The Purpose of this Book
WHY A “NEW“ AR-15 COMPLETE OWNER’S GUIDE?
In the years following the first publication of The AR-15 Complete Owner’s Guide the universe of the AR-15 has changed dramatically, by both evolution and revolution. The Guide was first written in the chronological dead center of the original Clinton Crime Bill’s Assault Weapons Ban.
A major consequence of the Ban was the emphasis on working with “pre-ban,” that is, “grandfathered” AR-15-type rifles. Once such a rifle was acquired, the owner could assemble all manner of upper receivers to the lower, without regard to the restrictions on new rifles imposed by the Ban. Because the Ban addressed certain cosmetic, or as we term them, “Dreaded Ugly Evil” features, it was still possible to acquire or assemble an AR-15-type rifle so long as the number of proscribed features was not exceeded.
With the sunset of the Ban in 2004, the trend began for owners to acquire complete rifles for different purposes rather than switching uppers, and potentially butt stocks, on a singular lower. Thus, rather than an adaptable “Swiss Army Knife” rifle, the AR-15 has become a complete set of knives, each one to meet a specific need. Thanks to the Army’s gradual shift to the M4 Carbine, that set tends to have mostly 16”-barreled AR variants. The AR-15 world has truly evolved.
A more recent trend in the AR-15 world is the plethora of different chamberings available for even the “small block” AR-15, not to mention the “big block” AR-10-types.
Now, if that weren’t enough, a revolution erupted in the wake of general derision toward the original Stoner internal piston operating principle. The Stoner system’s design exhausts its operating gas in the upper receiver, leading to an untidy mess at best and function-inhibiting fouling at its worst, or so “they” claim. Thus, a bewildering array of external-piston-based gas systems has emerged, drawing operating principles from the Garand (both gas port and gas trap), the FAL, the M1 Carbine, the AK-47, and probably even the White cutoff and expansion system found in the M14. Thus, evolution and revolution; time for a “new” Owner’s Guide.
While we’ve brought the content of The New AR-15 Complete Owner’s Guide into the 21st century, the purpose we set out for the original Guide is largely unchanged: to build a foundation for understanding, evaluating and selecting AR-15 rifles, components and accessories. It’s for everyone interested in this, the most versatile rifle system ever developed, whether contemplating one’s first AR-15 or one’s tenth.
Because of the AR-15 rifle system’s versatility, we’ll be defining four general areas of AR-15 applications: Defensive Rifle, Hunting Rifle, Competition Rifle, and “Just Plain Fun”! Inevitably, within the Defensive and Hunting categories there will be an extensive range of configurations. We’ll do our best to address the specific needs of the broadest range of users we can.
Within these pages you will find a straightforward, uncomplicated approach to AR-15 ownership and use. Based on your needs and desires, we’ll help you think through your configuration and choice of AR-15s. Once you have your rifle, you’ll find useful information to help you operate, maintain and troubleshoot it. So, let’s begin our journey of discovery into the magnificent world of the AR-15!
Other Books by Walt Kuleck:
The AR-15 Complete Assenbly Guide,
by Walt Kuleck with Clint McKee
The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide
By Walt Kuleck
The M1911 Complete Assembly Guide
By Walt Kuleck with Drake Oldham
The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide,
by Walt Kuleck and Clint McKee
The M14 Complete Assembly Guide,
by Walt Kuleck and Clint McKee