What Does AR Stand For?

As the years go by, the relationship between Americans and guns is becoming complex by the day. The American Gun Culture has tremendously grown due to two main reasons. One of these reasons is their growing desire to have a sense of independence and security. Market forces and signals have also played a significant role in gun purchases. Existing market forces have reinforced gun legitimacy in the U.S. by influencing civilians' perceptions of purchasing firearms as necessary and appropriate. This has made gun retailers struggle to keep ammunition, firearms, and accessories in stock. During the pandemic, the number of gun owners shot up, leading to an increase in the purchase of all sorts of handguns and rifles. The demand for modern sporting rifles such as the AR has increased as people find them perfect for self-defense. Even though so many people are purchasing AR rifles, they do not know what AR stands for. You will find people asking, "What does AR stand for?’" This article shall strive to answer this question and provide answers to some of the commonly asked questions concerning  AR rifles.

What Does AR Stand For?

There has been a frequent misconception among gun owners concerning the meaning of AR in their firearms. One of the major misconceptions is that AR stands for an assault rifle. Well, the truth is it does not. AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle. The name reflects the company name ArmaLite, the original manufacturer of the AR firearms. AR guns have become famous as most of the reported mass shootings in the USA, point to the fact that the AR is mainly used in these senseless shootings. These mass shootings are becoming a regular occurrence and have led to heated discussions about the weapons used for the past decade. Gun discussions in the USA have become politically fraught and the terminologies surrounding them. If you had been wondering “What does AR stand for?” Now, you know it. AR Weapons can be found for less than $1,000 and can be customized to meet your specific needs. National Rifle Associations have estimated up to eight million variations of the AR in the USA. Due to its popularity in America, most people argue that the AR should be baptized to stand for American rifles.  

What does the AR stand for in AR-15?

The most commonly used firearm is the AR-15 which many people did not know what it stood for. As we have explained above, AR in the AR-15 stands for ArmaLite Rifle, and the rifle design was sold by ArmaLite to colt in 1959. This did not end the name AR-15 as it has persisted and has since acted as a catch for all similar guns even though different companies with different names manufacture various models. The original intention of manufacturing the ArmaLite weapon in the 1950s was to sell it to the military. Still, it didn't have much selling success prompting the company to sell it off. During that period, Colt had just experienced widespread success in selling its automatic M-16 to the U.S military, whose troops used them in Vietnam. This success made Colt produce a civilian and semi-automatic version of this weapon and marketed it as an AR-15. Colt's patent for making AR-15 eventually expired, prompting other manufacturers to produce similar models. These companies branded their weapons with different names, but the generic term AR-15 stood out due to its popularity. Eventually, all AR-15 style rifles maintained this name, and colt retained its trademark and is thus considered the exclusive owner of this design. An AR-15 can be regarded as an AR-15 style pistol instead of a rifle if manufactured without a hanging stock and a barrel length shorter than 16 inches. 

The Best AR Gun to Purchase

AR pistols are exotic-looking and undeniable sultry beauties that bring unique capabilities to the gun table. We often find it hard to understand the complicated world of handguns.There are many short-barreled rifles with pistol stabilizing braces, which can seem overwhelming. However, this should not discourage you as they are more understandable than you can imagine. Apart from an AR Armalite rifle, there is an AR-15 pistol which shooters prefer. The AR-15 pistol is, in essence, a handgun that has been built using parts of an AR-15 rifle. It utilizes the same lower receiver and upper receiver, buffer system, lower parts kit, and bolt carrier group similar to any black rifle. Their difference is that AR- 15 pistols are much smaller than any standard rifles. Rifles  have been restricted from civilian ownership in most states, but individuals still purchase them. AR guns have shorter barrels with no select firing option. What is the best AR Gun to purchase? The Palmetto State Armory is one of the best pistols you can have. It has a shorter barrel of 7.5” for the 5.56 or .223 cartridges. Below let us have a glimpse of how an AR gun is built.

How to build an AR-15 Gun

You will need an AR-15 lower receiver when building your gun from scratch. It is essential to keep in mind that most manufacturers no longer label their receivers as rifles or pistols. This means you can purchase any available receiver and turn it into your desired pistol. The law permits the purchasing of an 80% lower receiver for building a rifle or a pistol. Building an AR rifle and an AR pistol follows similar steps. The difference is that you will need an AR-15 buffer tube and buffer tube assembly for your pistol. When using a pistol buffer tube, you will not be able to attach a stock to it. A pistol gas length system is also important when building your upper receiver. You can purchase an upper assembly for a faster building process as there are several AR-15 upper assemblies suitable for your pistol. Creating your unique pistol can be a lot of fun as long as you do it within the confines of the law. 

Types of AR Rifles Available Today

AR-style rifles often look somehow menacing, and their controls and configuration are radically different from those on traditional sporting guns. Any hunter or shooter who automatically dismisses an AR-15 style rifle will do himself a great disservice. This is because AR-style rifles are the most adaptable, appealing, and capable firearm platforms on today's market. These characteristics have helped them gain traction in their semi-auto form in the civilian market today, thus increasing gun sales. Like any other semi-auto weapon, AR-style rifles also feature one trigger pull, which equals to one shot fired. Over the past years, gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to attach accessories and optics to the gun due to its modularity. They have added larger chamberings, new operating systems and created high-capacity magazines for these rifles. They aim to outdo the full-auto rifles available today. Recent developments have shown that these rifles have grown in popularity among the shooting community, and the platform has expanded to big-game hunters. As much as these rifles do not have the select fire option, all the other qualities they possess have made them successful as any other military firearm design. Below are some of the types of AR rifles available today.

Assault Rifle

An assault rifle uses intermediate cartridges and a detachable magazine. These rifles can switch between fully automatic and semi-automatic fires. They are currently used in modern armies as standard service rifles. By strict definition, these rifles  must have certain characteristics for them to be considered assault rifles. One of the characteristics is that it must be an individual gun or weapon capable of having a selective firing option. The weapon should also have a power cartridge which is more powerful than a pistol and less powerful than a battle or standard rifle. The ammunition of an assault rifle should be supplied from a detachable magazine and have an effective range of about 330 yards on the minimum. Rifles that have most of these characteristics but not all should not be considered as assault rifles even though most people technically refer to them as such.

A good example is the select-fire Amogh carbines and M2 carbines that most people mistake as assault rifles, yet their effective range is about 200 yards. The FN FAL battle rifles are also select-fire rifles often confused with assault rifles, yet they fire a full-powered cartridge. The Colt AR-15 is also not an assault rifle as it does not have the select fire switch that assault rifles have. SKS is also a semi-automatic rifle that has a fixed magazine. They do not have any detachable box magazines, nor do they have the capability to open full automatic fire and thus should not be considered as assault rifles.  ARS share many features and aesthetics with assault rifles. However, the select-firing options are what differentiates them at all times. ARs are mainly semi-automatic, and thus one trigger pull equals to a single shot. You can achieve a full auto, which has a burst option and can fire continuously if you hold the trigger down. Neither furniture, colours or features can make an AR platform less dangerous than an assault rifle. The military loves assault rifles as they are portable and light yet can deliver a high fire volume with utmost accuracy during modern combat ranges of between 300 to 500 meters. They have replaced the semi-automatic and high powered bolt action rifles of the world. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has tried to correct the confusion between assault rifles and AR rifles by introducing modern sporting rifles into their discussions.

Modern Sporting Rifles

This term was coined to describe the very popular AR-15 and other semi-automatic designs. These rifles are commonly used by competitors, hunters, Americans seeking personal self-defense, and others who love visiting the range. A modern sporting rifle has increasingly become popular even though most gun users often misunderstood it. The main reason why they are misunderstood is because of the propaganda spread by the political class concerning these rifles. These semi-automatic pistols, shotguns, and rifle designs were invented back in the 19th century and sold to civilians. Still, with time the political class has branded them as weapons of war and want them to be banned. Even though some modern sporting rifles look cosmetically similar to a fully automatic rifle used by the military, these modern sporting rifles have several internal differences as dictated by law. AR-15 style rifles do not assault rifles or assault weapons as described by most people. An assault rifle is a well-known fully automatic machine gun used in the military and has been restricted from being purchased by civilian owners since 1934. 

Anyone who deems the AR-15 rifles as assault weapons portrays their ignorance. These rifles have been banned in some states which decided to define them as assault firearms. We cannot object that AR-15 rifles look like any other military rifles, especially the M-16, which functions like semi-automatic sporting firearms used by civilians. They only fire one round each time you pull the trigger. Several versions of modern sporting rifles can be legally owned in most states as long as you pass the FBI mandatory background check needed for all the retail firearm purchases. Civilian sporting rifles have, over time, evolved alongside military weapons. These rifles' reliability, accuracy, versatility, and ruggedness serve hunters and target shooters very well. They are the true definition of an all-weather gun. 

Semi-automatic rifle 

A semi-auto rifle, when fired, can only release a single bullet with every shot. Semi-automatic rifles are used mainly by ordinary civilians for self-defense, hunting, and shooting as they are less heavily regulated and cheaper than fully automatic rifles. Gun control laws in the USA dictate that citizens who need to purchase rifles should be equipped with a license to carry. These laws have further demanded that background checks are carried out.

Is an AR-15 a military grade weapon

An AR -15 is NOT a military-grade weapon since it does not have fully automatic characteristics. For an AR, the user has to pull the trigger during shooting to make one shot. Even though it was designed for combat situations that require speedy reloading to shoot several rounds in a second, it cannot qualify as a military-grade weapon. The butt of the AR rifle has one large internal spring that aids in the absorption of shock when firing rounds. The low recoil on AR rifles makes shooting a bit easier and more accurate than earlier days of military weapons. They can also be customized with scopes and lasers, just as military weapons.

Is AR 15 an Assault rifle?

Ar 15 is NOT an assault rifle or weapon as it can only release one ammo per single shot. An assault rifle is a fully automated machine gun. These firearms are restricted by gun control laws to be used only by the military. 

Why the AR Platform is popular

Most hunters prefer the AR 15 style rifles due to their accuracy, versatility, and a wide variety of features. These platforms can be collapsed thus are convenient for a hunter who wishes to pack rifles into remote locations for hunting purposes. The AR platform can also utilize a military cartridge and can be converted into other calibers. This is why the AR platform is popular in the market today. Their crossover appeal has made them a key component in many shooting sports events. The AR platform has also replaced the bolt-action firearm to become a preferred choice to many shooters. Most Ar platforms are manufactured and chambered in a .223, .22LR,6.8 SPC, .450 Bushmaster, and several other calibers and handguns. Pistol calibers have upper receivers such as the 9mm,.45, and .40, and even 410 versions of guns. These rifles can be used for different hunting types, such as varmint and big game. AR-15 style rifles are similar to other hunting rifles of similar types even though they are chambered in a less powerful caliber than the standard big-game cartridges. 


We can, therefore, conclude that the AR rifle is as powerful and famous as any other military rifle. Shooters should now call it by its original name “ArmaLite” rather than confuse it with assault rifles. Depending on the state you live in, background checks are mandatory for all those who wish to own the AR. Anyone with a clean record and is above 18 years can be licensed to own an ArmaLite weapon. All you need to do is pass the background check and you can begin shooting with your ArmaLite rifle today!

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