Is the AR 'the' rifle of our times??


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kbbailey
February 1, 2012, 08:11 PM
Flintlocks, 1700s; half-stock caplocks, early 1800s; falling blocks, mid-late1800s; lever guns, late 1800s; bolt actions, early 1900s; autoloaders, mid 1900s;.....

tell me....is the AR the rifle of the late 1900s-early 2000s???

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fatcat4620
February 1, 2012, 08:19 PM
Yes in the US but in the world the AK owns that title.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 1, 2012, 08:19 PM
I would say yes. The interchangeability of AR-15s and after-market parts adds a dynamic to the rifle that hadn't been seen before. Mass produced guns allowed parts to be interchangeable, but generally only with the same part for replacement purposes. The AR-15 and it's plethora of after-market stocks, grips, sights, triggers, etc, makes it a true platform, not just a rifle. The uniqueness of the fact, and the subsequent popularity of the AR because of this, makes the AR-15 the classic rifle of our times. Even the AK is just a slightly modified design of earlier assault rifles, such as the StG44. The AK was remarkable in how many were produced, and it's reliability, but the technology that went into the gun was just a continuance of earlier firearms. The AK wasn't, and isn't still, a "platform". That AR is such, and because of this, I think it takes the top spot.

Geronimo45
February 1, 2012, 08:56 PM
Sure. I can switch out the BCG and magazine and shoot. 22 LR. I can push in two pins and replace a 5.56 upper with a 6.5 or. 450 or .458. I can shoot varmints of the 2- and 4- legged variety, shoot deer, or shoot bears or other large critters. I have the exact same control placement with all of them, and breakdown for cleaning is easy. Mounting different sights or a scope is no problem (with a flattop). They are usually light in weight.

kbbailey
February 1, 2012, 08:58 PM
....in other words, fifty years from now, when your family looks at pictures of you holding an AR; are they going to say, "state of the art...2012"??

btw, I don't have one. lol

Art Eatman
February 1, 2012, 09:14 PM
The AR is probably the leader among US sales of semi-autos.

"The" rifle would likely depend on comparative sales numbers, with bolt-actions being the chief competitor for semi-autos as a group.

Source for info? Maybe SAAMI? I don't know...

rcmodel
February 1, 2012, 09:18 PM
I'd guess the Ruger 10/22 leads it by a fur piece in sales.
And then there is the Marlin Model 60 too.

.22 RF ammo far exceeds any centerfire caliber sales by a very wide margin.

rc

adelbridge
February 1, 2012, 09:39 PM
tell me....is the AR the rifle of the late 1900s-early 2000s???
its been around for about 50 years now and its just hitting its stride in the civilian world. Military has been working on replacing it for ages.

68wj
February 1, 2012, 10:34 PM
Yes! Especially now that it is becoming more accepted that there are multiple cartridge options beside the base model.

NG VI
February 1, 2012, 10:42 PM
The AR isn't getting replaced for service use any time soon, and neither is the 5.56mm.

Yeah, it's pretty much the iconic, archetypal 'rifle' of the last thirty and next thirty years. Maybe longer.

CmdrSlander
February 1, 2012, 10:42 PM
Yes, and thanks to that, there is no national AWB in our near future (AR's are much too common now :))

Driftertank
February 1, 2012, 10:45 PM
In the spirit of the examples given by the OP, I suggest rather than giving the AR or AK as a specific example, that that this should be considered "The Age of the Modular Assault Rifle." After all, the original examples were not "The Brown Bess," "The Mauser 98," "The M1 Garand," but rather the TYPE of rifle those exemplify.

NG VI
February 1, 2012, 10:50 PM
But the AR is THE modular rifle, there isn't another one as modular and successful at the same time.

RangerHAAF
February 1, 2012, 10:57 PM
Yes in the US but in the world the AK owns that title.
US shooters have gone for accuracy and the rest of the world reliability.

12gaugeTim
February 1, 2012, 10:58 PM
I'd say so. It's the only rifle I know of that can shoot a massive variety of calibers, including (but not limited to) 50bmg, 338lm, and even crossbow bolts.

hso
February 1, 2012, 11:01 PM
Flintlocks, 1700s; half-stock caplocks, early 1800s; .....

tell me....is the AR the rifle of the late 1900s-early 2000s???

All those are classes of firearms with many excellent makes/models of firearms within each class. The AR is another specific firearm within the class of lightweight, intermediate cartridge, gas-operated, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle. That class also includes the AK and others like the proposed replacements for the AR. The characteristic for this generation is the whole class typified by the AK and AR.

Unistat
February 1, 2012, 11:10 PM
US shooters have gone for accuracy and the rest of the world reliability.

I would say rather; "US shooters have gone for training and the rest of the world simplicity."

My reasoning is that, for the most part, the AK is made for and used by the uneducated and peasants. The US (and the rest of Western civilization) have a higher standard level of education that make the more complex and accurate AR a feasible choice for us.

To be clear, I'm not saying that only dummies can appreciate an AK. I'm saying Kalashnikov created his rifle for a poor peasant army and Stoner created his for a highly trained force.

CmdrSlander
February 1, 2012, 11:13 PM
uneducated In the Soviet Union, the literacy rate hovered around 99% around WWII (according to another poster on here) so they were at least educated peasants

mshootnit
February 1, 2012, 11:14 PM
If you include the AR10 and the AR15 I would definitely say YES this is the rifle of our times. As a matter of fact every time I go to the rifle range there are a few there these days. Never used to be that way, and here's the kicker: I think this is still in the beginning phase. I think there's going to be a lot more AR's out there than we see even now. Heres the thing: $75 gets you the registered part of the weapon. The entire rest of the weapon gets delivered for you to assemble yourself. Who could resist that? Heck I spend more than 75 at the pump sometimes.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 1, 2012, 11:41 PM
The first guns were personalized to the maker. Each was a hand crafted piece with little commonality between individual guns. Then came the era where guns were personalized to the designer. Many identical guns were manufactured, but the design was still the brainchild of the initial maker. The user had no input.

We are now in a time where guns are personalized to the user. Individual guns built from mass produced parts, but put together in the best manner the individual user wants. As mshootnit said, only the stripped lower receiver is necessary to be the "gun". Everything else can be purchased and put together based on what the individual user wants. This is heading in the right track. Since the shooter is the one who actually needs the gun, making it so it's best for his or her uses is the ideal. Since the AR is the first gun with such a wide array of user picked parts, it is truly a new type of firearm.

X-Rap
February 1, 2012, 11:47 PM
Is the AR 'the' rifle of our times??

Heck yea.
And the Glock is the handgun of our times. I own plenty of others and they are all fun to shoot but those two are with me more times than not.

TexasPatriot.308
February 1, 2012, 11:50 PM
if you were a grunt, groundpounding soldier, you would know it was the firearm since the mid 60s.

tarosean
February 2, 2012, 12:02 AM
Flintlocks, 1700s; half-stock caplocks, early 1800s; falling blocks, mid-late1800s; lever guns, late 1800s; bolt actions, early 1900s; autoloaders, mid 1900s;.....

tell me....is the AR the rifle of the late 1900s-early 2000s???

Im gonna say NO... they have yet to win a war like most of your list...
Sure they are popular now-a-days... ONLY because the assault rifle ban lapsed.

Dr.Rob
February 2, 2012, 12:17 AM
It's become "America's rifle" that's for sure. Will people look back on it like the Garand? Maybe.

Unistat
February 2, 2012, 09:44 AM
In the Soviet Union, the literacy rate hovered around 99% around WWII (according to another poster on here) so they were at least educated peasants
Well, that certainly is possible. Considering how important it is for Socialist to dominate the indoctrination of the youth, the Soviets did put a very high importance on mandatory education.

On the other hand, it's not like the USSR was ever reluctant to fudge their statistics here and there.

NG VI
February 2, 2012, 11:41 AM
Im gonna say NO... they have yet to win a war like most of your list...


Is this a joke?

JohnBT
February 2, 2012, 12:44 PM
I vote for the Barrett .50 autoloader.

scythefwd
February 2, 2012, 01:09 PM
The AR is probably the most recognizable of the modern rifles... maybe second only to the AK.

Now to the pistol that defines our generation.. glock, but not because it is so popular (still betting there are as many 1911's sold as glocks) but because it ushered in a new age of manufacturing... poly framed handguns.

It was the first publicly accepted gun of that design, and now every manufacturer pretty much has one.

tarosean
February 2, 2012, 01:10 PM
The AR family isn't actually all that common or celebrated outside of North America. Other continents and countries have their own traditions and platforms. In the EU, bullpups are quite common. The British have their L85, the French have their FAMAS, the Austrians have their AUG, with other designs on the way.

I travel the world for business.
One of the most common weapons I see is the venerable MP5. Airports, street corners, checkpoints, borders, etc. etc. etc.



(course it should be noted that I dont hang out with armies, militias or guerrillas, etc. :))

Cosmoline
February 2, 2012, 01:22 PM
It's tough to say of course, but I think the AR will be viewed as part and parcel of the rise and fall of American dominance after WW2. An emblem of the high water mark of our influence overseas after the end of the cold war, and marking the decline in following decades as it becomes increasingly outdated (assuming this does happen of course). Comparisons with the AK are inevitable, and it's sadly inevitable that the truckloads of nonsense that get spewed comparing these platforms will continue long after both of them are in museums ;-)

For example the AR is a LESS complex firearm than the AK-47. It has fewer moving parts and little more than a steel straw controlling gas. But everyone thinks of it as this Swiss watch, impossible for third worlders to take care of.

In the far future, we can expect the record to be muddled enough that historical reenactments of the Iraq War will include hovercraft charges into lines of American soldiers armed with baseball bats. The historian will explain to the crowds that the American Legion was a core part of the military during this time, and that it spent great amounts of money training young soldiers to fight with traditional bats. This error will be compounded by the fact that the only surviving films of the era will be "Pale Rider" and "Roadhouse."

Paris
February 2, 2012, 01:30 PM
I'd wouldn't be surprised if there were ten times as many Ruger 10-22s in civilian ownership as there ARs of any variety.

Ala Dan
February 2, 2012, 02:39 PM
has been for over 40 yeara~! ;) :D

Hocka Louis
February 2, 2012, 09:43 PM
AR is the 20th/21st C. gun. The others mentioned internationaly? Civillians don't have them by and large. Some very strange comparisons in that regard...

BigMag
February 2, 2012, 09:46 PM
I would answer yes, but my rifle of choice is still the AK.

Sport45
February 2, 2012, 10:45 PM
The AK is just a piston operated autoloading rifle, and not the first. We beat them to the punch on that design and it's already listed for the mid-1900's.

Ignition Override
February 3, 2012, 12:49 AM
Both the last part of fatcat4620's comment, and part of hso's may reflect the prime reason why (former Marine Capt.) CW Chivers, "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize", published "The Gun".

You can probably still read excerpts on the Amazon website.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 3, 2012, 12:51 AM
Well, it surely ain't the product of times past, that's "fer-sure!"

Tirod
February 3, 2012, 10:31 AM
Start checking the list, the M14 didn't win any wars, either. Wars are one by soldiers, not the tool. Compared to the AR15, the Krag Jorgensen is less than adequate.

Military has been working on replacing it for ages.

Look at that from the other side - instead of being a jammomatic that haunts the military stuck with it, the design is so adaptable that updates over the last 45 years continue to prove it's superiority. Nothing else so far has been able to justify replacing it - not even the SCAR in SOCOM use. "No real difference" is how the commanders of elite force put it, and they should know, they only get command by having been there, done that.

In the military, it's not the "Unknown Boss" who can't actually do the grunt work - they did, did it well, and aren't too good to do it again. I've been served by General's in the chow line, they are there to prove they can lead by doing, not by position. So if the command of SOCOM says the M4 gets the job done, it's because they've used it, it works, and there's no huge change in tactics that yet makes it obsolete.

Apply those attributes to civilian use, just the same as we have with most of our other firearms, and you find it's an obviously superior design that gets tough work done. Unlike a tightly fitted, exposed action curio firearm still in production, military arms are more user friendly, easier to clean, have a tested and reliable operation, cheaper ammunition, and have numerous sources of parts available.

There's over 20 million prior service men and women trained on it, who can disassemble it in the dark, put it together, and shoot it accurately. Can you do that with a lever gun or even a Mauser?

With over 9 million made in the last 45 years, over 65 countries equipped with it, and the AK going out of service in major nations, yes, the AR is the gun of the age, and will continue to be for the forseeable future.

We haven't invented anything else any better, and what few changes we make are only one small part of the overall design. The competition copies most of what it does, because it's become the standard to work from, not ignore.

For those who want to remain less than knowledgeable about that, it's a free country. Go right ahead. You do so being protected by it, tho. Remarkably ironic, isn't it?

X-Rap
February 3, 2012, 11:13 AM
It seems to me that many of the pictures of these remarkably reliable and durable AK's are in captured caches or laying next to dead terrorists. There are many pics of rusted, wired together and cobbled AK's but I wonder how many FTF or wouldn't work to start with when called upon by their users. I think the superiority of the AK's durability and reliability over our service rifle is greatly over stated in it's modern configuration.

doubleh
February 3, 2012, 11:43 AM
When I purchace ANYTHING it's mine to do with as I please.

If YOU want to preserve your military firearm that good, if you wish to bubba it that's cool too, and if you want to turn it into a very nice sporter, get after it. It's your money, spend it like you want and do what you want with what you spent it on. I'll make the decision on what I purchase and don't need advise on how to do it.

I'll admit that there are certain firearms that I would think you are nuts to convert from the original BUT I won't tell you so.

SlamFire1
February 3, 2012, 12:04 PM
The AK is every where. That has been and will be the defining firearm of the second half of the 20th century.

The AR will just be the American weapon.

RangerHAAF
February 3, 2012, 12:07 PM
Both the last part of fatcat4620's comment, and part of hso's may reflect the prime reason why (former Marine Capt.) CW Chivers, "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize", published "The Gun".

You can probably still read excerpts on the Amazon website.
I know Chivers personally; he came through Ranger school a few classes after mine(10-88) and I must say that his book is one of the most detailed and authoritative written about the AK-47, his lectures if you ever get the chance to hear them are even more informative.

But back to the subject, I'd say that the AR is morphing into the gun that the world thinks about when referring to our country. It's much better qualitatively than when I went through basic training in 1986. I still don't like the 5.56 round that it shoots but the complaints that used to be made against the A1s don't really apply to the A2s or the M4s.

Plus I just heard that Rock River is coming out with a new AR model that will accept the AK-47 magazine to fire the 7.62x39 round.

kbbailey
February 3, 2012, 01:31 PM
Plus I just heard that Rock River is coming out with a new AR model that will accept the AK-47 magazine to fire the 7.62x39 round

....and that is why I believe the AK has yet to reach it's stride. It is too versatile to have limitations. It can be configured to do targets, and hunt everything from prairie dogs to bull moose.

Matthew Courtney
February 3, 2012, 08:52 PM
....and that is why I believe the AK has yet to reach it's stride. It is too versatile to have limitations. It can be configured to do targets, and hunt everything from prairie dogs to bull moose.
The AR is much more versatile than the AK. Heck, we have even come out with a 5.56 version of it that some say has logistical advantages over the venerable 7.62x51 version.

fatcat4620
February 6, 2012, 12:45 AM
What you want to know is what the iconic rifle was during the age if the assault rifle? It is the AK47.

heavyshooter
February 6, 2012, 01:23 AM
The AR is the rifle of our time if you are American (or maybe Western). But that is not true throughout the world. When a rifle is central to the national flags of many countries it has proven itself to be iconic! This only applies to the AK.

NG VI
February 6, 2012, 01:40 AM
I think when you say the phrase "professional fighting force" and the image that universally comes to mind includes a specific rifle, that rifle can be counted as iconic.

Certaindeaf
February 6, 2012, 02:12 AM
Not to be cheeky, the AR cheeks well.

JustinJ
February 6, 2012, 12:12 PM
Look at that from the other side - instead of being a jammomatic that haunts the military stuck with it, the design is so adaptable that updates over the last 45 years continue to prove it's superiority. Nothing else so far has been able to justify replacing it - not even the SCAR in SOCOM use. "No real difference" is how the commanders of elite force put it, and they should know, they only get command by having been there, done that.

That wasn't their attitude until they realized they would be paying for them from their own budget.

benEzra
February 6, 2012, 02:03 PM
I'd wouldn't be surprised if there were ten times as many Ruger 10-22s in civilian ownership as there ARs of any variety.
There are undoubtedly more 10/22's than AR's in private hands, but probably not 10x. As far as I can tell, a bit over 5 million 10/22's have been sold, and IIRC AR sales were running around a quarter-million per year *before* the sales surge of 2008-2009, judging by some production figures I went through a while back. I'd guesstimate that the AR platform is in the 2 to 4 million range now, but it's hard to say. I do know that it's by far the top selling centerfire rifle in the USA and has been for several years. It could pass the 10/22 in total sales by mid-this-decade, depending on how 10/22's are currently selling, I'd think.

nathan
February 7, 2012, 03:09 AM
I dont own an AR yet but that s one im thinking down the road. I just shot my SAR 1 today and a friend too brought along his Panther DPMS. I still like the simplicity of the AK and makes dang big holes . I installed a new G 2 tapco trigger grp and it made a lot of difference in trigger break and feel. The cheap crappy CAI that came with the gun was really a POS ! But it held a good while for more than 2000 rds. Hahahaha.


Now it be Spikes Tactical Midlength when the right time comes, that means money in my pocket to get one .....

kfgk14
February 7, 2012, 03:19 PM
Definitely. I'd say the 5.56 MM is the cartridge of our time, even with the proliferation of the 7.62 x 39 the 5.56 is in use world wide, even the AK-47 is available in 5.56.

Quiet
February 8, 2012, 04:07 AM
In the USA...
The AR design has become the Modern Sporting Rifle (http://nssf.org/MSR/).

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has determined that the AR design has come to dominate the US firearms market so much that they've coined it as the "Modern Sporting Rifle".

NSSF even has informericals explaning how the AR design has become the "Modern Sporting Rifle". (http://nssf.org/MSR/video.cfm)

Surf
February 8, 2012, 04:17 AM
Most definitely.

Pfletch83
February 8, 2012, 04:51 AM
They are now selling M-4 style carbines (Bushmaster) at wally world.

Milspec Ammo box of 5.56x45mm (xm193) sitting right next to it in the glass case.

I didn't see any Ak type next to it.

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