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AR-15 vs M16, Reviews & Comparison

Of all the “sporting” rifles available to the civilian market in the world today, there are those iconic firearms that have stood the test of time and changed the needs of shooters and hunters throughout the decades. Be it the Winchester 70, The Remington 700 or even the Ruger 10/22 found in so many gun safes across the continents, ar15 reviews 300x155 AR 15 vs M16, Reviews & Comparisonthey all pale in comparison to the enormous onslaught of popularity that is represented in the AR-15 platform of the modern sporting rifle.

To offer you this AR-15/M16 review and comparison, we have to briefly look back at the original development of the system in the ArmaLite Rifle (hence the “AR” which does NOT stand for “Assault Rifle”). The original concept was created for the US military in 1959 by Eugene Stoner of the ArmaLite company as the AR-10, a 7.62mm (.30 caliber), which was then sold to Colt for production as a military rifle after modifications for a lighter bullet design, the 5.56 (.223). First adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and then to the rest of the armed forces under the official designation as the “M16”, Colt also sold a semi-automatic version of the rifle to civilians under the designation of the “AR-15”.

While hard to differentiate by sight, t he AR-15 and M16 platform are vastly different as semi-automatic vs. fully automatic. Incompatible internal components, so that the parts would not be interchangeable and allow civilians to convert their AR-15 rifles to fully automatic weapons, were installed at the behest of the US Dept of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms.

The AR-15 “style”, as it must now be called due to the fact that so many companies and manufacturers have adopted the platform for modification and innovation for both military and civilian use, has literally become the most versatile rifle in the world today. With literally limitless modifications and after-market accessories available due to the standardization of the platform, permutations of the firearm system include anything and everything from long and short range target use, hunting, competitions, home defense, law enforcement applications, and regular old weekend plinking at the range.

Asking how an AR-15 shoots would be like asking how a handgun shoots. There are literally so many variations in style, quality and application that no two are alike, despite being almost universally interchangeable in terms of parts and accessories (caliber considerations non-withstanding). Some standard features you can expect is a lightweight, easy to manipulate, easy to operate, recoil controlled system that is accurate and relatively inexpensive to shoot.ar15 vs m16 rifle 300x199 AR 15 vs M16, Reviews & Comparison

Available in just about every caliber known to shooting today, this author has fired variations of the AR-15 and M16 from .22 short up to 300 Blackout and new configurations are being adopted year after year.

The platform is also surrounded by controversy and is frequently a target of gun-control advocates and anti-gun legislation in governments as it represents military applications and is almost always associated with violence rather than the sporting aspect of the design. This fact is an unfortunate reality for the modern gun owner. However, due to the unprecedented popularity of the AR-15 and the wide distribution currently in the hands of civilians, it is likely that the firearm will be with us for the long term, foreseeable future.

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