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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Armored farmer, Feb 1, 2012.

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  1. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    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???
     
  2. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Yes in the US but in the world the AK owns that title.
     
  3. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    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.
     
  4. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    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.
     
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    ....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
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    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...
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  8. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    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.
     
  9. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    Yes! Especially now that it is becoming more accepted that there are multiple cartridge options beside the base model.
     
  10. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    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.
     
  11. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    Yes, and thanks to that, there is no national AWB in our near future (AR's are much too common now :))
     
  12. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    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.
     
  13. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    But the AR is THE modular rifle, there isn't another one as modular and successful at the same time.
     
  14. RangerHAAF

    RangerHAAF Member

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    US shooters have gone for accuracy and the rest of the world reliability.
     
  15. 12gaugeTim

    12gaugeTim Member

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    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.
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  17. Unistat

    Unistat Member

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    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.
     
  18. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    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
     
  19. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    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.
     
  20. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    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.
     
  21. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    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.
     
  22. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    if you were a grunt, groundpounding soldier, you would know it was the firearm since the mid 60s.
     
  23. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    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.
     
  24. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    It's become "America's rifle" that's for sure. Will people look back on it like the Garand? Maybe.
     
  25. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    In the American civilian market, the AR-15 is definitely ascendant, although oddly enough, the best selling gun at Bud's for the past 2 years has been the 91/30. On an international level, the AR has not been militarily ascendant, but its cartridge has been adopted almost everywhere. In the general international community, three guns reign supreme: the AKM, the 91/30, and the FAL. 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.

    In other parts of the world, the AR is much less of a big deal, though it still carries weight as the symbol of American martial might, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. The AR is not very popular in Africa, with much of the continent being either third or fourth world countries without the same sorts of manufacturing quality or relative field cleanliness; in a continent abound with deserts, jungles, and savannah, a gun with absolute proven reliability which will work while dirty, unlubricated, and abused, is an absolute must. There is also the issue of the 5.56 not being highly effective on two things commonly found in Africa: dangerous large beasts and small malnourished men. That is why there, old style bolt actions firing full power 30 caliber ammunition are still very popular and common. The militaries of Africa prefer powerful, sturdy, reliable rifles with common, powerful ammunition. 29 countries in Africa issue the FN FAL or some licensed variant. The FAL is much heavier than the AR, it has more recoil, and it's a more old-fashioned weapon, but it is known for working every time you pull the trigger and bringing your target down in short order. African militaries also issue a lot of AK type guns. 32 African countries issue the AKM or produce it under license, and even more issue an AK variant or something spawned from the AK, either purchased from Russia, produced under license, or produced without license. For stopping power that definitely goes boom every time and has a ubiquitous supply of ammunition and parts and guns, the Kalshnikov is extremely popular.

    In Europe, the AR itself is not all that influential. In most countries, it is forbidden for ownership by civilians. However, its design features show up in weapons inspired by it in one way or another. All NATO assault rifles are chambered in its 5.56x45 round. It was the first popular, accepted polymer gun in a small caliber. Its adoption brought about a reduction in calibers, changes in military tactical philosophy, the creation and adoption of more polymer guns, a market shift towards making the weapon as light as possible, and the start of crating modular weapons where one lower receiver can be mated to a variety of upper receiver, which can be mated to a variety of accessories. Its controls were the beginning of a move for purpose built ergonomic controls and keeping the same layout for different platforms, as well as giving a bit of assistance towards lefties, which resulted in the modern ambidextrous weapons being introduced.

    The AR is somewhat influential in Asia. Granted, its influence is somewhat markedly less than in Europe, but it is felt. The AR was favored by the Army of Vietnam, whose soldiers were shorter and lighter than those of the western nations, coming in at 5'6"-5'3"; at to just below average globally. The smaller round and light recoil made the gun easier to handle, and its shorter length and reduced weight was also handier for the shorter Asians. Along with US aid and troops, AR's poured into the area. However, the AK won the region, being as reliable and abundant as ever, and being in really cheap blunt supply from the USSR and PRC, in addition to its role in the Communist revolutions and counter revolutions in Tibet and Afghanistan. It has become the gun of choice for guerrilla and insurgent groups, and is the main weapon for factions on both sides of the law in the Middle East, as well as the weapon of Jihad and the governments opposing Jihad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
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