An assault rifle is a rifle used for combat where exchange of fire takes place over short distances (i.e. <300m) and is capable of selective fire, which is the ability to switch from single fire to semi automatic or automatic fire.
An assault rifle has the following characteristics:-
a) It must have a buttstock for firing from the shoulder
b) Must be capable of selective fire
c) Must use a cartridge stronger than that of a pistol but less than one of a battle rifle.
d) Must have a detachable magazine
1.AK-47 series of rifles
This is without question the most widely used and popular assault rifle in the world. The AK-47 was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov for the Soviet Army for the Soviet armed forces. It has a kickback gas action for ejecting the cartridge. The standard AK 47 fire a 7.62×39 mm cartridge has a muzzle velocity of 2300 ft\sec and a range of 1300 ft.
The SOF Combat Assault Rifle or SCAR-L of US and Belgium parentage was made primarily for the US Special Forces and fires a 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. It has a rate of fire between 600-650 rounds per minute and an effective range of 500-600—meters.
3. Steyr AUG
The Steyr AUG is designed by Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co KG of Austria. The rifle features a two stage trigger and is fed from double column box magazines with a 30 round capacity It fires a 5.56x 45mm NATO cartridge, has a rate of fire of 680-850 rounds per minute, an effective range of 300m and is fed by a 30 or 42 round box magazine.
The M-16 is the standard rifle for the US armed forces. The M-16 is a 5.56 calibers lightweight, air cooled, magazine fed, gas operated rifle with a rotating bolt driven by a direct impingement gas operation. The M-16 is effective within a range of 550m and a rate of fire of 700-950 rounds a minute.
The M-4 5.56mm assault is of US origin, it is produced by Colt Defense. It fires a 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, has a gas operated rotating bolt action and has a rate of fire of 700-950 rounds per minute. It has an effective range of 300m.