STEVE WOODS PHOTO
Whether it is good marketing or something else, AR-15s have enjoyed record sales over the past few years. Dubbed “Modern Sporting Rifles” by some, the black rifle is no longer just for tactical types and the subsequent plethora of wannabes. Eugene Stoner’s little carbine is evolving into an immensely versatile platform with the reliability and precision for many uses. From the battlefield to hunting fields, going fast or going long, the modern AR is suitable for many roles.
While this mainstream acceptance is fairly recent, top-end AR-15s have been evolving since its inception. National Match shooting comprises range exercises developed to train skills with military issue rifles and match-grade versions allow testing of new ideas and improvements.
Across-The-Course events require rifles capable of one-minute accuracy at 600 yards and builds the skills needed. This environment is where sniper programs were created, as anyone who has read the exploits of Herbert McBride or Carlos Hathcock already knows. With this drive, shooters began looking at ways to make the M16 work in accuracy-intense applications.