In the interest of RANT WEEK here on Empty Cases, what is it with calling the AR a modern sporting rifle (MSR)?

It’s nothing but political correctness (PC). AR does not stand for “assault rifle”. The AR or Armalite Rifle is only an “assault rifle” when it is used in an assault. One of the most notorious and deadly shootings in America involving rifles occurred at the University of Texas in 1966. it was perpetuated by a fellow by the name of Charles Whitman who’s “assault rifles” were; a bolt action Remington model 700 in 6mm Remington (Good thing CNBC didn’t turn this trivial fact up while on their anti-gun, Remington bashing kick. They would have blamed Remington for Whitman’s actions too.), a pump action Remington model 141 in .35 Remington and a .30 caliber M1 Carbine. You would think that with our current infatuation with PC, all of these rifles would now be called ARs or something much worse.

In case you are curious, HERE is a list of Whitman’s assault gear, per the police report. Good thing someone finally shot this guy.

As a sidebar to the Texas shooting story, Austin PD police officer Ramiro Martinez stated that the civilian shooters should be credited as they made it difficult for him to take careful aim. Too bad one of those civilians did not have an AR. Ohh, I’m sorry, “MSR”

Here’s the deal. America was made America by hearty folks that used their rifles to kill their food, fight for their independence and to take land away from the Indians. They carried the same rifles whether they were wearing their farming or hunting clothes or a uniform. Used them for weekend turkey shoots too.

American’s today are no different. We can and should be able to use our ARs for competition, hunting, fighting terrorists and for shooting bad guys out of towers on college campuses. Without having to worry about what we call those rifles.

When you think about it, there are only two rifles of modern popularity that are truly American; the lever action of any sort and the AR. Really, AR should stand for “America’s Rifle” This is where it originated, this is the country it protects and while it may not be the rifle that won the West but it might be the most versatile, reliable, accurate and easiest to maintain rifle in existence.

Yep, forget the PC, MSR crap, call it an “AR” and say it with feeling because here in America you can call your rifle anything you want!

At 7 years old the Gunwriter Assistant used an AR to take his 2nd deer. Believe it or not, this experience has not caused him to believe the AR is an evil weapon. He has no idea what an MSR is and I see absolutely no reason to even try to explain that to him.

About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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17 Responses to America’s Rifle – RANT WEEK CONTINUES

  1. John in KS says:

    That’s a nice rant about the way things OUGHT to be. And I agree with it. =^)

  2. Jim Dodd says:

    You can use “America’s Rifle in Free America but California is still behind the progressive anti-freedom curtain. We hope to fix that through the courts…jim

  3. RG says:

    right own!!!

  4. Steve L. says:

    Congrats to the kid on his 2nd deer.
    What caliber is the rifle? – 5.56 or something else?

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  7. cybrus says:

    Wish you could hunt with an AR (or any semi-auto) in Pennsylvania…

  8. JamesF says:

    I’d just like to point this out because it’s a common misconception – AR doesn’t stand for ArmaLite Rifle. It’s just the first two letters in ArmaLite. There are pistols and shotguns from ArmaLite with the designation “AR” as well.

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  10. JD says:

    Excellent rant! I own more than one AR as do many of my gun owning friends. All of us hunt with them and all of us call them AR’s.

  11. Sailorcurt says:

    An AR is a specific model/type of rifle.

    The “Modern Sporting Rifle” refers to an entire class of rifles, of which the AR pattern rifles are only a part. The term is an alternative not to “AR”, but to the emotionally loaded and inaccurate anti-gun term “assault weapon”.

    The sad fact is that, with the full complicity of the media, in the past decades, many people who don’t own or use guns…and even some who do…have come to associate rifles like the AR, the AK and other “Modern Sporting Rifles” with “assault” and consider them weapons suitable only for war.

    You can wax self-righteous about being “PC” all you want but the fact remains that, without the support of a large number of people in the squishy middle who aren’t gun rights advocates and simply don’t know that much about the issues…we lose. If we don’t counter the emotion-laden propaganda spewed by the anti-gunners and their supporters in the media and allow the misconceptions to go unchallenged…we lose.

    In my humble opinion, replacing “assault weapon” with “Modern Sporting Rifle” is not being “politically correct” as much as it is being descriptively accurate. Modern, semi-automatic rifles that cosmetically appear similar to their military counterparts are not weapons of war, they are not uniquely suited for “assault” nor are they uniquely unsuitable for sporting purposes…quite the contrary in fact.

    The attempt to replace the term “assault weapon” with Modern Sporting Rifle is nothing more than an attempt to replace bald-faced propaganda with the truth.

    I simply don’t see anything wrong with that.

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  14. Michael B. Saari says:

    Richard, I really enjoy reading your articles especially when they have photos attached. Your sons AR looks awesome too. Is that an EOTech on his rifle? Also, wanted to ask your opinion on patterns of hunting cloths.
    This year I purchased all new cammo in the new Mulit-Cam military color. From undershirts, BDU’s, jackets and pants. Even purchased two new molle backpacks in Multi-Cam colors along with canteen covers and a new medic bag.
    I am under the opinion that the new multi cam color will likely be more invisible to deer & turkey as well as other hunters more so than realtree patterns or even the new HD patterns.
    What are your thoughts?


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