Over the past couple of decades, rifles like the AR-10 and the AR-15 have surged in popularity. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimated in 2016 that the US population owns between five or fifteen million guns of this type. Many even consider them to be the definitive guns of the United States, or at least of this era in American history.
Despite this level of fame, many remain unaware of what AR-10s and AR-15s actually are, what they do, and other basic information. Today we hope to answer some of these questions so that those who own guns and those who are just curious can be more informed.
Engineers at ArmaLite, then a budding arms company, designed and created the AR-10 and AR-15 in the mid-1950s. They gave them the “AR” designation as shorthand for “ArmaLite Rifle,” with the numbers referring to the rifles’ models. In case you were wondering what AR stands for, now you know.
In 1959, the company sold the rights for both types to firearms industry veteran Colt’s Manufacturing Company. They decided to keep the AR-15 name, which has stuck all this time. Other companies can now legally produce similar rifles, which are collectively referred to as “AR-15 style rifles.” Meanwhile, ArmaLite retains the AR-10 trademark.
These rifles were initially used by American soldiers in the 1960s, to counter the AK-47s of the North Vietnamese military and the Viet Cong. Colt would later offer semiautomatic versions for civilian use, which proved controversial at first. People eventually recognized them for their power, versatility, and customizability. According to CNN, “The AR-15 is now the most popular sporting rifle in the US.”
AR Operational Capabilities
AR-10s and AR-15s may have started as military weapons, but the versions sold to civilians have some variations. These firearms are not automatic — they cannot continuously fire round after round if you depress the trigger. Rather, they are semiautomatic. They are still capable of rapid-fire shooting, but they require separate clicks of the trigger for each bullet.
The AR-10 and AR-15 may belong to the same family, but they are by no means the same. AR-15s give more control and faster movement, and it can hold more ammunition. Meanwhile, AR-10s provide more power, penetration, and distance. They have different calibers and accept different cartridges.
Lastly, these rifles are highly modular, which means they can be heavily customized. Creative rifle owners can tap into the full potential of their AR-10 or AR-15 by swapping various components for optimized options. Accessories can make all kinds of upgrades, including improving your sights or allowing you to fire more bullets in less time.
Affordable Rifle Parts at OTM Tactical
Here at OTM Tactical, we pride ourselves on keeping rifle enthusiasts informed on their favorite or soon-to-be-favorite weapons. In addition to the best information, we also strive to provide them with the best equipment. Our inventory is filled to the brim with top-of-the-line replacement parts from esteemed manufacturers. Check out our online superstore today and find the right gun for you.