Contrary to popular belief, the term "AR-15" is not an abbreviation for "Assault Rifle 15". Instead, the letters "A" and "R" refer to Arms manufacturer Armalite, and refer to the Armalite Model #15 semiautomatic assault rifle.
The AR-15 consists of separate upper and lower receiver assemblies, which are attached with two through-pins and can be quickly interchanged with no tools. The gun is based on the 7.62 mm AR-10, designed by Eugene Stoner of the Fairchild ArmaLite corporation.
In this photo, firearms enthusiast Shea Collignon allows his AR-15 to be photographed by itself during a recent target-practice session in Covington, Louisiana. The weapon had become over-heated, and the barrel needed some time to cool off before any more rounds were fired from it.
Semi-automatic versions of the AR can be purchased legally by civilian consumers in the United States. Fully automatic versions are available to military and law enforcement personnel.
AR-15 Assault Rifle
|AR-15 Semiautomatic Rifle with C-Mag (Beta Mag)|