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on March 3, 2002
For a single author this book is incredibly thorough, but the book occasionally seems like it was rushed to press. Some statements drift off and are never completed after making a note in parenthesis, among other things. Many of the pictures are cut and pasted to assemble likenesses of the many hundred versions of the AR-15 that exist instead of using pictures of the real thing (though this is understandable). Despite these pitfalls it does remain a very complete volume, though the operation and maintenance chapters left something to be desired. The book also dedicates alot of space to the M203 and the grenades that can be used in it, even though civilians have nearly zero chance of ever using one. If you're looking for the history of and a good overview of the AR-15 makes and models that exist this is an excellent resource. If you want to know how the gun works and how best to keep it working, you might want to look elsewhere.
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on April 10, 2003
The Complete AR-15/M16 Sourcebook: What Every Shooter Needs to Know keeps with its title. Well, somewhat. The book is a very detailed SOURCEBOOK. Do not buy this book to find out what you can do to accessorize your rifle. This book goes into detail about the origins of the AR-15/M16 beginning with the early years and including some photos and text on early models and models that did not make it. The book talks about some of the larger companies that make the AR-15/M16, and has pictures of most of the variants by company. It is a worthwhile read if you desire to learn about the history of the rifle, but is by no means what every reader needs to know.
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on August 27, 2002
i had this shipped from amazon.com to manila, and totally loved it. there are so much variants of the M16/AR15 and it gets really hard to keep track of all . this guide tells you the make ,where to find it, who has it, and when it was made. i also learned so much from this book regarding the "markings" of an M16 and what makes yours special. i am a true loveer of the M16 rifle, and am very proud to own this book. now, i have learned many things which i haven't had the slightest idea of, before i bought this book! this truly is a good buy, if you want to authenticate, modify, and just plainly admore your M16 rifle
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on June 14, 1999
This is a quick read if you are hungry for knowledge. I found the illustrated differences between millitary and civilian models, a refreshing change to the lack of knowledge of some dealers. Although this is the best reference I have read, and whole heartedly recomend this title for enthusiasts of the "Black Rife", some of the information is now dated. There is no refernce to the now standard M16A3, and the new rail systems. The book could be refreshed with a comparison to the newer weapons system, and a clean up of references to the Mark 23 as a rifle.
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on October 24, 2011
I bought this the year I joined the Marines. Its a fairly detailed narrative of the M-16/AR-15 rifle, how it was developed, and why. I wanted to know more about the rifle I was using, and this book is a worthy source.

For the layman, a clarification: The M-16 is an ASSAULT-RIFLE, the AR-15, IS NOT.

That is, the M-16, a military armament, is a rifle capable of full-automatic AND semi-automatic fire.

The AR-15, has only a semi-automatic capability.

However, an AR-15 is perfectly viable for military purposes. For a battle-rifle, all you need is semi-auto. Any infantryman can tell you that full-auto is largely inaccurate and over-rated for a rifle.

Any lawful citizen may purchase an AR-15 for a reasonable price from any seller of firearms. From the time of the original printing of this book, there are now quite a large number of companies producing variations of the AR-15. I recommend DPMS of St. Cloud, Minnesota! HIGH QUALITY at a great price!

I've seen the M-16/AR-15 come a LONG way, during my military service. I've used Veitnam-era M16A1 rifles, the vastly improved M16A2, and the M-4 carbine. The errors in the original rifles are largely eliminated. However, frequent cleaning is still mandatory for this class of rifle, in any operational environment.
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on August 27, 2008
This is a good book but a bad manual. It has a great history of M16s and a bit of bias about how great they are. I was disappointed at the lack of technical information in the book as I was looking for a bit more detail on the specifics of parts and internal upgrade options.
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on December 27, 2007
Nice history and overview of the rifles development, but weak on assembly instruction, maintenance, cleaning etc. A nice historical reference book really.
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on February 3, 2016
A very thorough book on the AR family of firearms. A little dated, though. Many current makers are not represented and it could use an appendix to cover these. Some issues like the "danger of excessive headspace" are a little overdone but few people ever read Hatcher's Notebook to learn the truth about headspace.
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on January 9, 2007
I was new to the AR-15 pattern rifle. This book was informative and still a great read. Provides a full history of the design with info about competing rifles. It could use some updating to cover newer accessories.
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on January 5, 2000
Considering how much this sort of firearm costs, I find that owning an informative guide is a virtual necessity. All the aspects of AR-15 are explored and detailed, and the data is very accurate. A very good buy.
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