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The Gun House Blog

Main Blog->Important General Information->AR15 Terms and Info

AR15 Terms and Info

This is a short reference to aid our customers in making a choice of the AR15 that best fits their needs and budget.  There are books written about the AR 15 that cover every aspect of the gun from its beginning at Armalite to the modern AR 15's of today.  Here we're only going to cover the very basics.

A1  -  A2  -  A3

You buddy says to you, "my AR15 is an A3 M4".... what does he mean?  Here're the basics of the "A", which has to do with the AR 15 upper. 

  • A1:  Has a carry handle that is fixed and limited adjustment on sights.  The rear sights are adjustable for elevation only... no windage adjustment.  With the proper tool, most A1 rifles can be adjusted for windage at the front sight.   

  • A2:  A fixed carry handle with sights that are adjustable for both windage and elevation.

  • A3:  A removable carry handle with sights that can be adjusted for both windage and elevation.  The AR15 A3 carry handle is attached to a weaver/picatinny to which a scope or other accessories can be mounted if the carry handle is removed. 

So what is the M4?  --  The M4 has to do with the barrel and the most recognizable thing is the indentation in the barrel for the attachment of a grenade launcher.  See the PIC below of your friends A3 M4

Removable carry handle - Adjustable sights - M4 barrel

Some AR15's come with no carry handle and are generally referred to as "Flat Top".  There are two basic types of flat top.

The AR15 Flat Top with front sight. 

This is a popular choice of many who want to mount a scope or other sighting system on their AR 15.  Generally, if you are going to mount a scope on this gun you will need to buy a riser to mount on the rail to get the scope high enough to see above the front sight.  This gun gives the option of buying a custom rear sight.


The AR15 Flat Top with no front sights

Another popular choice for those wanting to mount a scope or other sighting system or for those who want to mount a complete sighting system on their gun. 


There is a whole array of options that can be added to the AR15.  Carry handles with various type of sights or just sights that mount on the rail - lights - lasers - holographic sights - you name it.   We carry many of the accessories on our sister sight:  CheaperScopes.com 


Thanks -- Hope this helped

The Gun House Team