Cool AR stuff – 10 key things every AR-15 owner needs to know


Are you looking to buy your very first rifle? One of the best options in the market is the AR-15 style rifle.

Many regard this as America’s favorite rifle. The reasons behind this love affair with the AR-15 vary. But one of the most evident is the wide range of uses the rifle offers.

Flexibility also helped the rifle gain superstar status on social media. The hashtag “#ar15” currently boasts over 2.5 million posts on Instagram. But what other cool AR stuff do you need to know as a beginner?

Continue reading below as we take a closer look at this popular semi-automatic rifle.

What is the AR-15?

The AR-15 traces its roots sometime during the 1950s. Continental Army General Willard G. Wyman ordered for the development of a.224 caliber round and an appropriate rifle for it.

Wyman’s initial idea was a 5.56 caliber, sub-6-pound rifle. Moreover, the rifle must come with a magazine. After some time, the idea finally developed into the AR-15.

In case you didn’t know, “AR” stands for Armalite. This means it was not Colt that built the first AR-15s. If you dig deeper, you will find the oldest AR-15s with a stamp saying “Armalite AR-15.”

But why did they also carry Colt’s logo? It was because financial turmoil hit Armalite very hard. This led to the selling of parts of the AR-15 to Colt Manufacturing.

Fast-forward to today, the AR-15 is one of the most popular choices among rifle newbies. It also comes with different kinds of upgrades that improve the firing experience.

Cool AR Stuff You Need to Know

Before you head to the gun store to get your AR-15, you need to conduct your research before parting with your money. You need to understand the rifle a little bit better. Here are some cool AR stuff and tidbits every would-be owner must know:

1. The Basic Strip

One of the coolest things you must learn is performing a basic field strip. This involves dismantling the different AR 15 parts. You need to learn basic stripping to clean your rifle.

To perform a basic field strip, make sure your rifle is not loaded. Also, keep all live ammo away from the table. Check the bolt and make sure it is in a forward position.

Now press the rear takedown pin. You want to reach a position where the detent stops it. Hold the upper receiver and tilt its rear part. This will separate it from the lower portion.

Pull back on the charging handle. Stop until you reach about three inches. Make sure to leave the charging handle in the receiver’s upper portion.

Now pull the bolt carrier group out the upper receiver’s back part. You want to pull in a straight manner.

Take the handle charger and pull back and down. Stop until the charger is free from the upper portion.

Push the firing pin out of the bolt carrier. Against the table, tap the back part of the carrier. Expect the pin to drop freely on the table.

Take the bolt and push it halfway into the carrier. Turn the cam pin 180 degrees then lift it.

Pull the bolt out of the carrier and locate the bolt’s extractor. Push out the retaining pin by putting ample pressure on the back of the extractor.

Now you can start wiping and lubing the parts.

2. Less Powerful Than a Deer Rifle

Though some states allow AR-15 for hunting deer, some do not. This is because the AR-15 is weaker compared to a regular deer rifle. Hence, some people find the result a bit unethical and less humane.

But make no mistake about it. The AR-15 is highly-customizable. You can tweak its configuration to accommodate different calibers.

However, the standard AR-15 only features either the .223 Remington or the 5.56 NATO ammunitions. These rounds come with small bullets that fire with lower energy.

Lower energy means lower penetrating power. This is not ideal for hunting bigger animals. If you wish to use it for hunting, you need to increase your rifle’s power and capacity.

3. Proper Stance and Grip

Every AR-15 newbie must learn the proper stance and grip right from the get-go. There are two main stances in shooting an AR-15: the prone position and the standing position.

The prone position involves lying flat on your stomach on the ground. The other, as the name implies, standing on both feet.

When it comes to the proper grip, you need to understand that the AR-15 features a pistol grip. This means you must center your grip in the “V” part of your trigger hand. You will find this spot between your index finger and thumb.

Make sure to grip your rifle high on the back strap. Also, your other hand must grip the handguards as firmly as possible.

4. The Emergency Reload

The emergency reload or “combat reload” is one of the most important skills any AR-15 owner must learn. Thus, you need to pull this off as smoothly as possible.

To perform an emergency reload, assume a bolt lock position. Release the rifle with your support hand while forming an “L” with your pistol grip.

As you perform this, use your trigger finger to depress the mag catch. Doing this will eject the magazine from the rifle. As this happens, your support hand must be reaching for your reload magazine.

Position the rifle’s buttstock between your chest and forearm. Insert the new magazine using a slap. Pull immediately and bring your AR-15 back to its shooting position.

5. Scary on the Outside

Do you notice some military parts in the AR-15 that seem to be intimidating? Not to worry, as they are only safety features.

The plastic that surrounds the front end of the barrel is the barrel shroud. It keeps the rifle from burning your hands after firing.

Meanwhile, the adjustable stocks allow you to adjust the rifle to attain a comfortable firing position. As the rifle fits you better, you will enjoy more control. In turn, it reduces the likelihood of errant firing.

6. Superb Flexibility

The AR-15’s flexibility makes it manageable for beginners. It also accommodates different uses and purposes.

The AR-15 offers a light design for its class weight. Thus, it provides better control. The loading and firing process is also simple and easy to learn.

You can also use the gun for hunting (for some states, at least). It is perfect for outdoor use even in the middle of bad weather.

It also offers room for customization. You can add all sorts of upgrades to increase accuracy and safety.

Overall, it is an excellent performer for an entry-level rifle.

7. Excellent for Women

Because of its light design, AR-15s are excellent for women who wish to try shooting rifles. You can adjust the rifle to work on any body size.

Furthermore, AR-15s offer less recoil. This is crucial for newbies who are only starting to get a feel of firing a gun.

8. Buy or Build?

The AR-15’s flexibility not only covers the adjustments and upgrades, but it also allows you to build one from scratch! If you don’t have enough money to buy a brand new AR-15, you may opt for parts kits and replacement parts and build your own.

The downside to this is you may end up buying sub-par parts that may compromise its performance. Another risk is if you do not have proper knowledge of building an AR-15. You may install certain parts incorrectly and affect the firearm’s safety.

9. Ownership in the US

Of every five firearms people buy, one is an AR-style rifle. This resulted in the ownership of around 15 million AR-15s.

Experts believe the rifle’s appeal stems from the personalization users enjoy. Teens and adults can use them.

Moreover, you can use them for competitive shooting. They are easy and fun to shoot compared to other types of rifles. Some are too heavy for beginners while others are too complicated to learn and master.

10. It’s Non-Military

The AR-15 looks eerily similar to the M16 rifle. Thus, a lot of people think the military also uses the former. However, the U.S. military does not issue AR-15s to their troops.

This is because the AR-15 is only a semiautomatic rifle. Hence, it can only fire one shot every time you press the trigger. On the other hand, an M16 is fully-automatic.

This means it is capable of firing burst shots with a single press of the trigger.

Today, the U.S. military uses M4 carbines. They feature a similar design as the AR-15 but lighter and smaller than the M16.

Become a Better Gun Owner

Learning about these cool AR stuff gives you a better appreciation for the AR-15. It makes you more aware of the parts, as well as the rifle’s capabilities. But if you wish to become a better gun owner, you need to continue expanding your knowledge.

We encourage you to check our other articles on rifles and pistols. We discuss topics that will help you become a more effective and responsible gun owner.


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