Thursday, April 11, 2019
A Brief History in Time for the AR-15
The AR-15 has had an amazing 60+ year history in the United States and around the world. Good, bad, or indifferent, a vast majority of Americans know what an AR-15 is, and what is generally looks like. We’re going to dive into what an AR-15 is and its origins and history.
What is an AR-15?
Officially the AR-15 is a brand name that stands for ArmaLite, not an automatic rifle, automatic rearming, or assault rifle like some perceive. The AR-15 is too many firearm enthusiasts as Kleenex is to every mom, a brand name used to reference a product that may be the brand name tissue or not. It’s quite brilliant marketing.
Did you know that ArmaLite made a number of “AR’s” such as the AR-1, AR-5, AR-7, AR-10, AR-16, AR-17, AR-18, AR-30, and AR-50?
Let’s do a quick review of AR-15 Rifle history what got us from conception to where we are today.
The AR-15 Through History
1954: Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corp founded a new division or the company they named ArmaLite. This new division was initially established to develop and market more modernly engineered guns to civilians. The thought was ArmaLite would build enough momentum in the private commercial markets that it would help the company also get into government and military markets.
1956: ArmaLite had already released its AR-10 rifle to the market which inclined the United State Army to ask for a smaller caliber rifle be developed. That new rifle would come to be known as the AR-15 Rifle.
1959: Colt Firearms licenses the AR-10 and the AR-15 from ArmaLite, thus prompting one of the original designers of the two AR’s, Robert Fremont, to follow suit and work for Colt Firearms where he continued his work with the rifles.
1963: The AR-15 becomes standard issue for the Air Force and gives way for the M-16 (a fully automatic rifle for military use). The Air Force and Army purchase upwards of 170,000 between the two rifles during this year.
1989: Fast forward 26 years, the Lewis Machine and Tool Company starts a new division named Eagle Arms. This new entity releases a completely private consumer AR-15. The company was able to use earlier designs of the AR due to the original patents expiring.
AR 15 Rifle Present Day
Jumping ahead another 30 years to present day 2019, countless companies make AR style rifles, and private individuals can even build them from the ground up. And it’s all thanks to the AR-15 and its history over the decades.
The AR-15 Rifle has become one of the most popular rifle platforms, and we don’t see its popularity diminishing any time soon.
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