Washington Post AR-15 assault rifle machine gun
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This time last year the Washington Post threw together this interesting piece that caught my attention:

The AR-15, the military-style rifle that a gunman used to kill 17 people at a South Florida high school Wednesday, is at once a ferociously powerful weapon, a symbol of freedom and individualism, and an object of despairing worry about the future of democracy.

It is, depending on which political and social camp you belong to, “America’s rifle,” a way to “Control Your Destiny” or a killing machine that has no legitimate place in civilian life.

Biased in journalism? Maaaybe…

The AR-15 — its initials come not from “assault rifle” but from its original manufacturer, ­Armalite — is a descendant of the machine guns Nazi infantrymen used against Soviet forces in World War II.

– Marc Fisher, The AR-15: America’s Rifle or Illegitimate Killing Machine

Your daily history lesson.

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  1. Sigh. Always with the AK-AR confusion.

    As if that was relevant to their point anyway. At the root of things guns are just tools, or if you prefer, mechanical devices. Either way, no volition.

        • And the Stg44 was roller-delayed blowback. So the real descendants are the H&K G3/Cetme series. But they aren’t assault rifles, because they fire a full power cartridge, which makes them battle rifles. H&K makes a 5.56 version, that would probably be the most direct descendant of the Sturmgewehr.
          Just more factually challenged leftists screaming about how brainless they are. They figure since they know nothing at all, they’ll just yell real loud and drown everybody else out. Now they’ve updated that to include bullhorns and air cans. I guess they did manage to figure out, somewhere along the line, that enough shouting makes one lose their voice. Its amazing they managed to add that 2 and 2 together and not come up with 234,765.789.

          • So an HK91 is a battle rifle and an HK93 is an assault rifle? Good to know, I always wondered what the difference was.

        • Eye roll. Joke missed I guess… I’m well aware of the difference between a water cooled, pre-WW1 heavy machine gun and the Stg44.

        • The G43 was the answer to the M1 rifle. The STG44 was a new design. It was NOT a delayed roller locked blow back (the MG43 was) but used a locking system more similar to the FN49 and was gas operated.

        • Interesting. I looked it up and you are correct. The 43 was roller delayed, the 44 was a gas piston/tilting bolt design. And I’m not familiar with any such design in an assault rifle today. All of these type designs today(at least all that I know of) use full power rifle chamberings, mostly 7.62 NATO. So I guess the 44 really has no descendants in today’s world.
          Certainly not the AR15 with its Pseudo-DI system. Its kind of unique, not including the AR10(naturally).

  2. This is why the 1st amendment needs some “reasonable regulations”. Nobody should be allowed to publish blatant lies and not get beaten in the street for doing so.

  3. Might as well blame Mr. Pucket or DaVinci. Both of whom designed “Ferociously Powerful Killing Machines.” Or the Chinese who invented gun powder and semi automatic crossbows. Sheesh.

      • “It was the Chinese! They invented black powder, they even invented rockets. They are to BLAME!”

        Wrongomundo, mi amigo. Everyone, I mean everyone, knows that the United States is such a power for evil that the US introduced evil into the world long before there even was a US. It’s settled history.

  4. Lasted I checked, it actually has nothing in common with any German machineguns. I am not aware of any that were direct gas impingement and I don’t think the locking mechanism has anything in common either. Did any German MGs use rotating bolts. The STG44 doesn’t.

    Yes I realize it is actually a stupid person talking about things they don’t know anything about…but still.

    • In the broader sense, you’d be correct, but in the US, any firearm that fires more than one round per function of the trigger is legally defined as a ‘machine gun’. And the concept of the ‘assault rifle’ can be directly traced back to projects that started in Germany in the aftermath of WWI, culminating in the StG-44/MP-43/44. They may be incorrect in their message, but the factual core holds water.

      • While it is true that the AR-15 is conceptually a descendant of the STG44 the author clearly fails to comprehend that the STG was designed to be a light, handy *less powerful* alternative to full battle rifles and light machine guns.

        I think a lot of people are really unable to get past the term assault rifle. They assume that the term, and its military connotations, indicate a more powerful than “normal” gun. If we were to look at the evolution of automatic weapons that includes the Heavy Machine Gun, Light Machine Gun, Automatic Rifle, Sub-Machine Gun, and Assault Rifle and simply rename the Assault Rifle the Light Infantry Rifle, then, in turn, name the civilian, semi-auto only variant, the Light Utility Rifle, I doubt we’d have as many people upset about it. After all, a Light Utility Gun is what a modern AR pattern rifle is.

        I honestly think it is the word “Assault” that gets so many panties in a bunch. In a military, light infantry context, assault is not as loaded a term. It just means something that has to happen quickly and efficiently and a light rifle with a large(ish) capacity is good for that. In everyday terms, assault means an attack on another person. Thus, some people take the name Assault Rifle, apply it incorrectly to light, military pattern, semi-auto, utility rifles and conclude that millions of Americans are buying dedicated people killers.

      • Not actually historically correct. While it is true that one could make a case that the intermediate cartridge/ rapid fire/ detachable magazine concept goes back, in Germany, as far as Piderit’s ‘white paper’ in 1918, Russia already had the Fedorov being issued in 1916. Others had already mentioned the concept in print as early as the late 1800’s, so “nazi invention” is just plain incorrect. “Nazi copy of” is a lot more accurate.

        • The 30 caliber carbine was the first intermediate cartridge in common use. The the M-2 Carbine was the second select fire basic infantry weapon to enter service but since it was just a modification to the M1 Carbine one can the M1 Carbine was precurser for American select fire weapons. Given that the M2 was developed independently from the STG 44 we would have developed something like the AR platform whether the STG 44 or AK 47 existed or not

      • Americans were developing all the characteristic “assault weapons” features long before the StG 44 came along, they just hadn’t put them all together yet. Automatic fire? the Thompson, Intermediate cartridge? .276 Pedersen, box magazine? the Winchester 1905, 1907, and 1910. We knew all about the need for such a weapon, and plenty of people were trying to solve those problems in the inter-war years. The Germans get credit for getting there first but claiming that everything about modern military rifles if based on that? Bullshit.

    • Seemes like before Bezos took over, WaPo was capable of sporadic acts of journalism. I know the NYT has gone downhill since Pinch took over from Punch. NYT has been a commie rag for a century at least, but Punch had enough of a fingernail grip on reality to maintain some thin veneer of impartiality. Not anymore.

      • Yup. Bezos installed Marty Baron as Editor in Chief. He’s the slim ball formerly of the Boston Globe.

        • Stinkin’ slim balls! Geometrically-challenged little punks! Just let me catch one of their faux-spherical butts on MY lawn!

  5. Marc Fisher is a well-known leftie hack writer whose lurid prose decorates the opinion pages of the Washington Post (aka Pravda-on-the-Potomac). However, he does have a point in his year-old article in that the class of modern select-fire military rifles known as “assault rifles” descends from the Wehrmacht’s StG 44 (StG being the German abbreviation for “assault rifle,” Hitler’s preferred term), which was used primarily on Germany’s eastern front against the Soviets. Then the Soviet AK-47 came along (probably in imitation and still with us), various U.S. attempts to design an equivalent (culminating in the select-fire M14 and the M16 family of rifles (likewise still with us). However, where Fisher misses the boat is ignoring the distinction between the semi-automatic AR civilian rifles (which are no different in function than any other civilian semi-auto since the beginning of the 20th century) and the crop of select-fire military rifles, which are true assault rifles. But since they look the same (scary) he doesn’t care, as that distinction would defeat his purpose.

    • Ogre,

      However, where Fisher misses the boat is ignoring the distinction between the semi-automatic AR civilian rifles … and the crop of select-fire military rifles, which are true assault rifles.

      That was no oversight. Gun grabbers are on record stating that they intentionally omit that detail because they are counting on readers to conflate select-fire with semi-automatic firearms, which advances their cause of civilian disarmament.

    • What u_s says. The ones who aren’t 99.44% ignorant of guns know that when it comes to civil war there’s not much difference between a semi-automatic rifle that holds 30 rounds and a select fire, 3 round burst weapon that holds 30 rounds. They want all semi-automatic rifles banned (for starters) because they intend to impose their agenda on us against our will, and that can’t be done without stripping us of our means of defense first. (See Venezuela.)

      • This. And a cursory study of history shows disarmament and the resulting shitshow happens with stunning regularity. The founders knew this firsthand. It’s not like human nature has changed. Governments, central banks, large corporations, any situation where power is concentrated is never to be trusted. The bill of rights is like an immune system and privately owned weapons are like the white blood cells. This includes technological tools such as robust encryption and communications. As humans we have an inherent right to self defense. Fuck anyone that wants to infringe or remove that right, they are laying out their cards right before your very eyes.

    • The only relevant distinction between the Sturmgeschutz and other automatic rifles of the day was the use of an intermediate rifle cartridge that didn’t have effect on target like thunderbolts from God, but had lower recoil, could be used in a short-action, and could be carried in higher quantity.

    • There really is no difference between an M4 and an AR-15, and our side needs to stop pretending there is. Full auto on a rifle is a red herring.

      • “There really is no difference between an M4 and an AR-15, and our side needs to stop pretending there is. Full auto on a rifle is a red herring.”

        “There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right…”

        Anyone seeing a distinction between the two comments?

  6. Oh good, I was afraid it was modeled after harmless soft white bread.

    I want an effective tool, not a useless one.

  7. Say what you will about Trump, when he states things like “the fake news media is the enemy of the American people”, he’s not wrong.

  8. The AR-15 … military-style rifle … is … a ferociously powerful weapon …

    That is an utterly and totally incorrect statement. AR-15 rifles are chambered for a varmint cartridge that is optimized for the likes of prairie dogs, woodchucks, and coyotes. That’s right, our AR-15 rifles shoot a cartridge that is designed for controlling small animals.

    A murderer can use all firearm platforms/calibers to kill humans. For that matter, a murderer can use just about anything to kill humans, including fists, vehicles, glass bottles, knives, machetes, axes, hammers, clubs, rope, nylon panties, scarves, and even pillows.

    Murder has two root problems:
    (1) Nasty people who decide to murder.
    (2) People who are unable to defend themselves.

    • Clarification:

      Yes, the murderer is legally and morally responsible for their actions. Their victims are not responsible for their murderer’s actions.

      Having said that, victims are responsible for their own choices. Violent crime and even animal attacks are well-known facts of life. People who shirk their responsibility to make themselves hard targets could pay the ultimate price.

      • And just in case anyone is still ready to excoriate me for “victim blaming”, let me provide a more obvious example.

        Suppose a gorgeous and curvy 20 year-old women is wearing only a skimpy bikini, starts walking around some crime-ridden inner-city neighborhood on a warm summer night, and is holding a large sign that says, “I am horny.”

        Would it be legally and morally wrong if someone raped her? Of course. Would we all say how utterly and totally foolish it was for her to do that? Of course. Would we all say how she would not be a rape victim if she had not been so foolish? Of course.

        Like it or not, there are evil people in our world. And while we cannot guarantee that we can always prevail over evil people, we can at least take minimal steps to make it much harder for evil people to prevail. That is on us.

        • Dangerous speech in the #MeToo era. I’d liken it to that brain dead hippie that went to live with the brown bears in Alaska because they were just misunderstood cuddly critters or something and got along OK for a little while until they found a pile of his bones covered in bear shit. The world is a dangerous place. Pretending it’s not is folly.

        • Wonderful! Timmy the Idiot plays a stupid game, wins a stupid prize, and the best response is to kill two bears who were being bears. Outstanding. At least he was trying to do something he believed in, his dumbass girlfriend got a stupid prize and she had a healthy fear of the beasts.

    • Thats not true and you know it. he Armalite M-16 rifle, a 5.56 mm round , was designed for war and issued to troops in Vietnam ( I was one of them) and not issued to us to go woodchuck hunting. Your spinning untruths doesn’t help anything. I can show you pictures of exit wounds in VC you could stick you whole foot in. Not a powerful rounds is BS and you know it.

      • It’s only ‘not a powerful round’ when it’s compared to virtually every other rifle cartridge in existence. But yes, compared to an airsoft pellet gun it’s extremely powerful.

        • In its original form, it was designed to fire a bullet with MARGINAL stabilization, deliberately so that the projectile would tumble more easily upon impact. As far as ferociously powerful goes, I’d rather be shot with a 5.56 than a 30-06, or god forbid, a 50BMG.

        • The ‘tumble on impact’ effect was used to effectively circumvent the rules of war passed at the Hague Convention of 1899 that banned the use of expanding bullets in war. The British started almost right away placing at first an aluminum tip in their .303 bullets and later cellulose or plastic to make them extremely unstable in terminal ballistics and causing them to yaw, tumble and break up. However, this takes about 6 to 8 inches of penetration, whereas if you’ve ever seen a ballistics gel test of expanding rifle ammo you’d see that expansion is usually completed in the first inch or so. It also requires more velocity than an expanding bullet, so at longer ranges they just cut a thin ice pick hole through the body. That .303 bullet BTW, coming out of a 25″ Lee-Enfield barrel carried nearly 2-1/2 times as much energy as a 5.56 round out of a 16″ barrel, so there’s no making up for that.

      • To be fair, the .223 Rem is based off the .222 Remington which was a target and varmint cartidge at the time. Both the .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO have come a long way since then, and are quite capable as military cartridges.

        • We can keep this going….

          The 222 was preceded by the 220 Swift about 1930, intended as a varmint rifle. High velocity, accurate…

          So small caliber knowledge goes back a long way.

          I think the 5.56 tumbling round was more an accident of military bean counter action than intent since it is against the Geneva Convention. The original rifling design was made with a particular design/weight round in mind. The bean counters picked a different round because it was cheaper.

          When reports of the devastating wounds reached high authorities the rifling was changed to stabilize the cheap bullet. Not that I cared about wounds that achieved the purpose of shooting someone, disable them immediately. The “clean” wounds did not benefit American troops.

      • Frank,

        Let’s inject some FACTS into the discussion. Here are some common rifle calibers that our military has used or currently uses. The muzzle energies represent common bullet weights coming out of a 20 inch barrel.

        energy . . . . . . . . cartridge
        1,200 ft-lbs. — .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO
        2,500 ft-lbs. — .308 Winchester
        2,750 ft-lbs. — .30-06 Springfield
        3,100 ft-lbs. — .300 WinMag

        Notice that .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO produces LESS THAN HALF the muzzle energy of other standard military cartridges. In fact the .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridge is such “weak sauce” that virtually no one uses it for deer hunting, opting instead for .243 Winchester or larger calibers. And the few ethical hunters who do use .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO for hunting deer are almost exclusively use expanding bullets for neck shots or (less often) very heavy bullets (e.g. 77 grain) for heart shots and limiting themselves to 100 yards or less. (And only in states where it is legal as many states do not even allow .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO for hunting deer because it is underpowered.)

        At very close ranges (perhaps inside of 50 yards), the .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO round can deliver some significant wounds, especially if the victim only weighs 100 pounds or less. Then again, pretty much every firearm platform creates significant wounds in 100 pound (or less) victims inside of 50 yards. To say that the .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO round is “ferociously lethal”, however, is just not true compared to other common military cartridges and platforms.

        • Just picking nits here, but the old military .30-06 rounds weren’t quite as hot as the hunting loads you see today. When they made the switch to the 7.62x51NATO they went from a 148gr bullet at 2750fps to a 147gr bullet at 2750fps. So both loads are just under 2500ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

        • Danny Griffin,

          I am sure that Inuit people use .22 LR for small game. Beyond that, I have never seen nor heard of Inuit people using .22 LR as a primary big/dangerous game hunting or self-defense round.

          Having said that, I am aware of one exception: Inuit people using .22 LR to kill large animals that are swimming in water — and even then their technique is moving their boat right along side of the animal and putting a headshot on the animal just inches away from the muzzle.

          • I don’t know all the details, but I just read an article a few days ago that said Innuits use .22LR to kill large animals like polar bears! I can’t cite it because I don’t remember where I read it.

        • Governor Le Petomane,

          That is an interesting detail about .30-06 Springfield military loads that I have never heard before. Even at those velocities and bullet weights, those loads still dwarf today’s .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridges.

        • Its not only the Eskimos that use the .22RF. I always butcher my beef with a .22 solid. It drops them like a bag of sand, but only when placed absolutely perfectly into the brain. If one doesn’t have the animal in a corral, with unlimited time to line up a perfect shot, then extra power makes a great deal of sense. A perfectly placed .22RF solid will kill most anything on Earth, but the “perfectly placed” is a real problem. Seldom indeed can one guarantee perfection.

        • Danny Griffin,

          According to a somewhat recent TTaG article, a Cree woman in Canada shot and killed a world record grizzly bear firing a single .22 Long cartridge out of a single-shot rifle. According to the article, she was most definitely NOT out hunting for bears. Rather, she was small-game hunting when the grizzly approached, not knowing she was there. When the bear was just a few yards away and probably stopped broadside, she fired a single shot at the bear’s skull thinking it was less risk to take the shot than to continue hiding and hoping that the bear did not catch her scent. Fortunately, she put the shot exactly where she needed it and the bear dropped. According to the article, she promptly went over to it and shot it in the head 6 or 7 more times because she did not trust that a single .22 Long bullet would kill a grizzly bear. Note that this was a freak event, not a routine event.

          At extremely close ranges (like 10 feet or less), a single .22 caliber bullet from a .22 LR cartridge fired out of a rifle will promptly kill most creatures on our planet IF, and that is a HUGE “IF”, you can put a perfect shot into that creature’s brain. It should be obvious that being able to put a perfect shot into a creature’s brain is an exceedingly difficult and undependable event. For that reason wise people rely on much larger calibers to promptly stop attacking animals and attacking people.

          Here is a link to the TTaG article:

        • I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this story as the person who told it to me liked to embellish a bit. But he used to live out in the styx in Idaho and knew an Indian who only had a single shot .22LR and he claimed he had taken multiple moose with it. Apparently he could put a shot in the animal’s lungs and the beast thought it was a bee sting or something. Get two or three from both sides, follow him around for a few days, light a fire and cut off a piece of steak and enjoy. Or so I was told. Sort of makes sense though. If I were hungry enough I’d try it.

      • That was the lack of stabilization in the bullets caused by the original 1-14″ pitch barrels. In arctic testing it was found these barrels were not up to accuracy standards so the pitch was tightened to 1-12″ pitch. The new barrel pitch improved the accuracy but lost a lot of the wounding effect.

  9. Funny how Bezo’s complains on the WaPo about the AR-15 being a “Nazi inspired illegitimate killing machine” but sell components & accessories on Amazon. Little hypocritical, you think?

    • I know right? Amazon carries an amazing amount of AR15 accessories. Maybe not actual gun parts or magazines but plenty of optics and mounts as well as reloading equipment.

  10. If you are a progressive Democrat you have no values except to tout your own horn! the rest of the world understands blame but our PC brethren ?? says its no ones fault but those evil guns that shoot by themselves and whisper in your ear and just go on killing sprees all by themselves, those horrific weapons {can’t call them evil because then you would have to believe in a god other than money and pleasure}

  11. People are on this comment line advocating violence against people that tell lies.

    Sign number one of emotional problems with the loud mouth members of the right and why the left wants gun control against people with views (emotional problems) like that.

    • The left wants you to give up your cars, air travel, beef and health care. How do you suppose they’re going to accomplish that if they don’t make you give up your guns first? It has nothing to do with the violence we intend to impose on them and everything to do with the violence they intend to impose on us.

      • Perhaps he should go to the People’s Socialist Democratic Republic of Venezuela where he can experience his views first-hand as either a victim or as one of Maduro’s lackeys.

  12. I’ll just be over here with my Ranch Rifle from Ruger, a valuable tool for varmint control and fun plinker. That has 30 round mags. And shoots .223. That I can put in a folding or collapsing stock with a pistol grip. It’s much less deadly. I’m a good person. I’d never own a weapon of war. Except my Springfield Trapdoor, 91/30, M1 Carbine, 1911, Hi Power, 870, SKS…

  13. Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagon are also descended from Nazi death machines. All the rich leftists going to give up their sweet rides?

      • “To be fair, Mercedes and BMW predate the nazis by quite a bit.”

        But not Volkswagen (Folksvagon) – people’s wagon.

    • BASF made poison gas too. Plenty of German companies were involved in atrocities but that was 70 years ago and a bullet waited for anyone who refused to help the Nazis.

    • Then by that logic my 911 is a direct descendant of a Tiger tank. And I’m pretty sure my wife’s Audi is not meant to tow an artillery piece.

    • And IBM provided the Nazis with the data processing equipment to help round up Jews and other undesirables.

        • “IBM System/360 Mainframe?”

          Electro-mechanical tabulating machines, actually :

          “From the first moments of the Hitler regime in 1933, IBM used its exclusive punch card technology and its global monopoly on information technology to organize, systematize, and accelerate Hitler’s anti-Jewish program, step by step facilitating the tightening noose. The punch cards, machinery, training, servicing, and special project work, such as population census and identification, was managed directly by IBM headquarters in New York, and later through its subsidiaries in Germany, known as Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft (DEHOMAG), Poland, Holland, France, Switzerland, and other European countries.”


          • We, as a a populace, like to think that global commerce, multi-national corporations, trade agreements are relatively recent (25yrs?) phenomena. But we forget, or ignore, that international interconnectivity was the major factor in the world-wide depression in the late 1920s and 1930s. So, it should come as no surprise that…..

            GM and Ford motorized the Nazi war machine. Filed damage claims against the US Government for destruction of company property due to bombing Germany.

          • I had no idea Hollerith cards existed as far back as 1933. I’m always learning new things on TTAG.

  14. What exactly is an ‘illegitimate killing machine’? Illegitimate implies that it doesn’t work or is a fraud. Is an illegitimate killing machine a killing machine that doesn’t actually kill, therefor making it illegitimate? Also, what difference does it make if Nazis killed commies with something somewhat similar to it or commies killed Nazis with something somewhat similar to it? Weren’t they both murderous regimes?

    • Governor Le Petomane,

      This is yet another example of the standard Progressive play: they are trying to convince you to be against something rather than for something.

      They always demonize what they don’t like — desperately hoping that you decide to reject their opponent since you cannot, in good conscience, be in-league with evil — even if their opponent brings benefits to society.

      And they have to operate this way because Progressive alternatives are not appealing. Since Progressives know that they cannot convince you to embrace their unappealing alternatives, their only remaining option is to try and get you to reject their competition based on feelings rather than substance.

      • Rational thought is the enemy of the Demoncrat Party. Without irrational hysteria they’re impotent.

  15. Not a “rifle guy”, so….how does a .22 become a “ferociously” high-powered killing machine, but not the M1 carbine (.30), the Kalashnikov (.30), or the SG-44 (.31)?

    Everything I read here claims the .223/5.56 are woefully under-powered, not suitable for more than varmint shooting.

    Or is the article just another AOC proclamation?

    • Sam I Am,

      The .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridge family propels a small/light bullet at pretty high velocities so that it shoots “flat enough” to be conducive for shots out to something like 500 yards. The small/light bullet and relatively small cartridge make it less expensive to manufacture simply because it contains less materials than larger cartridges — which is an important consideration because people often want to shoot varmint cartridges a LOT.

      While the .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridge family is small, it can and does kill humans (just like all other cartridges/platforms), especially at close range (inside of 50 yards) and with multiple shots (just like all other cartridges/platforms).

      It is monumentally important to note, however, that the primary reason the U.S. military uses the .223 / 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridge is because it is small/light and enables a soldier to carry more rounds of ammunition for a given amount of weight, not because it is somehow “ferociously lethal” or some such nonsense. If terminal ballistics (e.g. lethality) were the utmost concern, then the U.S. military would require soldiers to carry a larger caliber, such as .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, or .50 BMG.

      • “If terminal ballistics (e.g. lethality) were the utmost concern, then the U.S. military would require soldiers to carry a larger caliber, such as .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum…”

        That’s how much not a “rifle guy” I am. Always thought the real NATO standard was 7.62 (.30 caliber). Something else seems an oxymoron – replicate the lethality of .30 caliber by increasing the number of smaller rounds carried. 7.62mm would seem to make a 2mm larger hole in the enemy than 5.56. Is the idea that “misses” are so common that the effect of a larger bullet must be sacrificed to ensure a “hit” by smaller bullets (volume over accuracy), somewhere?

        • Sam I Am,

          Always thought the real NATO standard was 7.62 (.30 caliber).

          There are two popular (standard if you will) NATO rifle calibers: 5.56 x 45mm (civilian equivalent .223 Winchester) and 7.62 x 51mm (civilian equivalent .308 Winchester). The smaller 5.56 x 45mm is the typical infantry rifle caliber and 7.62 x 51mm is the typical light machine gun caliber, although there is some overlap. And NATO forces sometimes use other calibers as well such as .300 WinMag, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .50 BMG, especially for long-range sniping and “anti-material” applications (e.g. using the .338 Lapua Magnum or .50 BMG for stopping vehicles and shooting through heavy walls).

          Something else seems an oxymoron – replicate the lethality of .30 caliber by increasing the number of smaller rounds carried. 7.62mm would seem to make a 2mm larger hole in the enemy than 5.56. Is the idea that “misses” are so common that the effect of a larger bullet must be sacrificed to ensure a “hit” by smaller bullets (volume over accuracy), somewhere?

          That is my understanding — that the U.S. military prioritizes volume of fire over terminal ballistics (lethality). Imparting a less devastating wound to your enemy is better than imparting no wound at all because you ran out of ammunition.

          I believe that the U.S. military also justifies the 5.56 x 45mm NATO over the large 7.62 x 51mm NATO because the lower recoil means more accurate shots, especially during rapid fire. Obviously, a hit with a “small” bullet is better than a miss with a “big” bullet.

          • “There are two popular (standard if you will) NATO rifle calibers: 5.56 x 45mm (civilian equivalent .223 Winchester) and 7.62 x 51mm (civilian equivalent .308 Winchester). ”

            Good info, thanx for taking time.

        • Also remember one of the most basic military tactics is fire and maneuver. A big reason why there are so many “misses” is because so many shots aren’t exactly “aimed”. Sure, you’re shooting at people, but not with minutely, precisely targeted fire. The purpose is to keep them down while the rest of the team moves. If you hit some of them, great, but the main point is to keep them from engaging the part of your group that’s exposed.

          For that purpose, more ammo is better, even if it doesn’t have the same lethality.

      • I have no idea if this is true or not (never seen anything to document it), but I have been told one reason for adopting the 5.56 cartridge was that it is less likely to kill than to wound.

        If it is true (and I kinda doubt it), the cynical reasoning is that a dead enemy does not require any further logistical support. A wounded soldier, however, may require as many as 5 people to tend to his needs. Thus, wounding, as opposed to killing, would be an enormous drain on the enemy’s resources.

        Take it for what it’s worth.

        • UpInArms,

          I heard the same explanation 20+ years ago and posted it here on TTaG a few years ago. Several people jump-in and claimed that explanation was not true. It sure makes a LOT of sense to me because there is no way in the world that anyone can think 5.56 x 45mm NATO rounds are anywhere near as lethal as the previous standards of .30-06 Springfield and .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51mm NATO).

          If everyone knows that 5.56 x 45mm NATO is substantially less-lethal than its predecessors, then why did the military switch to it? Yes, yes, round count is important for suppression fire while your fellow soldiers advance on your enemy. But is that so important that the U.S. military was willing to sacrifice substantial stopping power? I will need to see the documents that prove that before I believe it.

          Now, would the U.S. military abandon the far more effective .308 Winchester round for a higher round count AND the promise of taking multiple people out of the fight with each hit (wounding rather than killing)? That I can believe.

        • “If it is true (and I kinda doubt it), the cynical reasoning is that a dead enemy does not require any further logistical support. ”

          I could understand designated marksmen trying to wound, good idea. In a firefight, a wall of lead is probably a good idea too. Which would be the equivalent of “shoot to stop the threat”?

        • yes it takes at least 2 people to carry a wounded soldier off the battle field and then more to tend their wounds thus raising the costs for the opposing army. If they are ambulant (able to get around under their own steam despite injuries) not so much so however non ambulant it is definitely the case. in the case of those that are ambulant it does still require medics to tend the wounds unless they are quite minor

  16. A childhood friend of mine was German on his mother’s side. His German grandfather helped run the local German cultural club, and at one point the club hired a new cook. It turns out this guy had, in his younger years, served on Hitler’s kitchen staff. My friend said “Opa! You’re eating the fürher’s schnitzel!” His grandfather replied “Ja, das ist gut schnitzel!”

    The point of all this is that schnitzel is not Nazism. Neither are advances in firearms technology. When you consider all the advances from nuclear science to rocketry that were scavenged from Nazi Germany, we’re all eating the fürhrer’s schnitzel.

    • From Operation Paperclip the west, and mostly the US, gained lots of Nazi era commercial and industrial technology. Including chemical technology, metal stamping techniques, as well as weapons and missile technologies.

    • That most American, and delicious, of meals, chicken-fried steak, is a descendant of the Führer’s schnitzel.

      Mmmm. Chicken-fried steak…

  17. I’m proudly a Schmidt on my mom’s side. Deutschland uber alles😄I’m unaware if any relative’s fought or died killing Dumbocrats(they came over in 1913).

  18. I can not remember and can not find it online. Was it not confirmed that the Parkland Shooter used 10 round magazines, in effect showing that magazine limits really do nothing?

  19. I want to know what “$500 conversion device assures customers that a “new drop-in trigger promises to turn your basic AR into a (nearly) full-auto rifle.”

    The link is dead.

    • Its a kit comprised of: Full auto bolt carrier, selector, disconnecter, trigger, hammer, and drop-in auto sear. I think that’s all. Only the auto sear is an NFA part. All the rest can be purchased over the counter.

      • Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? No one is selling auto sears on Craig’s list like the article seems to state. So…liars lie. In other news, water is wet. News at 11.

  20. 5.56mm a “ferociously powerful weapon”? Are you kidding me?
    Obviously, he’s never seen one compared to a 50BMG.

  21. He is 100% correct that it’s illegitimate, just not it the way he thinks. It’s a nutered version to comply with some BS laws.

    Blind commies finding nuts and all that.

  22. Now, that Pickle gun (in 6.5 Creedmoor, of course) is the bomb. Maybe they should be going after that one, instead of underpowered ARs.

  23. I’d like to point out to him that his buddies on the left are the new Nazis, and are exactly the reason why we need weapons such as the AR.

  24. I did not read the Compost article, but went straight to the comments on it. And those are what are scary. So many people that are all about repealing the Second and have zero understanding about anything gun related. Another thing i noticed were how many self-proclaimed “veterans” that are saying “I would happily give up my gun”, or “I shot every gun the army had and the AR is a human killing machine”. TTAG has some over the top comments on occasion, but the Compost comment section is ALL over the top emotionally charged lies from people who have never seen a gun except on the hip of a police officer

    • Another thing i noticed were how many self-proclaimed “veterans” that are saying “I would happily give up my gun”, or “I shot every gun the army had and the AR is a human killing machine”.

      Do you now see why I state that the military and police will have no compunction confiscating guns from us? They never have in history, they won’t the next time.

      • Always remember that the people saying they shot every gun in the world and the AR is more potent than any other rifle…. are OBVIOUSLY LYING! Most likely they’ve never even seen a gun except on the screen.

        • I thought your point was that the military will do whatever they are ordered, and that these people claiming to be ex-military are evidence of that. And I was making the counterpoint that no one on the internet can be trusted, certainly not anonymous comments, unless such remove their anonymous status and pass scrutiny as bona fide.

    • Wapo has a cancerous comments section.

      Those people have no compunction at all over harming gun owners, banning all guns, and rescinding the constitution.

      Fuck em. I no longer consider them fellow citizens, but a threat equal to Russian missiles, Chinese spies, and Islamist head choppers.

  25. Rockets, missiles, stealth planes and space travel are all the results of Nazi scientists…WWII gave us a lot, it took a lot too.

  26. And WaPo was birthed by a female dog!!! If these SOBs want to call somebody Nazi how about the leftist scum who have voted to allow live babies to be killed? Hitler didn’t condone abortion but he did kill the infirm and mentally challenged. People always talk about the 6 million Jews killed, which is true, but he probably killed another 4 million civilians at least by death camps and firing squads. If you don’t get the female dog part watch the “Omen” from the 70s.

  27. The M1 was the inspiration for the STG 44 and all modern select fire weapons because it was the first standard infantry weapon that was an enabler for mobile warfare. The STG 44 was the German counter to the M1 and if you look at their doctrine for the use of select fire it is the same as US doctrine today — semiauto fire for standard fire and automatic for suppression. And the AK uses the Garand rotating bolt design so there!

    Besides, if the STG 44 makes the AR illegitimate because the Nazis developed it we should abandon our missile forces because the Nazis introduced those too. We are free to use turbojets because Frank Whittle invented it and went in to become an American citizen and was chairmen of the Areo Engineering Deptartment at the University of Maryland.

    • Not accurate. The Mondragon Model of 1907 was one of the first semi-autos adopted by a major military(Mexico), wayyyyyy before the M1.

      • What part of standard issue don’t you get? Having something in the inventory does not mean standard issue. By your definition the BAR was the first assault rifle.

        • No BAR could have ever been an “assault rifle” since it lacked an intermediate chambering. If you are going to talk about history you should have a deeper understanding first. Then you wouldn’t make such simple errors.
          The Mondragon was adopted(and issued) but failed in use because of poor quality ammunition. Later, when they were used by Germany, they did prove fragile even with proper ammo. But whether it worked well, or poorly, or not at all, is not relevant as to what inspired what, and what came before(or after) what.
          OBVIOUSLY, the earlier one was more the inspiration, so long as there were people aware of its existence. Nothing from twenty years later could possibly be the “inspiration” for the Mondragon. Duh.
          Feel free to come up with some logical, rational rebuttal, like “I’m always right….or else! UNDERSTAND?”
          You aren’t a sock puppet for .22mag, by any chance, are you? 🙂

  28. “Illegitimate?” I’d say the AR-15 & M16 have been demonstrated as pretty damn legitimate ‘killing machines’ over the years. They are trying to conflate “illegitimate” with “hazardous.” The monumentally *dangerous* (different from “hazardous”) ‘philosophy’ that all hazards in existence must be expunged (so the state may reign supreme & usher in utopia). Something that only cloistered women in ivory towers or their kept men could possibly believe is 1) humanly possible, or 2) beneficial to humans.

    That, or their editor doesn’t speak English as a first language. Given how uniformly white, female, and cloistered the Huffpo editorial board is, I can safely assume Wapo is no different; so I’m gonna go with my initial theory that they are trying to twist and confuse very clear terms of communication for political purposes.

  29. Over 800,000 abortions in the US last year. Prox 17,000 non-suicide gun related fatalities (including justified police or civilian shootings). So, every year the US loses approximately 800,000 who would otherwise be in a specific grade level in school. Figure that as 4 x 800,000 kids that would otherwise be attending high school in any given year- that’s a loss of 3,200,000 high school kids in any given year. This compares to approximately 113 high school kids shot in or near schools (including gang violence near schools after hours) in any given year.

    Gun violence epidemic or abortion epidemic?

  30. The ” object of despairing worry for our democracy ” would be the socialists in our country making up excuses and lies so they can subvert our constitution by eliminating the second amendment one piece at a time. This would be the NAZI influence that they try to impose on an inanimate object.

  31. So do you think they have a bunch of words written peices of paper they pull out of a hat in order to get their scary sounding headlines?

    Or is it something even simpler like some dice with words written on the sides?

    *Shake* *shake* roll!

    I got three Nazi, Killing, and racist. Not quite yatzhee but I can use the wild card slot and still get 50 points.

  32. So very deadly that it is banned in some states for deer hunting as not deadly enough. Even my long bow is acceptable for hunting deer in places where the AR15 is frowned upon. So, I expect a Democratic Party sponsored subsidy on 30-06 ammo to make my practice more affordable. In the meanwhile I am practicing with my 7.62 x 39 mm obsolete Soviet SKS in 10 round stripper clips. (Really, you expect me not to use my M4 in civilian configuration with STANDARD 30 round magazines?)

  33. I say it is time to consider the children and realize how many are being killed by abortion and drugs. And, how many DUIs are marijuana related vs alcohol or marijuana + alcohol and or other mind altering substances. I say every bill to tack on more restrictions on 2A should be connected with provisions for limiting abortion and or marijuana use.

  34. That’s a pretty far reach to compare the ar-15 to the stg-44. Its also dishonest (surprise, surprise) since an entire class of weapons was borne from stg.

    But ma telling half truths advances my viewpoint!!!!!!

  35. So I suppose the AR15s and M4s that Law Enforcement carry are “legitimate killing machines”?

    • The gun runner (guns to mexican gangs) Obama, sent select fire weapons to the nations police departments. So those guns are ok. As far as the Post is concerned.

  36. By that same logic, the F-22 was inspired by WWII Nazi death machines in the sky (ME-262)

  37. I hope the Wa Po is driven into bankruptcy. Just like Gawker was driven into bankruptcy by a law suit. It might take two years but the Covington kids law suit against the paper has plenty of time to come forward.

    • “I hope the Wa Po is driven into bankruptcy.”

      Bezos owns WaPo. Don’t think it can go bankrupt. Bankruptcy means the business ran out of money to operate and/or pay debt. Bezos isn’t going to run out of money.

      • Then he needs to get ready because he will be writing several 200 million dollar checks to those boys. Radio host Howard Stern said the same thing several years ago. He had more money that they, the FCC, could fine him for using curse words on the radio. Well he’s no longer on terrestrial radio. Because he found out that they’re going to keep on finding him until he didn’t have any money left.

        I’ll look forward to several jury trials in the state of Kentucky. The Rednecks here can’t wait to get on a jury to rule in favor of local boys who were smeared by the snot-nosed rich white liberal Eastern pigs.

        We will see if a rich white man like Bezos can afford to lose in court several times totaling over a billion dollars.

        • “Howard Stern said the same thing several years ago. He had more money that they, the FCC, could fine him for using curse words on the radio.”

          As of the beginning of the year, Stern’s net worth was ~$650, 000,000. As of the beginning of the year, Bezos’s net worth is estimated between $135 billion, and $150 billion ($135,000,000,000). Bezos’s net worth is at least 135X that of Stern.

          The Bezos empire generates more daily income than Stern ever can. The Bezos empire keeps expanding; Stern empire does not. If Bezos simply stashed his net worth in cash at 2%/yr, he would generate $2.7b annually. That can absorb an endless fine of $200,000,000 each year, and have enough to purchase Starbucks entirely.

  38. The left demonized smoking by making real and false claims about the product and the smokers themselves were so ashamed they gave into these attacks. For the record, I dont smoke but I believe you should be able to with few restrictions. This same tactic is being used on gun owners, many want to blend into the background and not cause a fuss, but there remains a significant minority willing to stand up to false claims
    regarding firearms and not allow us to be demonized. They will continue to escalate the rhetoric looking for a repeat.

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