Saturday, March 2, 2013

The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It's a Gadget

A US paratrooper holding an AR-15 signals to his squad to form a defensive perimeter during a patrol near Duc Pho, 330 miles northeast of Saigon, Vietnam, June 5, 1967. Photo: AP

I was shaking as I shouldered the rifle and peered through the scope at the small steel target 100 yards downrange. It was officially the coldest day in Las Vegas history, and I was in the middle of the desert, buffeted by wind and surrounded by the professional gun press, about to fire an AR-15 for the first time.
I grew up with guns, and I even own a small .22-caliber target pistol that I take to the range occasionally. But I had fired a rifle maybe twice in the past five years. I was a novice, and I was frozen to the core. I flinched as I pulled the trigger the first time, sending my shot wide of the mark.

But the recoil wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared; in fact, the shot was actually pleasant. I fired again with more confidence, and the bullet rang the distant steel plate like a bell; then the next shot hit, and the next.
"You're doing great," said Justin Harvel, founder of Black Rain Ordnance and maker of the gun I was shooting.
"It's not me," I replied. "I've never shot like this in my life. It's gotta be this gun. "
"Yeah, it's definitely not your daddy's hunting rifle, is it?"

More @ Wired


  1. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but the story indicates the photo was taken in June, 1967.

    A T-6 collapsible stock in 1967? Also, the ejection port door is closed, indicating a posed photo, and that sure doesn't look like an A-2 flash hider on the muzzle.

    1. Good eyes and must be as I cannot find another picture either by picture search or title.

      Stock in Vietnam

  2. To each his own . Sorry but I soured on those things years ago and never changed my mind. I had a nice one back in the 70s , a Colt . Sold it after a few years .