In late 1963, photographer Arthur Rickerby snapped photos of a Colt demonstration of its new AR-15 rifle. The photos appeared TIME Magazine, and their focus was on more than just the rifles themselves: Present at the shoot was 1962 Miss America pageant winner Maria Fletcher. The photos give an interesting look back to a rifle that was cutting-edge in the early Sixties:
The date of the photos is an irony in and of itself: TIME ran the article and its photos in the 21st issue of their 82nd volume, on November 22nd, 1963; the same day President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot. Kennedy’s assassination, and the others that rocked the Sixties afterward, led directly to the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act and the general souring of popular media towards the firearms hobby.
Many thanks to Daniel for his help researching the background of the photos in this article.