What’s the appeal of AR rifles?

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I’m a rifle newbie. I purchased my first pistol last year for home defense and have since really started to enjoy target shooting, etc. I just purchased a CMMG Banshee 10mm that’s classified as a pistol but it certainly resembles an AR.

Trying to understand the appeal of 5.56 / AR rifles and why there’s such demand for them over pistol-caliber AR style pistols.

Stupid question, but look forward to the insight.
 
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IMHO, I didn't truly appreciate the AR until I took a class with one. I guess a corollary would be owning a nice sports car and not knowing how to drive it. You are the weapon and the gun is a tool. That was my experience. The modularity and profusion of aftermarket parts make the AR, the grown man's barbie doll or lego build. It shoots a flat, medium powered cartridge that can be found everywhere(not now) and can be built relatively lightweight. What's not to love?
 
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Rifles are typically more accurate than pistols opening up longer range targets. Rifles are generally more efficient giving a greater projectile velocity than the same cartridge shot in a pistol. A rifle is probably not subject to ATF NFA interpretation shenanigans the same way that AR pistols are.
 
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From technical standpoint, low recoil, lots of energy. Above 2500 FPS or so has tumble and fragmentation effects making it very effective.

From a psychological standpoint, you couldn’t buy them due to the ban, so everybody wanted them. Also relatively cheap ro get and modular nature makes them very customizable.

I actually think armalite improved on the design when they made the piston driven AR-18/AR-180 but both have their merits.
 
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Pistol-caliber AR style pistol is really just a bigger handgun with minimal advantages over a pistol. I have one since it is kind of fun, and it's 7" barrel is longer than typical for a 9mm pistol. But it is basically a semi-auto version of what it typically a submachine gun, without the shoulder stock. For the same reason the SMG has kind of gone away (you don't see the Uzi, Beretta, etc. SMGs in use like you used to), the short or long-barrel AR carbine has become much more popular. You can still carry a lot of ammo but now you have something with a lot more distance and accuracy capability, and potentially more stopping power. Personally I'm an AK guy, but that's another discussion.
 
OP
Bencisn
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IMHO, I didn't truly appreciate the AR until I took a class with one. I guess a corollary would be owning a nice sports car and not knowing how to drive it. You are the weapon and the gun is a tool. That was my experience. The modularity and profusion of aftermarket parts make the AR, the grown man's barbie doll or lego build. It shoots a flat, medium powered cartridge that can be found everywhere(not now) and can be built relatively lightweight. What's not to love?
That makes a lot of sense, appreciate the insight. For someone who’s interested in purchasing one, do you recommend piecing it together or buying complete? Any recommendations for under $2K?
 

bolus

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Imagine a car that within a few minutes you could configure it to race on a track and ten minutes later have it racing the Baja and 10 minutes later have it doing rock jumping. Then it could also be configured into a boat or a space shuttle. You could take off 2 wheels and make it a bicycle or make it a motorcycle drag racer.

It is the most configurable rifle in all of history. If you added up all the configurations possible with all the possible accessories you would have a number larger than the total number of atoms in the universe (really).

I stole this from wikipedia but these are just some calibers that can run in the Ar15:

Rimfire calibers
.17 Mach 2
.17 HMR[1]
.17 Winchester Super Magnum[1]
.22 Long Rifle[2]
.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire[1]

Centerfire calibers imperial measurement
.17 Mach IV
.17 Remington Fireball
.17 Remington[1]
.17-223[3]
.20 Practical[4]
.204 Ruger[1]
.222 Remington
.223 Remington - Original AR-15 caliber: .223 cartridges may function in a 5.56×45mm rifle, however 5.56×45mm cartridges can produce excessive pressure in a .223 rifle. On the other hand, a .223 Wylde chamber is used on .223 caliber rifle barrels to allow them to safely fire either .223 Remington or 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition.[5]
.22 PPC
.22 Nosler
.224 Valkyrie
.224 Kritzeck (Shortened .223 remington neck)[6]
.223 Winchester Super Short Magnum[5]
.243 LBC[3]
.243 Winchester Super Short Magnum[5]
.25 Winchester Super Short Magnum[5]
.25-45 Sharps
.277 Wolverine (6.8×39mm)
.30 Carbine[1]
.30 Remington AR[7]
30 American[8]
300 OSSM[5]
300 AAC Blackout (7.62×35mm)[7]
.300 Whisper[7]
.350 Legend[9]
300 HAM'R - Wilson Combat[10]
358 Yeti - Wildcat[11]
375 SOCOM
.40 S&W[12]
.45 ACP[13]
.450 Bushmaster[1]
.458 SOCOM[14]
.499 LWRC
.50 Action Express
.50 Beowulf[15]

Centerfire calibers metric measurement
5.45×39mm[1]
5.56×45mm NATO - Original AR-15A2 caliber: can also safely fire .223 Remington[1]
FN 5.7×28mm
6mm ARC
6mm AR
6×45mm
6.5mm Grendel[1]
6.8×39mm (.277 Wolverine)[16][17]
6.8mm Remington SPC[7]
7.62×37mm Musang
7.62×39mm[7]
7.62×40mm Wilson Tactical[7]
7.92x33mm Kurz
9×19mm Parabellum[2]
10mm Auto[13]
9×39mm[18]

Calibers which will not feed but which are used in rifles where the receiver functions only as a trigger group
.338 Lapua Magnum
.408 CheyTac
.50 BMG
AR-10 calibers
.220 Swift
.22-250 Remington
6mm-250
.243 Winchester - same bolt as 7.62×51 (worn-down barrels can be re-bored to take 6.5 Creedmoor or 7.62×51)[5]
6mm Remington
6mm Creedmoor
.257 Roberts
6.5×47mm Lapua
6.5mm Creedmoor - same bolt as 7.62×51, and can be formed from 7.62×51 brass
6.5 WSM
.260 Remington - same bolt as 7.62×51, and can be formed from 7.62×51 brass
.270 Winchester Short Magnum
7mm-08 Remington - same bolt as 7.62×51, and can be formed from 7.62×51 brass
7.62×51mm NATO - Original AR-10 caliber
7mm Winchester Short Magnum
7mm Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum
.308 Winchester - considered interchangeable with 7.62×51mm NATO according to SAAMI.
.300 Winchester Short Magnum
.300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum[19]
.325 Winchester Short Magnum
.338 Federal - same bolt as 7.62×51, and can be formed from 7.62×51 brass
.338 Winchester Short Magnum
.358 Winchester - same bolt as 7.62×51, and can be formed from 7.62×51 brass
.358 Winchester Short Magnum
.375 Raptor - same bolt as 7.62×51, and can be formed from 7.62×51 brass
.375 Winchester Short Magnum
.416 Winchester Short Magnum
.450 Marlin
.45 Raptor
45-70 Auto
.458 Winchester Short Magnum
475 Bishop Short Magnum
.500 Auto Max
.50 Krater
.50 BMG
.510 Winchester Short Magnum


You know what else? You can use the AR15 as a crossbow. It can launch soda cans. It can be made into a shotgun, grappling hook launcher, a pump action rifle, a bolt action rifle. You can bolt a chainsaw to it. obscene anatomy parts are accessories. You want to make a pink one that has an anatomically correct nut-sack grip? Sure! God Bless America!

It can be every color of the visible spectrum. There are probably a 1000 different variants of just one grip to put on it.

I could go on but it is literally the do-everything rifle plus more
 
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Honestly, for your first AR, I'd at least buy a complete upper with a hand guard you like. Then buy a lower, lower parts kit, sites, optic and all the other accessories just the way you want it. If you end up spending 1500, you can get a great rifle to your liking and still have money for a case of ammo.

My first AR was built using a second hand PSA upper with FN barrel and middle of the road parts. I've probably only had 5-10 malfunctions in about 5000 rounds and Id say they were magazine or ammo related or because I didn't lube the gun in extremely dusty conditions.
 
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I’m a rifle newbie. I purchased my first pistol last year for home defense and have since really started to enjoy target shooting, etc. I just purchased a CMMG Banshee 10mm that’s classified as a pistol but it certainly resembles an AR.

Trying to understand the appeal of 5.56 / AR rifles and why there’s such demand for them over pistol-caliber AR style pistols.

Stupid question, but look forward to the insight.
The same reasons you just purchased your first pistol last year for home defense and a CMMG Banshee in 10mm this year are likely among the reasons the 5.56 AR platform is popular with other Americans.

Buy one and find out for yourself! :)
 
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The AR Rifle is one of the most versatile weapons (Rifles) you can own. I can not say enough good about them!
The are like an erector set as far as accessories available for them. The accessories can be found for them at thousands of sources and prices. And the good thing is, that all the parts and accessories fit from all other manufacturers that build ARs to standard specifications. You can get them in various calibers and models. From the Tactical Models, Varmint Models, to Precision Match Models and in-between. They are extremely accurate as well as durable. Most Tactical Models will shoot well under 2 MOA (2 Inch Groups at 100 Yards) and most will easily do 1 MOA (1 inch Groups at 100 Yards) And the Varmint and Precision rifles are capable of well under 1 MOA (I inch Groups at 100 Yards.) That kind of performance is hard to beat! For example I have a Rock River Arms 20" Varmint Model that will when I am tuned in and everything is right gets sub 1/2 MOA Groups (1/2inch Groups at 100 Yards) (.421 to .457 on occasion.
So that is why I say the rifles are an excellent choice!

Sniper 03
 
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Trying to understand the appeal of 5.56 / AR rifles and why there’s such demand for them over pistol-caliber AR style pistols.
For me, other than almost having a SBR without the tax stamp, I don't quite understand the appeal for the AR Pistol. I'm not bashing them at all, I just don't get it. If I want a handgun, I'll get a handgun, if I want a rifle I'll get a rifle.
Now, I would like to have a 9mm AR rifle (carbine) because of the cost to shoot it is less than most rifle rounds. I haven't built one yet because I am having a tough time justifying the cost to build a 9mm AR, it feels like it is going to cost a lot more to build a 9mm AR than it did with my 5.56 or 7.62x39 ARs.
 

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