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It seems that no matter what outdoor sales flyer you pick up there is always an abundance of black guns littering the pages. Not so long-ago camouflage guns were all the rage.

While you can still find guns in every camo pattern and color it seems the tried and true black guns are making a come-back. This could be in part to the latest firearm trend revolving around the AR style guns.

It is amazing how many people still believe that the "AR" stands for assault rifle or automatic rifle. It doesn't and never has. The "AR" stands for the ArmaLite rifle after the company that developed the rifle platform for military use back in the 1950's.

This military look and feel to the AR style guns has earned them some very bad press in years past mostly due to the fear factor generated by politics and the media. The AR rifles available to the public are very different than their military cousins and are a long way from being an assault rifle.

The very term assault rifle generally refers to a weapon that can fire multiple bullets with a single pull of the trigger. A machine gun essentially. The current AR rifles, or modern sporting rifle, is built with the same mechanics as Grampa's semiautomatic deer rifle and isn't capable of firing more than one bullet with one pull of the trigger.

Unlike Grampa's rifle the new sporting rifles are made with the modern and modular design like their more lethal cousins. This fact has made them overwhelmingly popular and infinitely customizable. This only adds to their attraction to the modern man-cave gun tinkerer.

If you can imagine it, there is a part or a gadget for it on these rifles. There are optics, handles, lights, flash suppressors, custom stocks or foregrips, trigger assemblies and magazine receivers. You name it, it is out there and with the turn of a few screws and a little time it can be mounted in any number of configurations.

Another great thing about these black guns is that they come in a wide variety of calibers and sizes. By far the .22 long rifle, .223 and .308 calibers are the most popular, but there are many more. My personal favorite are the .22 long rifle guns because you won't break the bank on ammo to spend the afternoon sending shots down range.

Let's face it. That is why most of us buy guns, because we like to shoot them. These rifles aren't just range guns either. There are set ups for every conceivable use from home defense to long range hunting.

There are folks out there using these rifles for nearly everything under the sun. It isn't uncommon to encounter a hunter heading into the deer woods with an AR slung across their shoulder. Not so many years ago people would have thought they were crazy and were headed off to war, not on a hunting trip. My how times have changed.

Another big attraction to the modern sporting rifle is that it you don't have to take out a loan to start tinkering. You can buy fully assembled ready to shoot rifles at nearly every sporting goods store or gun shop or you can surf the internet and find kit guns that come as a box of parts with some assembly required. It is entirely up to the individual.

You can shop around and find an AR for as little as a few hundred bucks or you can spend a couple thousand bucks right off the bat. It is entirely up to you. No matter what you spend, Christmas and birthdays for the next few years should be easy because there is always a new gadget that you can use to make your black gun cooler!

Summer weather is hear and turkey season is just a memory, what better thing to do this summer than to pick up a new toy to customize and plink around with on those hot summer days and get it dialed in for next hunting season.

Probably the coolest thing about these AR style black guns is that not all of them are black. Shhh. Let's keep that a secret.

Roger Wolfe is an avid outdoorsman and has spent most of his life hunting and fishing and writes a weekly outdoors column for HD Media. He is a resident of Chapmanville, WV and can be reached via email at wolfeii@hotmail.com.

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