JavaScript is disabled
Our website requires JavaScript to function properly. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser settings before proceeding.
Messages
4,952
Reactions
12,068
I admit I was late to the game. My first rifle was an AK in 2011 as I recall. I was active duty/Air National Guard for 10 yrs but never got the bug to buy, though came close a few times in Texas. Once back to California any notion to buy was canceled by popular culture. The majority of my Guard unit were non gun owners. A few cops and government employees openly spoke on them. Though, the unit was the only place I knew in California that had openly vocal, real conservatives.

It wasn't until I moved to Oregon early 2000s and several of my coworkers, but not actual friends, were gun club members and talked a lot about guns. Most were infantry vets and early AK/AR banter was happening.

Looking back, were people chomping at the bits to get their ARs after the ban sunsetted or was it a gradual climb due to politics? I was there but not part of the conversation. It wasn't until I had a family, something to protect, and disposable income that I became interested.
 
Personally I believe the AWB of '94 was a diabolical plan to INCREASE the # of them to eventually create a problem that did not previously exist.

Prior to the ban 'assault rifles' did not have near the interest with people they did until the ban. Heck I remember going to gunshows and seeing dealers with AKs, SKSs, AR Colts, and the few other mfgs there were at the time with not a lot of interest - and then post AWB '94 - I recall people 'chomping at the bits' to get whatever they could.
 
Gradual. It wasn't until after 2016 that AR and AR parts prices dropped way low.

2008, and then 2012 saw spikes in prices for SKS, Mosin Nagants, and AKs. ARs were already expensive during AWB, and stayed relatively expensive afterwards until 2016. 2020 saw a possible spike over rumors of AWB2.0 due to Biden, and went down again lately.

ARs on comnercial market have been around since 1959 (Armalite AR10), just never were that popular until well after the AWB sunsetting.
 
Couldn't say. I didn't buy my first gun until 2009 and to be honest, I didn't know I could just walk into a store and fill out a silly little paper then walk out with whatever my bank account could support. Or just buy out of the back of a van legally at the time. I don't think I bought my first AR until 2013 or 14 and even then a relatively inexpensive one was $700 which on an $11/hr job was a TON of money.

I imagine the "modern sporting rifle" name game bologna has sold quite a few
 
It was the AWB that caused me to join the NRA, as a Life Member no less. I was more interested in bolt and lever rifles until Clinton thought I shouldn't own an AR-15. The hell you say!?!?!
 
Back when I was first into guns, most everyone I knew who had guns was a hunter. My uncle had a Mini-14, and that fascinated me because I loved watching The A-Team. I don't think I knew anyone who had any AR's or AK's. My dad bought a few guns in the late '80s, but I think he got caught up in that ban scare and overpaid.

Anyhow, just going from memory, I don't think semi-autos were common at all at that time. The only people who had AR's were collectors, "survivalists", and the occasional enthusiast, and I didn't know any of them. Nowadays everyone has them, it seems. I do believe that attempts to ban them has been a major driver in their popularity.
 
I admit I was late to the game. My first rifle was an AK in 2011 as I recall. I was active duty/Air National Guard for 10 yrs but never got the bug to buy, though came close a few times in Texas. Once back to California any notion to buy was canceled by popular culture. The majority of my Guard unit were non gun owners. A few cops and government employees openly spoke on them. Though, the unit was the only place I knew in California that had openly vocal, real conservatives.

It wasn't until I moved to Oregon early 2000s and several of my coworkers, but not actual friends, were gun club members and talked a lot about guns. Most were infantry vets and early AK/AR banter was happening.

Looking back, were people chomping at the bits to get their ARs after the ban sunsetted or was it a gradual climb due to politics? I was there but not part of the conversation. It wasn't until I had a family, something to protect, and disposable income that I became interested.
General firearm tends may be helpful to look at, also major use trending to self defense v. hunting etc earlier. I think the 94-04 ban created a huge pent up demand for ARs especially.
BBC83389-B264-44C3-AA35-EF543F1C88E8.png
3164BB5B-E592-4A2D-907C-F78C7FE094DD.jpeg

 
Last Edited:
I think the OP's question is actually a pretty good question. I was on active duty during the entirety of the ban and had zero interest in ARs as I never really bonded with the platform, simply tolerated it, for the entire time that it was my issued weapon. Once the ban hit, it became a matter of principle.

I'd say, yes, without the '94 AWB, we might not have seen the incredible interest in, and resultant proliferation of, ARs that we got when the ban sun-setted.

Funny thing, once one starts with ARs for purely recreational purposes, the bug sets in and before one knows it, there's a bunch of ARs in the safe.

Not to mention the improved technology in magazines -- we got 17, then 18, then 20 round mags for Berettas and SIGs and then everybody jumped on the "high-capacity" magazine bandwagon.

I think the '94 AWB actually got a lotta folks thinking about what the whole Second Amendment thing was about, the light bulbs came on, and people realized it ain't about duck hunting...
 
I think the OP's question is actually a pretty good question. I was on active duty during the entirety of the ban and had zero interest in ARs as I never really bonded with the platform, simply tolerated it, for the entire time that it was my issued weapon. Once the ban hit, it became a matter of principle.

I'd say, yes, without the '94 AWB, we might not have seen the incredible interest in, and resultant proliferation of, ARs that we got when the ban sun-setted.

Funny thing, once one starts with ARs for purely recreational purposes, the bug sets in and before one knows it, there's a bunch of ARs in the safe.

Not to mention the improved technology in magazines -- we got 17, then 18, then 20 round mags for Berettas and SIGs and then everybody jumped on the "high-capacity" magazine bandwagon.

I think the '94 AWB actually got a lotta folks thinking about what the whole Second Amendment thing was about, the light bulbs came on, and people realized it ain't about duck hunting...

HA! Beretta 92F's started with 15rd OEM mags, then I think it was Ram-Line that came out with a 17rd mag (my dad bought me a few for X-mas in '89 or so), they didn't last long though.
 
Last Edited:
I would like to think that bans , restrictions and the like would be reason enough for people to understand that if it can be done to one type of firearm....it can be done to any type of firearm.

I also think that any ban or restriction made for a rush of sales before said ban or restriction took place.

In addition to the above...I have long thought that firearm bans , restrictions and the like only affect those who abide by the law.
In other words....those people who ain't the problem.
Criminals break laws....its what they do...a ban or restriction ain't going to stop a criminal from committing a crime...
Nor is it going to stop him from using a banned or restricted item.

A murder is a murder...the victim is no less dead if he was murdered by someone using a flintlock or the latest AR15 variant and a 100 round drum magazine.
It ain't the firearm that is the problem here....it is the murderer that is the problem.
Andy
 
Much like the OP, the AR/AK type of rifles offered no romance like a lever action rifle at least for me. Friends got interested in them, so I grabbed one to see what all the fuss was about.

Then I began building them with friends. Looking back, it worked out as now you can't get them in WA.

I'm only saddened that they all fell overboard in a canoeing accident...but don't pity me...LOL.
 
My first guns were inherited from my grandfather when I was a teen. I got my first MSR right after the ban. They just made sense to me; modern tech, modern paradigm, different use case than the traditional hunting rifles I already had. I still have that rifle (a nice, fat DMR style AR that can drive tacks at any effective range for the 5.56).

I think more than anything the AWB raised the profile of MSRs in the public consciousness. Prior to you had to be a "gun guy" to know what they really were. Once the AWB hit the news cycles a lot of people saw them and said "hey now, that looks interesting". When the law sunset that "that looks interesting" turned into "Might as well get one to see what this is all about". The utility of the platform turned that curiosity into a devotion as people learned that it indeed was thoroughly useful for all kinds of applications. Couple that with the improved ergonomics that started making their way into every other aspect of the firearms universe and "MSR" basically became the most popular class of firearms, and deservedly so.

I would say the ascendancy of the MSR was inevitable, but the AWB massively speed up the adoption rate though simple market saturation of the idea. If it was not for the AWB it would have been another decade or two for the concept to percolate through the more detached parts of the firearms community through more natural means. Instead of seeing the rapid rise of the MSR renaissance in the late 00s early 10s we would just be seeing the start of that renaissance now, and it might have happened a lot slower to boot.
 
My first guns were inherited from my grandfather when I was a teen. I got my first MSR right after the ban. They just made sense to me; modern tech, modern paradigm, different use case than the traditional hunting rifles I already had. I still have that rifle (a nice, fat DMR style AR that can drive tacks at any effective range for the 5.56).

I think more than anything the AWB raised the profile of MSRs in the public consciousness. Prior to you had to be a "gun guy" to know what they really were. Once the AWB hit the news cycles a lot of people saw them and said "hey now, that looks interesting". When the law sunset that "that looks interesting" turned into "Might as well get one to see what this is all about". The utility of the platform turned that curiosity into a devotion as people learned that it indeed was thoroughly useful for all kinds of applications. Couple that with the improved ergonomics that started making their way into every other aspect of the firearms universe and "MSR" basically became the most popular class of firearms, and deservedly so.

I would say the ascendancy of the MSR was inevitable, but the AWB massively speed up the adoption rate though simple market saturation of the idea. If it was not for the AWB it would have been another decade or two for the concept to percolate through the more detached parts of the firearms community through more natural means. Instead of seeing the rapid rise of the MSR renaissance in the late 00s early 10s we would just be seeing the start of that renaissance now, and it might have happened a lot slower to boot.
What is "msr"? Do youmean modular sniper rifle?
 
I remember that MSRs were kind of a niche thing. I had a couple, a HK93 and AR. I really believe that the government saying we can't have them made lots of people want them. Demand seemed to ramp up kinda slowly, but steadily after the ban went away.

MSR=Modern Sporting Rifle
 

Upcoming Events

Good News!! The Carson, WA shows are back!!
Carson, WA
Handgun Self Defense Fundamentals
Sweet Home, OR
Teen Rifle 1 Class
Springfield, OR
Kids Firearm Safety 2 Class
Springfield, OR

New Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top