forefront while the problems were being corrected in the '70s and '80s but then came 1994 and it was all but forcibly supressed to the average person. Ten years later you could buy one again in the configurations you wanted or you could upgrade your neutered AR so sales rose and the aftermarket options began to explode.

Then the 2008 election scared us, we might lose the right to buy these rifles and never have it again. We all know what happened then and ARs began appearing everywhere. Even after the panic buying subsided, people every day are discovering the AR and the aftermarket add-ons today are amazing. So there're really few reasons NOT to have an AR and all the reasons listed in this thread. Other rifles are benefitting from this perfect storm but the AR is at the crest, deservedly so.

benEzra
February 25, 2011, 11:05 AM
the demise of the AWB gave us back the "EVIL" features i.e. collapsible stock, flash hider/threaded barrel, more then 10 rds detachable mag etc, etc.
Oh, definitely, yes. The end of the deservedly-hated Feinstein law certainly helped continue the AR's march to the top of the U.S. civilian rifle market, and I'm sure a lot of people were putting off buying until they could get the features they wanted. I'm just saying that the surge in AR popularity began in the mid to late 1990's, and Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, DPMS, etc. grew from nothing to dominant manufacturers during that time, while the Feinstein law was still in force.

Since the expiration of the AWB, we've seen continued innovation, and newer companies like BCM, DD, Noveske, and LM&T have come to the forefront, but AR's were very, very popular during the AWB as well.

FWIW, the Feinstein law didn't affect availability of full-capacity AR or AK magazines, because every STANAG and Warsaw Pact magazine on the planet as of 9/1994 was exempt from the ban and could be freely imported and sold. After the initial panic subsided, prices for 30-round magazines weren't much higher than what they are now, as I recall. I didn't own an AR during the ban era, but I bought a 2002 model AK in 2003, and magazines were $9.99/ea for 30's and $5.99/ea for 20's, which is a good price even today.

Hypnogator
February 25, 2011, 11:38 AM
Because, as others have said, the AR is an iconic symbol of American military (or the Planet of the Apes if you're that old to remember...).

Actually, I am old enough to remember, and unless I'm so old my memory is starting to go, (they say your memory is the second thing to go, and I forget what the first is) Planet of the Apes weapons were M-1 Carbines modified with full-length stocks that curved down to enclose the 15-rd magazines. :what::uhoh::eek::uhoh::D

I'll admit to buying two lowers just after the big "O" got elected, one for me and one for my wife. Part of the impetus for purchasing was in case Assault Ban II got passed, but I needed at least one to use with a laser conversion kit to demo the capabilities of our judgmental shooting simulators.

Anyway, I collected parts from various sources over the course of the year, including fluted stainless Douglas med-con barrels, and when I got all the parts together, my wife and I assembled our respective rifles. I'm not particularly mechanically inclined, but neither of us had any trouble assembling our rifles. Then, wonder of wonders, when we went to the range, both rifles shot 100% reliably from the get-go!

For these, and all the other reasons cited in this thread, what's not to like about the AR-15? :cool:

mokin
February 25, 2011, 12:02 PM
Nearly 20 years ago when I bought my first AR-15 I did so to have a rifle like the one I used in the military. I subsequently sold it several years ago and just in the last month completed an M-4'gery build in 6.8 SPC. What convinced me to get back into the game was the ability to build my own, with any number of options not available several years ago (including different chamberings), and that I just missed having such a rifle. I think the AR-15 is easy to shoot, accurate, there is plenty of ammunition available, and fun. I also think, based on things I have seen at the range, and questions asked at the range and on line that there are a lot of people who should get some training before they pick one up.

While we're on the topic, the ability of the AR-15 to function without being cleaned is well documented. CLEAN YOUR RIFLES!

browneu
February 25, 2011, 12:25 PM
To me, when I see the AR 15 I immediately think of the United States. Similar to the feeling I get when I see the 1911.

And as a responsible law abiding, second ammendment supporting citizen, I own an AR over other rifles like an SKS or AK out of national pride. The other benefits are just icing on the cake for me.

Pacsd
February 25, 2011, 01:40 PM
wow!!!!!! Never thought this question would result in so many impasioned responses, of which, I respect and have really been enlightening to me. Maybe I'm just of the mind set that I carried one because that's what we had and after 30 years in the military I'll just leave it to the current members. However, I'm happy to know that it has evolved into platform that is a viable piece of weaponry.

Leaky Waders
February 25, 2011, 02:20 PM
Hmm maybe those Apes use M1's and AR 15's...I remember the plastic AR sticking in my barefeet when I was little.

http://www.musclecars.net/parts/Mego-Planet-Of-The-Apes-URKO-MOC-For-Sale_200567281742.html

DAdams
February 25, 2011, 02:21 PM
Finally got my first this year!

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m22/dadams111/Long%20Guns/P1010021.jpg

I had to have one to join the TZRT.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m22/dadams111/14390020.jpg

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m22/dadams111/banner10.jpg

bri
February 25, 2011, 04:08 PM
Run a magazine through one and I think you'll have a better understanding.

Edit - see you already have experience with the platform. I'll change to... "a lot of fun to shoot and a ton of accessories out there to customize it to your liking. As others have said, big boy leggos.

ac6916170
February 25, 2011, 04:45 PM
It was the summer of 1962 that we were introduced to the Armalite 5.56 when they took away our M1's when I was in the RVN. I did like the way they shot and broke down for maintainance, as often as they did need it. However, for just plain hunting and shooting I still prefer the traditional long gun. I don't think I'll take the dive into the pool though. Every time I see one at the range it makes me think back to the 1st time I laid eyes on that radical design.
Pacsd I was there after you, '70 to be exact, we still had some trouble with them but they were ALOT better than the ones you had. Mom and dad would send me a box of DRY Slide every month that pretty much kept them rockin and rollin. Never thought I'd own one for hunting but I have one now and I don't know what you could do to it to make it stop working. The 6.8x43 is a great hog and whitetail round.

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