Unofficial Answer

The podcast network had a comment on an episode of one of the shows, Modern Rifleman Radio. I have the quote here but left out the name to protect the privacy of it’s author.

I am new to your podcast and have enjoyed what I have listened to very much.

I just listened to the episode that you defined what a modern rifle is. I feel I have to disagree.

Your arguments have mostly to do with what is on the rifle and almost nothing to do with the purpose and use of the rifle. We aren’t fighting the same way we did in the world wars. We no longer entrench and bayonet charge as a tactic for war.

The type of rifle that was used in the past was based on combat tactics entirely different than today. I wouldn’t want to take a bolt action rifle while kicking in doors. Nor would I want to use a modern plastic rifle in a trench war, even if it comes in tacticool black.

What about a Thompson or MP5? Does being cambered in a pistols cartridge make them less of a battle field rifle? Both can be equipped and deployed to the same effect as a m4.

If you look at your listed rifles all of them could be used with the modern tactics on the modern battle field. I would also include some of the bolt guns of the battle field marksman as a modern rifle.
Very few listed would be effective after a few days of the trench warfare of the previous century. I believe that is the biggest distinction for modern rifles.

Keep up the good work. It keeps this truck drivers hours entertained.

R. T.

If you decide to read on aire it is pretty lengthy so you may want to sum it up.
Also, no last name please R. T. Is fine.

I forwarded this over to the show hosts so they can decide if they want to do and on air follow up. We’ll just have to wait and see on that. I did, however, want to take a minute to give a response.

I am absolutely fine with people disagreeing with me. It is the doorway to further discussion. I’ll come right out and say that you’re wrong.

The definition of an assault rifle, as we discussed, has nothing to do with intended purpose. We discussed the legal differences between and assault rifle and a modern sporting rifle. The difference between the two is whether or not it has full auto capability or not. Besides, if you want to talk purpose, the AR-15 was never meant to be a war fighting rifle or it would have full auto or burst capabilities. End of story. With out that the AR pattern rifle is no different than the Browning BAR. Yes, one version was a full auto .30-06 badass rifle. All modern versions are semi auto hunting rifles. It’s the same for the AR-15. Sure there is a war rifle version currently used by the military. There is also a civilian version that is a separate animal with a separate purpose. So in this regard you debunked y0ur own statement.

We can actually agree on not wanting to kick in doors with a bolt action. However, modern snipers issued a bolt action do just that when looking for a sniper’s hide. Also, the last time I checked there were no plastic rifles under the name “assault rifle”. None of such rifles would be cleared by the Pentagon. That being said, I think a 12″ barreled AR in 5.56 or 7.62 would be well placed in the trenches. Short, fast…exactly what they looked for.

Okay, the Thompson or MP5…not assault rifles because, technically, they are SMG’s (Sub Machine Guns). They are of a completely different category. They have their place on the battlefield. They don’t meet the definition of an assault rifle though. Yes, even these have civilian versions. They are, once again, semi auto being re-purposed to be something fun and not a war arm.

Yes, all of these would work well on a battlefield semi auto or not. Frankly I would have second thoughts going to war with a rifle I didn’t build, all of which are semi auto. Crusader rifles are just that freak’n awesome. My rifles are far better than the ones being currently issued to our war fighters. They still don’t make the legal definition of an assault rifle. They don’t have the ability to be full auto without adding working parts. I prefer not having that ability.

Also, tactics the rifle is used with has nothing to do with the definition of the rifle.

This one deserves special attention, “I would also include some of the bolt guns of the battle field marksman as a modern rifle.” You do realize that every bolt action made today has it’s design copied from the 1898 Mauser….don’t you? We may have updated things for the battlefield but companies like Ruger still use the old Mauser trigger. All the design concepts are the same. Just say’n.

Actually short barreled AR’s would do well in the trenches. 7075-T6 Billet receivers, dust covers closed until needed, it will do just fine.

Feel free to continue to disagree. You wouldn’t be the first. I do hope you take these comments in friendship.

3 thoughts on “Unofficial Answer

  1. Perhaps your guest forgot that the AR-15/M16 got it’s start in a little dust hole/mud hole (depending on the season) called French Indo-China. Despite the shitty review when it was deployed en masse by the Army (because they decided NOT to the powder Eugene Stoner designed the rifle to use) the rifles has performed very well now for 50 years in all types of environments and would have been performed very well in trench warfare.

  2. “My rifles are far better than the ones being currently issued to our war fighters.”

    This recently came into a discussion with myself and a friend, a lot of civilian rifles seem to be generally superior to what’s being issued. In your opinion, why would you say that is? For example, free float hand guards, would you say this is a cost issue, or do they lack something the standard hand guards have?


    1. I could write a whole post just to answer your question, Jake. Really great question. In fact, I’ll write that new article just for you. Thanks for the great question and stand by for the answer.

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