The AR15 is a commonly preferred firearm for law-abiding and self-defense-minded civilians. However, this carbine is the topic of debate in the mainstream media due to its popularity. Some outlets believe that firearms capabilities are far too dangerous for the average citizen. Other outlets will have you believe that this weapon is the cause of a vast amount of “gun violence.” In both instances, this is not the case.
We want to provide some explanations to some common questions that you might hear if you own an AR15 with hopes that these answers might help turn the tides of misinformation while also helping to create a more-educated AR owner population.
Why is “that” on your AR?
ARs can equip very functional handguards, such as the ones available from PhantomUSA, which offer a lot of real estate to attach an array of different accessories allowing for the construction of the best firearm that will fit your needs. One handguard can add attachment locations for various sights, rail sections, grips, etc. The decision of what to equip your carbine with should be practical rather than what “looks cool.” Things like red dot sights, a sling, and a light are the perfect combination of practicality and aesthetics, so there is no worry! Ensuring that your accessories are practical will prevent you from giving the reason, “I got it because it looked cool,” and feeding into the “gun nut” stereotype from those who oppose your 2nd amendment right.
How high is your sight overbore?
For those AR owners who opted to utilize a red-dot sight like what was mentioned above, you know it sits higher on the barrel of your rifle than other accessories. Due to this, if you are shooting at close range, you must remember that you will be offset. Being “offset” means that if the red dot is on the bullseye of your target, your shots will be hitting low, so aiming a tad higher will help compensate for this. Remembering this offset and accounting for it will be critical when the distance between you and your target varies.
What is your Zero?
Knowing and understanding what your zero refers to is important because it is the adjustment to the windage and elevation so that your red dot will match the impact of the rounds you are shooting. Typically, your zero of 50 yards should generally be the same zero at 200 yards. Contrary to popular belief, bullets do not climb, but if the shell is shot at a slight upward angle, the arc that the bullet will travel on could be mistaken for a lift. There will be two zero points, in this case, the first being when the bullet arcs up to the line of sight and the second being when the bullet falls back into the straight line of sight further downrange.
Can you effectively transition with your rifle?
It is a universal concept that the time a shooter is most vulnerable is during the transition from an empty cartridge to a full one. Quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, an effective transition is a key to ensuring as little vulnerability on the shooter’s part as possible; staying calm under pressure in a situation, whether expected or unexpected, is a goal to strive for. When your firearm goes “dry,” reloading becomes the most important thing that needs to be done, and until an entire cartridge is swapped in, your AR is nothing more than an expensive club.
When was the last time you cleaned your AR, and how?
Early on back in the day, the AR earned a negative reputation for being unreliable due to remanufactured ammunition with incorrect gunpowder. Since then, these issues have been addressed and, with proper maintenance, is a highly reliable firearm. It was once thought that for an AR to work correctly, it had to be so clean that it would pass the “white-glove” test. Now, the emphasis isn’t so much on removing every trace of gunpowder as it is to ensure that your AR is adequately lubricated, allowing the bolt carrier, charging handle, etc., to operate correctly. Ensuring that you properly take care and do regular maintenance on your rifle will benefit you in the future with years of operating efficiency from your AR 15. As the saying goes, “If you take care of your gear, your gear will take care of you.”
If you still find yourself struggling with answering these questions, we suggest that you seek training from a qualified trainer. They can diagnose your good/ bad habits allowing you to grow and learn safely. No one knows everything and remaining open-minded willing to learn is key to increasing your skillset and knowledge base.