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Military vs Consumer AR-15 Rifles



Visual appearanceOn the surface, military and consumer AR-15 rifles share many visual similarities. From the stock to the barrel, the two almost look identical.

Ammunition capacityMilitary M16 rifles carry upwards of 30 rounds per magazine. However, due to new laws, consumer AR-15 rifles can carry a maximum of 10 rounds.

Firing modesThere are three different fire modes that rifles offer. Firing in semi-automatic means that for every trigger pull, one shot is fired. Three-round burst is what it sounds like, on trigger pull, a short burst of three quick rounds is fired out the rifle. Finally, firing in fully automatic means that as long as the trigger is pulled the rifle will continue to fire. Consumer AR-15 rifles only fire in semi-automatic, with strict laws and regulations preventing civilian possession of fully automatic weapons without a special permit. Military variants of the AR-15 have semi-automatic, three-round burst, and fully automatic firing modes for different use cases within the military.