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There is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” The term does not exist in the firearms vernacular. There is a similar, proper term: “assault rifle.” But that defines a class of full-size, fully-automatic rifles, not the carbine-length, semi-autos that are typically misnamed. The offending term was invented by the gun grabbers to demonize a class of firearms based solely on their looks. Their goal was to fool the public into thinking that these firearm are somehow more dangerous than others and garner support for them to be banned . . .

Unfortunately their strategy worked, as evidenced by the recently sunsetted federal “Assault Weapons” ban and those bans still existing in several states. You will notice that the laws banning “assault weapons” actually have to define the term in the law’s verbiage, since it is a fictitious.

It is incumbent upon us, gun-owning Americans, not to fall into their trap and continue their farce. Otherwise, we are accepting their lies. A better name for these firearms are “sporting rifle,”  “defense rifle” or simply “rifle” or “carbine.”

The gun grabbers’ strategy of lies has been so successful, in fact, that they are using the tactic again by renaming standard magazines with the invented term “assault clips.”

Same issue with the term: “high-capacity magazine.” The gun grabber’s use of the term is a lie.  20- and 30-round magazines for rifles are “normal capacity” or “standard capacity.” 12 to 20-round handgun magazine for full-sized handguns are also “normal” capacity.

What the gun grabbers call “standard capacity” for 10 round magazines for firearms that are designed hold more than 10, are really “neutered” magazines.

Let’s refuse to be pawns of our enemy by using correct terminology, OK?


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  1. I am with you on this one Rabbi. I sent something like this over to Robert yesterday. It makes me nuts!
    Honestly does anyone have any numbers on how many folks were actually killed by “sporting rifles” in the last 10 years? I bet the number is negligible at best. We don’t see criminals roaming the streets with “sporting rifles” They use hand guns, or “gats” as they like to call them. Unless you are in the Mexican cartel I don’t think you would ever think of using a “sporting rifle”.

    • Yes we do know. The numbers shot with rifles is miniscle. I will post the specifics when i return to the office.

      UPDATE: Here’s the stats:

      According to “Crime in the United States”, FBI, 2009, rifles account for only 2.55 percent of all U.S. murders and is the lowest use among all types of weapons including hands/feet.




      Firearms (type unknown) 

      Other weapons 
Edged weapons

      Hands, feet, etc.





      –Sorry for the format, I space out the number in a table, but the blog would not accept them and ran the numbers together. The first number is the count, the 2nd the % of all murders.

      If the gun grabbers told the truth about “sporting rifles” there would be NO support for banning them.

      • No problem Rabbi.
        I guess the point folks seem to fail to understand is that in reality “Hello McFly, anyone in there” these black scary rifles do not result in the mass death and destruction that gun control advocates seem to think they do.
        The lack of our Police and FBI to head off gun, and drug smuggling along with gang activity running rampant in our urban areas is really to blame. But hey blame something, anything but your own shortcomings right?
        I am not showing disrespect to our LEO’s here. What I am saying is that when Police departments like Anaheim CA finally stand up for themselves and known criminals die because they are acting badly, the law abiding citizens of the city protest, and start busting up the place! How nuts is that!!

        • The media stirs frenzy by suggestive and biased coverage – like interviewing the family and mothers of their sons who “would never do such a thing.”

    • In a nutshell, its 1/5th of 1 %. That is semi-automatic rifles with at least 10 round magazines. Since violent crime has dropped since the 90’s, the number has to be lower now.

  2. What do I say to a local LTE writer that called the firearm used in Aurora (I kid you not) “a 100-round clip automatic assault weapon”?

    • You call him an uninformed, biased writer!!!! Then you educate him to the proper term’s that should be used!!!
      Maybe if we all get this in our heads about educating the uninformed or misinformed we can bring a stop to some(not all I am sure) of this generalization and incorrect usage!!!
      Every little bit helps you know!!!!

  3. We should point out the fact that the control freaks’ term comes from someone who agrees with their principles: Adolf Hitler. He relabelled the MP 44 as the Sturmgewehr–assault rifle. Control freaks always have to exaggerate things to make themselves feel important.

    • Amen!!! He coined that phrase for a Fully Automatic weapon!!!
      Of course the media doesn’t care about real history, just what the government tell’s them is correct!!!
      BTW: What city in Arkansas allows open carry in the city limits?? Was trying to look it up when I read it on a previous post of your’s and was curious about it!!! I live in a little community outside of Batesville and know it isn’t there!!! They seem to make up their own city laws and ordinances concerning concealed carry but the only way you can find out what they are is to ask the sheriffs dept and that depends on which officer you ask!!!

  4. Yeah, the whole “assault” anything goes right up my tutu. Whoever came up with the phrase was a marketing genius. He managed to scare the crap out of two generations of Americans. The gungrabbers control the language, so they control the debate.

    • That ‘marketing genius’ would be Josh Sugarman.
      Sound familiar?
      As the Rabbi says, Sugarman specificaly started promoting this term before the Clinton AWB to purposely mislead uninformed/illinformed voters. There’s an interveiw some where with him smuggly admitting that the idea was to convince the aforementioned voters that the AWB would halt the sale of machine guns.

  5. How about you stop making distinctions all together? Many of the post on this blog refer to AR-15s and such as “Modern Home Defense Sporting Rifles” or some nonsense name like that. It is just a rifle like any other, don’t put it in a special category. Saying “standard” or “reduced capacity” magazine does the same thing, sorting them by their capacity does no one any good. When you give them a special distinction, it draws attention and you acknowledge that there is a difference to be considered.

    Guns are guns, magazines are magazines. Don’t play the semantics game.

    • Its a semi automatic rifle to me. The name for that class of firearm has already existed since the M1 Rifle, and probably earlier.

  6. “Assault weapon” — Definition:

    A fictitious category of firearm – invented for the purpose of deceiving members of the American Public who are not familiar with firearms.

    The meaning and use of the word “assault” is intentionally twisted to cause confusion and aid in the deception.

    The term is based on the valid firearm category “assault RIFLE”, which describes a selective fire, intermediate caliber rifle – resulting in a light-weight, low-recoil weapon, well-suited for use in the ASSAULT PHASE of a MILITARY attack.

    The “ASSAULT PHASE” of a military attack is closing in on the enemy, advancing on his position to drive him from that position, or kill him if he attempts to remain.

    The word “assault” is re-utilized in the term “assault WEAPON” to suggest the common civilian concept of “assault” as meaning a violent, criminal attack committed against an innocent victim, as in the statement:

    “Assault weapons– their name describes their purpose!”

    Clever — fiendishly clever.

    The meaning of the word “assault” in the term “assault RIFLES” as a MILITARY term, a phase of a MILITARY attack, is psychologically re-directed toward the popular understanding of the word “assault” as a CRIMINAL attack against an innocent victim in the term “assault WEAPONS”.

    In addition to this twisting of the word “assault” to cause deception and fool the general public, the valid category of firearms — “assault RIFLES” — was simultaneously expanded to a new, and unashamedly false, more general category of “assault WEAPONS”.

    This was done to rationalize including not just rifles, but shotguns, and even pistols, in the newly invented pseudo-category. This reflects the twist in the meaning of “assault”, from a phase of MILITARY ATTACK to criminal violence.

    First they invent a new pseudo-category of firearm. They name that category in a way that suggests that the only use for such weapons, in civilian hands, is criminal “assault”.

    Then, they include in that pseudo-category any firearm they can rationalize as somehow being too dangerous, or “unsuitable” for “civilians” (more properly CITIZENS) to own, claiming that such weapons “only belong on foreign battlefields”.

    Refuse to accept this neologism “ASSAULT WEAPONS”. Those who created it do not have the knowledge about firearms, or any qualification, to establish any terminology related to firearms. Reject the term for what it is — an intentional deception of the American Public.

    It was invented by those who attempt to categorize firearms by their appearance instead of their function, with the intent of fooling the public, and frightening them into endorsing this attack on the 2nd A.

        • Thanks, Accur81.
          Wasn’t the ARmalite-15 first offered on the civilian market as a “varmint rifle”, then adapted for military use as an “assault rifle”? I recall it first got into military inventory as a “Special Purpose Individual Weapon” or SPIW.

      • Thank you, Tomahawk.

        I share the Rabbi’s contempt for this baseless terminology, and the expansion of that semantic strategy from so-called “assault weapons” to so-called “assault magazines” (or “clips”).

        As Ralph said above, “The gungrabbers control the language, so they control the debate”. Don’t let them control the language. Make them argue their position on a rational set of definitions, not terminology they create for their own purposes. Challenge them at every step. They have no knowledge of firearms that qualifies them to establish new categories related to firearms. The term “assault weapon” is proof of their ignorance, and should be an embarassment to them.

        We should make that clear to them.

  7. I always call my Ar a carbine, not because I’m avoiding certain made up terms, but because that’s what it is. When ever some one calls it an assault rifle I always laugh and say “I wish” and they always look at me funny.

  8. I call it a black rifle when I’m trying to differentiate it from a different specific rifle. Otherwise I call it a rifle.

    I correct people all the time when they incorrectly use assault rifle, but I’m only lt pedantic enough to have the “normal vs hi-cap” conversation.

    • Haha, a lesson on miscommunication. I was unclear. Please delete both the comment above this one and this one.

  9. I call it a black rifle when I’m trying to differentiate it from a different specific rifle. Otherwise I call it a rifle.

    I correct people all the time when they incorrectly use assault rifle, but I’m only rarely pedantic enough to have the “normal vs hi-cap” conversation.

  10. “they are using the tactic again by renaming standard magazines with the invented term “assault clips”

    Next will be assault ammo. After that assault laser sights and assault holsters. Finally there will be assault gun blogs. Hopefully, one day those who are into creating an immoral nation of civilian victims will themselves turn into a pillar of salt.

  11. If they Really want to be correct then they should use the term “Assault Person”!!!!
    The weapon, regardless of what type it is does absolutely nothing until a Person picks it up an puts it to use for good or bad!!!
    Wonder how much luck they would have banning “Assault People”!!!!!???

    • Mark: I can see it now.

      Scene: Republican National Convention
      “I’m sorry, sir. Your weapon can come in, but you have to remain outside.”

  12. To be fair, the 100 round drum thingee is sort of “high capacity”. Not saying it should be banned, but that’s a pretty high number of rounds for a rifle. 20 or 30 is just standard.

      • Loyd..If you will look back to the Gabriella Gifford shooting in Az one of the people who stepped up to help subdue Loughner was a 63? year old lady who grabbed the 33 round magazine he was trying to use in his Glock!!!
        So whether they are impractical or un tacticool they do serve a good purpose once in awhile!!! Witnesses even said that the only reason she couls have held on to it was because of the size of the mag and the leverage she was able to get when she grabbed it!!!

  13. What really bugs me is when gun people themselves use incorrect terms. Everytime I get the CDNN catalog, I cringe when I get to the page that says “HI-CAPS” in big bold letters to describe magazines which carry their originally designed capacity. Then, a few pages later “Standard Capacity” to describe 10 rounders.

    I’m with Chris on this, “Guns are guns, magazines are magazines.” Why unnecessarily differentiate based on style or capacity? “It’s a trap!”

  14. Possessing an ideology that would be and has been utterly defeated when put to the test of logic, rationality, and morality, leftists thrive on such misdirection as made-up vernacular. Just look at “progressive.” You can’t argue with an ideology that has a name evoking “progress” no matter how regressive it is.

    • Yep. More semantics. If they are “progressive”; then those who oppose them must be something like “regressive”, or maybe just “retarded”.

  15. I’m in the process of assembling an AR-15 pattern rifle. When I bring it up in conversation, it is a RIFLE. If pressed it is a semi-automatic rifle. AR-15s capable of burst or full auto fire are “select fire rifles”. A military issue M-16 is an “Assault Rifle”, firing an intermediate size cartridge, which distinguishes it from “Battle Rifles” like the M-14 or FAL, chambered for full sized cartridges.

    “Assault Weapon” is a term invented by politicians to push an agenda, with no barring on any technical or practical definitions. Likewise with “high capacity”.

  16. Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center made up the term and admitted that its sole purpose is to confuse the uninformed general public.

    • Great Info Scott!!! Had forgotten that myself!!! Thanks for the reminder!!! Maybe this is something we need to get out to the voting public so they can be truly informed about where the term Really came from and why!!! Will be including this in all my emails from now on!!!!

    • Correct!

      “Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.”

      -Josh Sugarmann, Assault Weapons and Accessories in America, 1988[1][2]

  17. It is after all just a rifle!!! In 15 yrs in the Army I really don’t remember ever being taught that the M16,Ak47 or the M14 were “Assault Weapons”!!!! They were just our weapons!!! I guess since we qualified on US and Soviet Weapons regularly i might have just forgotten them being called that but who knows??
    It is definitely an incorrect term for something that can do nothing until an “Assault Person” picks it up and puts it to whatever use they want!!!
    Do I want one?? Yes I do!!! Girlfriend says I don’t need one but she is confusing want with need again!!!! LOL!!!
    Would love to have an Ak, preferably an original Russian made one!!! A lot of the other knockoffs were very crudely made!!! Just not a big fan of the AR/5.56mm platform!!! AR-10(.308) oh heck yea!!! SKS or Ak47 oh heck yea again!!!
    After using the M16/5.56 in the European and Middle East Theater just not very fond of them!!! The military seems to think the 5.56 is great because it does so much damage and “If you shoot the enemy with it it will take out 2 other troops to care of the one you shot””!!! Bull#$^t!!!!! They will either leave them where they lay or cap his butt there selves!!!Better to hit once and end it right then!!!
    But to put an end to my soapbox rant: No such thing as an Assault Weapon!!! Period!!!!

  18. Considering the number of those styles of rifles actually used for sporting purposes, I believe that the term is accurate.

  19. An Assault Rifle is a military, select fire weapon designed to fire more than one bullet in a single trigger pull.

    A civilian AR15 is a rifle. It can only fire in semi-automatic.

    Pretty clear? apparently not.

  20. I’ve been mulling over an idea that might appease the gun grabbers and the sport shooter/home defense communities:
    Since the confusion seems to be over the appearance of the firearms, maybe a standard should be set and followed by the manufacturers, importers, and range owners where allowed automatic fire arms all have the same color(s) or patterned cosmetic appearance. This way, the big bad automatic fire arms are recognizable on sight and may begin to filter into pop culture depictions, thereby influencing what the public thinks an assault rifle looks like.
    I’d hope this scheme is voluntary (although I’d accept a control measure like this sooner than anything else on the table), but that firearms business owners who deal with the public would consider violators of the scheme to be, prima facie, a suspicious person and possibly a pariah.
    Semi-automatics may have any other color(s) /patterning.
    The idea is that eventually the social consciousness begins to view the coloring as the appearance of the “scary” weapons and our semi-automatics are left alone.
    The only slippery slope I see here is if the scheme does become law, and law creep begins to cover large caliber weapons, or semiautomatics, etc., then it would defeat the purpose of the original scheme. The scheme is to clue the ignorant public into how to identify the automatic and semi-automatic weapons with hopes that Hollywood picks up the clue and runs with it. Suddenly, an AR and an M-16 look different, and the public might get it.
    In 1995 there were 240,000 machine guns registered with the ATF that would require back conversion to the coloring. Assuming a similar number are still around today, back conversion cost might be withing the capacity of gun rights groups to facilitate.
    I think this idea may work, but I’ve not completely thought it out yet. Begin flame now.

    • I’ve been mulling over an idea that might appease the gun grabbers

      No flame here, just common sense. The only thing that will appease gungrabbers is a complete ban on guns. Anything else is wishful thinking.

  21. My new pet peeve regarding firearm terms abused by the media is “high-powered rifle.” Let that show up in a news story and watch the ignorami come out of the woodwork demanding to know what possible reason a civilian could have for owning a “high-powered rifle.” When you point out that grandpa’s bolt-action .30-06 definitely qualifies as a high-powered rifle, they won’t believe you.

    I”m just waiting for the hysteria to start over “multi-barrel large-bore scatterguns.”

  22. Rabbi:

    Fine article but you wrong about what constitutes a true assault rifle. They are carbines with cartridges based on battle rifles. The SG 44 uses a shorten Mauser 98 cartridge and the AK-47 uses a shortened Mosin-Nagent cartridge. The Germans found that infantry egagements began at around 300 meters. Therefore a battle rifle was overkill. They also found that inside 100 meters automatic fire was effective but the MP -42 was useless beyond 75-100 meters. They designed the SG44 to fit within those parameters. The AK was designed the same way.

    The AR platform is just a small bore semiautomatic rifle and it the gun community would be best served by the small bore designation. The 223 Remington cartridge is just high velocity 22 caliber round.

  23. As pointed out above, the AWBs specify a few specific models and then make a list of parts that are banned, parts like extendable stocks, vertical grips, bayonet lugs, and barrel shrouds. Feel free to chime in with any I’ve missed.

    All of those just seem to be bringing the basic rifle into the 21st Century… Okay, the 1950s with the AR. Still, expandable stocks because people have different arms lengths, polymer because it’s lighter than wood, barrel shrouds because burning yourself sucks, vertical grips and bayonet lugs because their tacticool and this century is all about cool. Yeah, okay vert grips can help aiming. Bayonet lugs seem to just be hold overs from milspec stuff, but I could be wrong.

    My point is that the scary parts are usually modern conveniences. There are plenty of differences between a WWII Garand and a modern (civi semi-auto) M4, but the specific parts that tend to get pointed out as scary are really rather boring.

    • Sorry but the popular semi automatics are 1950s technolgy. No one has yet produced anything better. The bullpup design is about as radical as it gets. There are some new designs but the civilian won’t see them until at least 2020. The 21st Century rifle has yet to be produced.

      • Tdiinva: The actions are 60 years old, yes, but everything else is fancy shmancy new stuff. Granted, everything else isn’t as important as the action, but that’s partly my point! Same shit, different furniture! It’s still a boring ol’ rifle that goes bang, except an M4gery looks sexier/scarier than a Garand, at least to some.

      • Anon: Ah yes, can’t forget trying to avoid deafening everyone, blinding everyone, and dislocating your shoulder.

        But not all at once. Unless you own a suppressor/silencer/can/hearing damage prophylaxis, in which case I hate you and you suck…until I get one. :p Then you’re part of the cool crowd.

  24. These gun grabbers are right in a weird sort of way. Full auto isn’t very controllable. A trained person with semi-auto is more deadly than an untrained person with true assault rifles. Can you imagine if an IDPA champion went on a killing spree?

        • Meh. Lautenberg can exploit it. I can make jokes. Exceeeeeept…

          I made that comment without the Aurora thing even crossing my mind. Not that I’m apologizing for it. I’m just letting you know that it didn’t even occur to me. So, if you thought it was “too soon,” then I’m sorry for your misinterpretation.

  25. I use the term “modern rifle.” I never use “assault rifle” because it makes me feel stupid. Just like the term “sniper rifle” or “sniper scope.”

    People who say they want to ban “assault” rifles really want to ban modern rifles. Some are okay with ownership of archaic rifles like muskets or bolt actions, but nothing that has a detachable magazine or that is ergonomic.

    For instance a M1A is okay to own in California until you put on a chassis like the EBR from Sage.

    In the end it is all about leaving the general population with less effective arms to defend themselves against bad people (that will have modern arms) who want to remove them of their rights and or property. There are countries that are fine with gun ownership as long as those gun only “fire” plastic BBs at low velocity.

    • When around friends, I call them by model name. When I’m around uninformed panty-wetting gun grabbers, I use “scary looking rifle” to subtly point out that an idiot they are.

  26. Rabbi,


    This is one of my biggest pet peeves as well. I am so tired of hearing the media and people in government (Schumer, Boxer, et al) using the wrong terminology.

    • “Heavy weapons” refer to crew-served infantry weapons. Modern service rifles are actually lighter than typical battle rifles of yesteryear, and fire lighter cartridges.

  27. I tried to make a deal at a local pawn shop on a crossbow,the kid told me to bring in the 410 I wanted to swap, when he saw the Segia with the factory pistol grip , he told me that don’t deal with assault weponds. Are you kidding !! A pistol grip makes it an assault wepond, I should have beat him with it,stupid kid should go back to “Mc Donald’s” to work


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