The AR-15 had its humble beginnings in the 1950s, when it was developed by Eugene Stoner for military use. The rifle, then known as the M-16, saw widespread use in Vietnam. The AR-15 that is arguably the most popular today is the civilian model. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the AR-15.
A Look Back
Unfortunately, the early version of the rifle saw issues such as jamming when it became dirty. In addition to stylistic issues, the AR-15 did not initially meet much commercial success when Colt introduced it in the 1960s. It also faced competition from surplus World War Two rifles, cheap Chinese imported AKs, and SKS rifles. These guns were cheaper, which caused them to take a bite out of the AR-15s market.
However, things began to turn around for the AR-15 after the 1994 Assault Weapons ban. One might believe that the ban on assault rifles, combined with already poor market performance, would have led to the demise of the AR-15. Surprisingly, the opposite occurred, and the ban led to AR-15 makers improving the quality of their product. This had much to do with the fact that the AR-15 is not, in fact, an assault rifle and therefore was not covered by the ban.
American society, around this time, also became increasingly more gun friendly. With the expiration of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and the War on Terror, sales of the AR-15 went up. The AR-15 found a loyal following among veterans returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.
More Modern Policies
When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, it led to fears of another gun ban. This caused sales of the AR-15 to go up, as many Americans feared a ban on guns and went out to buy one before another ban could occur. In 2012, Obama was elected again and reiterated his plans for an assault weapons ban. The tragedy of the Sandy Hooks shooting also fueled an anti-gun movement that led many Americans to fear their Second Amendment rights were going to be violated. This resulted in an increase in AR-15 sales. Unfortunately, this period was also marred by a disturbing rise in mass shootings, and this spurred renewed concern for personal safety and self-defense. It also fueled the growth of AR-15 sales.
The Age of the AR-15: Why It’s As Popular As It Is
The AR-15 is modeled after the military’s M-4 and designed with accuracy, modularity and reliability in mind. The AR-15 also offers a great deal of flexibility to its owner. The owner of an AR-15 can make all sorts of modifications to their weapon, a flexibility which has propelled the popularity of the item. Between 2008 and 2016, over one-million AR-15s were sold in the United States, alone.
The Final Word On The History of the AR-15
With the increase in demand for the AR-15, suppliers had to increase production. Increased production had the result of causing prices to drop. One problem, historically, the AR-15 faced when competing on the open market was prohibitively high prices. At one time, an AR-15 cost up to one-thousand dollars, but the rise in popularity led to a corresponding falls in prices that increased both its popularity and availability.
In the history of the AR-15, this rifle came to dominate its rivals and become one of America’s favorite rifles. Looking for quality AR parts kits from one of the hottest up-and-coming names in the industry right now? Visit E2 Armory, today!