Most “Assault Rifles”…Aren’t.

Today, I am turning my blog over to Mike Ford, founder of the American Free News Network, former U.S. Army Colonel, and US Military Academy graduate (class of 1980). Both of us are fed up with the misinformation and outright lies being told about rifles such as the AR-15 by the anti-gun crowd, politicians, and our president. I have blogged a few times about the AR-15 rifle and other misnamed “assault rifles.” Here, Mike draws upon his expansive knowledge of weapons–both sporting and military, and in the process exposes the misrepresentations and ignorance we hear in Washington and the mainstream media.  Read on. You won’t be disappointed.

Most “Assault Rifles”…Aren’t!

By Mike Ford

The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun shown above is not an assault weapon, and neither are most of the firearms now under attack by the left. Today’s offering is a little different than most of my usual pieces. It also has some different objectives. Today’s piece is meant not only to inform but also to provide some handy source material for conservatives, who already know most of this.

The other objective is my continuing effort to take back the language from the leftists, who as we all know, use the language to distort the terms of the discussion to their advantage while manipulating the voting public. The most recent and egregious example of that comes from a retired Army Major General. More on that in a subsequent article. In that regard, this will not be an exciting read, but I do hope it helps our team in the public debate regarding the Second Amendment.

Today, we are going to talk about the Modern Sporting Rifle, commonly, erroneously, and maliciously referred to by the left as an “Assault Rifle,”  “Military Style Weapon/Rifle,” or more recently, “Weapon of WAR!” “Modern Sporting Rifle,” is the correct, accurate term for semi-automatic rifles in all calibers, built on the AR, AK, and other frames like them.

To start off, we need to define, scope, and assess…just what does make an ordinary rifle, an “Assault Rifle.” “Military Style” needs to be scoffed at when used and the user, ridiculed. “Style” never killed anyone.

To properly assess the features and capabilities that define a real “Assault Rifle,” we need to start with two authors, one fairly famous and one famous only to military historians. I am talking about German Field Marshal and Patton nemesis, Erwin Rommel and Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John English. Rommel and English each wrote books on Infantry tactics, Rommel; Infantry Attacks and English; On Infantry.

Each of these warriors devoted significant ink to the battlefield environment in “the last 300 yards” to the objective. They wrote of an environment that required extreme maneuverability coupled with maximum firepower for an attacking Infantry unit to punch through a defender’s position and if necessary, take that position at bayonet point.

Although never specifically defined, both Rommel and English implied the need for the following characteristics in a standard Infantry weapon: Lightweight, Rapid firing, Rugged, Bayonet Stud, and Easily Maintained.

When having these discussions in today’s charged political environment one huge factor almost always overlooked in this analysis of capability; is the era a particular rifle was used in combat. What was once the state-of-the-art Infantry rifle in one era, would be merely an interesting collectible today. One example of this is the Brown Bess Musket, standard issue for British Regulars and quite rightly credited with helping Great Britain establish and maintain a worldwide, Pax Britannica. Back in the day, it was Great Britain’s “assault rifle.”

Brown Bess, Image: Wikipedia Commons

The Brown Bess shown above was for its time, lightweight and fast loading, enabling British Commanders to maintain a high volume of fire. Of course, it mounted a bayonet…all 17 inches of one.

Moving forward a few decades The U.S. “assault rifle,” was the Springfield Arms 1903. The ‘03 was a bolt action, lightweight (for its time) weapon with a high rate of fire for its era. Note the bayonet lug. The Springfield ‘03 stayed in service throughout World War II as its eventual replacement the M-1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle, was initially not in sufficient production to equip all U.S Forces.

Springfield ’03, Image: Wikipedia Commons

Below is yours truly with my personal, Match Grade Garand. Note the bayonet lug and on the right-hand picture, one of the clips it uses instead of a box magazine (often mistakenly referred to by Leftists as a “clip”).

Mike firing his M-1 Garand on the rifle range

Now we come to Vietnam and the M-16A1. The M-16 is a select-fire weapon capable of firing in both the semi and fully-automatic modes. It also has a bayonet lug. Notice how the rate of fire has dramatically increased over the decades, going from 3 rounds per minute to over 800 rounds per minute on today’s more sophisticated weapons.

The M16 has had a number of successors, the most common from my last years in the Green Machine, was the M-4. The M4, pictured below, 3rd from top, is also capable of select fire—semi-automatic and 3-round burst. It also has a bayonet lug.

M16A1, M16A2, M4A1, M16A4 Image Wikipedia Commons

We have discussed the most critical features of an Infantry Assault Rifle—especially the features that make the weapon more lethal. Next up in this discussion, are some other features that the military finds helpful, but really don’t add to the weapon’s lethality, although they do help Leftists scare people with terms like “Military-Style Assault Weapons.”

Here are some of those features:

Flash Hiders or Muzzle Brakes: These diminish the flash signature when the rifle is fired. They add not one drop of lethality to the weapon or its ammunition. Using them as a criterion that prohibits civilian ownership is foolish.

Pistol Grip: These make it easier to control the rifle and more accurately engage targets. Again, they do not make the rifle or its ammunition any more lethal.

Threaded barrel: This makes it capable of mounting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer, none of which enhance the lethality of the weapon

Folding or telescoping stocks: Make transportation and use in confined areas easier. No impact on lethality.

Detachable Magazines: Enable a higher sustained rate of fire. By doing so, they can have an effect on lethality but have been around a long time, used on a variety of weapons that don’t have the “scary look” that black metal Modern Sporting Rifles do.

Modern Sporting Rifles are not “Weapons of War” as touted by Democrats and other leftists (including a certain flag officer who as far as I can determine, has no combat decorations). They are missing the two most important features and capabilities that are required in today’s era Military Assault Rifle, Bayonet Lugs, and select Semi/Full/Burst fire.

Here is a picture of my AR-15. As you can see, it has no Bayonet Lug and you can see by the close up, has only one firing mode…semi-automatic. It is a Modern Sporting Rifle. At no time, has any army anywhere used this platform as its standard infantry weapon.

                      Mike’s AR-15
The AR-15 has two modes “safe” and “fire” or “semi-automatic”

Conclusion. Leftists use scary language to manipulate the voters into banning weapons that are no more lethal than a standard hunting rifle. They lie, obfuscate the truth, and misuse emotion. They truly have absolutely no regard for the welfare of Americans. They believe that is just fine and dandy to deny law-abiding American citizens the means of self-defense. Their objective is quite clear, to disarm the populace in order to make it easier to control.

One way we can resist this is to take back control of the language. Stop using their terms. No conservative should ever use the term “assault rifle” unless in quotes, along with a phrase that states that the term is a false, leftist term. The term we all need to start using is, “Modern Sporting Rifle.” Remember, when we cede the terms of the debate to the leftists…we lose.

Modern. Sporting. Rifle.

As I said in the beginning, this article isn’t much on entertainment. Its real purpose is to be a container of useful information to Conservatives. I hope it serves that purpose for you. In any case, please drop “assault rifle” from your lexicon (unless you are scoffing at a leftist pajama boy).

Modern. Sporting. Rifle.

And remember; Most “Assault Rifles”…Aren’t.

Mike Ford is a graduate of the US Military Academy (Class of 1980) and an honor grad of the US Army Ranger School. He’s taught PsyOps at the JFC Special Warfare Center. After Mike left the Army he worked in the private sector management (manufacturing) and as a deputy sheriff (sergeant) in Florida. Mike was a reservist during the invasion of Iraq and held a senior active duty command billet mobilizing troops and later served as chief of staff to a theater support command where he says he “fed an entire Theater Army with one case of MREs and carried away 7 Fast Sealift Ships of leftovers.”

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About Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Read More About Ron Here

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