Question About Firearms
#1


Can someone explain to me what the typical, misguided journalist means by the term "assault rifle" and how it is misused?  I know that my fellow Second Amendment supporters are annoyed by how "assault rifle" is misused, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about guns to know what the deal is...

Thanks, guys!
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#2
When they say "assault rifle", they actually mean "assault weapon". 

An assault rifle is a firearm capable of automatic fire that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine with an effective range of approx 300 meters.  These are assault rifles:

AK-47
[Image: 120px-AK-47_type_II_Part_DM-ST-89-01131.jpg]

SA-80
[Image: 120px-SA-80_rifle_1996.jpg]

TAR-21
[Image: 120px-IWI-Tavor-TAR-21w1.jpg]

In other words, military hardware.

An "assault weapon", on the other hand, is a political term.  An "assult weapon" is defined as a firearm capible of semi-automatic fire that posses two or more of the following cosmetic features:
  • detachable magazine
  • pistol-style grip
  • folding or telescoping stock
  • threaded barrel
  • rotating shotgun cylinder
  • bayonet lug
  • flash suppressor

These are all "assault weapons":

M-1
[Image: 300px-Garand.jpg]

Remington 1100 Tactical
[Image: 300px-Remington_1100_Tactical_8_Rounds.jpg]

SKS
[Image: 300px-SKS_Flickr.jpg]

In other words, glorified deer rifles and duck guns.
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#3
The M1 is a battle rifle, but I guess it qualifies.

In the US for a citizens to purchase an automatic rifle there are tons of fees and background checks required. It's extremely highly regulated. It costs a ton of money. Usually civilian versions of assault rifles are stripped of their automatic capabilities and are just made semi-auto only. Although, I'm sure there are a decent amount of illegal automatic weapons as well as people who modify their rifles to add back the automatic capabilities.

There are also tons of old battle rifles that were semi-auto only (such as the M1 Garand). Automatic rifles really began to appear during WWII and gained popularity after WWII.  The US for example still used the M1 until Vietnam when they switched to the M16 (with the A1 being full auto and the future A2 being burst fire). The Russians of course had their famous AK-47 which was created in 1947.

One of the big deals about assault and battle rifles compared to a pistol or submachine gun is that they fire much larger rounds of ammunition. To give you an idea:
The 9mm (8th from right) is probably what most pistols fire. Two left of that is a .45 ACP is another pistol round, it has much more stopping power, many police forces use it. .45 colt, .44 mag, .357 mag, .38 special are ones that the really big pistols and revolvers fire.
On the left grouping you see the rifle rounds.  The one that says .223 (2nd from the right in the left grouping) is the 5.56x45mm, this is what the M16/M4 (used by the US military) uses. The Russian AK-47 is the one right next to it (7.62x39mm), a bit fatter. The ones that are even larger (like .300 Magnum or .50 cal) are typically sniper or machine gun rounds.
[Image: Bulletcollection.jpg]

In any sense, assault weapon seems like more of a catch all type of term used for many different types of rifles.
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#4
As a total I-know-nothing-about-guns person, my understanding of the use of the term "assault weapon" and "assault rifle" as used in the media (and in politics) refers to any weapon that has a separate gun magazine that can quickly changed out, substantially increasing the number of rounds available to be shot off in a very short amount of time. I think that's fundamentally the issue when we're talking about the damage these types of weapons can do. Something that doesn't have an interchangable clip or magazine but that would need to be manually loaded would slow down the number of rounds fired off, so in theory less people would get killed.

I know from reading the previous posts that may not be what those terms technically mean, but in common usage that seems to be what they're talking about.

I don't really have a strong feeling about guns one way or another these days, but y'all gotta do something down there. It's insane the number of mass shootings you have.
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#5
(12-08-2015, 01:07 AM)PrairieMom Wrote: I don't really have a strong feeling about guns one way or another these days, but y'all gotta do something down there. It's insane the number of mass shootings you have.

Agreed. It's crazy how many shootings are taking place in the States.
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#6
Well, even pistols have magazines that can be reloaded extremely quickly. Very few modern weapons don't use magazines.

The definitions in that earlier post cover a huge percentage of guns. It says two or more, but I'm sure you can fit pretty much any kind of gun except pistols and hunting rifles into that categorization.
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#7
(12-08-2015, 09:24 AM)GangGreen Wrote: Well, even pistols have magazines that can be reloaded extremely quickly. Very few modern weapons don't use magazines.

The definitions in that earlier post cover a huge percentage of guns. It says two or more, but I'm sure you can fit pretty much any kind of gun except pistols and hunting rifles into that categorization.

Well, and maybe that's why in Canada it's mostly pistols and hunting rifles you see in private possession. Hunting rifles are very common, but even a regular pistol is quite hard to legally obtain. Any multi-magazine gun is pretty much black market (usually smuggled from the US) or law enforcement.
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#8
why is the remington 100 included up there?
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#9
(12-08-2015, 03:53 AM)Share Love Wrote:
(12-08-2015, 01:07 AM)PrairieMom Wrote: I don't really have a strong feeling about guns one way or another these days, but y'all gotta do something down there. It's insane the number of mass shootings you have.

Agreed. It's crazy how many shootings are taking place in the States.

Hmmm.....
[Image: Frequency-of-Mass-Public-Shootings.png]

While the attack in San Bernardino was carried out using (apparently legally acquired) firearms instead of hand grenades or IED's, it was a terrorist attack used to further a religious ideology and not a mass shooting by someone the likes of James Holmes.  While the result, dead people, is the same, they are not essentially they same kind of act.
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#10
(12-08-2015, 09:24 AM)GangGreen Wrote: Well, even pistols have magazines that can be reloaded extremely quickly. Very few modern weapons don't use magazines.

The definitions in that earlier post cover a huge percentage of guns. It says two or more, but I'm sure you can fit pretty much any kind of gun except pistols and hunting rifles into that categorization.

That's exactly the point.  The term "assault weapon" is a scare tactic, often used by those who are simply trying to elicit a negative reaction to private gun ownership.  It's a dishonest term because what it means when a politician utters it isn't what the man on the street thinks it means at all.
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