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Posted: 4/14/2002 11:54:45 AM EDT
Does anyone know the U.S. patent number for the AR15?

(Please don't worry about it being illegal to discuss patents; they are all published and made available by the government itself.)
Link Posted: 4/14/2002 12:44:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/14/2002 12:46:49 PM EDT
awesome, thanks
Link Posted: 4/14/2002 10:20:10 PM EDT
I found 2 patents directly related to AR15. Both are assigned to E. Stoner:

2,951,424 -- 1956, gas operated bolt and carrier system

3,045,555 -- 1962, automatic trigger mechanism with three sears and a rotatable control member

To view patents from the government website, go to

http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/srchnum.htm

and enter the patent number.

Each page of the patents is stored as an image; you will need to get a special image-viewer plug-in. The gov links to image-viewers here:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/menu/viewers.html

I've also got these patents available as multi-page .tif files, if the AR15 admin want a copy.
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 8:27:58 AM EDT
When I first got into AR- 15's, I couldn't quite fathom how the exact same product was made by so many different manufacturers.

If you liken an AR-15 to a vehicle, it would be similar to Ford, Chevy, Dodge, et al, making a vehicle called the "Car-15" without any patent infringements. Only slight nuances occurring between each make.

In the world of AR's however, it is not the case. Do any AR-15 manufacturers pay royalties to anyone regarding the general design of the rifle?
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 8:44:17 AM EDT
Patents lose force after 20 years, so today the original AR15 patents are no longer enforced, and anyone can manufacture an AR15. (There's also a lot of companies making 1911's.)

The original AR15 patents were assigned to E. Stoner of the Armalite division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp., and then sold to Colt within the first few years.

If companies other than Colt were making AR15's before 1980, then I have no idea how they did it (unless Colt let them do it for a fee).
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 10:51:05 AM EDT
If the government buys a product they will often demand a Level 3 drawing package that will allow them to source another company.

They don't like being held over the barrel, and need the flexibility of being able to second source during times of high demand.

That's why the Garand was built by so many companies, that's why the M16 was build by General Motors. The way the government bought the rifle entitled them to go elsewhere and get it.

That is also why FN can make M-16's, but can't sell AR-15s.
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