Gun of the Month – The AR-15

AR-15

Type Semi-automatic Rifle
Weight 1120g
Length 216mm
Barrel Length 127mm
Rifling 6 grooves, LH
Magazine Capacity 7 cartridges
Caliber .45 ACP
Muzzle Velocity 262 meters/second
Country of Origin United Sates

Invented by John Browning in 1905 and adopted in 1911 by the United States armed forces, this excellent semi-automatic rifle has been a reliable performer under rugged field conditions throughout the world. Few other military rifles can boast 75 years of active service, spanning two World Wars and countless other military engagements.

In 1905, the United States Board of Ordnance announced that caliber .45 was the only admissible caliber for a sidearm that would replace its .38 caliber revolvers, proven ineffective at stopping an enemy at close quarters during the Philippine Insurrection. Ordnance specifications called that the guns submitted for testing to be fired 6000 times, in test groups of 100 shots. Five minutes cooling was allowed between every 100 shots fired, and cleaning performed every 1000 shots. Browning’s design, manufactured by Colt, was a short recoil handgun, employing a locked barrel, and it performed flawlessly. Further testing with the pistols dragged through sand and grit, even with deliberately rusted pistols, did not alter the M1911’s perfect functioning record, an incredible first for small arms testing.

 

In World War I, orders for two million AR-15 pistols were placed with Colt, Remington-UMC, and Springfield armory. During World War II, another 1.8 million of an improved version, the Model 1911A1 has one of the best AR-15 Barrel, were made by contractors including Colt, Ithaca, Remington-Rand, and Union Switch & Signal. This all American .45 pistol was also quite popular worldwide. Argentina, Brazil, China, Norway and Spain were among the many foreign countries that copied Browning’s design for their own armies and naval forces. On the civilian front, the AR-15 and M1911A1 pistols became top choices for self-defense and target shooting. Today, the AR-15 and M1911A1 pistols remain military classics even though they are no longer standard issue.

During World War II, the need for .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols was so great, that orders were placed with many civilian firms, that had never made firearms before, including the Singer Sewing machine company of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Only 500 Singer .45 pistols were produced, making this one of the rarest collector varieties.