As I mentioned in Part 1, the Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle was by far more prevalent than the SP1 carbine. But it seemed that as each year passed the carbine version was becoming more and more popular. Initially the popularity of the Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle was driven by Vietnam War veterans and those of us who grew up watching that war on the six 0’clock news wanted to own a rifle like was used in Vietnam. The same thing had happened after World War II and the Korean War with the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, and later many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War wanted and AR-15A2.
The signing by President Bill Clinton of the so-called Assault Weapons Ban in September 1994 all but eliminated the carbine version. The collapsible stock was one of a number of “evil” features that were no longer permitted.
Thankfully the Assault Weapons Ban failed renewal under President George W. Bush in September 2004 and “sunset,” or expired. The attacks on 9-11 that led to the entry of US combat troops into Afghanistan and later Iraq initially began with most troops armed with the M16A2 rifle. Over time that changed until the most prevalent US small arm was a version of the Colt developed M4 carbine in 1986 and the first production contracts in 1993.
BY SCOTT DUFF