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Old January 16, 2007, 08:29 PM   #19
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 22,436

Basically, no matter what the design (other than open bolt fixed firing pin), the difference involves how the disconnector functions. The disconnector is the piece which functions to keep the gun from firing out of battery. On semi auto guns, the trigger stays disconnected until released, then it resets. On select fires guns in the auto mode, the disconnector releases when the gun return to battery, and since the trigger is still pulled, the gun fires.
Different designs do this in different ways, but this is the principle.

Open bolt guns function differently. The bolt is held to the rear until the trigger is pulled, then goes forward, chambering a round and firing it. This cycle repeats until the trigger is released, then the bolt is caught in the rear position. Most SMGs and many belt fed guns use a variation of this system.

The AR 15 has undergone an "evolution" in it's internal parts since it first came out. Original Ar-15s had the same internal parts as the M16 rifle, except the auto sear was not installed. Over the years, the design has been changed so that none of the current AR fire control parts are the same as the M16's. There have in fact been people arrested and taken to court for having one of the M16 parts in their rifle. The Feds said that was a machine gun. They have no sense of humor. The AR will not function full auto unless all the fire control parts are the correct ones for full auto fire. An M16 hammer will not let the gun fire full auto, but the Feds don't seem to care. They will prosecute any way. Some people have even been prosecuted for talking about it. It is a wonderful thing to live in a free country. I wonder where that might be?
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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