The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It’s a Gadget

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2013 2:49 PM GMT

    Preppers, militia types, and SEAL Team 6 wannabes are certainly represented in the AR-15′s customer base. But fringe groups don’t adequately explain the roughly 5 million “black rifles” (as fans of the gun tend to call it) that are now in the hands of the public. No, the real secret to the AR-15′s incredible success is that this rifle is the “personal computer” of the gun world.

    In the past two decades, the AR-15 has evolved into an open, modular gun platform that’s infinitely hackable and accessorizable. With only a few simple tools and no gunsmithing expertise, an AR-15 can be heavily modified, or even assembled from scratch, from widely available parts to suit the fancy and fantasy of each individual user. In this respect, the AR-15 is the world’s first “maker” gun, and this is why its appeal extends well beyond the military enthusiasts that many anti-gun types presume make up its core demographic.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2478

    Feb 26, 2013 3:14 PM GMT
    I would think the 5 million figure is terribly low. Total 2013 production across a vast array of makers of full rifles and rifle components -- most individuals purchase parts and assemble their rifle -- will be more than 1 million units.

    Keep in mind there is only one piece of an AR15 that must be listed and transferred via a Federal Firearms License holder. That piece is the receiver, which today can be produced from a raw 7075-T6 forging in under 20 minutes in a CNC machining center.

    My suggestion to the anti-gun nuts is they learn to handle and fire an AR15. There will be a day when they either defend themselves or they are simply overrun. Total DoD deployable troops sits at around 400,000. The real U.S. Army measures in the millions.
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    Feb 26, 2013 4:41 PM GMT
    The M-16 rifle (the military designation of the AR-15) was always modular from its inception 40 years ago. You could replace the handguards with a 40mm grenade launcher mounted under the rifle barrel, making the new configuration the M-203.

    There were naturally many scope varieties, including night vision, that you could add. We MPs had an accessory you inserted into the flash suppressor, looking sort of like a beer can. You fired blank rounds, and the muzzle pressure would cause an aerodynamic rubber "donut" to be sent flying from the can, to knock down (hopefully non-lethally) any civilian rioters you were trying to suppress. I don't know if that's still in the inventory.

    There were abbreviated shoulder stocks for airborne assault operations, and many other variants. There were also laser attachments for training purposes, that would send a single light burst every time a blank round was fired. If you used up your ammo clip you couldn't fire anymore, and you had to replace clips just like in real combat. A soldier wearing a vest fitted with receptors would alert if he was "hit" by the laser, making him a casualty no longer in the war game.

    So that modifications are not anything new for this weapon, other than it's apparently being extended into the civilian market.