Exploring the World of Ar-15–Style Rifles: A Comprehensive Guide

The AR-15 is a popular semi-automatic, lightweight weapon that can be used by civilians. The AR-15 has many features which make it similar to the military versions of rifles. For instance, the carbine of an AR-15 is similar to the M4 carbine that is used in the military.

The only difference between the military version and the civilian one is the size of the barrel. Apart from this, the military version of the rifle can fire in different modes, namely automatic, burst fire, and semi-automatic. But the civilian versions are mainly semi-automatic in operation.

All That You Need To Know About AR 15 Rifles


Most people have heard about the AR-15 -style rifles, but they may not know about AR-15 parts and how to maintain them. A rifle typically has a barrel, muzzle, a receiver, a gas tube etc. So if you want a comprehensive guide to the AR-15 rifle, then continue reading to learn more.

Detachable Magazine And Pistol Grip

The magazine, in simple words, is a contraption that holds a collection of ammunition (bullets in the case of a gun) that are fed into the gun to allow repeated firing. All AR-15 guns come with a detachable magazine, and this makes it easier for the owners to comply with state-specific (in the United States) laws for civilian use.

The detachable magazine has great utility over the clip-fed internal magazine. In the clip -in the internal magazine, the whole clip has to go inside the gun. While this arrangement may seem feasible for a small pistol that holds five bullets but for a gun with thirty or more bullets, the clip-in arrangement is highly inconvenient.

So a detachable magazine-based system allows the rifle to be more easily movable and usable as all the bullets need not be stacked together inside the gun.

Two-Part (Modular) Receiver


The receiver is part of a gun that houses the bolt and also accommodates the firing mechanism. The name receiver probably is derived from the fact that this part receives the bullet and fires it at the target. According to federal laws in the United States, the receiver in itself is a firearm, and any person who buys just the receiver must undergo necessary background checks.

Many guns have a single receiver, but military and civilian versions of AR-15 rifles have a modular construction for the receiver. The modular construction allows for easy substitution of parts. So if you have an AR-15 and some part of the receiver needs minor adjustments, you do not need to visit an arsenal to make those changes.

Collapsibility Or Folding System

Some firearms can be folded or collapsed and stored in a more compact manner. Most military carbines have foldable stocks, and this makes the weapon shorter. The shorter weapon is useful when it needs to be concealed from the enemy or when the weapon has to be carried to inhospitable areas.

AR-15 rifles may or may not have folding or collapsible stocks. The major adaptation for foldable rifles involves the buffer tube; if there is no buffer tube and the buffer system is contained entirely in the receiver, then the firing can take place even in the folded position.

But when it comes to AR-15 rifles, they cannot be fired in the folded position because the existence of the buffer tube and direct impingement gas system prevents firing when the gun is in the folded position.

The Gas Block And Vent Of The Gun

In most rifles, a gas block and tube are used to reuse the burnt powder gas back into the bolt carrier. The burnt powder gas expands in the bolt carrier, and this helps in the ejection of the used cartridge. Some bolt carrier systems may vent out the unburnt powder gas into the receiver, and this can cause malfunctions in the gun.

However, the AR-15 rifles are different as they use a short-stroke gas piston. In the short-stroke gas piston, a piston behind the barrel gas port pushes against the bolt carrier. This ensures that the receiver of the gun is well protected and the chances of malfunctions are minimum.

Useful For Left And Right Handed Shooters

Most guns are designed to be operated by right-handed people who have a dominant right eye. The ejection of the spent cartridges is such that it is away from the right-handed shooter. But when a left-handed shooter uses a standard rifle, he may be hit by hot used cartridges that may impact his chest and neck.

However, with the highly modular AR-15 system, left-handed shooters can use rifles without the fear of injury from spent cartridges. Many manufacturers have incorporated special parts in the AR-15 rifle that allows leftward ejection of spent cartridges. The upper receivers are modified, and the left-handed bolts are used to transform a right-handed AR-15 rifle into a left-handed one.

A Great Gun For Hunting


AR-15-style rifles are the first preference of many hunters who like the gun for its accuracy and ease of customization. The gun is great for traveling purposes since it can be folded. Moreover, the rails (modular lock) allow for the addition of different sights, each of which may be suitable for hunting different animals.

Moreover, the self-loading mechanism is very useful for hunters. If the hunter misses the first shot, he can shoot again without wasting much time loading the gun.You can also make minor alterations readily, like changing the length of the barrel or type of muzzle as per your hunting plans.


The high customizability and modular design of the AR-15 rifles have made them popular among gun enthusiasts and regular users (military establishments). The customizability makes this model highly popular among left-handed and left-eye-dominant people who face trouble using standard guns (designed for right-handed people).

Today several models like the Barrett REC7 use the AR-15 style of rifles. So if you wish to purchase an AR-15 style rifle, you must know about its useful features like its foldability, gas piston, etc., which make these guns highly convenient to use.

About Abdulah Hussein