Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952446 | Print ISBN: 9780761929277 | Online ISBN: 9781412952446| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Military rifles capable of controlled, fully automatic operation, employed to provide fire support at ranges up to 200 yards by ordinary troops. Assault rifles are not to be confused with assault weapons, which include various types of pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Most assault rifles share common features: They are lightweight, possess selectable fire rates, have large, removable magazines, and have simplified operation. Features of the modern assault rifle began to appear in armaments at the end of the 19th century. Self-loading rifles were developed at that time, and in 1905, the Italian Cei-Rigotti rifle featured selective fire rates for a 6.5mm medium-power cartridge. The Russian Federov Avtomat, a rifle developed in 1916, met most of the specifications of the modern-day assault rifle, including selective fire, short recoil, ...