AR-15 Rifle History

The AR-15 rifle is a military-style semi-automatic rifle that has been in production since the 1950s. It has a storied history that includes its use by the U.S. military and law enforcement, as well as controversy surrounding its civilian use.

The AR-15 was first developed by ArmaLite, a small arms engineering company, in the late 1950s. The rifle was designed by Eugene Stoner and was originally intended for military use as a lightweight, selective-fire rifle. However, the U.S. military ultimately passed on the design in favor of the M14 rifle.

In the early 1960s, ArmaLite sold the design and manufacturing rights to Colt’s Manufacturing Company. Colt refined the design and introduced the rifle as the AR-15 in 1964. The AR-15 was marketed to both military and civilian customers and gained popularity in both markets.

The AR-15 was used by U.S. troops during the Vietnam War, where its lightweight design and accuracy made it popular with soldiers. It was also used by law enforcement agencies and other security forces around the world.


The introduction provides background information on the Vietnam War and introduces the AR-15 as a groundbreaking firearm that transformed the dynamics of combat during the conflict.

During that period there were several key decisions behind the adoption, highlighting the desire for a lightweight, reliable, and modern firearm for the unconventional warfare tactics employed in Vietnam. This new weapon on the battlefield would provide a lightweight construction, direct impingement gas system, detachable high-capacity magazines, and the selective fire mode (semi-automatic and fully automatic). These advantages offered to soldiers on the battlefield more options.

The high-capacity magazines allowed for sustained fire, while the selective fire capability provided versatility in different jungle combat scenarios. There have been issues related to ammunition, maintenance, and the lack of proper training for soldiers on the new rifle. There were several controversies surrounding the rifle, including early reliability issues and negative perceptions among some soldiers, as well as the controversial use of the M16’s fully automatic mode. In the end the AR-15/M16 marked a significant shift in small arms technology and its lessons influenced subsequent military doctrine and firearm development.

In the years that followed, the AR-15 continued to be developed and refined. In the 1980s, Colt introduced the M16A2, a version of the AR-15 that was adopted by the U.S. military as its standard-issue rifle. The M16A2 had a number of improvements over earlier versions of the rifle, including a burst-fire mode and improved ergonomics.


The AR-15 rifle, or its military variant, the M16, has been a staple weapon for the U.S. military for several decades. Navy SEALs, in particular, have used the AR-15/M16 family of rifles in training and combat operations.

In training, Navy SEALs use the AR-15 for marksmanship and tactical training. The rifle’s lightweight design, low recoil, and accurate performance make it an ideal platform for honing the skills necessary for special operations missions. SEALs undergo rigorous marksmanship training with the AR-15, including precision shooting at long distances and rapid target acquisition in close quarters.

In combat, Navy SEALs use the AR-15/M16 family of rifles for a variety of missions. The rifle’s versatility makes it ideal for a range of missions, from room-clearing to long-range engagements. The AR-15’s modular design also allows SEALs to customize their weapons to suit the specific needs of a given mission.

SEALs also use the AR-15 for specialized roles, such as sniper support. In this role, the rifle is equipped with specialized optics and is used to provide precision fire support to SEAL snipers.

The AR-15/M16 family of rifles has been used by Navy SEALs in numerous combat operations, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rifle’s accuracy and reliability make it a valuable tool for SEALs operating in harsh environments where weapon failure is not an option.

Despite these concerns, the AR-15 remains a valuable tool for Navy SEALs in training and combat operations. Its accuracy, versatility, and reliability make it a weapon of choice for one of the world’s most elite special operations forces.


However, the AR-15 has also faced controversy over its use in civilian society, particularly in the United States. Some people have called for stricter regulation of the rifle or even a ban on its civilian use, citing its potential for misuse in mass shootings.

In the 1990s, the AR-15 faced controversy over its use by civilians in the United States. Some people argued that the rifle was too powerful and too easily available to the general public, leading to calls for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” In 1994, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the manufacture and sale of certain types of semi-automatic rifles, including the AR-15.

The assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and the AR-15 has since become one of the most popular rifles in the United States. It is widely used for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense, and is available in a variety of configurations and calibers.

Despite its popularity, the AR-15 remains a controversial weapon, with some people calling for stricter regulation or even a ban on its civilian use. The debate over the AR-15 and its role in American society is likely to continue for many years to come.

Top 10 AR-15 Rifles Under $1000

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