A YouTuber this week posted a video of the inner mechanics behind the oft-polarizing AR-15 rifle.

The video, in explaining exactly how the rifle works, shows why the weapon is an efficient, and ultimately dangerous, weapon.

“I have always enjoyed animation and illustrating how things work,” designer and 3D animator Matt Rittman says in his bio. “I’m especially interested in firearms and anything mechanical. My aim for this channel is to provide easy to understand, how-it-works 3D animations.”

Rittman’s AR-15 rendering is one of several videos on the mechanics of firearms.

The AR-15 was first designed as a military rifle in the late 1950s. Its manufacturer, ArmaLite, began producing the firearm before selling manufacturing rights to Colt.

For more than five decades, the AR-15 has been a favorite among enthusiasts. A common iteration of the rifle, the M-16, has long been used by service members. And according to NPR, it once even appeared in a Sears catalog.

“The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates there are roughly 5 million to 10 million AR-15 rifles owned in the United States, a small share of the roughly 300 million firearms owned by Americans,” CNBC reported.

But the AR-15 has a dark history, too. The rifle has been involved in 11 mass shootings between 2012 and April 2022.

Eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos deployed an AR-15-style rifle in the killing of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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