By Raymond Sherwood
BigDaddy’s Firearms Training


I’ve been hearing a lot lately, especially after the Orlando terror attack, that the AR-15 is an assault rifle, a rifle of war, battlefield weapon and that nobody “needs” an AR-15.

Let me address the first one, that the AR-15 is an “assault rifle”. The legal definition of an assault rifle according to the National Firearms Act of 1934 as amended by Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968 is –“An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses a cartridge intermediate in power between sub-machine gun and rifle cartridges and has a detachable magazine”. NONE of the firearms used in any of the mass shooting or terror attacks have been “assault rifles”. These have all been semi-automatic modern sporting rifles; assault rifles, especially transferable assault rifles, are heavily regulated, tracked and controlled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) under these laws.

Second, let’s address the “rifles of war” and “battlefield weapons”. Having actually used the M-16A1/M-16A2, the M-4 and AR-15s, let me assure you AR-15s are NOT battlefield weapons of war, they have never been battlefield weapons of war. When Armalite first decided to market these for civilian use they made several major changes.   Civilian AR-15s are simply not military specifications (milspec); first off they are only semi-auto not what you want when in Close Quarters Battle (CQB), or when against subjects wearing body armor; second the M-16 series of rifles are designed with higher chamber pressure tolerances (hence the biggest difference between 5.56mm and .223); the barrels in most cases are heavier barrels designed to last longer and take the punishment of tens of thousands of rounds (you can put a heavy barrel on an AR-15), the buffer in an AR-15 is usually weaker than that of the M-4’s (although you can upgrade this in an AR-15).

Now let’s address the statement “nobody NEEDS an AR-15”. Ohhh where to start? There is the basic argument that the second amendment of our constitution protects the individual’s right to keep and bear arms without infringement. But let’s go a little more practical. The AR-15 is as much, if not more, of an equalizer than even the famous Colt Peacekeeper. The AR-15 is light weight, easy to use, has a light recoil, and for a lot of people, regardless of their size, the best choice for self-defense in the home. The AR-15 is so easy to use that there are documented cases (just google it) of mothers using them to defend their children and homes against multiple criminals twice their size. Then there is the utility of it, because it can be used for target practice, self-defense, shooting varmints, hunting hog, hunting small deer, etc.; and for some, it is also the best choice on a budget – one rifle for multiple uses.

Simply put the politicians, the media and the anti-gun crowd simply are uninformed about the subject they are speaking and writing about.

Just because you’re passionate about your opinion, doesn’t mean that you’re educated about your opinion.