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I agree with this assessment

Greatest innovation to happen to the modern AR-15 and its variants?

Red dots are great but not to great on a carrying handle.

7 Responses to “I agree with this assessment”

  1. SPQR Says:

    The AR platform really has two innovations embodied in it. The first is its design both reflecting and advancing modern manufacturing technology. The second is the modularity of the design which was originally a part of making it easy to manufacture but later became the basis of its immense adaptability.

  2. Sid Says:

    I agree with the author. Being able to mount optics close to the bore axis was a jump ahead for this weapon.

    Sure, other improvements have helped. I would argue that the flat top receiver gave the rifle new life.

  3. Stretch Says:

    As Colin Chapman (probably) said “Simplify, then add lightness”. And that’s what Stoner did. Simplified the production method to make a light weapon.
    As for best innovation? Agree with those above: the flat top receiver making sights (glass, red-dot, laser, et. al.) more practical.

  4. Lyle Says:

    I don’t see the original AR as having been designed for modularity. Nor do I believe that modularity (if by that we mean the ability to reconfigure it easily and add accessories) in a standard issue combat rifle or carbine was an important consideration at all, in the military thinking of that time.

    If by modular we mean that it consists of a few readily replaceable sub assemblies, then yes, the AR is slightly more modular, in that sense, than an M-14, or an AK, but the M-14 has a snap-in trigger module whereas, unless you count the entire lower receiver assembly with it’s fixed buttstock, the AR didn’t acquire a trigger module until very recently and only through the civilian aftermarket.

    It’s very modular now, in both senses, but the point is; it did not start out that way.

  5. mikee Says:

    The greatest innovation of the AR platform, ever, was to take an AR-10 with its puissant .308 round and chamber it for .223 Rem, making it a perfect poodle shooter, at least according to Jeff Cooper. Or did I misunderstand his point?

  6. mikee Says:

    The greatest innovation of the AR platform, ever, was to take an AR-10 with its puissant .308 round and chamber it for .223 Rem, making it a perfect poodle shooter, at least according to Jeff Cooper. Or did I misunderstand the Colonel’s point?

    After that, by all means the accessorizationability of the platform, from buttstock to flash hider, is the coolest thing about it. Plus, of course, choice of colors.

  7. Dave L. Says:

    The purpose of the charging handle on the original AR-10 was to shield the charging handle, which was originally on top of the rifle. Once that went away, the carrying handle became entirely vestigial. It actually could have been done away with on the original M16.

    And getting rid of the carrying handle doesn’t really allow the mounting of optics (or iron sights) much closer to the bore axis – the all-in-line design of the rifle itself limits that. What it does allow, along with the 1913 rail, is the mounting of optics directly on top of the receiver, rather than than way out front, and in a position in line with where the eye sits when shouldering the rifle.