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Rifles - Guest Contributor Jager

Rifles - By Mr. Jager Himself

This is part 3 of a 4 part series. I attempt to mesh my knowledge with a smattering of opinion. In earlier writings I mentioned that a pistol is good for fighting your way to your rifle. I am going to talk about calibers you might use and the guns that shoot them.

Common rifle calibers are the following: 223 Remington (5.56x45 mm), 243 Winchester, 25-06, 257 Roberts, 6.5 Creedmoor, 270 Winchester, 30-30, 300 Blackout, 308 Winchester (7.62x51 mm), 30-06, 300 Winchester Magnum, 7.62x39 mm, 338 Lapua. I’m stopping here having only left out about 500 other calibers. Rifles come in many different configurations, they include single shot drop block, break over, bolt action and semi-automatic. An example of a modern bolt action is the Thompson Compass. It is an extremely accurate and very inexpensive rifle available in several popular calibers.

Other bolt action rifles include the Remington 700 and the Savage Stealth seen below.

Bolt action rifle have been considered more accurate than semi-automatic rifles but modern semi- automatic rifles are on par with the bolt action guns now. Bolt action rifles usually have a fixed internal magazine or a removable magazine.

The above rifle is a lever action Marlin 30-30. It has a tube magazine that holds the rounds below the barrel. You move the lever under the trigger down then up and that loads a round from the tubular magazine and cocks the hammer to the rear making it ready to fire.

An example of a civilian hunting rifle that is semi-automatic is the Browning BAR pictured here.

The most popular semi-automatic rifle is the AR-15. AR stands for Armalite which was the company that first made the AR platform rifle. The AR platform was originally a rifle made by Eugene Stoner in 1957 and was originally in 308 caliber. The design was bought 2 years later by Colt who modified the design to shoot the 5.56 cartridge and the AR-15 was born. That rifle evolved into the M16.

The U.S. Army adopted the fully automatic M16 rifle during the early stages of the Vietnam War. The intention was to have a rifle that fired fast, light to carry, and wasn’t affected by the moisture of the jungles. The M16 has seen several changes over the years but the M16A2, and the M4 carbine are still in use by our military. The original rifle fired a 55 grain .223 caliber round that was traveling over 3000 feet per second at the muzzle. With the adoption of the M16A2 the bullet weight was increased to 62 grains and the twist of the barrel was changed to stabilize the heavier round. Rifles marked 223 Remington should not use the military 5.56x45 round but 223 ammo can be used in the rifles marked 5.56. The military rounds have more pressure than the civilian rounds so damage to the rifle and maybe the shooter could happen, although unlikely.

This is an AR-15A2. It has the same barrel, sights, fixed stock, and handguards as its M16A2 cousin. The difference is it is semi-automatic which requires the shooter to pull the trigger each time it shoots. The M16A2 can fire 3 round bursts with a single pull of the trigger. Earlier versions were full automatic and with their lighter barrels got very hot very fast. Magazines for the AR rifle are seen in 5 round magazines up to 100 round drums. Common magazines used by the military are of the 30 round variety. Many rifles used by various militaries use weapons in this caliber and can use the same magazines.