The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Preview – AR-15 Top 25 Questions Answered

The genius of Eugene Stoner’s design for the AR-15 platform lies in its modularity. Whether you want a carbine for close quarters or a rifle that can accurately reach out to 700 yards or more, a properly set up AR can do it. However, there are so many options available for the weapon that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. We have compiled answers to the top 25 questions about the AR-15 to help clear up some of that confusion.

01 I want an AR-15. Where should I start?

You first need to determine the purpose of your AR. It can be built to suit a myriad of needs, so figuring out how and what you are shooting is important. If you want one for general plinking at your local range, we suggest buying a  complete AR-15 from a reputable company. Because AR’s are modular, you’re never really stuck with one style of build  even if you buy a complete rifle. As you discover more about shooting it, you can change out its parts to suit  your shooting purposes.

02 What are the major parts of the AR-15?

The AR-15 can be broken down into two major groups. The Lower Receiver Group (or “lower,” for short) is the foundation of the AR. This is the serial-numbered part that often needs to be purchased from a licensed firearms dealer, depending on state and local laws. The lower is what everything else bolts onto or is built upon. The Lower Receiver Group includes the fire control group, grip and buttstock assembly. The Upper Receiver Group (“upper”) is literally the upper portion of the rifle. This includes the barrel, bolt carrier group, upper receiver, charging handle, sights, gas system and muzzle device. Both upper and lower groups can be purchased prebuilt separately or together as a complete rifle. Likewise, both groups can also be pieced together part by part.

03 What’s the difference between barrel lengths?

AR-15 Barrel Length Comparison

As a rule of thumb, longer barrels shoot bullets faster, farther and more accurately than shorter ones. Longer barrels  are also heavier and harder to maneuver. Shorter barrels are more suited for closer engagements due to their length  and lighter weight, but they are not as accurate at long range. Longrange barrels are typically 18 or 20 inches long,  while short barrels are 14.5 inches or shorter. 16 inch barrels tend to be a good all-purpose length.

For the rest of this article, subscribe digitally here: RECOIL Issue 1

Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click here to get IMMEDIATE ACCESS to a digital PDF of this target pack!

Subscribe to the Free