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Submitted by on Dec 26, 2021

An assault rifle is a weapon that fires selectively and has a detachable magazine. It uses an intermediate cartridge and has a detachable magazine. During World War II, assault weapons were first mass-produced and accepted into broad service. The German StG 44, a modification of the previous Mkb 42, was the first assault rifle to find widespread use.

While NATO countries were armed with battle rifles shortly after WWII, the development of the M16 rifle during the Vietnam War spurred the rest of NATO to acquire assault weapons. By the end of the twentieth century, assault rifles had replaced full-powered rifles and submachine guns as the primary armament in most militaries throughout the world. The AK-47, M16, IMI Galil, and Heckler & Koch G36 are among the most popular assault rifles.

The phrase “assault rifle” is commonly credited to Adolf Hitler, who renamed the MP 43 (Maschinenpistole) as the Sturmgewehr 44 after using the German word Sturmgewehr (which means “assault rifle”). The name was adopted for propaganda purposes, according to Allied propaganda, although the major objective was to distinguish the Sturmgewehr from German submachine guns like the MP 40.

However, it has been alleged that the term Sturmgewehr was created by the Heereswaffenamt, with Hitler having no role other than approving the manufacture order. Furthermore, because Germany lacked the industrial ability to replace the 12,000,000 Karabiner 98k rifles already in service, Hitler was initially opposed to the notion of a new infantry weapon, only changing his mind after seeing one firsthand.

The StG 44 is often credited with popularizing the assault rifle idea as the first selective fire military weapon. The term “assault rifle” is now used to describe guns that share many of the same qualities as the StG 44.

During World War II, the Germans were the first to develop the assault rifle idea, based on data that indicated most firefights take place within 400 meters (1,300 feet) and that current guns were powerful for most small arms engagements. They were soon working on a select-fire intermediate-powered rifle that combined the firepower of a submachine gun with the range and precision of a rifle.

The result was the Sturmgewehr 44, an improved version of the preceding Maschinenkarabiner 42(H), and by the conclusion of the war, around half a million Sturmgewehrs had been produced. It used the 7.9233mm Kurz, a novel intermediate powered cartridge.

It used the 7.9233mm Kurz, a novel intermediate powered cartridge.
The regular 7.9257mm Mauser round was shortened and given a lighter 125-grain bullet, which reduced range but allowed for more controlled automatic fire. Soldiers might also carry more ammunition “to meet the increased consumption rate of automatic firing” with a smaller, lighter cartridge.

The Sturmgewehr 44 has a stamped steel design that is economical and quick to build, as well as a 30-round detachable box magazine. “This weapon served as the model for all subsequent successful automatic rifles. It had a straight stock with the barrel behind the gas cylinder to lessen the twisting moment of the rifle in the shoulder and therefore assist reduce the tendency of bullets to ascend in automatic firing (unlike prior rifles).

The barrel was shorter and the total length was less than a typical rifle, and the weapon included a pistol grip to keep it more secure in automatic fire. “The premise of this weapon”reducing muzzle impulse to enable viable automatic firing at actual fighting ranges”was perhaps the most significant improvement in small guns since the introduction of smokeless powder.”

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