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Old December 19, 2012, 06:32 AM   #1
wet
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assault weapon

Could someone tell me exactly what an assault weapon is?
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Old December 19, 2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Any firearm that shall be demonized in an effort to get it banned for its inherent evil nature.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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While it is a term that can be and has been legally defined (unlike "home invasion"), it is not a term the army uses. They also never called anything a main battle rifle, either.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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I always thought assault weapons were guns suitable for military use, with full-auto capability. By that definition, what the public and press are reviling are not assault weapons, but simply semi-automatic rifles that look like military weapons
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:40 AM   #5
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Which definition would you like? There are more than 1, which explains much of the confusion.

Technical description:
"An individual weapon, having selective fire capacity with a detachable high capacity magazine firing an intermediate power cartridge. It sholuld be light enough, & the cartridge powerfull enough to allow for short bursts of controlled full auto fire onto a target out to about 300 yds."
As you can see there are actually very few that meet this spec.

Then there's the current politically motivated revised description:
"Anything we think is scary,or looks anything like those things fitting the description above". Vague definition at best, but it seems features like bayonet lugs, threaded muzzles, detachable high capacity magazines capable of holding hundreds of boolitts that can be fired in bursts of hundreds of rounds a second are part of the description as are things like pistol grips & the infamous "Shoulder thing that goes up"
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:46 AM   #6
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Any rifle or pistol, from the flint lock to the 50 Cal Browning.

To make it an assualt rifle, attach one or more of the three names:

AR

AK

Glock
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:12 AM   #7
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Assault Weapon is not a term generally used by gun owners who are pro-2nd Amendment and fairly knowledgeable about firearms in general. It is a term that is used by various groups seeking to ban guns or impose more restrictions on gun ownership, and often the general public that is not very knowledgeable about various types of firearms, and how they actually work.

It's like labeling a Camaro a "race car"; a Remington 700 30-06 a "sniper rifle"; a large kitchen knife an "assault knife"; or a hammer a "mace".

Guns are usually classified by the way they work, like:

Lever-action / repeaters
Semi-automatic
Bolt Action
Select-Fire (full-auto or semi-auto selectable via a switch)
Single Action, Double Action, Double Action Only
Striker fired / Hammer fired
Revolver
And, when you get into shotguns, they have names describing what type based on their barrel configuration and action type.

So, "assault weapon" is really a very politically weighted phrase used by special interest groups determined to heavily restrict and/or ban guns altogether.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Seems to me an "assault" weapon is one that is adapted to the type of combat wherein an individual or group make an armed assault on a position or positions held by an enemy who are equipped to defend themselves and their position by force of arms. The assaulting individual or team needs weapons that are light, easy to handle and are built to allow a firm one-handed grip (if necessary) while running, jumping and whatever other quick, athletic maneuvers the soldier needs to make in the action; of a caliber that's lethal without having heavy recoil so as to maintain aim or point; is a semi- or full automatic allowing rapid discharges; and with a magazine capacity that is large enough to allow sustained firing before reloading.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:26 AM   #9
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It is a meaningless term. Pay no attention to people who like to use the term. Watch a Cowboy Action Shooting match sometime and see how fast it is possible to cycle a Winchester lever gun. No one would call that an "assault weapon" but it can be pretty effective in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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You can't shoot a lever gun with one hand rapidly while charging someone shooting at you, unless you're in the movies or on TV. Ask the combat people clearing a village what sort of weapon they'd rather have than the ones they do. They got the name "assault" weapon because they were designed to be effective and easy to use when making assaults in combat operations. "Assault" weapon is a nickname, not an official designation, and what it's best suited for can be seen clearly by its configuration.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:39 AM   #11
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a device you can assault someone with. such as a kitchen knife.

At least this would be a literal interpration of course.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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It's whatever Feinstein defines one as.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:48 AM   #13
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A gun that fires sault?
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:49 AM   #14
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Assault weapon = Full Auto M4

Assault style weapon = Semi-Auto rifles, AR15, AK-47

Not my choice of words but what they usually banter around.
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Old December 19, 2012, 10:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
A gun that fires sault?


"Help!! Shots fired.... I've been peppered with sault!!! Eat me!!!"
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:27 PM   #16
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It is a meaningless technical distinction now. As a member of the choir, your important points are:

1. The current guns are not fully auto - that is misunderstood.
2. The counterpoint is that as semis they can hold lots of rounds and fired quickly but not full auto.
3. They are derivatives of military guns or military uses full auto versions of them.
4. Their appearance is viewed negatively.

Arguing that a civilian AR is not dangerous as it is not a technical assault rifle will get you nowhere, as will chortling that someone called a magazine a clip.

The debate is more serious than that.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:41 PM   #17
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I'm afraid I disagree.

Words & the meaning of those words does matter. Part of the chess game being currently played is the re-defining of words, so keping a clear definition is important.

As an example look at the way the term "Assault Rifle" has tranfigured to "Assault Pistol" & then to "Assault Weapon" in the last few decades. That has allowed the anti-gun owners to add large numbers of firearms that were never concidered assault anything into the redefined category created by adjusting the wordage used.

Just a few years ago calling a 1911 pistol an assault weapon was laughable, but no so today. This has allowed things like MD's redefinition of an "Assault weapon" to define a self-loading rifle as a pistol, thus making it a restricted item.

No, we need to rertain clear meanings to words.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Words & the meaning of those words does matter.
Yes, I have been really irritated with the way many seem to be demonizing the term semi-auto as if it was some kind of extraordinary firearm. I know many of the antis know this includes most of the widely use firearms in America, but the average person may not and this makes it easier one day go after even the venerable 1911.
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Old December 19, 2012, 02:33 PM   #19
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I went to this CNN site: http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/898502?hpt=hp_c4

They are asking readers:

"Would your gun fall under the ’94 weapons ban?"
Upload a photo of your gun and share your thoughts on gun control.

This is just the kind of information I'm sure CNN would love to have

But I'm sure as hell not going to provide it.
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Old December 19, 2012, 03:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Any firearm that shall be demonized in an effort to get it banned for its inherent evil nature.
love it.
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Old December 19, 2012, 03:56 PM   #21
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It seems to me that any weapon that's light and easy to carry and handle, that can be firmly held and fired with one hand if necessary, that has enough ammunition on board to be shot many times before needing reload, and is of a lethal but low recoil caliber, qualifies as an "assault" weapon because such a weapon would be the most efficient and effective for such a combat operation. In fact, a weapon with those attributes was designed with exactly that mission as its purpose. We all know what such a weapon will look like, with little variation. Seen one M-16 and you've seen what virtually all other such rifles seek to look like.

Any weapon that is designed to be efficient and effective in a mobile firefight on foot, and meets those design goals - effective and efficient in an assault - qualifies as an "assault" weapon. It's not the name, it's the capabilities that are the issue; calling such a weapon an "assault weapon" only states its intended use.

It's meant to kill quickly, efficiently and accurately for as long as the ammo holds out without pause. It's that easily accessible wholesale lethality that makes it effective in combat, and a horror when turned loose in a theater or a school.
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Old December 19, 2012, 04:14 PM   #22
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An assualt rifle is the figment of the media and anti gunners.
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Old December 19, 2012, 04:34 PM   #23
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I would love for anyone to accurately hold and fire my AR in one hand.

I can't
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:23 PM   #24
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This reminds me of the old rule of debating

"If you're explaining, you're losing"

Right now, we're explaining. The anti's are doing a good job of portraying us as Rambo-wannabe's right now, and a lot of what we've come up with to retort is splitting hairs on definitions and various bumper sticker slogans.

For years they've wanted a conversation on gun control, and if we don't give them one we will cement our reputation as gun nuts. No one takes "gun nuts" seriously except other gun nuts. The Ted Nugent mentality will be our undoing.
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:32 PM   #25
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I only use the term Assault Rifle when talking about real military weapons and not civilian, an AR, AK or whatever is a semi-automatic rifle and nothing more. I can paint up the old family Buick or Chevy to look like a NASCAR racer...but it's still a Buick or Chevy. The term as used in media applies to appearance only and it's still incorrect, but understood by the public so it sticks.
In as much as D-Day isn't really the name of Operation Overlord, D-Day is a military term for the start of an operation...but it's come to mean something specific for the public at large. Every tissue is a Kleenex, every adhesive bandage a Band-Aid...and every semi-auto with black furniture is an assault rifle and high-powered to boot regardless of if it's really a high-powered round, and intermediate round or a rimfire 22 and 1K rounds is a cache of ammo. It's a term that ain't going away, as incorrect as it's use may be.

Quote:
"If you're explaining, you're losing"

Right now, we're explaining. The anti's are doing a good job of portraying us as Rambo-wannabe's right now, and a lot of what we've come up with to retort is splitting hairs on definitions and various bumper sticker slogans.

For years they've wanted a conversation on gun control, and if we don't give them one we will cement our reputation as gun nuts. No one takes "gun nuts" seriously except other gun nuts. The Ted Nugent mentality will be our undoing.
Hardworker, I really like the way you put that. I've felt the same thing for awhile. We're not either letting or getting the true face of hobby/sport across to the general public. The loudest or most outrageous or controversial voices in our community have gotten too much attention for too long, and it's going to be a liability now. But sadly the average guy at the range who doesn't shoot things that blowup or talk to anti-gunners like a petulant child is boring and not likely to make it in the media because no one will pay attention to them. In the battle of hearts and minds we're at a huge disadvantage now and debating terms isn't in our best interest at this moment.
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Last edited by bumnote; December 19, 2012 at 05:43 PM.
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