What IS the definition of "assault weapon", officially?

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  • E.Shell

    Ultimate Member
    Feb 5, 2007
    10,306
    Mid-Merlind
    Because the thread on the Supreme Court remanding ("remit" [sic]) cases back to the lower court is so sidetracked as to be impossible for people actually interested in the court's decisions to follow, it seems to deserve its own thread.

    Please post your crazy-ass, long winded opinions over here.

    What does the term 'assault weapon' even mean? from what I've seen, I'm sure someone has a two page explanation...
     

    TheOriginalMexicanBob

    Ultimate Member
    Jul 2, 2017
    32,818
    Sun City West, AZ
    To be a true assault weapon...the firearm must meet five specific criteria...

    1) It must be a Carbine;
    2) It must fire an intermediate round;
    3) It must fire from a locked breech;
    4) It must have a detachable magazine;
    5) It must be select-fire.

    Those criteria are based upon the first true assault rifle...the German Stg. 43/44. Absent any of those criteria the firearm in question is not an assault rifle. It might be a main battle rifle...such as the US 1903, M1 Garand, M14, British SMLE, FN-FAL, Mauser 98K...but those all shoot full power rounds.

    The fact is...what actually constitutes an assault rifle has been prostituted by politics and spurious definitions to fit biases. Another sad fact is...the gun community has been part of that by calling them assault weapons for decades to spur sales and to make them "sexy" compared to other firearms.
     

    Boats

    Broken Member
    Mar 13, 2012
    4,109
    Howeird County
    To be a true assault weapon...the firearm must meet five specific criteria...

    1) It must be a Carbine;
    2) It must fire an intermediate round;
    3) It must fire from a locked breech;
    4) It must have a detachable magazine;
    5) It must be select-fire.

    Those criteria are based upon the first true assault rifle...the German Stg. 43/44. Absent any of those criteria the firearm in question is not an assault rifle. It might be a main battle rifle...such as the US 1903, M1 Garand, M14, British SMLE, FN-FAL, Mauser 98K...but those all shoot full power rounds.

    The fact is...what actually constitutes an assault rifle has been prostituted by politics and spurious definitions to fit biases. Another sad fact is...the gun community has been part of that by calling them assault weapons for decades to spur sales and to make them "sexy" compared to other firearms.

    Not trying to nitpick but you're confusing assault RIFLE with assault WEAPON.

    The definition you gave is for assault RIFLES.


    Assault weapon has a different definition depending on who you talk to, or where you are in the country. (e.g. the Taurus judge is considered a short barrel shotgun and assault weapon in California)
     

    TheOriginalMexicanBob

    Ultimate Member
    Jul 2, 2017
    32,818
    Sun City West, AZ
    Not trying to nitpick but you're confusing assault RIFLE with assault WEAPON.

    The definition you gave is for assault RIFLES.


    Assault weapon has a different definition depending on who you talk to, or where you are in the country. (e.g. the Taurus judge is considered a short barrel shotgun and assault weapon in California)

    My mistake on the semantics...there really is no such thing as an assault weapon...beyond whatever someone wants to define it as. The whole term has become meaningless due to politics and the point of view of whoever is talking about it.

    One can say that anything that is used to harm another person...be it a firearm...a knife...a hammer...whatever...is an assault weapon.
     

    alucard0822

    For great Justice
    Oct 29, 2007
    17,687
    PA
    Politically, it means whatever they can get away with banning. "assault weapon" who knows, probably most any weapon used to commit the crime of assault. "Assault rifle" historically starts with the STG44 Sturmgewehr due to a study attempting to find the best rifle to repel soviet human wave attacks on the eastern front, most occurring within 300 meters. The intermediate cartridge could out-range Soviet assault troops armed with the PPSH-41, and offered a lot more volume of fire compared to bolt action Mosins or SVT-40s. So perhaps it could be defined as an "anti-assault rifle".
     

    MattFinals718

    Active Member
    Nov 23, 2022
    353
    Arlington, VA
    Well, so I see that our discussion in the thread on Bianchi (which is mostly my fault, admittedly) has come over here. Link to the pages where I presented my perspective:


    To be a true assault weapon...the firearm must meet five specific criteria...

    1) It must be a Carbine;
    2) It must fire an intermediate round;
    3) It must fire from a locked breech;
    4) It must have a detachable magazine;
    5) It must be select-fire.

    Those criteria are based upon the first true assault rifle...the German Stg. 43/44. Absent any of those criteria the firearm in question is not an assault rifle. It might be a main battle rifle...such as the US 1903, M1 Garand, M14, British SMLE, FN-FAL, Mauser 98K...but those all shoot full power rounds.

    The fact is...what actually constitutes an assault rifle has been prostituted by politics and spurious definitions to fit biases. Another sad fact is...the gun community has been part of that by calling them assault weapons for decades to spur sales and to make them "sexy" compared to other firearms.

    I don't completely agree with these criteria. My perspective on the criteria you identify above:

    (1.) Being a carbine is only a criteria for assault rifles. What the gun controllers refer to as "assault pistols" would not require this criteria.
    (2.) Again, applicable to assault rifles, but not pistols.
    (3.) Don't agree here - plenty of the guns that the gun controllers call "assault weapons" use delayed blowback (an example being my Steyr SPP, which I mentioned in the other thread)
    (4.) Agreed.
    (5.) I really don't agree with this one. As I've argued before: Fully automatic fire is far more difficult for someone with minimal training to employ effectively. I don't see it as a significant capability differentiator between Title I versions of military-style semi-auto rifles, pistol-caliber carbines, and machine-style pistols vs. their NFA/Title II select fire counterparts. Proof of this is the fact that semi-auto is not widely employed by most of our troops who are issued the M4A1 (or burst on the issued M4s, M16A2s, and M16A4s before that).

    I am glad that you acknowledge my observation that the term "assault weapons" was widely used in our community prior to the late-1980s because it was seen as a term that boosted sales appeal, until mass shootings such as the 1989 Stockton, CA massacre made that term politicized. Those in our community who repeat the platitude that "assault weapon" is a political term invented by the gun controllers are just playing themselves, IMO.

    A few other thoughts:

    - I would agree that the majority of what we call "battle rifles" seem difficult to characterize as "assault weapons," because the fact that they fire full-power rifle cartridges means that they are inherently less controllable in either rapid semi-auto fire or full-auto fire. Legally speaking, it is hard for our opponents to use caliber as a basis to ban anything, so they often over-simplify and describe these as "assault rifles" when they're really not. It also needs to be said that Western militaries issuing battle rifles during the early years of the Cold War certainly intended for them to be used in an "assault" role, similar to that of 5.56 rifles today, even though operational and testing experience eventually demonstrated that they were unsuitable for this role.
    - I also generally don't think of shotguns as "assault weapons," even drum-magazine shotguns like the Street Sweeper/Striker, USAS-12, etc. I especially find it ridiculous that FSA 2013 bans semi-auto shotguns that feed from tubes, such as the Franchi SPAS-12, and even pump shotguns like the Mossberg 500 Bullpup. They are certainly "combat shotguns," but their low ammo capacity and strong recoil impulse (inherent features) means that they are not "mass casualty weapons," which is what our opponents seem to be most concerned above.


    Disclaimer: I do not support banning anything. I have argued that there is some truth to what our opponents claim about some of these weapons, even though I think they're wrong that the proper approach is to ban them or regulate them more than other semi-automatic firearms. My motives for pushing back against our community's rhetoric are (1.) it's just not true, and (2.) I don't like that it shifts the discussion to the gun controllers' argument that only "sporting" weapons may be legitimately owned by civilians.
     
    Last edited:

    brianns

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 29, 2015
    3,643
    Montgomery County
    Baseball bat, hockey stick, golf CLUB, walking stick, fence post, a CANE.




    Did you see the extended length of cane on that cane? I wonder if it’s illegal for it to reach all the way to the ground?
     

    Bullfrog

    Ultimate Member
    Oct 8, 2009
    15,323
    Carroll County
    Dang. I had some more cane-jitsu comments.

    Caine-jitsu?

    David_Carradine_as_Caine_in_Kung_Fu.jpg
     

    Boats

    Broken Member
    Mar 13, 2012
    4,109
    Howeird County
    My mistake on the semantics...there really is no such thing as an assault weapon...beyond whatever someone wants to define it as. The whole term has become meaningless due to politics and the point of view of whoever is talking about it.

    One can say that anything that is used to harm another person...be it a firearm...a knife...a hammer...whatever...is an assault weapon.

    exactly.


    You were using assault words. it rustled my jimmies. :D
     

    Boats

    Broken Member
    Mar 13, 2012
    4,109
    Howeird County
    The only assault weapon I know of is this one


    Because it is: a salt weapon
     

    MattFinals718

    Active Member
    Nov 23, 2022
    353
    Arlington, VA
    Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner!
    Please close this thread


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Come on, you're not even going to at least acknowledge what I wrote?

    The only assault weapon I know of is this one


    Because it is: a salt weapon

    Believe we have a discussion to continue.
     
    Last edited:

    Worsley

    I apologize for hurting your feelings!
    Jan 5, 2022
    2,846
    Westminster
    Assault weapons are weapons used to threaten or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person.
     

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