What’s An Automatic Rifle?


The liberal press is fond of grouping all “assault weapons” into the “automatic” group. This is incorrect.  Technically there are two categories for auto-loading guns. Semi-auto, that only shoot with every pull of the trigger, and full auto that shoot as long as the trigger is pulled. The full auto guns are considered “machine guns.” Machine guns require a tax stamp and license from the BATFE. A rigorous background check is done and if you have any skeletons in your closet you don’t get a license period. All full auto guns are exorbitantly expensive which puts them out of most buyers range to begin with. I’m talking on the order of four or five thousand dollars a copy. Machine gun dealers are under a really big magnifying glass from the FBI, BATFE and just about any other law enforcement agency. They don’t want to wind up in jail and lose their license either.

Semi Auto rifles shoot one round with each pull of the trigger. You can’t make them go full auto unless you are a gunsmith and have good knowledge of how the trigger and sear mechanisms work. Each manufacturer is different.  “Assault Rifles” is really kind of a bad moniker that got hung on military guns. They are a light infantry weapon. Most full on military weapons have a selector on them that limits them to either semi-auto fire or full auto. The ones sold to the public are minus this select fire function. They will only shoot in semi-auto mode. Oh yeah I’ve hear all about how to get an AR-16 to shoot select fire. You have to know what you’re doing and be a good machinist to make a select fire sear for these guns. Most of them have aftermarket actions that preclude this modification anyway. I’m not going to call these rifles “assault rifles” any more.  They are infantry rifles. They are semi-auto and are no more dangerous than the Remington Model 760 auto loading deer rifle. Remington Model 760 rifles are chambered in a variety of calibers, .270, .308, .30-06 and a few other’s I’m not familiar with. The only advantage an infantry rifle has over one of these rifles is in the magazine capacity. They usually hold about ten more rounds. Yeah I know that’s dangerous. Well I’m here to tell you that you can reload a Remington 760 quicker than say an AK-47, everyone’s favorite scary rifle. Actually the AK-47,s were manufactured in several different countries, USSR, China, etc.  No matter where they are made none of them are very accurate. At close range this isn’t’ much of an issue. You have about the same kind of luck throwing a bag of rocks at someone past 50 yards. They are junky pieces of shit and I wouldn’t own one of them. They are dangerous to the shooter as well. There are stories of them disassembling themselves when the trigger was pulled with extreme prejudice to the shooter. There are some semi-auto infantry rifles made in Belgium by Fabrique National, that are really very good guns. You can make a nice deer rifle out of them; they are the same caliber as the American .308. They shoot the NATO 7.62 X 51 MM round. This is nothing more than a .308. They are lighter than most semi-auto deer rifles sold my Remington and Savage for example. There’s no difference shooting a deer or elk with an FN-LAR or a Remington Model 760. They both shoot the same round!  I can take a 760 Remington, refinish the blueing on it to a flat black, put a camo stock on it, and a Picatinny rail with a big scope on top of it and make it look like a big bad scary “assault rifle”. A sheep in wolves’ clothing here. 

I think the news media doesn’t have their facts straight. I seriously doubt there are that many full auto machine guns out there right now.  

Maybe there is, if this is accurate then the financial levels of most criminals has been elevated to a new level which includes average Americans.  Like I said machine guns (full auto) legal or illegal guns are out the price range of most peoples.

I wanted to illustrate the difference between these two types of “auto loading” rifles. There’s a hell of a difference between the two types of loading and firing actions of these guns. Machine guns such as a select fire AK-47 shoots at 600 rounds per minute. An old M-14 on full auto is 760 RPM. Some of the other machine guns like the 7.62 M60 light machine gun is in the 550 rpm rate of fire. A semi auto is up to how fast the shooter can pull the trigger. Maybe half the rate of a full auto gun? 

So let’s call a spade a spade here. Then there’s the issue of ammunition. You can still purchase 7.62X 39MM (AK-47 fodder) in tracer and armor piercing rounds. Same with the NATO 7.62 X 51MM.  I really don’t see the need for this. I can’t think of a real legitimate use for either type of round.  Tracers are a great way of setting things on fire. Armor piercing rounds go thru hard object like they aren’t there. They just keep going and going sorta like a nightmare version of the Eveready Bunny.  They don’t make good hunting rounds because they won’t put a deer or elk down instead go whistling right thru them like the animal is made out of so much ice cream.  Full metal jacketed bullets have their place in dangerous game animals. You need deep penetration if you are shooting a large dangerous animal like a grizzly bear or an elephant. These bullets have a thick copper jacket that surrounds a lead core. Some of the newer bullets that Barnes Bullets markets are called Monolithic Solids and are made from a hard alloy of solid copper.  The military full metal jacketed bullets have a steel core, some of them have a solid steel tip in front of a hard copper jacket. They are made to penetrate armor plating on combat vehicles. The Geneva Convention mandated full metal jacketed bullets in their attempt to make warfare a gentler, more humane act. Ha what a joke. The full metal jacket bullet idea is that it’s just supposed to take a soldier out of action not kill him if shot in a non-lethal area. I’m sure anyone in a gun fight is gonna worry about the enemy abiding by the Geneva Convention. “Gee I wonder where I should shoot him so he won’t’ die?”  Nope not gonna happen. But this is where these types of projectiles came from. They’re still being made for the military today. So it’s no wonder they found their way into the civilian market.

On the other hand a soft point or hollow point legal bullet that most deer rifles shoot has a soft point that forces the bullet to expand when it enters any kind of medium it was designed for. This causes about a caliber and a half of expansion in the bullet. This forces it to bleed momentum and dump most of its kinetic energy into the target and not go rampaging on through the target and find something else to run into like another human being. They take the game down in a semi humane fashion. Well as humane as shooting anything is. Personally I don’t like shooting living things like deer. Paper targets yeah I’m a real John Wayne on those things, but nothing that’s alive.

If you were to shoot a deer with a military bullet, it would likey as not go clear through the animal. Deer being the critters they are, like to run a long ways even when hit with a decent placed shot with a hunting bullet. Now pop one with an FMJ (full metal jacket) and he probably won’t even know hes been shot right at first and just take off. The hunter may not even find the animal, who has run off to bleed out someplace out of sight.

So I don’t see the use of tracers and military armor piercing bullets.

So those of you who already know this stuff can just smile and read something else. Those of you who don’t know, now know the difference between these types of firearms. I’m just setting record straight here.

Dave

 

 

 

 

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