AR-15s

Why young women want them:

Imagining ourselves in a high-stress, violent situation, we want a gun with enough ammo, and more, to get the job done. Sometimes, you only get one shot. At other times, you may need more. When you don’t have time to reload in the heat of a home invasion, the AR-15’s 30-round magazine gives you the flexibility and security a handgun will not.

High-capacity magazines serve as a life-saving insurance mechanism, a self-defense back-up if something doesn’t go according to plan. Yet you would never think of these guns in this sense by listening to anti-gun zealots and their allies in media.

Assault rifles and high-capacity magazines have been under fire from our nation’s legislators since the Newtown massacre. It only took Senator Dianne Feinstein two days to announce her intention to reinstate the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban to get “these dangerous weapons of war off our streets.” New York governor Andrew Cuomo took it upon himself to make his state the first to tighten gun laws post-Newtown, proudly outlawing magazines over seven rounds because “no one needs ten bullets to kill a deer.”

Senator Feinstein and Governor Cuomo: We may not need ten bullets to kill a deer, but we sure need them in our own defense. Criminals rarely use assault rifles. Nearly ten times as many murders are committed with hammers and clubs, and 35 times as many with knives. Does that mean we need to ban those too, Senator Feinstein? Banning assault weapons will only take weapons away from my house — not from criminals on the street.

God made man and woman. Sam Colt made them equal.

Of course, it’s not really about keeping them away from criminals, unless you consider free men and women who might thwart your plans for them to be inherently criminals.

21 thoughts on “AR-15s

  1. Larry J

    Based on my long-ago infantry experience, I don’t want an AR-15. It’s a subset of the M16A1 that I used and disliked so much. Personally, I lean towards a pump or semi-auto shotgun for home defense. It has more takedown power than an AR, isn’t as likely to jam and is less likely to cause collateral damage. If you want a rifle, a pistol-caliber carbine can be a good idea.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      The point is that we shouldn’t be telling other people what they need to defend themselves. That’s their choice. And Democrats are supposed to be pro-choice, right?

      1. Larry J

        I believe people should be free to make their own decisions. I just stated my opinion of the AR-15 based on my experience with the M16. While I personally wouldn’t buy an AR-15, millions of people love them. That’s freedom. As for freedom of choice, Democrats only accept choices that they approve of. If you choose differently than they would, they get rather upset.

    2. Der Schtumpy

      And as an American you have that choice. Or at least you do right now, until the Left gets them banned. If you follow the way the Left does things and their history, once my AR is gone, your shotgun would be next.

      That’s why they’ve got to be fought on EVERY issue, regardless of our own preferences.

      1. Larry J

        They may have dreams of confiscating everyone’s firearms, but it’s more of a delusion on their part. Should they try, they’ll likely find out about America’s horribly underutilized lamp posts and the coefficient of friction between rope and their skin.

    3. M Puckett

      Larry, If you have a modern, High-Quality AR like a Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM or a Noveske (Notice I didn’t say Bushmaster), and use modern Mags and good ammo plus keep it lubricated, the mean time between stioppage is very high.

      Check this test, it is a destructive type test conducted with a Bushmaster rifle (which I don’t particularly care for).

      Note the number of stoppages for the rifle that fired ten thousand rounds of Federal ammo in a two day peroid.

      http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/

      Improvements to magazine followers, new magazines designed of modern polymer materials and a few other small tweaks to things like extractor springs make a good AR very reliable.

      There is a reason that Delta, SEALS, MARSOC, UKSAS, AUSAS, GROM and other Special forces types around the world use an M-16 series weapons and it ain’t because they are junk.

      When I was Big Army, I was an Armorer at the Company level. The M-16A1 was our issue rifle at that time. Other than bad magazines or blanks, there were no significant issues with the rifles. They were solid weapons. They didn’t work worth shit with blanks but they worked great with live ammo.

      I would carry one into the gates of Valhalla in a heartbeat.

      1. CT

        “There is a reason that Delta, SEALS, MARSOC, UKSAS, AUSAS, GROM and other Special forces types around the world use an M-16 series weapons and it ain’t because they are junk.”

        Actually all US Spec ops has gone to the FN SCAR and/or HK 416 rifles, similar in appearance to the M16 but having a much more reliable piston operating system instead of the direct gas impingement system of the M16 family.

        1. Godzilla

          Yes various services in the US and the UK basically bought G36’s that look like M16s and L85A2 to satisfy the NIH syndrome of the people in power and get more reliable weapons. The FN SCAR also looks fine. Or so I hear.

          IMO ATK needs to work faster on that caseless ammo used on LSAT. That looks interesting.

          1. M Puckett

            There are more Special Forces using the Canadian and the Colt M-4 types than are using the HK-416. The 416 is NOT a G-36.

            The impetus to adopt the 416 has waned a bit since suppressors with lower back-pressure was developed. It is still a fine piece of kit but so is the standard M-4 for 99% of all users.

            And the man who developed the concept of the HK-416, Larry Vickers, is a personal friend of mine. I can tell you pretty much anything non-classified you want to know about why Special Forces use what they do. If I don’t know the answer, I can find out from the source real quick.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_HK416

  2. Sigivald

    My only quibble is that a 30 rounder is not “high capacity”.

    It’s standard for the AR pattern rifles. (20 is arguably also a standard, but not nearly as common.)

    1. Larry J

      In my infantry days, we carried 20 round mags but didn’t put more than 18 rounds in them. Filling them to capacity increased the already high jam rate. Maybe they’ve improved the weapon since my day, but frequent jamming was a big issue. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I didn’t like the M16. That, and it’s really not a high powered round at all. In many states, you can’t use a .223/5.56mm round to hunt deer because the probability of a first shot kill was too low. I don’t know about you, but if someone is threatening me, a high probability of a first shot kill is high on my list of approval criteria. But hey, you’re free to buy whatever you want including nothing at all, if that’s your choice.

      1. Rand Simberg Post author

        The M16 jamming was an ammunition issue, that I’m pretty sure was eventually dealt with by the Pentagon, but it’s never been an issue with AR-15s.

      2. M Puckett

        “In my infantry days, we carried 20 round mags but didn’t put more than 18 rounds in them. Filling them to capacity increased the already high jam rate. ”

        This is an Urban Myth. The reason you load only 18 is twofold.

        1) So you can tac-load with the bolt forward. The magazine is hard to seat at capacity as there is little room to further compress the cartridge column. This would tend to get you a friction fit where the magazine would either fall out when carrying or the first time you attempt to fire the weapon. The magazine isn’t actually locking in with the mag catch.

        2) So you have a buffer if you accidentally load 21 rounds. 21 round siwth fit in to a 20 round mag, particularlly onw that is worn and abused a bit. Usually, it fits so tight it makes the stripping pressure so high it will precent the bolt from closing and induce a malfunction.

        Rand, the ammo was a problem in the 60’s, along with unchromed chambers and a lack of cleaning gear.

        The biggest problem when I was in in the 80’s was bad magazines that should have been shitcanned and blanks. Blanks simply would not feed worth a shit. You were lucky to go two magazines without a stoppage.

        I had only one stoppage with live ammo during my Enlistment, during basic training with a hideously-worn magazine that even the shadiest surplus store would sell. And I shot the shit out of mine and was often range support. I ended up buring up left-over cases of ammo up on full auto at the end of qualification often times too.

        That and the stupid myth of lubrication causing dirt. Biggest lie ever told. Lubrication overcome fouling and flows it away from the contact surfaces. The rifle likes to run wet.

        1. Larry J

          I went through my basic and infantry training at Fort Polk in 1975. It’s likely that our weapons were “well used” by that point. Jams happened quite often to us. It did leave a bad impression. I’ve read they’ve improved the weapon quite a bit since my day but it still lacks the knock-down power I want. Hell, when doing night-fire exercises, I’d see tracer rounds deflected over 30 degrees when you hit a target.

          1. M Puckett

            I’d see tracer rounds deflected over 30 degrees when you hit a target.

            Tracers lack a lead core, ball does not do this to this extent.

            And I have seen 7.62 tracers out of an M-60 do the exact same thing, dissappearing into a low cloud bank.

  3. M Puckett

    And I shot the shit out of mine and was often range support. I ended up buring up left-over cases of ammo up on full auto at the end of qualification often times too.

    Clarification:That rifle being my permanent duty staion issue rifle, not my training rifle.

    And shady surplus would NOT sell.

    Plus, My Drill Sergeant agreed with a lowly Private that time and at my behest, he fixed that abomination with the heel of his spit-shined boot.

  4. jsallison

    As an armorer I locked horns with the XO from time to time for my predilection to take a ballpeen to any magazine claimed to have been party to trouble on the range. Sometimes if the guy in question couldn’t ID the particular mag, I slagged his entire load (7) and handed him new. Mags are cheap, fellow cavalrymen are expensive. Easy, but expensive.

    1. M Puckett

      My personal magazines are both numbered and marked with my name. If one fucks-up and I cannot trace it to another cause, it gets one more chance. I carry a small write-in-the-rain notepad I use to log such things. Failing that second chance, I either stencil Training Use Only on the mag or shit-can it.

      My personal shit is so much squared-away than the stuff I used in the service, it aint funny.

  5. ken anthony

    The purpose of a handgun is to make it possible to get to your shotgun or rifle. The choice of which is dependent on range.

    Few people use a high powered weapon to defend themselves, but if you are living on a farm back from the highway a sniper weapon may be your choice.

    Unless you are a politician wanting to ban citizen’s weapon choices. Then you surround yourself with guards carrying machine guns under their jackets.

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