Since its invention during the Vietnam War, the AR15 platform has remained the most popular semi-automatic rifle for military personnel, state police, and civilian enthusiasts alike. What many people may not know is an AR15 is actually not a specific rifle, it is a class of civilian rifle modeled after the original M16 service rifle used by American soldiers in Vietnam. There are many different variations of the rifle, made by several different companies, but all of them use the same basic platform. The example used in this description is the Panther Arms DPMS rifle.
What Is A Gas Operated Rifle?
Many people who are new to firearms, or those who want to learn more about them, would benefit from learning about how a semi-automatic rifle works. Semi-automatic rifles, such as the Panther Arms DPMS, typically function using the same gas operated system. Gas operated systems are considered by many in the world of firearms to be the best system for these types of rifles. All gas operated rifles have the same basic process, the force of the bullet exiting the barrel is used to cycle the rifle and chamber another round.
Components Of The Rifle
Before operating a firearm such as the DPMS, it is important to understand its main components and how the function. Below is an exploded view of the rifle’s components.
A DPMS AR15 is composed of 6 primary parts, the barrel, bolt, magazine, trigger, hammer, and the gas piston. Each part relies on one another for proper function.
Operating The Rifle: How The System Works
To begin, a magazine is loaded with cartridges and inserted into the rifle. With the magazine snapped into place, the user manually chambers the first round using the charging handle, which engages the bolt and locks a round into the chamber. When a round is chambered, the user pulls the trigger, which releases the hammer. The hammer then strikes the primer of the bullet, igniting the powder inside the cartridge. The force of the burning powder inside the enclosed cartridge propels the bullet down the barrel.
The force of some of the gas created by the bullet is captured by a second tube attached to the barrel which contains the gas piston. The gas piston uses the force of the escaping gasses to push the bolt backward. When the bolt is forced back, a small spring inside the chamber ejects the spent cartridge. At the same time, a spring inside the magazine pushes a new cartridge upward into the chamber, the new round in then caught by the bolt and inserted into the rifles chamber. The process is then repeated again when the user pulls the trigger. Uses And Practicality
The gas operated platform used by AR15 rifles is considered the most reliable for the class. As long as the platform is kept clean the rifle will continue to function. The reduced amount of felt recoil from the system allows the user to make quick follow-up shots and allows them to better stay on target. Law enforcement will find the platform most useful, as well as homeowners looking for a home defense weapon.