Talk:Assault rifle

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False Naming; "Assault rifle"[edit]

There is no such thing as an “Assault Rifle”.

“AR” comes from Armalite, Inc; “Armalite Rifle”

Armalite/Fairchild/Colt built rifles for the military an designated them using the letters “AR-xx” representing an Armalite Rifle model xx.

“Assault rife” should be removed from Wikipedia.

VJS Vjsimone (talk) 17:23, 18 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article is full of citations from reliable published sources that disagree with the assertion that "There is no such thing as an 'Assault Rifle'." BilCat (talk) 17:38, 18 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, for cryin' out loud—it's a descriptive term, not a trademark. And, yeah, BilCat is right: there is such a thing as an "assault rifle". I see them all the time, too, especially in the hands of military personnel. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 18:56, 18 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Vjsimone: Perhaps what you meant is that the "AR" in "AR-15" does not stand for "assault rifle" and that an AR-15 is not an assault rifle. I'd agree with you there, but not with your main assertion. North8000 (talk) 19:12, 18 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would actually agree that there isn't really a thing that is an assault rifle, but the article is necessary because there seems to be a political motivation to label any rifle more modern than a musket as an "assault rifle." that being said, I think there needs be a segment in the article regarding the over labeling of assault rifles. Especially since in states like California there are attempts at legislation that would make the lever action Marlin I use for hunting an "assault rifle." the definition has become so political that it needs to be addressed 2601:246:5680:E670:14BD:C0A9:CC57:A9EE (talk) 00:58, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The political usage is already covered at Assault weapon. Both terms are often conflated with each other, but "assault rifle" is a legitimate military term that is over 75 years old. BilCat (talk) 01:05, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think the "assault rifle" is supposed to refer to German Sturmgevehr where the "gevehr" part means "rifle"; and the "sturm" is translated as "assault".

Pre-Sturmgevehr 6.5mm guns[edit]

Literally the Fedorov Avtomat. Also, the XIX century invention of Cei-Rigotti. Those were literally the XM7 rifle-tier "assaulties" in terms of 6.5mm caliber and 5 centimeters long rounds. I mean, the Russian gun, "the avtomat before there even were avtomats" wasn't any heaver than a "tactical"-decorated modern assault rifle: 11 lb loaded or under 9.7 lb unloaded. And the Italian curio was superleggera in that regard: it had the weight of 4.3 kg (9.5 lb). Профессор кислых щей (talk) 16:04, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Back and forth on "selective fire" vs. "fully automatic"[edit]

Selective fire means capable of fully automatic. So technically "selective fire" is the best. But "fully automatic-capable" of "capable of fully automatic fir" would probably communicate that better for most readers. North8000 (talk) 16:49, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both the Britannica and U.S. Army reference (and probably a bunch of others if you really want to go through them) explain that it must be capable of selective fire. If you want to explain what selective fire actually means in the lede, then that's one thing, but replacing selective fire with automatic fire is not staying true to what the actual sources say. Loafiewa (talk) 16:55, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll also add that the IP claims that calling it selective-fire goes against the "Oxford definition", when in actuality, Oxford also defines an assault rifle as being select-fire.[1] Loafiewa (talk) 17:10, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We bluelink select fire in the lead sentence. No need to gum up the intro with unnecessary explanation; the lead should be tightly written. VQuakr (talk) 17:27, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It should be noted that bluelink (wikilinking) is not considered a substitute for parenthetic explanations per MOS:JARGON. Terms should be understandable for a general reader without having to follow a bluelink - especially in a lead. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 18:29, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not jargon though, and is of course understandable to a general reader. VQuakr (talk) 18:40, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"selective fire" would mean nothing to an average reader - could mean it can shoot different objects? - could mean it shoots different types of ammunition? It is jargon, you would have to be in the gun world to actually know what it means. Drilling down through all the articles linked gives a definition of: "An assault rifle is a weapon that automatically reloads magazine-fed rounds and is capable of single, burst, or continuous fire." Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 23:58, 25 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You would have to switch "weapon" to "rifle" and mention the intermediate cartridge, or the definition would cover many weapons that are not assault rifles. Sjö (talk)
Something like:

"An assault rifle is a rifle that automatically reloads magazine-fed, intermediate cartridges and is capable of single, burst, or continuous fire"

? In general, I agree with those above that are saying that some explication of "select fire" would be an improvement. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 15:01, 26 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see how the "automatically reloads" phrasing addresses any issue raised here and it's certainly not an improvement. Status quo is superior. VQuakr (talk) 15:21, 26 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about "An assault rifle is a rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine and is capable of single, burst, or continuous fire."? Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 15:39, 26 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to clarify, "automatically reloads" is part of the definition of every mode of selective fire - it was there because that is the definition that was being linked (for better or worse). It can be dropped out and Firefangledfeathers version sounds good. Should be noted "military rifle" is also part of the basic definition (in citation #1). Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 21:21, 26 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are automatic weapons "functionally illegal in the U.S. for civilian use"?[edit]

@VQuakr: Since automatic weapons made before 1986 are still legally available to anyone who can afford them, I don't think this is an accurate statement. Smyth (talk) 17:41, 27 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Functionally illegal, since full auto is pre-1986 only and from a finite supply the cheapest are running like $20k. VQuakr (talk) 18:15, 27 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also need an extraordinary permit that >99.9% don't have. North8000 (talk) 20:09, 27 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Annoyingly expensive" is not the same thing as "functionally illegal". Is a $20k car "functionally illegal"?
As for the permit issue, "annoyingly bureaucratic" isn't the same thing as "functionally illegal" either. The phrase would be accurate if it's impossible in practice to get a permit, like a concealed carry permit in Los Angeles. But I don't believe that's the case for an NFA permit. If you disagree, you can add a citation to the article (WP:BURDEN). But I think this whole issue is irrelevant to the article anyway, and it would be clearer if the text was just removed. Smyth (talk) 22:39, 27 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that it's very important but perhaps the situation it could be detailed instead of trying to describe it in two words.North8000 (talk) 02:08, 28 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about "very heavily restricted"? And that's just federal law, they're illegal to possess in some states. Mudwater (Talk) 10:30, 28 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, how about this: Like all automatic firearms, assault rifles are heavily restricted in the U.S. However, the term is often conflated with "assault weapon", a legal category with a varying definition which includes many semi-automatic weapons. Smyth (talk) 11:16, 28 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the "often conflated with" clarity part because that is an area of mass confusion, some of it deliberately promulgated. On the exact question at hand, I think that even better would be to provide the specifics. I don't know them well enough to draft something, but something on the order of. "requirements and scarcity make legal civilian ownership of assault rifles extremely difficult, expensive and rare in the US. Ownership is limited to pre-1986 versions. The resultant scarcity causes even the most economical types to cost upwards of $20,000. Ownership also requires having a rare XYX permit which requires $xxxx, xxxx and xxxx." North8000 (talk) 12:11, 28 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would remove that sentence or change it to point to the assault weapons topic later in the article ("For the differences between AW and AR see [section name]"). The vague term "functionally illegal" is poor and should be removed. Springee (talk) 12:13, 28 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no need for the article to have two separate discussions of the assault weapon / assault rifle distinction, so I've merged them into one. This also touches on the possible confusion over the term "machine gun", which includes all automatic weapons under the US legal definition, but not under other definitions including the one in the Wikipedia article of the same name.
The "assault rifle" article has a worldwide scope, so I don't think it's the right place to go into detail about exactly how difficult it is to own one in the US. It's enough to give a one-sentence summary and a link to the articles on the relevant laws, which cover all the above details about licensing, cost, and more. Smyth (talk) 14:55, 29 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks good; thanks! VQuakr (talk) 19:35, 30 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Smyth: Combining the two sets of text is a good idea. But now it might be harder for readers to notice that paragraph. I'm thinking that many American readers will be coming here looking for information about assault weapons, not realizing that those are different from assault rifles, and not see the article hatnote. So, I'm going to put back the section header, "Distinction from assault weapons", to make that paragraph easier to notice. Mudwater (Talk) 23:13, 30 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We don't need a dedicated section header for a single short paragraph saying what the subject isn't, especially since it's redundant with the hatnote. @Mudwater and North8000: thoughts? VQuakr (talk) 16:06, 31 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's important is the explanatory material in this area which perhaps the one most people come to this page to learn. Then it's just a matter of an appropriate sub-heading for the material. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:06, 31 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I highly doubt that's the case. And we already have a filter for people who reached the wrong page with our usual approach, which is a hatnote. VQuakr (talk) 18:14, 31 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's a huge amount of confusion between assault rifles and assault weapons. This article should make it very obvious that those are two different things. The section header is needed to help with that. If anything, the new, combined section could be expanded somewhat to explain the difference at greater length. Mudwater (Talk) 22:39, 31 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conflicting accounts regarding Hugo Schmeisser[edit]

I'd like to recommend an edit of the portion regarding the development of the AK-47.

The only listed source for the claim regarding Hugo Schmeisser's involvement with the development of the AK-47 is a very short and uncited article that makes an off hand mention about Schmeisser's possible involvement, while both the articles for Hugo Schmeisser himself, and the AK-47, have cited histories stating that his involvement was never explicit, and that he may very well have never worked on the design directly or at all. The wording of this section is also very strange, and reads as though to imply Mikhail Kalashnikov only worked on the later variants. The latter may just be a poorly executed edit, but the assertive claim that Hugo Schmeisser worked on the AK-47 seems to directly contradict his wiki and the wiki for the rifle itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Technotuna42 (talkcontribs) 15:11, 12 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think there is a bunch of weak circumstantial things to point at: the 7.92x33 vs the 7.62x39, the "ribbed" 30-round magazines and maybe that huge front sight. But then again, the Schmeisser's involvement could have happened somewhere after the 1947 design and the 1949 adoption of the AK-47.


Select fire weapons vs fully automatic weapons[edit]

Select fire usually has safe, semi-automatic or burst options...whereas the fully automatic is ..well, fully automatic.

Even though there is literally no such thing as an assault rifle--the "AR" simply stands for "Armalite Rifle" for the inventor of that specific weapon system. The term "assault rifle" is made up and is used by those who have no idea what they are speaking about.

Just like how the AK refers to Avtomát Kaláshnikova. An automatic weapon (with no selection option for any other firing mode up until the SK models to which they were given the select option for semi-auto, auto, or safety.

The first ever Armalite Rifle (M-16) didn't have a selector option for semi, or burst. It was automatic or it was on safe.

166.182.253.97 (talk) 06:50, 4 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Assault rifle" is a valid term for the military rifle, and a term that has been in use for a long time. Assault rifle, the term for a type of military rifle is often conflated with assault rifle, a US legal term for some types of semiautomatic weapons.
Assault rifles generally have safe, semi-auto and full auto modes, but some have burst mode instead of full auto. One of these is the M-16 that was modified from the original safe/semi-auto/full auto modes. You are welcome to read the relevant articles to learn more about this topic. Sjö (talk) 19:53, 4 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Assault rifle" hasn't been really a military term since the fall of Adolf Hitler (its inventor). As noted, American military uses either just "rifle" or "automatic rifle", Russian (Ukrainian etc) is "avtomat" (automatic gun), Polish "karabin / karabinek automatyczny" (automatic rifle / carbine), and so forth. It's a civilian term - used by American police (coloquially), politicians, journalists, video game makers, and such. The only exceptions are Austria and Switzerland where there have been post-WWII military weapons designated Sturmgewehr. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 5.173.41.12 (talk) 23:41, 13 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And as for

"The U.S. Army defines assault rifles as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges."

Its just one random intel report from half century ago (1970). Beyond that and perhaps other oddities, the U.S. Army usually doesn't define assault rifles because the U.S. Army doesn't recognise assault rifles. You should find a plenty in manuals and other documents about rifles and automatic rifles though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 5.173.41.12 (talk) 23:57, 13 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]