The AR-15 Is A Gadget

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Wired Magazine has published an excellent long form article explaining what the AR-15 is and what it is not to Wired’s geek/tech audience.

From the morning that ArmaLite opened its doors in 1954 to the present, most of the innovation that has gone into the AR-15 has been aimed at making the gun as accurate and pleasurable to shoot as possible. The result is a gun that really is an order of magnitude easier to use effectively than many of the traditional wood-stocked rifles that black-rifle-hating hunters grew up with. For someone who enjoys shooting a $2,500 AR-15 from a company like Lewis Machine and Tool, Black Rain Ordnance, Daniel Defense, or KAC, is like a driving enthusiast sitting behind the wheel of an Italian or German supercar. It’s a revelation, and the experience doesn’t wear off quickly.

Once you have SHOT a very high-end AR-15. It is hard to go back.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • John184

    Wired is pretty anti-gun, if you want to read their other articles. This same article you linked to also said that the M14 was used in WW2.

    • Shooter13

      Really? I was under the impression it was just the opposite. the Danger Room on Wired’s site is like a anti gov-tech site lol. at least judging by all the anti-Drone articles

      • -V-

        In general, Wired takes a fairly anti-gun stance on most all things firearms related. They may be anti-drone, but they are also against your right to defend yourself with or even own a firearm. For reference, I also tend to read wired on a regular basis.

        • Criticalthinkingiscritical

          I agree. They attempt a semi-balance but 4 out of every 5 gun related articles is strongly (and usually ignorantly) anti gun.

          FYI – I’ve subscribed since year 1 of Wired. They are often wrong on nearly everything (especially their consumer electronic reviews) but still beat out the other tech rags.

    • sadlerbw

      I just read the linked article and this one, in particular, didn’t seem anti-gun to me. I don’t know about the rest of the content, but this one did a pretty good job of getting the facts right and explaining the wild fascination with the AR-15 in a way that might make some sense to non-gun folks. Also, I think the author may have corrected the WWII comment, as I didn’t see that when I read through. Maybe I missed it?

  • Maverick

    . “Also known in its fully automatic, military incarnation as the M16, the rifle was racking up record sales in the years before Sandy Hook, but now, in the midst of a renewed effort to ban this weapon and others like it from civilian hands, the AR-15 market has gone nuclear, with some gun outlets rumored to have done three years’ worth of sales in the three weeks after Newtown.”

    m16 huh? Doesn’t sound very progun.

    “Why would normal, law-abiding Americans want to own a deadly weapon that was clearly designed for military use? ”

    Hmmm. I think I’ll pass

    • Bull

      the first sentence… i dont see that one as anti gun. just a long, cumbersome sentence that is a bit diffuse. he is just explaining that the ar15 and the m16 is related. (hell… they ARE the same gun, just without a tiny , tiny difference in the FCG. Full auto isnt exactly magic :-P )

  • Squidpuppy

    Remember the target audience; it’s not us. I think this article does a pretty balanced job of informing the non-gunny what the big deal is with ARs, and in general, it’s fairly positive. I agree it doesn’t do much service in support of gun rights, but I also don’t think that’s the point – the point is to show why the AR platform is so popular, and that the military aspect is more marginal than many think.

    When confronted by an anti-leaning person who asks why I want this thing when my grandfather’s hunting rifle is good enough and it gets the job done, I always ask them why they don’t drive a Model-A Ford; it was good enough for our grandfathers, and it got the job done.

  • RocketScientist

    This article was pretty well done, and doesn’t paint the AR platform in a particularly bad light. The rest of their gun-related articles are typically a different story. As an example, I give you this:

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/ff-bullets-gun-violence/

    where it is suggested that a few hundred rounds a year is a ridiculously excessive amount of ammo consumption, that bullets should be taxed to the extent that they are unaffordable (in a bid to reduce gun crime), and that all ammo purchases require registration and tracking. Reading the article makes it clear that the author and none of the editorial staff reviewing it have any familiarity with firearms. That they tout the article as “data-driven” just makes it worse.

  • John Cunnigham

    looks like it is time to repeal the second amendment. It serves no good purpose.

    • Karina

      Yes, repeal the one amendment in the Constitution of the United States that ensures the population has the possibility to fight back against tyrannical governments. Repeal the one amendment that is still synonymous of freedom and is the reason the United States can consider itself freer than us in Europe, or anywhere else.

      Because something serves no good purpose for YOU, you think it should be repealed and/or banned?