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Charlie T Waite

AR-15 Part 1: Myths Dispelled

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According to a recent Facebook post by Mark Twain, reports about the AR-15 are greatly exaggerated. It’s true. Anyone who doesn’t own one likely holds plenty of views on the topic that are mythical. Let’s explore a few of the more egregious myths that are circulated more frequently than the common cold at a gun show.

Myth 1: The AR-15 Is Too Powerful for Civilian Use

First, let’s recognize that any firearm is “powerful,” meaning that if used with ill-intent, it can cause harm; after all, the whole point of a defensive firearm in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is to help even the odds against an aggressor to protect self and family.

With that said, as far as rifles go, the AR-15 is on the lower end of the power scale. Virtually any hunting rifle exceeds the kinetic energy figures for the standard .223 Remington, 55-grain cartridge. Let’s consider real numbers: A 55-grain projectile flying at 3,000 feet per second generates 1,099.3 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. As a comparison, a standard .30-06 with a 150-grain bullet delivers 2,820 foot-pounds; a .270 load using a 140-grain bullet cranks out just over 2,700 foot-pounds. The ubiquitous 12-gauge? How about 2,487.3 foot-pounds for a slug moving at a whopping 1,600 feet per second. Even a.30-30 lever-action rifle generates 2,500 give or take.

There’s a reason that some states don’t allow hunters to use an AR-15 chambered in .223 Remington for deer hunting. Some think—and a lot of this is based on old bullet design performance—that the .223 caliber isn’t powerful enough for medium to large-sized game.

Myth 2: The AR-15 is a Weapon of War

The terminology used by MSNBC and CNN to describe America’s Rifle varies a bit, but the top contenders include: “assault weapon,” “assault rifle” and “weapon of war.” The latest I’ve seen is “military-style” rifle. I have to believe this new one is an intentional nod to the inaccuracy of the other terms.

While I’m sure that AR-15s have been used in conflict zones, they’re not issued by the United States to its various armed services. Those would be select-fire—capable of semi-automatic, full-auto, or three-round burst fire—and full-auto variants like the M4 and M16. Do they look similar? Sure. But AR-15 rifles are strictly semi-automatic.

Myth 3: You Can Easily Convert an AR-15 to a Machine Gun

Listening to the news, you’d think a dyslexic tree sloth could convert an AR-15 to an M249 Squad Automatic Rifle. In reality, converting a standard semi-automatic AR-15 into a full-auto M16 or M4 is no easy thing to accomplish. Oh, and it’s insanely illegal even if you have a machine shop, knowledge and the appropriate metalworking skills. Don’t even think about trying unless you want an all-expenses paid vacation to a federal penitentiary.

Myth 4: An AR-15 Is Too Powerful for Home Defense

We will explore this in more detail in the next installment, but for now, know that AR-15s and similar semi-automatic rifles make a perfectly good home-defense option, too; in fact, with standard .223 ammo, its projectiles will penetrate fewer walls than most pistol and buckshot loads. Surprised? Hold that thought until next time.

Oh, and by the way, the “AR” in AR-15 doesn’t stand for “assault rifle,” regardless of how often the talking heads repeat that myth. It stands for “Armalite,” the company that developed the AR-15.

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Anybody with a modicum of firearm knowledge, understands if carnage is the desired result, the 12-gauge shotgun is the gun of choice.
Loaded up with #1 buck, this delivers sixteen 30-caliber projectiles at over 1200 feet per second.
FBI ballistic studies cite #1 buck as highly lethal because of the wound damage.

My 243 varmint rifle shoots flatter, farther, and hits harder than an AR15.
So does a 270 and any other game rifle.
There was a reason why the 30-06 was the soldier's cartridge.

Sportsman's rifles are not black plastic wannabes that scares sheep.
They are often engraved, have very pretty wood and a stainless finish.

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I adamantly disagree about the 12. My semi automatic 10 3-1/2"and my two double barrelled 10 3-1/2"s and my double barrelled 8 gauge 4" are my defensive weapons of choice.  :wub:

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You would be shocked and saddened to know how many gun owners buy the crap the MSM spouts about the AR-15/Modern Sporting Rifle.

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I adamantly disagree about the 12. My semi automatic 10 3-1/2"and my two double barrelled 10 3-1/2"s and my double barrelled 8 gauge 4" are my defensive weapons of choice.  :wub:

You're obviously not recoil sensitive.  The misses who has no problem with shooting max pressure 357 cartridges out of a 4" S&W model 66 won't pick-up a 12 ga.  Her home defense guns are the S&W 38+P Bodyguard with integral laser & a Glock 19 hidden in a candle holding shelf that has a magnetic release compartment.  The Glock is next to the front door.She carries the Bodyguard.  The Glock has a factory Ceracoated US flag.

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Mine has an S&W Chief's Special. My youngest daughter-in-law likes my Les Baer 1911. The elder one is a 9MM person!  They are 16 gauge ladies as is my eldest. The 7 year old has a .410 double.:) The eldest boy also has a .410. They are .22 kids.


My granddaughters prefer

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