Charlie Sheen as Pvt. Chris Taylor with an M16A1 in Platoon (1986).
AR-15 Quiz
Think you know something about ARs? Take our 15-question quiz and find out. photo from wikipedia

1. AR, as in AR-15, stands for:

A Eugene ARnold Stoner

B ArmaLite Rifle

C Assault Rifle

D none of the above

AR-15 Quiz
Carrie Fisher with an M16 SP1 in Blues Brothers (1980). The SP1 designation means the rifle has a birdcage flash hider instead of the earlier three-prong version, but no forward assist. photo from

2. Direct Gas Impingement is a system of semi-automatic cycling wherein:

A Gas from the fired shell pushes a piston that strikes the bolt, thereby ejecting the spent case and chambering a fresh round

B Gas from the fired shell is forced through a tube that uses direct pressure to force the bolt back, thereby ejecting the spent case and chambering a fresh round

C Recoil from the fired round depresses a spring within the gas block and sends the bolt back, thereby ejecting the spent case and chambering a fresh round

D None of the above

AR-15 Quiz
AR-10 “Sudanese” Model. photo from

3. The AR-10 platform, while very similar in concept to the AR-15, has one main difference. What is it?

A It fires the .308 Win. (7.62 NATO) cartridge

B It was made 10 years after the AR-15

C It is a version of the AR-15 made from heavier parts with closer tolerances for better long-range accuracy

D None of the above

AR-15 Quiz
Tom Hanks marches through waters of Vietnam with an M16 as the titular character in Forrest Gump (1994). Hanks actually carried an XM16E1 rifle in the film, which was an M16 with several improvements, like a forward-assist, that were requested by the U.S. Army. The U.S. Air Force didn’t want the forward assist, so the Army’s rifle got a different designation for a time. photo from

4. If an AR-15 fails to fire, the shooter should immediately employ the “Tap, rack, bang” technique of clearing the jam. “Tap, rack, bang” means doing what?

A Tapping the magazine to make sure it’s seated, racking the bolt to clear a jam and chamber a fresh round, then pulling the trigger to shoot again

B Tapping your partner to indicate there’s a malfunction, racking your brain to find the problem, fixing it, then shooting again

C Tapping the magazine sharply in order to re-rack the cartridges inside of it, and banging the charging handle in a forward direction

D None of the above

Charlie Sheen as Pvt. Chris Taylor with an M16A1 in Platoon (1986).

5. Can you safely shoot a 5.56 NATO round in a .223-chambered AR-15?

A Yes. There is no risk; the cartridges and chambers are exactly the same

B No. Increased pressures can occur due to the .223 chamber’s shorter leade/throat

C Yes, but decreased pressure can occur, causing the bullet to tumble due to the 5.56 round’s longer length

D No. The two rounds and guns are incompatible with each other and will result in catastrophic failure

AR-15 Quiz
A pile of rifles from the film We Were Soldiers, some of which are original M16s, as you can see by the flat “slab side” with no forward assist. photo from

6. Heavier-for-caliber bullets generally require what type of twist rate?

A Faster twist rate, such as 1:7

B Slower twist rate, such as 1:14

C No change; it’s proven that the standard 1:9 twist rate is best for all .224-caliber projectiles

D It depends on the barrel manufacturer’s specs

AR-15 Quiz
Arnold Schwarzenegger firing an M16A1 like it’s a pistol in Commando (1985). photo from

7. Approximately how many ft.-lbs. of recoil energy does a standard-velocity, .223 Rem/5.56 NATO cartridge loaded with a 55-grain bullet produce in a typical, 7-pound AR-15 rifle?

A 17.5

B 3.7

C 8.1

D .75

AR-15 Quiz
Meg Ryan as Capt. Karen Walden in Courage Under Fire (1996) firing an M16A2. photo from

8. Rank the order of the muzzle energy of these cartridges, from most powerful to least powerful.

A .30-06, .30-30, AR-15/.223 Rem., 22 WMR

B .30-30, .30-06, .223 Rem., 22 WMR

C .30-06, .30-30, .22 WMR, .223 Rem.

D .30-06, .223 Rem., .30-30, .22 WMR

AR-15 Quiz
Josh Hartnett as SSgt. Eversmann in Black Hawk Down firing an M16A2.

9. Which of the following rifles is NOT an AR-15-style rifle?

A Keltec RDB

B Rock River LAR 15

C Daniel Defense MK 18

D Yankee Hill Machine 8550 Specter

AR-15 Quiz
Thomas Jane as Frank Castle firing an M4A1 in The Punisher (2004). photo from

10. If subsonic, 55-grain loads are fired from a 16-inch rifle barrel, the AR-15’s muzzle energy goes from approximately 1280 ft.lbs. to what?

A 1000

B 500

C 125

D There is no change in muzzle energy

AR-15 Quiz
Al Pacino firing a Colt AR-15 with an M203 grenade launcher in Scarface (1883) with two magazines taped together jungle style. The M203 on Tony Montana’s “Little Friend” is actually fake, believe it or not. photo from

11. What was the first branch of the military to officially purchase AR-15-type rifles?

A Army

B Navy

C Air Force

D Marines

AR-15 Quiz
Mark Wahlberg as Macus Luttrell in Lone Survivor with his Mk 12 Mod 1 SPR, with a solid stock, suppressor, Harris bipod, AN/PEQ-2 IR designators, and a Leupold MR/T scope. photo from

12. In order to convert an AR-15 to shoot the heavier .300 AAC Blackout round, you must do what?

A Replace the barrel, magazine, and bolt with those chambered for .300 Blackout

B Replace the barrel or upper barrel assembly

C Replace the barrel and magazine

D None of the above. AR-15 rifles chambered in .223 Rem./5.56 NATO are not compatible with .300 Blackout

AR-15 Quiz
Jake Gyllenhaal holding an M16A2 at the ready in Jarhead as Anthony Swofford. photo from

13. Using a silencer on an AR-15 rifle will change your bullet’s point of impact which way?

A To the left and upward

B To the left and downward

C Downward

D Randomly or perhaps not at all

AR-15 Quiz
Sean Connery fires an M16A2 in The Rock (1996) as John Mason. photo from

14. An M4 carbine differs from the military’s M16 rifle, which was adapted from the AR-15, in what way?

A It’s a fully automatic version

B It’s chambered in .7.62 NATO

C It’s shorter and lighter

D It’s the exact same rifle, just coded differently by various military branches

AR-15 Quiz
Val Kilmer fires a Colt Model 733 short-barreled carbine as Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995). photo from

15. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates there are how many “Modern Sporting Arms (AR-15-style rifles) in the U.S. today?

A Fewer than 1 million

B 300 million

C 5 million to 9 million

D 25-35 million



– 1-4 correct: You might be getting your facts from Barbara Boxer. You should look elsewhere.

– 5-9 correct: You’re interested in AR-15s, so peruse this website to find out more.

– 10-12 correct: Not too shabby. With a little more study and range time, you could become a master of all things AR.

– 13-14 correct: You’re a cross between Norman Schwarzkopf, a gunsmith, and the Navy SEALS who nailed Bin Laden.

– 15 correct: Congratulations—you’re Eugene Stoner reincarnated!

Answer Key

1. B 9, A
2. B 10. C
3. A 11. C
4. A 12. B
5 B 13. D
6 A 14. C
7 B 15. C
8 A