When I was invited to write an AR-15 review, I first wondered what else could possibly be written about the M16/AR-15 platform. But its versatility among hunters, competitive shooters, plinkers and citizen home-defenders has earned it the title of “America’s Rifle.” And the AR has been the standard service rifle of the U.S. military longer than any other rifle in our nation’s history.
The AR’s adoption was due not to the usual Aberdeen Proving Ground trials that historically have been conducted by the U.S. Army to select small arms, but due to U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who had unintentionally led the charge (after some testing). General LeMay simply wanted the Colt AR-15 to replace
the Air Force’s ageing supplies of World War II–era M1/M2 Carbines, which Air Force personnel used to guard B-52 strategic bomber bases in the U.S. and overseas. In fact, the first technical specification for the AR-15 design came in 1957 from General Willard G. Wyman, who handed firearms designer Gene Stoner an M1 Carbine and told him to design a rifle that looked like the M1 but shot a high-velocity .22 caliber cartridge…
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