When most people think of an assault rifle, they think of a rifle that is select fire in the sense of being capable of both semi and full auto fire. This is correct but with the added principle of being based on an intermediate cartridge that is both lightweight and still capable of accurate engagements at the practical distances of 500 yards and under. When initially designed, assault rifles used 7.62×51 NATO, which was merely a step down from the 30-06 and .303 cartridges. The Americans did not want to break away from their cherished high powered ammo that had won them wars in the past. But as time wore on, it became evident that the intermediate cartridge offered substantial benefits for the average soldier with few drawbacks. Without getting into the specifics of ballistics and terminal effects, let us just agree that the assault rifle shifted to being defined as a select fire platform that fires an intermediate cartridge.

assault rifle

 

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