The firearms community has a long history filled with countless ways to find enjoyment and competition with our guns. What started as a way to gain bragging rights over your platoon with your Kentucky Rifles at the range by the fort has evolved into a nationwide sport where our skills and gear are put to the test at gun clubs and outdoor ranges where thousands upon thousands of gun owners can compete for bragging rights. Practical matches, 3-gun, IDPA, and USPSA matches, and many others, can be found happening all across the country every weekend. It’s quite common to cruise past a local gun club on a weekend and see a crowd of gun owners slinging lead to see who is the best sportsman…many of whom run with an AR15 style rifle.
AR15 pattern rifles are extremely popular at matches such as these. Their ease of use, affordable cost, modularity, and light weight make them a very attractive option for poking holes in paper. However many AR-pattern rifles are at a given match, though, you’re very likely to see at least one rifle that is different from the rest. Maybe it’s due to state and local laws that don’t permit standard AR15 pattern rifles. Maybe the owner wanted to try out a different gun to compare to the performance of a previous match. Maybe the owner thinks the faults in the AR15 somehow weren’t fixed and all they do is jam, even though the design has been on the consumer market for well over sixty years now.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of other options if you don’t want an AR15, and that’s what we’ll be discussing. Below is a list of rifles that, like the AR15, are chambered in an intermediate caliber, are semi-automatic, and are on the commercial market. As you cast your votes, consider what you would take to a match in place of an AR15 pattern rifle.