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Assault Rifles

 
 

The mainstay of any armoury is the assault rifle of which there are roughly three sub-types.  The Battle Carbine, The Assault Rifle and The Battle Rifle.

The First is a low-calibre weapon with light recoil and high accuracy. The M-16 and L85 are generally considered in this category, but is often classed as an assault rifle for machismo reasoning.

The second is a high-caliber weapon with a medium to heavy recoil and medium accuracy. AK-47 are firmly in this category.

The Third is similar to the first and second but has a lower rate of fire and is more accurate. The FN FAL and G3 are of this type of assault rifle.

It should be noted that Assault Rifles are typically select-fire weapons as a rule.

Origin’s of the Assault Rifle

Since the twilight of world-war 2 it has evolved into the main weapon used by military’s around the world.  It’s origin’s were from the last years of the 30 year war (aka WW2).

The First Assault Rifle

Prior to the assault-rifle a soldier typically either had a bolt-action rifle or submachine-gun for fighting with.  One had the punch and long-range, the other had a swift and deadly rate of fire.   Fixed emplacement machine-guns, even the more portable, lighter ones like the British Bren Gun were too heavy for fast-flowing combat and individual fighting. 

A platform that could combine both would potentially make a war-winning weapon.  It was the German weapon’s guru’s that came up with the first assault rifle, the Stg 44 also known as an MP44.  An earlier predecessor worthy of note was the FG 42, but this was a paratrooper-only weapon, which fired a full-powered rifle cartridge.  The result was it was much more difficult to control on full auto and only had a 20 round capacity.

MP44

It was the MP 44 that went on to make history. Secretly produced under the trappings of a Machine-Pistol (Hitler was strangely not keen on reinventing the slow-firing rifle) it was smuggled out to the Eastern Front.  The trials were a success, It fired a ‘short’ bullet similar to a submachine gun but at the higher velocity of a rifle round.  The result was the assault rifle.  Only slightly less range than the Mauser bolt-action rifle but it was semi-automatic as well as full-auto.  Using a gas-impinged recoil assembly it was a true Germanic-innovation of weaponry.  It was also reliable, even in the freezing condition’s of Russia and looked the part with a curved hi-capacity magazine. 

The German forces were impressed and the Russians were confounded and struggled to cope with the new hail of accurate gun-fire.  Up till then the PPsh-41 was often enjoying a force-multiplier over the German’s freeze-prone MP-40, now at least there was something to answer back with.  
In the end though the wonder-weapon of the Stermgehwer (Storm Rifle) was not enough for victory.  Too little against too many. 

Yet the assault rifle was born.

After the end of the war the allied-powers copied the design and many of the weapons we know of now have their origins with this type of weapon along with AK-47.

 
  Types of Assault Rifle & Battle Rifle  
  MP-44 SKS  
  FG 42 AK-47  
  M-16 Galil  
  FN FAL AN - 94  
  M-14 Chinese Type 85  
  HK G3  
Steryr Aug    
  Enfield L85    
  FAMAS    
  SCAR    

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