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Josh Horwitz, Director of the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, is a high-profile gun grabber. Even so, reading any one of Horwitz’s anti-gun polemics seems to indicate that he’s not gun rights advocates’ most dangerous adversary. Yes, well, damage done. Horwitz is generally credited with inventing the term “assault rifle.” It’s a phrase whose specific meaning was lost, whose general meaning has become “military machine gun in civilian hands for no good reason.” And boy does the mainstream media love it! From yesterday’s Google alert for “rifles”: Murder suspect had an assault rifleMan Arrested During Standoff Had Several Weapons Including Assault RifleAngry Over Denial for Disaster Aid, Louisiana Man Pulls Assault Rifle. The National Shooting Sports Foundation would have the press call an AR-style firearm a “modern sporting rifle.” What do you reckon?

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  1. Why cant we just call it a rifle?

    Edit: And sweet STG in the picture. I cant recall what company, but someone makes a .22LR version of it that Ive been lusting over.

      • The GSG STG-44 rimfire hit the market and sold out almost instantly. Even at $600, which is at least two bills more expensive than GSG’s next most expensive .22 clone.

      • I was about to say that $600 was a lot for a .22LR. Then I remembered I paid $500 for my S&W 15-22. At least the STG 22 comes in a wooden crate. Attention to detail. I like it.

        • I like it too. It looks classy. I have no personal information about the company selling this gun (which is imported) and their level of customer service. I think it’s kinda funny that the crate was built by the Amish.

    • The AR15 is the best selling gun in America. When a dozen of my friends plan a range trip to shoot our rifles, nobody shows up with a rusty old bolt action: We show up with our AR pattern rifles. Nobody has to say “bring your assault rifle” or “bring your modern sporting rifle”. It’s the expectation that everyone is going to show up with an AR pattern rifle or, on occasion, perhaps an AK variant.

      Magazine fed semi-autos are the new normal. There’s no need for some special designation like “assault rifle” or the politically correct “modern sporting rifle”.

      Just like nobody feels the need to describe their handgun as a “magazine fed semi-auto”, because it’s the normal expectation. Nobody feels the need to call them “modern sporting/defensive handguns”, they’re just handguns or pistols. If you’re going to show up with a revolver or a derringer or some old flint-lock contraption, that’s the outlier deserving of a special adjective.

    • +1

      It’s the term “Assault” that’s the problem. I assume that most TTAG posters own at least one semi-auto … something. I’ll also assume that 99.9% of us don’t plan to “assault” anyone, just the opposite. (OK, maybe some coyotes or feral hogs)
      Most folks, who are uneducated on this subject, are easily manipulated into wanting to ban guns are already afraid of them. Roberts posting of ‘A Look Inside of the Mind of a GunGrabber’ nails it.
      The leftist manipulators understand and thrive this fear.
      What’s scarier to someone who is already afraid of guns than …”hey, he has an assault rifle”. Immediately they picture someone in the bell tower or in the mall, or breaking into their kids school mowing people down.

      We gotta ditch the “Assault” part.
      Great marketing ploy for the grabbers.
      Ruinous for the responsible gun owner.

  2. Hell, I would never clock someone with my AR15. The stock is plastic.
    My Remington 700 has a nice sturdy walnut stock.

  3. Modern multi-purpose sport-utility home-defense varmint competition hunting plinking survival evil black weapon system.

    Just plain “rifle” works, too.

  4. The National Shooting Sports Foundation would have the press call an AR-style firearm a “modern sporting rifle.” What do you reckon?

    Stop calling those things modern. My RFB is modern, a SCAR is modern, a ACR is modern. The AR15 was developed in my grand parents era, and initially deployed in my parents era.

    whose general meaning has become “military machine gun in civilian hands for no good reason.”

    Thankfully my RFB will never be a “military… gun”, unfortunetly many AWBs still classify it as such.

    • I say screw ’em- call it an assault rifle. What they’re calling my guns changes nothing about my intentions or their legality. It’s become such a ridiculously common term that the extra fear it’s supposed to instill is all but gone. I view it as akin to a racial slur – intentionally renaming a class of people or things with negative connotations is just hatespeech. Meanwhile, several groups have ‘taken over’ the slurs used against them, making them ineffective. A rose by any other name…
      Calling a magazine a clip, however, is like calling a shotgun a rifle. That’s activity reserved for the feeble-minded.

      • +1000!

        Who cares. Does it scare them more if they know I own lots of “assault rifles”? If so, then I say let’s call ’em by that name.

        Me? I call them by what they are: AKs, ARs, FALs, SIGs, etc., etc., etc.

  5. Simply put an assault rifle to me is one that is select fire. It has the capability to fire fully automatic. That being said right now those pesky things are highly regulated although I feel they shouldn’t be.
    From a personal stand point I don’t feel the need to own one per say. If I had an AR which in fact did have select fire I wouldn’t use it much, except to mow down some zombies or something.
    So that being said most of what the media calls an assault rifle isn’t one in my mind, or based off the German definition which was created during WWII.

    • “Simply put an assault rifle to me is one that is select fire.”

      Don’t give in to the liberal temptation.

      “If I had an AR which in fact did have select fire I wouldn’t use it much, except to mow down some zombies or something.”

      I submit you wouldn’t “mow down” much. Deliberate semi-auto fire is better in 90+% of the cases. The other 10%? Yeah, well, there’s a phrase for that: “Happiness is a belt-fed weapon”.

    • Its not only Not ONE in your mind, its NOT ONE by definition.

      Orwell would recognize this battle of words for what it is – we should too.

  6. A rifle.

    Unless you’re discussing arms of the Third Reich,since the Germans termed officially called the STG44 such.

    • I say screw ’em- call it an assault rifle. What they’re calling my guns changes nothing about my intentions or their legality. It’s become such a ridiculously common term that the extra fear it’s supposed to instill is all but gone. A rose by any other name…
      Calling a magazine a clip, however, is like calling a shotgun a rifle. That’s activity reserved for the feeble-minded.

    • Any time I’m discussing them, I always use the term “scary looking weapon”. People who own guns get a laugh and people who are anti-gun are forced to accept (at least just a little) how absurd their fear of guns is.

    • As I’ve written here at TTAG before, perhaps it’s time for us to embrace the term “assault rifle” or “assault weapon” but let’s be sure to properly define it.
      Assault weapon: Any scary weapon the sight of which can cause a person of the anti-gun persuasion to wet themselves. Said weapon must be in the hands of a person acting in an illegal manner to intimidate and “assault” innocent victims for the purpose of rape, murder, robbery or illegal government action(s).
      Anti-assault weapon: The same set of weapons (see definition of “assault weapon”, above) in the hands of law-abiding citizens used to repell illegal assaults.
      There, now it’s easy to explain that it is the use or purpose to which the tool is used that is good or bad, not the tool itself.

      • You had me until you labeled a tool by its use. Then you lost me completely.

        Just call it whatever you want, but don’t change the name of it because of some Political Correctness stupidity.

        Me? I call it “mine”.

  7. I thought the term we disliked was “Assault Weapon” – isn’t that the title of the various legal bans?

    • Yeah, me too. “Assault rifle” has a definite military meaning–select fire rifle. But “assault weapon,” as in “assault weapon ban,” is a meaningless invented phrase refering to semiautomatic rifles that resemble military assault rifles. The fact that they have “high capacity clips” is damning too–who could ever want or need 30 rounds except mass murderers?!?!?! So what do I call them? Usually ARs or AKs. Which isn’t necessarily too helpful, given that AR is short for assualt rifle, right?.

        • I have friends who’ve asked me ‘What do you have?’ I’ve replied and AR-15, and they, almost always, say “Oh an Assault Rifle Fifteen? Dont you need a license for that?”

          I’ve heard that god knows how many times.

        • The rifle was designed by Eugene Stoner at Armalite, the weapons research branch of Fairchild Aircraft. The AR-15 was derived from Stoner’s previous 7.62x51mm AR-10. When the military sought a select-fire rifle chambered in an intermediate power cartridge, Stoner scaled the design down, eventually being chambered in 5.56x45mm. Armaite, being an R&D lab, was not equipped to manufacture in large quantities, and sold the rights to the AR-15 pattern to Colt.

        • Loyd you are correct and i apologize, i miss spoke when i said colt created it but AR does still stand for aluminum reciever.

  8. Assault weapon could mean, by general definition, a knife, baseball bat, knitting needle, (in the right hands) a tightly rolled magazine. Collectivists must lie, exaggerate, and distort words and facts to get anyone other than their like minded trolls to pay attention to them. Again I defer to Dr. Sigmund Freud ”A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity”. I have registered my “black guns” as counter-assault rifles.

  9. What is thing you call an “Assault Rifle?”

    But seriously. I intentionally avoid using the term. Its either a rifle, a shotgun, a pistol, or a revolver. That’s it.

  10. My understanding is that the STG was the original “assault rifle”, it’s name meaning “storm rifle” in German, as in “storming an enemy position”. In classifying military arms, I always understood that a “battle rifle” was chambered in a full sized .30cal cartridge (M1 Garand, M14, FAL, SCAR-17) and an “assault rifle” was chambered in an intermediate caliber (M16/M4, AK-47/74, SCAR-16), but this division is academic and no one actually talks like that. I would have no problem calling the civilian equivalents (AR-10/15 pattern, AK pattern, SCAR-16S/17S, M1A….) “assault” or “battle rifles”, except that the media has made those swear words.

    I always understood “assault weapon” to be a nonsensical designation created by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (or some other piece of legislation in the same vein written by an uninformed politico), refers to cosmetic attributes and is only ever used in the media but not by the firearms community in general.
    I would call a non-NFA AR-15 or AK patern platform or similar a “semi-automatic rifle” (or carbine depending on barrel length). I’m calling the one I’m assembling from parts kits simply “a rifle”.

    In polite company I refer to select-fire, NFA type weapons as “select fire rifles”. I try to dissuade my friends from calling them “M16’s” (for example, “I would love to convert my semi-auto M&P-15 into a M16”). M16 being an AR-15 pattern rifle built under contract for the US Government by Colt, serial numbers X thru Y.

    Despite the vocabulary used by BAFTE, to me a “machine gun” is fed from a belt (maybe a drum), has a bipod or tripod, and is a major league crowd pleaser (M2, M60, M249 SAW, M240, PK, RPK)

      • Lol. Not like Ma-Deuce, no, she’s the real crowd pleaser. I think it’s the reason it’s a “squad automatic weapon” not a “light machine gun”. For when you feel the need to spray 200 rounds of 5.56 and then carry a 17 pound paperweight.

      • The 249 is a capable suppression tool. I made all sorts of beautiful music with mine. Plus it is much preferred in MOUT over the 240. That fat girl needs a diet.

        As to the original question the only “assault rifle” is pictured above. Thank God Hitler was too arrogant to recognize the utility of a light weight, select fire rifle chambered in an intermediate rifle caliber until the war was already lost to him.

    • Lloyd,

      Very good definition – I would just add, an assault rifle is a select fire weapon, capable of fully automatic fire. So a semi-auto weapon is not an assault weapon. I’d go even further and stipulate that it could be argued that a select fire weapon with a 3-round burst capacity like the M16A2 isn’t truly an assault weapon.

  11. Joking aside my definition of an Assault Rifle (origin is the German term for the Stg 44 of Sturm Gewehr or “assault” rifle) is :

    Self loading from a detachable magazine (excludes the 7.62 x 39 SKS).
    Fires an intermediate power cartridge (intermediate between a pistol calibre e.g. 9mm sub machine gun and a full power cartridge e.g. 8mm Mauser, 30-06 etc.) which excludes anything that uses a 7.62 NATO round.
    Capable of reliably disabling a person up to 600 yards/metres (or 400 depending on who’s doing the arguing) in semi auto mode.
    Capable of controllable full automatic suppressive fire in the close range or final stages of the assault.

    So on that basis as an AR15 which is incapable of full automatic fire doesn’t qualify. OK it LOOKS like an M16 but if it was made out of chocolate and looked like an M16 it still wouldn’t make it an Assault Rifle except to the most committed hoplophobe. But there again with the hoplophobes, you could conduct a reign of terror with a childs balloon on a piece of stick …

    • Correct.

      The original noun was “Sturmgewehr” (all one word in German), but “assault” is only one of three translations for “Sturm” in this context: “storm,” “assault,” and “attack.”

      “Gewehr” is a “gun,” “rifle,” or “piece” on it’s own.

      The compound noun “Sturmgewehr” can be translated as an “assault/attack rifle” or my dictionaries show also “automatic rifle.”

      As you note, the AR-15 isn’t an automatic rifle in the military designation of the term (ie, it isn’t like the Stg44 or the BAR), so it isn’t an “assault rifle.”

      Actually, if we’re going to go full-bore technical, the M-16, even in full size (20″ barrel length), is more like a carbine than a rifle when compared to the full-sized rifle it replaced, the M-14.

      The entire boogieman of “assault weapon” was a made-for-media creation by VPC/HCI in the early 90’s. They wanted a scary term for the media to sensationalize, and they created one.

  12. There are battle rifles, then there are the carbines. There is no military “Assault weapon” that is slang, and furthermore both choices above are pretty much unobtainable for civilians. What we have ARE modern sporting rifles and nothing else.

  13. I don’t call anything an assault rifle if I can help it. I emailed Bill O’Reiley to the same effect when he was calling ARs and AKs “heavy weapons.” I would have probably published a reaponse, but I never got one.

    I see no need to use a term which has been hijacked by the media.

    • Bill O’Reiley knows next to nothing about firearms.

      If anyone could stand to be around him for an entire weekend (I couldn’t), he would be a good candidate for some outreach and education. At the very least it would cut down on the misinformation.

      • Entire weekend? How about a range trip and a beer afterwards and call it good? For better or worse he is in the mass media, so a little education for him would go a long way for us…

  14. While we are on the subject, in the media I always hear the term “high powered rifle”. I know there’s a particular class of shooting competition called “High Power”, but I strongly doubt that’s what the media is referring to (“the suspect used a .223 high powered rifle”, I wouldn’t exactly call .223 “high powered” vs say .300WinMag). Is there a semi-official term I’m not aware of, or is this a scare word?

  15. You know, it’s kind of funny. We talk of the Garand, never calling it a “battle rifle,” nor the M1 Carbine as an assault rifle, just an M1 Carbine. But when it comes to evil black rifles, they are assault weapons! Is their fungibility and lack of identifying characteristics dooming them to generalization rather than brand identification? A facial tissue by anyother name is just a kleenex, after all…..

  16. Real assault rifles? Rich men’s toys.

    Guns the media has defined as “assault rifles”? Semi-automatic rifles.

  17. An assault rifle is a select-fire rifle or carbine. It’s only an assault rifle of it has a fun switch, period.

  18. “Assault rifle” – A select fire, or automatic-only rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge.

    M-16: Assault rifle.
    Scary black tacticool’d AR-15: No different than your average semi-auto .223 hunting rifle.

    My girlfriend is fine with my M1 Carbine because it “looks like a hunting rifle”. She gets in a fit when ever I even think about purchasing/building an AR/AK because those are “assault rifles”

    And yet they both take 30 rounders standard and can do about the same to a person as long as you do your part…

    • Solutions:

      1. Dump your girlfriend.
      2. Convince her not to be so irrational.
      3. Wooden handguards and stock for AR-15.

    • “She gets in a fit when ever I even think about purchasing/building an AR/AK because those are “assault rifles””

      She gets in a fit? Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

      She will gradually seek to take ownership of you and what you value, and separate you from all your guns and enjoyment of guns. That tolerable M1 will one day no longer be tolerable. Her behavior is a red flag. Divorce and child support to an ex- can be expensive. I’ve been helping pick up the pieces of whats left of other men’s lives after they were back-stabbed and had their hearts broken the past twenty-five years. The Courts give the legal power in relationships to women, not you. Do an orderly retreat and find another path to walk.

  19. Any thing that looks scary……if it looks scary it should have a scary name right? It also helps if it has a shoulder thingy that goes up.

  20. As others have pointed out, the weapon shown above is the Sturmgewehr 44. It was called a machine pistol by its designers, but when Hitler saw it, he gave it the new name. The proper definition of an assault rifle includes chambering for an intermediate cartridge (7.62 x 39 or 5.56 NATO, for examples) and the ability to fire in either semiautomatic or fully automatic modes. The German example was made for short-range combat in fluid battles, rather than the long-distance shooting that older generations of military theorists favored.

    What the control freaks mean by the term is wrong, as is so much that they say.

  21. In “Inside the Third Reich”, Albert Speer relates Hitler’s refusal to arm troops on the Russian front with submachineguns to repel Russian human wave attacks. Der Furher said “If the Mauser bolt-action was good enough for him in WWI, then it was good enough for WWII”. Speer said they got around him by developing the STG43/44.Hitler was happy as long as it was called a Sturmgewehr
    (assault rifle). Hence the origin of the term.
    Based on the STG44, the term has come to mean a selective fire, magazine fed,rifle with a reduced-size cartridge case(compared to standrd”battle rifles”) to control muzzleclimb in full-auto mode.Martin Fackler, former chief of the U.S. Army’s Wound ballistics lab noted that part of cartridge design for these rifles was that they are specifically designed to wound, NOT kill. The assertions of the ignoramii of the press, politicians,and the gun-banners notwithstanding, Fackler showed in a study in (I think) 1993 that lethality of assault rifle bullets is far below that of buckshot. His 1970-1992 study of mass murders showed an assualt rifle lethality of 27%(slightly below that of handguns) vs. a 76% death rate from shotguns. I believe our soldiers are told in bootcamp that the purpose is to wound rather than kill the enemy because a a wounded man takes two others to get him off the field and uses far more national enemy resourcs to treat, evcacuate, and rehab the wounded. As to WHAT to call these critters, though, I’m open to suggestions.

    • “I believe our soldiers are told in bootcamp that the purpose is to wound rather than kill the enemy becasea a wounded man takes two others to get him off the field and uses far more national enemy resourcs to treat, evcacuate, and rehab the wounded.”

      I was told this was the rationale for down sizing from 7.62×51 to 5.56×45 (also better penetration against heavy winter coats in central Europe, which I never really believed, and more ammo for the weight). At Ft Sill I was taught controlled pairs (safety off-bang-bang-safety on), but the combat experienced drill sgts told us to keep shooting until they went down, because against unarmored, skinny targets the rounds will penetrate out the back before they tumble and cause damage.

      • There have been rationales for the smaller caliber round. All have been found wanting. The NATO 7.62/308 Remington is far more lethal at longer ranges than the 5.56. There are no weight savings because of the round’s reduced lethality. As the Army re-invented marksmanship they added the select fire 3 rounds mode the M-16. So now to get slightly better lethality with three rounds than an a single M-14 308 round but fewer trigger pulls per magazine.

        The M-16 is the price of nostalgia. Had the Army chosen the AR-10 instead of the ultimate M-1 we would still be using the 7.62 cartridge.

        • I’m a big fan of 7.62 NATO. I think the decision to down grade to 5.56 was a terrible idea that continues to haunt us. From the day it was adopted the overwhelming consensus from the guys pulling the trigger has been that a bigger bullet is needed. As long as the M16 vs AK47 debate had raged, the 7.62x39mm round has always had an advantage in lethality. For decades there have been constant attempts to introduce a .30cal intermediate round (6.8SPC, 6.5 Grendel, .300BLK, .300 Whisper) or to make the AR platform accept 7.62×39. I’m pleased to see that many manufacturers are introducing or reintroducing 7.62×51/.308 versions of their modern home black assault sport projectile flinging implements. If only the military would catch on.

      • M855 5.56 ammo actually penetrates light armor better than 7.62 at ranges up to 600 meters. M855 completely fails against cinder blocks and fortification materials; however, which 7.62 easily penetrates.

        7.62 penetrator ammo (a similar design to M855 in 7.62) would outperform M855 on light armor.

        Everything you wanted to know about 5.56 (and probably a bunch of stuff you don’t care about):

        • I’m a gun nerd, in case you couldn’t tell. I have been reading this link ever since you posted it. I know about 60% of what’s in there. But. I. Can. Not. Stop. Reading. Thank you.

        • M855 5.56 ammo actually penetrates light armor better than 7.62 at ranges up to 600 meters.

          Light armor as in kevlar, or level 3 plates? And penetrates better than 7.62×51 ball or AP rounds?

    • The Army was getting away from the shoot to wound logic as I was coming into BCT. The idea was that you can remove the wounded plus two more combatants from action at one time. The problem is that our modern threats are prepared and willing to die for their cause, they become honored dead. Wound one skinny and his buddy just keeps shooting. I was taught to put rounds center mass/pelvis until the corpse stops twitching.
      The 5.556 can be an effective round. The two major problems I noticed with it were barrier penetration and one round lethality. The major upside however is the amazing controllability in FA and burst. Even in an M4 it is relatively easy to keep all three rounds center mass, with a 249 7-10 bursts are held to a respectable grouping. This means that even though I was not getting that one round knockout like a 7.62 NATO or 30’06, I was still able to dump 2-3 rounds in the heart/lungs or pelvis and get the desired results.
      this is just my experience YMMV…

      • That is faulty logic. You get more trigger pulls per magazine with a 7.62 or 30-06 round. The AR-10, G-3 and FN platforms were all controlable in full auto mode.

        • Respectfully….. you are misinformed. The G3 on automatic rapidly transitions from rifle to air defense artillery. Same for the FN FAL. I have fired the G3. It is not controllable on automatic enough to hit targets. You can suppress somewhat an area target, but the magazine does not hold enough rounds to suppress for long.

          The shift to 5.56mm happened because technology at the time did not allow for recoil management. Our soldiers were in a war that required multiple, quick target engagements at close ranges and accurate suppression. Suppression requires more ammo than lethal shots. Soldiers had to carry more ammo.

          Now move on.

        • I think you have your history wrong. The Air Force replaced the grease gun and M-2 carbine used by the Security Police with the AR-15/M-16 in the late 1950s. The AR was the replacement for support troops and not front line infantry. When the M-14 proved less than satisfactory in Vietnam Defense Secretary McNamara decided that the M-16 was the way to go. It was chosen because there was an existing contract and it was the only alternative available. If the DoD wanted to remedy their mistake and buy the AR-10 it would have been a longer procurment process. All the stated reasons, i.e., lighter weight, super lethal hydrostatic tumbling round, etc., were just fictions to make the troops feel that it was ok to give up the more effective 7.62. Because of the terrain most Vietnam infantry combat was short on marksmanship and long on spray and pray so nobody really noticed that the argument was BS until late in the war. The troops’ biggest complaint was that M-16 was unreliable.

          I have watched the Brits fire their 7.62 chambered FNs on full auto from all the standard positions. With the exception of the standing position the groups were quite good. I can’t speak for the G-3 I never saw one fired but my guess is that a properly trained soldier will keep the barrel down and on target.

          All post Vietnam conflicts have shown the superiority of semi-automatic fire over full auto. If you are using semi-auto 7.62 is the way to go. Why do you think the M-14 is back in the force?

        • My understanding of the matter is that bothe the Brits with their FAL’s and Americans M14 were selective fire at first but they both had bad results with the weapons on auto because of the fairly light weight of the rifles and they pulled most of them and converted them to semi auto only.

          The only military M14 I’ve fired was at a marine range and it was semi auto only. We were training with the marines at the time and some of were allowed range time with the M14.

  22. +1 for rifle. And the gun shown in the picture is properly referred to as an “historic curio and relic” Should be able to get one of those without a waiting period or federal stamp. Just saying.

  23. It doesnt matter what we call it those rifles will always called “assault rifle/weapons” they won that PR battle. Every person I’ve talked to regardless of their stance on “black rifled” who doesn’t know enough about firearms will call them Assault weapons. Its kind of catchy and sounds way cooler the “modern sporting rifle”. Your not gunna get the average person to say that.

  24. A good ad firm can probably come up with a way to turn the negative association into a positive, and to re-position the scary black rifle assault weapon image another way.

    “Assault Weapons: for when you absolutely positively want the best help defending your family from more than one attacker.”

  25. An assault rifle is a select fire carbine chambered in a shortened rifle caliber cartridge. So as far as I know there are no assault rifles for sale to the geneal public in the United States. I call a plastic stocked AR patterned weapon chambered in NATO 5.56 a small bore semi-automatic rifle.

    • Any select-fire firearm manufactured prior to May 19, 1986 is transferable from, to and between members of the general public. Check gunbroker to get a feel for the going rate.

      • They are available but you have to go through the NFA process. You just can’t go in an buy one and you can’t buy a new one.

  26. Anything can be an assault weapon. Even a pineapple. Trust me – you’d cry, “Assault!”, if you were beaten with one.

    Or a coconut. Seriously, them things hurt!

    • My rifle doesnt assault things…but it does an excellent job of propelling a projectile when I want it to. The thing is 50% plastic, I wouldnt want it assaulting anybody anyway, it would probably hurt itself.

  27. I don’t get sucked into their trap(s) on this topic.

    For that reason, I just call guns in the AR family “rifle” or “carbine,” according to their barrel length.

    What people need to understand in this war of semantics is this: The reason why the “assault XXX” (where “XXX” can be ‘weapon,’ ‘rifle,’ or ‘pistol’) works is because modern arms are black, their furniture is black plastic instead of wood, etc.

    I have done the following many times:

    Stand a M1 Garand, M14/M1A and a AR-15 next to each other against the wall.

    As someone (or more than one ‘someone’) who doesn’t own guns which one is the “scariest.”

    The AR got the vote every time.

    For someone experienced with weapons, the grade is a toss-up between the Garand and the M1A, with the edge going to the M1A for experienced shootists. The AR isn’t even in the running for “scary.”

    When I’ve asked the non-gun owning respondents “Why did you choose the AR-15?” it was:

    a) it was black,
    b) because it is the rifle associated with Vietnam, the war which, for the Baby Boomers, is associated with all manner of social dogma and baggage, whereas the Garand is associated with WWII (a “good” or “just” war in Boomers’ eyes) and the M1A? They don’t even know what it is. The media and movie industries have simply ignored it.

    I did this back in the 1993-1994 timeframe, when we were having the hottest debate in RKBA history over the Clinton “assault weapon” “ban.”

    If I were to re-run the test today, I’d put a fourth gun in the lineup – the modern M4 type carbine, with optical sights. I’d wager that the AR-15 A2 outline would still take the top spot for “scary gun,” again because it is black and again because it’s outline is unmistakably that of the M-16 from Vietnam. The M4 looks much smaller, and the lack of the carry handle starts blurring the resemblance to the M16. I’d further wager that if one got rid of both the A2 carry handle and the front sight post, most people couldn’t tell you what the carbine was, even with a magazine inserted into the action.

    Now, anodize the M4 or carbine into some other color than black, (use a semi-dark blue), blue the barrel (or use a stainless barrel in the white) and put walnut furniture on it, and the carbine without the A2 handle and sight post would likely fall way, way down in the selection of “scary guns” for the non-shooting public.

    We might not like it, we might think it irrational, but the A2 outline has a lot of “mental baggage” associated with it in the minds of an entire generation of Americans.

    • The movie industry hasn’t completely ignored the M-14. The Marines in the movie version of Phil Caputo’s “A rumor of War were equipped with M-14s.

      • If I’m not mistaken the rifles used in that movie were M1’s dummied up to look like M14’s. The movie guys ran into the fact that M14’s have never been released from government stocks for sale so no prop company had them. They had a lot of M1’s that were in storage from previous war movies so they used those.

        It’s amazing how much useless information I have floating around in my cranial casing.

        • I will go with your stock of useless information but I note that Springfield Armory started producing the
          M-1A in 1974 so it is possible that movie used M-1As. I will have to watch the movie again.

    • Add an AK to that list and the non-owners would pick it every time over the AR.

      No firearms owner would ever pick the AK as scariest.

  28. It’s all quite confusing, and could all be possibly resolved if the press could learn “full auto.” Of course, all those semi-auto rifles would still look real full-auto evil. So – I’m wrong.

    The whole “modern sporting rifle” nonsense falls into the anti-gunners hands. I own an anti-tyranny rifle that serves 2nd duty as a plinker and 3rd duty as a game getter (if I ever got around to getting game).

  29. Personally, I think the term is redundant and the creator of the term us ignorant of the english language. A Rifle is a weapon and a weapon is a tool that can be utilized to aid in the assault of a person or thing increasing the likelihood of serious injury and/or death. To put the “assault”in front of the word rifle or weapon just makes the person using the term sound like they have the reading level of child in grade school. A standard civilian AR-15 is a semi automatic rifle, a rifle that is automatic or thee round burst capable rifle with a semi automatic function is a select fire rifle. A fully automatic rifle is that or a machine gun.

  30. The way they use the term is an “assault” on a reasonable, thinking mans intelligence…and it annoys the hell out of me.

  31. Assault rifle (n): A class of rifled longarms that governments, criminal organizations and terrorists can readily obtain but(depending on location) is impossible or near impossible for civilians to obtain.

  32. Anything you guys call a “modern sporting rifle” I would refer to as an “assault rifle”. Just like “porch monkey”, we are taking it back!

  33. yeah calling a semi auto ar 15 is technically wrong, but “modern sporting rifle” is a euphemism and i don’t mince words like that, and i don’t have respect for people who do.

  34. In New Zealand, firearms of this type are classified as Military-style semi-automatics or MSSAs. It’s probably the most accurate descriptive term possible for a semi-automatic firearm marketed to civilians which has been derived from a platform orginally intended for military use. Of course, it still contains a reference to the military which some people might take exception to, but in my mind it’s best to call a spoon a spoon.

  35. Got a great assault rifle , its called the H&R buffalo classic , its a single shot 45/70 what I couldn’t assault with this is not even on anyones list !

  36. I didn’t get a chance to read all the other posts on here yet. I call them “high-capacity semi-automatic rifles” — because that’s exactly what they are.

  37. I usually hunt rabbits. When I do, I like to use my spear and magic helmet. When that does not work, then I whip out “Ole Painless”. It is a 7.62mm mini-gun that I carry on a man pack rig. Now, this is just my hunting rifle.

    For assault rifle, I have my decommissioned battleship. It has 9 rifled 16 inch main guns. I like to hunt Pacific Islands with it.

    • Oh dear god, please dont call it a “military style rifle”. The antis already kick and scream about the right to own “military grade firearms”, regardless of the fact that the gov makes the process to own a “military grade firearm” prohibitively expensive and time consuming. Stick with semi-auto rifle.

  38. To me an assault rifle is any fully automatic or select fire magazine fed firearm in a rifle caliber. M4A1? Yes, G36K? Yes, M-240B? No(MACHINE GUN), AR-15? Hell no.

    What do you call an AR-15? I like the sound of Modern Sporting Rifle. Semi-Automatic Sporting Rifle, Sporting Rifle, etc all works too.

  39. I call assault rifles (select fire capable, intermediate cartridge, with a detachable magazine ) assault rifles. all else are rifles or their appropriate designations (AR, AK, etc)

  40. “Sturmgewehr”

    “sturm” German to English: “storm”
    “gewehr” German to English: “weapon”
    “rifle” English to German: “gewehr”
    “weapon” English to German: “waffe”
    “assault” English to German: “angriff”
    “Angriffwaffe” German to English: “attack weapon”
    “attack weapon” English to German: Greifen Sie Waffe” ‘

    “Sport / Nützlichkeit Schusswaffes” G to E: “Sport / Utility Firearms”
    “Defensiv Plattform” G to E: “Defensive Platform”
    “Mainstream Media Morons” E to G: “Hauptströmung Medien Trottel”
    “Hauptströmung Medien Trottel” G to E: “Head current media zombie”

    Words have meaning and significance? Not until they are assigned or afforded meaning and significance by an actual person.
    Decide for yourself whether you own Sport / Utility firearms; hunting and plinking firearms; ( objects, implements, tools and / or devices and the like ) OR
    are part of the gun pusher culture and own ASSAULT WEAPONS.
    Translation by people who don’t know any better of people who own ASSAULT WEAPONS: baby killers who own evil killing machines and evil weapons of mass destruction designed only for killing massive numbers of babies and people with their high capacity assault clips and a shoulder thing that goes up.
    Previous posts:

  41. I reckon we law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to explain our choices in firearms acquisition. Nearly all of them have sporting or otherwise practical purposes. By the gun grabbers’ definition, nearly all could be said to have neither. So why bother trying to debate with them? If anyone has a problem with my AR, I do believe there ought to be a bridge or cliff within walking distance of any given site in the world.

  42. I call my guns by either their type or their maker’s name unless I’ve given them an actual name. IE “my gauge” “my mosquito” “my SIG” etc. Soon to be “my M&P”. I detest the term “assault weapon” simply becuase my Taurus 99-AFD becomes one once I load it (it came with 15 round mags standard).

  43. forget “modern sporting rifle.” It is too obviously a euphemism for “evil black assault weapon” and will never gain traction. I suggest “modular rifle.” Mix and match and build any rifle you want, just like the Legos you had as a kid. And don’t add in “semi-automatic” because that blows the simplicity of the term. Think about it, “Hey I brought my modular along today” versus “hey, I brought my modular semi-auto rifle today.” Gotta be short and sweet. And with all the mixing of uppers and lowers and triggers and barrels and shrouds, and all that other stuff, who can you really say was the “manufacturer”?

  44. “Assault rifle” is a made up name (CNN?) . BTW, I have a drawer full of assault knives in my kitchen and some assault screwdrivers in my tool box…

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