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AK47, Assault Rifle or Battle Rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Milsurplover, Mar 19, 2011.

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  1. Milsurplover

    Milsurplover Member

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    I've been wondering lately...would the AK47 be considered a Battle Rifle because of the .30 cal round it shoots? Or is it considered an assault rifle because it lacks the power of, say, a 7.62x51 NATO? By definition a Battle Rifle is a select fire rifle that shoots a full power rifle cartridge (I'm pretty sure this is the definition) I tend to think the AK would fall under the Assault rifle category because it lacks the fore of a 7.62x51 NATO (as said before)...but the .30 cal round gives me doubts.
     
  2. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The select-fire AK-47 is indeed an assault rifle. It's cartridge was designed to exactly split the difference between (IIRC) the 7.62x25mm pistol round and the 7.62x54mm rifle round. It is .30 caliber, yes, but has roughly half the energy of the full sized round.
     
  3. otomik

    otomik Member

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    what about a select fire m2 carbine? is that a battle rifle? it's .30 cal and it's not a pistol cartridge. i don't think so.
     
  4. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I always thought the rifle you had in your hands while doing battle, was your battle rifle.

    I just figured all the cute names people gave their favorites were just to make themselves feel better or superior to others.
     
  5. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    The orignal carbine was semi auto, so not an "assault rifle" by definition. The M2 Carbine MIGHT be classified, loosely, as an assault rifle. It is slightly less powerful than the 7.62x39 AK.
     
  6. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Well, I would certainly say the M-1 Garand was a "battlerifle" even though it was only semi auto.
     
  7. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    I thought we didn't like the term "assault rifle"?
     
  8. wally

    wally Member

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    Its a good deal less than slightly less powerful than 7.62x39

    7.62x39 runs ~1550 ft-lbs
    .223 ~1300 ft-lbs
    .308 ~2600 ft-lbs

    The M1 carbine runs in the same class as the .357 Magnum being about 900 ft-lbs out if a 16" barrel.
     
  9. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    It's a perfectly accurate term when applied to select-fire weapons used by militaries.

    It's inaccurate when applied to civilian semiautos.
     
  10. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Exactly. By definition, an assault rifle is select-fire, i.e. capable of being fired in automatic (or burst) mode at the flick of a switch. Applying the term to Title 1 semiauto-only civilian firearms is merely an attempt to confuse civilian guns with Title 2 restricted military weapons.
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    And even worse is the nebulous "Assault Weapon" which has no clear definition beyond ... whatever's on the legislative chopping block this week.
     
  12. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    I bought a battle rifle in the day, the civilian HK91. Battle rifles aren't necessarily select fire, I'm surprised the Moisin Nagant owners haven't raised an outcry.

    In general, as there is no official definition, battle rifles were mostly the full power cartridge semi auto self loading designs, generally including the M1 Garand, G43, SKS, M14, FNFAL, G3, etc. If anything, as a class, they were largely found too lightweight for full auto fire.

    Assault rifles follow the grandaddy of the all, the STurmGewehr 44, which set the pattern - full auto magazine fed intermediate caliber, usually less than 18" barrel, and designed to optimize two factors limiting human operators - too much recoil, and an inability to see targets and hit them beyond 300m. If you reduce the recoil, the operator will shoot it more, and more bullet flying will mean more hits - even by random chance. It makes no difference if it's aimed or not, a bullet striking a soldier tends to limit their response, and incapacitation - the inability to fire back - is what counts.

    As for the "overloads their medical logistics" argument, that hasn't worked out so much. Much of the fighting since assault weapons have been adopted has been against adversaries with very little logistical depth. Many don't even have medical corpsmen in the field.

    Main battle rifles, whether or not bolt action, aren't assault weapons. It's the specific layout of features that counts, not what caliber the bullet happens to be. If anything, it's been a logistics issue that the adopting nation already had bullet machines running and simply couldn't afford to change over to a smaller, more aerodynamic shape, which would give better results - higher speeds and flatter trajectories. That was a strategic tradeoff, as the battlefield condition of not being to engage targets accurately beyond 300m made either choice equally useful. The bullet makers "won," although they actually lost, not being able to tool up and start other designs. That's the amount of weight logistics can bear on war - you accept compromises to get something in the soldiers hands, rather than a lot of nothing.

    Same thinking goes to why we buy an $1100 combat weapon, not a $3000 one. No real effective difference for the money.
     
  13. Hizzie

    Hizzie Member

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    Assault Rifle. It fires an "intermediate" cartridge. Battle Rifles fire full size cartridges such as 7.62x54R, .303 British or 7.62x63/7.62x51. It has nothing to do with the .30 caliber bullet it fires and everything to do with the size/power level of the cartridge it uses.
     
  14. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    There are two defining characteristics of the assault rifle: it is capable of fully automatic fire and fires an intermediate cartridge.

    No semi-auto rifle is an assault rifle. That term is often misapplied.

    The real AK47 and M16 are assault rifles. The semi-auto versions are not. The M2 carbine would be an assault rifle. The G3 would not because of its full-size cartridge.

    I confess that I had not heard the term "battle rifle" until recently and I have no idea if there is an accepted definition for the term.
     
  15. seasmoke

    seasmoke Member

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  16. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    What other people said -- the M2 carbine kind of tests the lower limits of what you call an assault rifle. Energy wise it delivers about the same power as 5.45x39 AK74 ammo (30 carbine is fractionally less, if I remember right), but has the shortcoming of really poor external ballistics compared to rounds like 5.56 and 5.45. It is a better performer than any true SMGs, though and so it sort of lives in a gray area.
     
  17. otomik

    otomik Member

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    i think the m2 carbine is a carbine. it just doesn't have the range or power to be an assault rifle.
     
  18. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle

    #1 and #4 distinguish assault rifles from light machine guns like the M249, although light machine guns like the RPK began to blur the line. #2 distinguishes assault rifles from civvy Evil Black Rifles. #3 distinguishes assault rifles from submachine guns on one end and full power rifles on the other.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_rifle
     
  19. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    I would tend to look at the M2 as more of a subgun type than a assault rifle.
     
  20. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    the answer is easy.....

    its an assault rifle. it shoots a .308 "short" basically. it is designed to be fired full auto like the M16......meaning it is a dumbed down version of a battle rifle which is an assault rifle.

    in vietnam we had battle rifles.....with the M14.....we were getting out gunned so we matched the ak47 with the m16. we went with fire power instead of knock down power.

    dont get me wrong.....i think the M14 is the greatest, but in that war we needed a bush rifle or "assault" rifle.

    battle rifles are "one shot one kill". ......assault rifles are "pray and spray".

    the AK is an assault rifle and so is the SKS......but if you go back to the Mosin Nagant ......well......that was a battle rifle!
     
  21. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    If battle rifles really were one shot one kill weapons maybe they'd still be standard issues. But they're not.
     
  22. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The M2 is less powerful, but it does use rifle ammo...
     
  23. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    One of my favorite definitions of a battle rifle is that it "turns cover into concealment".
     
  24. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    Newspaper alway refers to them as Assault Rifle or Assault Weapon. What we have is nothing other than a semi automatic rifle.
     
  25. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    No, the AK does not shoot a .308 short, it's actually not even the same .30 bullet. It's dimensionally different enough to need a completely different barrel. The 7.62X39 came out years before the .308, there's no direct correlation between them.

    We weren't getting outgunned in Vietnam at all. Lots of VC carried SKS and bolt action rifles. We introduced the M16 to implement the assault rifle advantage of full auto firepower. The casualty rates quickly demonstrated that. As for needing a "bush" rifle, not so much in an open rice paddy or up in the highlands. The terrrain of Vietnam included everything, it's not one large homogeneous tropical rainforest.

    The SKS isn't an assault rifle, it's semi auto and fixed magazine. Two strikes against it being included in the category.

    1) Intermediate cartridge, 2) full auto. That combination is the essence of an assault rifle in military terms.
     
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