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Alphabet soup Lite

Today we are going to tackle the infamous AR. There is only one true meaning for this and I’ll cover what it mean and perhaps why there is confusion about its meaning, besides any political posturing it may be used for.

The M1 was the weapon of choice in WWII along with a few others like the Thompson’s Machine Gun (Tommy gun.) The times were changing and the military wanted something better. After a few different firearms in the Korean War didn’t do exactly what they wanted, they put out another request for mass produced firearms and got the AR10 chambered in 7.62x51mm.

The AR10 was deemed too unreliable on full auto so the AR15 chambered in .223 was developed. ArmaLite couldn’t get the government to accept their design so they sold it to Colt and it was finally accepted as the M16.

The original AR-15 (which is supposedly Eugene Stoner’s 15th design for ArmaLite) was a select fire design that could be set to automatic fire. This classified the firearm as an automatic rifle and this is likely where any confusion comes from. However, this does not mean that AR stand for automatic rifle. It is an abbreviation of the company ArmaLite that held the design for the rifle.

Civilian models of the AR-15 are not produced with the automatic fire capabilities. In fact, the only legal way to obtain an automatic fire AR-15 is by bidding on a pre-1986 model that would go through the ATF and DOJ.

Here is a Link that explains how a civilian model works.

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Alphabet soup small portion

I’m going to keep it brief today. Mostly so I can get back into the blogging that has been neglected. Before I got my own first personal gun and fell into the hole that is the world of firearms I mentioned .22LR and said that I thought it stood for “long range.” I was laughed at. It was forgotten about, and I don’t even remember the rest of the conversation but here is where the LR comes from.

In 1887 the Stevens Arms Co. developed the ultimate in .22 rimfire cartridges, the .22 Long Rifle. This used the .22 Long case with a 40 grain RN bullet loaded to higher velocity than the 29 grain Long bullet. It shot flatter and hit harder than any of the previous .22 rimfires except the .22 Extra Long, whose performance it essentially duplicated in a shorter case, and it was more accurate than that cartridge. Source

I could only find a blog post that actually described why the designation of “Rifle” followed the “Long” title. “This new round, designed for rifles only (it was too powerful for use in pistols) was the Long Rifle.”

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Alphabet soup served Colt

The very first handgun I ever had was a Sig Sauer P250. The trigger pull is a mile long and it is chambered in .45 ACP.

ACP means Automatic Colt Pistol.

If you only came to find out what it stood for, there you go. If you want to learn a little bit more then read on!

John Moses Browning, of Browning Arms Company fame noticed while hunting that when his friend shot in tall grass, the blast would push the grass with the force of expelling the bullet. From that experience he began to work on an idea to harness that force into helping to operate the firearm mechanisms to cycle the next round.

The creator of the 1911 pistol, the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), and the Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG), sold his 32 Browning self loading cartridge to Colt which then became the .32 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol)

This is a very condensed version, but my sources came from here, here, and of course Wikipedia. Stay tuned for more Acronym Articles and check out the store for new addition and restocks!

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Alphabet soup MM Flavor

I decided to start with a relatively benign acronym today. The abbreviation standing for Millimeter which is what one of the most common calibers for handguns is measured in.

Developed in Austria by Georg Luger in 1901, the 9mm Luger or 9mm Parabellum is by far the most readily accessible handgun and cartridge in the United States. (8 out of 10 guns. com 2021 Top ten selling handguns)

Here’s what I found. Basically, bullets designed in any country other than the US would be measure in millimeters.

Metric diameters for small arms refer to cartridge dimensions and are expressed with an “×” between the bore diameter and the length of the cartridge case; for example, the 6.5×55mm Swedish cartridge has a bore diameter of 6.5 mm and a case length of 55 mm.
Barnes, Frank C. (2016). Woodard, W. Todd (ed.). Cartridges of the World: A Complete and Illustrated Reference for More than 1500 Cartridges (15th ed.). Iola, Wis.: Krause Publications. p. 9. ISBN978-1440246425. OCLC934886116.

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Alphabet Soup


  1. an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA ). (Oxford definition)

I don’t know about y’all but there are a lot of acronyms in the firearm world. Maybe it’s because of the militaristic nature of owning firearms or the fact that it’s easier to shorten phrases to a form that makes you feel like you are part of a special club because you know what it means.

This series is going to break some of them down and where they come from. It might be something as simple as caliber designations, or as complex as AOW (any other weapon.)

Come along on this journey with me and let’s see where the winding road will take us! If you have a suggestion on something or would like me to cover an acronym that you just can never remember, let me know and I’ll try to fit it in.