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View Full Version : AR-type Rifle Owners and Prior Service


Suvorov
02-01-2009, 9:43 AM
With the AR-type rifles becoming America's Rifle, I am curios how much of a factor prior military experience with the M-16 and the rifle's military heritage has played into the popularity. Many of the noob questions about very basic things and much of what I have observed at the range watching new owners shooting their ARs indicates that there is a large percentage of AR owners that don't have any military training with the rifle. My first experience with the AR was in the Army and so I shoot it the way I was trained by Uncle Sam, but I see a lot of shooters who don't shoot it this way. This is NOT meant to put down non-prior service owners in any way. I am very happy to see the popularity of the rifle as every AR-type in civilian hands makes our county and constitution a little safer.

So the question of all the AR-type owners out there: What is your experience with the AR type rifle and did the rifles military heritage affect your desire to own one?

Option 1: self explanatory.
Option 2: pretty much self explanatory, also for prior service members who were never trained on the M-16.
Option 3: for guys who really aren't into military rifles, but purchased an AR type rifle due to its ability to be modified for specific tasks - guys like varmint hunters or competitive shooters. These guys are the most important for mainstreaming the AR into the gun culture.
Option 4: not for the anti-gun troll lurkers, but for guys who just don't like the rifle or black rifles in general. Can also be for prior service guys who just don't have the desire to own one.

Timberwolf
02-01-2009, 9:51 AM
From the amount of instruction that I give as a RO on the usage of the AR (loading, operation, clearing jams, zeroing iron sights, cleaning etc) on a weekly basis I would say the percentage of prior military is very low.

99blkxj
02-01-2009, 9:54 AM
USMC trained Basic Rifleman

GrayWolf09
02-01-2009, 10:12 AM
Back in the early 70's I was issued an M-16 in the army. I liked the light weight, low recoil and accuracy of it, although many made fun of it a a "plastic gun". It wasn't very left handed friendly, however, and I have the burn marks on my forearm to prove it.

What I like about it today is that every Tom, Dick and Gray Wolf can customize it with stock, barrel, etc as they see fit. I also like that Stag makes leftys.:80:

Blacktail 8541
02-01-2009, 10:32 AM
USMC 8yrs, trained with and like the platform.

rg_1111@yahoo.com
02-01-2009, 10:37 AM
Just like the Rifle. For me the pistol grip rifles fit me better.

Max-the-Silent
02-01-2009, 10:52 AM
Military trained, didn't like the ones I encountered in service (too well "used")

The ones I had experience with before the Army worked fine, but they were civilian owned pieces that had lots of TLC - no piece in the military sees TLC, especially in a war.

I like the rifle for what it is, own them in several flavors from NFA to OLL, and don't feel horrible if I'm issued one that works.

Max-the-Silent
02-01-2009, 11:00 AM
The day I tried to join the army (Sept 12 2001), I was told I was too old.

Not to thread jack, but I tried to re-enlist after 9/11.

Went down to the Army recruiter in 02 with 201 in hand ready to take the oath.

Figured at the very least I could instruct at AMTU or JFK. Young recruiter looked at me with a funny expression on his face, almost laughing until he read my 201. Too old, prior service disability (hearing) and he sent me on my way. Tried the Marines, and I'll say this for them - the answer was pretty much the same but the recruiter at least treated me with respect and thanked me for my service, wanted to talk about VN and other things.

Ended up with Dyncorp 03-04.

Funny, from the Chief (who worked a contract with DOS) down lots of guys in my department have taken a year off for service, both contracting and reserves. Some other departments have had issues with officers serving, but not ours.

Flying Bones
02-01-2009, 11:42 AM
My AR Experience:
Introduction: Friend
Interest Sparked: Calguns
Purchase: Ten Percent
Training - Calguns

xmenrsix
02-01-2009, 12:47 PM
-fired my first AR in the Philippines at age 11 (grandpa fought in WWII, uncle private security/body guard, dad/uncles all avid shooters and a large arsenal to play with)

-joined marines and trained as a 0311 at 18 (got my mom to sign the waiver)

-now much older and building my 1st ar of my own (only have a lower reciever :()

Sinestr
02-01-2009, 1:07 PM
Have always been involved in shooting sports. Dad was also a WWII veteran, and raised around shooting and hunting on the farm. My father got me interested at an early age. Have always appreciated the firearms that have kept this country free, and have the utmost respect for the men who have used them. On a odd side note, I have close friends who have served and don't seem to be as interested as myself in EBR'S.

Matt C
02-01-2009, 1:14 PM
No option for:

Military trained, didn't much like the rifle, but enjoyed sticking it to the Man.

Fjold
02-01-2009, 1:19 PM
US Navy but I qualified with 1911, M14 and Ithaca 37. As far as ARs are concerened, I just wanted some

signal5delta
02-01-2009, 1:23 PM
When I was in the Army the issued rifle was the M14. I have an M1 Garand and an SA Mil-Spec 45. I now have an AR15 which I really like. I guess I like all things,Military.

USA Signal Corp-1964-1967 Jim
Army Proud

Sniper3142
02-01-2009, 1:30 PM
No option for:

Military trained, didn't much like the rifle, but enjoyed sticking it to the Man.

Bingo!

Military trained, hated the rifle, but since I can take it apart & put it together with my eyes closed... ;)

I also decided to get a couple back in 1999 because of the ban (I probably wouldn't have purchased them if not for that).

I was mostly a bolt action guy at the time. The AR15 was and still is the best option from a flexibility, accuracy, and familiarity point of view. Because of that, I decided to buy some while I still could.

JHC
02-01-2009, 1:34 PM
We didn't use the AR/M16 in the Navy and I'm not particularly in love with the platform either, however I do own a few partly as an EFFUUU! to the antis but also because I believe in variety in my weapons collection. Somedays you feel like shooting wood and steel, others you feel the need for alluminum and plastic, and occasionally you just feel like throwing an axe;)

IllTemperedCur
02-01-2009, 2:33 PM
MIL-trained, wanted civ version.

Used an A1 from '86 to late '89, when we finally got the A2s. Never trusted the A2 sights in the field, always expected to end up breaking them off from rough handling. Of course, I never actually saw it happen, but it was always in the back of my mind. Loved the A2 recoil characteristics, hated the burst feature.

Other than that, I've always loved the AR platform, especially the ergonomics, which are damned near perfect.

landser1102
02-01-2009, 4:23 PM
Trained and carried it for 2 plus yrs. I like the platform and were very use to it. So I jump on getting myself one when I found out about the OLLs. I would have brought myself a M249 SAW too if they let me, carried that thing for quite awhile too....:D

morphius
02-01-2009, 4:47 PM
I've watched History of the Gun TV series with an episode on Eugene Stoner & development of the M-16 and adoption in Vietnan. I've was impressed with everything about it since I was a kid and had to own one for myself when of age. In the 1990's prior to the assualt weapons ban, I bought a Bushmaster. I've learned everything I could from great web sites like AR15.com, Calguns.net, Brownells, etc. My XM-15's been in the safe for years. Now I can put on every evil feature and use my hi-cap magazines on my registered AW. Now I'm finally looking forward to building my own OLL. Just waiting for a few more back ordered parts.

Fuzzy5
02-01-2009, 5:33 PM
I voted for #3. I really don't like the direct impingement gas system or the rear charging handle, but I like the AR overall for its modularity. Like the Ruger 10/22 or the Chevy 350 engine, there's a huge selection of parts so you can build it to do anything you want. And despite the crud and heat blown into the receiver by the gas system, it does give the AR good inherent accuracy.

Last and maybe least, it's a nice-looking gun. Well, except for the shell deflector. I think that part's ugly as sin but I won't buy a smooth-sided receiver because I just might have to shoot southpaw or toss the rifle to a lefty some day (when the manure meets the fan).

devildog999
02-01-2009, 6:02 PM
Trained with an M16 in the Corps. Always was my favorite rifle, even when I was younger. Always had to have one. Then when I found out it was possible to legally own one in Cali, it was like Christmas in summer ;)

M. Sage
02-01-2009, 6:07 PM
I chose #3, even though I do like military designs. They're usually a bit more robust and easier to maintain, IMO.

That said, I'd like the AR even without its military heritage. It's a good design.

Suvrov: We need to meet up out here in TX sometime! I need to hit a good gunshow, and I've heard that Houston has some of the best. :D

kermit
02-01-2009, 6:22 PM
No option for:

Military trained, didn't much like the rifle, but enjoyed sticking it to the Man.

+1. :thumbsup:

I mostly like to shoot pistols and bolt rifles but have a RAW and OLL because they said I couldn't.:)
I'd like to get a Nerf, too, once we get the all clear.:43:

DSA_FAL
02-01-2009, 7:00 PM
I collect mil-surps and modern replicas of military weapons so when I learned of the possibility of owning the civilian version of the contemporary military rifle I jumped at the chance. (A big thank you to Calguns and the pioneers of the OLL movement.)

tango5
02-01-2009, 8:18 PM
When I was in the Army the issued rifle was the M14. I have an M1 Garand and an SA Mil-Spec 45. I now have an AR15 which I really like. I guess I like all things,Military.

USA Signal Corp-1964-1967 Jim
Army Proud

I guess you spent some time in Ft Gordon, GA huh? lol. I did 8 years in the US Army(1995-2003), as a Signal Support Systems Specialist. Pretty much we did anything from field radios, field computers, fiber optics, satalite relays, and cellular phone systems. Anything that can be put into a ruck sack and carried to communicate with others.

First time i laid hands on a AR15 i was 16 years old, my best friends dad had one. I knew since i was a kid at about 7 years old i was going to join the Army when i got older. My dad was in the Infantry with the 7th Infantry, then re-enlisted to become an Engineer (1970-1975). The stories he told my brother and i got me hooked, i wanted to do that. From day one of rifle training in boot camp, it felt good in my hands, and easy to operate. I never scored less than a 39 out of 40 in all 8 years of service when i qualified with the M16A2. Not to toot my own horn, hand me a zero'ed AR15 or M16 with iron sights, and i can place a round with surgical precision within reason.

Army GI
02-01-2009, 8:28 PM
I was biased against the AR15. I always thought the only two guns I would own would be an M14 rifle and an M1911A1. No rifle could ever be as good as the M14 (or M1A) and no handgun as good as the M1911.

I went to my first drill in 2003 and held, disassembled, and reassembled an M16A2 for the first time. Did basic in 2004 and the rifle grew on me. I had to have one ever since and now own a 20" A4 upper.

Still working on my 1911 bias;)

Suvorov
02-01-2009, 9:00 PM
Thanks for the feed back guys. I'm actually a little suprised at the number of you who have voted for #3 but upon reflection it does make the most sence. Also interesting that almost 1/3 of the AR owers here are prior service trained and is a little higher than expected as well, I wonder if that is fairly reflective of AR owners in general?

Suvrov: We need to meet up out here in TX sometime! I need to hit a good gunshow, and I've heard that Houston has some of the best. :D


They just had the big gunshow at the reliant center a couple of weeks ago. I helped deliver a couple now ARs into the world, one for my room mate. The shows are amazing, but this one was kind of lacking. Ammo was scarce and prices were reflecting the frenzy. Still there were plenty of guns to be seen and had (even private sales! Police trade Beretta 92s for $300!). We can try and make the next big one, I'm in Texas about 3-4 days a week depending on schedule. San Antonio should have some decent shows as well, and the ProBass shop there off of the 10 had a good assortment of Mec-Gar standard capacity magazines last time I was there.

DedEye
02-01-2009, 9:05 PM
No option for:

Military trained, didn't much like the rifle, but enjoyed sticking it to the Man.

This, plus "The platform grew on me after I started getting into it."

Crusader
02-01-2009, 9:06 PM
I used to vehemently oppose the use of the AR as a service rifle. I have no military experience, but of course I have an opinion like most people. However, after shooting a friend's AR, and then breaking it down for cleaning, I realized what a solid platform it really is. I am now of the opinion that it is only the 5.56 round that is holding the ARs back.
So there, I like it because it's functional, light, and fairly effective.

Suvorov
02-01-2009, 9:12 PM
I was biased against the AR15. I always thought the only two guns I would own would be an M14 rifle and an M1911A1. No rifle could ever be as good as the M14 (or M1A) and no handgun as good as the M1911.

I went to my first drill in 2003 and held, disassembled, and reassembled an M16A2 for the first time. Did basic in 2004 and the rifle grew on me. I had to have one ever since and now own a 20" A4 upper.

Still working on my 1911 bias;)

I'm actually very similar. Saw my first AR as a kid and thought it was way cool (just like my GI Joe Grunt had), but I never fired one until I signed up for ROTC in 2001. We had all the old beat up A1s that the local armory provided us and they were not reliable and I left with a negative impression of them, when I had the money I bought a M1A instead of the AR because I thought the ARs were jamamatic junk. We then got the A2s (brand new FNs) and I fell in love with the rifle and in 1994 bought a Colt Sporter Target. Since then I have had a two time love affair with the M14 pattern rifle and AR type rifles, love em both and really don't know which one I like best. Recently I picked up my S&W M&P and while I truly prefer the A2/A4 platform, I have to admit that the carbine is growing on me.

As far as handguns go, my first love was the Browning HP, but after 15 years of carrying and shooting the Beretta, my bias against it is gone and it feels like a nice pair of gloves. Now I just have to learn to love this crazy HK LEM USP Compact :(

JerryM
02-01-2009, 9:24 PM
Uhm, lets see:

Issued M16A1 in basic for BRM (and all other fun things).
Issued M16A2 at Active Army units.
Issued M16A1 again by the CA Army National Guard (yeah, downgraded).
Issued M16A2 for Iraq
Issued M4 + M9 for Afghanistan
Back to the M16A2 again, I guess LOL.

Bought AR-15s to supplement poor/lack of real marksmanship training, then the ASW ban hit CA. And you guys know the rest.

So yes, I have a ingrained appreciation for the platform. I know people will argue pro and cons of the rifle. But for me? It is a fun rifle to shoot and an appropriate platform to own (you know, SHTF, Zombies, breakdown of social contracts, etc).

(^_^)

Army GI
02-01-2009, 9:28 PM
I'm actually very similar. Saw my first AR as a kid and thought it was way cool (just like my GI Joe Grunt had), but I never fired one until I signed up for ROTC in 2001.[/snip]

Haha, way cool!

Did you ever have a First Sergeant Duke? Probably not, by context I can tell you were probably already a grown up by the time they introduced that character.

Linh
02-01-2009, 9:31 PM
Army trained

Reserve 99-02
Active 02-05

I took a liking to the AK-47, I guess it does something to you when your enemy uses it. Didn't really like the M-16 in the desert.

So what the hell just ended up getting both. Well only half done for the AR still saving for my super piston upper lol

Jonathan Doe
02-02-2009, 6:43 AM
USMC, Rifle Expert:

Boot camp: M16A1
Unit of Assignment: M16A2. Later M16 w/ M203 and a M249.

onley11
02-02-2009, 10:39 AM
USMC 4 award expert
Solid platform- 5.56 is fine in most situations, and every squad should have one DM with a scoped 7.62.
M4's have too short barrels, 16 is fine 14 1/2 is too short to do the magic bullet physics at more than 100 yards that make a varmint round work on people...
Clean it and it works great, learn where it needs to be cleaned to function, and it's not a bother...
Light weight is often cited, but remember, when you are walking 20 miles, ounces make a difference, and pounds are huge. I carried a SAW a lot. Picking up a m16a2 once in a while was great!!!
And if you read the wind right a center of mass 500 yard shot was very doable with iron sights, if you could see the target.

Matt C
02-02-2009, 10:41 AM
Light weight is often cited, but remember, when you are walking 20 miles, ounces make a difference, and pounds are huge. I carried a SAW a lot. Picking up a m16a2 once in a while was great!!!


Yeah, but if/when the shooting starts, suddenly that weight doesn't seem so bad...

4 Brigada
02-02-2009, 11:07 AM
Cant vote, not enough options. Im military trained and never liked the rifle.

doc1buc
02-02-2009, 1:21 PM
Issued an M-4 and an M-9, had to sling the M-4 when working on my brothers, liked it a hell of alot more than the M-9.

kenjimatic
02-02-2009, 1:44 PM
always liked the tacticool looking gun as a kid and never thought of owning one since living in commifonia until recently when obama was running for president then i found out about calguns.net and did some research then got a oll(from jk supply) in late november and completed it in january. im a happy camper :D

Suvorov
02-02-2009, 2:38 PM
Haha, way cool!

Did you ever have a First Sergeant Duke? Probably not, by context I can tell you were probably already a grown up by the time they introduced that character.

No, I didn't give up GI Joe until late 14 or so. I had Duke, I think the last big item I got was the Hovercraft or Light Tank. Still got em in the attic somewhere.