Real AR-15 or Replica?

See this local news story about a robbery that happened in North Philadelphia today:

There’s some speculation in the comments that it’s a replica, because the carry handle looks off. I agree it looks larger and differently shaped than any real AR-15 carry handle I’ve seen, so I’m open to the idea that it’s a replica. But that could also be a lensing effect on the camera making it look bigger than it really is. Other than that, it looks like the real deal to me, but I agree that carry handle and sight is off. What do you think?

Though, I do have to say, with that one handed grip, I don’t know how he thinks he could fight off a grab. That’s practically begging for a bolder store clerk to rip that AR right out of his hands. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do it, but it’s certainly doable.

18 thoughts on “Real AR-15 or Replica?”

  1. Narrow, straight magazine?

    Could be a pistol caliber.

    More likely a cheap AirSoft.

  2. +1 airsoft. the ejection port looks blocked except for 1/2″ in the center. doesn’t look like any bolt-closed configuration i’ve ever seen.

  3. Hmm.. Hindsight is always 20/20.. I highly doubt anyones claims that they would be able to tell this wasn’t real as this was occuring. What is interesting is the way the guy held the rifle.. even if you didn’t grab it its very easy to deflect it away and then very easily turn it into a 1 shot weapon..

    The good news is nobody got hurt.. the bad news is the police officer sounds like a dolt when he describes this rifle.

    1. I highly doubt anyones (sic) claims that they would be able to tell this wasn’t real as this was occuring (sic)

      The victim makes a point that they pointed it right at his face, add the adrenalin dump induced tunnel-vision and I’d think he got a real, real good look at the plastic gun, and probably not much else. I blame the “be scared of anything that looks vaguely ‘gun shaped'” paranoid hysteria that has been foisted on the public for his assumption that it was deadly.

      PSH induced by PSH leads to more PSH. at this point it is self perpetuating….

    2. The thing about this type of hindsight, though, isn’t to cast doubt on whether or not the clerk (or anyone else) was justified in thinking that his life was in danger. It’s merely trying to figure out the make and model of this particular gun.

      At the heat of the moment, if the clerk had a reasonable fear for his life, he could have shot the guy attempting the robbery, and be free and clear, even if the rifle turned out to be an airsoft.

  4. If it is not an airsoft, it appears to have some sort of extended flash suppressor or a silencer on it. I am leaning toward extended flash suppressor since there are holes in it near the end.

  5. Oh there they go with that “high powered” bravo sierra again. Mag looks ok, notch in the bolt carrier looks ok. He must have kung fu grip to hold a full 16″ barrel up and swing it around like that, kinda front heavy, probably airsoft.

    1. I was thinking about bringing that up, but I pulled my AR carbine out of the safe, put a loaded magazine in it, and was able to hold it one handed. Comfortable it is not, and I’d be scared shitless of a grab holding it that way, but I was able to do it and hold it there for some time. It definitely doesn’t come naturally or comfortably, but it’s doable.

  6. Bolt looks more real than anything I’ve ever seen on an airsoft. Had a dust cover (never seen that on an airsoft, but then again, I don’t usually look too closely at them.)

    I’d have to have a better look at the rifle than what this video shows to be posative, but it looks real enough from what I can see. In the moment, I’m fairly sure I could tell the difference. Either way, hold that thing that close to me with one hand like that, and one of us is going to die. I’m even willing to bet my life that it won’t be me.

  7. I’d say the fact that the dimensions look off is caused by the lens. There are various points in the clip where the rifle actually looks like it’s curved.

    That said, I doubt that it’s a real rifle. There are a lot of perfectly valid reasons why so few criminals use EBRs. In a crime like this a handgun would have been more than intimidating enough, cheaper, easier to conceal and easier to ditch if you were being pursued. I understand that criminals tend to be stupid, but does anybody really believe they’d have been walking down the sidewalk with that in plain view unless they knew that if they were stopped by the police they could show them that it’s just a toy?

  8. Back when I used to run a convenience store, I came within a hair of blowing a kids head of because of an airsoft rifle similar to this.
    We ran an armed store & my third shift guy called out sick one night. About 1AM a young “urban” male bolted into the store and stuck a rifle just like this over the register at me. He shoved it so hard the end of the barrel was actually over my shoulder. I grabbed it with my left hand as I was bringing the 357 revolver we kept on a shelf at the register up with my right.
    I had indexed the trigger enough to rotate and lock the cylinder. Just before I cleared the top of the register, he pulled the trigger & it went, “wirr whirr wirr” as it spit out them damn little plastic balls.
    he took off running as I just stood there cussing like hell.


  9. I’m with Bas… I grabbed my AR from the safe, loaded a full mag and tried to emulate the 1-handed behavior. It is possible, but very awkward and my forearms were tired after only a couple of minutes. That’s a lot of weight to be just holding out there like a pistol. Even if it was a polymer lower AR, it’s still top heavy. I was difficult to swing around like in the video. So unless the robber has massive forearms, I’m going to go Airsoft…

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