The AR15 is one of the most versatile firearms ever built. It is the civilian version of the iconic M16, which has been the go-to rifle for the military since the Vietnam era. While it is certainly not without its flaws, there are some very appealing aspects to it that make it even more desirable to some shooters than its Russian opponent, the AK-47
Over the next couple of months, I'll be dedicating some of our time here at GC to the AR-15 platform. In this first post, I wanted to take a look at why this is an excellent rifle from a few different points of view.
More and more, people are preparing for a large scale disaster. And, I'm not just talking about doomsday preppers, here. There are a lot of average folks who just want to make sure they are ready for any life altering events. And, should the proverbial poop ever hit the fan (yes, I know…I said poop), an AR-15 is the perfect multi-function tool for survival.
First, game of different sizes can be hunted with the 5.56/.223 rifle cartridge. Some people have successfully taken white tail deer with it, and others have taken varmint sized animals to the dinner table with it. Regardless of what you're after, an AR-15 can put food in front of your family.
Second, they are great for security. If you're a prepper, you've likely got some resources that you want to protect from marauders. Because the AR-15 is a popular weapon, ammunition will be plentiful, and there's just something to be said about the “commonality of parts,” as one of my prepper friends likes to say.
In other words, if your rifle breaks down after the zombies begin slurping our brains through straws, you'll have a better chance at finding what you need to fix an AR, than you would most other rifles.
Finally, there's a way to acquire one without anyone knowing, which brings me to my next point.
An AR-15 is one of the few weapons that you can build yourself from the ground up using nothing but hand tools and components found on the internet or at gun shows. To prove that any average firearm enthusiast can build one, I've requested an unfinished lower and Easy Jig from 80% Arms, and will be purchasing the upper receiver components shortly.
I'll be documenting the entire experience for our readers to see. I've never finished a lower receiver before, so it'll be a learning experience for you and me. But, perhaps the best part, is that there aren't any serial numbers associated with this rifle once it is completed. An added benefit is that I can build as many of them as I'd like for right around the $5-600 mark per rifle. And like I said, in the coming months I'll show you how.
Why do you have any firearms? For protection/hunting right? This means that you need to be able to actually hit the target when you want to. There is almost no better rifle to go do some target practice with because of how inexpensive the ammo is. Plus, when you take into account that there is almost no felt recoil, it sweetens the deal.
Even better, these rifles are perfect to learn long-distance open sight shooting, which I recommend to every shooter before they ever begin using a scope. That way, you really get the mechanics of shooting down, before you ever have a crutch to lean on.
In the Marines, we punch our M16s out to 500 yards in the prone position, and actually hit the man-sized target 9 out of 10 times. With training and proper mechanics, it is actually quite easy to do.
Listen, I'll probably catch some heat for this, but I'm a firm believer that a rifle is the perfect home defense tool. Don't believe me? When your life is in danger in your own home, the goal of your primary defense weapon is to stop the threat. You don't want to slow them down, because they can still hurt you.
You need to stop that person from getting to you or, even worse, your family. A pistol may or may not do that. A lot depends upon shot placement, number of rounds fired, etc. A shotgun loaded with buckshot most certainly could neutralize a threat but the problem with a shotgun, is that they kick like a mule. So, if you miss your first shot, or there is more than one bad guy, a smaller person may not be able to throw another round at the enemy.
However, a small 55-62 grain bullet leaving the barrel of a rifle doesn't really kick. Therefore, it is easier for you to shoot more than once. And, let's face it, more holes in an attacker means he won't be getting up any time soon. An added benefit to home defense with a rifle is that it is easier to be more accurate with a rifle than it is with a pistol.
But, perhaps one of the most alluring facts about home defense with an AR15, is that it won't over penetrate as much as handgun ammo will. It seems counter-intuitive, but it is true. One of the reasons why, is because it transfers much of the energy required to devastate a target on impact, and slows down much faster.
For more info on this, check out the below video: