What is a sporting rifle?
Modern Sporting Rifle or MSR is a general category of semi-automatic firearms based on the Colt AR-15 design and now made by many different manufactures. After Colt's patents expired in 1977, an active marketplace emerged around the Colt AR-15 rifle's design, all sharing the same basic characteristics of the AR-15. In an effort avoid confusion, the firearm industry began to call these generic AR-15s Modern Sporting Rifles or MSRs. Modern Sporting Rifles are available in a wide range of configurations and calibers from a large number of manufacturers. These configurations range from standard full-sizes rifles with 20 inch barrels, to short carbine-length models with 16 inch barrels, adjustable length stocks and optical sights, to long range target models with 24 inch barrels, bipods and high-powered scopes. These calibers include the 5.56×45mm NATO, 5.7×28mm, 6.8mm Remington SPC,.300 Blackout, 9×19mm Parabellum and .458 SOCOM to name a few.
History of sporting rifles
Colt started selling the semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle as the Colt AR-15 in 1964. Colt continues to use the AR-15 trademark for its line of semi-automatic rifles (AR-15, AR-15A2, AR-15A3 and AR-15A4) that are marketed to both civilian and law-enforcement customers. The first version was the Colt AR-15 Sporter, in .223 Remington, with a 20 inch barrel and issued with 5-round magazines. After Colt's patents expired an active marketplace emerged around the Colt AR-15 rifle's design, all sharing the same basic characteristics of the AR-15.
More information about sporting rifle and a list of the major models you'll find at the end of th page.
List of sporting rifles
Among the many sporting rifles models and manufacturers: Armalite M-15, Barrett REC7, Bravo Company Manufacturing BCM Carbines and Rifles, Bushmaster XM-15, Colt AR-15, Carbon 15, Daniel Defense DDM4, DPMS Panther Arms Tactical Rifle, Heckler & Koch HK416, Lewis Machine & Tool Company CQB16, LWRC International IC series, Midwest Industries MI series, Mossberg Tactical Semi-Automatic Rifles, Olympic Arms K series, Patriot Ordnance Factory rifles and carbines, Quality Arms Tactical series, Remington GPC, Rock River Arms LAR-15, Ruger SR-556, Savage Arms MSR-15, SIG MCX, SIG Sauer SIG516, SIG Sauer SIGM400, Smith & Wesson M&P15, Stag Arms STAG-15, Wilson Combat Tactical Rifle, Windham Weaponry R series, Yankee Hill Machine 8000 series.
Some clarification: Modern sporting rifles (AR-15 platform) are not military rifles
The modern sporting rifles based on the AR-15 platform may cosmetically look like military rifles but they do not function the same way. Modern sporting rifles are semi-automatic weapons (i.e. they fire only one round with each pull of the trigger) like many other civilian sporting firearms, while military “assault rifles” are fully automatic (like a machine-gun). Besides this, AR-15 platform sporting rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges.
On all4shooters.com we publish articles on sporting rifles.