Saturday 18 January 2014

Modifying the Technology Behind the AR-15: Ballistics, Barrels, and More

The AR-15 has been an incredibly popular rifle in America for quite some time, and its popularity has only increased in the years that have followed its design and release during the Vietnam War. Part of why it is so very well received is not only because it is a solid weapon, but also because it is heavily customizable. Like the hot rods of yore, the AR-15 has a number of modifications that can be made to it in order to give it a personal flair that other weapons simply don't take to as well.

This sort of versatility has created a whole new breed of collector: the tinkerer. These are people who are not just concerned with what the gun does, how it shoots, or how they might need it. Instead, their focus is on making the gun cool, making it look interesting or having it do things that it wasn't originally intended to do. These are the people who are stretching the limits of what can be done with a weapon, not by dangerous experiments in trick shots, but by trying to refine its appearance and use to suit a single person, the one who is modding it.

And in the process of doing so, they have come up with whole ranges of interesting and original modifications that appeal to wide ranges of users around the world. Communities have risen to discuss and share ideas of this incredible hobby, and most focus entirely on what can be done with the rifles other than actually shooting them.

In fact, here are some of the coolest things that can be done to an AR-15:

1. Smartphone Ballistics Computer - Actual snipers have specialized equipment that tells them things like wind speed and direction, bullet trajectory, and flight time. We can't all have those exact computers, but we can get very similar things with our phones today. Even the most basic smartphone can now be used to track all of these factors, easily attach to your gun, and help you improve your accuracy. These types of apps can even keep track of how many shots you take and your trigger time, helping you get a better handle on your shooting and become a better sportsman.

2. Game Mods - There's a reason why realistic military shooters are so popular: they are realistic. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the ways that the AR-15 can be modded in order to more closely resemble a video game gun. By the addition of a number of parts and the changing of the color scheme, this particular gun can look like the one that your first person avatar carried in Battlefield or Call of Duty. It's very easy to replicate guns like that exactly, image for image, with the AR-15.

3. Major Color Mods - Speaking of color, there are tons of color options that you have with the AR-15. It takes very well to paint and there are pre-painted or otherwise hued parts out there to be use for the gun as you need it. Want your rifle to be camouflaged? To what sort of environment? Perhaps you want logos from your favorite movie put on the barrel? There are people who have even gotten pink and purple themed parts for their own Hello Kitty or Barbie themed AR-15, something that is not only fairly common but very easy to do. There is very little that you can't do with the coloration on these weapons.

4. Barrel Additions - Sure, the average person might want to mount a laser sight or a bayonet on the bottom of their rifle, but you're certainly not average. You want something interesting, utilitarian, and above all cool. That's why it's very simple to mount a working chainsaw to the bottom of your AR-15 barrel. Whether you're looking to chop firewood or zombies, this is the mod for that person who wants to make sure that the world knows exactly how bad ass they really are.

These are only some of the amazing mod options out there, like those from Unlike a lot of similar firearms, there is very little that can't be done with the AR-15 if you put your imagination into it.

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