There is a reason why the AR-15 is the best-selling rifle in the United States. For its versatility, flexibility, modular design, and ease of use, everyone from beginners to expert shooters love the AR-15—the modern sporting rifle.
Created by ArmaLite Chief Engineer Eugene Stoner the semi-automatic AR-15 uses either a direct gas impingement or gas piston system to operate. Originally chambered for the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO round, now you can find AR platforms in a variety of calibers such as .22 Long Rifle, .300 Blackout, 6.8 SPC, and .450 Bushmaster.
Even though Colt owns the rights to the name AR, many manufacturers make modern sporting rifles (MSR), which we commonly call an AR-15. There is a wide variety from which to choose—from cheap under $500 build-your-own to custom-made competition rifles for thousands of dollars.
The love for the AR-15 derives from how easily it can be customized. It goes from self-defense to competition to hunting to plinking with a few minor adjustments and accessories. Accessories and add-ons are widely available.
Rough estimates put the AR-15 as the most commonly owned firearm in America, with around 5 million rifles in private U.S. households, comprising 60 percent of all rifles sold in the United States.
If you are new to AR-15 gun ownership or seriously considering your first purchase, here is a list of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s, best of the best blog posts for beginners. Learn all you need to know about which ammo to choose; how to put together a lower receiver, and accessorizing.
You can also get advice from other AR-15 owners by joining our forums to discuss and ask questions about the AR-15.
- .223 vs. 5.56: Which Ammunition is Safe for My AR-15
- Building Your AR Lower Receiver
- Shooting Steel Cased Ammunition In Your AR-15
- Barrel Twist in the AR-15
- AR-15 Gas System Identification Guide
- AR-15 FAQ
- A Beginner’s Guide to Accessorizing your AR
- One Gun To Rule Them All—Team AR-15
- Lubricating Your AR-15
- Configuring an AR-15