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What Your AR Says About You

by Doug Howlett   |  July 31st, 2012 69

Since its creation by Eugene Stoner in the 1950s and initial adoption by U.S. military forces during Vietnam, the AR in all its variations (AR-15, AR-10, M16, M16A1, M4 and more) has been used to kick the arses of countless enemies, both real and on the big screen. The rifle has evolved into one of — if not themost versatile and reliable long arms in history, experiencing a shocking rise in popularity among American shooters. Its ubiquitous role on the range, in pop culture and in the hands of our most-capable military has left an imprint on the shooting world that likely can’t be measured.

The AR you own and how you customize it says a lot about who you are, whether you use one to compete in 3-gun matches, tote one through the woods and prairies in search of game, or just want one around if intruders (or zombies) ever decide to invade your turf. So, we ask: What kind of AR owner are you?

  • Walter Julius Kuleck

    You're missing The Minimalist. Pictures available on request.

    • Mack Missiletoe

      Yesh, need to add minimalist.

      Quad rails turn some people off. One rifle to do it all would work. I could see that.

    • Walter Julius Kuleck
  • Mack Missiletoe

    If I had an AR-15 it'd be basic. Chances are I'd buy another bolt action before an AR-15 though. I just like bolt actions. Or maybe a lever gun. I never had or shot a lever gun yet. I was thinking in .25-35 but I'd have to reload if I got that. So maybe .357 magnum (love that caliber!) or .30-30. I should still reload to be honest.

    • untacticool

      .25/35? In what time warp would you find anything shootable in that caliber?
      How about an '03 Springfield in .30-03? Yes, that's a real – long obsolete – caliber, superseded by the .30-06

  • Robert Morgan

    I used to have that bad habit as well, until I realized my hand tilting the mag backwards just a minuscule amount was causing all my misfeed problems. Keep your hand on the HANDguard…it might save your life!

    • Josh

      I would quadruple like your comment if possible. Indispensable advice.

    • SicSemper76

      Not anymore thanks to the Pmags.

  • James Holmes

    Dumb printed fluf, just fluf!

  • wayne

    I will keep my mini all day long.

  • Jack Lundin

    Colt Ar15 SP1 1973 ( Clean basic and simple.) Thank you

  • Bill Fox

    I have an AR-15, a Mini-14, and an AK-47. I like the Mini-14 a lot better than the AR-15. I had an M-16 in 1968 and 1969. Hated it. I was in Danang right on the coast. A breeze made it rust up. It was more like a muzzle loader than a fully automatic. You could fully automatic one round. Then stuff the cleaning rod down the barrel. If I have to go to a gun fight, I would take the AK-47. It shoots great on 20.5 cent steel Russian ammo. It has never jammed. Never failed to extract. It's as accurate at 100 yards as the AR-15, but not the Mini-14. In 50 years, the problems with the AR-15 have not been resolved. If you by a box of ammo, you don't know if it will shoot it or not. The AK-47 has killed a lot of people. It works in harsh environments. It's easy to repair in the field. It isn't finicky about ammo. It doesn't resent being dirty. I was a Marine, 1966 to 1970. I will gladly trade 10 5.56 X 45s for a can of Spam. But I will only trade 5 7.62 X 39 for a can of Spam. And you keep the limas.

    • Dave

      Thanks for your service Bill. Glad you made it home safely. I like my M4 but I also like my SKS. That cheap, heavy round can do a lot of damage.

    • Mack Missiletoe

      "You could fully automatic one round."

      Lol! Good stuff Bill Fox, good stuff. I'm gonna remember this one…

    • troylindstrand

      Semper-Fi Marine sorry you have had problems with ARs. I have not had that kind of problems fortunately. I have alot of experience too with M16A1s as well as civilian ARs and I have not been kind to them. I have been building them too now for 20 plus years and owned both of the other rifles you mentioned as well as several others I will not give up my ARs.

    • SicSemper76

      That’s odd where did the saying “beware of the men with the black rifle come from”. Your fact don’t add up the first M-16would only jam up after prolong fire mostly on full auto. You stated that the AK47 is as good of a shot up to 100 yards as an M16. I’ve never heard of the ammo not firing; at first the powder would foul up the rifle, throw the pressure off because of the rate the powder would burn; and the powder would be ruined if drown in water maybe a lot of moisture. But that was quickly fix before 1968.

      • TN Rifleman

        Not sure I fit any of the categories as presented. Is there a “I like to own what the government and their wealthy liberal elitists don’t want me to own” category? If so, I fit well with that one. Throw in a bit of predator hunter, bolt-action man, plinker, and avid handloader/experimenter and we’re close. Yes, we AR15 owners can be a complicated bunch!

    • Mike

      Thats the thing about some Jarheads never clean or take care of your weapon and expect it to work when you need it. You ca have your Ak yes it works all the time I have heard. But not that accurate while you are spraying the area the M-16 M-4 can put one bullet in your head game over. Take care of a good weapon and it will take care of you!

  • Chris B.

    Mine is as plain or minimalist as can be, and I like it that way. A Colt AR15-A3 Model 6721, HBAR with 1 in 9" twist barrel, removable handle, 4 position collapsible stock, round plastic handguards and an A2 front sight. I have a brother-in-law that bought a Colt Model 6920 and almost every add-on possible (EOTech, quadrails, light and rail attachment, 3X magnifier, front handgrip w/ bipod and Troy front and back sights, etc., etc., etc.). I will take the $1,000+, and buy another approx. 3,000 rounds of ammo instead of the AR15 add-ons, and do more target shooting. I do reasonably well with the metal sights. Out to 100 to 150 yards, I can regularly keep the pattern on the target to 4 to 6 inches. Not deadeye, but effective enough.

  • drechemist

    I recently bought a Stag Arms 3G, mounted a Leupold one piece mount and a Zeiss 3-9×40 Conquest scope. I guess that puts me between the Competitor and the Varminter. My main goal was to have a varmint rifle in the stand when preparing for deer season, and to be able to engage a couple of targets before they all vanished into the morning dew. The 3G offers me all the features I wanted in an off-the-rack rifle without having to Frankenstein it. I carried an M16A1 with an M203 during the first Gulf War. This 3G is definitely much more fun.

  • Alan_T

    I would just as soon forget about Viet Nam ………….

    I am a cheap a** hybrid Predator Hunter / Survivalist , with Rock River Coyote * RIFLE * & extra carbine upper .

  • Jon D Weatherspoon

    I guess "hunter" is correct. Bushy M4 flat top with 2-7 X 32 Redfield with Accuplex. No different that any other of my scoped autos or bolts. It's a tool that's multi-purpose in application. Fun gun for women and grandkids, yet adequate and accurate enough to use on whitetails, yotes and such. Next one will have a LONGER barrel for many reasons with #1 being more burn time and better use of powder in achieving higher velocity. Speed kills and a longer sight radius = better accuracy…usually.

    And to "Mack," your failure to take up reloading so you can have 1st caliber choice is illogical. Buy what caliber(s) you want and wade into the world of home-made fodder!

    • Mack Missiletoe

      Heheh… thnx

  • Captain Grimes

    You forgot one catagory, "phycotic AR-15 owner with a 100 round drum magazine killing movie goers like fish in a barrel". Ha Ha, shove it up your ass, you "black Rifle" pansies.I'll never give up my 1906 Springfeild.

    • Al Brady

      WTF is a '1906 Springfeild'? Usually I like people, no matter what my wife says. It's just those no clue morons that must hear themselves prattle that really piss me off! Craptain Crunch, be gone like a bad smell. I've enjoyed a few Springfield rifles and US autoloaders. I loved the M-14s I was issued. The M-16 series rifle I had only 1month after turning in my M-14 gave me a naked feeling. I had a Springfield M-1A and a IH M-1 that have gone to a son even as the 1903s, an 03A3 and a Mark I. Of the .223s I've used, the original Armalite AR-180 seemed the best, but I've never had a bolt gun in .223. I had a Mark X Mauser in .22-250 that spoiled me for any other .22 centerfire. We can be more dedicated to a good rifle than a good beer or a pickup with the 'bow tie' emblem.

      • TxMidniteRider

        Ya think he means the .30 caliber of 1906?
        AKA 30-06 Springfield.

        When I want to reach out and touch something I prefer my USMC 1917 Eddystone American Enfield 30-06. Sport stock and side mount scope, man it can shoot out past 500 yds with ease.

        My Bushy Dissipator has eaten well over 5,000 rounds of various types of ammo with 1, yes 1 failure to eject and I believe that was the fault of the cartridge.

        Didnt load it up with a bunch of junk, just a clip on bipod for hittin yotes out at crazy ranges from the prone.

      • Alan_T

        Al , Captain Grimes is just another one of the Trolls that plague this site . He doesn't know anything but he thinks he's clever …. which is a true sign of an idiot .

    • andy

      i would never put down any firearm that has had a good history. Now as for your comment, you are diffently one step away from being a liberal, democratic , Hillary,loving ,Obama agreeing,UN accepting moron….comments such as these will definitly give them support to put all of us on there sights.Please use more intelligence when posting your negative comments, thank you

      • Alan_T

        Andy , Captain Grimes isn't one step away from being a liberal Democrat …. he IS one and his main purpose here is to cause trouble .

        As I told Al , Captain Grimes is just another one of the Trolls that plague this site . He doesn't know anything but he thinks he's clever …. which is a true sign of an idiot .

    • Alan_T

      And YOU forgot another category , " The Psychotic Liberal Troll " Captain Grimes , which YOU certainly fall into .

      By the way Cappy ……. you apparently aren't as clever and " intellectual " as you think , since you mis – spelled category and psychotic .

  • Young, old timer

    As was said "..fluf, just fluf." What happened to the good old articles about gun quality, performance and reviews? Does every gun writer now have to feed the fantasies of the mall ninjas, continuously touting questionable products for the various companies that would have us hanging expresso machines, waffle makers and every damn thing else on there? We don;t have to be concerned with the anti-gun movement – the idiots in our midst will keep providing more than ample evidence that too many of todays gun owners are of questionable mental health with their fixation on zombies. It is a crying shame.

    • Ben_OBrien

      There isn't room for both? We have a whole section of gun reviews and have worked hard to cultivate hundreds for your reading pleasure. Yet, instead of spending time reading those articles you say you want so badly, you spend your valuable time reading this Fluff article and writing a few hundred words to complain about it. Makes total sense.

      Ben O'Brien
      Online Managing Editor

      • untacticool

        The pandering you do to the Rambo-zos with their tacticool, camo and swaggering "cold dead hands" talk does more to stereotype gun owners as over-testosteroned, under-intellected, super-annuated, semi-literate borderline puerile psychotics than the diatribes of the antis. You're just being defensive over poor editorial decisions.

        • PKAISF

          Oh yeah, untacticool. You're right on the money. If we pander to the Leftist gun haters in word, deed, and thought, they will surely see through the stereotype's and embrace the rights of those (us) whose view of the 2nd amendment and the world in general is diametrically opposed to their own. (Sarcasm)

      • TxMidniteRider

        AMEN Brother Ben!!

        Keep up the great work

      • Alan_T

        Amen Ben ! …….
        The Friday Trolls are out early it seems , they mostly come out at the same time , which leads me to believe that they are the same person using different ID's or a co – ordinated group reading off the same script . I busted one that was carrying on a diatribe against Mitt Romney and touting Obamma … except he'd gone to THE WRONG BLOG ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        The other of the two blogs listed in the email was the one he was supposed to go to !

      • untacticool

        And of course it's those same Rambozos that continually label everyone who has a different perspective as "liberal" or some other nonsensical tag. I suppose it's easier than rational thought. Very similar to the ultimate discussion ender, when one has nothing intelligent to contribute: F**K YOU! and what is loosely termed a mind slams shut. Too bad the same can't be said about their mouths.
        My AR says nothing about who I am; it's just a gun, not a surrogate sexual organ.

        • PKAISF

          While you on the other hand display an open mind? You just used the stereotypical firearm as compensation for sexual inadequacy argument that is 99.9% Leftist dogma. And you are spewing vitriol like a Media Matters paid little Bi*TCH. Part of your name is correct, your just plain uncool. Beyond that your bitter and hateful. So, Good luck with all that.

          • Alan_T

            Great call PKAISF !

  • Jerry K

    That Home Defense guy needs to put his flashlight on the other side of the barrel. Wouldn't want to light up my couch so close to my face in a tactical situation. Which comment again brings out the fallacy of one gun being everything. My Army daze in '71-'72 as 11B mechanized in Germany gave me a good intro to the M-16, and all the other platoon weapons from M-79 grenade launcher, thru M-60 machine gun, 90mm recoilless rifle, and the M-2 50 cal on the APC. Loved those live-fire exercizes in Graf, Wildflecken and Hohenfels. Great battlegrounds!

    • SicSemper76

      I thought is was call the 106 recoiless rifle; you could even put it on a jeep (just be careful not to fip the jeep over when you fired it), Weren't jeeps easy to fip over?

      • Jerry K

        The 90mm was that era's bazooka, a 2-man team weapon "recoil-less rifle." The loader and gunner would lie on the ground at 90-degree angles to each other. It had an adjustable monopod/front grip and a folding shoulder rest that also formed a bipod rear support.. I don't recall ever shooting it other than lying on the ground. An anti-tank or tracked vehicle weapon.

        The 106s were similar but used more as vehicle-mounted mortars.

        • SicSemper76

          How where they like mortars, do you mean they were used to soften up the enemy; because I know for a fact the 106 couldn’t do plunging fire from above like a mortar.

          • Jerry K

            I don't have direct experience in their apps, so maybe I'm crossing wires. The CS platoon had several vehicles w/weapons and I recall one of the operators telling me they were similar to mortars.

            Were their targets mainly vehicles like tracks & tanks?

            The military gave us the Gamma Goat at that time, so equipping a Jeep with a weapon that could flip it over was par for the course.

          • John

            I think that the operator was referring to the way the 106 function compared to a mortar not in the way it performed or was deployed.

  • @JohnJJefferson

    Going with #1 and my .50 cal Beowulf. AKA…The Brick Buster

    #3 and my Stag 6HL (only 16X….but with a 24" SS Bull Barrel….you need a bipod)

    #7 with my wood stocked AR-15 M4 SS slim profile barrel with NP3 reciever set. ( I call it the Marine Model …LOL)

  • AaronW

    You forgot this one: the "stuck in unfree state" guy… I'm the one who either emptied out his bank account to buy a relatively rare transferable "pre-ban" or had to settle for one with a thumbhole stock, 10-round mags, plain vanilla barrel, pinned stock, bullet button, etc…

  • andy

    what a bout the guy who has multple a-rs, in diffednt confirgurations ? cqb's, long distance, competitive.ect

  • Daniel Moore

    I used the M-16 during my 20 years of active duty (72-92). It was okay but I had bad experiences with three different M-16's in my time. One was issued with a bad barrel – could not zero it. Another was a jam-o-matic inspite of all my cleaning. Another would open up groups after firing about 50 rounds. I have owned a Saiga AK 47 style rifle and liked it. Accuracy was good but not the best and it was totally reliable. I have a Kel-Tech SU 16C that I really like. It is piston driven like the AK but uses the 5.56/.223 round…very accurate…very reliable. Only thing I did to it was put on a 4X scope and a sling.

    • SicSemper76

      WHAT, sir I think your past is a little distorted; none of those things you've said make any sense.

  • jeepers creepers

    Alan-T seems to be on the rampage again. Like always. Only thing out of his mouth is troll and idiot. A few misspelled words does not mean anything. Someone that does not agree with what firearms you like is not a troll. I used a M16 & M14 in 1974. I could not hit anything with them. I was told that with my round shoulders I could never fire a rifle good enough to go into combat. They were right. So I Have a lot of firearms that fire rifle rounds that have 12 inch barrels and a pistol grip. I would take the 7.62×39 over the 5.56 any day. I own a very rare 7.7×39 cowboy carbine (.3125 bore).. Thanks to the Clinton gun ban it was only imported 14 months (1993-early94).

    • Alan_T

      Kids ! ……… I thought I told you to take out the dog ! ….. now look what he did ….. he left a big steaming pile of jeepers creepers in the middle of the blog !

      Oh …….. and I can't help it if you're a lousy shot Creepy !

      • Jeepers Creepers

        I think I found a new lover!!! When is the first date. I will be wearing a Desert Eagle 50 A.E.
        What will you be wearing so I can spot you.

        • Alan_T

          How about I just call The Colorado State Mental Hospital and have your day pass revoked ?

          I forgot to mention before that I noticed that you posted this waaaaaaaaaaaay down here INSTEAD OF TO ME , up where the post you are referring to is …… whatsamatta creep , did the possibility of facing all the others posters scare you off ? Are you a coward ?

          Silly me , what am I saying ? OF COURSE YOU ARE !

          It's just another of your fine attributes along with being a pathological liar with narcissistic delusions .

  • SicSemper76

    The Operator 100 percent, never been in the military. Not because I don’t what to but I have dyslexia/Asperger’s. It pretty damn depressing that I will most likely never be able to serve fight and die if necessary, to keep rights of life liberty and the purist of happiness. The things that we the people of the U.S.A. are so lucky to have.

  • John Q. Public

    A few more AR user types:

    #8 "The Delta-Seal-Ranger"
    This guy owns a cheap rifle with Chinese-made after market parts and thinks he's on an equal level with members of the armed forces. He is often overweight and found at gun shows.

    #9 "The Comrade"
    The Comrade lives in a state controlled by liberals. His AR is in a configuration that lacks features the left deems scary, such as a bayonet lug, flash suppressor, and magazine holding more than ten rounds. Many Comrades wish they could own something cool, but sadly can't afford to move to a more free state.

    #10 "The Fan Boy"
    The Fan Boy only buys a certain brand of AR. He or She swears buy their brand and thinks all other AR's are trash. The Fan Boy is rarely convinced that a similar rifle with a different symbol on it is equal to their AR.

    #11 "The Odd Ball"
    The odd ball owns an AR in a caliber other than 5.56. Odd Balls sometimes develop very accurate but expensive rounds for the AR, others try to adapt strangle commie calibers to the AR platform.

    #12 "The Iron Man"
    He owns no optics for his AR. Often believes in Keeping things simple. Prefers the "A2" rifle, can often hit targets at 500 yards.

    #13 "Bargain Hunter"
    This AR user buys the cheapest rifle available, and sometimes buy more than one. He is concerned with quantity over quality, or obsessed with saving a few dollars. His made by the lowest bidder rifle frequently has problems, and he often wishes he would have spend that extra $50 on a better rifle.

    • Alan_T


  • Charles

    #2 The competitor…
    What type of AR is that? Looks more like an FN SCAR to me…..

  • david

    i own 6 AR type rifles 1 AR10 and five AR 15 in 5.56 and 6.8 spc. working on 4more. what kind of AR owner does this make me? a hunter,shooter and a sportsman.

  • Soldtonorm

    And hunter/provider if you do a caliber upgrade.

  • James

    I love my lmt defender and my eotech xps2 all u need in my opinion

    • John

      That’s a fine, choice there my man, LMT is a battlefield field proven with a EO-tech xps2 optic is even more so a effective weapon system; just have to ask which type of LMT Defender you have? The LMT Defender comes in 3 configurations; also I hope you keep the battlefield back-up iron sights, no reason to take them off in the first place.

  • Sunshine State

    Early Assault Rifle version: lever Action Model 1894

  • prepaird

    I got a new but cheap ar style gun 3 months ago. Ive put magpul furniture on it and a under 100$ red dot on it. Ive put about a thousand steel and brass threw it without any problems yet. I can hit a 6" steel target with every round out of a 30 round mag at 100yrds. I enjoy a day at the range. Im not a hunter, but want a reliable gun for protection if needed. Im not rich so i dont own the high end 1000$ + equipment. I feel prepaird for trouble if I need a rifel and enjoy shooting. I read about the AR snobs but feel lucky enough to be able to own a weapon thats shaped history and the USA.

  • Sunshine State

    Can you imagine Romney in the old days with a AR??

    I have an early version AR; Lever Action

  • dan

    When I served I was first issued a M16A1. Later I was Issued the M16A2 (other than the burst option) I feel in love with it, so when I got out I went out and got a AR15A2. option on it now a scope and bipod.

  • PatriotM1A

    When I was drafted, I qualified with the M14 (M1A)….Still the best combat rifle along with its’ Pop, the M1 Garand !!!!

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