In the 1950s, the American ArmaLite corporation developed the AR-15, a military weapon designed to be lightweight, portable, and accurate for soldiers in various combat situations. The AR in the name stands for Armalite Rifle, not "assault rifle", as is commonly believed. Eugene Stoner, the chief engineer at ArmaLite at the time, invented the rifle to replace the heavier and less accurate M14 rifle used at the time. To achieve this, Stoner created a new type of gas-operated action and rotating bolt design that made the rifle light and compact. Additionally, the AR-15 used a new calibre of ammunition, the .223 Remington, smaller and lighter than the .30 calibre rounds used in the M14.
The U.S. military officially adopted the AR-15 in the 1960s as the M16 rifle. The M16 is fully automatic, meaning it can fire continuously as long as the shooter holds the trigger down, with a rate of firing 800-900 rounds per minute. The semi-automatic version of the AR-15, available to civilians, is essentially the same as the M16, but it can only fire one shot per trigger pull.
Behaviour & construction
AR-15 (M16) is known for its accuracy, reliability, and versatility. The rifle is constructed with a light, modular design comprising several components, including the upper and lower receivers, barrel, bolt carrier group, and stock. These components can be easily swapped out or modified to customise the rifle to the user's preferences. The .223 Remington calibre of the AR-15 is popular among users due to its high velocity and relatively low recoil. This allows for better accuracy and easier follow-up shots.
Fields of use
AR-15 (M16) has become a household name in the world of military firearms. Its debut on the battlefield was during the Vietnam War. Since then, it has seen widespread adoption by military and law enforcement agencies around the globe, like in Canada, Australia, and several European and Asian nations. All branches of the military and many law enforcement agencies in the US rely on the automatic M16 rifle. Its lightweight design and easy manoeuvrability make it a favourite for shooting on the move or in close-quarters combat.
AR-15 is not just a military weapon; it's also popular among gun enthusiasts. The semi-automatic version of the AR-15, available to civilians, is often a choice for shooting sports such as target shooting, hunting and personal protection.
AR-15 (M16) assault rifle is popular for filmmakers and game developers due to its widespread use and familiarity with audiences and players. You can see the rifle in movies and tv shows like Rambo, Terminator, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Predator, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, The Matrix, Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, American Sniper, Mad Max: Fury Road, Call of Duty, Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, Heat, Natural Born Killers, The Rock, The Shawshank Redemption, Tears of the Sun, Transporter 2, War of the Worlds, World War Z and Zombieland.
Examples of video games featuring the AR-15 (M16) are: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six, Overwatch Destiny, Halo, Borderlands, DOOM, The Last of Us, Apex Legends, Far Cry 5, Gears of War, Ghost Recon, Medal of Honor, Metro: Last Light, PAYDAY 2, Titanfall and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands.