History of the AR

Posted by RailScales on Aug 29th 2020

History of the AR

RailScales makes the best rail covers and AR rail grips in the industry. When we began in 2014, our mission was to make a better rail cover that provided better heat resistance than the polymer rails covers that were on the market that just could not handle the job. We wanted a better attachment method than these loose, clip-on style ones, and we wanted ones that would hold up to wear and tear in the field.

Thus, our RailScale rail covers are now the best-selling handguard rails in the industry, made from G10, which is a high-pressure laminate, or composite material that is super thin. It is made of multiple layers of epoxy resin and is very easy to install. Below, we'll take a look at the history of the AR. Order your AR-15 rail grips today!


AR stands for ArmaLite, which is the name of the manufacturer of these weapons and not "assault rifle" that many people mistakenly believe. The ArmaLite 15 is an assault rifle and is a civilian version of the M-16, the U.S. Military's version of this weapon.

The AR is a product of The ArmaLite company, which was founded in Hollywood in the 1950s. The company was a weapons designer in the beginning. They designed the AR-5 in 1954, which was meant to be a survival rifle for the U.S. Airforce. It was a bolt-action rifle that used a .22 caliber bullet. The idea behind this weapon was to be light and easy to stow in the Air Force's survival kits onboard an airplane. The Airforce adopted the weapon in 1956, renamed it the MA-1, and even made it able to float in water landings.

Because the U.S. Military adopted ArmaLite's weapon, it now had the clout it needed to continue to focus on weapons design. However, ArmaLite wanted to focus on civilian weaponry, rather than military applications. It loved making these styles of weapons, including the AR-7, that could be taken apart and stored for emergency purposes.


In 1955, the U.S. Army wanted to replace its old M1 Garand that was used extensively during World War II. The problem was it was limited in terms of ammunition capacity, and it weighed over 10 pounds, making it heavy to carry for long periods of time.

ArmaLite entered the bidding war too late, and it's AR-10 prototype was not ready, despite it's new innovations of a straight stock, elevated sites, an aluminum flash suppressor, a recoil compensator, and a gas system. The barrel burst under pressure, eliminating it from the competition. Thus, the M-14 was adopted in 1957, which was made by Springfield.

ArmaLite sold the exclusive right to produce its AR-10 to a Dutch weapons company for five years. However, there were still manufacturing defects and problems that kept it from becoming mainstream.


ArmaLite sells the AR-10 and the new AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. Key personnel in the development of the AR, such as Eugene Stoner who designed the AR-5 and Robert Fremont, who helped design the AR-10, jump ship to work for Colt. The very first AR-15 weapons were sold to Malaysia. Soon, however, the U.S. Air Force tests the AR-15 and likes them, purchasing 8,500.

At some point, the U.S. Air Force changed the name to M-16, which will soon go on to be the most famous service weapon in the US. Military. The Air Force Chief of Staff, General Curtis LeMay, loved the weapon and ordered 80,000 in 1961. However, the AK-47 was trouncing it in South Vietnam at the time, and the U.S. Army resisted change from the M-14.

Eventually, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Rober McNamara, had to get involved. The U.S. Military needed a weapon that could be used in all four branches of the military, and the M-16 was chosen. The AK-47 is the M-16's greatest competitor, and experts disagree on which is better.

The rifle, however, faced many problems, the top being that Colt claimed you didn't need to clean it. This cost many servicemen their lives during the Vietnam War, as their guns would jam and they would be found dead trying to fix their gun in time to shoot. A fix was instituted.


When the AR-15's patent expired, civilian versions began to be manufactured. However, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban made civilian assault weapons illegal for 10 years from 1994-2004, with the result being no significant gun violence decrease. With the number of mass shootings, being armed has become even more important.

The military has moved on to the M4 Carbine, but the M-16 remains popular for international militaries. It's still in use in more than 15 NATO countries and over 80 countries in the world. Civilians love these guns, and gun accessories, such as RailScales best rail covers, have helped keep the market robust for these weapons.


Versions and models of the AR-15 are still manufactured and sold worldwide. They remain popular amongst gun enthusiasts and hunters, making them a popular choice for sporting rifles. In essence, these types of guns aren't going anywhere soon, especially as more people see the need to defend themselves in an increasingly-chaotic world.

G10 Machined KeyMod RailScales®

RailScales® are the industry-leading solutions to enhancing grip and heat protection on your Keymod handguard, our company's main offering and namesake. Our scales were designed with a CNC machined scale, which became the manufactured scale concept, and continues to lead in terms of innovation. RailScales is a name synonymous with quality. We offer custom textures and various lengths to give our clients the opportunity to fully personalize their weapons for the task at hand. RailScales® remains the most popular choice for finishing your project due to its fast and simple installation, thin and lightweight design to save time and function, as well as providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

What began as a simple project to make a better rail cover became RailScales, the industry's leading AR-15 accessories manufacturer and provider of KeyMod rail grips. Our company is committed to quality and innovation, ensuring that our products are always at the forefront of design and functionality. When it comes to your AR-15, don't settle for anything less than the best- RailScales.

G10 KeyMod RailScales Specifications:

  • Offered in a 4 or 6 hole length.
  • Width: KeyMod- 0.625"
  • Thickness: 0.125"
  • Length: 4 Hole - 3.2", 6 Hole - 4.7"
  • Weight: 0.3 oz each w/ hardware
  • 416 stainless nuts

What is G10?

G-10 is a popular choice for its high strength, low moisture absorption, and excellent electrical insulation, and chemical resistance. These characteristics are preserved under any weather condition, not just at room temperature. Printed circuit boards were first produced on G-10 as a substrate because of its NEMA designation (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) standard.

G-10 is a laminate that has been heat-treated, which means it can be dyed and shaped. Blades, handles for weapons, and other instruments may be made of decorative G-10 variants in a variety of colors and patterns. Textured (for grip), bead blasted, sanded, or polished are all options. It's also great for inlays and millwork.

What is KeyMod?

The KeyMod system takes its name from the shape of the slots, which resemble old-fashioned keyholes. The goal is to slide the attachment forward and tighten the Allan wrench in the tiny section of the slot until your accessory is firmly fastened by putting the lug through the large circular opening and then sliding it forward.

KeyMod is a modular system that uses no proprietary components and doesn't require any licensing fees. KeyMod's design is entirely open-source, so anybody interested in producing products using the KeyMod system can do so without having to pay royalties.

The Benefits of KeyMod

  • The rail system is more smooth, and it won't get caught on seat belts, webbing, or other fabric that it brushes against.
  • You add the rail system where you'll place your accessories; there's nothing more, nothing less.
  • The biggest advantage of the KeyMod rail system is that it eliminates a lot of superfluous weight in comparison to the Picatinny system.
  • The system is narrower than a quad rail configuration, which saves weight and makes it easier to hold.

It's likely that you're wondering which system is better - KeyLock or M-LOK. In the end, it's your call. Your rifle and preferences take precedence over virtually everything else. If the KeyMod rail works for you, use it. M-LOK is also a strong option. Employ what is most beneficial to you.


RailScales makes rail covers for ARs. These AR rail accessories help to keep the heat down while firing so you can still comfortably grip your firearm, as well as make it easier to grip. These AR15 rail system grips help to protect your firearm from the elements as well. Our rail covers fit many models of guns, and we have many different styles and colors to choose from, including gray, tan, camo varieties, and more. Since 2014, we've been bringing you the best rail covers on the market that don't slip and slide. Designed for longevity and durability, our rail grips are perfect for all of your firearms, and they make great gifts for the gun enthusiast in your family. When you're looking for comfort, try our rail covers today!