Battlefield weapons like the AR-15 do not belong….wait…what?

The AR-15 was first sold to the Civilian market. Later it was picked up by the military, initially by Air Force General Curtis LeMay who had them used for the SAC Airbases guards.

So peoples! Drop your War designed Mauser-type hunting rifle and pick up a gun for Civilians like a trusty AR-15!

Oh yes, check the price. Kleenex box is right next to you.

10 Replies to “Battlefield weapons like the AR-15 do not belong….wait…what?”

  1. The first official procurement for the rifle was for the US Air Force in 1962. In 1961, McNamara had approved buying 1K ARs for the Vietnamese Government. Colt had acquired the rights to the AR from Fairchild on Jan 1959 and began selling the select fire version to PD

    1. And, predictably for the time, it did not do too well in domestic civilian markets, which is why the above advertisement is from Colt, not Armalite – the former bought the latter’s patent.

      But, in any case, the first customer/market for the AR-15/M-16/M4 family of firearms was civilians, not the military.

      1. Actually, ArmaLite designed the AR-15 in response to a US Army Continental Army Command (CONARC) solicitation for a Small Caliber High Velocity (SCHV) rifle in 1957. Delivery and testing began in 1958.

        1. You are not really grasping the subtleties of the language, are you?

          Yes, Eugene Stoner designed the AR-15 with an eye for military contracts, however, between its not-really-finalized development in 1958 and its adoption by the USAF in 1962, the AR-15 was being actively produced and sold to any commercial, civilian, and private market that would have it.

          Granted, at the time, not many would, but that is rather besides the point.

          This comes down to nothing more than another perfect example of the flaws inherent in the “designed for” argument – yes, the gun was “designed for” military contracts, but the first people to adopt it on any level aside from “research” were private entities; in other words, no one is disagreeing with you, and you are not actually disagreeing with us.

          1. Well, I guess I just haven’t seen any real evidence that ArmaLite or Colt was promoting the select-fire AR-15 outside of military and law enforcement circles, both domestic and foreign. It appears to me that the non-“Only Ones” who had these rifles were typically VIPs from Fairchild, ArmaLite, Colt, and their respective sales reps. There were also a limited number of outside VIPs, like President Kennedy, who were provided the rifles as gifts. One must also remember that until 1964, there was no over-the-counter source for .223 Remington ammunition. It was strictly a proprietary offering before then.

            During my research, I’ve gotten the impression that NFA sales were fairly discreet in the late 1950s-early 1960s. In contrast, the unregulated DEWATs were quite popular, and openly advertised in gun magazines. Some NFA collectors and dealers tried organizing the American Automatic Weapons Association in 1957 to promote the ownership and use of machineguns. By their own admission, some of them were hoping to profit from promoting the sale and reactivations of DEWATs. However, the NRA disavowed the AAWA at the first sign of controversy. The organization was quickly dissolved after the Feds came down hard on its principals. AAWA Vice President William B. Edwards later wrote that he believed the attention the organization created helped cause the legal backlash against DEWATs.

    1. According to the inflation calculator: “What cost $189.50 in 1960 would cost $1379.19 in 2010. ”

      No thanks. Walmart sells Colt 6920’s for $1074 out the door.

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