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Old January 21, 2021, 08:23 PM   #51
mehavey
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If you define things by their use you get one (rather broad) set of definitions.
I absolutely do. But in this case -- general issue for general use across the broadest spectrum of the soldier requirment in the battlefield.

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If you define things by their characteristics (as usually done) you get another.
Not when such terms are now being used in playing words games.

"The "right rounds" are irrelevant.
They M4/variants are our current Battle Rifles.
The others mentioned here as having the "right" rounds are in fact relegated to use as special-purpose weapons
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Old January 22, 2021, 09:28 AM   #52
Willie Lowman
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If you people are going to call the M4 a battle rifle, I'm going to start calling my magazines clips.
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Old January 22, 2021, 09:43 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
I absolutely do. But in this case -- general issue for general use across the broadest spectrum of the soldier requirment in the battlefield.

Not when such terms are now being used in playing words games.

"The "right rounds" are irrelevant.
They M4/variants are our current Battle Rifles.
The others mentioned here as having the "right" rounds are in fact relegated to use as special-purpose weapons
Battle Rifle;
-full sized arm as opposed to carbine
-full powered cartridge (30-06, .303, .308, 8X57, etc)
-may or may not be select fire
-fires from a locked breech
-early examples of the breed may not feature a detachable box magazine
examples are M1 Garand, FN-FAL, M14, G3 HK91, SMLE, Mausers, 03-A3, etc.

Assault Rifle; the term was indeed coined by Adolf Hitler (not CNN ) when he first saw the Sturmgewehr or "storm gun" even after he openly opposed the concept.
-carbine sized
-select fire (to replace the submachine gun)
-fires from a locked breech
-utilizes an intermediate-powered cartridge (7.62X39, .556, 7.92X32 Kurz, etc)
-utilizes a large capacity box magazine
-M16, AK47, Galil, etc.

Last edited by JJ45; January 22, 2021 at 09:59 AM.
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Old January 22, 2021, 10:28 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by JJ45 View Post
Battle Rifle;
-full sized arm as opposed to carbine
-full powered cartridge (30-06, .303, .308, 8X57, etc)
-may or may not be select fire
-fires from a locked breech
-early examples of the breed may not feature a detachable box magazine
examples are M1 Garand, FN-FAL, M14, G3 HK91, SMLE, Mausers, 03-A3, etc.

Assault Rifle; the term was indeed coined by Adolf Hitler (not CNN ) when he first saw the Sturmgewehr or "storm gun" even after he openly opposed the concept.
-carbine sized
-select fire (to replace the submachine gun)
-fires from a locked breech
-utilizes an intermediate-powered cartridge (7.62X39, .556, 7.92X32 Kurz, etc)
-utilizes a large capacity box magazine
-M16, AK47, Galil, etc.
"Battle" Rifle = an ambiguous term.
"Assault" Rifle = an ambiguous term.
Despite people trying to force an exact meaning to them. How about we use the term, "War" rifle?
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Old January 22, 2021, 02:01 PM   #55
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Wow what a fascinating discussion guys. Thank you very much to those of you that have actually served in combat. I never have and can't even imagine!
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Old January 22, 2021, 02:30 PM   #56
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Battle rifle and assault rifle are real terms with meanings.

They have been in use for years. How have you people not known this.

A battle rifle fires a full power, usually 30 caliber bullet.

An assault rifle is select fire and fires an intermediary caliber. Like 5.56 or 5.45 mm
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Old January 22, 2021, 02:36 PM   #57
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How about we use the term, "War" rifle?
Ok, define it...

Battle Rifle and Assault Rifle are general classifications, which have been in use and generally understood in the firearms community since WWII. They are not legal definitions found in law, they are common use terms, and there are firearms that are exceptions to either group.

There are no Assault Rifles under US law. There are no Battle rifles. There are no SubMachineguns. There are rifles, pistols and shotguns. If it fires full auto, it is a machinegun. US law doesn't generally break them down any further than that. (yes there are a couple of other legal categories, AOW and Destructive devices, but lets leave them aside for now, as they really aren't on topic for this discussion)

SO, Battle rifle and assault rifle are convenience terms created and used by the firearms community in general. They have generally understood definitions and applications. If you disagree with those, find them too ambiguous and wish to use your own terms and your own definitions, you are free to do so. Please do us the courtesy of clearly defining them so we understand what you are talking about.

The evolution of rifles in combat (by what ever term you choose to call them) begins in the flintlock era. Combat use of rifles by colonists in the Revolution is the most famous and widely known but there were, in fact, British and other European powers that had rifle equipped troops before that, and after. They weren't mainline infantry, those were equipped with muskets. The usual use of rifle armed troops was a scouts and skirmishers.

This general pattern existed until the era of the Civil War, with caplocks replacing flintlocks on the way. The advent of the Minnie' bullet turned rifled barrels into something of greater military benefit, and muskets became rifled muskets and then rifles, as the standard infantry arm.

Cartridge firing breechloaders were the next evolutionary step, single shots at first, eventually giving way to repeaters, generally bolt actions, though some nations retained the single shot rifles longer than others.

Bolt action repeaters became the general standard infantry arm in the 1890s and continued that domination until the 1940s and WWII. Every major combatant in WWII fielded bolt action rifles as standard infantry rifles.

The US nearly replaced the bolt action during WWII with the M1 Garand semi auto and the M1 Carbine but there were still entire units fielding the 1903 Springfield at the end of WWII.

We fought in Korea with the M1 Garand and carbine being the primary infantry rifles. In the early 60s the US adopted the M16 as its primary infantry rifle. And we are still using a variant of that design as our primary infantry arm today.
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Old January 23, 2021, 06:31 AM   #58
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And further more, I posted the technical or text book definitions of Battle and Assault rifles but what is an AR?

I always thought AR stood for Armalite

not assault rifle
not automatic rifle
not even Armalite rifle

add the 15 in there please and you have AR15...as in the "bank robbers were armed with AR15s" or "the shooter had an AR15 in his car" etc. When these sensationalist, fake news bozos have absolutely NO idea what a real AR15 is!

It really goes something like this- Armalite, which was a division of General Dynamics sold the rights to the AR15 to Colt, hence the M16
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Old January 23, 2021, 09:39 AM   #59
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I maintain...

The M16/4 is our battle rifle -- de facto.

Saying anything else is akin to telling the veterans of the Indian Wars that the REAL battle rifle was the larger caliber 58 Springfield and not their 'reduced caliber' 45-70 trap door.

Or the WW-1 vet that his 30-caliber '03 Springfield wasn't a real battle rifle, the 45-70 was.

The 5.56/Stoner-design is -- in fact -- our current battle rifle. Designed for and effectively used it -- all practical ranges for all practical purposes for the common infantryman in deserts, fields, cities, barrooms ... every where for every thing.

The "battle" rifle defined so precisely, technically and eloquently in gun mags and wiki articles doesn't have that role anymore.
It's either an anachronism (I have several), or a specialty weapon in the hands of specialty troopers.


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Old January 23, 2021, 11:01 AM   #60
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I prefer the terms "issued" or "substitute standard" or "official". In WWI our "official" rifle was the M1903, the M1917 was the "substitute standard" and was more widely issued. The British fought WWII with the SMLE/No. 1 Mk. III and the No. 4 Mk. I, in 1940 the French had the Lebel and the M1907/15. Few of the MAS M1936s saw action.
You could argue that the term "assault rifle" is a misnomer since by the time it was issued the Germans were fighting steadily on the defensive and being pushed back.
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Old January 23, 2021, 11:46 AM   #61
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You could argue that the term "assault rifle" is a misnomer since by the time it was issued the Germans were fighting steadily on the defensive and being pushed back.
Vell, if Der Fuehrer vants to call it a Sturmgewehr it is just fine with me.
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Old January 23, 2021, 02:38 PM   #62
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> I assume the horizontal butt stroke is still acceptable against unruly wounded prisoners, right?

The Russian militia still use it, anyway. A friend was in Stalingrad(*) a few years ago, in line to see one of the war museums, when some "youth" were cutting up and shooting off their mouths. People found that disrespectful. A couple of militia guys moved in, tuned them up with the butts of their AKs, and the visitors just stepped over them as the line moved forward.

[*] it was Tsaritsyn until 1925, and Volgograd after 1961, but nobody pays attention to that. The residents, like the rest of Russia and the world, refer to the city by the name it earned in blood
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Old January 23, 2021, 03:51 PM   #63
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The "battle" rifle defined so precisely, technically and eloquently in gun mags and wiki articles doesn't have that role anymore.
No, it doesn't have that role anymore, but it DID. And therefore is deserving of the name, and keeping it.

Quote:
Saying anything else is akin to telling the veterans of the Indian Wars that the REAL battle rifle was the larger caliber 58 Springfield and not their 'reduced caliber' 45-70 trap door.

Or the WW-1 vet that his 30-caliber '03 Springfield wasn't a real battle rifle, the 45-70 was.
I don't see the logic in this statement, sorry.

Battle Rifle and Assault Rifle are defined classes, defined by their physical characteristics, not their use.

Quote:
The 5.56/Stoner-design is -- in fact -- our current battle rifle.
Again, I disagree with your terminology. The M16/M4 series is our current SERVICE RIFLE. It is an Assault Rifle .

Quote:
Designed for and effectively used it -- all practical ranges for all practical purposes for the common infantryman in deserts, fields, cities, barrooms ... every where for every thing.
The original intent of the designer, and the uses to which developments of their designs are put can be very different things. Stoner worked for a division of Fairchild Aircraft and the AR 15 was created as a technical exercise, a test bed to use aircraft alloys and "plastics" (fiberglass) and see how light they could make it, and how well things worked and held up. Early prototypes (not looking much like the M16) got the weight down to around 4lbs and were in .222 Rem. Further development led to a rifle we would more easily recognize as the AR 15 we know today.

It was not made to be, or initially marketed as an infantry rifle. When the Air Force lost Army support for their M1 carbines Gen LeMay needed a replacement. He was introduced to the AR and got interested in it as a carbine replacement for his security forces. This got other people looking at it, and led to further development, the 5.56mm cartridge, and ultimately the MacNamara defense dept. fiat that it would be the standard infantry rifle.

Quote:
I always thought AR stood for Armalite
It does. It is part of the company's model designation, you find it as part of the name of their guns. AR-7 was a .22LR "survival rifle" the AR-10, AR-15, AR-180, and their little known AR-17 12 ga shotgun.

Its the first two letter of Armalite and it stands for the company name, nothing else.

Quote:
You could argue that the term "assault rifle" is a misnomer since by the time it was issued the Germans were fighting steadily on the defensive and being pushed back.
I suggest you research the Battle of the Bulge, where the Sturmgewhr most certainly saw use in the assault role. There were other, lesser well known German assaults late in the war, Nordwind in the Alsace and the drive to lake Balaton in Hungary in 45...Don't know off the top of my head if the Sturmgewhr was involved in those or not, but its likely small numbers were. The fact that none of the late war German assaults were enduringly successful leads to the general idea there were none, but there were, and each of them was initially successful, though none were able to secure and hold their objectives.
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Old January 23, 2021, 04:02 PM   #64
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Not so w/ St Petersburg.
The Russians wanted their heritage back.
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Old January 23, 2021, 04:07 PM   #65
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No, it doesn't have that role anymore, but it DID. And therefore is deserving of the name, and keeping it.
Nope. No more than the '61 Springfield, the 45-70 Springfield, or the the '03 Springfield. All relegated to their past roles.

The 5.56/M16/4 has been our Main Battle Rifle for longer than ANY of those -- including the Garand and the M14 -- more than a half Century.

It now wears the MBR Jersey.
...deservedly so.
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Old January 23, 2021, 08:26 PM   #66
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"Assault rifle"-basically just a label, lets Ordnance and supply people know it requires a different type of ammunition. Many British army units retained the title of "Grenadiers" for one of their elite companies long after grenades ceased being issued, many of the German Army units established in late 1944 were designated Volksgrenadier-"People's Grenadiers"-as a morale builder. The M-1 "Carbine"-we had no carbines since the Krag was taken out of service-less confusing than "light rifle." The M-2 Carbine-qualifies as an "assault rifle",no ?
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Old January 23, 2021, 09:34 PM   #67
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Yes, its just a label, a convenient way to classify similar items in a group based on their similarities.

The US M2 carbine falls in the assault rifle group by having both the 2 necessary defining features, select fire and an intermediate power cartridge.
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Old January 24, 2021, 04:50 AM   #68
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Funny thing I thought about...The Flintlock mechanism was in use for about two centuries! Longer than any other! Preceded by the match-lock types and followed by cap-lock then breech loaders, etc.

Of course, there were variants, but the Brown Bess type, a smooth bore, was prevalent during Colonial times including the French and Indian Wars, The Revolution and flintlock rifles saw action during the war of 1812.

A favorite load in the Bess was "buck and ball", of course it varied, but a heavy ball with three 30 caliber buck shot balls was normal. Only effective at short range.

Was the Bess a Battle or Assault weapon?
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Old January 24, 2021, 02:22 PM   #69
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Was the Bess a Battle or Assault weapon?
Not sure what you would put in a group called "Battle Weapon" other than it sounds open to about everything not already covered by some other group designation.

I can tell you what it's not...
Its not a rifle. So it doesn't fit in any group name with "rifle" in the title.

And, its not an Assault Weapon...

Since 1994 the US has had a legal definition of Assault Weapon, and that covers SEMIAUTOMATIC rifles, pistols and shotguns, which meet the requirements of the law by having certain specific listed features. No single shot, no manually operated repeater, and NO SELECT FIRE OR FULL AUTO firearms are legally "Assault Weapons". ONLY certain specific SEMI AUTOS.

The Federal law with this definition sunset in 2004, but several states retained their own versions, and indeed, have added to them, since.

The Brown Bess (which is a nickname for a series of Tower Muskets) was the issue service arm of the Crown for a long time.

And, speaking of time of service, it amuses me that some folks seem to think time/length of service use has something to do with the quality of the weapon or its design, alone. It doesn't. The arm's design is just one factor among many, and rarely the dominant one.

The military wants the "best" ships, best planes, best tanks, best guns(cannon/artillery), because those major systems have significant impact on the ability to win battles, but has never pushed for the "best" small arms, because small arms, rarely have that same effect or to the same degree.
(and sometimes what the military considers the "best" are not the best designs possible.) There are many, many factors involved.

Small arms need to be "good enough" they don't need to be the "best" possible only good enough to accomplish the mission. Its nice when you can get and use the best, but if you get "good enough", you don't need the "best", and the people making those decisions are generally not the ones getting shot at. Generally they are civilians in govt. and high ranking military brass. Not line troops or their immediate commanders.

History is full of examples where something other than the best possible was chosen, because it would be good enough. Money plays a big part in that.
And, so does the intended use. Major wars often show how pre-war doctrine is inadequate and outmoded. Actual combat points out flaws like nothing else. Things that seem sensible and look like good ideas in peacetime often come up woefully short in actual combat.

Had the Garand rifle with a detachable box magazine in .276 Pedersen been adopted, I've no doubt history would have sung its praises and likely Patton would have called THAT "the best combat implement ever made". We chose not to adopt it, because of economic reasons, primarily. All the money invested in .30-06, AND the perception of the leadership of the times meant we didn't go with the .276 round, even though it had benefits over the 06 in some ways.

The M14 rifle often gets criticism because of its short service life. Focused on the rifle, and ignoring the fact that it was a political decision that removed it from service and replaced it with the M16.

These are just a couple of examples there are many, many others.
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