Rifles and Carbines
An assault rifle is a rifle designed for combat, with selective fire (capable of shooting in both fully automatic and semi automatic modes). Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies. Examples of assault rifles include the M16 rifle, AK-47, and M4 carbine. The M16A2 assault rifle is the basic weapon of all U.S. marines.
- The AK-47 is a selective fire, gas operated 7.62mm assault rifle developed in the Soviet Union.
- The M16 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm caliber, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle.
- The M4 and variants fire 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition and are gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed, selective fire firearms.
A sniper rifle is a rifle used to ensure accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military centerfire cartridge. The rifle itself could be a standard rifle, but when fitted with a telescopic sight, it would become a sniper rifle.
Sniper rifles aimed at military service often deliberately sacrifice a small degree of accuracy to obtain a very high degree of durability, reliability, sturdiness, serviceability and repairability under adverse environmental and combat conditions. Military snipers and sharpshooters may also be required to carry their rifles, along with other equipment, for long distances, making weight considerations very important.
Sniper rifle features can vary widely depending on the specific tasks it is intended to perform. Features that may distinguish a sniper rifle from other weapons are the presence of a telescopic sight, unusually long overall weapon length, a stock designed for firing from a prone position, and the presence of a bipod and other accessories.
The Carbine is a light, short-barreled firearm similar to a rifle or musket, but with a generally smaller caliber, and a more limited range. Many carbines, especially modern designs, were developed from rifles, being essentially shortened versions of full rifles firing the same ammunition, although often at a lower velocity. The shorter length and lighter weight of carbines makes them easier to handle in close-quarter combat situations (such as urban or jungle warfare), or when deploying from vehicles.
The M4 carbine is a family of firearms tracing its lineage back to earlier carbine versions of the M16, all based on the original AR-15 made by ArmaLite. It is a shorter and lighter version of the M16A2 assault rifle. The M4 has selective fire options including semi-automatic and three-round burst (like the M16A2), while the M4A1 has a full auto option in place of the three-round burst.