AR-15 style rifle

lightweight semi-automatic based on the Colt AR-15 design

An AR-15 style rifle is any light semi-automatic rifle inspired by the Colt AR-15 design.[1] The "AR" in AR-15 stands for "ArmaLite Rifle", not "assault rifle".[2][3]

An AR-15 style rifle

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban made it harder for the sale of the Colt AR-15 and some versions of them in the United States from 1994 to 2004, although it did not affect rifles with fewer listed features.[4][5]


  1. Jeff Zimba (2014). The Evolution of the Black Rifle: 20 Years of Upgrades, Options, and Accessories. Prepper Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0692317266.
  2. Myre, Greg (February 28, 2018). "A Brief History Of The AR-15". National Public Radio. Retrieved November 20, 2021. AR" comes from the name of the gun's original manufacturer, ArmaLite, Inc. The letters stand for ArmaLite Rifle — and not for "assault rifle" or "automatic rifle.
  3. Sobieck, Benjamin (2015). The Writer's Guide to Weapons. Penguin. p. 202. ISBN 978-1599638157.
  4. Plumer, Brad (2012-12-17). "Everything you need to know about the assault weapons ban, in one post". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  5. Libresco, Leah (2016-06-14). "Guns Like The AR-15 Were Never Fully Banned". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2018-02-26.