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View Full Version : AR Platform is Becoming Most Common Firearm


bernieb90
01-28-2010, 9:55 AM
I was at the SHOT Show this past weekend, and WOW! it looks like the AR platform and other magazine-fed semiautomatic rifles are becoming one of the most if the not the most common firearm types in usage anywhere. Every major manufacturer now makes an AR variant. Even Ruger which I consider one of the most conservative of American companies when it comes to tactical firarms has one now. The number of offerings intended for everything from tactical use to big game hunting is mind boggling.

So now in a post Heller world it would seem that any ban on such firearms would be nearly impossible on a Federal level unless Heller is overturned. Even if if it were I would guess there would be enough ARs out there to keep the supplies strong for years.

Due to the vast quanitiy of new manufacturers producing ARs the number of OLLs is increasing at a rapid rate as well.

California seems to be fighting against a tidal wave of of OLLs, and is losing badly. Incorporation should allow us to have common firearms in the form in which they were designed. I can see the California Assault Weapon ban falling, but I sure hope it comes soon.

wildhawker
01-28-2010, 10:47 AM
Justices Kennedy and Thomas agreed with you in 1994 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/92-1441.ZO.html).

Imagine how much "commoner" they are in so many variants today.

ETA: see my notes on categoricalism from Nick Johnson's presentation at SCU's recent Law Review Symposium (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=262425).

bwiese
01-28-2010, 10:53 AM
There are somewhere over 200+K new AR-pattern rifles in CA since end of 2005.

There are more off-list non-AW AR-pattern rifles than there are AR-pattern
registered AWs (both Roberti-Roos and SB23 period registrations plus "catch-up", judicially ordered and LEO registrations).

These rifles differ only from the national pattern in a trivial feature or two - mag latch, grip, or stock.

In particular the MonsterMan/SolarTactical- gripped rifle or the U15 or ExileMachine stocked rifles have identical caliber, "firepower", etc. and differ only in trivial ergonomics.

quick draw mcgraw
01-28-2010, 11:06 AM
[QUOTE=bwiese;3714643]There are somewhere over 200+K new AR-pattern rifles in CA since end of 2005.


Wow!! That's great! I thought the number was around 60,000, but apparently the figures I have seen are very dated.

Bill-

Is it possible to give us noobs and semi-noobs a brief synopsis in lay terms of the current McDonald/NRA hearing, incorporation, etc. and how they relate to the possibility of us Californians being able to toss our Bullet Buttons and run hi-cap magazines while keeping all of our "evil features" at some point in the (hopefully near) future?

Thanks - Todd

bwiese
01-28-2010, 11:37 AM
Todd...



There are somewhere over 200+K new AR-pattern rifles in CA since end of 2005.

Wow!! That's great! I thought the number was around 60,000, but apparently the figures I have seen are very dated.

Yes, VERY.

We know we were around 30,000 in April 2006 timeframe. (Note the underscore - those were early days!). Those numbers came from some internal DOJ staff (gu)esstimates, likely based on DROS number increases over yearly trend plus some data garnered from hyperagressive raid-like audits of key FFLs selling off-list recievers/rifles.

Whether this 30,000 number is DROSes or actual receivers/rifles is hard to tell. Rifles/receivers aren't registered, and many folks were buying multiple recevers.

And that 30K number might have been off by quite a bit - it could've been 24K, it could've been 40K; that's just the "neighborhood". Combine that with [I]at least 1/4 of the OLL sales being at least two lowers (or CA-legal rifles), we easily could have 50K by then. And even before the Obama panic set in, uppers were selling quite briskly into CA, so many of these lowers indeed turned into rifles.

DOJ Deputy AG Allison Merrilees further droves sales in the first half or more of 2006 with repeated memos stating, "Hey, these are almost AWs and we're gonna list 'em!". Everytime Allison issued another of these memos, I'd have phone calls from FFLs saying there was yet another huge sales spike. She truly was the leading OLL saleswoman in California - not even Hector's fleet of girls could keep up.

By the time AB2728 passed in 2006 and became active in 2007, and the proposed DOJ regulatory change about permanence of non-detachable magazines had self-aborted, there was another surge.

From 2008 - 2009, there were very easily are at least 100 CA FFLs selling at least 100+ lowers CA-legal OLL rifles per month. That's 120K per year.

So my 200+K estimate is likely conservative and on the low side. And this just deals with AR-pattern OLLs, and doesn't really include the smaller volume of AKs, FAL clones, Sig 556s etc.

Further sales bulked up when, pre-CGF, various NRA folks and various Calgunners helped get folks of trouble. BlackwaterOps being freed/cleared, Ben Cannon being cleared of "selling AWs" just because he funded a group buy, plus Gene (thru Don Kilmer) getting the 200+ seized OLL "Milipitas receivers" back all drove more confidence => more sales.

The total number of CA-legal OLL "evil black rifles" and related receivers sold since end of 2005 could very, very easily exceed 300,000!! It would not be that surprising if it were 350K.

(There are only ~150K registered AWs in California.)

Is it possible to give us noobs and semi-noobs a brief synopsis in lay terms of the current McDonald/NRA hearing, incorporation, etc. and how they relate to the possibility of us Californians being able to toss our Bullet Buttons and run hi-cap magazines at some point in the (hopefully near) future?
There are plenty of discussions here on McDonald etc. innards.

Basically, once the 2nd Amendment is found to be an individual right in the states (it was found to be an individual right in Federal-only territory, which was why Heller was fought/filed in Washington, DC) "silly gun laws" have a ready chance of falling.

McDonald (we thought we had it in Nordkye, and did for a very short period) will not achieve "instant magic" but it's the "end of the beginning".

Laws that ban whole fleets of firearms in regular commerce nationwide and that are not any more "dangerous and unusual" than other legal firearms will fail on challenge, and likely will not have to roll that far up the appeals chain. This is the basis of CGF's "Roster" lawsuit - it arbitraily bans numerous common guns that don't appreciably differ from guns legal to sell in CA - in particular, the gun the Supreme Court said Mr. Heller was allowed to acquire and own in Washington, DC!

Remember that CA's AW laws don't really ban "assault weapons", they aribtrarily and caprciously ban various feature combinations and define these combinations as AW. Whether the gov't can ban an "assault weapon" is far less of an issue than whether they can ban ordinary rifles that happen to have certain ergonomic or cosmetic features whereas identical rifles without those features are legal for sale. A Mini14 sold today at Big5 vs a Mini 14 factory stainless ranch rifle are equal in downrange effectiveness and only vary in ergonomics. With higher "scrutiny" - higher than intermediate, if not strict - such a ban simply will not fly. Furthermore, banning guns randomly by name won't stand either, especially when The Lists have guns identical in overall topology to guns legally sold to this day in CA gun stores.

I would expect various AW cases to emerge post-"Chicago".

What won't happen is "perfect Texas, Utah, etc." CA gun laws will have certain things that still stand - for example, the initial waiting period. However, the subsequent waiting periods for people like me that already own tons of guns will likely fail - there's no rational reason for it once the background check is passed. Regular transfers of guns will likely still require papering/background check - that is not prohibited in Heller.

I do believe we'll get California - in reasonable timeframe - back to approximately the 1980s with some major improvements in areas like rational CCW.

not-fishing
01-28-2010, 12:11 PM
Back in the last century the '98 mauser was the most common "platform"

The "evil not-black rifle" of the Spanish American war.

quick draw mcgraw
01-28-2010, 1:58 PM
Thanks very much Bill!!

I have read most of the other threads relating to this and some have good information and insight albeit much of it in French (lol) while the rest seem to degrade into mudslinging debacles.

Is there any planned litigation against California after McDonald and if so is there anything us ordinary folks may be able to help with? ie. plaintiffs, etc.

For instance I know some Californians (well, I know of at least 1 for sure) who banished their legally acquired AW's out of state rather than register for fear of confiscation and who would be happy to join the legal battle for their return.

Btw, what do you think will need to be done to be able to legally posess those firearms in California again?

Thanks again for your time!

wildhawker
01-28-2010, 2:10 PM
If you want to get involved at a grassroots level, shoot me a PM with your contact info and location and I'll get you in touch with the right people. We need all the help we can get, and there are many exciting campaigns to come... :43:

Thanks very much Bill!!

I have read most of the other threads relating to this and some have good information and insight albeit much of it in French (lol) while the rest seem to degrade into mudslinging debacles.

Is there any planned litigation against California after McDonald and if so is there anything us ordinary folks may be able to help with? ie. plaintiffs, etc.

For instance I know some Californians (well, I know of at least 1 for sure) who banished their legally acquired AW's out of state rather than register for fear of confiscation and who would be happy to join the legal battle for their return.

Btw, what do you think will need to be done to be able to legally posess those firearms in California again?

Thanks again for your time!

CAL.BAR
01-28-2010, 2:41 PM
AR's are very common, but it is critical to note that Heller said that handguns are commonly used for home defense. Very tough to say that most Ar's are used for "home defense" especially in larger metro areas where a high powered rifle round would likely go through several apartments/condos before hitting something(or someone) to stop it.

It's also a tough sell to say that AR's, no matter how common, are primarily a sporting/hunting rifle when the identical (looking) rifle is issued to our front line troops. (lawmakers don't get into details like one is semi and the other full auto)

Vtec44
01-28-2010, 2:56 PM
AR's are very common, but it is critical to note that Heller said that handguns are commonly used for home defense.

I thought the decision was more inline of "common use at the time" wording in US vs Miller, and not commonly used for home defense specifically.

bernieb90
01-28-2010, 3:06 PM
AR's are very common, but it is critical to note that Heller said that handguns are commonly used for home defense. Very tough to say that most Ar's are used for "home defense" especially in larger metro areas where a high powered rifle round would likely go through several apartments/condos before hitting something(or someone) to stop it.

It's also a tough sell to say that AR's, no matter how common, are primarily a sporting/hunting rifle when the identical (looking) rifle is issued to our front line troops. (lawmakers don't get into details like one is semi and the other full auto)


The above statement is false! .223 has been proven many times over to penetrate common building materials LESS effectively than either handgun loads or buckshot. That along with gretly improved terminal performance is why SWAT has almost completely transitioned to the AR over the MP-5. Other than the horrendous muzzle blast indoors (which would easily be cured by legalizing suppressors) the AR in 5.56 may just be the perfect home defense tool.

quick draw mcgraw
01-28-2010, 3:12 PM
AR's are very common, but it is critical to note that Heller said that handguns are commonly used for home defense. Very tough to say that most Ar's are used for "home defense" especially in larger metro areas where a high powered rifle round would likely go through several apartments/condos before hitting something(or someone) to stop it.

It's also a tough sell to say that AR's, no matter how common, are primarily a sporting/hunting rifle when the identical (looking) rifle is issued to our front line troops. (lawmakers don't get into details like one is semi and the other full auto)

While I agree that the use of a rifle caliber AR may not be the best choice for HD in an urban setting due to overpenetration issues (although most handgun calibers will go through multiple sheetrock walls and still exit an exterior wall), I couldn't disagree more with your assertion that AR's are a "tough sell" as hunting and sporting platforms. Many AR's are specifically designed for hunting and more and more manufacturers (including the majors) are coming out with new hunting specific models regularly. As well, our front line troops are also issued the M1A/M14 and the Remy 700/M24 bolt action which are both also regularly used for hunting and sporting. As has been true for at least the past century, most popular hunting and sporting rifles trace their lineage directly to a military design or were outright military surplus rifles (Mauser K98, Springfield 1903, M1 Garand, etc.).

bernieb90
01-28-2010, 3:22 PM
While I agree that the use of a rifle caliber AR may not be the best choice for HD in an urban setting due to overpenetration issues.

There are NO overpenetration issues!!! Any load that meets FBI requirement of 12" 10% calibrated gelatin penetration requirements will penetrate multiple walls. The 5.56/.223 penetrates LESS than common service pistols through walls. You can nearly eleiminate wall penetration risk by using light-weight (40-50gr) bullets although at the risk of significantly reduced tissue penetration, and effectivness. The point is that ARs are ideally suited for urban self defense even in heavily poulated areas. That is why SWAT uses them.

McCrown
01-28-2010, 3:24 PM
Isn't it up to us to decide which tool we would like to use for our home defense.

I may use a shotgun, somebody else may prefer a 10/22, somebody else may prefer a mini 14. Who said we all have to use pistols for HD?

loather
01-28-2010, 3:26 PM
It's also a tough sell to say that AR's, no matter how common, are primarily a sporting/hunting rifle when the identical (looking) rifle is issued to our front line troops. (lawmakers don't get into details like one is semi and the other full auto)

To be honest, I don't see what sporting/hunting really have to do with it. Besides, isn't target shooting a sport? Competitive or not, I'd say it qualifies. Thus, any rifle that could be reasonably used for such a purpose should be legal. That includes the AR platform and much (if not all) of what's banned via the AW vehicle.

I fully expect the sporting/hunting language to go away as well. If we have a right to bear arms, the purpose for which we bear them shouldn't matter in the eyes of the law.

But, that's just my thought -- we'll see what happens, ultimately.

bernieb90
01-28-2010, 3:30 PM
As long as one chooses an appropriate firearm there will be no issues. I can see liability problems if I choose a double rifle chambered in .470 Nitro express firing solids as my home defense gun. It would be clear to any reasonable person that there is a great risk of overpenetration with such a firearm, and the jury will agree that if someone dies from overpenetration it would be the result of negligence on my part.

If I choose a firearm/caliber in common usage by LE in an urban environment pistol, shotgun, rifle (5.56 or even .308 with appropriate loads) there should be no issue.

wildhawker
01-28-2010, 4:01 PM
1. The myth of 5.56 overpenetration continues...
2. The Second Amendment is not about sporting use.

CCWFacts
01-28-2010, 5:42 PM
Back in the last century the '98 mauser was the most common "platform"

The "evil not-black rifle" of the Spanish American war.

Yes. The Mauser was considered an "assault weapon" back in its day. It was a machine of death, able to fire multiple shots in a quick burst (one shot every couple of seconds). They really did regard it as an AW at the time, just like most people thought of AR-15s in the 90s.

Now, everywhere in the US except CA, AR-15s are regarded as ordinary, there's a movement of people who make retro-AR-15s, and overall they're now just an ordinary rifle (except in CA).

There are NO overpenetration issues!!! Any load that meets FBI requirement of 12" 10% calibrated gelatin penetration requirements will penetrate multiple walls. The 5.56/.223 penetrates LESS than common service pistols through walls. You can nearly eleiminate wall penetration risk by using light-weight (40-50gr) bullets although at the risk of significantly reduced tissue penetration, and effectivness. The point is that ARs are ideally suited for urban self defense even in heavily poulated areas. That is why SWAT uses them.

That is absolutely right.

You have two choices:


Use a round that is ineffective, and doesn't over-penetrate, like birdshot, 22 short, "snake" rounds, etc; or
Use a round that is effective, and does overpenetrate, and that includes everything normally used for self-defense, including 9mm, buckshot, 556, and everything else. And note that wall penetration of 556 isn't much different from 9mm. Take a look at the Box o Truth (http://www.theboxotruth.com/) to see some real tests of real rounds against real drywall and other materials.


If over-penetration is not an acceptable risk, then get a taser, get a can of pepper spray, get a large dog.

Note also that > 50% of rounds fired in self-defense will probably miss, so they'll be flying through air. All rounds penetrate air just fine.

I think it's absurd to even consider over-penetration as a factor. Anyone who thinks that there's some round that is effective and won't fly through layers of drywall, or fly through a target, or fly past a target, and still be effective, is deluding himself.

The exception are some larger rifle rounds (30'06 and above) that do have significantly more penetration and range than ordinary self-defense rounds. They are not good self-defense choices, obviously.

quick draw mcgraw
01-28-2010, 5:54 PM
There are NO overpenetration issues!!! Any load that meets FBI requirement of 12" 10% calibrated gelatin penetration requirements will penetrate multiple walls. The 5.56/.223 penetrates LESS than common service pistols through walls. You can nearly eleiminate wall penetration risk by using light-weight (40-50gr) bullets although at the risk of significantly reduced tissue penetration, and effectivness. The point is that ARs are ideally suited for urban self defense even in heavily poulated areas. That is why SWAT uses them.

Good point! At CQB distances and subsequent velocities a 5.56 round will definitely fragment upon initial contact with perp or wall greatly reducing any additional and unwanted penetration.

I stand corrected on my previous post regarding the AR platform as a suitable urban HD tool.

Quiet
01-28-2010, 7:47 PM
NSSF modern sporting rifle video.

<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VbDQUADaIkE&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VbDQUADaIkE&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>

dantodd
01-28-2010, 8:02 PM
NSSF modern sporting rifle video.


Awesome Video!

BroncoBob
01-28-2010, 8:07 PM
[QUOTE=bwiese;3714882]

DOJ Deputy AG Allison Merrilees further droves sales in the first half or more of 2006 with repeated memos stating, "Hey, these are almost AWs and we're gonna list 'em!

Further sales bulked up when, pre-CGF, various NRA folks and various Calgunners helped get folks of trouble. BlackwaterOps being freed/cleared, Ben Cannon being cleared of "selling AWs" just because he funded a group buy, plus Gene (thru Don Kilmer) getting the 200+ seized OLL "Milipitas receivers" back all drove more confidence => more sales.

Rob Blank and I had a little laugh last week about Allison and Iggy.

IrishPirate
01-28-2010, 8:24 PM
AR's are very common, but it is critical to note that Heller said that handguns are commonly used for home defense. Very tough to say that most Ar's are used for "home defense" especially in larger metro areas where a high powered rifle round would likely go through several apartments/condos before hitting something(or someone) to stop it.

It's also a tough sell to say that AR's, no matter how common, are primarily a sporting/hunting rifle when the identical (looking) rifle is issued to our front line troops. (lawmakers don't get into details like one is semi and the other full auto)

ummmm......

The above statement is false! .223 has been proven many times over to penetrate common building materials LESS effectively than either handgun loads or buckshot. That along with gretly improved terminal performance is why SWAT has almost completely transitioned to the AR over the MP-5. Other than the horrendous muzzle blast indoors (which would easily be cured by legalizing suppressors) the AR in 5.56 may just be the perfect home defense tool.

damn you beat me to it!!

Just about every gun company that makes "hunting rifles" now has a line of "varmint rifles" of the AR type.

Suvorov
01-29-2010, 10:25 AM
I work at a bay area rifle range. While not actual figures like Bill has, on any given day the number of "black" rifles seen is pretty much equal to the number of traditional rifles being used. Some days, the line is pretty much all black rifles - most of them OLLs. The shooters range from mall-ninja wanabees, to LEOs, to military/vets, to gun guys trying a new platform, to guys who use them for hunting. While seeing a young Asian kid with an OLL is normal, so is seeing a crotchety old white guy with one.

The fact is that the AR platform and the OLL specifically in Kalifornia is pretty much the standard rifle platform for recreational and tactical shooters today and is continuing to make many inroads into the hunting community (I would speculate it is now pretty much the standard on new varmint rifles). It is every bit the M700 or Mauser action of today.

It really should be no surprise. Technology is always adapted more slowly by the hunting community than the military community (although lately this trend is reversing). While some old Elmer "FUDs" might bemoan the adoption of hunters of the AR platform, prior to WWI, most hunters did NOT use bolt action rifles and it was only after WWI that the bolt rifle became the standard civilian rifle. After WWII, thousands/millions of gun guys purchased M1 rifles and carbines but the nature of those rifles made adaptation for hunting difficult. The Vietnam stigma and the dogged performance of the AR in that conflict probably slowed its mass adaptation by shooters in the 1970 and 80s (but it did help M14 pattern sales), but the current GWOT has certainly made up for this and just about every kid who fights in the sand box or rock pile has experience with the AR and this will no doubt shape their purchase of future firearms.

The fact is that nothing that the Brady's, Allison, or any of their ilk can do right now short of an Australia style outright ban on semi-automatic firearms (unlikely) is going to stem the tide of the Black rifle.

bwiese
01-29-2010, 10:59 AM
Rob Blank and I had a little laugh last week about
Allison and Iggy.

I don't believe there's any love lost there now.

In the very near future, they're gonna be at each others' thoats: their prior acts will haunt each other.

bwiese
01-29-2010, 11:11 AM
AR's are very common, but it is critical to note that Heller said that handguns are commonly used for home defense.

But that was not restrictive. Something "commonly" used does not prevent other items being "commonly" used.Very tough to say that most Ar's are used for "home defense" especially in larger metro areas where a high
powered rifle round would likely go through several apartments/condos before hitting something(or someone)
to stop it.


Argument FAIL. The pistol under my pillow is just for me to get to my AR a few feet away.

The AR is loaded with Hornady TAP urban police ammo - this ammo's performance has moved police/sheriffs and Feds away from pistol-caliber carbines.

You're far more likely to have overpenetration in an urban/domestic environment (thru walls, sheetrock, panelling, plaster, wallboard, etc.) with most pistol rounds than with such rifle rounds.



It's also a tough sell to say that AR's, no matter how common, are primarily a sporting/hunting rifle when
the identical (looking) rifle is issued to our front line troops. (lawmakers don't get into details like one is
semi and the other full auto)

Lawmakers, on a national level, actually do recognize today'ssales numbers. Those numbers = votes, and they remember 1994.

The Congressional rout in 1994 was only secondarily against other Clinton policies, or in support of "Contract with America" stances; it was, first and foremost, about the 1994 Fed AWB "Crime bill" and those who voted for it. Ask (very former) Speaker of the House Tom Foley.

That's part of the reason - aside from RKBA realization - why there will be no new Fed AWB ever.