Flat Rate Shipping $9.50 Over $200 Free

Filter "Shop Howell Location" inventory for in store items.

OR filter in stock items and have it delivered fast, most firearms and accessories available to pick up in three days or less.


Silencers and NFA items, the Form 4 processing can begin immediately upon product delivery! 


The AR-15 Explained: What Does AR-15 Stand For & Why Is It So Popular?

The AR-15 Explained: What Does AR-15 Stand For & Why Is It So Popular?

Posted by Mike Paige on Mar 14th 2023

The AR-15 Explained: What Does AR-15 Stand For & Why Is It So Popular?

The AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in America. With its unmatched versatility and capability, it has become a must-have for many shooters across the country, from hunters and tactical shooters to self-defense and competition 3-gunners. But with all of this popularity comes much scrutiny – what makes the AR-15 so special?

In this blog post, we’re going to dive deep into why the platform remains relevant after almost 60 years of production by exploring what exactly “AR” stands for, important features that have attracted users over time, as well as legal provisions or existing laws related to owning an AR-15. By understanding more about this timeless gun along with how it is used in various capacities today, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on whether or not investing in an AR rifle will fit your needs.

So, let’s start by discussing the meaning behind the “AR-15.” AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, with the “15” referring to the company that designed and first produced them in 1959 – Armalite. The original design was intended as a select-fire military rifle, but production was halted soon after and rights to the design were sold to Colt, who then produced them as a semi-automatic civilian rifle. This was the very first AR-15 model, and it quickly gained traction with law enforcement, civilians, hunters, and competitive shooters alike.

The AR platform has gone through many iterations over the years to improve certain features while helping to make it lighter, more reliable, and accurate, as well as easier and cheaper to manufacture. Some of the most significant developments include the introduction of the “direct impingement” gas system, polymer magazines, interchangeable upper receivers and barrels, ambidextrous controls, and modular accessories like stocks, handguards, and optics.

AR-15 stands for Americas Rifle

Not really, but it should. The AR-15 is a high-power rifle that has been embraced by many American shooters as the preferred choice for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. This rifle allows the average This rifle should stand for "America's Rifle" due to the sheer quantity of them in hands of US citizens. Even with the "high-power" designation, it is on the low end of the rifle power spectrum.

The AR-15 platform is one of the most versatile firearms in existence today, allowing shooters to easily switch out different calibers and ammunition types to fit their needs. While the original AR-15 was designed with a .223 Remington caliber, other popular options now include 22lr, .17 HMR, 6.8mm SPC, 6.5 Grendel, 6 ARC, .224 Valkyrie, 7.62x39 and many others. In all there are around 90 different calibers that can be made to work in an AR-15 platform. Many require minor part modifications and others just a simple barrel change. It's very impressive that you can get any caliber from .22LR to 50BMG.

There is some confusion about the most popular AR-15 cartridge the 5.56x45 NATO/.223 Remington (same outside dimensions as the .223 Rem but higher pressure due to the thicker case) If you buy a rifle with a 5.56 NATO chamber or a Wylde chamber your rifle can shoot either. If you have an older AR-15 and it shows .223 Remington as the only markings on the BARREL you should not use 5.56x45 NATO pressure ammo in it. Most modern ARs are chambered in 5.56 NATO or a Wylde chamber and can use both interchangeably.

For simplicity, the reason you shouldn't shoot 5.56 NATO in a .223 chamber is the thickness of the 5.56 NATO case for use in full auto weapons increases pressure and the .223 chamber is closer to the lands and grooves of the rifling creating a large pressure spike before getting into the rifling. Some people will try to use 5.56 and they may think they are fine for a magazine or two or even 1000 rounds but these are lightweight guns and this fatigues the bolt metal extension and you're messing with 60,916 psi near your face. The rifle will come apart and usually blows shrapnel in unpredictable patterns. For comparison, the famed 30-06 has around 58,700 psi.

The AR-15 is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifle.

The AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in the US due to its features, design, and evolution. It is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifle that has come a long way since its conception in 1959. From its initial military development as the M16A1 rifle to the civilian variant M16A2 rifle in 1983, firing speed with triggers upgrades and barrel accuracy is improved year by year to suit more shooters’ needs over time and make it one of the premier firearms for sport shooting or self-defense. Its ergonomic design that almost anyone with simple tools can assemble and modify also makes it attractive to newcomers and veterans alike looking for a reliable firearm.

The AR-15 is one of the most versatile rifles available and can be used for home and national defense.

The AR-15 is one of the most versatile rifles available, making it ideal for home and national defense. Its lightweight design makes it easy to carry and maneuver in close quarters, while its high-powered ammunition ensures maximum stopping power at range. It has also been proven to be highly reliable under extreme conditions, as evidenced by its widespread use. Because of its ability to be adjustable at the stock, a small-statured person can shoot it with its light recoil and be very effective. The ability to use 30-round magazines makes it the right choice for multiple intruders, which very common tactic these days without worrying about reloading. Depending on caliber it is a top choice to mitigate over penetration like a .308 that could cause damage outside the home.

The AR-15 is also one of the most modular rifles available and can be customized to suit the needs of the shooter

The AR-15 is an incredibly user-configurable rifle, allowing you to customize the weapon for your specific needs. Parts and accessories can be interchanged to create a rifle that works best for the shooter. Parts like handguards, stocks, barrels, optics and calibers all can be changed out to fit the vision of the shooter. Furthermore, many modern aftermarket accessories and colors are available to further craft the rifle into exactly what one wants it to be, from a dedicated precision tool or a simple home defense piece. Piston systems are also becoming increasingly popular - offering greater longevity in their action cycles without sacrificing vital performance metrics. With dozens of parts and accessories available on the market today, it's easy to make the AR-15 just right for any need.

The AR-15 is the most popular and versatile rifle in the U.S., beloved by millions of gun enthusiasts for its remarkable customization capabilities. It can be used for a variety of purposes, from hunting to target shooting to self-defense. Colors and features for individual personalized, making it as comfortable and enjoyable to shoot as it is easy to use. It offers excellent performance in competitive shooting categories like high-power service rifle matches at the local and national levels. It has surpassed the twice as powerful M1A rifle in .308 Winchester for across the course shooting out to 1000 yards! There are popular two-gun shooting and three-gun shooting sports, Target, and hunting use making it the choice firearm for recreational and defensive shooters across the country. All this combined makes the AR-15 one of the most popular choices on the market - no wonder so many shooters get hooked!

The AR-15 is a popular rifle because it is lightweight, accurate, and easy to use

In conclusion, it’s clear why the AR-15 has become so popular and beloved among American gun owners. It is a powerful yet lightweight rifle that is easy to customize and use. The versatility of the AR-15 makes it ideal for any situation, from hunting to plinking to target shooting or home defense. The AR-15 is a rifle that offers something for everyone and will continue to be a staple in the firearm community for years to come. With its low recoil, accuracy, and modular construction, anything you want to do with a gun can be accomplished with an AR-15. So if you are looking for an all-purpose firearm that’s easy to use and highly customizable, the AR-15 could be right up your alley. Plus, with more states legalizing suppressors in recent years, you can turn your AR-15 into an even quieter weapon if needed.

For those that own them what are your favorite AR-15 configurations and why? Let us know in the comments so we can learn from each other!