History of AR-15 Rifle

An AR-15 Rifle is a firearm that someone uses in the action of doing something bad. What’s an AR-15? Technically speaking, AR-15 is a brand name, like Kleenex or Xerox. And, just as with Xerox and Kleenex, the brand name has been hijacked from the general public to describe a class of things. Who in corporate America asks their intern to make a photocopy of the document with the Canon copier? , Or at home, several parents tell their children to catch a Cottonelle nose fabric before you sneeze!

When a brand name is dominant, we regular people tend to commoditize it. Hey, you’re gonna give Xerox your annual report for me? , or Connor, I’m not telling you again. Do not blow your nose on your sleeve. Catch a Kleenex! The AR in AR 15 Stands for ArmaLite. Before we dive into the history of the contemporary AR 15 Rifle, we will need to look the AR, part. AR doesn’t stand for Assault Rifle. Or Automatic Rearming. Or maybe Apoplectic Ruin. It’s A product naming convention from a company that devised it. In fact, there were many rifles with AR, names, such as AR-1, AR-5, AR-7, AR-10, AR-16, and AR-17.

Let us do a fast review of AR15 Rifle history what got us from conception to where we’re today.


Eugene Stoner was accountable for the premature development of the AR 15 rifle. ArmaLite was recognized as a division of Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corporation. While many People equate the rifle AR 15 with the military versions, the company was founded with the objective of developing civilian economy firearms utilizing modern materials and technology. The first business plan called to establish some success with products, then using this impulse to get into the government and military business. Eugene Stoner, a former marine, and independent arms designer become chief engineer of ArmaLite.

Stone meets George Sullivan, chief patent attorney for Lockheed Aircraft Company. Sullivan has a super-sized bee in his cap on the possibilities of utilizing advanced materials like aluminum alloys and plastics in radical new weapons designs.

1954 – 1956

Upon request from the United States Air Force, ArmaLite develops the AR-5 survival rifle. The AR-5 was modular gun Chambered in 22 Hornet with four round magazine and a bolts actions. The receiver and barrel disassemble and may be stored inside of the stock. This design not just makes the AR-5 water-proof, but additionally enables it to float. That is useful For over water ejection situations, like downed Air Force pilots weren’t keen about diving to regain their gear. The present Day version of the gun is Henry U.S. Survival rifles made by Henry Rifles.


Armalite AR-5 .22 Hornet Survival Rifle: This “AR doesn’t look much as a mythical “Assault Weapon” does it?

The U.S. Army strated a search for a gun to replace the M1 Garand. While the Garand served admirably in World War II, all of that combat use discovered some areas for improvement. For instance, soldiers desired magazine capability compared to the eight rounds offered by the M1 Garand. Besides, weight was an issue, with the M1 tipping the scale at ten and a half pounds. With WWII soldiers carrying their gear for (literally) years at a time, every ounce counted.

Front runners in the contest have also been an updated design based on the M1, the Springfield Armory T-48 and the T-44, which was based on the FAL design.

ArmaLite submits plans for the AR-10 rifle with the comparable caliber and performance features as the T-44 and T-48. Unlike the others, the AR-10 incorporated radical configuration changes that enabled the use of aluminum recipients and plastic stocks and hand guards. The key to the plan was using a steel barrel extension to lock up the bolt as compared to the receiver itself. This enabled use of milder and durable materials for receiver construction. The AR-10 weighed less than seven pounds — theoretically permitting a solider to take three extra lbs of gear or ammo.

ArmaLite entered the contest too late in the game to work out new design kinks and eventually the T-44 was adopted as the M-14 Rifle in 1959.


Seeing possibility in the AR-10 design, the Army asks ArmaLite to work on a caliber version to be named the AR 15 Rifle. The project is exploratory, as the military doctrine of the time called for big caliber rifles for use in admissions in longer distances.

1956 – 1959

ArmaLite contracts the AR-10 internationally by a licensing arrangement with Artillerie Inrichtingen, the Dutch Arsenal. Not even the Dutch adopt the AR-10, and international sales are mild. During this time, ArmaLite is only really selling the AR-5 aquatic survival rifle, so revenue pressures mount.


ArmaLite permits the AR-10 and AR 15 designs to Colt Firearms. Robert Fremont, a key player in the design team of the AR-10 and AR 15 Rifle models, leaves ArmaLite to get Colt Firearms to help with continued AR gun development. ArmaLite starts the AR-7 Survival Rifle. A .22 long rifle caliber gun called the AR-7 was targeted at the civilian market, although some military organizations around the globe purchased it.

Colt Firearms sells the very first AR 15 rifles to the Federation of Malaya, later to become known as Malaysia.


Eugene Stoner leaves ArmaLite to function as a consultant to Colt Firearms. At this time, ArmaLite was out from the AR-15 business — for today. The US Air Force tests the AR 15 Rifle and purchases 8,500 rifles.


The Air Force standardizes the AR 15 and designates the gun M-16. 85,000 rifles are bought by the Air Force. Additionally this season, the US Army buys 85,000 longer M-16 rifles.
Colt M16 Semi-Automated Rifle


By this time, the M-16 had become the chief service gun for the military’s , with over 300,000 purchased from Colt, currently known as Colt’s Inc., Firearms Division.


ArmaLite is marketed to a firm, Elisco Tool Manufacturing Company.


ArmaLite operations in the United States are concluded by Elisco Too Manufacturing Company.


Colt loses the government contract to provide M-16 rifles to the military.


Jim Glazier and Karl Lewis of Lewis Machine and Tool Company (LMT), working a brand new entity called Eagle Arms, begin generating whole AR-15 rifles for the consumer industry. By this time, a great deal of the prior AR 15 patents had expired, thereby opening the market to get whole AR-15 type rifles.

Eagle Arms EA 15 Rifle


Colt, currently known as Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Inc., enters Chapter 11 Bankruptcy event and also a period of litigation.


Mark Westrom purchases Eagle Arms. Colt wins a contract to provide 19,000 M-4 Carbine variants of the M-16 to the US Army and
Special Forces Command.


Westrom and Eagle Arms purchase rights to the ArmaLite brand. Within a calendar year, ArmaLite is creating the AR-10B rifle, chambered in .308. In those times, Knight’s Manufacturing made a gun, the SR-25. Colt wins another contract for 16,000 M-4 Carbines.

Knight Manufacturing SR-25 Rifle


Colt’s wins back the procurement contract for rifles with an order for 32,000 M-16 rifles. An additional request follows to upgrade 88,000 M-16 A1 rifles to the A2 configuration.

2009 – 2011

With support from the National Shooting Foundation (NSSF), the term Modern Sporting Rifle gains popularity as a more descriptive name for AR-style rifles.

Modern Sporting Rifles fill the racks. The AR-15 Rifle is well on its way to be America’s most famous gun.

AR 15 Rifle Today

At last count, 16,973,489,012 manufactures are currently creating rifles. I lost count at over 12 million, so this number is more of a quote. Irrespective of the actual figure is, it’s a lot.
Kidding aside, the AR 15 Rifle became the most famous general purpose rifle platform since, well, since ever.