Military Assault Rifles
Assault rifles are light, self-loading rifles that are chambered for intermediate calibre cartridges. Designed to engage targets at ranges rarely exceeding 400 metres (around 1,300 feet), they are primarily selective-fire weapons, enabling the user to switch between single-shot, fully automatic, and (in some models) burst-fire modes of operation.
Military Assault Rifles is a new Research Note from the Small Arms Survey offering a succinct overview of this category of weapons. It covers their history, production, and trade.
Assault rifles are now the primary weapon of most infantry forces and many of the world’s police forces, and as a result they are the most numerous of military weapon systems.
The Kalashnikov-pattern assault rifle remains in high demand by many developing nations and its variants are increasingly the most common assault rifle types in many parts of the world.
Despite technological developments, basic infantry roles have changed little and the assault rifle’s military applications have stayed the same. As a result, this type of weapon has remained largely unchanged since its development in the 1940s and 50s.
Back to the highlights page