During the 1950s, American firearms designer Eugene Stoner (1922-1997) developed what would soon become one of the world's most popular firearms - the AR-15 rifle. The "AR" stands for ArmaLite Rifle. Adopted by the U.S. military as the M16, its lightweight design allowed soldiers to carry more ammunition - and its high-velocity caliber meant reduced recoil.
The gas system plays a key role in cycling the AR-15. The hot gasses formed in the chamber travel down the barrel behind the bullet, and are then channeled through the gas block. From there, the gas is pushed back to the rear of the rifle which pushes the bolt back. The spent case is extracted and ejected, and the gas is pushed forward again to load a new round.
Sends gas through a port at the muzzle end of the barrel, the gas pressure travels back through the gas tube, acting directly upon the bolt carrier group.
Here lies another point of debate among AR enthusiasts. Direct impingement has traditionally been used, but more gas piston models are emerging.
Gases are contained in a cylinder that act on a piston connected to the bolt carrier group (BCG) by a rod.
Gas Piston doesn't throw hot gases and carbon into the BCG, but does result in stronger recoil and heavier wear and tear on the rifle.
Two popular ways to manufacture AR-15 receivers are to use either billet or forged aluminum. It's a point of debate amongst enthusiasts but we'll give you the details and let you make the final call.
A billet lower receiver is formed from a solid block of aluminum. A CNC machine cuts the billet into shape.
A forged lower receiver is hammered into shape with finishing touches by a CNC machine.
Maybe you just want to avoid getting burned by a scalding hot barrel. Maybe you're looking to add some style to your gun, add removable rail sections or attach tactical accessories. Either way, there's an AR-15 handguard option for you.
Slots instead of keyholes - attachment lugs are T-shaped and bi-directional for placement at front or rear (Magpul)
Keyhole attachments similar to a hardware store shelf
Four picatinny rail sections - heavier than M-Lok or KeyMod
There's an abundance of knowledge to be gained about the AR-15 rifle. From the history to the roles essential parts and pieces play. We also know everyone has an opinion on what makes up the best AR, but if you just want the essential facts then this infographic is what you need.Free Download
Choose from a wide variety of innovative SAINT™ models. There's something for every 5.56 fan - plus select options engineered for additional state compliance requirements.
I just use a piece of cardboard with a small, 1-to-2-inch piece of black tape on it. If you don't have a target with pre-marked sighting areas, I recommend putting something of a contrasting color (i.e., marker, tape, sticker, etc.) on the target as a visual reference and aiming point.
I fire all my groups for zeroing in the prone position, as this is the most stable shooting platform. If you choose, you can also use rests, sandbags or similar items to stabilize your rifle.
My goal at 25 yards is to fire a very small group. I want my three rounds to be inside the black tape, preferably also touching each other.
If my shots are high, I make adjustments to lower the impact of the bullet. If the shots are to the right of the tape, I make adjustments to move the impact to the left, etc.
Usually, shots four, five and six will be close to the tape, but I will repeat this process of shooting, checking and adjusting until I am shooting all three rounds on the small piece of tape.
Once satisfied at 25 yards, I move on to 50. Typically, six to nine rounds will get me on target, inside the small tape or paster.
Once satisfied with where my rifle is hitting at 50 yards, I move out to 100 yards and repeat the three-group process. I make adjustments until I am hitting dead center on my mark. I can usually do this within nine rounds of ammo, but, depending on your experience, you may require more.
Sighting in and zeroing a rifle is challenging and takes practice, but it can also be very rewarding. If you use the simple method I have outlined above, you should be able to get your SAINT™ AR-15 rifle zeroed at 100 yards in no time.
Shooting your AR-15 the same old way time and time again can get dull - and might even slow your skill development. Add these three fundamental drills to your practice routine to refine and broaden your skills. You can do them all on your own without any extra set-up!
This is a basic but important drill for any shooter, regardless if you're focused on competition or self-defense. Shave seconds off your reload time by perfecting the process:
Repeat the drill 50-100 times and you're sure to see your reload times reduce. Put yourself to the test with a shot timer.
In this drill, you'll be firing a few shots and then switching shoulders. Why drill your non-dominate side? Protection. When you're on the left side of a barricade as a right-handed shooter, switching to your left shoulder will you keep more of your body in cover. Or if you happen to injure your dominate hand in a way you can't operate the fire controls with it, being proficient with your non-dominate hand becomes beneficial.
All you have to do for the drill is practice shooting with your other hand. Fire a few shots with one hand then switch sides. Be sure to keep both eyes open, it will be more comfortable than trying to use your dominate eye when you switch your non-dominate hand.
With this drill, simply fire five shots while standing, then from crouching and finally while prone. Try it from various distances. Start from 25 yards and work your way back to 100 yards. Always try to keep your shots within 8 inches. As you get more reps in, work on improving your speed while also maintaining or improving shot placement.