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(14,559 posts)
Sun Oct 8, 2023, 05:32 PM Oct 2023

Flannel, muddy girl camo and man cards. See the ads used to sell the AR-15.

Last edited Sun Oct 8, 2023, 07:23 PM - Edit history (1)

A very interesting chronological look at ads for the AR-15. The first one was in 1966 and it was marketed (unsuccessfully) as a hunting rifle. 1966 was before the NSSF pulled off it's coup of the old NRA which was dedicated to gun safety and marksmanship.

From 1977 on all the ads centered on military and police as a selling point of the rifle. Curious how the gun culture is insistent that it isn't a military weapon when the gun industry has advertised it as such for 25 years!

It's well worth the read and an education on how the gun industry literally brain washed a generation of gun buyers.


The Colt AR-15 looked more like a laser blaster than dad’s trusty rifle when it hit the market in 1964.

It was made from aluminum and plastic, not the heavier metals and wood used in traditional firearms. Its cartridges were tiny compared with typical hunting ammunition. And it was all black — a dour monochrome far from the rich walnut accentuating many guns at the time. In short, the AR-15 presented a litany of challenges for those tasked with trying to sell it.

Many gun enthusiasts and industry executives were initially skeptical that an offshoot of a weapon originally designed for combat could sell in a marketplace focused on extolling the virtues of rifles for hunting and handguns for self-defense.

Through it all, the gun also became a point of emphasis for gun companies that turned to tactical weapons as an emerging and lucrative market.*

* The AR-15 market is so competitive that there is very little profit in selling the gun alone, hence the need to sell cheap tactical add-ons often with keystone markup to make up the shortfall.
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Flannel, muddy girl camo and man cards. See the ads used to sell the AR-15. (Original Post) AndyS Oct 2023 OP
Behind a paywall TexasDem69 Oct 2023 #1
link in thread 2, AndyS Oct 2023 #4
Thanks TexasDem69 Oct 2023 #5
Call it tactical and they will come . . . AndyS Oct 2023 #6
Said no Scotsman ever! Throck Oct 2023 #9
I've seen it called "Tacti-cool' The Mouth Oct 2023 #19
Gift link. (Non-paywall) ificandream Oct 2023 #2
thanks! AndyS Oct 2023 #3
Like any good advertisement, yagotme Oct 2023 #7
Follow me here for a few... discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2023 #8
Soooo, the French are to blame for our mass shootings? yagotme Oct 2023 #10
What a Garand man you are ;) discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2023 #11
Proper loading procedure pretty well negates that. yagotme Oct 2023 #12
Trust me, the Sarge instructed me proper. discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2023 #13
The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was the best promotional effort possible. SYFROYH Oct 2023 #14
Yes, and electing Donald Trump did more to curtail gun sales than AndyS Oct 2023 #15
That's not my message. SYFROYH Oct 2023 #16
First, the NRA is taking care of itself. AndyS Oct 2023 #17
I didn't say or suggest that we should do nothing SYFROYH Oct 2023 #18
For the year ending December 2021... discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2023 #20


(14,559 posts)
4. link in thread 2,
Sun Oct 8, 2023, 07:21 PM
Oct 2023

Anything with "tactical", rails, pouches, camo. I've even seen Kilts marketed as tactical.


(14,559 posts)
6. Call it tactical and they will come . . .
Sun Oct 8, 2023, 07:35 PM
Oct 2023

I didn't look into it further. Perhaps it has a pouch to carry your junk in?


(2,520 posts)
9. Said no Scotsman ever!
Mon Oct 9, 2023, 05:05 AM
Oct 2023

Wonderful wear in summer weather.

Less air conditioning required. Natural ventilation.


(3,440 posts)
7. Like any good advertisement,
Sun Oct 8, 2023, 08:14 PM
Oct 2023

you need a group of buyers familiar with the general product. In 1966, few civilians had experience with the Armalite system, and more with daddy's/granddaddy's wood and steel rifle. Enter Viet-Nam, and other cold war experiences, and you start getting a group of individuals familiar with the operating system/capabilities of the AR. For example, the military "needed" a magazine cutoff on weapons post Trapdoor, as troops would "waste" ammunition because the magazine fed bolt action was so much faster to shoot than the Trapdoor. The Krag, the 1903 Springfield, etc. Until we went to a semiautomatic rifle (M-1), the "need" for this cutoff was standard military SOP. After all, you don't market a race car to someone in the Amish community. You market it to individuals in the age range/experience that wants to buy your product.


(18,506 posts)
8. Follow me here for a few...
Sun Oct 8, 2023, 08:42 PM
Oct 2023

We have mass shootings because of ARs.
We have ARs because of Viet Nam.
We had Viet Nam because of the French.

Draw your own conclusions.


(3,440 posts)
10. Soooo, the French are to blame for our mass shootings?
Mon Oct 9, 2023, 09:03 AM
Oct 2023

I think you missed the point I was trying to make. A market for "modern" rifles opened up post VN, as returning service members saw the AR as a rifle they were familiar with, and could use for a variety of purposes, aka target shooting, hunting, varmint control, etc. You tend to like/use what you were trained with. Then law enforcement started picking up on it, as GI's also went into that field, and a carbine length AR/M-16 is more vehicle friendly than a full size rifle or shotgun.

I do WW2 reenactments/displays, and a sure way to light up the eyes of a WW2/Korea vet is to hand them an M-1 or a carbine. A lot of the older shooters still prefer the wood/steel rifles, but to each his own. I like both, soooo...


(18,506 posts)
11. What a Garand man you are ;)
Mon Oct 9, 2023, 06:59 PM
Oct 2023
Didn't miss it.

BTW, I've shot both the Garand and the Carbine and reloaded for both. Waste not, want not.
Also, the idea of M1 thumb scares me.


(3,440 posts)
12. Proper loading procedure pretty well negates that.
Tue Oct 10, 2023, 01:35 PM
Oct 2023

Using knife edge of hand to hold op rod until clip is seated, then get your thumb the heck out of the way. Interestingly, the original manuals (pre-war) didn't show that, just pushing down on the clip with your thumb, nothing holding the op rod. Nothing like experience being the best teacher!

Have loaded for both, also, amongst a whole bunch of other surplus weapons. Look up data for the .25 ACP sometime. Usually 2 or 3 tenths of a grain between min and max.


(34,195 posts)
14. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was the best promotional effort possible.
Wed Oct 11, 2023, 10:07 PM
Oct 2023

Gun controllers created a massive forbidden fruit effect.

And everytime it looks like another AWB, sales surge again.

Gun companies are grateful for all the threatened but ultimately failed AWB legislation.


(14,559 posts)
15. Yes, and electing Donald Trump did more to curtail gun sales than
Thu Oct 12, 2023, 11:23 AM
Oct 2023

anything else.

So your suggestion is to re-elect Trump?

The electron of Obama caused a surge in gun sales too. Bad mistake on our part you say?

The fact that gun sales surge is just an indication of how frightened the gun culture is of the progress we are making.

How about you retire that NSSF crafted talking point . .


(34,195 posts)
16. That's not my message.
Thu Oct 12, 2023, 11:33 AM
Oct 2023

But if we want to slow down sales and depower the NRA, that we should stop talking about gun bans. If we really want to create effective gun violence reduction policies and laws we would commit to not banning guns.

If you think you've made a lot of progress then I'm happy for you.


(14,559 posts)
17. First, the NRA is taking care of itself.
Thu Oct 12, 2023, 02:08 PM
Oct 2023

Second, the Gun Culture itself is rapidly following.

Third, The gun makers have attracted international attention with 87% of the crime guns in Ontario traced to the US.

Fourth, you are suggesting we do nothing because everything we do causes a short term burst of gun buying.

I reject your approach as nothing more than capitulation.


(34,195 posts)
18. I didn't say or suggest that we should do nothing
Thu Oct 12, 2023, 03:06 PM
Oct 2023

In fact, I suggested the opposite.

You're not making very much progress with leading with gun bans.


(18,506 posts)
20. For the year ending December 2021...
Thu Oct 12, 2023, 09:55 PM
Oct 2023

...the CDC says there were 5073 non-firearm homicides in a population of 331,893,745. That's rate of 1.53 per 100,000.

For the year ending March of 2022 the UK had 696 homicides overall (guns, knives, poison, Maxwell's Silver Hammer...whatever.) That's in a population of 67,508,936. That homicide rate is 1.00.

The US non-firearm homicide rate is 53% higher than the UK's overall homicide rate.

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