I have to admit to a certain initial prejudice when it comes to the AR-15 platform rifles. However, it is a fact that all of our sporting weapons began life as a military tool. Go back to the bow and arrow or even further back to spears. As humans developed the ability to use them in warfare, they also learned to convert their use to the acquiring of food.
The AR-15 is the latest in that long line of military/sporting weapons. Cosmetically it looks like the military rifle but it does not function in the same manner. Today they are the most popular firearm on the market. Contrary to popular belief, the “AR” does not stand for assault rifle. It stands for the company that invented it in the 1950’s. It is an Armalite rifle.
The rifle is not an assault weapon, as the ignorant and anti-gun crowd would like you to believe. It functions just like other hunting weapons by firing one cartridge at a time with each pull of the trigger. They do however share the military reliability in that they function well in all weather conditions.
One key advantage to this rifle is the immense number of variations that one can build in a number of calibers with the basic AR-15 platform. It is possible to build a big game, varmint or small game, service rifle, match rifle or other competition rifle on the basic platform. The difference between the types of rifles is in the components used.
Companies such as Brownells (www.brownells.com) offer parts and technical assistance via the web or by telephone (800-741-0015). Based in Montezuma, Illinois JJ Schroeder, Technician for the company introduced the expansive market for the variations available.
At the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) annual business meeting a few weeks ago in Tunica, MS, JJ had a couple of the rifles available for examination and trial shooting.
Brownells has website http://www.AT15builder.com that contains information on the internal and external components and offers a chance to view the parts assembled into a whole gun. The builder can select one of several receivers depending upon the ultimate purpose of the weapon. To which he adds the components to personalize it.
The components include such items as aftermarket triggers to improve accuracy. Sight systems and optics to improve accuracy are important. There are a number of stocks available in adjustable or fixed cheek piece configurations. Add to that the assortment of forends of aluminum in various configurations and you have a custom-made rifle for your specific needs.
The final step is assembly of the components. Brownells also has that covered. A complete video series that walks you through this process and a list of tools needed is available at www.brownells.com/buildanar15. A PDF of instructions based on the video is available for downloading as assistance while working on the weapon.
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