history of ar15 firearm

AR-15 History – To Know The AR-15 Journey(ArmaLite-15)

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History of The AR-15

The AR-15 is one of the most prolific and iconic firearms of all time. Its name comes from the original manufacturing company known as the ArmaLite Rifle. For some people, they call it the M-16 as a military version weapon.

However, you should do away with the misconception that AR stands for “Assault Rifle”.  As stated above it stands for the manufacturer “ArmaLite”. Another fact is that the AR-15 style rifles are not “assault weapons” since they are not fully automated machine guns. They are semiautomatic firearms

The AR-15 has its roots from the 1950s, and overtime it has gone through a development. It’s among the longest-serving rifle in the U.S military. Let’s get into a deep understanding of the AR-15 and its history for over 7 decades.

AR-15 History
AR-15 History

AR-15 History – From The 1950s To The Present Day

The ArmaLite Company was found in the 1950s in Hollywood, California by George Sullivan. Initially, the company was more focused on weapon design and not manufacturing. Eugene Stoner was the prominent face in designing weapons, and that led him to be promoted as the chief design engineer for ArmaLite.

In 1954

ArmaLite produced its first weapon called the AR-5. It was a bolt-action rifle with a 22 hornet round build for U.S Airforce. Why the AR-5? It was lightweight and compact for flight crews.

In 1955

However, in 1955 the US military Army wanted a replacement rifle. Initially, they had been using the MI Garand that was limited in terms of ammunition capacity, and it was a bit heavy. On the other hand, it was reliable and accurate but could not face the AK 47 rifle in Vietnam. The M1 Garand was not suitable for the juggle environment; hence they had to develop a better weapon. The next military rifle from ArmaLite was the AR-10 that was designed with a straight stock, a recoil compensator, elevated sights, a gas system and an aluminum flash suppressor. It was a nice riffle with the only disadvantage being the barrel. The barrel would easily burst under pressure, and thus it was not adopted for further military use.

In 1959

ArmaLite sold their design of AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt Firearms.  Originally, ArmaLite was more focused on producing weapons for the civilian market and not military. Under production of Colt Firearms, the AR-7 Survival Rifle was launched and marketed whereby the civilian market much appreciated it. The same year, Colt had their first client, the Federation of Malaya (Malaysia) for the Colt AR-15 weapon.

In 1961

Eugene Stoner moved to Colt Firearms as a consultant. During that same period, the U.S did a test of the AR-15, and they liked it hence commissioning a total of 8500 firearms for the Air Force. The U.S military referred to it as the M-16. It became the most famous service weapon within the military. The M-16 was a “big deal” that could face its rival the AK-47. Up to date, there are hot debates on which best? Is it the AK-74 or the M-16?

In 1965

The M-16 became the primary service rifle that the U.S military troops in Vietnam used. However, this weapon had its drawbacks. Colt claimed the gun was self-cleaning, but still, the cartridge would get stuck. Colt had to redesign the riffle again to enhance its version. It manufactured the M-16A1, and it came along with comic book guiding on how to clean and service the gun.

In 1989

1989 was a remarkable period for the AR-15s. Jim Glazier and Karl Lewis started manufacturing AR-15s for sale to the civilian markets. However, later in 1994 civilian production was terminated due to the Federation Assault Weapons Ban.  This legislation bore no fruit to decrease gun violence in the U.S. Later 2004 the ban expired, and gun makers were back to sell the AR-15s. Today, the AR-15s are still dominant and are used by most military troops globally.


The AR-15 is a high-end semiautomatic rifle that has caught the attention of gun enthusiast in recent decades. The markets for AR-15 pistols have grown. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that there are 5 to 10 million AR-15 styles riffles owned by American within the territory. That is a significant portion of the 300 million firearms owned by Americans.

Also, there has been controversy when a deadly shooting occurs, and the AR-15 style rifles are linked to such situations. If you visit gun dealers, you will probably notice AR-15 pistols since they are readily available and many people buy them for personal use and hunting. However, this semiautomatic weapon is commonly confused with other firearms. There are many custom pistols owned by civilians, and all take after the AR-15s style.

Currently, there are AR-15s for sale by licensed dealers within the U.S. However, that will need you to take a mental test, registration and background checks for legal purposes. Also, you can easily make your own AR-15 pistol by purchasing all the parts and assembling them. However, the AR-15 style rifles are highly regulated, and you need to understand the local governing laws. The good news is that owning custom pistols for the gun enthusiast is a way people have adopted. It has even led to inventions of advanced and quality accessories that are designed explicitly for AR-15s.


For so many years, the AR-15 has played a significant role in the military fields all over the world. The gradual advancement over the several decades since the 1950s has made it stand out in the world whereby most countries have adopted it. Civilians have also embraced the AR-15 pistols for their personal use due to its effectiveness and functionality. It continues to be one of the favorite rifles for gun enthusiasts. Besides, the market for AR-15s is thriving every day. What we do with our AR-15s is our responsibility, including the manufacturers, designers, dealers and even users.

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