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Assault rifle

type of selective fire rifle
AK-47 assault rifle with curved magazine and wooden stock facing left
The most used firearm in history, along with its variant, the AKM. The AK-47 was first adopted in 1949 by the Soviet Army. It fires the 7.62×39mm M43 round.
M16 assault rifle with metal stock facing right
The M16 was first introduced into service in 1964 with the United States Armed Forces. It fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge.

An assault rifle is a rifle that has a magazine that can be removed, can be fired automatically, and fires bullets that do not have as much power as other rifles like hunting rifles or battle rifles, but have more power and penetration than pistol bullets fired by submachine guns.

The first assault rifles were used by Russia in World War I in small numbers, but the Germans were the first to use assault rifles in large numbers.

Examples of an 'assault rifle' are the Russian AK-47, the American M16 rifle and the British L85.

The term “assault rifle” comes from the firearm Sturmgewehr 44 (STG 44), which means Assault Rifle 44. The armed forces of other countries adopted similar weapons in later decades.

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