History of the Colt AR-15 Rifle


Colt fit and finish

Numerous of the excellent firearms in history underwent a protracted improvement period. Most had been slow to get acceptance. The Beretta 92 and GLOCK pistols, for instance, faced an uphill struggle. The Johnson rifles had been intriguing rifles under no circumstances really caught on.

Numerous of these utilizing the AR-15 rifle now do not understand how old the original style truly is and how challenging the improvement and acceptance of the Colt AR-15 truly was. But very good rifles are typically lengthy-lived.

The Lee Enfield, as an instance, fought the Zulus prior to 1900 and was on the front line in Korea. It is nonetheless a fixture of the Canada Rangers. The history of AK rifles speaks for itself. The AR-15 rifle is a different legend.

The AR could be nearing middle age, but its most significant improvements are fairly fresh. The AR-15 is a sophisticated program that performs effectively. It is effortless to sustain and really precise.

Initial Developments

Numerous of the rifles in use in education our young warriors are older than the soldiers utilizing them. (Rifles on the front line are a diverse matter.) However they continue to serve. The rifle is the 1st selection of prime-notch safety teams and armies.

Note the Israelis have their personal Galil and thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of captured AK-pattern rifles. They look to choose the AR-15 varieties. These of us that have a selection of any weapon program most typically opt for the AR rifle.

The rifle was created by Eugene Stoner and the contract was awarded to Colt to generate the rifle. The M16 was developed as a counter to the totally automatic AK-47 rifle. The AR cartridge was created from a higher-velocity varmint round, the .222 Remington.

Low recoil, longer variety than pistol caliber carbines, and handle in totally automatic fire had been significant components of the Stoner style.

Colt AR-15 in action
This young Key is firing the Colt AR-15 carbine and getting it very good.

Early Errors and Difficulties

The AR is gas-operated. The gas does not operate by a piston—at least in the vast majority of the rifles—but the gas is led straight to the bolt in this gas impingement program.

When the rifle was issued in Vietnam, the lightweight, accuracy, controllability and effortless firepower had been significantly appreciated. Soldiers on lengthy patrols could carry a lot of ammunition.

But Army Ordnance produced a grievous error (that Congress later concluded verged on criminal negligence). The original five.56mm loading was created for a clean burn and higher power.

The Army specified that the exact same ball powder employed in the 7.62mm NATO cartridge be employed in service ammunition. The outcome was a diverse stress curve and clogged gas ports.

Worse, immediately after the difficulty was identified, the Army did not withdraw the ammunition from service in Vietnam. The AR was not initially issued with cleaning gear! Even the original low-upkeep rifle, the M1 carbine, necessary cleaning regularly.

The Army entered into many knee-jerk fixes. One particular was to problem cleaning kits and a comic book-form cleaning manual.

Original Colt HBAR AR-15
This is an original Colt HBAR.

Modifications and Improvements

Colt was asked to modify the firearms to function with ball powder-loaded ammunition. The difficulty was met with a recoil device with an “internal plurality of masses” that was geared for the ball load. They also elevated extractor tension to assist in extracting the cartridge.

In some situations, the cartridge case would stick in the chamber—sometimes in the course of combat operations. Was the Colt AR-15 that was designated M16 sent into combat prematurely?

Most likely not, but the program was castrated by the poor selection of ammunition and insane lack of cleaning gear. The M16 was created into a trustworthy firearm, but at one particular time was not as very regarded as it is now.

The quick-barrel styles, such as the Car or truck 15 and other folks, demanded additional improvement and did not perform as effectively as the later quick barrel rifles. The XM177, as an instance, demonstrated stupendous muzzle flash. Enough gas volume was not generated.

The XM177 rifle, having said that, employed the 1st telescoping stock on an AR.

Colt History - Sig Sauer ammo
SIG Sauer ammunition provides shooters the edge in a modern day AR-15 rifle.

The Contemporary Colt AR-15

These days, the 14.five-inch barrel M4 is a speedy-handling rifle that has confirmed trustworthy in action. The 16-inch barrel carbine is the shortest legal length for civilians with out jumping by means of a lot of hoops, paperwork and expense.

In amongst the M16 and the M4, the AR rifle went by means of many modifications. Some of these had been associated to ammunition overall performance. The five.56mm load was located to provide superb wound ballistics against lightly clad Viet Cong. Overall performance falls off previous 100 yards.

The universal adoption of the rifle as a front-line rifle rather than a particular-use firearm for jungle combat led to the M16A2. This rifle capabilities a diverse barrel twist to stabilize the 62-grain load.

Heavier than the original 55-grain loading, the 62-grain bullet provides higher penetration against heavy internet gear that may be encountered in Europe. The M16A2 capabilities enhanced sights and superb overall performance. This rifle is easier to the Colt HBAR released for civilian sales.

The HBAR is nonetheless a viable, helpful and precise rifle.

Throughout this time, Colt continued to provide the AR-15 rifle for civilian sales, and they had been the 1st to do so. The original Colt Sporter and the HBAR had been well known rifles. The typical 16-inch carbine is well known, and the 1st flat-prime rifles for mounting optics followed.

The low-cost Colt Expanse was not as effectively-received. Cheapening a item constructed on a reliable name is not generally a very good notion. The Colt M4 SOCOM is as close to the military-problem rifle as doable. Colt rifles have set the typical for reliability for a lot of years.

The rifles perform as developed and demonstrate a higher level of overall performance. Though I personal many very good rifles, the Colt is my go-to rifle and has been for some time.

Colt AR-15 Close Up
This name suggests some thing to a lot of of us.


Not too long ago, Colt announced that they are cutting sales of AR-15 rifles primarily based on “sagging sales.” There are a lot of more affordable AR-15 rifles readily available. and there are also a lot of very created, superbly fitted and precise rifles that do not bear the Colt name.

Colt has been by means of really hard occasions prior to and will most likely withstand the storm. Just the exact same, it could be a very good time to grab the Colt you have wanted when you are in a position. It is, immediately after all, a piece of history.

What do you consider of Colt’s AR-15? Do you agree with their selection to reduce Colt AR-15 sales for citizens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments under.


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