An assault rifle has to meet a certain set of criteria: It must be select-fire and use an intermediate cartridge. In this video we explain what our favorites are, factoring in accuracy, controllability, and of course how easy it is to shoot.
TFB TV has left out the AK because a select fire AK is not controllable nor user-friendly, even to an experienced shooter. This is a myth perpetuated by Hollywood and whoever else, but they are just brutal to run.
Sturmgewehr Stg 44
The StG 44 (abbreviation of Sturmgewehr 44, “assault rifle 44”) is a German selective-fire rifle developed during World War II that was the first of its kind to see major deployment and is considered to be the first modern assault rifle.
It is also known under the designations MP 43 and MP 44 (Maschinenpistole 43, Maschinenpistole 44 respectively). The StG 44 was the first successful weapon of its class, and the concept had a major impact on modern infantry small arms development. By all accounts, the StG 44 fulfilled its role admirably, particularly on the Eastern Front, offering a greatly increased volume of fire compared to standard infantry rifles and greater range than submachine guns.
In the end, it came too late to have a significant effect on the outcome of the war.
The HK33 is a 5.56mm assault rifle developed in the 1960s by West German armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K), primarily for export.
Capitalizing on the success of their G3 design, the company developed a family of small arms (all using the G3 operating principle and basic design concept) consisting of four types of firearms: the first type, chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO, the second—using the Soviet 7.62×39mm M43 round, third—the intermediate 5.56×45mm caliber and the fourth type—chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge.
The HK33 series of rifles were adopted by the Brazilian Air Force, the armed forces of Thailand and Malaysia where they were produced under a license agreement. The rifle was also license-built in France by MAS and in Turkey by MKEK.
The G36 is a 5.56×45mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1990s by Heckler & Koch (H&K) in Germany as a replacement for the heavier 7.62mm G3 battle rifle. It was accepted into service with the Bundeswehr in 1995, replacing the G3. The G36 is gas-operated and feeds from a 30-round detachable box magazine or 100-round C-Mag drum magazine.
The G36 is a selective-fire 5.56mm assault rifle, firing from a closed rotary bolt. The G36 has a conventional layout and a modular component design. Common to all variants of the G36 family are the receiver and buttstock assembly, bolt carrier group with the bolt and the return mechanism and guide rod. The receiver contains the barrel, carry handle with integrated sights, trigger group with pistol grip, handguard and magazine socket.
The G36 employs a free-floating barrel (the barrel does not contact the handguard). The barrel is fastened to the receiver with a special nut, which can be removed with a wrench. The barrel is produced using a cold hammer forging process and features a chrome-lined bore with six right-hand grooves and a 1 in 178 mm (1:7 in) rifling twist rate. The barrel assembly consists of the gas block, a collar with a bayonet lug that is also used to launch rifle grenades and a slotted flash suppressor.
The weapon can be stripped and re-assembled without tools through a system of cross-pins similar to that used on earlier HK designs. For cleaning purposes, the G36 dismantles into the following groups: receiver housing, a return mechanism, bolt carrier group and trigger group.
The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is the United States military adaptation of the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle. The original M16 was a select-fire, 5.56×45mm rifle with a 20-round magazine.
In 1963, the M16 entered United States Military service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations during the Vietnam War. In 1969, the M16A1 replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military’s standard service rifle. The M16A1 improvements include a bolt-assist, chromed plated bore and a new 30-round magazine. In 1983, the USMC adopted the M16A2 rifle, and the U.S. Army adopted it in 1986.
The M16A2 fires the improved 5.56×45mm NATO (M855/SS109) cartridge and has a new adjustable rear sight, case deflector, heavy barrel, improved handguard, pistol grip and buttstock, as well as a semi-auto and three-round burst only fire selector. Adopted in 1998, the M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series. It is equipped with a removable carrying handle and Picatinny rail for mounting optics and other ancillary devices.
The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its 5.56 mm caliber. The U.S. Army has largely replaced the M16 in combat units with the shorter and lighter M4 carbine, and the U.S. Marine Corps approved a similar change in October 2015.
FN FNC Carbine
The FNC (Belgian: Fabrique Nationale Carabine) is a 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle developed by the Belgian arms manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal and introduced in the late 1970s.
The FNC is a selective fire weapon that uses a gas-driven piston operating system (with a long-stroke piston) and a rotary bolt locking mechanism equipped with two locking lugs that engage corresponding recesses in the barrel extension. The bolt is rotated and unlocked by the interaction of the bolt’s cam pin with a camming guide contained in the bolt carrier.
Overall, the mechanism strongly resembles the Kalashnikov but adapted to more advanced design and production methods. The rear part of the cocking handle slot, cut in the upper receiver for the cocking handle, is covered by a spring-loaded cover that automatically opens by the handle when it goes back and automatically closes the opening when the cocking handle returns forward.
The spring extractor is located inside the bolt head; the ejector is fixed and riveted to the inside of the receiver housing. The FNC uses a 2-position gas valve, a hammer-type firing mechanism and a trigger with a fire selector switch that is simultaneously the manual safety, securing the weapon from accidental firing. The selector lever is located on the left side of the receiver and has 4 settings: “S” – weapon safe, “1” – single fire mode, “3” – 3-round burst, “A” – continuous (automatic) fire.
The FNC’s barrel features a flash suppressor that is also used to launch rifle grenades. The gas block contains a gas valve setting that is used to isolate the gas system, providing an increased volume of propellant required to fire a rifle grenade.
The sheet-metal gas valve switch when pulled upright, acts as a V-notch sight used for aiming the rifle grenades. The piston head and extension, as well as the gas port block, barrel bore, and chamber are hard-chrome plated to minimize the effects of propellant fouling.
The rifle feeds from 30-round steel magazines that are interchangeable with magazines from the American M16 rifle. After the last round is fired, the bolt will remain closed as there is no provision for an automatic bolt hold open.
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