AR-15 Basics for Beginners

The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 rifle used by the United States military and law enforcement. A semi-automatic weapon that has automatically ejected cartridges, and a new cartridge or round slides into the chamber.

The most widely used weapon for self and home defense, alongside shooting and sporting events.

Most people have been led to believe that the AR in the title stands for Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle, but this is simply not true whatsoever.

The AR actually stands for Armalite, the company that developed the original AR-10 model, that was later developed into the AR-15 weapon.

Basically, the AR-15 is a modified version of the AR-10 that was developed in the 1950s. The overall weight of the AR-15 is less than that of the AR-10, with weights ranging from 5.5 pounds to 8.5 pounds without a magazine.

The AR-15, or M-16 military version, is the typical choice for military weapons due to its ability along with the fact that it is so light, helping with easy maneuverability and transport load.

The AR-15 is chambered to take 223 Remington or 5.56 NATO ammunition, which also aids for military usage because the rounds are smaller, so the operator and rifle are able to carry a heavier load. Especially compared to the .308 Winchester round taken by the AR-10, which is much more bulky and large, lowering the total amount carried on an operator.

Due to the lighter load of the AR-15 and the lighter ammunition, the recoil on this weapon is less than that of the AR-10 which packs a bigger punch in terms of recoil.

ArmaLite was sold to Colt and Colt adopted the AR-15 name and stuck with it, and it remains a trademark of Colt. Though there are many different manufacturing companies that own different version of the weapon under different names.

Though there are different manufacturers follow their own specs and guidelines, the AR-15 continues to have a few common characteristics.

First, the weight of the weapon is incredible minimal allowing for quick maneuvering due to aluminum alloys and other varying synthetic materials. Air-cooled and magazine-fed intermediate cartridges are also another common trend among manufacturers. And the last common characteristic is the fact that the AR-15 uses a rotating lock bolt actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke pistol operation.

It is also important to note that though the weapon seems light in comparison to other rifles of its capabilities, it is quite loud and does require eye and hearing protection at all times when in use, as with any and all weapons being fired.

While firing your AR-15 the two most commonly used shooting stances are: Standing Position and Prone Position.

As it sounds, standing position has you stand either facing the target in a squared or head on stance, with athletic foot placement so the recoil doesn’t knock you over.

And prone position has you, as the operator, laying on your stomach on the ground shooting.

When it comes to equipping your AR-15 with additions, there are many different tactical equipment options available to any AR-15 owner especially different scopes and optics systems are recommended.

But the most important note for any beginner, other than safety precautions while shooting, is the way in which you hold your AR-15.

Since your weapon is equipped with a pistol grip, so your trigger hand should be placed on the pistol grip between your thumb and index finger. While your other hand should grip high on the back strap of your AR-15 firmly gripping the hand guards.

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