UNITED STATES—I would be horribly remiss to embark on any discussion of firearm myths without covering the often maligned “AR-15”. The AR-15 platform was developed by the Arma Lite Corporation in the US in the mid 1950’s, hence its name ArmaLite Rifle #15. Although this weapons system has been around for 70 or more years, it is still terribly misunderstood.
This firearm is loaded via a box-type magazine, and functions in a “Semi-automatic” mode. “Semi-automatic” means that for each time the trigger is pulled, the gun will fire one round, the same as countless other wooden stock rifles.
This rifle is NOT readily available to civilians in a “fully automatic/machine gun” configuration. I have often heard this firearm referred to as “military grade” or “a weapon of war” – this is simply not true. While it may LOOK remarkably similar to its
military counterpart, operationally they are worlds apart. The only true similarity to military weaponry is cosmetic. This rifle is also easy to operate, exceptionally durable, and requires minimal maintenance, making it a favorite among recreational shooters.
The AR-15 is also known to have an exceptionally light recoil, making it a favorite for new/learning shooters. Currently there are close to 25 companies making some variation of this rifle, all of which are semi-automatic. There are also a variety of accessories available for these, such as flashlights, custom sights, etc., making them popular among firearms enthusiasts who enjoy accessorizing/customizing their weapons.
None of these superficial changes however will make these guns into “machine guns” or “fully-automatic” weapons. In closing please remember, if you go to your local Jeep dealership and purchase a new Wrangler, painting it olive green will not transform it into a