AR-15 style rifle
Lightweight automatic based on the Colt AR-15 design
An AR-15 style rifle is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle based on the ArmaLite AR-15 design. ArmaLite sold the patent and trademarks to Colt's Manufacturing Company in 1959. After Colt's patents expired in 1977, Colt retained the trademark and is the exclusive owner of "AR-15" designation. An expanded marketplace emerged with many manufacturers producing their own version of the AR-15 design for commercial sale. They are referred to as modern sporting rifles by the US National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade association, and by some manufacturers. Coverage of high-profile incidents where various versions of the rifle were involved often uses the shorthand AR-15.
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