Do we really have a definition of 'assault weapon'? Is an AR/AK an assault weapon?

Do we really have a definition of 'assault weapon'? Is an AR/AK an assault weapon?

This is a discussion on Do we really have a definition of 'assault weapon'? Is an AR/AK an assault weapon? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So the question is, what actually defines a weapon as an assault weapon? The definition as us pro-gunners see it, may be merely 'protective' thinking. ...

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Thread: Do we really have a definition of 'assault weapon'? Is an AR/AK an assault weapon?

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    Do we really have a definition of 'assault weapon'? Is an AR/AK an assault weapon?

    So the question is, what actually defines a weapon as an assault weapon?

    The definition as us pro-gunners see it, may be merely 'protective' thinking. E.g. I think most of us pro-gunners consider an assault weapon to be solely defined by it's full auto capability. We generally do not consider a semi-auto AR/AK an assault rifle. We probably cling to that thinking so that we can claim our ARs and AKs are not assault weapons. But why aren't they assault weapons? PDs and SWAT use semi-auto ARs in an assault modes.

    Is the difference really just semi-auto versus selective fire? What about all the other things that are common, magazines, ammo, capacity, design. AR/AKs even look like assault rifles. Everything is the same except selective fire.

    So is selective fire the sole defining factor?

    Is there a decisive, non-politically driven definition of assault rifle?

    The common definitions for assault rifle/weapon come from the pro-gunners and anti-gunners - who is really right and why?
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    "Selective fire" is the key words that define a true assault rifle to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector71 View Post
    "Selective fire" is the key words that define a true assault rifle to me.
    Me too, but why? Can a semi not be an assault weapon at all, never?
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    I think the Izhmash manual that came with my Arsenal SGL21 said "hunting" or "sporting" carbine. It don't recall it saying anything about an AK47 or assault rifle. Just like my AR isn't a M4 and doesn't claim to be.

    However, they're obviously battle type rifles with clear lineage to their full auto cousins and I won't apologize for it. They're fun to shoot and, hold on to your hat, they're effective tools to protect yourself, family etc. And "effective tool" in the defensive firearm world means being more effective at putting more humans out of commission (wound/kill) quicker than other types of firearms. It's alright to buy guns that are designed to kill people (for now). That's how you defend yourself.

    It's seems strange that the right to protect your life and property is widely accepted but your ability to do so is so limited and is in danger of getting worse.

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    I'm not sure about the actual definition of assault weapon. When I hear that said, it's usually by anti gun politicians and media.
    In this case, it seem like it's being used more like a marketing tool, as apposed to an actual name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    So the question is, what actually defines a weapon as an assault weapon?

    The definition as us pro-gunners see it, may be merely 'protective' thinking. E.g. I think most of us pro-gunners consider an assault weapon to be solely defined by it's full auto capability. We generally do not consider a semi-auto AR/AK an assault rifle. We probably cling to that thinking so that we can claim our ARs and AKs are not assault weapons. But why aren't they assault weapons? PDs and SWAT use semi-auto ARs in an assault modes.

    Is the difference really just semi-auto versus selective fire? What about all the other things that are common, magazines, ammo, capacity, design. AR/AKs even look like assault rifles. Everything is the same except selective fire.

    So is selective fire the sole defining factor?

    Is there a decisive, non-politically driven definition of assault rifle?

    The common definitions for assault rifle/weapon come from the pro-gunners and anti-gunners - who is really right and why?
    I don't plan on using mine to ever assault anyone, but you can be damn sure I'd use it to defend me and mine.

    So, mine is a defense rifle.

    As far as the squirrels are concerned, my 10/22 is an assault weapon!
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    It was never described as an assault weapon while I was in the Marines.

    It was described as a lightweight, shoulder fired, magazine fed, air cooled rifle capable of both semi auto, or 3 round burst fire.
    3 round burst was discouraged, unless the goal was to obtain fire superiority over the enemy.

    But I never remember it being called an " assault weapon".
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    Any weapon can be considered an "assault" weapon once it is used to assault people. Although the term "assault rifle" comes from the brady campaign dictionary and means any firearm possesed by a non-military/LEO/celebrity/private bodyguard civilian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTreadOnI View Post
    I don't plan on using mine to ever assault anyone, but you can be damn sure I'd use it to defend me and mine.

    So, mine is a defense rifle.

    As far as the squirrels are concerned, my 10/22 is an assault weapon!
    I hear ya!

    However, in Magpul's outstanding video series, "The Art of the Dynamic Carbine", Chris Costa makes it very clear that when we are defending ourselves with a firearm, it is an assault on the person threatening our life.

    Another example, is if a military unit is 'dug in' and in a defensive mode trying to repel an attacking enemy, are their assault rifles no longer assault rifles because they are being used in a defensive application?
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    ...But I never remember it being called an " assault weapon".
    Exactly, so do assault weapons actually exist, if so, what are they and who or what defines them as an assault weapon?
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    Seems the term "assault rifle " is a political term conveniently used to scare citizens. As far as semi or full auto weapons with military history and use , (or similar to mil spec weapons )are proven useful in defensive or offensive campaigns.
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    “Assault Weapon” is a made up term by politicians and the media to frighten the uniformed. Hell a common kitchen knife can be used to assault someone, a hammer, a golf club really anything. An item becomes an assault weapon when it is used to assault someone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Seems the term "assault rifle " is a political term conveniently used to scare citizens. As far as semi or full auto weapons with military history and use , (or similar to mil spec weapons )are proven useful in defensive or offensive campaigns.
    I agree.

    My point is that we need to be sure we know the implications of the term assault weapon, it's origin, it's use or better misuse.

    Rather than accept the term and try to explain why our AR/AK is not an assault weapon, I think it would be better to explain the term is a term made up by anti-gunners for political and agenda reasons.
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    I think an assault rifle is anything that scares Di-Fi...
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    For me, "assault rifle" is still defined as originally coined by the German's "Sturmgewehr" or Storm Rifle, to storm/assault the enemy. The weapon itself is a select-fire carbine/rifle firing an intermiate cartridge.

    Any object can be used by one person to assault another.
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